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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How well exactly does the F2P conversion work for failed P2P games?

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60 posts found
  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7491

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/25/12 1:11:49 PM#41
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Vesavius
 

 

On the same note the no cost entry means that players will also leave your game faster.

After the first month, the big relaunch, I am interested in the gain to loss ratio of these converted games.

Most (almost all) seem to see diminishing returns in terms of the player base in the long term, which is suprising seeing as they are giving the client away for free.

The concept of "leaving" does not apply. You "leave" a sub game and you never give it another cent.

In fact, many game hop because of the lack of commitment.

 

Of course the concept of 'leaving' applies... you stop playing, you have left.

The payment model is irrelevant to this really.

 

I wasn't going to touch on the damaging effect of game hoppers in MMORPGs and their lack of commitment, but is that really the shape we want to future to take?

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7491

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/25/12 1:14:08 PM#42
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius

The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do.

You said this a coupel times in this thread, so I'm curious what you are basing that on. Could you link sources for this?

 

You need linked sources to accept that games like EQ, WoW, and Lineage 2 showed month on month increases in their population under the sub model for lengthy periods?

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20247

6/25/12 1:36:55 PM#43
Originally posted by Vesavius

 

I wasn't going to touch on the damaging effect of game hoppers in MMORPGs and their lack of commitment, but is that really the shape we want to future to take?

There is no "we". I certainly don't see a problem. I hop from games to games. Is there a reason not to? If i see 5 games i think is fun, why shouldn't i try all of them out? If they are indeed fun, why shouldn't i play all 5 from time to time?

I am certainly being entertained by this model.

  jondifool

Novice Member

Joined: 6/04/07
Posts: 1122

6/25/12 1:43:56 PM#44
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by itgrowls
Originally posted by Vesavius

We all hear the hyperbole of success when a previously P2P game makes the change, and we all see the odd new server or two being thrown up, but...

Can someone tell me if any F2P has consistently been forced to add new servers post launch (on an ongoing basis) as they became ever more popular? Or have all the converted P2P games that have made the shift seen exactly the same player attrition that the saw under their old model? 

Does the shift to F2P give ongoing growth, or does it just allow the devs of failed mainstream games to make more money off a small player base?

The F2P games converted have all shown impressively high profits after conversion. They have needed to add new servers on occasion to handle the large influx of new players who would otherwise never touch the titles. 

 

In the short term, for sure. The re-launch definitely does bring in a raft of new curoius Joes and tourists.

I was specifically asking what people thought about the long term.

The fact that the vast majority of converted titles STILL cannot retain players says that maybe it wasn't the payment model that was the problem?

I don't think that F2P is about retaining players the same way as in Subscribtion games.  F2P games are played alot different.

The long term is not determined by retaining players direct, but if they come back after having  stopped playing (and if the spend money then!). Thats hard to measure. 

But server growth is hard to expect after an initial rush when converting from subscribtion to F2P simply because now the server properly can hold alot more players, simply because more players are less active.

But does that say anything about retaining players or not? I don't think  so

 

 

 

read how to create a succesfull mmo before posting about GW2. And read tao of ArenaNet before talking about innovation in GW2

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/25/12 5:24:17 PM#45
Originally posted by Vesavius 

You know, we were saying this here yesterday... the barrier to entry for many being the box and not the sub I mean. The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do.

I would love to see a game launch that gave away the client for free, 1 weeks free play, and then charged for a sub (of say, £5/ month).

Nice post btw.

A required subscription is still a barrier to entry.  Until you become literally free to play (which, despite the haters, is actually free to play) you have barriers to entry.

You can still grow with barriers to entry in place, so let's not take the angle that because MMORPGs have grown subscription fees aren't a barrier to entry.  Clearly these games would have more players without the subscription fee, so the fee acts as a barrier.

Converted F2P are older games, so expecting massive growth beyond the initial spike is unreasonable (and the DDO numbers certainly showed a massive spike; but what we didn't see was the inevitable decay afterwards.)

I don't think subscriptions are inherently superior to a good item shop, so I'm not sure if your "free for a week" example would really be any different from a typical F2P game.  (I also don't think they're inferior to a good item shop; I certainly have no problem paying for a subscription to a game I like.)

 

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1302

6/25/12 5:32:19 PM#46

Playing a game by yourself generally sucks.

