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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Can F2P Games Ever Go Back to P2P?

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34 posts found
  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17953

1/18/13 5:08:54 PM#21
Originally posted by kadepsyson

It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

That is human nature. Why should i pay a dime when there is free alternatives? The cost does not matter to consumers. It is not their costs.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17953

1/18/13 5:10:29 PM#22
Originally posted by kadepsyson

In this case I'm not really debating the two pay systems, but rather saying I find cheapskates offensive.  "Gimme!"

It is more the stingy attitude of never-pay free players that I draw issue with.  They have every intention to play as much as possible while paying nothing.

Well, in that case, you are going to be offended for a long time and by a lot of people. Statistics show that a majority of MMO players never pay anything.

But i am curious of why you are offended. It is not even your game. If the owner (i.e. dev or publisher) wants to give part of it away, what is it to you?

  CatAtomic99

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/08
Posts: 35

1/19/13 12:02:25 AM#23

Of course. Free to Play games generally retain a subscription option. If the game is doing well, the developers can either offer less and less of the new content piecemeal, or raise the price of it to the point where subscribing is a more appealing option. Eventually, the cash shop could revert to a curiosity that sells a few old, outdated pieces that no one is interested in.

That's *if* the game starts doing much better.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5163

Opportunist

1/19/13 12:46:01 AM#24
Originally posted by kadepsyson

The truth is, even if you support the free to play titles you play, you are one person.  Coming across the "never going to pay a sub again" lines in this forum is extremely common.  So while you might pay money, many many others do not and see no reason to ever pay anything.  A subscription would mean that every player sticking around supports the company. 

In this case I'm not really debating the two pay systems, but rather saying I find cheapskates offensive.  "Gimme!"

It is more the stingy attitude of never-pay free players that I draw issue with.  They have every intention to play as much as possible while paying nothing.

I guess I can understand that.  I mean that is why I pay for my games and for the free software I use at work (Notepad++, 7zip, truecrypt, linqpad, etc).  But I don't expect everyone to pay and the authors and publishers of those programs make them available with that understanding in mind.  I pay what satisfies my conscience that is within my budget and hope that sets an example.  What other people pay or don't is up to them and I don't feel it's really any of my business.  I mean it just doesn't bother me if they don't pay.

Anyway it's always fun to throw darts back and forth with you.  You're a sharp wit.

  Onomas

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1138

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

1/19/13 1:06:51 AM#25

Games dont hold up to keep paying customers for a long period of time. They have to do something to keep people in to try to milk some extra money. Going f2p is their only option. If a mmorpg was out of this world, full of content, had tools to make your own, and just crammed pack full of features the pay model is trivial. Sadly e dont have to many of those games released, thus more games resorting to f2p to get you in, then get your money from the item shops.

Making a great game will bring the money f2p or b2p. Its just another fad until they understand this.

  Lanfea

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/19/04
Posts: 176

1/19/13 1:39:40 AM#26

Can F2P games ever go back to P2P?

No, ...

1) ... because the marketing brand 'f2p' is now burned into the mind of the customers. just have a look around, people over-simplify the term 'f2p' without even the slightest consideration that there are a lot of diffrent f2p models out there. all f2p titles have only one thing in common: the client for the basic game is free. after that there are about 4-5 diffrent concepts. from the classic 'pay to win' to the 'you can choose the content to pay for' or the 'we only want to force you into subscription'. i really would like to see that people don't use the term 'f2p' so light headed and be more specific about it.

2) ... because there are quite a few reasons why companies choose the f2p revenue model for their game. there are several reasons why a (client based) mmog went the path of f2p. only to name 3 of these reasons:

a) it was a high budget p2p title with a solid and loyal playerbase, but the company wanted a bigger slice of the mmog customer base after 2005 and jumped on the 'f2p marketing train'. (f.e. eq I and II, lotro, ddo, aoc and so on).

b) the game dosen't have the quality that players will pay for it (classic low budget grinders)

c) the game is made for a special market. never underestimate the huge differences in customers behaviour between the asia and the north america market. and even between north america and europe are differences, lesser significant but existent. 

 

  Phry

Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 4725

1/19/13 1:51:09 AM#27
Its probably going to be more hybrid in future, F2P games with P2P subscriptions options, SW;TOR is in effect this form of game now, the difference is of course, is that  P2P players have access to content that F2P players don't, more than likely more games in future will take this option, F2P to draw the players in, in the first place, and then a subscription option when they want to access other areas of the game, SW;TOR for instance allows F2P players to pay for access to these areas, but its of limited duration, which means they have to be prepared to pay more often if they want to take part. If its successful, and judging by the server numbers it appears to be, then we can probably expect more of the same from other developers too.
  Celcius

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/20/04
Posts: 928

1/19/13 1:58:52 AM#28

I don't think that is really possible. How do you justify all the cash shop purchases people made? That is one of the questions that will come up. I guess they could start charging a sub and remove any restrictions but keep the cash shop..

