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News & Features Discussion  » [Editorial] General: How Free-to-Play is Killing Gaming – Part One

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130 posts found
  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3207

Veni, Vidi, Converti

10/06/12 7:49:29 AM#81

F2P is a cause for concern on eg iOS/Android app stores, not the top ranking games, but for other devs who want to develop an app for a sustainable profit, even 0.99$ is under threat. For mmorpgs, maybe it's not a bad thing, if it allows players to try more mmorpgs and stick with and spend on the ones that are good? Perhaps players will become innoculated to the nickel and dime approaches and "good forms" of F2P might develop/become more standard?

 

  Spiider

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/15/05
Posts: 450

10/06/12 8:59:38 AM#82

The author sounds like those who used to say "video tapes will kill movie industry". Let go and embrace the future, f2p is how games will survive. Without it game would suck even more then they suck now. I for sure don't want to live in world of WOW any more. Bring on f2p, bring on huge selection and let me have a choice.

No fate but what we make, so make me a ham sandwich please.

  DarthMajin

Novice Member

Joined: 9/27/08
Posts: 92

10/06/12 9:22:34 AM#83
The F2P business model isn't a bad concept. I personally think it's a great one. The problems I see with the model are the P2W (which is thrown around way too much) and developers not caring enough about their players to make a quality product. Sure some companies have used it to save a dieing game, for the most part to great success. If the game doesn't hamper you from questing and leveling (LORTO is a great example of hampering the questing) that make the game more enjoyable. Quest packs shouldn't be sold on a cash shop. The entire game should be available for everyone to play. Love or hate the game, Star Trek Online is a great example of how F2P should be run. The entire game is there for EVERYONE to enjoy. But if you want more out of it, buying new ships with cash is nice. This business model also allows players that normally can't afford an MMO to casually play. I know some people feel that if someone can't afford to play a game they shouldn't be able to, but there are circumstances that make a sub not an option, such as having kids, going to school, and seasonal work. It also helps friends play together. Some can afford the extra sub and their friends can't, but they can all enjoy a F2P game. Do some companies do F2P specifically because they are greedy? Sure. But if people enjoy their games and are happy with the services or virtual goods they provide, then what does it matter. If you don't agree with the model then just don't support it.
 

  Calerxes

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 1660

10/06/12 9:49:18 AM#84

Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
Originally posted by evolver1972
Originally posted by Yakamomoto

"F2P" is mostly a scam. (same goes for "B2P" with cash shop)

If you read "FREE" on the internet, something smells fishy.

I prefer the good old honest subscription model.

 

Honest subscription model.  That's funny.  Considering the costs of running a game are basically miniscule your honest sub model goes to one of two things:  Marketing and Profit.

 

And with the right CS, B2P is not a scam.  To me, that is the most honest and fair way to run a game.  You buy the game (just like every other game), and you don't have to spend another dime to play if you don't want to.  How is that a scam?

 

I also think that F2P, if done correctly, can also not be a scam, although I do admit that model leaves much more opportunity for scamming.

 

I personally think LotRO's F2P version was just fine.  I didn't feel cheated, or pressured to spend any money at all.

I'm not sure where you got the impression that costs for running an online service (which is what MMO's basicaly are) are "miniscule" but I can assure you they are not. I just got done putting together the yearly budget for Operations of my companies online services (and no we are not an MMO, we're in business services) which doesn't even include customer service/tech support and I can assure you it counts for a rather significant chunk of our gross revenue....much larger then either marketing budget or proffits. MMO's can get by with a bit cheaper as they don't have to provide quite as high a level of service....but by no means is their operating costs miniscule..... unless you think it's acceptable to run your game out of someones garage.

Subscriptions ARE "honest" (or at least WERE before cash shops)  in the sense that you know up front exactly what it will cost you to play the FULL game up front each month. I wouldn't neccesarly describe F2P as "dishonest", but a little bit more like "hidden fee's" based services. It's not until you actualy start playing until you learn how much it will actualy cost you to play the game at a level you are comfortable with...and this can change drasticaly as you progress...or even day to day as the Dev's tinker with items and prices in the cash shop.

