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

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137 posts found
  Litestep

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/20/04
Posts: 28

Past&Current addictions:
Diablo 1&2 :),
AC, AC2,
AO,
EVE, WOW

11/05/13 9:53:07 AM#121

F2P works for me, at least.  (at least while understanding that even in the F2P game there are things worth paying for).

 

I play LOTRO now and then, and in this case F2P fits my needs perfectly.  Yes it's a F2P game (no monthly sub), but I found that there are several things worth paying for (expansions, quest packs, other small stuff) that make sure the game does not feel like some limited demo.

So - over last 2(?) years - I've spent about 60USD on the game, And what I have - is a premium MMORPG, that I can play anytime, almost as unrestricted as subscribers do.  There is no need to worry about subscription (which is perfect, since I never know if I'll play it for a week straight, or will skip it for a months or two), I can return into LOTRO anytime and play it to the full.

 

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19752

11/05/13 11:40:15 AM#122
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by Quirhid

Come on! You are all but saying F2P spawned out from hell. How can anyone take that seriously?

You are asking to be patronized.

And you seem to be saying that F2P easymode gameplay, P2W and gambling were created in heaven. While I don't think either of us thinks F2P belongs to the divine or infernal even in metaphor it is the blinkers you have to wear not to even question this model that amazes me. As F2P evolves nothing they do gameplay wise makes you question them, not the lock box gambling, nothing. And I think nothing every will. Given that how do you expect us to take you seriously?

 

You expect everyone to take you seriously on a forum talking about games?

Sure .. question f2p. It works for me .. it apparently works for a large market (otherwise it won't be so popular). But question away. I am sure some business mode deity will shine down a light and answer your questions.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10633

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

11/05/13 11:48:42 AM#123

F2P is a method to generate income from video games. If it didn't work, it wouldn't generate income, and the games that used it would cease to exist. That means it must be working, because those games continue to exist, and some of them even thrive using a F2P financial setup.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12245

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

11/05/13 11:52:30 AM#124
Originally posted by lizardbones

F2P is a method to generate income from video games. If it didn't work, it wouldn't generate income, and the games that used it would cease to exist. That means it must be working, because those games continue to exist, and some of them even thrive using a F2P financial setup.

I like this answer. It seems logical.

 

+1

"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." -fivoroth

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19752

11/05/13 2:04:48 PM#125
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by lizardbones

F2P is a method to generate income from video games. If it didn't work, it wouldn't generate income, and the games that used it would cease to exist. That means it must be working, because those games continue to exist, and some of them even thrive using a F2P financial setup.

I like this answer. It seems logical.

 

+1

Given that it is taking shares away from traditional sub-only methods, i will say it works better than a sub-only model too.

 

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4785

11/05/13 3:12:54 PM#126
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by Quirhid

Come on! You are all but saying F2P spawned out from hell. How can anyone take that seriously?

You are asking to be patronized.

And you seem to be saying that F2P easymode gameplay, P2W and gambling were created in heaven. While I don't think either of us thinks F2P belongs to the divine or infernal even in metaphor it is the blinkers you have to wear not to even question this model that amazes me. As F2P evolves nothing they do gameplay wise makes you question them, not the lock box gambling, nothing. And I think nothing every will. Given that how do you expect us to take you seriously?

Can you link to his posts that gave you that impression? It might make it a lot easier to understand where you are coming from if we can see what you're interpreting in that manner. It will allow us to change how we are explaining these things so that you're not getting such a wildly inaccurate view of our stance here. 

You like to poke sticks through the bars at the zoo don't you.

There's a saying about evolution and why we have two eyes and two ears but only one mouth. Clearly it didn't see the internet coming or it never would have given us ten fingers to type with.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19752

11/05/13 5:35:53 PM#127
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by Quirhid

Come on! You are all but saying F2P spawned out from hell. How can anyone take that seriously?

You are asking to be patronized.

