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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Does the Free to Play model work?

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137 posts found
  Tatercake

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/24/07
Posts: 270

LET GO OF MY NUTS

10/31/13 5:31:10 PM#61

i dont mind free to play  i hate subs now after 20 something years of subs i prefer to buy the game play  it im anoyed that eso is going to the old sub system it is vry anoying in times like we have today where are government is taking everything from us i work and have little left for extras nowdays  sigh gaming is becoming the same  

 

  Reklaw

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6168

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

10/31/13 6:03:23 PM#62
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Jaedor

While the sub option is arguably better for the player since costs are capped at ~$15/month, F2P with a cash shop does appear to be a win/win payment model for all the reasons the others have already mentioned.

It is not "capped". It is set at $15. There is a difference. You cannot spend less. And this provides less choice.

For those who want to play less (or not at all) to play part of the game, they cannot.

For those who want to spend MORE than $15 to buy stuff to win, or show off, or for whatever reasons, they cannot.

So it is a restrictive system that does not give as much freedom as a F2P system.

 

Underlined is truly a myth (in my opinion).

With so many goldscammer website's of almost any MMO/MMORPG with a subscription I am 100% sure those goldscammer ARE making money.

With F2P games atleast a large part of that extra money goes to the gamingcompany. But unfortunaly goldscamming websites even pick F2P games.

  NinjaGaz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/03
Posts: 51

 
OP  10/31/13 6:25:19 PM#63

Well, I'm pleased to see a lot of reactions. 90% informative with the odd-one in a bad mood.

If the bad mood was referenced to me, I'm only giving my opinion. I feel a game with a cash shop is somebody giving me something and then saying... you want some more? Pay up!

My preference is is to buy the game and know that my fee is paid and I can enjoy the game as it's meant to be - not in a way that encourages (or worse, forces) you to buy in a cash shop. That's the main thing. I understand that I will pay less in many occasions, but should I ever find another game that I really love - I can't help but feel that the game will have a bitter taste if it has a cash shop, which has a "required" use to compete and usually, at the top level, you need every advantage you can get.

I don't play the likes of Dota 2, but their model is great for me. They know they have a great game and huge player base and they allow people to play for free and only pay when someone wants to distinguish themselves or make a name for themselves. There is no advantage in spending that money.

I DO see the point in MMOs, like LOTRO, moving to F2P as their numbers dwindle - which is only natural in a game over time. I can't help but wonder whether the likes of Neverwinter, DOTA 2 or Planetside 2 - all massive games did better with the free to play model vs a standard model. How many F2Pers does it take to come up with the money of all those 1 time buyers?

I also see the point in smaller companies going free to play to build a player-base that they could probably never do otherwise. A lot of these companies have the game at heart and want something that people enjoy - as well as making some money.

What I am surprised at, is there is no public information available about how successful the free to play model is - yet it becomes more and more prevalent!

 

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

10/31/13 6:36:43 PM#64
Originally posted by Reklaw

With F2P games atleast a large part of that extra money goes to the gamingcompany. But unfortunaly goldscamming websites even pick F2P games.

Why would that even work when the devs have a lock for in-game currency?

 

  Superman0X

Elite Member

Joined: 3/28/06
Posts: 1080

10/31/13 6:52:10 PM#65
Originally posted by Reklaw
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Jaedor

While the sub option is arguably better for the player since costs are capped at ~$15/month, F2P with a cash shop does appear to be a win/win payment model for all the reasons the others have already mentioned.

It is not "capped". It is set at $15. There is a difference. You cannot spend less. And this provides less choice.

For those who want to play less (or not at all) to play part of the game, they cannot.

For those who want to spend MORE than $15 to buy stuff to win, or show off, or for whatever reasons, they cannot.

So it is a restrictive system that does not give as much freedom as a F2P system.

 

Underlined is truly a myth (in my opinion).

With so many goldscammer website's of almost any MMO/MMORPG with a subscription I am 100% sure those goldscammer ARE making money.

With F2P games atleast a large part of that extra money goes to the gamingcompany. But unfortunaly goldscamming websites even pick F2P games.

 

The difference between F2P games and P2P games is not the MAXIMUM that you can pay... it is the MINIMUM.

 

With a P2P game, you can not play until you pay. This can be the purchase price, the monthly fee,  or many other such offerings. The definition of P2P is that they take your money BEFORE you can play... and more often than not, take a lot more after as well.

