There have always been a lot of games you could play on FaceBook like Farmville and Zynga Poker, but these days the money motivation for companies like Plarium is growing.
I don’t mind the price of games I find at Best Buy or online. The programmers and the company need to be paid and it has always been a profitable business for them. But, once I pay for the game, while the terms of service says otherwise, I basically own it. I can reach whatever level I want or that I’m good enough to reach. I can play it as often as I want to for that one-time purchase price.
That’s not how FaceBook games work however. Companies like Plarium create games, then promote them as free to play. And technically, that is correct, but after committing the time to the game to do your best to upgrade and level up, you soon find out that unless you spend money, you’re never going to compete with those who do.
This isn’t like buying a game. If you and I both buy a game and that purchase price is all there is to pay, then you and I compete on a level playing field. But, with FaceBook Games like those created by Plarium, you can continue to spend money on several things in the game to give you an advantage. So, it’s no longer whether or not you can beat your opponent in the game, it’s about whether you can spend more money than your opponent.
A specific example; As you level up, you can get better troops to train. In the beginning, the weaker units are available to you only . . . unless of course, you’re willing to pay Plarium for better troops through the market.
If a player could just buy troops that were available at their level, that would still be a little unbalanced, but not as much. If you’re willing to spend money, you can get troops that aren’t available to your level, as a matter of fact, troops that are only available for a level 3 times your current level or more.
If the game were balanced, it might be fun. But when those willing to spend more money can just attack you over and over with troops that are a much higher level, they are always going to win. This is just one example of why the games aren’t exactly free to play. They’re free as long as you don’t mind being the punching bag for those that literally spend thousands of dollars over time on these games.
Yeah. I said “thousands of dollars”. it isn’t hard to calculate when you see the number of upgrades to their city that each cost money and the number and type of troops they send to attack. They can be 1/2 your level and have 4 times the troops and higher-level troops too. So they don’t have to work to level up. They just buy more troops and attack.
Like I said, the troop thing is just one example. The entire game is designed so that you can’t quite get what you need to do that next upgrade, but for just $49.99 more, you can buy some drachmas and get it done now. They make sure everything moves along very, very slow. They target people who are impatient and entice them to spend money to speed things along and beat your opponents.
The bottom line is that these are not really strategy games. They are designed for giving those who spend the most money all of the advantages. They target people who are impatient and who couldn’t normally win at strategy games and who are willing to pay to win.
So, unless you fall into that category, those games aren’t worth any of your time. Buy a game that you pay for once and don’t fall for the “free” offer that isn’t really free.
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