Making money from video games

This week we asked you to think about the question: What would be the advantages and
disadvantages of giving a video game away for free? Very well done to everyone who sent us their answers. Here are the best responses we received:

Overall Winner

Jay K (Greenford High School)

Personally, I believe that giving video games away for free would be extremely beneficial. One reason for this is that the world is continually evolving due to the increasing integration of technology into our daily lives which we must know how to operate. Video games are a form of digital literacy and allow people to understand how computer systems work which is vital as almost every job demands that you have some level of digital capability. Free video games would be easily accessible to all people so that everyone can progress into the future of technology. As well as allowing people to understand computer systems, video games also allow you to delve into a virtual world which develops our imagination and creativity – innovation is a key skill which many businesses value. Therefore free video games would equip people with the skills to navigate the rapidly changing 21st century.

It is arguable that video games are a potential tool to help improve education for the children who indulge in playing them as they provide a form of mental stimulation. Due to the increase in budget cuts in schools however they are unable to afford them. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge (2013) challenged the working memory of 9-25 year olds through sessions of gaming to examine the relationship between video games and educational performance. The researchers concluded that brain-training video games in particular enhanced peoples’ academic performance within the classroom. If implemented correctly into school life, video games could be the key to advancing the edification of our youth. Some students do not respond well to traditional teaching methods so video games can be used to motivate these students specifically.

It is patently obvious that video games create a sense of unity among society as they allow people of diverse backgrounds to socialise. Unfortunately, the absurd prices of these games mean that many people are unable to afford them and they are simply a luxury for those who can. This can lead to people becoming social outcasts as they cannot relate to the latest trends and can even augment bullying. A survey from Oxford University (2013) polled 1,800 people (aged 16 – 26) in 20 state sixth-forms and colleges which revealed that 7 in 10 experienced bullying before they turned 18. Of these people, 2% were targeted because of their lack of wealth. Although this proportion may seem insubstantial, there are 8.2 million students currently in education so this is still a significant amount of people. If only video games were free, we would eliminate this unjust discrimination.

On the whole, giving video games away for free would be highly advantageous due to their applicability to real world environments. Not only would we see an improvement in children’s education, but we would begin to address the widespread issue of bullying.



Aryaman G (Greenford High School)

Fortnite was initially released in the July of 2017 with a paid version called ‘Save the World’. It didn’t begin to gain much traction away from its advertising until the massively popular free to play (F2P) battle royale version released a couple months later in September. Apart from the fact Fortnite battle royale was the first game of its genre on console I believe the F2P aspect had a massive effect on the young game’s exponential growth.

The fact that Fortnite battle royale was free meant that literally anyone with a ps4 and access to the internet could play it. It allows player to play the game and figure out whether they enjoy the graphics and gameplay before they invest any money into the game. In the case of Fortnite in-game purchases are purely optional as you can buy skins, using V-Bucks, which provide zero advantage at Tilted Towers and are purely cosmetic. Despite this fact the average player has spent £44 and 69% of the player base has made an in-game purchase (I have personally only spent £14 the one and a half years I’ve been playing the game for). Another great thing about the freemium model is that players get access to completely free content, usually, which is released in regular intervals, every Tuesday for Fortnite, which keeps the game refreshed and constantly has things to do in-game. For content creators the seamless stream of a F2P’s content means that they won’t have to shift their channel to a new game every year, possibly losing interest in people who don’t want to or can’t play the current game.

Furthermore, many F2P games lack servers robust enough to support connections so players may face lag which instantly removes all the fun from the game. Hackers and cheaters are also a nuisance, only on PC games, who manage to mess something up and many F2P games fail due to the lack of patches they release to combat these inconveniences. However, Fortnite’s developer Epic Games has previously released very successful games which meant they could support their game, which recently broke a record for most concurrent players (10.8 million), and keep it thriving. Another clear disadvantage is the lack of the initial purchase of the game clearly causing a loss of profit but over 60% of the gaming industry is made up of in-game purchases.

The pros outweigh the cons and it is safe to say that F2P games are the future, as the demand and expectation for free games is at an all-time high. Gamers have caught on and realized that free games are just as good, so why spend $60 on a new CoD game when you could play a F2P game like Team Fortress 2.


Ishwinder S (Greenford High School)

I unequivocally believe that giving video games away for free is an eminently laudable idea that people should go forth with. Imagine all children – of all socio-economic backgrounds – being able to satisfy their hedonistic lust towards gaining edification by playing video games that are of gratuitous cause. Abundantly clear it is, that the myriad of children in our world will become surrounded by enjoyment if they could access games for free – like an archetypal abyss engulfing eternal cornucopias of a quintessential darkness.

One point for this cause is that it would improve coordination in children which elicits the idea that video games are better being free. When a child plays a video game, not only do they state inactively at the screen, the activities and actions on it provide lots of mental stimulation. Undoubtedly, this will significantly heighten their physical and visual movement.

Moreover, the gratuitous idea of giving video games away for free is further demonstrated through the improvement in problem solving skills a child would indefinitely develop. Due to the plethora of rules embedded into a video game, a child will be required to make moves that ensure that they stay within the rules of the particular game. Therefore, is it not clear that the child will have to subconsciously make split-second decisions which will determine whether they advance in the game or not? Indisputably, this compellingly reinforces how video games should be given away for free.

To conclude, free video games improves a child speed. While gaming, the brain receives multiple, electrical stimulations. Therefore more children will be able to process stimulators faster than usual, which ensures that the brain is continually working to interpret them.


Priyanka B (Dormers Wells High School)

Disadvantages of giving away a video game for free:

Children are more likely to play all day and get addicted. Video games has obviously caused a huge controversy of the negative impacts it has on the users mind and physical behaviour, clearly it wouldn’t be all false due to the countless of research and even last weeks discussion raised many shocking truths. Hence, would it really be beneficial to make it so accessible especially from a young age? There’s clear proof to show how many people once they start playing games they can not stop.

Free video games will spread cancerously till it becomes the new hype(as it has already with games like fortnight). Is it really ideal to play countless hours, depriving sleep, food and fresh air to win numerous games just to increase your record? Of course video games can improve hand–eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and the mind’s ability to process information. But too much video game playing may lead to health problems and there’s enough to information to prove that almost no one can only plays for an hour or less.

Many people find it difficult to stop playing countless hours and do something productive. Making video games free will just encourage more people to play and waste away their time by cooperations making it eye catching and luring many people to play. Of course it can be argued that people play to relieve stress for relaxation but it is really the only way? The are countless of more beneficial methods to tackle this overwhelming stress than to opt to the habitual video game like going for a jog/ bike ride or doing some yoga- ways proven to help your mind and physical well being.


Sabrina M (Dormers Wells High School)

A list of advantages for making the video game NBA 2k18 free.

  • One advantage of relaunching this game free is that it becomes more accessible for a wider range of audiences, such as children and teenagers being able to play the game without contributing to a large bill for their parents.
  • Another advantage of the game being relaunched as free would be that it can add to a greater profit at a later stage. For instance, features such as changing the looks of your avatar and playing in tournaments could be charged due to the lack of game cost. This would justify a higher cost for additional features, which increases profit.
  • Finally, having the game relaunched as free would allow it to compete against the more dominating games of the industry – like FIFA. The free status allows consumers to try out a less mainstream sport on video gaming, which can lead to an increased fan base of support for the game. This would guarantee sales for future games.


Santhosh D (Greenford High School)

Advantages of selling a game for free are:

1) more consumers will download the game

2) can be beneficial for many people of any classes

3) gamers can buy through in game money which makes me earn money (profit)