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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Are F2P models more successful with a declined socioeconomic society?

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36 posts found
  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

7/11/13 10:40:54 AM#21
Originally posted by whisperwynd

Originally posted by Axehilt

F2P are successful because of low barrier to entry, and a high pay ceiling (you're not capped at $15/mo maximum expenditure; you can spend $1000 instantly if you wanted.)

Going further than those two reasons is basically just tin-foil-hatting.

 

~I may be somewhat archaic but are there really many people out there willing to spend large sums of money within a F2P game over a $15/mo sub option where you have access to everything at no extra charge? What motivates the player that wants to part with their money above and beyond $15/mo average within a F2P model?~

 

Seems you already answered this in your OP with the comparison to the gambling addict. Plus, studies have shown that the 'whales', those who spend much more than the average player actually makes the game more profitable. 

 Yeah I've never accepted that $15 a month is too much. If you can't swing that you have some serious monetary issues you should be looking into because that means you also are struggling to makes all ends meet and are not building savings/funding a retirement plan. So gaming probably shouldn't be a big focus to you.

The same people who complain about $15 a month will also go buy:

$100 pair of sneakers because they're cool

$200+ on a new smartphone because their old one isn't cool anymore or isn't 4-5-6-100000g

$400+ on a tablet so they can use a tablet and their smart phone because 2 is always better than 1

$80-100+ a month to get a big data plan for their smart phone and tablet

$20 to eat out ONCE in an entire month

$40+ to go out to a bar ONCE in a month

$10+ for a single movie ticket ($20+ for a date $30+ for a date with popcorn and a drink) for 2 hours of entertainment as compared to an entire month

$100 to have the fastest possible internet each month instead of a tier lower

$80+ a month to get a bunch of cable channels they will not watch even a fraction of

$60 on a single pair of jeans because it has to be a fancy brand name to be worth it

etc. etc. etc.

 

The argument that $15 a month is sooo expensive is also soooo old. Just be honest and say your so cheap you want all of your entertainment for free.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18988

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

7/11/13 10:51:07 AM#22
Originally posted by danwest58
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Rhinotones

I may have answered that question with my opinion but his/her opinion may differ to mine.

Are you able to provide any links to said studies? I'd be very interested in having a read of those.

Well first we have to restate your question in a bit more meaningful way, "Is ARPU higher in F2P?" Because it's not about whether "many" players are willing spend a lot.  It's about whether the overall mix of different players spending different amounts (the overwhelming majority of whom spend nothing) results in a higher ARPU.

The answer is yes.  It's not an opinion. Whisperwynd's links are only a handful of the abundant studies out there, plus I've worked in F2P games (not MMOs) to know how the models work, plus even without all that evidence you would still see a significant shift in games to the F2P model.

And it all revolves around low barrier to entry and higher pay ceiling.

That Higher Pay ceiling you are talking about is going to go away.  A few of my old school MMO buddies played Runes of Magic for several years and spent well over $30K in about 4 years.  Today they no longer play Runes of Magic or any other MMO because they realized how much they spent in MMOs and now with kids they no longer feel the genera is worth the effort because F2P.  The whole F2P deal is a fade that will cause many publishers to close in the coming years due to the fact there are more people playing for free requiring these publishers to spend money to support FREE than Whales spending endless amounts of cash.  

I haven't played all that many F2P titles, but I did play this one, and it was without a doubt one of the worse ones for actual P2W and people did drop that sort of cash.

I played the first 3 or 4 months of open beta and launch and at that time the top "red" PVP claimed to have dropped over $8K on his gear, and he was almost a walking god in the game, 5 or 6 more modestly geared players could not kill him.

I recall once running into a similarly leveled character (around 40) who told me he spent about $400.00 in the cash shop and neither my son and I combined could take him down, he just gained to much from enhancing his gear with the cash shop buffers. 

At that time people would say even for PVE end game raiding you would need to spend approximately $650 or so to be properly geared to participate.   (or spend a heck of a lot  of time on in game grinding, and my guild leader actually tried by fell short)

I spent about $90.00 in the 3 months I played, mostly on mounts, inventory space for my son and I.  Compared to a typical puchase/P2P model it wasn't excessive, but had we continued to play I could easily see the costs going way past what I would want to spend so we quit and moved on.