And you seem to be saying that F2P easymode gameplay, P2W and gambling were created in heaven. While I don't think either of us thinks F2P belongs to the divine or infernal even in metaphor it is the blinkers you have to wear not to even question this model that amazes me. As F2P evolves nothing they do gameplay wise makes you question them, not the lock box gambling, nothing. And I think nothing every will. Given that how do you expect us to take you seriously?

Can you link to his posts that gave you that impression? It might make it a lot easier to understand where you are coming from if we can see what you're interpreting in that manner. It will allow us to change how we are explaining these things so that you're not getting such a wildly inaccurate view of our stance here. 

You like to poke sticks through the bars at the zoo don't you.

I would say that is a very measured, and nice response to someone who is going out of his way to be patronizing.

Plus, poking is fun.

 

  spizz

Novice Member

Joined: 7/11/04
Posts: 2585

11/05/13 7:09:04 PM#128
Originally posted by Voqar

Obviously it works to some degree or it wouldn't be so popular.

 

But, IMO, you have to ask, who does it work for?

 

It works for companies that can't make a damn game worth a sub, for one.

 

It works for companies who want to appeal to players that don't want to commit or who want to flit between many games, and as such, it works well for those types of players who don't want a monthly fee for something they may not even play every month.

 

IMO, if you have a quality MMORPG, and your game is worth playing for years, then F2P is a crappy model, because it makes for a much lower quality gaming experience.  In fact, I really doubt any serious players would stay with a FP2 game for years and years the way we used to with the classic/older MMORPGs.

 

My personal problem with F2P for MMORPGs is that it inevitably involves some kind of pay 2 win, or worse, outright facilitating of cheating.  MMORPGs at the heart are all about acquiring crap or achieving crap, and if you can grease the wheels with cash or worse, just BUY the rewards for cash, then the system is BROKEN.  Even worse are games like GW2 or Rift where you can effectively buy in-game currency for cash - something that is usually the realm of RMT and considered cheating.  When did cheating become not only ok, but something for the hosting companies to skim a profit off of?  Lame.  Lamer still is people who condone this.  Lamer even more are the losers who participate in this.  Play to win.  Not pay to win.  If you can't be bothered to actually play, then...don't play?

 

F2P is horrible for MMORPGs if you're a player that gives a crap.  It's great if you're casual and don't give a crap, or want to cheat your way thru games with cash.

 

Some people may be confused and think F2P is to benefit you, the player.  It's not.  It's all about profits for companies - corporations and business people don't do stuff to do anybody favors but themselves.  They don't care about your quality of game experience.  They care about profit margins.  The spin F2P to make you think it's some kind of great thing for players when, in fact, the quality of gameplay is far lower due to the incessant cash shop in your face thing, the pay 2 win, and the blatant cheaters and losers buying their way thru games.

 

F2P is great for a game like LOL or other similar games, where they can be profitable without EVER doing pay 2 win.  Selling skins, extra heroes out of the 100+ (nobody gives a crap whether you buy a hero or not in LOL, because it has nothing to do with winning - all the crap you need to WIN comes ONLY thru gameplay (and/or from your own skill)).  Big difference.  F2P, fluff crap for players in a game where NO FLUFF CRAP COMES FROM gameplay.  Loot doesn't drop in LOL.  There are no boss fights.  There is no crafted gear, no mats to gather, no world drop epics.  There's nothing a scumbag can do with cash to shortcut the game.

 

In MMORPGs, the cash angle ALWAYS undermines the game.  P2W or blatant cheating.  It allows useless and lazy non-players to buy their way thru the game.  They can buy those world drop epics.  They can buy mats from the in-game economy with their cash obtained in-game currency.  They can shortcut the game by obtaining items without earning them.

 

F2P in MMORPGs may work for some people, but I hate it.  I want games where everybody earns their accomplishments by playing the game, not by throwing cash at the game.  I much prefer subs where EVERYBODY pays the same amount, always, and everybody has equal potential to succeed, and where success is based on how you play, without influence based on how much you're willing to pay.