 

With a F2P game, you get to play first, and then they have to convince you that you still WANT to spend money. This requires a combintation of both success, and failure. If there is not enough success, players just move on. If there is not enough failure, there isnt any reason to spend money.

 

The most common method to monetize F2P is via a monthly sub. This appeals to players that have less money than time. They find this a good value, because they can spend as much time as they feel is necessary, to get the value that they want

 

The most common method to monetize for P2P is the upfront payment. This appeals to players that dont have as much time, but have more money. They are willing to pay for a product that they have not yet seen, because they know that their time is limited.

  DamonVile

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

10/31/13 7:03:11 PM#66
Originally posted by NinjaGaz

What I am surprised at, is there is no public information available about how successful the free to play model is - yet it becomes more and more prevalent!

 

There's lots of public information about how much money these huge companies make. They have publicly traded stock. Everything about their finances is available to the public IF..and that's a big IF someone wants to do a bit of research and look it up.

Most of the time people want to remain ignorant because they're happy with their opinion and don't want facts getting in the way.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5673

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

10/31/13 7:21:18 PM#67
Originally posted by NinjaGaz

What I am surprised at, is there is no public information available about how successful the free to play model is - yet it becomes more and more prevalent!

Games such as Dungeons & Dragons Online and Team Fortress 2 have made more money by going F2P than they ever made when they were P2P/B2P. In TF2's case, quadrupled if I remember correctly.

Also, some games rely on the initial surge of players which is typical to a F2P release. Such abundance of opponents is crucial to a game that relies on PvP, because they need a critical mass of players before, say, the match making system starts to work as intended. Examples include World of Tanks and League of Legends.

Free to play model definitely works.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

10/31/13 7:34:24 PM#68
Originally posted by NinjaGaz

What I am surprised at, is there is no public information available about how successful the free to play model is - yet it becomes more and more prevalent!

You need to look at the business pages rather than fan sites.  Links pop up from time to time with stats, although they tend to come packaged in a lot of disingenuous spin.  If you want to really dive into the subject there are whole conferences on it , for example: http://www.videogamesintelligence.com/monetization/conference-agenda.php

 

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

10/31/13 7:58:11 PM#69

F2P = dumbed down version of a MMORPG. Plain and simple. They dumb it down for a reason, to force people to buy all the goodies, extras, and things that should be made in a mmorpg not bought! 50 cents a day for unlimited entertainment, I prefer the 15/month price tag than wanting an item and the only way I can get it is to buy it. Rather be able to craft for these items, explore for them, or trade with fellow traders. It really kills the business, crafting, and exploration aspect for me when I play F2P games. Or atleast I have yet ot find a F2P mmorpg that was worth a turd, then again I am old school and set in my ways. Probably why I do not even bother with these newrer MMORPG's.

 

In no way am I against people that like this pay method, but for my personal preference and likes I go with subscription always.

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6643

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

10/31/13 8:09:33 PM#70

They work in the sense that people are playing them and paying to get stuff from the cash shop. But from my point of view, as a gamer, I feel it does not work. I recently, out of boredom, downloaded Star Trek Online and altought it felt nice to be able to play for free, after a few weekends I had hit the cap and every single ship was either directly cash shop bought or indirectly in the sense that you needed item X, which is bought from the cash shop, to get that ship.

So it felt like the entire end game, which you reached after maybe 20-30 gaming hours, was centered around the cash shop. Be it new costumes or new ships. So altough you could grind to get a currency which can be converted to cash shop currency, it takes ALOT of mindless grinding to get a high end ship. So again it felt like the whole game was not around playing the game but rather either pony up with real cash or find out the way to grind to get cash shop currency.

For me this is an immersion killer. I want to play to get immersed into the game and not buy things from the cash shop. But since the cash shop is the only source of income for a F2P game then obviously the game will be centered around it, or it would go under.

Imagine Skyrim having a cash shop where you got all the neat spells, armor and weapons and you had to either pay for that or do some really excessive grinding. It would just kill the game immersion and that is what F2P is doing to MMOs. Take the focus of the game and on the cash shop.

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6643

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

10/31/13 8:13:35 PM#71
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Reklaw

With F2P games atleast a large part of that extra money goes to the gamingcompany. But unfortunaly goldscamming websites even pick F2P games.

Why would that even work when the devs have a lock for in-game currency?

 

Because many F2P games have a way to grind to get something which can be converted into in game currency. This is so they can claim that the game is not Pay 2 Win because you can get powerful item X, from the cash shop, but also from excessive grinding.

