GAMING BLEND

Hotline Miami 2 Publisher: F*ck Free-To-Play And Microtransactions

By Pete Haas 2014-06-30 18:53:35 discussion comments
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Indie publisher Devolver Digital is tired of people saying consoles are dead. And don't tell them they need to make free-to-play games.

"I was so fed up of people telling us we should do free-to-fucking-play, in-app-fucking purchases, whatever the fuck that is, and that consoles were dead," Devolver's Graeme Struthers told GamesIndustry International. "So fuck all of those people and their fucking shitty stance. I don't really engage a lot with the industry, but I went to one of these BAFTA things and these people were lecturing the audience about why we should all be going in that direction. I was sat there thinking 'fuck you'."

"Consoles aren't dead. I still find that there's a thing when you sit down and turn on your console, that's a different experience to any other. So hats off to them, consoles are good for all of us."

We've heard a lot of console doom-saying, especially at the outset of this new generation. Some have said that tablets would end consoles. Others thought that the PC or Valve's Steam Machines would take them down. I can't blame Struthers for being sick of this pessimism by now.

Struthers says that PC is their lead platform and their "priority, every single time." They're still the main platform for indie games in his opinion. Still, he's glad that the Xbox One and PS4 are both doing well. He's had good experiences with both Microsoft and Sony.

"There's something I'd stress about both of those companies. They might seem like huge, faceless companies but to us they're individuals. Shahid, Lorenzo, they play our stuff, sometimes even before we make them, they'll sign stuff they already know about. Mark Maslowicz at Microsoft is basically the same. They're just nice people who play games."

I'm happy that Xbox One and PS4 seem to be off to a strong start. I'm even happier that free-to-play and microtransactions aren't the only path forward for developers. There are some great F2P games out there but that business model doesn't always work. It might be more lucrative for the publisher but it can be awful for the player. Just look at Dungeon Keeper's iOS version. The natural flow of the game was ruined by EA's insistence on shoehorning microtransactions

One of Devolver's upcoming console games is Hotline Miami 2. The top-down shooter is in development for PS4 and PS3. The game will hit those platforms along with the PS Vita, PC, Mac and Linux later this year.

Are consoles dying?

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