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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Five Assumptions that are Killing the MMO

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179 posts found
  Jaedor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 876

1/07/13 2:49:18 PM#141

Awesome post, OP. You've obviously given a lot of thought to the situation and I thank you for putting it out there so eloquently.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

1/07/13 2:52:44 PM#142
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

No. But any idea to survive in the market, needs to have the demand. It does not matter how you generate the idea .... an idea no one buys is going to die.

No, it just goes F2P.

hmm .. whales are buying in F2P .. otherwise, it will die.

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

1/07/13 2:54:41 PM#143

OP, in regards #1 you seem to be conflating Developers LISTENING to thier audience with allowing that audience to DICTATE exactly how to build a product. Developers and companies in general absolutely HAVE to listen to the people using thier products. You are pretty much dead without doing so. You are also pretty much dead abdicating responsibility for designing/building a product to that audience.

As a designer there is absolutely no substitute for hearing from the people actualy using your product. It doesn't mean that you automaticaly do everything that they say, it means that you try to understand thier experience with that product. If 95 percent of your customers say "I don't know how to do this." That's something you need to wake up and pay attention to. It doesn't mean that the product is "too hard"...it could just be that the help system or documentation or tutorial sucks.

Building a dialogue with your users is also really important for winning loyalty to your brand. Part of Blizzards early success wasn't that they ignored thier fans...it was that they had built a really good relationship with the fans of thier RTS titles.

 

 

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

1/07/13 2:56:53 PM#144
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Yes, there are many ways to have fun. But the point is that there is no "wrong" way. I am disputing the statement that mmo is meant for anything. It is up to the individual to enjoy it as he/she sees fit.

Obviously it is your perogative to want a longer term MMO. However, you just admit that "game hopping is not wrong" ... so MMO is really not meant for anything .. just up to the individual. You want it to be long. Others may not.

You're taking my words on a little bit of a trip around the block there.  No, game hopping isn't wrong, but catering to it in MMOs is a waste.  As a developer, why would you create an MMO, with all of the associated costs, if people are going to drop it in three months?  These games are envisioned by their creators as services that exist for years -- read the transcripts of the investor calls at EA, Activision, or NCSoft  if you think I'm making this stuff up.

I'm not going to tell you how you should enjoy yourself, but don't mistake that for any admissions on my part.  The purpose of MMOs, from a business standpoint, is player retention and ongoing revenue.  That's where they've failed.

Why wouldn't he, if you can replace all the players in 3 months? 1M of subs for 6 month, is the same as 2M of players, 1M sub for 3 month, and the second M subs for another 3.
 

And while MMO is probably expensive compared to the average SP game, they are not more expensive than the big AAA games like COD (except may be TOR). Case in point, GW & GW2 are perfectly happy living on box sales.

And lastly, how devs design their mmo (for long or for short) is irrelevant .. it is up to the players to decide how they play. If everyone decides they are going to play 3 month then move on, there is really nothing the dev can do. In fact, isn't that why TOR is going F2P?

A dev can only respond to market desire.

  User Deleted
1/07/13 3:07:15 PM#145
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

 

Why wouldn't he, if you can replace all the players in 3 months? 1M of subs for 6 month, is the same as 2M of players, 1M sub for 3 month, and the second M subs for another 3.
 

And while MMO is probably expensive compared to the average SP game, they are not more expensive than the big AAA games like COD (except may be TOR). Case in point, GW & GW2 are perfectly happy living on box sales.

And lastly, how devs design their mmo (for long or for short) is irrelevant .. it is up to the players to decide how they play. If everyone decides they are going to play 3 month then move on, there is really nothing the dev can do. In fact, isn't that why TOR is going F2P?

A dev can only respond to market desire.

Actually there seems to be something of a potential fundamental flaw with some of that.

 

If a game is purely relying on box sales or even initial sub and then run numbers to turn a profit, then there is zero problem with them making mmos aimed at churning a consumerbase (from a business perspective). The trouble is though, that simply isn't the case for the main part, as cash shops seem to be intended to be a significant part of the revenue generation model.

