One of the trends in the gaming industry has been the shift toward having content be available to a wider player-base, then narrowing down the playing field with premium content for high-value users. Sometimes (semi-perjoratively/affectionately, depending on the writer) called “whales”, high-value users are the super fans of any particular game, studio, or publisher. As I work to bring Loreshaper Games into being, I’m trying to figure out ways to monetize free content in the tabletop roleplaying industry.
Before I begin, let me quickly define free for my purposes:
- Players can join a game with all the core ruleset and at least 90% of core setting content without paying a dime.
- Free players get an appreciably similar experience in terms of portability and mobility (e.g. being able to download rules as opposed to having them available through an exclusively online portal), except for physical goodies.
- Derivatives can be made, including for-profit derivatives and rights-reserved content, albeit with perpetual attribution.