  Zorgo

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2242

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

10/31/13 8:19:56 PM#72
Originally posted by NinjaGaz

There must be millions out there like me that do not like that and, in the end, it discourages you from playing the game.

There's the problem. Because there are tens of millions who play f2p. 

There are hundreds of f2p games, but only a handful of sub games - that should tell you that f2p must 'work' for whatever purpose the publisher has decided must 'work'. 

As you said, I believe the target IS the whale. I believe the purpose of a f2p game is to make the highest profit possible, and the sheer number of f2p out there indicates it is likely the biggest money maker.

But I also think you right....there are millions out there that want something different. And the beauty of capitalism, is that someone, somehow will eventually choose to tap that market and eventually one will be successful. 

But if the handful out there with sub options don't float your boat - expect to be disappointed. 

Unfortunately, the wait for your perfect game may take a long long time or may never happen, and don't be surprised if having a sub doesn't necessarily make it a game you'd like.

 

  EQBallzz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 139

10/31/13 8:41:37 PM#73
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by SpottyGekko

F2P obviously "works", otherwise there would be no F2P games around ! 

 

But it's a common misconception that F2P games make more than sub games. Sure, LOTRO made much more money after it went F2P. But before it was forced to go F2P to survive, the subscribing playerbase had dwindled significantly from it's first and second year levels.

 

Why do you think new AAA games keep on launching with a sub model (FFXIV, ESO, Wildstar) ? Surely, if "F2P makes more money than subscriptions", launching as F2P is a no-brainer. Even B2P with a Cash Shop (GW2) is an "obvious" better earning model.

 

It appears that all these game devs and publishing companies simply cannot see the obvious truth that we can see. Either that, or the truth is not as "obvious" as it appears to be in these forums.

 

If "F2P made more money than subscriptions", WoW would have converted to F2P years ago. If you believe for a second that Bobby Kotick isn't 100% focused on making the most money possible, then there's a bridge I'd like to sell you...

Naw. Lotro hada stable playerbase, it went ftp to make even more.  Same with EQ and EQ2.

All AAA keep on launching with a sub model at first because they know they will sell 1-2 million boxes.  Who wouldn't choose a sub model for that.  They also know they will not maintain that (because only 2 or 3 ever have) and so when it drops below a certain point they will make more with a f2p. 

F2p has 3 advantages.

1.  customers - can try out a huge portion, in many of the new f2p, most of the game completely free.

2.  Customrs again - they get to choose how much and where to spend their money.  Customers like this is.

3.  A cash shop (yes just saying cs and not limiting it to f2p, b2p or p2p cause they all have them now) allows the devs to get past the $15 dollar a month per person (ARPU for the ftp).  They have always been limited in the amount they can get because of that.  Games were increasing in costs to make and yet the price wasn't changing, they had to find a way to get past that limitation.  they did, we have Cash Shops and by and large the market has overwhelmingly accepted them.

You just contradicted yourself there. If F2P always makes more than a sub they would release it as a F2P game and not block all those free players that allegedly make them so much money. You can't have it both ways. A F2P game might make more if the game sucks and couldn't survive otherwise or maybe make more as a way to invigorate a dying/dwindling playerbase (or fleeing playerbase in the case of SWTOR) but that isn't saying much. I'm sure there might be a F2P MMO out there that launched that way and doesn't suck but I haven't seen one. NW is the biggest MMO title I can think of that launched as F2P and it's complete garbage. It might make money but it's a shit MMO with a shit pay model. If that's what the freeloaders want they can have it.

As for the OP I couldn't agree more. The whole F2P model sucks. If you pay in these games you are either a "whale" or a sucker while the large bulk of the playerbase skates along for free. Really a terrible, inequitable system. Until a F2P MMO actually materializes that doesn't suck and doesn't have a shit pay structure I'm avoiding them like the plague. People use LoL as an example but it's not an MMO and I haven't seen an MMO use their system so as far as I'm concerned it doesn't count. Maybe EQNext will be the F2P game that changes my mind but considering it's SoE and Dave Georgeson we're talking about I'm not holding my breath. The B2P model of GW2 is at least a reasonable compromise so I wouldn't mind seeing more of that but I hate the constant reminders of buying things like keys for chests and other such immersion breaking garbage.

