Predictive analytics specialists GamesAnalytics, has today published a special report which explores the Free-2-Play (F2P) potential of Grand Theft Auto Online.
The latest release of the game took Rockstar’s blockbuster franchise in an ambitious new direction, with a multiplayer world and in-game economy and the Benchmark report assesses whether GTA Online would also make a successful standalone F2P game.
The report has been produced using GamesAnalytics’ evidenced based research methodology, where 50 game design aspects across six main categories including Monetisation, Retention, Engagement and Virality are assessed against industry best practice F2P game design from over 80 F2P titles.
The report found that GTA Online surpassed the best in genre scores for categories including Retention, Game Mechanics and Engagement. However, if the game was released as a standalone F2P title then the report identifies mechanics that it would benefit from improving key mechanics to achieve high levels of Monetization and Virality.
Based on the reporting findings, GamesAnalytics highlights five recommendations in the report to help achieve best practice F2P design:
1. Improve the currency structure with first / second payment structure
2. Introduce a VIP structure to fast track progress and reward members
3. Develop a trading mechanism to help increase community aspects
4. Utilise no lose gambling mechanics
5. Build in reward mechanics for social sharing
Mark Robinson, Co-founder and COO GamesAnalytics, commented on the report: “GTA Online is clearly a quality bestselling premium game and this Benchmark report shows its F2P potential as a standalone game. The assessment does however highlight when designing F2P games all areas of Player Relationship Management need to be taken into consideration in particular mechanics that maximise virality, monetization and retention.
F2P game design is evolving across multiple platforms and genres. GamesAnalytics’ tools and services help publishers and developers understand best practice game design and integrate learnings upfront in the design and development process.”
These could be helpful suggestions to bear in mind for your own F2P game if you choose to take that route.