When I’m looking back on what I have learned in the past year about free to play game design and virtual economies I’m realizing that Ben Cousins influenced my thinking about these topics quite a lot. Ben is the GM of DeNa studio in Sweden, a former EA executive and a pioneer of the free to play space.
Another big way in which Ben influenced me is the move from Console game design to mobile and tablet. Console games are often considered the peek of creativity and a producer would usually have more resources since the expected revenues are higher. Ben was quick to identify that users are no longer willing to pay $60 for a game they never played and that the world of consoles is tied up in a historic handshakes between the distribution channels and the publishers and is having hard time adapting to the change the market demands. Following this realization Ben focused his efforts on free 2 play games and publicly criticized the practice of selling games at a $60 price point in a controversial interview.