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Namco exec rubbishes quality of free-to-play games

Free games are never going to be of good quality and block the development of bigger and better titles, according to one industry figure.

One of Namco Bandai's top executives has claimed that free games cannot be made to a high quality.

The firm's Europe vice-president Olivier Comte also added that the number of free games being launched to the market could actually damage the video game sector as a whole.

His belief is that the business model used for these smaller titles is skewing consumer expectations, which will, in turn, hold back the development of "triple-A" projects.

Speaking to delegates at the Cloud Gaming Europe conference, Industry Gamers reports him as saying: "We need to put certain value on certain work.

"When you're a big company ... you can't take risks too quickly, you can't make a change just because there's a fashion for a couple of years; you want to be there in 20 or 30 years."

He went on to insist that something needs to be done to halt the growing torrent of free-to-play games on the web.

However, development of the free-to-play model is gathering pace - especially now that gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) has decided to get involved.

The firm claims to have registered more than 25 million users for its Play4Free library.

Those who sign up will get to play toned-down versions of the big franchises, such as Battlefield and Need for Speed - both of which EA claims have ten million registered players.

Sean Decker, Play4Free vice president, says this is an "exciting time" for the market, adding: "Developing a community of 25 million players is a remarkable achievement.

"It is a testament to the explosive growth of the free-to-play market and a reflection of EA's commitment to spearheading the digital transformation. We plan to continue to innovate in the category, introduce new gameplay that delights players and keeps them coming back for more."ADNFCR-1220-ID-801269816-ADNFCR