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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The first crack in the cash shop dream? NCSoft seeing Aion cash shop sales 'sharply' decreasing

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99 posts found
  Hurvart

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 566

8/09/12 7:15:29 AM#41

I think a lot of people are smart enough to understand they will have to pay even if its a F2P game. To get fastest possible character progress. To be as powerful as possible. You have more fun if you pay... To be profitable a F2P game must be designed like that. That should be obvious. And if you are a min maxer and a powergamer it will cost much more than $15 /month to play most F2P games...

Personally I hope the F2P business model fails. There should be true B2P and P2P only, IMO. Those business models are honest and easy for the consumer to understand.

  Istavaan

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/25/12
Posts: 1398

8/09/12 7:19:36 AM#42
Originally posted by Hurvart

I think a lot of people are smart enough to understand they will have to pay even if its a F2P game. To get fastest possible character progress. To be as powerful as possible. You have more fun if you pay... To be profitable a F2P game must be designed like that. That should be obvious. And if you are a min maxer and a powergamer it will cost much more than $15 /month to play most F2P games...

Personally I hope the F2P business model fails. There should be true B2P and P2P only, IMO. Those business models are honest and easy for the consumer to understand.

Well p2p is going the way of the dinosaur and if you were smart enough you wouldn't need to buy items in a cash shop to give you an advantaged. don't smart people prefer a challenge? Not everyone wants fast progression either some of us like to enjoy the journey.

  User Deleted
8/09/12 7:42:09 AM#43

I think their launcher might also play a part in this. I've had so much trouble with that stupid thing.  I disabled Pando Media Booster from running. Who wants that bloatware on their pc?  Something else comes up for me to do.  Close the launcher and turn my attention to that.  Start the launcher back up and sure enough what was 80% is now back at 0%. 

 The last time I tryed I finally seemed to have got it sorted. I closed the launcher and restarted right away and all was fine.   Something came up. Close the launcher.  Few hours later I start it back up and it's back at 0%.  While I wouldn't mind checking the game out.   At this point any game that is using "that" launcher isn't even worth my time. This was a few months ago.

So part of the problem could be that new people are loosing interrest in the game because they are having problems with that launcher.  Reading the forums it was far from a small portion of people having issues with it.   Cash shops do rely on new players signing up and being able to play your games.  Why should I spend hours trying to work with that launcher when ever other company has one that works.

Do I even want to ask?  Did they fix it?

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19101

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

8/09/12 7:53:08 AM#44

I know a lot of folks feel F2P / cash shop is the saviour of the gaming industry, but I'm not so sure.

People don't want to pay subs because they don't feel the titles are worth the expense (pittance that it is).

What if the gameplay of most games is so poor that its not worth playing them in general, regardless what method you pay for them.

I'll take SWTOR for example.  I didn't quit the game beacause of the 15.00 a month fee, I was bored and there was nothing in title for me to do once I got to 50.  They can make it entirely free to play and still, I'm not likely to come back, or if I did, it would be for a very short visit.

So for me anyways, it has nothing to do about the money, I'd pay 50.00 / month for a MMORPG that was worth it to me, (I used to pay for 4 EVE subs, 60.00 /month total) just nothing out there that justifies the expense.

So maybe F2P / Fremium/ Cash shops are good ideas for some games, but they better have gameplay that holds peoples interest over the long term, or they're bound to fail regardless.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3563

8/09/12 7:57:52 AM#45
Originally posted by Kyleran

/snip

So maybe F2P / Fremium/ Cash shops are good ideas for some games, but they better have gameplay that holds peoples interest over the long term, or they're bound to fail regardless.

 

Fostering 'long term' good will does jack in the gaming industry. 

Vast majority of people will buy whatever with no principles. You see that title after title after title.

Heck in most industry I reckon. People still use Walmart for example.

 

MMO players are a 'high turnover' playerbase, when the number 1 sub game ever WoW has a 30% retention rate, thats a fact.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2940

8/09/12 8:06:50 AM#46
Originally posted by Hurvart

I think a lot of people are smart enough to understand they will have to pay even if its a F2P game. To get fastest possible character progress. To be as powerful as possible. You have more fun if you pay... To be profitable a F2P game must be designed like that. That should be obvious. And if you are a min maxer and a powergamer it will cost much more than $15 /month to play most F2P games...

Personally I hope the F2P business model fails. There should be true B2P and P2P only, IMO. Those business models are honest and easy for the consumer to understand.

"Those business models are honest and easy for the consumer to understand."

And that's why they will not be used 

 

To make the maximum profit, you need to make the customer THINK they understand the payment model. So you tell them it's FREE to play. Then you sell them virtual cash to spend in your Cash Shop on "optional" ingame items and perks.

 

I'm prepared to bet that most players start off playing a F2P game with no intention of spending anything in the Cash Shop. But human nature gets the best of them eventually. It would be so much easier if I had more inventory slots, etc.