I think companies spend too much money converting to F2P and changing the way the game works to really switch back. You go F2P to get people playing the game. It would be pretty hard to convince a publisher or investor that going BACK to P2P is the right choice especially when you had to switch to F2P to begin with.

This is a really tough one, but I don't think they can.  It may be possible for games to add a premium fee to the game that gets you more stuff or currency if one is not available, but I think thats the extreme. Maybe something like League of Legends offering X amount of Riot points and a permanent boost to exp gain for 10$ a month. 

Part of having a sub these days is producing enough quality content for the game to warrant it. The game also has to have enough stickiness to keep people paying every month. Very few games pull that off. Most of the sub games that are older are only around because they don't cost much to manage and would probably end up spending more money on a F2P transition then they would actually gain from it.

  Ezhae

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/03/06
Posts: 733

1/19/13 2:03:56 AM#29
Originally posted by kadepsyson

The amount of rage and crying from people who would have to actually pay for a product they use for hundreds of hours created by hundreds of people over years would be so massive that the game companies probably wouldn't bother.

 

It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

 

Oh well, cheap is a powerful mindset.

All fine and dandy, but why should I pay for the time I'm not paying? F2P or B2P model allows me to play and pay at my own leasiure. Even better when there is hybrid model in place (optional sub) because then, when I have a month with more free time I can grab a sub to support a title I enjoy and still play ocassionaly after I stop paying. 

Then there is this simple issu - while subscription at least meant soemthng long time ago, today they are one of many payments that youa re expected to make in a MMO. When I pay sub I expect 100% of content to be avalible to me, yet companies more and more often put out sub + cash shop + whatever additional fees they desire. 

Third thing is, MMOs heavily depend on playerbase. F2P gives larger playerbase, which means more peopel to group with, more peopel to PVP against, more poeple participating in the in-game economy, all beneficial to premium/paying players. Considering most MMOs that went F2P or B2P noticed an increase in player activity at ~200-300% that's a whole lot of people you'd be missing out on. 

 

So no. It's not about being cheap. It's about prefering covenience.

  DamonVile

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 3644

1/19/13 2:06:45 AM#30

P2P is dieing for a good reason...it's a stupid way to run an mmorpg. Don't be fooled by the "know-it-alls" here that say f2p is just a game dieing or some trick to fool people. They're just old subers who can't adjust. The name free to play may be missleading to some but it's still a cheaper and often less restrictive way to play in a market that often has customers who like/want to play multiple mmos at the same time.

There's no reason for a f2p game to ever go sub because if they want people paying a sub they just offer premium content while leaving the rest of the game "free" We see it all the time already.

Switching over and forcing everyone to pay or leave would be about as smart as the NGE was in swg.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  Phry

Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 4725

1/19/13 2:16:38 AM#31
Originally posted by DamonVile

P2P is dieing for a good reason...it's a stupid way to run an mmorpg. Don't be fooled by the "know-it-alls" here that say f2p is just a game dieing or some trick to fool people. They're just old subers who can't adjust. The name free to play may be missleading to some but it's still a cheaper and often less restrictive way to play in a market that often has customers who like/want to play multiple mmos at the same time.

There's no reason for a f2p game to ever go sub because if they want people paying a sub they just offer premium content while leaving the rest of the game "free" We see it all the time already.

Switching over and forcing everyone to pay or leave would be about as smart as the NGE was in swg.

a hybrid F2P P2P game is actually more of a threat to other F2P games that don't offer that option. There will always be the 'ultra casual' player who doesnt get that deep into a game, F2P side of the game suits them perfectly i guess, and if they ever want anything that badly they can always use the cash shop, but for those who do get into the game, the limitations of F2P eventually become too much of a hurdle, as long as subscription prices are reasonable, then the transition to P2P for them is a logical one, what this means in effect is that players can choose, the reason i say this is a threat to other F2P games is that more often, there is no expanded gameplay options in those games for players to enjoy. Perhaps this is just a natural evolution of games, tbh i don't know, the only way we'll find out is with time, and whether more games take this approach, imo its likely though, as the real hurdle is not how much a game costs to play, but the content thats available in the game in the first place, there are a number of games out there which arent even worth playing as F2P, let alone P2P. Which is the point with the NGE for SWG, it wasnt about the money, it was about the game being not worth playing in the first place, having a F2P option for SWG after the NGE would not have saved the game.

  kadepsyson

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/15/06
Posts: 1963

The doctors say his chances are 50/50...but there's only a 10% chance of that.