The other thing that really bugs me with these discussions are when people say "there are too many games out there for subs" or something similar. Like it's normal for people to play 3 or 4 MMOs at a time. The nature of most MMORPGs is commitment and progression. If you are playing multiple MMOs at the same time they must not be that great if they are not engaging you to the point of wanting to play them or maybe you have no life/job and spend all your waking hours playing. Actually, I have been unemployed and spent all my time for a while gaming and I still played one game primarily (EQ) because it was engaging and made you want to play, grind, raid, group..you know, progress your character and guild. I can't imagine any F2P game doing that and maybe there are tons of MMOs to choose from because most of them suck or are played out. That isn't a very valid reason to make all MMOs F2P.

  VengeSunsoar

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4874

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

10/31/13 8:50:39 PM#74

"You just contradicted yourself there. If F2P always makes more than a sub they would release it as a F2P game and not block all those free players that allegedly make them so much money. You can't have it both ways. A F2P game might make more if the game sucks and couldn't survive otherwise or maybe make more as a way to invigorate a dying/dwindling playerbase (or fleeing playerbase in the case of SWTOR) but that isn't saying much. I'm sure there might be a F2P MMO out there that launched that way and doesn't suck but I haven't seen one. NW is the biggest MMO title I can think of that launched as F2P and it's complete garbage. It might make money but it's a shit MMO with a shit pay model. If that's what the freeloaders want they can have it."

 

How did I contradict myself again?

I never stated, ever, not once, anywhere that F2P always makes more money than a sub.   The only thing that came close to that is I said, when it drops below a certain point they will make more.  That is not always though, not anywhere close.

 

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

10/31/13 8:58:19 PM#75
Originally posted by Yamota
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Reklaw

With F2P games atleast a large part of that extra money goes to the gamingcompany. But unfortunaly goldscamming websites even pick F2P games.

Why would that even work when the devs have a lock for in-game currency?

 

Because many F2P games have a way to grind to get something which can be converted into in game currency. This is so they can claim that the game is not Pay 2 Win because you can get powerful item X, from the cash shop, but also from excessive grinding.

a) Not all F2P currency is grindable.

b) even if it is, grinding it is very inefficient and can't make money, particularly when the dev can create an unlimited amount and undercut anyone who tries.

 

  EQBallzz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 139

10/31/13 9:37:41 PM#76
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

"You just contradicted yourself there. If F2P always makes more than a sub they would release it as a F2P game and not block all those free players that allegedly make them so much money. You can't have it both ways. A F2P game might make more if the game sucks and couldn't survive otherwise or maybe make more as a way to invigorate a dying/dwindling playerbase (or fleeing playerbase in the case of SWTOR) but that isn't saying much. I'm sure there might be a F2P MMO out there that launched that way and doesn't suck but I haven't seen one. NW is the biggest MMO title I can think of that launched as F2P and it's complete garbage. It might make money but it's a shit MMO with a shit pay model. If that's what the freeloaders want they can have it."

 

How did I contradict myself again?

I never stated, ever, not once, anywhere that F2P always makes more money than a sub.   The only thing that came close to that is I said, when it drops below a certain point they will make more.  That is not always though, not anywhere close.

 

That may not have been your intention but there is a clear inference that a AAA title would not launch as F2P so they can sell boxes/subs but that sort of flies in the face of the theory that F2P makes more than box + subs. If F2P really did make more than the sub model they would release that way and the flood of extra free players at launch would make up for the lost box sales. What AAA MMO has launched as F2P that didn't suck? What AAA MMO switched to F2P that wasn't failing or floundering? I would be interested to know of one but I can't think of any.

I will agree that going F2P is a way to invigorate a struggling game but that doesn't mean it's a better model or even a good one. Until MMOs start releasing as F2P and not sucking that will remain the case IMO.

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3618

10/31/13 9:43:19 PM#77
Originally posted by Jaedor

While the sub option is arguably better for the player since costs are capped at ~$15/month, F2P with a cash shop does appear to be a win/win payment model for all the reasons the others have already mentioned.

 Sub option is not better for the player...f2p is better for the player as they get to choose what (if anything) they pay for.....p2p is usually 15 a month and offers no guarantees other than you can play that game for a month.

