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News & Features Discussion  » General: The Best MMO Business Models

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148 posts found
  uncletoma

Novice Member

Joined: 7/28/03
Posts: 158

7/31/12 9:29:11 AM#21

Box 2 Play is great, real F2P is cool, Lifetime is awesome if you realy like and should play the game for a long, long time.

  elocke

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4110

7/31/12 9:30:21 AM#22

I prefer Buy to play first and then Hybrid.  B2P, just because it's nice to buy a game the size of GW2 and not have to worry about monthly fees or whether I can play something.  Never liked having to fork over money just to access a game per month.  

That being said, hybrid is sweet because it gives you the option to pay per month, with the caveat that you get an "allowance" of the cash shop's currency to spend.  But it's nice for more a la carte choices and you pay when you get to it, if you want to.  

http://www.twitch.tv/elockethemmoaddict

https://twitter.com/MMOAddicted

  Rohn

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/08
Posts: 3739

7/31/12 9:32:02 AM#23
Originally posted by GrumpyCharr

Hybrid model is a big turn-off.  It's like giving a sample of a cake but if you want frosting, you have to pay.  You might as well charge me for the piece of cake since I don't get the full flavor anyway.  B2P is much better, and to me, a much more ethical model.  Most of these Hybrid games keep changing what's included for "free" and what isn't.  Plus, the worlds/races/classes get unbalanced since the free stuff is overutilized and the pay stuff isn't.  Let me buy the box and give me the whole game. 

 

Except you don't get the whole game.

Buy to Play has become the same model as Free to Play, except they charge you for the client, too.  Both models are reliant on a cash shop.

Personally, I still prefer the flat subscription-based model.  Relatively speaking, $15 per month is nothing compared to most other forms of entertainment.

Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  dageeza

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/14/04
Posts: 580

7/31/12 9:34:31 AM#24

I prefer B2P and you would think most reputable AAA devs would prefer the B2P with CS route over the f2p route as well being that they would recoup their investment back plus some right off the top if the game is truly promising..

TSWs and lotro (time limited) lifetime subs imho are just $250 versions of the B2P option and i harbor nothing against this model other than the buyer needs to be as sure as is possible the game is worth it to them....

I have nothing against subs to be sure but the introduction of CS has cheapened this models overall value imho because when you pay a monthly sub everything in the game should be available without having to have a CS..

It will be unlikely that i personally will ever sub to a game again unless its totally incredible and i see nothing on the horizon that would even remotely make me want to pull out my wallet every month..

Playing GW2..

  Jaedor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 916

7/31/12 9:37:01 AM#25

I think they all have merit:

  • I played WoW for 6 years without a break and thought it was really cheap entertainment, including all the expansions and buying pets and a sparkle pony from the store.
  • I have multiple LOTRO accounts: one sub and the rest F2P. I wish I'd purchased the lifetime account back when I created the first account, but it was $300-400 and that seemed outrageous at the time. I rarely buy anything from the store but I have purchased all of the expansions.
  • I am currently playing The Secret World, and purchased the lifetime account. I don't expect to buy anything from the store, as it's all cosmetic.
  bubaluba

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/12
Posts: 464

7/31/12 9:39:20 AM#26

Hybrid all the way. It is even stupid to choose single option if you can have more

  gravesworn

Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/12
Posts: 325

7/31/12 9:40:05 AM#27
I am curious at to what the industry will evolve in to next. I am guessing the next big mmo monetary structure will involve real money buy ins for pvp tournements. Esports are on the rise and I think the next wave of revenue will be generated from this type of model. It could be done like a half and half raffle. Buy your entry or entries half of what is made from all the entries goes to the developers and the other half is given or divided amongst the winners of the tournement. The legal implications would need to be hammered out but i still could see this happening. It is Basically a secondary stream of money for developers. A P2C (pay to compete) on top of the above mentioned business models.
  Segun777

