Monday, 9 February 2015
Code of Joker: F2P Done Right
I'm going to assume most people won't know what CoJ is but a long time ago I did a blog post about it so have a read here to clue yourself in.
As a quick summary, it's an arcade trading card game that plays a little like Pokemon, Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh all slammed together into one really fun card battling experience.
Back when it was first released you'd pay a certain number of credits to charge an energy value. You would spend those points to play games and any points left over at the end would be converted into currency for you to buy new cards with when you came back at a later date.
However this all changed and the game went free to play. Code of Joker now works on a system similar to every iPhone game under the sun. You have an energy meter that has 100 points and playing a game costs a minimum of 40. These points recharge over time and 100 points is enough to play 2 games for exactly no money.
The complaint that I hear with a lot of free to play games is that there's a significant amount of stuff locked behind a pay wall. If not that then it's a case of a lot of over powered, game breaking stuff being locked away from people who don't want to spend money.
Code of Joker is not like this, you are not locked out of anything if you don't put any money into the machine with the exception of cosmetics. The only thing putting money in the machine does for you increases the rate you get cards since you get 1 or 2 cards as a reward per game. But even if you do decide to put money in, 200 yen ($1.60 or £1.10) gets you a maximum of 7 games. 7 fucking plays, for 200 yen! That shit is NUTS! £1 on a UK DDR machine would get you 3 songs, which lasts about 12 minutes while Code of Joker you can play for an hour or two for the same price AND receive a load of free shit while you do it.
This is how Free to Play games SHOULD be. Locking people out of things or charging in order to win is stupid, pisses people off and turns them away. If you provide paid options that actually reward the player without pissing off those who don't pay too hard then you have a recipe for success and SEGA have fucking nailed it here.