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Camelot Unchained Revealed

Follow my journey in Camelot Unchained.

Author: gylnne

Very eye opening warning coming from Mark Jacobs about the f2p model many mmo's use to create and sustain games.


Camelot Unchained creator and long-time MMO veteran Mark Jacobs has warned of an impending free-to-play “apocalypse” in three to five years time, thanks to a rush towards unsustainable free-to-play models. He predicted to VG247 that developers will close and publishers stand to lose a lot of money.

Mythic co-founder Jacobs is currently raising funds for his spiritual successor to Dark Age of Camelot, entitled Camelot Unchained over on Kickstarter. It rests at $1,073,218
of its $2,000,000 goal with 20 days spare.

The game will be subscription based and the client will be distributed via torrent, skirting around the need for a mass publisher. Jacobs told me as part of an interview you can read here soon, that the free-to-play market is headed toward an apocalypse.

“The whole free-to-play thing isn’t going away tomorrow,” Jacobs stressed, “but let’s just see what happens in three to five years – and I’m betting closer to three – where free-to-play will become just another model. Right now you’ve got everybody chasing it, going ‘Isn’t this great? Free to play, we’re going to make so much money’”.

Jacobs felt that many developers and publishers are chasing the free-to-play market in the hope that a small percentage of players will actually lay down money on micro-payment items. He doesn’t see it as an economically viable strategy.

“I don’t think that model is going to work out all that well for anybody,” he continued, “not in the long term. Short term – absolutely. Just like every model that seems interesting works out in the short term.

“You know, free-to-play is just another model, and just like every other model in the industry, it will hold its special little place for a while but then there will be consequences. Those consequences in a few years will be a bit of an apocalypse.

“You’re going to see a lot of developers shutting down, and you’re going to see a lot of publishers going, ‘Oh yeah maybe spending $20 million on a free-to-play game wasn’t the best idea ever.’ That’s part of the reason, but the other reason is equally as important, that if you go free-to-play, you really have to compete with every other free-to-play game out there.

Jacobs believes that keeping player-bases smaller and more focused, with players who actually want to pay to play is the key to long-term prosperity in the MMO scene.

Continue reading here: F2P heading towards disaster.

Ogrelin writes: Interesting. Fri Apr 12 2013 2:03PM Report
Searias writes: It sounds about right. Fri Apr 12 2013 2:06PM Report
Oldskoo writes:

I am wary of the FTP model.  It often seems to come in the form of a cash shop selling cosmetic items or the like, or a means to sell an advantage to players (Pay to win). The player base will only buy so many cosmetic items before they move on. They also will realize that P2W often ends up being more costly than subscription based games. In the end, nothing is free. 

 I can see many big investors cooling on the industry if this is the only viable route. That leaves the industry with less GW2s and Star Wars but perhaps a growth and return to smaller budget and niche games. 

Fri Apr 12 2013 2:11PM Report
Ogrelin writes: In addition of a subscription fee there should be  way to pay for a couple of hours of in-game once you have bought the game.. that way you can retry the game without having to pay for a whole month. Fri Apr 12 2013 2:25PM Report
Edany writes:

I agree with Mark on this entirely. There is no such thing as a 'free ride'. Who in their right mind spends $20 - $50 million dollars on a game and then hopes like hell that they get enough microtransactions to cover not only their initial startup and investment costs, but the costs of running and maintaining that game over time??

There's a saying called 'nickle and dimed', and it carries with it a negative connotation for a reason - nobody likes to feel like they're constantly paying for handouts. It is annoying at best, and Pay 2 Win at its worst.

I tried F2P right up until I realized that I would forever have to be dropping unspecified amounts of money into corporate palms being held out as if they were beggars, and that I would never be able to honestly compete with someone who had nothing but too much money in their pockets to burn. Far easier to spend a small subscription fee for unlimited playtime and level playing grounds.

It becomes even more ironic when these same people who bitch and moan about actually having to pay for continued support of a game that they like so much via a subscription end up paying more in 'F2P' games than they normally would in a subscription game, yet it still isn't enough to keep them sustainable without the whales that they will never compete with. What happens to F2P when the whales get bored and move on?

Fri Apr 12 2013 2:30PM Report
gylnne writes:

They are not in their right mind Edany, greed does wonders to your perception.:P

Fri Apr 12 2013 2:51PM Report
Wickedjelly writes: I don't mind either business model but this assertion from him is simply ridiculous. F2P is actually on the rise and more popular than ever. That isn't to say that all companies going this route will succeed but for him to make such a predeiction considering the majority of games that have been successful now for years as f2p and previous sub games that are even going this route it really shows out of touch he is with the industry. Mon Apr 15 2013 3:52AM Report
Agent_Joseph writes:

He is right and nothing is F2P,

F2P is an big illusion and worst thing what can happen for an  mmo comunity

Mon Apr 15 2013 3:43PM Report
gylnne writes: Thank you for your reply Wicked. I doubt very greatly he is the only one who sees long term this is not a sustainable business model. Yes it may be on the rise but I have no desire to play the games being released with f2p as they are made to reach into your pocket and extract every dollar you have as quickly as possible before you get bored with easy mode games and move on to another one. Is he out of touch with the industry or does he know more than we do about what is coming? Mon Apr 15 2013 7:21PM Report
Wickedjelly writes: F2P has been going on for years and several games have shown it is sustainable. The only thing he is right about if this is even what he meant is that some of the AAA titles that switched from P2P to F2P and experienced a temporary reprieve will eventually mostly go under. That does not mean F2P as a whole is doomed. Games that incorporate the concept from the start assuming the game is worthwhile and the CS isn't a money pit have and will continue to do very well. Love them or hate them but there is a reason companies like Nexon and PWI are some of the more profitable folks in this business. Tue Apr 16 2013 12:42AM Report
Wickedjelly writes: Oops meant PWE not PWI....heh... Tue Apr 16 2013 2:42AM Report
Arakane writes:


  totally agree, after reading the full article. spot-on.

Wed Apr 17 2013 6:30PM Report writes:
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