Paywalls may be a key part of mobile gaming, with pay to win features and endless bloody microtransactions, but Take-Two Interactive reckon that approach simply doesn’t work on consoles.
The parent publishing company behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption make a fair bit of money from what’s known as recurrent consumer spending (basically DLC and add on content) but Take-Two president Karl Slatoff recently spoke about his company’s approach compared to paywalls.
He first explained that compelling content is what really works first and foremost, and that putting up roadblocks – while a popular approach for mobile games – just doesn’t mesh well with console gaming.
When you put up roadblocks, and that’s how you monetize–that might work in a casual context, that sort of repetitive, addictive-type behaviour–but we don’t believe it works at all and doesn’t really have a place in the context or core gaming. So you have have to enable people to enjoy and play the game and content that you offer to them is either enhances that gameplay experience but is not necessarily required to enjoy the game. It enhances it and it enhances it in a meaningful way
He did go on to admit that all of Take-Two’s upcoming games will probably have some kind of post launch paid content, but he was keen to stress that each game will offer something different, and reiterated that it’s all about the right kind of content.
Whatever your thoughts on paywalls in casual/mobile gaming, it’s clearly a money making monster. Still, I agree with Slatoff in that console gamers deserve a complete experience when they’ve shelled out £50 for a product. Any kind of extra content should compliment a game’s experience, not complete it.