 

So yeah, F2P works, for the greedy bean counting schmucks who don't care about players, or gaming, and only care about profits.  It works for players who'd rather pay their way than earn their way via their gameplay.  IMO, it does not work for people who want the highest quality gaming, particularly in a genre like MMORPGs where it's all about playing to achieve.

 

There has never been an MMORPG F2P system that didn't undermine the game.  They'll sell stuff like mounts, outfits, boosters, whatever - stuff they SAY you don't need and that isn't pay to win, but ultimately ALL stuff that you obtain in an MMORPG *should* be tied to rewards for gameplay.  That mount you just bought for $10?  Should be a drop or quest reward or something you earn - not buy.  Same for outfits - should be crafted, dropped - something.  So while you often don't NEED the crap they sell for cash, it's still usually cool stuff (has to be cool or nobody would buy it) that people want, and that should be EARNED BY PLAYING, not PAYING.

 

If devs made real MMORPGs worth playing and paying a sub for, we wouldn't need F2P anyways.  The old/classic MMORPGs are still sub-based.  They are games you can play for years easily and always have been.  The newer MMORPGs that are designed more like weak and easy single player MMORPGs with optional grouping and minimal endgame are what has driven the genre to F2P - because those games are not worth a sub.  Stop trying to cater so much to casuals who don't want to sub and design for real MMORPG players and maybe you wouldn't need to consider F2P?

 

To me, F2P for MMORPGs is a sign or admission of failure.  It's saying, our game isn't worthy of a sub and you're not likely to want to play it in any meaningful way other than casually.  The best MMORPGs aren't casual.   Good MMORPGs by their nature are not casual.  If people can't handle them - bummer.  Some people can't handle chess either and it's one of the best games in the history of mankind.  Nobody said, lets dumb down chess to make it more accessible.  You play or you don't play.  Simple.

 

How do you rate success for MMORPGs?  Would you say the games like EQ, DAoC, WoW - the ones that have never waivered from having subs and that have been going for years are a success?  What about just about or all MMORPGs since WoW that started sub-based and had to switch to F2P - you know, all the glorified single player games that ended up not having the balls of the classics.  Failures because they had to go F2P?  Limited success because they all paid for their dev, had sexy releases and decent numbers before slipping into F2P sewage?

 

A lot of the MMORPGs that slip to F2P will say they're doing better financially than they were before F2P (I guess they take their lowest point after release as the point of comparison)...so they can stay afloat and/or profit...but...how's the gameplay?  How do players like it?  Do you have lots of players sticking around consistently?  Do you have community?  Or do you still have server merges, a flighty population that comes and goes, mostly goes, until the next micro dose of content, then things are busy for a few days, rinse and repeat?

 

This is why a game like EQN, that should be a gangbuster supernova of a game carrying on the name of the godfather of MMORPGs, looks pathetic to me, for the simple reason that they're PLANNING to be F2P - which is like saying up front, we know we can't design a game good enough for you to sub to, so we surrender in advance.  Whatever cool things they come up with will be tainted by the stink of F2P hooks, and that is truly sad.  EQN doesn't even look like an MMORPG with the way they're going consolitis/simplified/dumbed down as hell/arcady but at the same time they are trying to innovate, especially with content, and that could be something special...but to me it won't matter much as long as cheaters can pay their way thru the game, and if there's F2P, in an MMORPG, there will be lower quality players and rampant pay 2 win cheating going on.

 

 

 

 

 

Great post ..... Hopefully more read it.

