Loyalty & Rewards

Will “Play For Free” Games Displace Subscription Based Gaming like WoW

When it comes to online gaming, subscription-based World of Warcraft is still a big player, with 7.6 million monthly subscribers. But it’s hold isn’t what it once was, the company peaked in 2010 with about 10 million subscribers, and has since lost players to games that are technically complex, visually interesting, fully immersive and totally free to play.

Gaming companies like Gazillion, Inc., are hitting the reset of online gaming models and tapping into consumers who want games that are easy to access from a variety of devices, and free to enjoy at the entry level.

“Free to Play” games rely on a core group of dedicated users who will pay a premium prices for special short-cuts, cheat codes, weaponry or customizable clothing for their online avatars. They are also more able to tolerate a slow build, as opposed to traditional subscription based models which traditionally need to rely on a costly initial marketing push to assure a large enough launch with enough initial subscriptions.

Gazillion Chief Executive Dave Brevik said the company had $11 million in 2013 revenue and he expects $25 million this year based on the number of daily active users and the number of users making the free to paying jump. Their main property, “Marvel Heroes” generates 75 percent of its total revenue and has 3 million active users.

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