Jade Dynasty Correspondent

Joined: 6/22/09
Posts: 97

7/31/12 9:41:19 AM#28

Lifetime sub all the way its fire and forget. Plus at least so far all of the companies have given points/month when they went f2p, you can't go wrong. It's like being a VIP.

  gravesworn

Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/12
Posts: 325

7/31/12 9:48:00 AM#29
I believe the next evolution of these business models with be a supplementary incentive model.
  Superman0X

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/28/06
Posts: 988

7/31/12 9:48:25 AM#30

You have to remember that there are in fact two parts of every business model, the initial sale, and the ongoing sales. There are F2P games with monthly subs, B2P games with item shops, and P2P games with both.

 

I would aurgue that lifetime subs is just a variation of B2P. Sure it has a higher price tag, but premise is the same, you pay once, then play forever.

 

If you look at it this way, then:

GW2 is P2P (you pay upfront), B2P (one payment last forever) and Microtransactions (it has an Item Mall).

WoW is P2P (you pay upfront), Sub (you pay monthly) and Microtransactions (it has an Item Mall).
 
Planetside 2 is F2P (nothing upfront), Microtransactions (it has an Item Mall).
 
By doing it this way, it is much more clear to the customer when and where they are going to pay... but when you try to lump it all into one simple description, it essentially fails because you pay at different times.
  xpiher

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/22/08
Posts: 3301

7/31/12 9:53:57 AM#31
Here is what most people aren’t realizing. B2P is great for both developers and players and it doesn't require GW2 style cash shop. Most mmo players are fickle. They'll burn through a game in a 1-3 months and then quit. The only thing that'll bring players back after that s is good community and a good initial experience. Developers count on this! Despite AoCs fall out initial sales netted the company 2mill in profit. That 15/Mo was just icing on the cake.

Gw1 was successful for the same reason. Inital sales paid for future development, which always h requires less work because it builds on an existing system.


Games:
Currently playing:Nothing
Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
Past games:
Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
Xpiher's GW2
GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
Warhammer - Xpiher

  Luxthor

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/06
Posts: 171

7/31/12 9:54:17 AM#32

For me on first place 'subscription' model because of; game not designed around CS, 24/7 GM support, frequent updates, dedicated community, and so on. Also, I love GW Classic B2P model but this will never ever happen again, even Anet changed this in GW2 with RMT implementation, which I personally despise.

 

Best F2P model is from LoL, no need to comment on this one.

---
"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

  MumboJumbo

Elite Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3177

Veni, Vidi, Converti

7/31/12 9:56:57 AM#33

Great article. Tons to consider here. I guess it depends on the mmorpg a lot. If I think this mmorpg is going to be fun hack-around for some months, I'd be happy with F2P or B2P with additional options to buy stuff if I felt the game was going well. If I found an mmorpg I'd like to play indefinitely, I'd be happy with a sub around the 5-15$ (ideally $10) mark as I'd feel the cash is going to making the mmorpg better over the years which I'd still be a "future" customer of!

Obviously F2P allows ppl to test if they like a game and it's about being competitive now other mmorpgs are using this, but I'm not sure if the paywall is a needed device to create an invested community vs a cr@p/transient community?

  xpiher

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/22/08
Posts: 3301

7/31/12 9:58:53 AM#34
I should also mention that gw2 model is simply in place to combat gold selling. Rmt and the cash shop items are all accessible, currently anyways, in game. The things not available like character slots and costumes don't force people to pay for anything. Imo its like isk and lols cash shop.


Games:
Currently playing:Nothing
Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
Past games:
Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
Xpiher's GW2
GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
Warhammer - Xpiher

  thinktank001

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1865

7/31/12 10:03:35 AM#35

1.  At least it was identified as not being a model.   IMHO,  lifetime subscriptions are scams.   Developers that offer them generally have plans in place to make sure there are other ways of obtaining money from their customers.