 

And once the first purchase is made, the subsequent ones come a lot easier. Now, to buy anything in the Cash Shop, you first have to buy the game's virtual currency. And most people are "smart", so they quickly figure out that buying the games virtual currency in large chunks (special offers and bulk deals) works out cheaper in the long run. So they may well buy more virtual currency than they originally needed for the single item they wanted to buy in the CS.

Most games will only sell you "blocks" of virtual currency, so if you want to buy something for 800 credits, you need to buy a block of 1000. Which means you're left with a small balance after the purchase. That's a "waste", so it's very tempting to buy another 1000 credits so you can buy that awesome pink hat for 1100 credits. And so it goes...

  Vorch

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/18/11
Posts: 809

8/09/12 8:09:18 AM#47

Crack in the cash shop dream? I believe Nexon begs to differ.

1 occurence does not a pattern make.

"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19101

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

8/09/12 8:20:51 AM#48
Originally posted by Vorch

Crack in the cash shop dream? I believe Nexon begs to differ.

1 occurence does not a pattern make.

They've published accurate and open finanicals about the success and profitiablility of their titles?

Few companies in the industry are as open as NCSoft is in this area, so they tend to be a pretty reliable indicator.

But as you said, maybe Aion just sucks in most people's eyes.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  ruonim

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/25/09
Posts: 255

8/09/12 8:24:36 AM#49
IF you read unofocial forums of aion, you will see why it droped. At first you had pets,costumes and such. BUt people got pissed off after pay2win consumables. There goes your profit drop.
  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3563

8/09/12 8:29:08 AM#50
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Vorch

Crack in the cash shop dream? I believe Nexon begs to differ.

1 occurence does not a pattern make.

They've published accurate and open finanicals about the success and profitiablility of their titles?

Few companies in the industry are as open as NCSoft is in this area, so they tend to be a pretty reliable indicator.

But as you said, maybe Aion just sucks in most people's eyes.

 

Funcom is a publicly traded company so their financials are open.

EA is as well and they have a few F2P along with SOE.

F2P is where the money is right now. Whether that appeals to someone is another issue, that's where companies make more money over the traditional B2P, P2P etc.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Vorch

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/18/11
Posts: 809

8/09/12 8:31:45 AM#51
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Vorch

Crack in the cash shop dream? I believe Nexon begs to differ.

1 occurence does not a pattern make.

They've published accurate and open finanicals about the success and profitiablility of their titles?

Few companies in the industry are as open as NCSoft is in this area, so they tend to be a pretty reliable indicator.

But as you said, maybe Aion just sucks in most people's eyes.

 

Blog Post:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/11/heres-how-nexon-has-quietly-outperformed-zynga-since-both-of-their-ipos-last-year/

 

Earnings Call for 2011, posted May 10th 2012:

http://ir.nexon.co.jp/cms/pdf/news7649760393600697.pdf

 

Yea...they're pretty freakin succesful.

"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  Razeekster

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 1925

May the game be ever in your favor.

8/09/12 8:32:01 AM#52
I'd blame this on the actual game itself too... Aion is just so boring and grindy (at least to me and I don't even usually mind grinding in MMOs).

Smile

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19101

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

8/09/12 1:19:59 PM#53
Originally posted by jpnz
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Vorch

Crack in the cash shop dream? I believe Nexon begs to differ.

1 occurence does not a pattern make.

They've published accurate and open finanicals about the success and profitiablility of their titles?

Few companies in the industry are as open as NCSoft is in this area, so they tend to be a pretty reliable indicator.

But as you said, maybe Aion just sucks in most people's eyes.

 

Funcom is a publicly traded company so their financials are open.

EA is as well and they have a few F2P along with SOE.

F2P is where the money is right now. Whether that appeals to someone is another issue, that's where companies make more money over the traditional B2P, P2P etc.

Well, I was specifically asking if Nexon published opened financials, and while the other two examples you mention public companies, unlike NCSoft which really does a good job reporting results game by game, those other two tend to provide "combined" results which makes it challenging to discern what each titles contribution to the bottom line is.

F2P is certainly "where it is at right now", but don't be surprised when it doesn't turn out to be the big money maker many hope to.

How it is implemented plays a big part of the success of the title and its ablity to bring in money. Some will be better than others.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19101

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

8/09/12 1:25:54 PM#54
Originally posted by Vorch
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Vorch

Crack in the cash shop dream? I believe Nexon begs to differ.

1 occurence does not a pattern make.

They've published accurate and open finanicals about the success and profitiablility of their titles?

Few companies in the industry are as open as NCSoft is in this area, so they tend to be a pretty reliable indicator.

But as you said, maybe Aion just sucks in most people's eyes.