 

One would imagine that generating profits via the sale of IG items necessitates attracting a signficant portion of players who are going to be prepared to invest in items for their IG toons. Someone who is going to ram through and then bail on a game in the space of a couple of months is unlikely to drop a significant amount of money in a cash shop in that time (although there will be exceptions ofc). Someone inclined to stay with the game however is going to generate more money via that model.

 

The likelyhood of replacing the entire playerpool every few months also seems somewhat slim.

  Phaserlight

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/04
Posts: 702

Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. -Lao Tzu

1/07/13 3:20:42 PM#146
Originally posted by Greyface


[...]

As players, we need to move beyond seeing sandboxes and theme parks as irreconcilable opposites.  They should be looked at as points along a spectrum.

[...]

Being the Chosen One in an MMO is just dumb, because there are 500 other Chosen Ones pouring out of the same instance right behind you.  Context, not story, is what we need.  Make the world and its back-story live, and give the players the tools and freedom to create their own story. 

[...]

Just spitballing here, but imagine a game without a level cap.  As you progress, the cost to level up increases and the benefits shrink.  

   

OP: I didn't read through this entire thread, but I read the first post.  For someone who is Not A Game Designer(tm), I have to say you pretty much nailed it.  I wanted to respond to a few of the points you made (by the way, have you considered joining VO's PCC?)  I think you said what a lot of people have been thinking; however, it's good to see it laid out in a clear, logical manner like this.

As players, we need to move beyond seeing sandboxes and theme parks as irreconcilable opposites.  They should be looked at as points along a spectrum.

I think this is self-evident.  You nailed it.  It is a spectrum:

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/5318127#5318127

Context, not story, is what we need.

If I could I would change this to context and story, otherwise I think this is an important mantra as a content designer.  Each player should have a story, but that story may not be how s/he saves the universe from the End Of Life as We Know It.  This could also possibly be a spectrum, where each player fills a role somewhere between "commoner" and "hero", and perhaps where each player oscillates over the course of his/her playing career.

imagine a game without a level cap

Vendetta Online has no level cap.  Actually, it has a level cap, it's just so high that you could not possibly reach it unless you handed down your account through several generations, possibly skipping a generation here/there, and each person that held the account played religiously until the end of his/her natural life.  Most of the upper levels are devoid of content, presently, but they are there just waiting to be filled with content by the playerbase.  I recently finished a 39-mission design project, co-authored by another player and browsed / reviewed / edited by the community, drawing inspiration from authors like William Gibson and Philip K. Dick.  It's that kind of content I want to see percolate through all levels of Vendetta Online.

"To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
Authored 110 missions in Vendetta Online
Check it out on Steam

  Tanemund

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/29/09
Posts: 74

1/07/13 3:31:01 PM#147

Kudos to the OP for a well thought out and intelligent post.

 

I especially agree with #1.  Listening to the playerbase is a sure fire way to get a game into trouble.  Instead developers should WATCH what the playerbase is doing.  For example if everyone is playing class X, then it's a sure fire indicator that class X is somehow advantageous.  If none of the player base are doing public quests, then it's a sure fire indicator that public quests aren't what the playerbase wants.

 

In truth what most of the player base wants is easily defined.  For themselves they want the most reward for the minimum commitment of time and effort.  For their fellow gamers, which are now automatically viewed as opponents instead of comrades, they want the least reward for the maximum commitment of time and effort.  Why?  Because you "win" in a community game if you "pwn" everyone else in the community.  Given that as a starting point it's futile to listen to the players.

 

Which leads to another thing that is killing MMOs.  There has been a fundamental shift in the playerbase.  The first generation of MMO players were former pencil and paper gamers with access to a computer modem.  The recent generation of MMO players grew up playing video games and are used to a game having a story with a beginning, middle and end and then some kind of PvP attached to it.  The first group was about community while the second group is used to being able to finish the game on their own.  That's not right or wrong or good or bad.  It just is a fact.  People playing online games now have different expectations of a game than the people who first played MMORPGs.

