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Scrolls will feature "aspects" of free-to-play

Markus Persson takes issue with terminology, compares most f2p games to "slot machines"

Minecraft creator Markus Persson has revealed that Mojang's forthcoming game, Scrolls, will contain "aspects" of free-to-play.

In a statement released via his Twitter account earlier today, Persson said that while Scrolls will feature free-to-play elements he is uncomfortable with the terminology.

"We won't call it 'free to play', though, as it's not a free game," he said.

Shortly before publishing the Tweet, Persson posted an article on his blog called, "I hate 'free to play'". The opening sentence admits that the title is "a bit overly inflammatory" and that his problem is with "the wording 'free to play'."

Persson believes that the industry-wide interest in free-to-play business models is the financial success of companies like Zynga.

"The reason anyone switches to 'free to play' is to make more money. You get your players hooked on your game, and then you try to monetise them," Persson said.

"The idea is to find a model where there basically is no cap on how much the player can spend, then try to encourage players to spend more and more money. Various psychological traps like abusing the sense of sunk costs get exploited, and eventually you end up with a game that's designed more like a slot machine than Half-Life 2."

Persson goes on to suggest that the name 'free to play' should be changed, and that the, "people who think 'free to play' is a great future are mostly game developers, not game players."

Mojang is currently involved in a legal dispute with Bethesda over the name "Scrolls", with Bethesda claiming that it infringes on its Elder Scrolls trademark. Earlier this month, Mojang won a temporary injunction.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.