Coyle & Iversen


"Why is Free-to-play Successful, and could this success have a large impact on the future of the games industry?"


GENERAL – a well argued and comprehensive case covering the issues; the fact that I don't always agree shows that the are is volatile, not that thee or me are entirely right, after all we are engaging in prediction a bit here; the references were poorly laid out; the paper flow is good, and indeed interesting; good work.

GRADE – B1 (60%), reflecting the poor referencing but also the strong content.

  • general layout – there are some complex, multi-clause, passive construct sentences that can be difficult to read and follow (however, academic papers were rarely known for their readability); I like the use of careful statements – e.g. 'where it still might go'; a good abstract as it summarises the paper and its conclusions; it may be my use of Open Office, but there are some lost page throws and not much formatting (PDF is the safest format to use in my experience);
  • introduction – an interesting point I'd add, you carefully put the paper in a current context, so I'd suggest you add a date of publication; I am slightly uncomfortable about the strong statement made without clear source underpinning, I suggest you would be better at least having a few general references to support the statements (preferably not wikipedia!); a clear section overall;
  • conclusions – the last two sections came together well as a conclusions area; the flow of logic is clear and a good summary; I wonder whether the paper title could have used the word 'west' somewhere in it as the focus was often upon: it works in the east could it work in the west?
  • flow – the tendency to make statement without support is not a good academic approach (e.g. 'In 1997 the first free to play MMO “Terra” was released') as the reader is left wondering whether this is true; again, 'Runescape' could do with a URL (there are no definite rules, but when citing products an Internet link can often suffice); don't refer to current games – e.g. Second Life – in the past tense (tense can be a difficult issue in academic papers); page 4 'from this is seems …' is not quite as an academic would put it, we are ultra cautious, I'd probably say 'it is likely …'; again, 'still hasn't reached its potential' is too strong as it might have reached its potential; 'multitudes of game' is an odd collective noun, 'many'?; call me Dr Picky, but I wonder if micro-currency will work (after all Bebo, Ning and others are in trouble) & I wonder if UK mobile phones are an/the example of micro-currency payments; tie your abbreviations to the full text (e.g. DDO); good point made quickly about viral marketing; is APB free?; does Facebook make much money out of farmville? Are there any solid figures available?; what you call profiteering is normal business practice in the wider world (is it unethical?); I often wodner about player resentment – is it really always a big issue? (discuss!);
  • support – this is not well presented, for example the citation of Stevie Case found me wondering why he was not in the alphabetic list, then I found him in the 'other' list below; do use a single format, either APA or Harvard are generally used; but the Case reference is wonderfully up to date;