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The economics of free: freemium games, branding and the impatience economy

Evans, Elizabeth

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Abstract

The gaming industry has seen dramatic change and expansion with the emergence of ‘casual’ games that promote shorter periods of game play. Free to download, but structured around micro-payments, these games raise the complex relationship between game design and commercial strategies. Although offering a free gameplay experience in line with open access philosophies, these games also create systems that offer control over the temporal dynamics of that experience to monetise player attention and inattention. This article will examine three ‘freemium’ games, Snoopy Street Fair, The Simpsons’ Tapped Out and Dragonvale, to explore how they combine established branding strategies with gameplay methods that monetise player impatience. In examining these games, this article will ultimately indicate the need for game studies to interrogate the intersection between commercial motivations and game design 2 and a broader need for media and cultural studies to consider the social, cultural, economic and political implications of impatience.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 9, 2015
Journal Convergence
Print ISSN 1354-8565
Electronic ISSN 1748-7382
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 6
Pages 563-580
APA6 Citation Evans, E. (2015). The economics of free: freemium games, branding and the impatience economy. Convergence, 22(6), 563-580. doi:10.1177/135485651456705
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/135485651456705
Keywords Gaming, Mobile gaming, Attention economy, Branding, Digital culture
Publisher URL http://con.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/02/18/1354856514567052.abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information Copyright Sage 2015

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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