 

2. F2P isn't a business model, but an advertising term.  At least the correct term was used at the end of the section.

 

3. Not much to say here.

 

2.  No MMORPG exists using the B2P business model.  In general these are CO-OP rpgs.   GW2 has a cash shop and is using the P2W business model.

 

1.  Hybrid is not a business model.   It is a P2W game with " package " deals.   Publishers use this misconception by labeling them as subscriptions, but players never get full access to the game as a normal P2P game.

 

To make it clear.  Pay to Win,  Pay to Play and Buy to Play are business models.   Lifetime subscriptions, and " Hybrid " would payment models or options designed to fit into a business model.

 

  xpiher

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/22/08
Posts: 3301

7/31/12 10:08:56 AM#36
Originally posted by thinktank001

1.  At least it was identified as not being a model.   IMHO,  lifetime subscriptions are scams.   Developers that offer them generally have plans in place to make sure there are other ways of obtaining money from their customers.

 

2. F2P isn't a business model, but an advertising term.  At least the correct term was used at the end of the section.

 

3. Not much to say here.

 

2.  No MMORPG exists using the B2P business model.  In general these are CO-OP rpgs.   GW2 has a cash shop and is using the P2W business model.

 

1.  Hybrid is not a business model.   It is a P2W game with " package " deals.   Publishers use this misconception by labeling them as subscriptions, but players never get full access to the game as a normal P2P game.

 

To make it clear.  Pay to Win,  Pay to Play and Buy to Play are business models.   Lifetime subscriptions, and " Hybrid " would payment models or options designed to fit into a business model.

 

 

have you even looked at gw2's cash shop? It is not p2w. Everything in the shop is attainable in game. Buying items do not make your chapter better than a b2p player. Furthermore, you can buy crystals for in game gold.


Games:
Currently playing:Nothing
Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
Past games:
Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
Xpiher's GW2
GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
Warhammer - Xpiher

  Thorbrand

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/04
Posts: 1217

7/31/12 10:11:44 AM#37

Best model is one that has content to last more than a month. Even better if it last for years.

But everyone only cares about the money!

  xpiher

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/22/08
Posts: 3301

7/31/12 10:25:05 AM#38
Originally posted by Thorbrand

Best model is one that has content to last more than a month. Even better if it last for years.

But everyone only cares about the money!

 

theme park games typically don't meet this criteria. However, I think gw2 get close for the simple reason that it's 4games I 1: wvw, " spvp, " pve, and solo character development (each race having multiple options)


Games:
Currently playing:Nothing
Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
Past games:
Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
Xpiher's GW2
GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
Warhammer - Xpiher

  User Deleted
7/31/12 10:29:15 AM#39

Reason that most sub games are dying is, the games are not even worth a monthly sub. free to play is just another death blow to the genre. it allows the craptastic to survive. before free to play if an MMO sucked and the developers were narrow minded with their vision for the game, they tried to fix what was wrong or it died. no such thing now.

With Free to play, it also allows these crappers to over saturate the market. the effect of this "over saturation", is, the players are spread out to thin and homogenized.

Of course this my opinion. but I feel this genre is on the verge of collapsing. If this happens then free to play will be another straw for the camels back.

I would like to point out it's the worst companys pushing this model. they keep telling us it's the "future". They wish it was the future. most of my friends hate F2P and will spend a good amount of time ripping the company/developer who has it to shreds.

Sony Online And EA has been pushing this model hard as of late. almost every interview they talk about it. these people are so far out of touch with real gamers, it is mind boggling at times. They're hoping sites like this and others agree with them. if they can change peoples thinking about F2P? then you give them permission to steal your wallet.

EA on freemium

 

  mbd1968

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/21/07
Posts: 1942

7/31/12 10:31:26 AM#40

I used to be a 100% subscription supporter but recently I'm a b2p convert. Most games with a sub only updaye PvE content (dungeons) and as I play mainly PvP or grind dailies/craft I don't need the additional dungeon content.

MAde the mistake once of buying a lifetime sub for a game I rarely played as I thought it would be a good idea at the time.

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