We tend to talk about free to play gaming quite a bit here and part of the reason that we do is because developers keep bringing it up. Whether or not players agree, developers and publishers are seeing it as a viable form of monetization — as long as they can figure out how to make it fit the game.
The topic came up once again when StarCraft 2 lead designer Dustin Browder admitted that Blizzard is “looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer,” during a panel at the Valencia eSports Congress.
However, the team just isn’t sure how to go about making money from it. According to Browder:
We don’t know how we would monetise it. While it might be good fun for me to play against someone with only half the units available to them, that’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for them.
I have to admit, this does seem like a bit of an issue. StarCraft 2 is vastly different from other competitive free to play offerings like League of Legends and SMITE where the a steady stream of new champions (or gods) will allow the companies to easily monetize the game and still keep things fairly even.
However, there is the option of the cosmetic route. The question is: Would skins and other cosmetics bring in enough cash from SC2 players?