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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: The Complexity of Selling in F2P Games

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34 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/10
Posts: 122

7/03/13 2:35:03 AM#21

I have never spend any money whatsoever on a F2P title. I just play it for a few hours and then quit instead.

But im one of those weird people who prefer quality over quantity.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

7/03/13 4:08:10 AM#22
Originally posted by itchmon
100 hours before spending a dime seems a bit harsh. I feel like, if I play 5 days to a week, and I'm entertained, I owe the company at least 5-10 measly bucks.

Funny, I can play a game and not once ever feel like I "owe" them a dime. I owe the bank, I owe the tax man, I don't owe a game or its developer anything.

If I choose to give money, I give it. If not, I don't. I don't owe them shit, and neither does anyone else.

It's like morons who somehow think "everyone should support this game because it's an indy dev", when in fact the reasonable and logical person doesn't support something until it's already been proven and shown to be viable.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5696

7/03/13 6:24:05 AM#23

"Let's also be clear that there's no coercion involved. Even in games where the best items are only available in the cash shop, no one is obliged to purchase them. The argument is put forward that players must “in order to compete”. This condition conveniently forgets that the decisions to buy or not remain completely voluntary."

Yes it is voluntary; just like it is voluntary to pay for this years sports gear from your favorite team, or buy sweets for your kids in the checkout aisle. But there are reasons you pay or feel you need to pay, and F2P MMO's are very good at making you feel you have to pay. This is how companies persuade people the world over to part with their money. To pretend this does not happen in F2P MMO's because it leads to allegations of P2W is disingenuous on Mr Aihoshi's part.

"The key example is that they compile and use metrics on various purchase behaviors, promotional interventions, resistance points, etc. Whether this constitutes tricking people is a matter of opinion. In my mind, it's an aspect of marketing."

Perhaps it is only Mr. Aihoshi who thinks marketing is a byword for truth and honesty? The purpose of marketing is to sell more to consumers regardless of their needs. I do not think that marketing is somehow evil, but trickery is a byword of marketing. Once again thats how it is used everywhere else in the world, but for some reason not in F2P MMO's.

As usual Mr Aihoshi thinks it is those of us who think poorly of F2P who are biased. MMO houses etc.


Jade Dynasty Correspondent

Joined: 6/22/09
Posts: 98

7/03/13 12:02:23 PM#24
Good article. I don't necessarily agree but its nice to see a reasoned argument.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 924

7/03/13 2:31:54 PM#25

The free gamers who are a huff about P2W, want to play a free game.  They want to play a free game for years (possibly 10 years) and never spend a cent.  They want to be supreme overload of PvP, and never spend a cent.  They want full and total access to all game content, and never spend a cent. They want to own the fastest, coolest, meanest looking mount,  and never spend a cent. 

The only stuff they tolerate in a cash shop is "Vanity" items A.K.A. "G_y" items.  Then these free gamers what to turn around and K.O.S. any one caught wearing or using "Vanity" items.  They want to harass and menace Cash Shop users in chat.  Anything to make the cash shop user's in game experience a living hell, so they don't come back.  All while never spending a cent.

This is who and the game play style you are defending Richard.  They will play for hundreds of hours, even thousands of hours up to the day the servers close.  If they don't have to spend a cent.  They will cheer P2W = Fail, and move on to the next F2P game until it closes.

Pardon any spelling errors
Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
As if it could exist, without being payed for.
F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/01/06
Posts: 160

7/03/13 2:56:38 PM#26

The choice is simple. I encourage anyone playing a F2P game to exploit and cheat as much as they's free after all. And yes...I will laugh at you in game, with your "Hero" title and special ponie.

The only F2P games I have seen be decent...are indie games...I'm looking at you Path of Exile. Though I will have to go check out how Rifts has set theirs up. 

F2P was set up and took over for one reason...Facebook . All the stupid people on the planet playing mafia wars and farmville.

