Saturday, August 18, 2007

MMOs Moving Toward "Free to Play" Business Models

Found an interesting article over at Ten Ton Hammer:

Here’s a two-part rhetorical situation for the Ten Ton Hammer readers out there:

1. Suppose somebody offers you a free hamburger. This could be some random schmoe down the street or your next door neighbor. You’ve had one of these burgers before; you know they’re of average quality. It’s a hamburger, but you’re not salivating Homer Simpson-style. Do you take it? Why or why not?

2. Now suppose Burger King decided to give away free hamburgers. Like the previously mentioned hamburger, this is a known quantity. You know what Burger King hamburgers taste like and they are probably no better than the free burgers that were being offered by your neighbor. Do you take this hamburger? Why or why not?

For many of us, if we saw a “Free Hamburgers!” sign outside of a Burger King, there would be a mile-long line outside the door, waiting to get their Whopper on. Are all of these people hungry? Probably not. Do they like Burger King Whoppers? Maybe. But the temptation of a “free” hamburger that once carried a price tag is sorely tempting. Yet when we’re offered free hamburgers by our neighbors and our friends, and we often pass up those opportunities because we know that the burgers are free and will remain free. These free items don’t attract our attention like a Burger King hamburger would, simply because we don’t feel like we’re saving or gaining anything for the exchange.
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