 

Finally the game developers keep looking for one ring to rule them all.  Even WoW doesn't do that and it's the closest anyone's ever gotten to that Holy Grail.  WoW is like vanilla ice cream.  Lots of people like vanilla ice cream.  However instead of trying to copy vanilla gaming companies (and gamers) might be better served to adopt the Baskin Robbins approach, meaning there are 31 flavors so find the one that you like.

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 684

1/07/13 3:31:14 PM#148
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Yes, there are many ways to have fun. But the point is that there is no "wrong" way. I am disputing the statement that mmo is meant for anything. It is up to the individual to enjoy it as he/she sees fit.

Obviously it is your perogative to want a longer term MMO. However, you just admit that "game hopping is not wrong" ... so MMO is really not meant for anything .. just up to the individual. You want it to be long. Others may not.

You're taking my words on a little bit of a trip around the block there.  No, game hopping isn't wrong, but catering to it in MMOs is a waste.  As a developer, why would you create an MMO, with all of the associated costs, if people are going to drop it in three months?  These games are envisioned by their creators as services that exist for years -- read the transcripts of the investor calls at EA, Activision, or NCSoft  if you think I'm making this stuff up.

I'm not going to tell you how you should enjoy yourself, but don't mistake that for any admissions on my part.  The purpose of MMOs, from a business standpoint, is player retention and ongoing revenue.  That's where they've failed.

Why wouldn't he, if you can replace all the players in 3 months? 1M of subs for 6 month, is the same as 2M of players, 1M sub for 3 month, and the second M subs for another 3.
 

And while MMO is probably expensive compared to the average SP game, they are not more expensive than the big AAA games like COD (except may be TOR). Case in point, GW & GW2 are perfectly happy living on box sales.

And lastly, how devs design their mmo (for long or for short) is irrelevant .. it is up to the players to decide how they play. If everyone decides they are going to play 3 month then move on, there is really nothing the dev can do. In fact, isn't that why TOR is going F2P?

A dev can only respond to market desire.

How do you suppose a game recoups an equal number of gamers if something within the game prompted an exodus like that?

Given how competitive MMO gaming is today (partially due to it moving into mainstream entertainment, and partially due to all the other MMO games available), word of mouth & reviews from gaming sites like MMORPG.com are HUGE.  If a million gamers leave in 3 months of it's release...its highly likely that they will not recoup those same numbers....let alone be able to continously cycle players like that (unless drastic changes are made that would prompt others to give it another look)

 

HOW a game is designed has everything to do with player retention.  If the game is designed to appeal to casual gamers (who by definition will play casually), you will have a more fickle player base....due to having to compete with other casual entertainment (TV, SP games, social media games, mobile platform games) and due to time limitations that many mainstream casual gamers have.

If you create a game that has the same formula as another game that has been in existance for 5-7 years, but just with another skin & gimmick....players will take their previous experience (and burnout) in similar type games with them and will grow bored very quick. (See SW:TOR, Rift, GW2, Warhammer, Aion, etc)

However, if you create a MMO game that is unique in the market, a quality product, and built on a model that rewards a player with experiences & relationships within the community...not cheap tangible items....then you might experience longer player retention.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

1/07/13 4:46:22 PM#149
Originally posted by bunnyhopper
 

Actually there seems to be something of a potential fundamental flaw with some of that.

 The proof is of course in the existence of such endeavors.

If a game is purely relying on box sales or even initial sub and then run numbers to turn a profit, then there is zero problem with them making mmos aimed at churning a consumerbase (from a business perspective). The trouble is though, that simply isn't the case for the main part, as cash shops seem to be intended to be a significant part of the revenue generation model.

It works for GW & GW2. And no one says you cannot put out more content to attact old players to come back. The point is you don't need a player continue to sub ... you only need him to drop money on boxes (and what-not in cash shop from time to time).

In fact, the whole cash shop model is based on most players are transcient (the free players), and only a few whales will stay and spend money. For the 90%+ non-paying players, they are just content for the whales, why would the dev cares if they are the same group, or churn like crazy?