 

Blog Post:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/11/heres-how-nexon-has-quietly-outperformed-zynga-since-both-of-their-ipos-last-year/

 

Earnings Call for 2011, posted May 10th 2012:

http://ir.nexon.co.jp/cms/pdf/news7649760393600697.pdf

 

Yea...they're pretty freakin succesful.

Those are some good reports, (thanks for looking them up)  I like the game by game sales breakdown, didn't have time to see if they reported on profitability for each, but might be all about the same.

One interesting comment was that the model isn't workiing as well in North America, as evidenced by this quote

"Revenue in North America was ¥1.39 billion, a decrease of 19% from the first quarter of 2011. On a constant currency basis, revenue declined 15%.


Clearly it was a challenging quarter in North America. Our team there has been working hard to get the business back on an upward trajectory after the hacking attack and stability issues that we experienced in late Q4.

Our focus has been on aggressively addressing the security issues and stabilizing the server environments. As this work is being done, we plan to spend more again on customer acquisition marketing and refocus on our growth strategies in this expanding market.

Fundamentally, North America is a region with great opportunities for Nexon and we intend to continue to invest to build our presence in this growing market."

We know the F2P model has been very successful offshore, but that doesn't translate to different markets where tastes apparently vary. 

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12278

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

8/09/12 1:34:23 PM#55
Originally posted by Vesavius

http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/08/08/ncsoft-weathers-6m-loss-in-q2/

NCSoft sees Aion suffer a drastic decrease in cash shop sales.

Considering how jaundiced the information we are fed about cash shop revenue models by the industry (I won't go into my theory of why we are fed such a one sided story, that's for another thread), we are forced to seize on small pieces of information as indicators. This is the first such indicator, one that says that maybe the cash shop model is not as fail safe as the majority once thought, despite being sold to us as the 'inevitable' and 'unstoppable' future.

Now, we cannot know anything for sure because the industry is so full of BS and spin but It seems, in the mid to long term, that cash shop is maybe not the magic bullet for 'failed' games many have evangalised.

Maybe an industry more intent on selling us a revenue model then designing great games needs to have a think on their priorities.

Game first.

Thoughts on this early morning thought bubble.

 

Or maybe Aion was a failing game that they tried to save by changing the business model, still ignoring the other much more important issues - a much more likely possibility than an industry wide global consipracy to make people switch to a difference payment system.

 

"This is the first such indicator, one that says that maybe the cash shop model is not as fail safe as the majority once thought, despite being sold to us as the 'inevitable' and 'unstoppable' future."

Can you link to any page by a poster, gamer, publisher or developer that ever claimed F2P was a guaranteed system or that it would save a game despite its flaws*?

 

*Fail Safe isn't the term you were looking for, so I had to take a stab as what you meant there.

 

 

 

"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

  Xzen

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/06
Posts: 2642

A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer's hands.
- Seneca

8/09/12 1:37:30 PM#56
I think any buisness model can work as long as the game is good and the prices are fair.
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

8/09/12 1:37:47 PM#57

Every now and then I look at the scale of these numbers and feel completely overwhelmed by how much money is flowing around this industry and how infinitismally small and insignificant my opinions really are.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12278

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

8/09/12 1:40:46 PM#58
Originally posted by maplestone

Every now and then I look at the scale of these numbers and feel completely overwhelmed by how much money is flowing around this industry and how infinitismally small and insignificant my opinions really are.

Any single voice is small. Collectively, and especially combined with action, voices can be quite powerful.

"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

  Gorilla

Old School

Joined: 6/07/04
Posts: 2218

8/09/12 1:50:27 PM#59
Originally posted by jmichael147
"maybe the cash shop model is not as fail safe as the majority once thought"
"It seems, in the mid to long term, that cash shop is maybe not the magic bullet for 'failed' games many have evangalised."

Who is your "majority" who call cash shops a "fail safe" "magic bullet"?  I have never heard that before.  This seems to be a straw man argument.  You also seem to be arguing by corollary that Aion would be doing better with a subscription.  What evidence do you have of that?  Your post is also full of "poisoning the well" logical fallacies.

The game might be doing poorly because it is an unpopular game, regardless of the payment method.  To extrapolate that this is an indication that F2P models don't work is a bit of a stretch.  I could make a similar argument about the relative failures of recent P2P games like SWTOR and conclude that P2P is obviously a failed payment model.

 

Non sequitur was the big one. He did say it was an early morning 'thought' so I put it down to lack of coffee.  Try telling Zynga their are cracks in there cash shop dream. 

  Gorilla

Old School

Joined: 6/07/04
Posts: 2218

8/09/12 1:55:56 PM#60
Originally posted by Teh_Axi
Aion was a massive failure, the cash shop no doubt stemmed those losses as much as it would be possible. It will probably still take them more time to recoup the total losses of that project.

Lol what? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aion:_The_Tower_of_Eternity#Sales_and_revenue

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