But none of this had to do with socio-economic models, there just were some folks willing to spend big bucks on this stuff and their money has kept the game profitable to this day, so great for them, while other games saw the benefits from my money.

Of course, that's only one version of F2P, there's so many variants, I found the one used by Aion currently to be very agreeable, though I've seen others bemoan it.

In the future, there's a market for all sorts of payment models, even those that are pay to win and we the players will have to decide which one's suit our tastes (and wallets)

 

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 2909

I actually still like MMORPGs

7/11/13 11:03:07 AM#23

I don't buy that households have less disposable income. I think we are just buying more crap and calling it a necessity. Think about how big screen HD TVs and digital cable have become basic necessities now. We don't even consider those luxuries anymore. Smartphones, iPads, laptops and gaming consoles are all essentials.

Back in the day, a microwave was considered a luxury item and a big fridge meant you were well to do! People expect more, and that's why they feel they have less.

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1360

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

7/11/13 11:19:49 AM#24

Rediculous thread, Rhino. Truth is that most people in F2P are paying a lot more than $15 a month. Deception denied.

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19503

7/11/13 11:35:47 AM#25

No, i never spent more than i planned, which is zero. The f2p industry is mostly funded by whales, and few pay.

I don't think F2P is successful primarily because of declining socioeconomic issues. It is a matter of competition. Look at it this way. Even if a player can afford a p2p game, why would he want to if there are free alternative that is as much fun?

  Yyrkoon_PoM

Novice Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 150

7/11/13 11:37:43 AM#26
Originally posted by Rhinotones
Originally posted by whisperwynd
Originally posted by Rhinotones
Originally posted by whisperwynd

Originally posted by Axehilt

F2P are successful because of low barrier to entry, and a high pay ceiling (you're not capped at $15/mo maximum expenditure; you can spend $1000 instantly if you wanted.)

Going further than those two reasons is basically just tin-foil-hatting.

 

~I may be somewhat archaic but are there really many people out there willing to spend large sums of money within a F2P game over a $15/mo sub option where you have access to everything at no extra charge? What motivates the player that wants to part with their money above and beyond $15/mo average within a F2P model?~

 

Seems you already answered this in your OP with the comparison to the gambling addict. Plus, studies have shown that the 'whales', those who spend much more than the average player actually makes the game more profitable. 

I may have answered that question with my opinion but his/her opinion may differ to mine.

Are you able to provide any links to said studies? I'd be very interested in having a read of those.

Seriously? You can't simply Google this yourself? 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389116,00.asp

http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/14/whales-and-why-social-gamers-are-just-gamers/

http://www.techvibes.com/blog/the-art-of-social-gaming-monetization-its-all-about-fostering-the-whales-2011-07-25

 

5 secs. People are really getting lazy. 

I assumed that you were talking about studies you had read yourself rather than parroting someone else saying this. I was wanting to read the studies you had read.

None of the 3 links you provided actually show a study, the latter two talk about whales but don't seem to base this on a conducted study. Link 1 mentions a study on apps rather than pc games so no relation to MMO's.

My google results for whale studies brought up an entirely different type of result  :O  lol

PlayRM (http://www.playnomics.com/features/ ) is a tool being used at many companies (mostly for mobile and web games) to gather all sorts of data about their players. http://www.playnomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Playnomics-Q1-Engagement-Report.pdf is their first quarter report which analyzes data from millions of users across many of the games using their tool. Page 6 has the monetization study where you can see the impact of "whales".  So the answer to "Are there people willing to spend large sums of money on a game" is yes. I do not know the answer to the the "What motivates them" part of your question, but would hazard to guess it is different for each person. The tool and report contains much more than just $ and shows how much effort a good f2p, b2p, or other game with micro-transactions  can invest to make the most profitable game they can.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

7/11/13 3:17:50 PM#27
Originally posted by danwest58

That Higher Pay ceiling you are talking about is going to go away.  A few of my old school MMO buddies played Runes of Magic for several years and spent well over $30K in about 4 years.  Today they no longer play Runes of Magic or any other MMO because they realized how much they spent in MMOs and now with kids they no longer feel the genera is worth the effort because F2P.  The whole F2P deal is a fade that will cause many publishers to close in the coming years due to the fact there are more people playing for free requiring these publishers to spend money to support FREE than Whales spending endless amounts of cash.  