 One would imagine that generating profits via the sale of IG items necessitates attracting a signficant portion of players who are going to be prepared to invest in items for their IG toons. Someone who is going to ram through and then bail on a game in the space of a couple of months is unlikely to drop a significant amount of money in a cash shop in that time (although there will be exceptions ofc). Someone inclined to stay with the game however is going to generate more money via that model.

 No. You are only selling IG items to whales .. which is a very small portion of the customer. You can have 90% of the player base churning with little impact on that.

The likelyhood of replacing the entire playerpool every few months also seems somewhat slim.

You must be joking. The whole population of MMO players are in the 10s of millions (just in the US). Even wow, 70% of the players never make pass level 10. Churning is huge in these games. I am surprised if the churning is not even higher. After, switching game is just a click away.

Plus, no one says one cannot come back to a game after a while. I don't play STO religisous month after month. I play it whenever i feel like some star trek .. and it can be months between play session.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

1/07/13 4:48:57 PM#150
Originally posted by RajCaj
 

How do you suppose a game recoups an equal number of gamers if something within the game prompted an exodus like that?


 

BTW having really fun but short content? Think about a single player game. I love Dishonored, and it sold millions, but i don't play it for more than a month.

If you look at story missions in a MMO like STO, you can play it like a SP or MP online game, and exhaust that content in a few month. And there are plenty of other trekkies (there are tens of, if not hundreds of, millions of those), and if you churn a few hundred thousand a month, you are not running out of them anytime soon.

  User Deleted
1/07/13 5:05:55 PM#151
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by bunnyhopper
 
The proof is of course in the existence of such endeavors.

What?

It works for GW & GW2. And no one says you cannot put out more content to attact old players to come back. The point is you don't need a player continue to sub ... you only need him to drop money on boxes (and what-not in cash shop from time to time).

It remains to be seen whether it "works" for GW2.  Attracting old players back is retention and not churn of new/unique customers. Getting a pre existing customer to repeatedly drop money on boxes is retention.

In fact, the whole cash shop model is based on most players are transcient (the free players), and only a few whales will stay and spend money. For the 90%+ non-paying players, they are just content for the whales, why would the dev cares if they are the same group, or churn like crazy?

So the cash shop model is based on retaining whales. i.e. retention.

No. You are only selling IG items to whales .. which is a very small portion of the customer. You can have 90% of the player base churning with little impact on that.

Fair enough.

You must be joking. The whole population of MMO players are in the 10s of millions (just in the US). Even wow, 70% of the players never make pass level 10. Churning is huge in these games. I am surprised if the churning is not even higher. After, switching game is just a click away.

Plus, no one says one cannot come back to a game after a while. I don't play STO religisous month after month. I play it whenever i feel like some star trek .. and it can be months between play session.

No i'm not joking, a typical mmorpg is not going to go on replacing it's entire paying playerbase every few months. 

 

I'm not questioning whether B2P/cash shop is viable or not. I have doubts as to the long term success of mmorpg/community centric games in particular if they have exceptionally low retention rates.

  rojoArcueid

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5426

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

1/07/13 5:33:19 PM#152

#2 - I think both players and the game company are the problem in their own way. When the company want to make a unique game then the gamers complain that it lacks the features they are used to. When the game company adds the features players want then the players complain that its a wow clone. When the game company finally makes a "too good to be true" game, then the publisher screw it over with bad business practices and many players(not all) keep supporting the bad practices just because the game has some good features and turn hostile towars players who actualy care about the game that try to make the company fix it.

#3 - I prefer a good mixed Sandpark if done correctly. The freedom, size, and openness of a sandbox with the character / story progression of a themepark. Also, i want artistic graphics like GW2 OR anime art style graphics like Blade & Soul or Tera. Too realistic(TSW) or too cartoony(except for wow) are not my cup of tea and i may look somewhere else.

#4 - The story in mmos is important to me because even if i dont roleplay with other people, i play and progress my character around the Lore of the game. If there is no deep story then all i have to do in the game is mindlessly grind kill like a bot to lvl up and that is too boring to even call it a game. After Swtor and TSW i do expect all mmos that require payment  to have voice overs or i will most likely wont care about them and stick to f2p. If i want to pay to read dialog boxes i buy a book. Obviously Swtor and TSW did it wrong. Bioware's strong point is storytelling in singleplayer games, not mmos. That doesnt mean a more mmo experienced company wont do it right in an mmo and with less money than Swtors cost. Funcom is famous for making unfinished mmos so all i can say to them is to stop doing that because they are the ones suffering.

