Glossary - Freemium Games

Freemium, in its definition, comes from the words “free” and “premium.” In general, the term is applied to pricing strategies by companies. The policy dictates that a product or service such as; software, media, video games, and web services are offered for free, but money is charged for more features and services. Unlocking these features make the application more fluent and enjoyable. The software industry and other companies have implemented this business model since the 1980s. The phrase freemium games are known more as “free-to-play” in the gaming world.

In gaming

Freemium games or free-to-play games can be downloaded for free from lots of platforms like IOS and Android. Publishers of such games generate revenues from in-app purchases like ad removal, in-game currency, and purchase of items that enhance the gameplay and help you level up faster. Other games require you to purchase new in-game content. These types of purchases also happen in massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. While the core game remains free, the player is required to make in-app purchases to improve his or her player. A game currency usually can be acquired through regular gameplay, but this process takes a very long time and can be frustrating for some players. This nuisance leads to most players paying for the content.  


Freemium games have come under fire lately from many critics and players. The derogatory term “Free-to-play Pay-to-win” has been used many times by players to describe games that require microtransactions to level up. Because paying for in-game features to level up gives the upper-hand to players who rely on spending more. Players who have skills and take their time to advance in the game feel like this is not a fair opportunity. At times it could also feel like the game developers want to grab money from the player at every turn and leave them free to play aspect of the game unregulated.