free games

The ‘free’ in my last entry was meant as in speech, now it is meant as in beer. Just for clarification—the following links do not lead to illegal hacks or cons, but to sites and services maintained by the respective licence holders. The reason why I post those here is that it is economically interesting that top-notch game titles are made available for free in order to try out new business models. Especially for the anthropology-of-economy buffs there’s a ton of interesting issues to be discovered.
    That settled, here’s what I have to say: TF2 is F2P :-) Meaning, as of 23 June 2011 ‘Team Fortress 2‘ is free to play via Steam. There will be no advertising they say, and no premium subscription model. But how the hell do they make money? Well, there is a system for microtransactions implemented, via which you can buy in-game items—but it won’t be ‘pay to win,’ they say.
    But there’s even more: Since 29 June 2011 the time-burner #1 for so many people, ‘World of Warcraft‘ (WoW), is F2P, too (EU / US)—at least up to level 20 and with several more limitations. In a nutshell from the FAQ (go there for full information on terms, limitations and how-to):

The World of Warcraft Starter Edition allows players to access World of Warcraft for free—all you need is a account and an Internet connection. Starter Edition players can play up to a maximum character level of 20 and are able to upgrade to a full, paid account at any time, allowing them to continue their adventures where they left off. The Starter Kit gives gamers who are interested in trying out World of Warcraft a chance to experience the game before purchasing a copy.

Nice. But if you want to be a real gamer, an über-pro, and want to play THE real thing for free, then come here … ;-)

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