The community of a game is under heavy influence aswell, either with the change from a former sub based game into a F2P model or just a F2P game from start. The differences can be really big, since sub based communities grow and often stick for longer with a game, wheras in F2P games you have always very high fluctuations. Like you say, it matters if someone cares or not. and this does not count only for the gameplay/items itself but also for people. Therefore the quality of the community varies aswell if you compare both distribution models.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19752

11/05/13 7:23:05 PM#129


F2P is horrible for MMORPGs if you're a player that gives a crap.  It's great if you're casual and don't give a crap, or want to cheat your way thru games with cash.

 

Yeah .. it is great.

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5244

11/06/13 2:57:27 AM#130
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by Quirhid

Come on! You are all but saying F2P spawned out from hell. How can anyone take that seriously?

You are asking to be patronized.

And you seem to be saying that F2P easymode gameplay, P2W and gambling were created in heaven. While I don't think either of us thinks F2P belongs to the divine or infernal even in metaphor it is the blinkers you have to wear not to even question this model that amazes me. As F2P evolves nothing they do gameplay wise makes you question them, not the lock box gambling, nothing. And I think nothing every will. Given that how do you expect us to take you seriously?

Can you link to his posts that gave you that impression? It might make it a lot easier to understand where you are coming from if we can see what you're interpreting in that manner. It will allow us to change how we are explaining these things so that you're not getting such a wildly inaccurate view of our stance here. 

If posters don't think that, then fine, I look forward to seeing them arguing against P2W, or easymode, or MMO gambling in the future. To answer the other post, yes F2P generates income, so do casinos and pyramid schemes. If your definition of a good revenue model is solely that it works, then F2P certainly does that. Before you ask, I don't think F2P is as bad as pyramid scheme, but if your definition is just that it generates money then pyramid schemes are great too.

Oh and many of these issues are found in P2P MMOs, what I mentioned here is more the result of the cash shop than the F2P revenue model. Though obviously it was F2P that brought us the cash shop and cannot exist without it.

  EQBallzz

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 102

11/27/13 8:02:30 PM#131
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by Quirhid

Come on! You are all but saying F2P spawned out from hell. How can anyone take that seriously?

You are asking to be patronized.

And you seem to be saying that F2P easymode gameplay, P2W and gambling were created in heaven. While I don't think either of us thinks F2P belongs to the divine or infernal even in metaphor it is the blinkers you have to wear not to even question this model that amazes me. As F2P evolves nothing they do gameplay wise makes you question them, not the lock box gambling, nothing. And I think nothing every will. Given that how do you expect us to take you seriously?

Can you link to his posts that gave you that impression? It might make it a lot easier to understand where you are coming from if we can see what you're interpreting in that manner. It will allow us to change how we are explaining these things so that you're not getting such a wildly inaccurate view of our stance here. 

If posters don't think that, then fine, I look forward to seeing them arguing against P2W, or easymode, or MMO gambling in the future. To answer the other post, yes F2P generates income, so do casinos and pyramid schemes. If your definition of a good revenue model is solely that it works, then F2P certainly does that. Before you ask, I don't think F2P is as bad as pyramid scheme, but if your definition is just that it generates money then pyramid schemes are great too.

Oh and many of these issues are found in P2P MMOs, what I mentioned here is more the result of the cash shop than the F2P revenue model. Though obviously it was F2P that brought us the cash shop and cannot exist without it.

 

Nicely said. F2P might make money but that doesn't mean it produces a good game or good content. I'm still waiting for ONE *good* game to release as F2P. If it's such a great model for games it should release that way instead of being implemented as a desperate, last ditch effort to save a failing and usually bad or old game. I'm not saying it's not possible but I have my doubts. B2P makes more sense than F2P and I think GW2 is a pretty good example even though I don't care for it myself. Maybe EQN will prove it one way or the other.

I also love when people post the real reason they love F2P like someone did a page or two back when they copped to only spending 60 dollars on all their games over the last two years or something.  Or when people argue that games shouldn't be P2P because "there are just too many games out there to have to pay for them all so they should be F2P". The sense of entitlement is amazing. Why is anyone entitled to all these games just because they exist? If you can't afford to pay for all the games you want to play you should cut back on your hobby or get a better paying job. Why should a small percentage of the players foot the bill for a larger group of freeloaders? Since when is the gaming industry a charity?