Yeah, for some reason the "fact" that running an MMO is "cheap" has spread through the MMORPG forums pretty significantly.

 

Bandwidth at that level, for that many people, with backups, all housed in a major center, and the servers, and the IT, and the CS, adds up to a significant amount of money.

 

Some have swallowed the3 Arenanet "guide to promoting our MMO" handbook and then post it on here verbatim as if they are experts on the matter.

This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  freakingbad6

Novice Member

Joined: 6/30/12
Posts: 5

10/06/12 10:29:40 AM#85

F2P isn't killing the gaming industry, the industry itself and the greed with cost of games and subscriptions is killing the gaming industry.  If I can find a free to play game that is just as well developed and as fun to play as one that costs, I'll play the free one.

Perhaps if they weren't so damn greedy and charge you 60 dollars and up for the game then a subscription each week people wouldn't be looking to another avenue to play games.  Gamers love to play, I love to play, however, I don't see why I should pay so much money in order to play.

 

  Tithenon

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/11
Posts: 106

10/06/12 11:13:35 AM#86

The article/OP was an excellent run-down of the history leading from the inception of MMOs to the current F2P environment, and I'm grateful for Derek's work on this.  He brought an excellent point, with a forthcoming conclusion I immediately see as potentially misguided; the point made was about developers coming up with new ways to counter people taking advantage where they should not do so.

The conclusion is that the problem is not in the developers, it's in the people, in the communities.  Here are my ideas of how to fix it.

A LOT of problems have arisen from the various communities, complainers, twitchers, about developers not doing this or not doing that, not developing all they said they would do, and much scorn can also be derived from multiple various articles and tutorials on this site, as well.  If players don't get what they want, or get what they said they were going to get, many turn into stark-raving lunatics, bash the developers -bash being a very light term for what these monkey's do- and bash the game.  This is true for in-game items, general requests for content, artwork, etc., and it's sad, because the community is responsible for not only the downfall of their own favorite or desired game, but for all of massively multiplayer gaming.

So, at the risk of sounding like I'm simply adding another step in the MMO development process, another means of staving off the miscreants who work so very hard to destroy the game through their lack of consideration for others, I offer the following:

Developers should go into a game, not have to change course necessarily in the middle of development, with the understanding they are only the first-half of the life of the game.  The second-half is the community and they need to plan for them.  How do they accomplish that?

A LOT of what's been stolen from developers has to do with content, whether it's adventures, gear, abilities, clothing, etc.  Unfortunately, simultaneously, a lot of what's been ignored by developers is the ability of players to develop their own content for sale.  It would take effort on the developer's part, post-game launch, to monitor content loaded into a server separate of the game servers, which holds the development tools, to review and ensure that content is viable and useful for the game, and to ensure 3rd party developers are not trying to charge an arm and a leg for that content.  However, once the content is up in the cash shop -and make the shops a PART of the game, not an extra web page or a separate app or utility altogether, but part of the immersion of the game, if possible-, allow the 3PD to have 2/3rds of all "cash" sales, and the other 1/3rd goes to the developer.

If there are, truly, that many people who want to develop in-game goods, and there are that many people who want to purchase it, and the developers are willing to provide the development tools, then why not allow that to take place?  It would be a win-win-win for everyone, giving the 1P developers, more or less, free income, the 3P developers a means of supplementing real income at home, and to build wealth and notoriety in the game, customers a large outlet for their non-gifted expressions, and would help cut back, at least, on the theft of those who would ruin the game, and bring MMORPGs to the ground solely for their real-world benefit.

I can't be the only one thinking this, guys.