F2P is a bane upon mmo gaming, it was not done to enhance the play experience, point of fact, it is put in place to aggravate the player to force them to spend more money than 15.00 a month. And it works for most of the young gamers now days. But it has succeeded in driving me from gaming anymore...if I cant pay a sub and not be harassed by nickle and dime schemes....I'm simply not going to play and I'll ridicule anyone who does play it...shaming works, and that is what it will take to get this F2P scam/curse out of MMO gaming.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/11
Posts: 233

7/03/13 10:27:15 PM#27

FTP is a bane on the MMO genre.


I like being competitive and FTP leads to none of that because everyone is separated by how much you pay.


You say that just because I can choose to play while not being competitive is a choice but it really is not for someone like me. Thus FTP games is not even an option for me.


Whats really sad is that the mini charge for advantage mindset has creeped into other games as well. Now, single player RPGs that you bought for 20 bucks or whatever will offer a way for you to speed up your progress and such for extra money.


This is why  the average game nowdays is complete trash. Games have changed from a creation of love into a cash grab machine. FTP games don't build loyalty to the game they churn through people.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 263

7/04/13 5:44:53 AM#28

Everything should be attainable in game that is sold in the cash shop, I am against exclusivity.  Of course, I am also against rediculous .25% drop rates on mounts (talking to you Blizzard).  

There is no reason why any item requires killing a raid boss every week on 50 characters, and still probably  not seeing for several months to a year... 

Some people kill Anzu in Sethekk Halls 130 times for a mount, but at least that's "attainable" in-game right? *sigh* Grinds are pointless... I suppose in this case it does make more sense to just buy it for real cash... 

In fact, games could still make a ton of money like Sony's $50 pink meatbeast and Lord of the Rings Online Hobby Horse, even if they are attainable through in-game grinding, because how many seriously would choose to grind if they had the cash to simply buy it? 

This status symbol elitism nonsense irks me, if any item is beautiful I don't want it less because others have it, I still want it to be mine because I like it... 

Please just put every item in game and shop together, so we can choose to earn or pay for them... 


Novice Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 263

7/04/13 6:00:21 AM#29

Of course, I don't think statistic equipment should be as powerful as it is, or sold ever, and I'm against potions being sold because that destroys crafters. 


Everything should have been cosmetic value, and I miss the days when you could actually play a game and do cool challenging quests, instead of merely "buying" everything or "grinding" gray content for a low drop rate item. 

In terms of pvp or even grouping on games like EQ2, it wouldn't be fun doing dungeons if people ever paid real money for their equipment, because then like the raiders they'd have nothing to attain from the zones and they don't bring anything but gimp weak alts for gear...

All people seem to do is play and level alts all the time, because their raiding chars have nothing to attain... All the good stuff on Everquest 2 is on Marketplace for Station Cash and Platinum is worthless!! 

So, any  "Free" game needs to simply allow us to earn stuff again that would be great, add quests and new loots to old content and you can basically get us to do old deserted zones again, add in a mentor system that actually properly scales down a max level because its pretty boring being so overpowered and killing an entire zone with 1 level 90.  Not to mention, it really punishes any low levels in the vicinity! 

I wish games had true communities myself, people disappear  all the time now... you can't make friends because they usually never log in... 

However, it should be earn it, and that means grouping with other people doing hard challenging elite content to get something instead of paying money.  Thus, you would be providing a group mate, a important slot filler, for the other people who want to group and play an MMO instead of a single player solo game... That free person being a population builder idea is something that companies never like to go with.  People will play and pay for games with a high population, if those players are free it doesn't matter, because few peple want to pay money for a deserted game with no population... As soon as the population dries up, everyone cries for server mergers and leaves... Get millions of free players, instant groups and quick queues and a popular game, where everyone can earn items together in fun and challenging quest lines... People that have money should use it to support games that they enjoy, and people that have no money should be the friends and crafters/group mates for those who do have money to talk and play with... 