Um, that doesn't make the pay ceiling shrink.  What you're describing is:

  • Old gamers sometimes die.  Often aging gamers spend less time in games about massive timesinks as they get older.  I could provide an example of friends who stopped playing subscription MMOs, but like your anecdotal evidence it wouldn't really describe the much larger market forces at work which are well known to anyone who's spent any significant amount of time seriously researching this stuff.
  • Mediocre games result in lower ARPU.  If those players felt like $30k didn't provide a worthy amount of entertainment, they'll be less likely to have a high ARPU in future games
  • And finally you correctly imply that ARPU matters more than a high pay ceiling.  (Because if I make a free to play Tic Tac Toe game with a $100,000 microtransaction to make your pieces gold-colored, the pay ceiling is high but the ARPU probably hasn't actually increased because nobody will actually purchase that.)  But of course you can't increase ARPU without having a high enough pay ceiling, and you will massively gimp your ARPU if your pay ceiling is $15/mo (plus box).
You can dislike F2P games if you'd like, but the fact is the model works and certainly isn't a fad.
  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19503

7/11/13 3:49:04 PM#28
Originally posted by Axehilt

You can dislike F2P games if you'd like, but the fact is the model works and certainly isn't a fad.

And so far, all evidence is pointing to F2P working fine. It is making more money than p2p and it is growing. That is the definition of "work".

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3678

7/11/13 5:34:39 PM#29
Originally posted by Loktofeit

Subscription puts a cap on what a person can spend. Microtransactions allows people who want to send more to do so. Such is the reason for concession and souvenier stands at games/concerts, and Pay Per View content above and beyond your monthly service.

You guys really do overthink this, rather than just look at every other form of entertainment and see it's being adopted because both buyer and seller seems to like it.

 

No, subscriptions put a minimum on what a player *MUST* spend.  You *MUST* spend $15 a month.   You can spend more in the shop.  F2P says you don't have to spend anything, but you *CAN* if you want.  You are very correct that there is a reason many entertainment venues are going that way, because more people like it than don't.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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Hope: None

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3678

7/11/13 5:40:49 PM#30
Originally posted by Arclan

Rediculous thread, Rhino. Truth is that most people in F2P are paying a lot more than $15 a month. Deception denied.

I'm not, I've never paid a penny in a F2P game and neither have the majority of people who play them.

Do try again though.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19503

7/11/13 5:44:01 PM#31
Originally posted by Cephus404
Originally posted by Arclan

Rediculous thread, Rhino. Truth is that most people in F2P are paying a lot more than $15 a month. Deception denied.

I'm not, I've never paid a penny in a F2P game and neither have the majority of people who play them.

Do try again though.

He has no truth. All evidence points to most players don't pay a dime.

http://www.playnomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Playnomics-Q1-Engagement-Report.pdf

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/195806/chasing_the_whale_examining_the_.php

 

  aRtFuLThinG

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1011

7/11/13 5:45:56 PM#32

People just don't want to pay for things ahead if they are not certain they will use it to it's full value or not.

 

It is the same reason why a lot of people don't join a gym or martial arts or yoga classes - it is not because people don't want to get fit and exercise but it is because they are not certain they can have the free time to go frequent enough to make their membership worthwhile, so they instead join the ones that can be pay by per lesson/session. Modern day people's lives are hectic and it is not easy to have regular schedule time to do things.

 

That's why pay-as-you-go system tends to popular, unless there is significant benefit to going sub (ie. it is very cheap).

