Free to Play? Pay to Win? What about Pay to Praise?
It never fails. The F2P vs P2W camps have erected their bases of operations in yet another video game with a cash shop full of progression items and cosmetics.
First of all, I personally never favored the ‘Pay to Win’ moniker as an accurate label for the enterprise associated with purchasing convenience and/or progression items from a cash shop. For one, its not like there is actually anything to win. There is no prize pool - no cash and prizes for barrelling through the newest content the fastest. The subtle psychology suggests that if you cannot afford to pay, you cannot win. If you cannot win, you are, of course, a loser, and who wants to be a loser? But I digress…
There is an actual point I’d like to make, and perhaps in the process, establish a third camp of players. The ‘Pay to Praise’ camp.
With so much emphasis on whether or not Lost Ark is P2W or F2P, its hard to establish or even gauge whether or not those that are paying are actually incentivized to pay because of the quality of the game.
It stands to reason that games of poor quality are not able to retain players. Player retention is essential for games that are Free to download with an in game Cash Shop. The issue and argument tends to become one of fairness and justice rather than quality and worth.
To further elaborate, those that cannot pay should actually be thankful that some can. This is my opinion of course, but hear me out. Without the whales and those eager to blaze through the content offered by swiping the card, how would a game like Lost Ark be able to sustain the teams on payroll rolling out new content and servicing the existing product? Without a portion of the player base engaged in a games cash shop, a Free to download game quickly goes stagnant, new content releases halt, and before too long, dead game.
I’m only offering this insight to potentially provide a new view for all of us to consider. In my current financial situation, I’m not really able to support games like PoE, Lost Ark, Warframe, etc. in the capacity that I feel they should be. COVID has been tough on many of us and I gotta say, I for one am extremely grateful that I’ve had video games through the madness. I’m also astute enough to glean that these F2P games with cash shops can only remain as such so long as a percentage of the player base interfaces with said cash shop.
As I rebuild my company and push my financial situation into a more favorable one, I fully intend on engaging with the Lost Ark cash shop in more of a Pay to Praise relationship than one intended to expedite my way through an amazing game full of amazing content.
When the Destination is the Focus, the Journey is overlooked. Slow down. Play the game. If you can’t P2W, appreciate those that can so that we can continue to enjoy Arkesia and the adventures that await us all.