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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Star Wars: The Old Republic: What Does SWTOR F2P Mean?

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69 posts found
  HurricanePip

Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 169

8/14/12 10:10:01 PM#41

Please define F2P ... the term doesn't really seem descriptive of current non-sub business model.

 

Hybrid probably isn't a better term, but that's what most companies are offering.

 

Box + microtxns, Box + sub / content packs, etc.  It's clear if you read the articles and blogs what companies are offering, but the headlines are misleading.  Many of the game covered here are not actually free to play + microtxns.

 

Also, can you fix your comment system to use <br> instead of <p> or add more space after </p>?  I have to do a double enter to get the correct space between paragraphs when I post now.

 

It's a lot like how 4G as a term got watered down and really isn't descriptive of any specific cellular technology anymore.  For example, comparing one 4g network to another in many cases is like comparing apples and oranges.

 

 

If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.

  darkhalf357x

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/25/12
Posts: 1128

I'm only playing the role chosen for me. Who you supposed to be?

8/14/12 10:19:55 PM#42
Originally posted by Nephaerius
Originally posted by noblood
Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
Subscription games don't fail because people don't like paying subscriptions; they fail because people don't think they are worth the subscription price.  Lower the sub fee, make better games, and watch them succeed.

The force is strong with this one.

 When is a game ever going to be worth a sub fee regardless of what it is?  For me the answer is never.  Just look at all the single player and multi-player experiences I can have in the F2P or B2P market and I can't justify it any longer.  When I first got into MMO's I accepted subs as a fact of the genre, paying for server costs and continued development, but I just haven't really seen a benefit from any of my subs.  All that preventing cheating, botting, gold spamming, etc. is BS in my experience because it runs rampant regardless of the title's business model.  Not to mention the fact that regardless of sub I usually have to buy some expansion pack in the standard MMO model.  So much for already having paid for the development of that content with my sub....

A lot of times others will claim there are so many more hours of content in an MMO, but I simply don't find this to be the case.  In my experience it's the same amount of content as any other game but it tends to either be drawn out artificially through ingame hurdles to jump through or simply through socializing and playing with groups (not a bad thing).  In reality at launch the majority of MMO's are 60-100 hours of content tops (not counting rolling alts and repeating content).  For myself, I can easily get that out of a great shooter, co-op RPG, or any other game I enjoy without ever paying for continuing access. 

Latest cases in point for me - Super Monday Night Combat over 400 hrs played, SMITE over 100 hours played, if we get back to MMO's Aion has held me for 100's of hours following my return with F2P as well as Fallen Earth.  I'll even be back to check out SWTOR and my level 50 Inquisitor when the F2P switch happens.  Personally, I've decided to never touch a game with a sub again. 

I'd also like to mention here how many of the F2P games I play, especially those outside the MMO space, provide more frequent updates than any MMO I've ever played.  Super Monday Night Combat updates weekly, SMITE worst case is monthly, LoL bi-weekly.  Aion and Fallen Earth churn out updates all faster than any MMO I've subbed to or when those particular games were sub based.  Even Allods, not a fan, puts out updates faster than WoW, who in theory is raking in the most sub money. 

What stops me from returning to Rift, WoW, Darkfall (oh how I love you), or most other MMO's I've played?  Can't justify the sub with everything else available to me.  I won a free copy of Eve Online months ago, love the game, trialed many times, one of the best in the genre, sitting unused because for me it's still not worth a sub.

This is not to say that ALL F2P games are superior to one's with subs.  Simply that there are enough F2P and B2P, MMO and otherwise, to keep me happy without ever returning to the sub model.  Clearly to each his own because it is personal preference based on experience after all.

AMEN! Could not have said it better myself

+1 Rep

  rojoArcueid

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5827

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

8/15/12 2:36:16 AM#43
Originally posted by GI05

Subscription tiers- $5/$10/$15 may worked. 

 

 

Edit: spelling 

 

i dont think that would work because publishers will use the different payment tiers just like a freemium hybrid model...... theywill most likely add game limitations to anyone who pays less than $15.... and if i pay to play the game, no matter how much i pay i expect the full game unlocked because i already paid for the box and im also paying the sub.

if the game failed witha sub, let it be F2P.

  setilight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/12/10
Posts: 15

8/15/12 7:49:09 AM#44
F2P is only a superior model for games that lack the basic tools to allow players to have fun after they completed the theme-park content. But even after watching many MMOs fail for the same reasons, companies still insist on the same formula! For example: SWTOR had Mythic developers create PvP content with exactly the same problems WAR had. Those who dont learn from mistakes deserve to fail.
  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6825

8/15/12 7:59:07 AM#45
Originally posted by BerzerkBlack

Still churning out these evangelizing F2P articles...

