When you think of free-to-play games it's hard not to picture games are essentially copies of each other. They're more than likely something related to Farmville, where you're obligated to repitious tasks only to move forward inch-by-inch in the game with the option to pay to get more in-game cash or to finish levels for you.
Well, Super Meat Boy's Co-Creator Edmund McMillen does not like this one single bit. So much so that he's lashing out against the practice and so-called "game design", saying that their approach to Super Meat Boy: The Game, the upcoming iOS version, will respect the player rather than treat them like cattle:
"There is an ongoing theme these days to use a very basic video game shell and hang a 'power up carrot' in front of the player. The player sees this carrot, and wants it! All the player needs to do is a few very rudimentary repetitious actions to attain it, once they get to it, another drops down and asks them to do more... but then the catch... instead of achieving these 'goals' by running on the tread mill, you can instead just pay a single dollar and you instantly get to your goal! Better yet pay 10 and unlock all your goals without even having to ever play the game!
Words cannot express how f***ing wrong and horrible this is, for games, for gamers and for the platform as a whole... this business tactic is a slap in the face to actual game design and embodies everything that is wrong with the mobile/casual video game scene.
I've gone off on a tangent a bit but what I'm trying to get at is, we are approaching development to [Super Meat Boy: The Game] with very open eyes, we want to make a game that WE would love to see on the platform, a feature length reflex driven platformer with solid controls that doesn't manipulate you with business bullsh*t in order to cash in.
We want SMB:TG to show the player we respect them, not only by not manipulating them, but also by understanding they want a real challenge and they want a real sense of fulfillment when they have achieved something that's difficult... you know, like real games do."
The man makes a fair point. I can't tell you the number of games that are simply clones of each other on the market on iOS when it comes to free-to-play. And guess what? Whether they involve dragons, farming, or even future wars, they all somehow share the exact same gameplay mechanic.
Obviously, Super Meat Boy: The Game will not be free to play, and will actually be priced at something worth the price of admission.
What are your thoughts on free-to-play games? Should they even be considered games?