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Free-to-play equivalent of Skyrim expected in 2 years

Ngmoco thinks monetising single player games is the next evolution of free-to-play

Ngmoco Sweden boss Ben Cousins expects the free-to-play equivalent of triple-A single player games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to be available in the next two years.

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Speaking at the Free-2-Play Summit in London today (via GamesIndustry.biz), he said that, in the near future, free-to-play titles will allow users to spend an unlimited amount of cash in-game on a range of content catering to players of all incomes and tastes.

"I believe that single player will be the next to be cracked in terms of freemium monetisation," said Cousins, who previously served as general manager of EA Easy, overseeing free-to-play games like Battleforge, Lord of Ultima, Battlefield Heroes and Battlefield Play4Free. "And I'm talking about traditional, story-based, scripted, linear and non-linear single player that we see on consoles.

"I am totally 100 per cent confident - I will bet large amounts of money - that we will have, in the next few years, a free-to-play equivalent of Skyrim. A game like Skyrim, where you accrue skills and equipment over time, that you can play for hundreds of hours, is actually one of the easiest games to develop for a free-to-play model. That would be a big hit."

"In the future," Cousins added, "I believe free-to-play will be the way that nearly everyone plays games, it will be nearly every genre, and it will be nearly every platform."

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