Like many have said above, what SWTOR F2P means is simple :

 Players are cancelling their subscriptions because the game failed to deliver expectations coming from a big I.P. developped by a big company and financed by one of the biggest wallets in the world.

They've got cocky, didn't listen to feedback, haven't learned from previous major titles that also failed for the same reasons, keeping a subscription model with a deserting playerbase is just not a good business any longer, of course F2P switch is needed to bring sheeps back into the game.

F2P is NOT a superior model at all, stop spreading your rubbish, it works because lately companies have given up their passions for creating fun games for greed quick bucks business model via item shops stripping games of vital functions aimed to rip players off to purchase features that should already be included in a game.

F2P works because players see games as a competition and most F2P games will pit players against themselves in hope they will buy their way to victory, there are loads of players who have too much money.

"Interviewing" F2P designers to support your article ...really? Of course they are going to preach the model why would they criticize their own business model they designed for themselves??

Make a good fun game, developped for the players not for the guys in suits, we are the ones paying your wages in the end!

Well said.

  FrodoFragins

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2804

8/15/12 8:05:40 AM#46
What it means is if you release a game a year too early, it will quickly lose subs and you will need to convert to F2P.
  Tawn47

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/07
Posts: 515

8/15/12 8:23:26 AM#47

If you think about it logically, the subscription model itself cannot be the issue.

Somewhere around 1.7 to 2.0 million people bought the game KNOWING that they were signing upto a subscription based game.  

If it was the case that people quit SWTOR because of the subscription (as opposed to SWTOR not being good enough to deserve their subscription)...  then they would have never bought the game in the first place.

If the angle that EA / BW are trying to push were true, then they must have been dissapointed with initial box sales.

in other words:

Lower than expected box sales = problem with the payment model

Lower than expected retention = problem with the quality of game

 

  nmalthus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/12/06
Posts: 98

8/15/12 12:09:29 PM#48
Originally posted by Coolit

I think at this point for new games the subscription model is dead. SWTOR going f2p and of course the imminent release of GW2 shows the direction the industry is going whether people like it or not.

At this point I can't think of any sensible publisher that would launch a game as p2p. f2p doesn't mean an inferior game or service anymore and it hasn't done so for some time, I think this stigma is starting to erode now and once it does that will be it for p2p.

 

Some launch P2P for the first year to make up dev costs and buffer for future expenses before going freemium which does add up to a lot more revenue in the future.

  Fadedbomb

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

8/15/12 1:52:10 PM#49
Originally posted by noblood
Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
Subscription games don't fail because people don't like paying subscriptions; they fail because people don't think they are worth the subscription price.  Lower the sub fee, make better games, and watch them succeed.

The force is strong with this one.

Bingo ^

 

Low Quality product == bound for F2P.

High Quality product == people have no issues with paying a flat-rate sub for WITHOUT a cash shop included!

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1309

8/15/12 7:47:20 PM#50

SWTOR is going F2P because its subscription numbers did not add up to what it was assumed they would. It wasn't holding steady and it wasn't trending upwards. It was showing a decline over time. The writing was on the wall and anyone willing could see it plain as day.

The pre-launch hype - from everyone, including EA/Bioware themselves - had all the indication that it was assumed to be inevitable that TOR would rake in millions upon millions of players, rivaling even WoW. 

It didn't happen that way. People got through the game, experienced the various flavors of the storyline, found there was nothing more for them to keep playing for and canceled their subs.

TOR failed to maintain the numbers Bioware/EA expected it to and everyone (and I mean 'everyone' almost literally in this case) predicted it would and it was looking worse over time. 

So they took the leap and said "okay, let's change to the Cash Shop model, and open an alternate revenue stream". 

Does anyone here honestly believe for a moment that if Bioware/EA saw TOR maintaining at least 2 million paying players, with the population either holding steady or increasing, that they'd make that change? Of course they wouldn't. Why would they? That's guaranteed income from every single player, every single month. No need to worry about "converting" a free player to a paying one. They're already paying if they're playing the game. 

If you look at every single MMORPG that started out as a subscription-based game and later changed to cash-shop/F2P or some variety of "freemium", you'll find that they were all in a similar situation... populations had stagnated and/or were decreasing.

People keep looking to these events as "proof of the subscription model dying". It isn't. Not even close.

