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Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away [Paperback]

Will Luton
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2013

“ Will’s knowledge of F2P comes from years of building games, as well as writing about and consulting with developers on the model. All the topics covered in this book—economics, gameplay, monetization, analytics and marketing—are important to consider when you’re building an F2P game, and Will covers each with an easy-to-digest style.” —Ian Marsh, co-founder, NimbleBit


Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away is an accessible and complete guide to the business model that has revolutionized the videogames industry, creating huge hits, multi-billion-dollar startups and a new deal for players: Play for free, spend on what you like.


Written by respected game designer and consultant Will Luton, Free-to-Play gives you the in-the-trenches insight you need to build, run and make money from games you give away. In it you’ll find:

  • Psychology behind player decisions and the motivations to play
  • Simple and accessible explanations of the math and economic theories behind F2P, including working examples
  • Processes for capturing and using player data to improve your game
  • Marketing tips on positioning your game and attracting players
  • Plus: A downloadable F2P spreadsheet, articles from the author, a foreword by NimbleBit co-founder Ian Marsh and an interview with Zynga CEO, Mark Pincus.


Frequently Bought Together

Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away + The Curve: From Freeloaders into Superfans: The Future of Business
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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321919017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321919014
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.5 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Will Luton is a designer and consultant in free-to-play games, having worked with companies such as SEGA and Channel 4. He has been making games for over ten years, most recently as creative director at the award-winning studio Mobile Pie. He regularly contributes articles to Gamasutra magazine, Develop magazine and GamesIndustry International, has a BA (Hons) in Computer Games Design and in 2011 was awarded a 30 Under 30 by Develop magazine.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect field manual to Free To Play games 17 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away several weeks in advance of it's launch. Whilst I already work in the freemium social/mobile games space I am always hungry for great resources that pull all the various elements and issues together in a cohesive way. Until this book came out, there was precious little available in that respect. Now there is and I would heartily recommend Will Luton's work to anyone looking to be part of the games industry over the next decade and beyond.

To thrive in the free to play games business, one needs to gain a decent appreciation of multiple topics, some of which have hitherto been completely alien to many otherwise capable games designers, producers or product managers. These topics include the role of game data and the analysis of this to drive engagement, retention, revenue generation and other, business-critical success criteria. Luton goes beyond simply defining the illustrating the key characteristics of Free To Play design; notably he provides commentary, insight and clear guidance on the issues that will help shape (or otherwise, break) a digital games business. This isn't a book tailored for new Goliaths such as Zynga et al; this is a well-structured, concise and practical - and often very witty - field manual for people performing multiple diverse roles in the games industry.

Luton addresses issues that are currently the source of frequent, heated debate at almost every game conference and in most studios globally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend 25 Jun 2013
By Mitch
Format:Paperback
Making a great Free to play game is hard but Will helps to break down all the key areas in an easy to read format.
There is tons of information here from Economics, Monetization and Analytics, to Gameplay design and keeping your plays coming back. Need some help with Marketing? He's got that covered too.

If you're making a Free to play game or considering it, you'll find this book very useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a pro game developer for 20 years, and thought that this book wouldn't be able to teach me much about my art. How wrong I was. This book breaks down the nuts and bolts of game design in a methodical manner, and is a real eye opener. Some of my most long held preconceptions about player motivation and value of certain design decisions have been turned on their head. The author has a clean, easy to understand way of demonstrating what motivates people to play games, and what keeps them coming back for more.

Even if you're not working in the free to play space there are tons of great rules of thumb and examples which will be of great use to you.

Buy this book now. You owe it to yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable tool in the Game Designers arsenal 30 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book helps makes it easy to understand the F2P business model. Whether you've been designing games for years, or just getting started this is a must read, even if you don't plan on making a F2P game, it'll help you understand the market.

It teaches you basics that extend far beyond F2P such as Analytics and Marketing insights that can used for any digital product across the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable resource 14 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Being a keen follower of the author (@will_luton) and a novice indie developer I was very much looking forward to reading this book. It far exceeded my expectations.

The author clearly knows his stuff and introduces the concepts and backs up the theory so well that I have been left with a thirst to tackle the behemoth that is the appstore.

Don't waste time reading my review hit that buy now button.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 2 Sep 2013
By Hoges
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love f2p or hate it - it is here to stay. Read how you can design your game to maximise your gain
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Decodes F2P in a straight up succinct way
Free 2 Play theory is a complex area. It encapsulates game design, running games as a service, behavioral economics, psychology (more than Maslo), data science and analysis and... Read more
Published 8 months ago by John Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic introduction to F2P concepts
A really great intro to all the important elements that make up creating, promoting and growing a F2P title. Read more
Published 8 months ago by NatLG
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great book
This book is a really good read. We had problems trying to understand all of the trends happening within the free to play world, this book provides lots of really good information... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. T. M. Kandziora
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
This is a great introduction to free to play design for the uninitiated that also works as a great resource for those already well versed in the subject matter. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Nick
4.0 out of 5 stars The best F2P game book I've come across
I've been in the F2P gaming space for 6 years now. And over the past 6 months I have searched around for books to help enhance my knowledge of the subject outside my own... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ash
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to the Free to play business model
If you are new to the free to play business model and need to find out the basics quickly then this is the book for you!
Published 10 months ago by B. K. Atkinson-jones
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