F2P usually increases the population by a GREAT DEAL. More people = more grouping = more pvp = more competitive play = more guild rivals = more drama = more entertainment.

 

 

 

This is one of the major reasons I dispise SWTOR. I felt like I was all alone 99% of the time. The only time I really saw anyone else was on the Space Station. And even then, they were just crowding around the Auction House with their long 200 character-named titles, e.g., General Bubbaling Ho-Tep the Backstabber

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

6/25/12 6:01:23 PM#47
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius

The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do.

You said this a coupel times in this thread, so I'm curious what you are basing that on. Could you link sources for this?

 

You need linked sources to accept that games like EQ, WoW, and Lineage 2 showed month on month increases in their population under the sub model for lengthy periods?

No, linked sources to your claim that F2P games failed to do that. Also, do you really not see that you had to go back a decade to find games that had that type of growth? Or that historically, the 'month on month' increases only happen for a few years before a gradual decline starts? There's what... a total of four subscription MMOs that ever bucked that trend. :)

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7491

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/25/12 7:04:42 PM#48
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Vesavius 

You know, we were saying this here yesterday... the barrier to entry for many being the box and not the sub I mean. The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do.

I would love to see a game launch that gave away the client for free, 1 weeks free play, and then charged for a sub (of say, £5/ month).

Nice post btw.

A required subscription is still a barrier to entry.  

Yep, didn't say it wasn't

You can still grow with barriers to entry in place, so let's not take the angle that because MMORPGs have grown subscription fees aren't a barrier to entry.  

I didn't...

Plus, the point I have made a few times here is that sub games *have* grown in the past, with a client and sub cost, so I am not sure where you are getting this from

Not so good post :/

 

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7491

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/25/12 7:08:09 PM#49
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius

The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do.

You said this a coupel times in this thread, so I'm curious what you are basing that on. Could you link sources for this?

 

You need linked sources to accept that games like EQ, WoW, and Lineage 2 showed month on month increases in their population under the sub model for lengthy periods?

No, linked sources to your claim that F2P games failed to do that. Also, do you really not see that you had to go back a decade to find games that had that type of growth? Or that historically, the 'month on month' increases only happen for a few years before a gradual decline starts? There's what... a total of four subscription MMOs that ever bucked that trend. :)

 

Why do I need to link sources for that? I didn't make a statement of fact. I used the words 'don't seem', I have highlighted above for you.

In other words, I am putting it up as an uncertainty for discussion.

Hope that is clearer for you.

  qombi

Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 1187

6/25/12 7:10:14 PM#50

The way it works is, you can have a smaller paying player base with a lot of free players. The smaller base they are relying on are the obsessive type that get addicted to the game to the point they are willing to pay more per month than they would have for a sub based.

Works well, a lot of people have addiction problems.

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4819

6/25/12 7:14:16 PM#51
Originally posted by qombi

The way it works is, you can have a smaller paying player base with a lot of free players. The smaller base they are relying on are the obsessive type that get addicted to the game to the point they are willing to pay more per month than they would have for a sub based.

Works well, a lot of people have addiction problems.

That's speculation, and not always true.

The fact is, it's different for each MMO, and different cashshops work out differently per game. For games with a more P2W approach, you'd be absolutely correct. Most players don't want that, and won't pay. So you're left with a smaller player base that spends the money on it.

When you have games like with the GW model, they actually have a larger base of paying players. However, these players generally spend a bit less each. This is because the cashshop is basically structured like a novelty shop. Players browse for things they like, or want, and they are fairly inexpensive in most cases. So instead of having a few players spending 50+ $ for uber gear. You have many players spending a few bucks here, a few bucks there, but it adds up.

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7491

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/25/12 7:15:42 PM#52
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Vesavius

 

I wasn't going to touch on the damaging effect of game hoppers in MMORPGs and their lack of commitment, but is that really the shape we want to future to take?

There is no "we". I certainly don't see a problem. I hop from games to games. Is there a reason not to? If i see 5 games i think is fun, why shouldn't i try all of them out? If they are indeed fun, why shouldn't i play all 5 from time to time?

I am certainly being entertained by this model.

 

Yours is a very self centred perspective. I am discussing the genre as a wider whole.

I think your chosen apporach to these games, being super casual in numerous games and not investing in any, is actually bad for the genre, yes.

