There are many different reasons why someone might make a game and release it for free. Often, it’s because the person is just having fun and wants to share their creation with others, or share a story they’ve written. With game businesses, releasing a game for free sometimes revolves around adding microtransactions to the game, to get people playing the game and then to get them to pay some money to enhance their game experience.
There is another reason businesses should consider releasing a game for free, and not a game saddled with microtransactions, but truly free. It’s the same reason so many e-books are offered for free.
In the e-book publishing world authors often offer some of their books for free to help their books gain attention in the hopes that people will read their books and like them, and then seek out their other books and buy them. When it comes to book series, it’s the same idea. The first book of the series might be offered for free so that people are more likely to read it and if they like it, buy the rest of the books in the series.
The same can be done with games. A developer or publisher could offer a few games for free so that people play them and if they like them, look for other games from that developer or publisher. Or they can release the first game in a series for free to gain more attention for the rest of the series.
There is real value is offering games for free, both for independent developers and large publishing houses. When it comes to releasing games, free games have a value that should be considered.
The Humble Bundle recently launched the Humble Jumbo Bundle 7, a collection featuring games some of which work on multiple platforms. While the bundle of games isn’t really big enough to be considered “jumbo” in my estimation, there are some titles in there that many people will probably like. If it interests you click here to give it a look.
If there’s a free game you’d like me to check out, you can submit your request either by using the Contact page, by connecting with me on Twitter, sending me a message on YouTube, or finding my contact information on my YouTube About page. Preference is given to games that can be played in the web browser.
If you enjoy sci-fi and fantasy video games, chances are you enjoy sci-fi stories too. The Humble Bundle has just launched a new bundle of science fiction books written by real scientists, with their regular pay-what-you-want program. If that interests you, click here to go to the bundle’s page.
To help launch their summer sale the Humble Store is offering Tropico 4 free for download. This is a strategy game and if it interests you, follow this link for the game’s page.
People often forget all the good, fun, free Flash games available. These are often games that can be played more casually for a few minutes here and a few minutes there. While there are Flash game websites all over the place, the two best places to find free Flash games are on the Armor Games and Kongregate websites. There have also been some HTML5 games showing up on these websites too, showing that the websites are keeping up with the latest technology.
It’s common that with most online stores you can sort items by price to see the lowest priced items first. This includes online game stores like Steam, which makes finding lower-priced games very easy. However taking a recent look at both the Humble Store and Good Old Games, I was surprised to find that neither store supports this most basic of functionality.
At the Humble Store the only price sorting option you have is to sort games by “Top Discounts”, but that in no way provides a least-to-most expensive list. The prices it presents are still all over the place.
Good Old Games isn’t much better, only allowing you to choose a price category, such as “Under $5” instead of being able to sort from least to most expensive. It’s surprising both online game stores lack this basic sorting functionality.
The only reasonable explanation is that these stores must not want you, the customer, to be able to sort according to price. They don’t want you to be able to easily find the least expensive games on their stores. Certainly if you buy more expensive games they make more money so they want to make it more difficult to find the least expensive games they have on offer. That’s the only reasonable, sensible explanation for why they would lack the price sorting option that all other online stores have.