There are subscription-based games that are - to this day - still running and maintaining a viable subscriber base. FFXIV will continue with subscriptions. FFXI continues with subscriptions. DAoC and so on. WoW is an obvious one. Their free trial is up to level 20, but you need to cough up the $$$ if you want to play beyond that. Rift is another.

If "subscriptions" themselves were the problem, then they wouldn't have survived, nevermind thrived for the past decade plus. They wouldn't continue to be effective today. To argue that MMOs are failing due to a flawed revenue model is to completely ignore facts that are staring one right in the face.

No. Subscriptions are just fine and will continue to be just fine. They aren't "dying", as much as some would seem to love to see that happen. 

TOR went F2P/Cash Shop because it was the better business model for EA/Bioware's bottom line at this point in time.

 

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1309

8/15/12 7:48:43 PM#51
Originally posted by Fadedbomb
Originally posted by noblood
Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
Subscription games don't fail because people don't like paying subscriptions; they fail because people don't think they are worth the subscription price.  Lower the sub fee, make better games, and watch them succeed.

The force is strong with this one.

Bingo ^

 

Low Quality product == bound for F2P.

High Quality product == people have no issues with paying a flat-rate sub for WITHOUT a cash shop included!

A-freaking-men.

  kol56

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/12
Posts: 130

8/16/12 6:53:22 AM#52

What Does SWTOR F2P Mean?

The game wasn't good enough for P2P

It played as a single player RPG, and nobody plays the same single player rpg for years, not even months.

"Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge."

"The idea behind the tuxedo is the woman's point of view that men are all the same; so we might as well dress them that way. That's why a wedding is like the joining together of a beautiful, glowing bride and some guy"
-Seinfeld

  gervaise1

Elite Member

Joined: 1/17/07
Posts: 1487

8/16/12 12:52:39 PM#53
I think what SWTOR shows that the business model used has to be right. EA should have re-assessed the market prior to launch.

My view before launch was that SWTOR should have been B2P with no monthly subscription. New content would be paid DLC and - possibly - EA might opt for a small annual fee for the mmo features.

SWTOR strongest asset is the stories. Going forward these are going to be given away and the game will have to rely on people wanting to buy pink light sabres or whatever else they introduce. I so not believe F2P for SWTOR will work well.
  FoxyShoxzy

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/12
Posts: 119

8/16/12 1:07:39 PM#54
Originally posted by gervaise1
I think what SWTOR shows that the business model used has to be right. EA should have re-assessed the market prior to launch.

My view before launch was that SWTOR should have been B2P with no monthly subscription. New content would be paid DLC and - possibly - EA might opt for a small annual fee for the mmo features.

SWTOR strongest asset is the stories. Going forward these are going to be given away and the game will have to rely on people wanting to buy pink light sabres or whatever else they introduce. I so not believe F2P for SWTOR will work well.

 

I completely agree. I will be picking up SW:TOR again once it goes F2P, for no other reason than to play through the class stories I missed the first time around. That was during my FREE month, btw. I cancelled my sub before I ever paid them a dime beyond the box price.

F2P isn't a great idea when you plan on giving away the best part of your game. EA/BioWare are grasping at straws at this point, trying to salvage something from the train wreck that is SW:TOR. As to F2P being here to stay, I agree with that too. But sadly, when done right with a quality game, it can end up costing the player more in the long run then a monthly subscription would have.

I believe that if we see Titan adopt a F2P Cashshop model, that will pretty much spell the end of subscription based MMO's for good. Hate them if you want to, but there is no denying that Activision/Blizzard are the market leaders and trendsetters.

  jmcdermottuk

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/10/06
Posts: 919

8/17/12 8:51:51 AM#55

I have to agree with many posters here in saying that SWTOR failed because it was a pile of stinking crap and not because of it's payment model. Developers keep thinking they can achieve WoW numbers when they never will. WoW was a freak occurrence and I very much doubt we'll ever see another MMO hit those numbers again. Add to that the idea that EA/Bioware held, that they had to copy the WoW formula to succeed and you end up with yet another clone doomed to fail.

 

SWTOR is going F2P because they can see no other way to save it.

 

I actually did a litle research into WoW's pricing in the far east and the average number of hours played by WoW customers. 22 hours a week at 6-7 cents per hour, works out to between $5.60-$6.00 a month per player. Maybe F2P isn't the way forward after all. Maybe more people would be interested in this pay per hour model, or a reduced sub. Let's face it, current prices for subs can't be justified by the running costs when compared to the costs of MMO's released 10 years ago.