  BrodieBroos

Novice Member

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 33

10/06/12 12:15:45 PM#87
I think that the genre is going to crap because players just want to blow through the game, and Dev teams allow this. What happened to taking months or longer to get to the end game? And there is no risk vs reward in games anymore. Eve being an exception. Mmo's have been so dumbed down and tamed by the mass amount of people who just want to reach max level max gear at any cost. Not enjoying the trip along the way at all. It's not f2p or b2p that is ruining the genre, its the crap games that keep being released over and over again.
  Tithenon

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/11
Posts: 106

10/06/12 12:33:54 PM#88

I absolutely 100% agree with you.  What we need is a return to Oblivion-style gaming, where there's a main quest, a meta-plot to move forward, and then several hundred side-tasks and full quests -real quests, not fetch me 10 bear skins and return- that allow for a sense of accomplishment, as it takes so much to get there, and takes more than the big three to do it, it actually requires some brain power and real cooperation between folks, not "You're the tank, I'm the healer, we need a...".

I had read somewhere, and I was coming to believe, that MMO developers were intent on re-introducing stories into MMOs, similar to those in Secret World, but all I read about, anymore, is how quickly folks do blow through the game.  It's sad.

  YakCast

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/10
Posts: 60

"Get the poison out!"

10/06/12 1:28:39 PM#89
Originally posted by erictlewis
Originally posted by superniceguy

It is not Free to Play that is killing gaming, it is the way it is being implemented that is killing the games.

The only things that should be purchaseable in the shop are content packs, which unlock loads more quest to do, which get you specail items. But the way they do it is put these items in the store so you can get them without playing the game.

eg LOTRO - They bring in mounts in the store which last for a limited period of time. If I see one expiring within 24 hours I will not have time to level up a character to 20, and get the Riding Skill, so what do I do, play until level 5, buy the Riding Skill, buy the Mount, and then not play the game.

What they should do, is create content, that you can buy, and then play whenever with no time limit, when you reach the appropriate level, and get that mount.

Alternatively the items could be added to the crafting professions, and be able to be crafted.

The other things that are OK being purchased, are extra inventory slots (although in SWTOR these can be increased with in game credits), charcter transfers, renames, extra char slots etc

Basically devs are being lazy putting in items in the shop when best played to get instead of bought with real money to get. Even XP boosts can be acquired by playing game or within crafting items.

Free to play is mostly stealing gameplay, because it gets companies more money when people can buy it without having to play the game, in effect it is cheating.

Seriously I could not have put it better.  I agree it is the way free to play is being implemented, there are several games eq2, lotro and so forth.

What we wind  up with is the dev staff is to bussy doing re-skins of the same product over and over, meanwhile we dying to have real playable content.  I get so angry when I see soe on their facebook going hey take a look at the latest item we are offering in our item shop.   Argggg,   I don't want items I want content.

Oh well I totally agree with what you have said.

 

That is the answer! It's obvious for people who have common sense. Unfortunately, the editor who wrote this article has no clue what he is talking about. Trying to say that F2P started because of piracy is the biggest joke and so false.

Yak Cast | MMO Podcast: http://www.yak.mmoSmackTalk.com
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  TwiPhoenix

Aion Correspondent

Joined: 8/07/09
Posts: 19

10/06/12 2:08:59 PM#90

Let's be honest here, this article is not complaining about free to play.  While yes, free to play does have DLC, cash shops, and all that, buy/pay to play also have all that too and can often be just as bad about it.  So really, the arguement here should be "DLC and micro-transactions are killing gaming", not F2P.  And those are two things that are a problem independent of the payment model of any given game.

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

10/06/12 2:11:19 PM#91
Originally posted by TwiPhoenix

Let's be honest here, this article is not complaining about free to play.  While yes, free to play does have DLC, cash shops, and all that, buy/pay to play also have all that too and can often be just as bad about it.  So really, the arguement here should be "DLC and micro-transactions are killing gaming", not F2P.  And those are two things that are a problem independent of the payment model of any given game.

agreed

  Tithenon

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/11
Posts: 106

10/06/12 2:24:50 PM#92

Good points, TwiPhoenix; well-done.

  kitarad

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 1393

10/06/12 2:31:09 PM#93
While some sub games do have cash shops they are not nearly as bad as the f2p games. Those really abuse it. In fact they make it almost impossible to play without purchasing stuff. That is the problem not so much cash shops as such but cash shops that become compulsory purchases to advance.

