Paywalls and Gaming: The Canary in the Coal Mine?

Rodric David is the Chairman and CEO of Thunder Studios.
Rodric David is the Chairman and CEO of Thunder Studios.

Paywalls in Gaming could predict the future of the entire content business. Blocking audiences from exploring content through subscription paywalls can be a double edged sword. There has been enormous consumer backlash against subscription fees (over $100/ year) for Xbox Live and PSN, and it took years for irate Xbox owners to actually be able use their Netflix accounts via Xbox without being double dipped on a Live account.

A popular opinion among gamers is that paywalls and MicroTransactions are greedy and a financial exploitation of the gaming experience. Wrote one passionate gamer, “I don’t want it shoved in my face where I feel like in order to actually enjoy and play the game I have to keep anteing up. That gets very frustrating.” Consumer behavior and expectations can be directed and modified though when provided with a rich, deep and engaging content world.

Recurrent consumer spending through MicroTransactions, IAPs, and DLC could be the future for all content creators. Content developers and distributors, however, must walk a fine line between engaging their audience and alienating them. This ‘gamification’ of content has the potential to be a catalyst for exceptional future content franchises.

This article from kotaku.com makes a sound argument for the value of recurrent consumer spending in gaming and the corresponding quality of content.

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