1/19/13 4:09:07 AM#32

Personally, one of the better payment models I enjoyed was pay to play.  It however was not a subscription of 15/month.  It was instead one where you can purchase hours of gameplay, for an extremely low amount of money.  So in a month if I spent 15 dollars on the game, there would have been little time for anything besides eating, sleeping, some bathing, and the game time.  So in general despite quite a bit of play all of which I paid for, the month was a fair bit less than 15 dollars.

The kicker with this system was that the time carried over month to month.  I could pay for game time, and if I didn't use it that month, it'd be there next month, and the month after.  It was the most flexible system I'd seen for paying to play.  You just choose how much you wanted to spend and play, and if you didn't use the hours, the money was not wasted and you could still play when you had time.  I feel this could help alleviate complaints revolving around not getting money's worth, and feeling compelled to play because of the subscription (use it or lose it).

I don't feel a subscription is justified in a lot of MMOs that charge them.  I grew into MMOs under the impression that the monthly fee was for continued development and expansion of the game.  These online games were supposed to improve and evolve over time, and the subscription was to pay for that.  So I don't have a problem with subscriptions, but also find WoW's method of pay for the base game, each expansion, in game content, and still have to subscribe on top of it all to be far worse than say EVE's system where a new player today could subscribe and get the game and all expansions included in that 15 dollar amount.  In fact, systems like WoW and others that have paid, optional, expansions often separate the community.  Haven't paid extra?  You can't join us for the content, get the same gear, or do these neat features.

 

With regards to free to play, I think it can be great for a developer to improve overall income.  It allows them to keep developing, and offers customers flexible pay amounts in a wide range.  I think players who haven't paid can help because they are in the game, playing with those that have paid.  I feel that removing features artificially from a previously pay to play game in order to charge for them in the free to play version is rather low.

I also feel that if there is a required fee to access a game, subscription or box purchase, then the game should offer a way to try the game for free.  I think a quality game would draw players in easily, and requiring players to have to guess with their wallets as to whether they will enjoy a game is silly.

 

So while I see the benifit of free players in games that offer free to play, I also do not appreciate sentiments from players who never intend to pay anything to any MMO game.  Why do I care?  Just my code of ethics I suppose.  Morality, all that.

El Psy Congroo

  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3070

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

1/19/13 4:15:37 AM#33


Originally posted by fat_taddler
We're seeing quite a lot of games going the direction of F2P but will we ever see a game go from F2P to P2P?


I think the knee-jerk reaction would be "no", but if a developer makes some dramatic improvements to their offering and regains a loyal player-base would it be possible or even beneficial to attempt to switch back to a P2P model?


We see reports that games going F2P actually see revenue boosts but my guess is that most developers would prefer the stability and predictable revenue of the P2P model.


Ryzom has gone P2P > F2P > P2p

Common? No. Has it been done? Yes.


/Thread


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  greenreen

Elite Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1375

1/19/13 4:36:05 AM#34
Originally posted by Nitth

 


Originally posted by fat_taddler
We're seeing quite a lot of games going the direction of F2P but will we ever see a game go from F2P to P2P?

 


I think the knee-jerk reaction would be "no", but if a developer makes some dramatic improvements to their offering and regains a loyal player-base would it be possible or even beneficial to attempt to switch back to a P2P model?


We see reports that games going F2P actually see revenue boosts but my guess is that most developers would prefer the stability and predictable revenue of the P2P model.


 

Ryzom has gone P2P > F2P > P2p

Common? No. Has it been done? Yes.


/Thread

 

That's fairly unique. They went bankrupt and ended up with a new company. The "free" in Ryzom is mostly a trial. Free people are limited to things they can't buy unless they sub so they were never true F2P making money from a cash shop. F2P is the method of making money and Ryzom never made money from F2P. It was a trial.

 

I was there for the bankruptcy, yes we had subs but we also had a free trial. The difference now is that the free trial can leave the island and build up themselves about to half of max skill levels. It's just to put them in the world to see more of it, not to let them play for eternity for free because they are capped in places. Don't think they can own mounts either and there are other restrictions.

 

Then months ago, they totally deleted all the "free" characters when they did a server move but they told them they could sub to maintain the characters if they really wanted them. They still let people make free trial accounts. That hasn't been outlawed but there is no cash shop to buy anything piece by piece so it never was F2P in the traditional sense  - ever.

 

Chronicles of Spellborn is poised to be in the same situation. Started out as a paid sub, went bankrupt. Got sold, went F2P. Was outright ignored by the publisher, it was so bad people were downloading the game elsewhere because the official d/l didn't work. Now, it's been rumored that it will be re-releasing but I haven't heard the model yet. If they have any sense, they will go sub instead of F2P.

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