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Bigpoint: "Subscription games will come back in some form"

"The future won't just default to free to play" - Guild

Bigpoint chairman Simon Guild has argued that the future of online games does not lie purely in free to play.

"We like free to play but we kind of think subscription will come back in some form," he claimed in a panel at Evolve In London yesterday.

"We didn't like the idea of subscription as a barrier, but....we think subscriptions will come back in a strange and unusual way – other ways of payment, all we're trying to do is reduce the barriers for people to buy our stuff.

"We also stopped doing [in-game] advertising, and now we're thinking of coming back to it. We had a company that pitched us $200 CPM - so we're thinking a lot harder about that.

"We actually think the future will be a bigger mix of all of these things and it won't just default to free to play. "

Guild also offered some predictions on the likely hardware trends of tomorrow, following a question on whether he leaned more towards connected TVs or portable devices. " Do I have to make a choice? I think I would go for portable devices myself. The portable device is something we're interested in - while there's been a huge move towards free, everything's becoming more portable as well and I think that may change some of the interface."

Tablets were especially exciting, he felt. "Someone at Intel told me netbook sales have fallen off a cliff, the interest is gone. Also, non-iPad tablets are being sent back to the manufacturer because they're not selling."

"The behavioural thing [is] these things lying around someone's house and picking it up at any time. It's a different experience than sitting on your crappy sofa in front of your crappy TV or crappy PC.

"It's going to be huge, and it will change the way that people will interact with stuff."

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.