  VengeSunsoar

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4874

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

10/31/13 9:49:21 PM#78
Originally posted by EQBallzz
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

"You just contradicted yourself there. If F2P always makes more than a sub they would release it as a F2P game and not block all those free players that allegedly make them so much money. You can't have it both ways. A F2P game might make more if the game sucks and couldn't survive otherwise or maybe make more as a way to invigorate a dying/dwindling playerbase (or fleeing playerbase in the case of SWTOR) but that isn't saying much. I'm sure there might be a F2P MMO out there that launched that way and doesn't suck but I haven't seen one. NW is the biggest MMO title I can think of that launched as F2P and it's complete garbage. It might make money but it's a shit MMO with a shit pay model. If that's what the freeloaders want they can have it."

 

How did I contradict myself again?

I never stated, ever, not once, anywhere that F2P always makes more money than a sub.   The only thing that came close to that is I said, when it drops below a certain point they will make more.  That is not always though, not anywhere close.

 

That may not have been your intention but there is a clear inference that a AAA title would not launch as F2P so they can sell boxes/subs but that sort of flies in the face of the theory that F2P makes more than box + subs. If F2P really did make more than the sub model they would release that way and the flood of extra free players at launch would make up for the lost box sales. What AAA MMO has launched as F2P that didn't suck? What AAA MMO switched to F2P that wasn't failing or floundering? I would be interested to know of one but I can't think of any.

I will agree that going F2P is a way to invigorate a struggling game but that doesn't mean it's a better model or even a good one. Until MMOs start releasing as F2P and not sucking that will remain the case IMO.

I don't think it flies in the face of that at all.  I think it reinforces the point that a sub based game will make more money above ftp when subs cross some line (whereever that is) and a f2p game will make more if subs go below that line.

I also think that any game with millions of subs is better off than a f2p, and virtually any AAA is almost guaranteed a million boxes sold.  It just isn't realistic to expect a game to sustain that, so they better not plan for that much or they'll have to redo their plans. 

For example (because I don't think there is a set line, it depends on the dev costs...) but if that line is 400k subs.  Well they know they'll get a million so go subs first.  In 6 months when they are at 300k subs like a normal game they will make more as f2p. 

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Thorkune

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/28/06
Posts: 1842

Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!

10/31/13 9:50:24 PM#79
Models like Aion, Tera and Rift work. I don't care for any other models that I have tried.
  DamonVile

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

10/31/13 10:43:08 PM#80
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by EQBallzz
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

"You just contradicted yourself there. If F2P always makes more than a sub they would release it as a F2P game and not block all those free players that allegedly make them so much money. You can't have it both ways. A F2P game might make more if the game sucks and couldn't survive otherwise or maybe make more as a way to invigorate a dying/dwindling playerbase (or fleeing playerbase in the case of SWTOR) but that isn't saying much. I'm sure there might be a F2P MMO out there that launched that way and doesn't suck but I haven't seen one. NW is the biggest MMO title I can think of that launched as F2P and it's complete garbage. It might make money but it's a shit MMO with a shit pay model. If that's what the freeloaders want they can have it."

 

How did I contradict myself again?

I never stated, ever, not once, anywhere that F2P always makes more money than a sub.   The only thing that came close to that is I said, when it drops below a certain point they will make more.  That is not always though, not anywhere close.

 

That may not have been your intention but there is a clear inference that a AAA title would not launch as F2P so they can sell boxes/subs but that sort of flies in the face of the theory that F2P makes more than box + subs. If F2P really did make more than the sub model they would release that way and the flood of extra free players at launch would make up for the lost box sales. What AAA MMO has launched as F2P that didn't suck? What AAA MMO switched to F2P that wasn't failing or floundering? I would be interested to know of one but I can't think of any.

I will agree that going F2P is a way to invigorate a struggling game but that doesn't mean it's a better model or even a good one. Until MMOs start releasing as F2P and not sucking that will remain the case IMO.

I don't think it flies in the face of that at all.  I think it reinforces the point that a sub based game will make more money above ftp when subs cross some line (whereever that is) and a f2p game will make more if subs go below that line.

I also think that any game with millions of subs is better off than a f2p, and virtually any AAA is almost guaranteed a million boxes sold.  It just isn't realistic to expect a game to sustain that, so they better not plan for that much or they'll have to redo their plans. 

For example (because I don't think there is a set line, it depends on the dev costs...) but if that line is 400k subs.  Well they know they'll get a million so go subs first.  In 6 months when they are at 300k subs like a normal game they will make more as f2p. 

It's also hard to compete with the $60 box price in the short term that everyone has/will pay. Once you start to get out to that 1 year mark and the newness wears off f2p seems to earn more than p2p just because of the numbers of people who will play.

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