I think the cash shop model encourages this style of play and probably has a lot to do with why the communities in most games has gone down the toilet. I personally do not think it's a good direction for games that I consider are at their best when built around communities and interdependence.

This is just my PoV though, and really off topic, so ofc have your response and then lets leave this particular discussion to another thread? It is an interesting one though.

  rdrakken

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/15/12
Posts: 435

6/25/12 7:20:22 PM#53
Originally posted by Vesavius

We all hear the hyperbole of success when a previously P2P game makes the change, and we all see the odd new server or two being thrown up, but...

Can someone tell me if any F2P has consistently been forced to add new servers post launch (on an ongoing basis) as they became ever more popular? Or have all the converted P2P games that have made the shift seen exactly the same player attrition that the saw under their old model? 

 

Does the shift to F2P give ongoing growth, or does it just allow the devs of failed mainstream games to make more money off a small player base?

That depends on if you are willing to take pay traps and place them someplace other than actual F2Ps.

If you want to include the pay traps that are LOTRO, EQ2, AoC....you will scew the numbers of the actual F2Ps like DDO.

DDO is making Turbine more than LOTRO and EQ2 together, perhaps as much as AoC thrown in.

If you hop on ANY of those 3 games and ask those paying to play the full version of the game or even look at their forums you will see that most people are NOT staying with the game and going pay trap did very little to increase the population. AoC is a prime example, Funcom was bragging months ago about how over 600k people created accounts since going pay trap yet you will never see their servers with more than 500 people on them...and there are what? 6 servers.

DDO however, has thousands of people playing at any given time...but it is also one of the FEW games that was P2P that created a good shop when going free.

Now compare that to games that were actually MADE free...Runes of Magic, Atlantica Online...those games are making far more than DDO and their playerbase is far higher than almost every P2P game ever made. RoM with over 5 million...

  rojoArcueid

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5790

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

6/25/12 7:26:52 PM#54
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak
Originally posted by Vesavius
 

 

Sarcasm? No... Honest questions and ideas in the interests of conversation.

But, anyhow, I agree... it was undoubedtly the right business decision, as in it makes more money from the same diminishing player base, but that's kind of what I am asking.

I guess what i am trying to say is that does F2P actually 'save' a game in the long term, or does it simply exist to wring more money out of (ultimately) the same size player base on the whole?

i doubt the F2P conversion just exist to wring more money out of the same size of playerbase. The game goes F2P when it loses paying customers and the game starts dying. After going F2P two things happen : 1) More people joing the game since they dont have to pay a dime just to play, that barrier is no more. And 2) F2P + more people gives a higher percent of more people buying in the cash shop. If the cash shop dont break the game and people like the game they will buy even minimal things to support their loved game. Most people dont have a problem with supporting a game that actually deserves to be supported, if they like it.

On the other hand, I understand what you said that maybe they are just making more money out of the same small playerbase? that happens with Pay to Win games. Players who dislike P2W leave the game for good, and the small playerbase that like to buy power spend more and more each time to try to be always on top.

As it has been said before, If a game developer is forced to convert to F2P to save the game or prolong its life cycle. A decent cash shop will most likely attract the people who loves the game and respect the company for not being a greedy rabid beast.

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3618

6/25/12 8:06:54 PM#55

        I dont think the majority of players have a problem paying 15 bucks for something they want to have......Its when they are charged 15 bucks just to play the game for a month when some of them start to lose interest in the game.......Case in point, when I played f2p EQ and EQ2 I met alot of people that paid for silver accounts (5 bucks) and unlocked 1-2 classes and 1-2 races that they wanted........THe total financial commitment was about 20 bucks, but they got pretty much what they wanted..... IF both games had stayed p2p, they could have played one month for that amount and been done.

  rojoArcueid

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5790

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

6/25/12 8:08:42 PM#56
Originally posted by Theocritus

        I dont think the majority of players have a problem paying 15 bucks for something they want to have......Its when they are charged 15 bucks just to play the game for a month when some of them start to lose interest in the game.......Case in point, when I played f2p EQ and EQ2 I met alot of people that paid for silver accounts (5 bucks) and unlocked 1-2 classes and 1-2 races that they wanted........THe total financial commitment was about 20 bucks, but they got pretty much what they wanted..... IF both games had stayed p2p, they could have played one month for that amount and been done.

