GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Governance in F2P Multiplayer Games

Daniel Cook  |  Chief Creative Officer, Spry Fox

Location: Room 2016, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Free to Play Design & Business Summit
Vault Recording: Video

In online games with active in-game communities, it is common for players to self-organize into poisonous factions or social structures. Organized grieving, economies distorted by mafia-esque groups, out of game protests against developer changes and mistreatment of new players can hurt retention, moderation costs and long term monetization. Most disturbingly, these problems emerge again and again despite lack of obvious feature support from developers. Much like how we are starting to tame wild online economies, can we also tame online governance?


Retention has increasingly become a critical factor in sustaining games as a service. Appropriate systems of governance help us increase a player's sense of both agency and shared purpose, factors highly correlated with both engagement and retention. Daniel will use personal examples from Leap Day and Realm of the Mad God, as well as insights from both historical and current F2P titles.