Not everyone is a fan of the new free-to-play model. But as Activsion Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says, many aren't big fans of anything new.
The freemium model has already been embraced by several game developers, and many analysts and other industry insiders say free-to-play could be the future of interactive entertainment. And despite the complaints by the hardcore veterans, Hirshberg warns against rebelling against new ideas.
Here's what the very candid executive had to say in a recent Edge interview :
"I think there’s a tendency in moments of disruption – [and] I don’t think this is industry-specific – to assume everything that’s new will destroy what came before. In many cases, the new thing creates a new marketplace and new demand, and then some entrenched and mature markets show remarkable staying power.
There wasn’t a day I worked in advertising [that] I didn’t hear about the death of the 30-second TV commercial. Originally, the VCR was going to kill it [laughs], then the Internet was going to kill it, the DVR was going to, satellite TV… It’s proved to be a resilient medium that’s still relevant today. There are a lot of similarities between what I experienced in the advertising business and what’s going on in gaming now."
Obviously, we should clarify that many gamers don't necessarily have a problem with the business side of freemium; the fans are often against it for other reasons. At the same time, you have to admit that Hirshberg has a point, and there are many instances of overreactions to new ideas and new technology that in fact didn't destroy "what came before."