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/12
Posts: 271

Why yes, I DO like healing and the Trinity!

7/04/13 9:48:13 PM#30

So long as there are no industry-wide standards associated with f2p, so long as they continue to (quite intentionally) 'value price' their alternate currency so that you can never buy just the amount that you want or need, and so long as customer service is practically non-existant, f2p will always be an inferior model of game by definition.  And so long as public shareholders are the ones who must be answered to, games will continue -- by law! -- to find new ways to squeeze the 'voluntary' payments of players to ever-increasing heights, sometimes by dint of introducing things that people want and, on occasion, by tweaking internal settings to make the need - I mean 'desire', of course - to use the shop more and more obvious.

Marketing has almost always been a foul, detestable field from the moment commercials went from simply introducing a product to researching how to make you think you 'need' it.  That poison pill was swallowed a long time ago, though...sadly.

Focusing on whether or not an implementation is 'pay to win' -- a foolish prospect at best, since there is no generally agreed-upon definition -- is merely a distraction to the real problem, that being that cash shops were ever seen as a -good- way to play in the first place, and that game developers who have them should be under the auspices of Fiduciary Responsibility.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/25/08
Posts: 5

7/10/13 3:24:59 PM#31

Amusing comments. So many saying 'all free to play games are ______"   Cheerfully fill in the blank. Might as well say 'all pay to play games are not ______ "   Doesn't really matter what you put in the blank space, the answer is wrong. I have played many, many mmos. The only thing I can say in reference to any one category is that they are all different. Played some very good free games and some very bad pay games.

 True, some free to play games are pay to win. But then I have seen a few pay to play games that had an item mall with unbalanced game items as well. Also there are quite a few free games that allow any cash shop item to be earned in game; either through the auction house or by some in game currency exchange system,  only advantage to the rich gamer in those type of games is that they can get stuff faster.

 Also disagree with the statement that all free games are bad as well as the unspoken inference that all pay to play games are good.  That's utter nonsence and anyone that doesn't see that isn't paying attention. There are good and bad games on BOTH sides of that distinction and even the most rabid defender / attacker of a particular type of game knows it; even if they won't admit it.

 Pay to win game is a game that makes gear available that provides ONLY the paying customers with a clear and insurmountable advantage over those that choose not to pay. Just because a free game has a cash shop doesn't make it pay to win, even if that shop sells gear.

 If you want to discuss the merits of a particular game, I will follow with interest; but there are too many differences between games to make any blanket statement that accurately covers any particular genre.

I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but i'm not sure that you realize that what you thought you heard, is not what I meant.


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 1126

7/10/13 3:46:46 PM#32

As a committed player of Rift, it was pretty painful to go through their recent switch to F2P. Of all the things that were and are still changing, the thing I miss the most is the level playing field.


F2P introduces a volatile subject - money. And the haves and the haves not will forever be divided. Though some of the brouhaha has calmed down now, the sour grapes are still apparent in some circumstances. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2279

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

7/10/13 9:23:45 PM#33

It's all a pyramid scheme, because sooner or later the games are going to end, and everyone is going to lose.

The only difference at that point will be who the biggest losers are: the ones paying all this money into it.

At least the casino whales get comped at the high-rollers suite, a free show and a nice dinner.  The only thing waiting for every MMO whale is the harpoon of regret.

"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE


Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/04
Posts: 355

7/16/13 4:09:38 PM#34
To me, it comes down to the quality of the game. Too many free to play games are cheap, pushed out of the door far too soon, and barely worth my time, let alone my money. If the game is one I enjoy playing, than I am far, far, far more willing to accept the marketing tricks and tactics that every business uses. If you try to feed people crap, all the while trying to convince them that it's actually gold, something very common in the current free to play market with the poor quality of the games, of course you are going to get a bad rep. Some devs are starting to turn that around, but not enough for the free to play market to shake what is still a legitimate bad reputation.
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