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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details, speakers and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or with the Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

100-Million Holobux: Transitioning 'Knockout City' to Free-to-Play

Zack Hiwiller  (Lead Designer, Velan Studios)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

There isn't one set of best practices to take an existing premium console game with millions of players and flip it to a successful free-to-play franchise. Yet it is becoming a more-and-more common task, as the benefits of this model dovetail well with certain game designs—especially designs that need a large pool of players of varying skill levels who may not thrive in a premium model.

In this session, Zack Hiwiller, Lead Designer at Velan Studios, discusses their journey transitioning Knockout City to this model, with a particular focus on how they planned the transition with the current player base in mind.


Attendees will learn a list of questions to ask before making the choice to switch their game from premium to free-to-play.

Intended Audience

This is for designers, producers, and other developers who are working on live-service games that are not currently free-to-play but may transition to the model in the future. This should also be of interest to the same roles of current live-service games.