  Paradigm68

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 880

10/06/12 2:53:34 PM#94

My personal preference against RMT and Cash Shops is merely that I play to relax and a big part of relaxing means not having to reach for my wallet or think about if my game is complete or not.

That aside  the main objection I have to the F2P/Cash Shop/RMT dynamic in MMO's is that it by it's very nature forces devs to focus development on how to get me into the shop rather, how to make me want to spend money, rather than how to keep me interested enough in the gameplay in keep subbed. And of course the way to get me into the shop, the way to make me want to buy stuff, generally means frustrating the player, keeping things just out of reach, creating a stark contrast between working hard for a reward (if possible) and getting it easily for money. This also negatively impacts the community because why should devs let players do things for each other when those things can be sold by the devs to the players.

I can see how that would be ok for other genre's of video games, but it's antithetical to a genre that is supposed to be a persistant shared world in which a community forms.

  Xstatic912

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/11
Posts: 367

10/06/12 6:34:39 PM#95
Regarding mmo in general, why the hell does every new sub mmo being release think they are worth $15 a month.. Why not other lower price point..
  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

10/06/12 6:46:00 PM#96
Originally posted by kitarad
While some sub games do have cash shops they are not nearly as bad as the f2p games.

True. For most games anyway, but I am after my breaking point for cash shops.  I won't tolerate even vanity cash shop / gold selling / rmah.

  TalulaRose

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/27/12
Posts: 451

10/06/12 7:07:35 PM#97
Originally posted by megabuu
The F2P business model isn't a bad concept. I personally think it's a great one. The problems I see with the model are the P2W (which is thrown around way too much) and developers not caring enough about their players to make a quality product. Sure some companies have used it to save a dieing game, for the most part to great success. If the game doesn't hamper you from questing and leveling (LORTO is a great example of hampering the questing) that make the game more enjoyable. Quest packs shouldn't be sold on a cash shop. The entire game should be available for everyone to play. Love or hate the game, Star Trek Online is a great example of how F2P should be run. The entire game is there for EVERYONE to enjoy. But if you want more out of it, buying new ships with cash is nice. This business model also allows players that normally can't afford an MMO to casually play. I know some people feel that if someone can't afford to play a game they shouldn't be able to, but there are circumstances that make a sub not an option, such as having kids, going to school, and seasonal work. It also helps friends play together. Some can afford the extra sub and their friends can't, but they can all enjoy a F2P game. Do some companies do F2P specifically because they are greedy? Sure. But if people enjoy their games and are happy with the services or virtual goods they provide, then what does it matter. If you don't agree with the model then just don't support it.
 

STO wasn't created as F2P. Look at Perfect World if you want to talk about F2P. There is a big difference in quality between games that were a sub and went F2P and ones that were F2P to begin with. There is a reason why no one talks about Jade Dynasty, PWI and Forsaken World.

  erikk3189

Novice Member

Joined: 3/31/08
Posts: 310

10/06/12 7:12:20 PM#98

What today's so called "gamers" fail to realize is in MMO's, free is never free. Yes, you'll get the basics as will everyone else but unless you want to lag behind other players then you've no choice but to pay for the items the game will sell like gear, mounts and much more to keep up with them.

 

  troublmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/10/11
Posts: 340

10/06/12 10:12:01 PM#99

In 1992 the biggest browser in the world was Netscape, which cost money to purchase.  Netscape  often came with Internet service as a part of a bundle.

In 1995 Internet Explorer was released as part of a Windows 95 startup package.  A few months later it was free.

By Netscape represented less than 1% of the entire browser market share.

Website: http://www.thegameguru.me / YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/users/thetroublmaker

  jaeaxp

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 1

10/07/12 5:06:16 AM#100

Eh hem... video games will pull in $74 billion this year alone and are projected to rake in a staggering $115 billion a year by 2015.

NOTHING is killing gaming, simply put. lol

But seriously though am i the only one who sees it the other way around?  How many sub mmo's would have gone the way of the dinosaur if it didn't go to f2p model... only problem is too many damn sub-par f2p games are out/comming out, but hey, let them keep makiing them, it's not charging me anything to play.

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