FreeToPlay.biz The Business and Design of Free-To-Play Games

2Jul/082

F2P Jobs: Acclaim and Nickelodeon Seek Sr Mgmt

The job market seems as hot as ever. As a result, I've had a few interesting free-to-play related jobs flitter through my inbox this week.

David Perry, Chief Creative Officer of Acclaim (in that company's new, F2P-only format) and Kyra Reppen, SVP of Nickelodeon, send word of very compelling vacancies in their respective companies. Nickelodeon's posting is based in LA whereas Acclaim seems open to remote-work scenarios. Kudos to Acclaim!

I promised I'd post their opps on freetoplay.biz. Click through for the full text of each posting.

16Jun/081

F2P Jobs: Orange Telecom Ops Manager

Been very busy on the consulting front lately... apologies for the lack of content. But I promised Nicolo I would post this job for him, so here goes:

At this year's GDC, I met Michael Ivvora and Nicolo Laurent from GOA, the videogame subsidiary of France Telecom/Orange. Besides handling the European side of US online games – launch, localization, QA, support etc – for games like Warhammer Online and Dark Age of Camelot, Orange also runs a free to play portal at goa.com. They've recently launched localized free to play games in Europe like Gunbound and Pangya, and they've got plans to expand their game selection.

Right now they're looking for an Operational Manager for their free to play business, which is based out of Dublin, Ireland. This is a lead managerial position, which means leading the vision for their free to play business, managing project managers and organizing work flow between game teams. It also means working closely with the marketing team to develop strategies for customer acquisition, conversion, retention and monetization, along with managing the alignment of development and marketing goals.

If this sounds like your dream job, send an email to nicolas.laurent@goa.com.

A full job description after the jump.

9Apr/083

Preview: Warrior Epic from Possibility Space

Warrior Epic is a new free to play online RPG being developed by Possibility Space, a company founded by Gage Galinger and Feng Zhu; a pair that share a wealth of experience between them, from Starcraft to Gears of War.

As a free to play game it comes across as competent and quite polished, and it’s just leaving closed beta. Essentially a dungeon crawler, players own a great hall that stores their characters and serves as a meeting place for quests.

There are a number of different warrior classes (and some that must be paid for), but the hook is a sort of metagame wherein players can choose to harness the spirit of one of their fallen warriors as a power for their next warrior. It’s well scoped and well designed to be a free to play RPG, but what’s most interesting is how they plan to handle paid content and digital downloading.

While the usual cosmetic items are part of the plan, Warrior Epic is taking a refreshing stance towards satisfying both free players and paid players – a problem Flagship’s Hellgate London ran into when they offered paid players better gear, bigger inventories and faster travel times.

Brice Lukas, Community Manager for Possibilty Space had this to say about sustaining that balance:

“In Warrior Epic you cannot purchase power or progress. The best gear and items can only be obtained by playing the game. There is also no exchange of earned items with paid items. So anything that a user buys with real cash cannot be obtained with in-game currency.”

One of the things a player can purchase (for a small price) are buff items that will help players get through dungeons and closer to the real loot.

“Each mission in Warrior Epic is designed to be roughly 15 minutes long, and the number of these buffs you can carry is limited, so they will not unbalance the play.”

Last but not least is Possibility Space's distribution model, what the company has dubbed “Download on Demand”. Players register on the site and then download a small .exe file that will stream content from seed servers. The whole system is similar to torrents and is expected to allow the game to be quite portable. Since account information is stored on the seed servers, players can download the same .exe on any computer, which is run from the folder it’s in rather than needing an install.

We’ll have to wait and see if Warrior Epic proves to be a game that lets players download and start playing within minutes, but it’s safe to say that players will appreciate the lack of usual hoops to jump through. The more players get exposed to a free to play game the better, and with an approach like this there is a good chance that a significant amount of players will at least consider getting involved enough to start paying for items and warriors.

“Our intention is to expose a much larger set of people to the fun of online gaming. We want to take all the fun parts of games that hardcore gamers enjoy, and package those up in a product that everybody can experience. The key behind this is to lower the barrier to entry.”

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