Thatgamecompany’s latest game Sky: Children of Light is, like many games in the crowded mobile market, built on a free-to-play model designed to be sustained by microtransactions. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, studio co-founder Jenova Chen has talked about the delicate balance needed to support an ongoing game financially without its in-game purchases feeling too predatory.
Since its inception, Thatgamecompany’s games have bucked industry trends by focusing on interaction and exploration in a market flooded with action and combat. Their latest mobile game Sky: Children of Light, currently available for iOS, is no different despite its new business model.
Chen says that when they were researching other freemium business models, microtransactions were often built around conflict and competition. “The more I played these games, the more I felt like the developer was like an arms dealer,” he told GamesIndustry.biz. “They’re selling weapons for whoever wants to pay to win. The conflict is what drives spending. That’s definitely something I don’t want to associate with.”