+1 to this

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

6/25/12 9:49:05 PM#57
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius

The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do.

You said this a coupel times in this thread, so I'm curious what you are basing that on. Could you link sources for this?

 

You need linked sources to accept that games like EQ, WoW, and Lineage 2 showed month on month increases in their population under the sub model for lengthy periods?

No, linked sources to your claim that F2P games failed to do that. Also, do you really not see that you had to go back a decade to find games that had that type of growth? Or that historically, the 'month on month' increases only happen for a few years before a gradual decline starts? There's what... a total of four subscription MMOs that ever bucked that trend. :)

 

Why do I need to link sources for that? I didn't make a statement of fact. I used the words 'don't seem', I have highlighted above for you.

In other words, I am putting it up as an uncertainty for discussion.

Hope that is clearer for you.

 

 
"Most (almost all) seem to see diminishing returns in terms of the player base in the long term, which is suprising seeing as they are giving the client away for free."
 
"The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do."
 
"The fact that the vast majority of converted titles STILL cannot retain players says that maybe it wasn't the payment model that was the problem?"
 
If we want to pretend that you never stated it as fact, we can. Moving forward, what I'm asking is what data or information you are basing your assumption on? What is it that you are reading that leads you to feel they are failing or resulting in diminishing returns?
 
 
 
 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Ashen_X

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/22/10
Posts: 365

6/26/12 1:32:01 AM#58
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius

The sub in fact dosen't seem to be a barrier at all when you consider the sub based games that have shown ongoing growth in the past, something that converted F2P games don't seem to be able to do.

You said this a coupel times in this thread, so I'm curious what you are basing that on. Could you link sources for this?

 

You need linked sources to accept that games like EQ, WoW, and Lineage 2 showed month on month increases in their population under the sub model for lengthy periods?

No, linked sources to your claim that F2P games failed to do that. Also, do you really not see that you had to go back a decade to find games that had that type of growth? Or that historically, the 'month on month' increases only happen for a few years before a gradual decline starts? There's what... a total of four subscription MMOs that ever bucked that trend. :)

 

Why do I need to link sources for that? I didn't make a statement of fact. I used the words 'don't seem', I have highlighted above for you.

In other words, I am putting it up as an uncertainty for discussion.

Hope that is clearer for you.

Perhaps then the question should be,

 

What makes it seem that way to you ?

When all has been said and done, more will have been said than done.

  Lyvins

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/12
Posts: 70

6/26/12 2:01:43 AM#59

F2P has helped some games sticking around longer and even helped the company to create more content ( look at lotro ) But !! F2P is a very tuff model to implant. For example Dc Universe has a really nice model played myself and i could do alot of things just for free. Because they  offer alot of free people tend to spend money on extra content. 

For example Lotro F2P  was like a relaunch the first 5 months i saw new people all over the place, felt like an invasion. The F2P model was implanted in a pretty good way. Turbine like some other companies have one issue and that is Greed, because of that they added so many things to the store that can create a unbalance in both pve and pvp that a part of the fun got taken away. Even lotro is a great game in many ways, i think the Store needs a revamp. 

I would say for most f2p games changing to this model has saved it, but the trick is to keep those new and the current players. As we all know some Mmo's / studios can do that, some can't. 

On a side note: i think F2P is a term used way to easy and to fast. Under free to play i understand games like Aion, Lineage2, these games to me are free to play because they offer the game, and give you the option to buy stuff wich doesn't create a unbalance or overcharges people.For example. Lotro, AoC , DcUniverse, for me are hybrib models.

 

I hope F2P games like lotro last for a another 5 years, even i don't like Turbine, => because of the Store, i do think they added some greate stuff. :)


  Silvermink

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/07
Posts: 289

6/26/12 3:18:40 AM#60

Growth of F2P games has to be divided into 2 parts, games launched as B2P or F2P and P2P that switch do to a change in demographics. B2P and F2P launches do quite well, for a time at least.

P2P games are losing players, the servers they have are usually underpopulated so the influx of people has to replace lost (and future lost) players before a game requires additional servers. Also, older games that switch have hardware upgrades to servers and networks that can substantially increase server populations without adding more servers. I think the fact that there are very few server merges is a better sign that these games have new people replacing the leaving.

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