Online gaming is relatively new concept to Sri Lanka, we are used to play computer (PC) games from the early ages (I started plying PC games from 2003) but relative to offline gaming, online gaming is very new. Here I concentrate about massively multiplier games and not about small flash games that people play in the internet or Facebook. This is due to few reasons.
- Lack of internet services and users
- Use of pirate copies of games
- Less motivation
Above are some of the major reasons that made online gaming so rare. I cannot remember the day I got internet in house; it was 3-4 years back and most of the Sri Lankan people did not have internet in their homes. People tend to go to internet cafes to experience and use internet. Even having internet, only few tried to play games online with remote players. Most of the pirate copies did not support online modes of the game. At the same time, there was no motivation to play games online. With the time, people got used to play games on LAN, AOE (age of empires), CS (counter strike), COD (call of duty) was among the favorites.
Arrival of free to play games made a big change in numbers. NFS world, AOE online, League of Legends were free to play games and most of the gamers tried it. Knowing the thinking pattern of Sri Lankans I can conclude on one thing, they will not spend a dollar on buying a game. There can be exceptions, but majority of the gamers think it is a waste. With the new business model of free to play, people tend to try it and later buy some upgrades if required.
With free to play games, poor get the chance to play the game and rich get chance to buy some unique features. Most important factor of these games is rich cannot buy the way to the top. In past it was a dream to earn a dollar from Sri Lanka with games but now it is not. This new business model has created a win, win model for both vendors and uses. For the continuation of this culture depends on only one thing,
“There should be no difference in the game play for free users and paid users”
EX: AOE, LOL
In future, more and more people form Sri Lanka will start plying online games, especially free to play games. In future, more people will like to buy premium content and paid only games. Full credit of this culture goes to the free to play game developers.