I asked Sarah about the growing freemium trend. “I’ve been hearing some real cautionary tales of indie games releasing only a free version with IAP.” Sarah says, “Free-to-play is territory best left to unscrupulous optimizers like Zynga.” Zynga, the producers behind scores of derivative freemum social games, is unfortunately why most of us shudder when a game ends in -Ville. Although she sees a potential for a well-balanced free-to-play MMORPG to actually be free to play, Sarah plans to steer clear of designing for freemium and “making people pay because they don’t want to wait all day for some plant to grow or because they’re out of “energy” and not allowed to play the game anymore. That’s the worst.” (We couldn’t agree more.)
This was a great interview, I loved hearing about the next Rebuild, and snarking about bad freemium design. I’m so very impressed that Sarah and Colin Northway manage to travel the world together AND work developing interesting games, which makes me feel that it’s totally possible to combine the two things I love best.