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5229

7/12/13 2:53:21 AM#33
When times are hard people want things cheaper. If we had a real recession you have to wonder how much more cheaper than free they would want to play a game?
  ste2000

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4729

7/12/13 6:37:39 AM#34
Originally posted by Rhinotones

Originally posted by ste2000

This.

When I was playing Eve and Darkfall I had 2 Account each running at the same time for a long time.

Now I am playing Rift, not just because it is F2P but because there's nothing going on at the moment until, EQNext, Shroud of the Avatar, Archeage, Pathfinder, which are the games I am really looking forward to.

By the way I wouldn't have played Rift if it had a monthly subscription, because it is not good enough to deserve my 15$ a month.

 

So all this theories about F2P being the future and Subscriptions going extinct it is Bulls.

Truth is that Developers cannot make a good MMORPGs anymore, they make Online Games which die after a month and need F2P to survive.

That's the truth.

I've had a similar experience to you where I have played Rift only because it was F2P while waiting for the next game I'm wanting to play and invest in.

If your last point holds any truth it raises a very interesting question to me. Why can't they make MMORPGs to your expectations anymore? Is it because the risk v return is too great because of the funding required to develop it, or do you have an alternative reason?

Well, to answer your question, it is actually very simple.

All AAA MMORPGs are made by medium to big size companies, which means the rely on Marketing rather than Creativity.

When the Game Producer need to explain to the Board of Directors why his game will be successful, he has to talk about numbers, not theories.

The numbers comes from the Marketing Department that through a marketing research, decide what game design will work and what won't.

If the Game Producer start describing his theory to the Board based on his gut feelings, that's not what the board wants to hear............they want solid numbers, hence why all recent MMORPGs look so similar, because they are made to satisfy certain marketing criteria.

 

The thing is though that games are Art, and need Creativity, Passion, and Gut instinct to be successful.

The Marketing approach in MMORPGs and Gaming in general, do not work too well.

The most succesful games are made by Indie Developers simply because they put creativity ahead of marketing when they make their game.

Think about Bioware, how much they changed since they've been bought by EA, so much that even their founders "retired" in order to avoid being associated with EA+Bioware.

The latest Dragon Age and Mass Effect are still good, but not as good as the previous ones, and I am sure that we will see the full destructive force of EA in the next instalment of those games, now that the original founders of Bioware left.

 

Big Companies need to trust more Game Producers/Designers, only this way we can see innovative new games.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12112

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

7/12/13 7:08:22 AM#35
Originally posted by Rhinotones

Originally posted by Loktofeit

Subscription puts a cap on what a person can spend. Microtransactions allows people who want to send more to do so. Such is the reason for concession and souvenier stands at games/concerts, and Pay Per View content above and beyond your monthly service.

You guys really do overthink this, rather than just look at every other form of entertainment and see it's being adopted because both buyer and seller seems to like it.

Are you suggesting that a game would earn more revenue being F2P over Subscription? If so, in your opinion, why haven't all games adopted the F2P model? 

Like any other product or service, there's no universally perfect MMO business model. Some MMOs are better suited to one model than another.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fovoroth

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1360

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

7/12/13 11:36:02 AM#36


Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by Cephus404

Originally posted by Arclan Rediculous thread, Rhino. Truth is that most people in F2P are paying a lot more than $15 a month. Deception denied.
I'm not, I've never paid a penny in a F2P game and neither have the majority of people who play them. Do try again though.
He has no truth. All evidence points to most players don't pay a dime.

http://www.playnomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Playnomics-Q1-Engagement-Report.pdf

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/195806/chasing_the_whale_examining_the_.php



The only evidence I've seen is a poster on this site telling us the results of his self administered in-game poll which showed most players were paying $60 a month or much much more. I encourage others do their own poll. Look, I can quote gamasutra too:


Originally posted by gamasutra: F2P Gaming - Removing the Stigma

If you haven't done so, glance over Ramin Shokrizade's recent article on F2P monetization tricks. Even though this only touches some of the techniques used, it should start you towards recognizing a theme. F2P monetization is rarely about telling the customer up front "this is what you get for how much, and this is how your experience will be affected by paid mechanics."



Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

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