 

More importantly, if you want to retain players, stop making shit games!

 
  vieplis666

Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/12
Posts: 41

8/17/12 9:29:54 AM#56

It means FAKE FREE TO PLAY WITH LOCKED LEVELS ,CONTENT ETC , never trose Sony Online Entertainment, ALL their stuff  IS ADVERTISED FAKE,THEY FORCE people to PAY WITH LIES, most of people wasting time downloading their crap wich they mean is free to play, after that they dissapoint.

SOE stop LIE !

  Ponico

Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/06
Posts: 651

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

- Sun Tsu

8/17/12 1:36:02 PM#57

While I did not corner that term myself, the Guild Wars 2 effect seems to really influence a lot of games around. Around the same time that GW2 is coming around, a lot of games seem to slowly attempt to get some of that bright sunshine. 

A major title with a solid background and proven success is refining its recipe. Like it or not, ArenaNet had it right from the start and now they're making it even better. I think that poses as a menace to other P2P games, especially a title like SWTOR that started to leak  subscribtions after the first major patch. Every major title that came out during last the quarter would suddenly empty half the servers for several days. Some didn't recover and eventually, the way to late server merge simply made things far worse. 

F2P will probably save that game for a while but I got to admit, Bioware has not performed as expected with an MMO.  

Now with a title like GW2 on the horizon, this could suddenly kill off a game like SWTOR. 

 

Let's not forget Planetside 2 and other quite promising MMOs on the verge of release. SWTOR is pretty much forced to run with the crowd. Perhaps the undying Star Wars fans are numerous enough to keep this game going but as a casual fan, I was tired of this game after 3 months.

  lethys

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/09
Posts: 596

8/18/12 2:35:43 AM#58

Honestly, I think the subscription model needs to be implemented for games with significantly higher quality than competition. SWTOR thought, for whatever reason, that it was so much different from the rest that it would validate a subscription model.  This turned out to be untrue.  F2P is the haven for games that don't turn out to be as good as their devs would have liked.

 

The first game to break the mold from the current WoW model and do it at a high level will be the game that rakes in the subscription fees the way WoW did for the past many years.

 

And a game like Planetside 2 is perfect for F2P because it really is just CoD except persistent, which isn't necessarily the biggest change for a FPS game.  The fact that its free means a huge audience of people willing to pay $15 for map packs will now be buying $2 aesthetic nonsense and funding this game.  It's amazing as a business idea but still proves nothing about the state of subscription models.

  gervaise1

Elite Member

Joined: 1/17/07
Posts: 1487

8/18/12 3:54:14 PM#59
Originally posted by jmcdermottuk

I have to agree with many posters here in saying that SWTOR failed because it was a pile of stinking crap and not because of it's payment model. Developers keep thinking they can achieve WoW numbers when they never will. WoW was a freak occurrence and I very much doubt we'll ever see another MMO hit those numbers again. Add to that the idea that EA/Bioware held, that they had to copy the WoW formula to succeed and you end up with yet another clone doomed to fail.

 

SWTOR is going F2P because they can see no other way to save it.

 

I actually did a litle research into WoW's pricing in the far east and the average number of hours played by WoW customers. 22 hours a week at 6-7 cents per hour, works out to between $5.60-$6.00 a month per player. Maybe F2P isn't the way forward after all. Maybe more people would be interested in this pay per hour model, or a reduced sub. Let's face it, current prices for subs can't be justified by the running costs when compared to the costs of MMO's released 10 years ago.

 

More importantly, if you want to retain players, stop making shit games!

 

Failing because it was crap - yes and no. As a sub based game clearly the concensus is that it was crap, a failure; if it had been sold as KOTR3 with a bit of mmo on the side - like Assassin's Creed - then I think it would have been OK. Not Skyrim but I doubt people would be calling it crap.

The game has to match the payment model. Get one or the other (or both!) wrong and you have a fail.

The WoW far east numbers are interesting as well as they are very close to what annual pass folks are currently paying ($7.50) if you factor in $60 for a D3 purchase.

At the end of the day it comes down to having the right product and selling it at the right price.

  Drainage

Novice Member

Joined: 4/05/12
Posts: 26

8/19/12 1:25:53 AM#60
The mentality of this market is ridiculous.  Most people spend 20 times $15 a month going out to eat.  A MMO sub is the best entertainment value in the world.  One movie can be $15 in some markets.  Don't forget to add the drink and popcorn to double the price.  
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