#5 - About end game.... Im not sure if End Game its what matter to most people, but to me, if my fun doesnt start from lvl 1 - 10 i will most likely dont care about the game. A good game is like a good essay. If the hook is boring and uninteresting, dont expect me to go through the whole thing.

 

This are just my personal thoughts on these 4 points. I fully agree with OP's #1

My endgame begins with character creation and ends with a new mmorpg

  tom_gore

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1803

1/08/13 12:33:20 AM#153
Originally posted by jpnz
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Metentso

Let me add another assumption, that is killing MMOs, in my oppinion:

"MMOS have to be fun"

Bluntly said, MMOs don't have to be fun, they have to be epic, you have to suffer (but not frustrating, hopefully). At the end you have the feeling of having done something amazing, which doesn't equal to fun exactly.

Yes the need to be fun, but they don't need to be totally trivial and effortless. I think that was what you were after. Even difficult games can be FUN. Even long tasks can be FUN.

Unfortunately, us "real gamers" are not the core audience anymore. The people playing Farmville and other such non-games are.

 

I doubt any actual gamers will pass up games like 'To the Moon', Journey, Flower, The Walking Dead just because it is 'easy' or 'effortless'.

More games are coming out so there is a larger spread in difficulty.

 

I wouldn't really call The Walking Dead a game. It's an interactive cartoon. Can't comment on the others as I haven't played them.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

1/08/13 12:34:06 AM#154
Originally posted by bunnyhopper

It remains to be seen whether it "works" for GW2.  Attracting old players back is retention and not churn of new/unique customers. Getting a pre existing customer to repeatedly drop money on boxes is retention.

It workED for GW1. GW1 & 2 wouldn't care (financially) if you buy the box, play 2 weeks, and quit.

So the cash shop model is based on retaining whales. i.e. retention.

Retention of whales ... a SMALL percentage of the population. 90% of the population can churn every week and they won't care.

 

I'm not questioning whether B2P/cash shop is viable or not. I have doubts as to the long term success of mmorpg/community centric games in particular if they have exceptionally low retention rates.

http://lsvp.com/2008/06/24/acclaim-to-make-30m-in-revenue-from-free-to-play-games-this-year/

"The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

"That statistic leads to churn rate, which describes player loss per month. “It turns out you lose a lot,” admitted Marks. “You should be prepared to say, ‘I only brought in 100,000 players this month, but only 10,000 stayed.’ That’s okay! That’s okay. Some of them will come back, and you can always get more.”

 

... it is not just my opinion ... read this article. Couple with the fact that the market is going more and more F2P .. it is obvious that MMO does not need longer retention than 3-4 months to be viable.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

1/08/13 12:36:52 AM#155
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by jpnz
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by Metentso

Let me add another assumption, that is killing MMOs, in my oppinion:

"MMOS have to be fun"

Bluntly said, MMOs don't have to be fun, they have to be epic, you have to suffer (but not frustrating, hopefully). At the end you have the feeling of having done something amazing, which doesn't equal to fun exactly.

Yes the need to be fun, but they don't need to be totally trivial and effortless. I think that was what you were after. Even difficult games can be FUN. Even long tasks can be FUN.

Unfortunately, us "real gamers" are not the core audience anymore. The people playing Farmville and other such non-games are.

 

I doubt any actual gamers will pass up games like 'To the Moon', Journey, Flower, The Walking Dead just because it is 'easy' or 'effortless'.

More games are coming out so there is a larger spread in difficulty.

 

I wouldn't really call The Walking Dead a game. It's an interactive cartoon. Can't comment on the others as I haven't played them.

 

And difficulty is in the eye of the beholder.

Look at Diablo 3 ... you have monster power 0-10 .. from trivial to very hard (depends on your gear, but for 99% of the players, MP10 is instanced death). Not to mention hardcore mode.