 

  free2play

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/13/05
Posts: 1807

11/27/13 8:06:10 PM#132

LotRO seems to have done well with it.

 

Others are obvious cash shop trash. Don't spend money in a cash shop for at least 10 days. That's a standard trial period anyway. If the game mechanics have you being railroaded, you know. It's more a matter of do you listen to that little voice.

  Xthos

Elite Member

Joined: 4/18/10
Posts: 2648

11/27/13 8:16:20 PM#133

It's great if you are some game jumping, unemployed, man child living in your parents basement because the guy downtown won't let you near his barrel fire to stay warm.

 

I joke, that guy probably would love some company.

  AzurePrower

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/18/07
Posts: 1535

Ahh yes, "Hypers." The people who praise and hate every MMORPG... We've dismissed that claim.

11/27/13 8:25:50 PM#134

Works for the company.

Not for the players.

  EQBallzz

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 102

11/27/13 8:33:54 PM#135
Originally posted by AzurePrower

Works for the company.

Not for the players.

 

I would say it doesn't even work for the company unless the game is failing because it is bad or just old. If it worked so well for the company they would release that way and reap the huge profits from the start but all we really see is that a new AAA game will almost always release as P2P. They will make more money because people are willing to pay for a game that is good or even a game they *hope* is good. If the game turns out to be bad and people stop paying for it then sure..F2P is more profitable than a game where people are abandoning ship.

  rogue187

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/13
Posts: 152

11/27/13 10:00:47 PM#136

i'd say yes..cuz all them f2p games still exist..can't teach common sense yo

 

  Brabbit1987

Elite Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 675

11/27/13 10:17:23 PM#137
Originally posted by EQBallzz
Originally posted by AzurePrower

Works for the company.

Not for the players.

 

I would say it doesn't even work for the company unless the game is failing because it is bad or just old. If it worked so well for the company they would release that way and reap the huge profits from the start but all we really see is that a new AAA game will almost always release as P2P. They will make more money because people are willing to pay for a game that is good or even a game they *hope* is good. If the game turns out to be bad and people stop paying for it then sure..F2P is more profitable than a game where people are abandoning ship.

A company releases as P2P because they get big numbers at first. That $60 + $15/month x players turns a rather huge profit. That doesn't mean P2P is a better model or that F2P is a worse model or vice versa.

You say why do companies launch as P2P?

I ask why do companies switch if P2P is so much better as you like to keep saying. If P2P was better. . they simply wouldn't ever switch to F2P.

The reason they switch is because sustaining a sub, is actually fairly hard. Numbers begin to drop and eventually once it stabilizes a company finds F2P will make more.

In other words, P2P makes more in the beginning, but less then F2P later down the road.

This doesn't make a game bad either. It just wasn't good enough. We then have to ask ... what is good enough? From what I have seen of recent releases, nothing is good enough. Unless a game goes out of it's way to make something new and unique, these games will continue to drop the P2P model after a year or so of release.

I don't think there are many big games out there, that has kept the P2P payment model besides WoW, EVE, and select few others. Does this mean that 99% of MMORPG games are just that bad? It's very unlikely that is the reason. I personally have enjoyed many F2P games more so then even some P2P games. I also don't think I ever played a F2P game that i consider out right horrible or bad. It may not have been for me, but it certainly wasn't bad. What one person hates, another person can love. You can't base a game on by just what you thought of it. Remember, may other players are playing it as well and enjoying it.

 

Edit: I have to point out, as long as there are people who enjoy F2P games or think the opposite of what you think, that makes you wrong to think games have to be bad to be F2P.

It's the same reason why I can't speak for everyone and say processed cheese is crap as if it's some fact, because a lot of people actually like it XD.

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