Some players will just do MP0 and breeze through hordes and hordes of mobs in the name of efficiencies. Personally i do the upper limit of MP (6 is the most i can do now and still feel like i am getting somewhere) so that there is a challenge.

And many are in between.

 

  User Deleted
1/08/13 3:25:36 AM#156
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by bunnyhopper

It remains to be seen whether it "works" for GW2.  Attracting old players back is retention and not churn of new/unique customers. Getting a pre existing customer to repeatedly drop money on boxes is retention.

It workED for GW1. GW1 & 2 wouldn't care (financially) if you buy the box, play 2 weeks, and quit.

GW1 was far from a traditional mmo and is kept alive to a great extent by the fact that it is a focused pvp centric esport game. I would imagine that if GW2 drops down to a small amount of subs within the space of this year, that yes ANET will care, even if they have generated a profit by that time.

So the cash shop model is based on retaining whales. i.e. retention.

Retention of whales ... a SMALL percentage of the population. 90% of the population can churn every week and they won't care.

The model is reliant on retention non the less. If retention was only providing a small percent of the profit then you would have a point. But the opposite is the case.

 

I'm not questioning whether B2P/cash shop is viable or not. I have doubts as to the long term success of mmorpg/community centric games in particular if they have exceptionally low retention rates.

http://lsvp.com/2008/06/24/acclaim-to-make-30m-in-revenue-from-free-to-play-games-this-year/

"The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

"That statistic leads to churn rate, which describes player loss per month. “It turns out you lose a lot,” admitted Marks. “You should be prepared to say, ‘I only brought in 100,000 players this month, but only 10,000 stayed.’ That’s okay! That’s okay. Some of them will come back, and you can always get more.”

 

... it is not just my opinion ... read this article. Couple with the fact that the market is going more and more F2P .. it is obvious that MMO does not need longer retention than 3-4 months to be viable.

 

That will be the Acclaim Games that had to get bought out a couple of years later and then shut down right? Not exactly the best case to give in fairness.

 

F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

1/08/13 11:14:05 AM#157
Originally posted by bunnyhopper

 

F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

I am referring to this general statement:

"The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

So F2P works with low retention.

 

  Azaron_Nightblade

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 893

1/10/13 7:51:58 AM#158
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by bunnyhopper

 

F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

I am referring to this general statement:

"The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

So F2P works with low retention.

 

Many buy and P2P games don't seem to have a much higher one, I've played several MMO's where I was gone after my free 30 days or a few months later, and I've seen at least several other people doing it too.

My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  Scottgun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 340

1/10/13 8:19:36 AM#159
Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by bunnyhopper

 

F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

I am referring to this general statement:

"The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

So F2P works with low retention.

 

Many buy and P2P games don't seem to have a much higher one, I've played several MMO's where I was gone after my free 30 days or a few months later, and I've seen at least several other people doing it too.

Yes. There are people who quit after 30 days, but there are also people who keep their subscriptions up since from the beginning and to the end if there is one. The rest of us fall somewhere in between.

The F2P model is good for quick return on investment. The head honcho of Final Fantasy XIV acknowledged this, but noted that many games solicit investors for venture capital. Those investors want to see their money returned with a profit fairly quickly, so they adopt a Free-to-Play model so they can pay them off. But what I found encouraging is that while Square-Enix obviously has to recoup production expenses, after that it's all in-house gravy and there is no one knocking on the door every three days asking where their money is. So, they are going to play the long game and make it a traditional sub.

How not to sell me on a game: "And most people that make it past the tutorial seem to appreciate [x game's] uniqueness, even if they don't find it fun."

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

 
OP  1/10/13 10:25:10 AM#160
Originally posted by nariusseldon

I am referring to this general statement:

"The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

So F2P works with low retention.

 

Did anyone else see this post on Massively yesterday? 

Back in November, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Management published a study tracing the roots of player loyalties in a variety of MMO environments. The study outlined the mentalities of MMO gamers and the things that successfully encouraged them to keep coming back for more looting, more grinding, and more /hugging. Most importantly, the study declared that an MMO that increases loyalty by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.

 

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