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Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online 

General Discussion  » Do you think ESO will eventually give in to the F2P or B2P model?

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243 posts found
  SoulTrapOnSelf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/17/13
Posts: 195

3/06/14 5:59:17 PM#101
F2P may happen around 2015-2016 when TES VI is released.
  Rusque

Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1876

3/06/14 6:19:02 PM#102
Originally posted by EQBallzz

In general I agree with you there but I think the reason for people thinking that is the fact that there have been so few F2P games that are actually good. Many of them start out as P2P and then fail because they are bad or are just old games losing steam and then convert to F2P as a dying gasp to stay alive.

 

There are two exceptions to this I can think of worth noting and they represent to me the best and worst of what the F2P pay model has to offer. Neverwinter and Path of Exile both launched as F2P games but they couldn't be more different. Neverwinter had great potential with an excellent veneer of gameplay to suck you in but was mostly a cardboard cutout of a game that failed to deliver any depth or content beyond leveling. On top of that the game had a hideous cash grab with ridiculously overpriced cash shop, casino-like loot chests, constant cash shop nagging, rampant gold sellers, pay to win aspects and an utter failure to guard the economy from manipulation and exploits.

 

Path of Exile on the other hand has none of those negatives. It's a solid game that is actually free and requires almost no expense. I would argue one stash tab bundle is probably required but some may not need this and it's relatively cheap. Beyond stash tabs you really don't need to purchase another thing to experience the full game. They don't nag you incessantly to buy things. Beyond stash tabs everything in the cash shop is cosmetic in nature so no pay to win aspects. Almost no gold sellers. Solid trading economy. I Spent about 100 bucks on PoE and did it gladly to support the game and pay model that was very well done. This is coming from someone who generally doesn't like isometric view games.

 

If F2P games were presented more like PoE I would argue the F2P vs. P2P argument would largely go away but that is not the case. More often than not the F2P model represents something closer to NW than PoE which is why it garners such hatred and derision IMO.

+1 on this

Some (very few) games do a good job on f2p/b2p

PoE* (Although the whole game is available and unhindered from the cash shop, they do release cash shop items at a fairly rapid rate which slightly makes me feel that there is lopsided effort - still a solid model though)

GW2 (Clever model as they built the cash shop to work with new content rather than creating new cash shop stuff all the time, this way they can release their living story stuff and just plop in chests and let you buy keys which don't really take time away from development)

TSW

DotA 2 (Whole game, cash shop is purely cosmetic)

Rift (reason it's good is because Trion continues to produce actual content for the game itself without focusing on the cash shop)

 

 

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

3/06/14 6:31:51 PM#103

Originally posted by thinktank001

If the subscriber numbers start to dip below 250k, then it may very well switch over to a microtransaction model.   At that point most publishers are just looking for that 2nd cash infusion before they put it into maintenance mode until shutting the game down.  The problem is that microtransaction models are just not viable in the west, at least there has not been one that has gained consumer approval.  

Not viable?  Under what criteria?  Even WoW has microtransactions, it doesn't have a full free option, but it has the microtransactions.  "Not popular with a lot of people who love the subscription model" =/= "not viable."

Originally posted by Fearum

How is that stupid? Its the truth.

If a game launches which was designed from its conception to be a sub type game and in a few short months or even a year can't hold on to enough players to make ends meet, has to lay off most of the core staff, cut back on updates, merge servers and change their whole game to support the F2P model, I don't see this as a win. I don't even see how that sounds like a good game.

How does this sound like a win to you?

Back on topic and to OP.

No. But who cares. If it does I won't be playing it because it would of failed me by the time it gets to that point where they need to do that.

When a product turns a profit, it wins.  "Good" or "bad" game is entirely subjective, but success vs. failure is determined in dollars, and it doesn't matter what model a game has, or whether it changes it's model at some point, as long as the end result is profit.  If you don't see that, you are confusing your personal opinions about what makes a game "good" with the measurable facts that determine whether it's successful.

 

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 7026

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

3/06/14 6:47:38 PM#104

I think only time will tell us what Zenimax had in store for the game.If it goes f2p within 3-4 months,then i think they always had that in the plan and those that paid the first several months of sub fee should be a bit upset if that happens.If it goes f2p say a year or more from now,then i would chalk that up as more or less circumstance and not Zenimax originally trying to drain extra dollars from the faithful in the early going.

I think to really grasp the whole picture,one needs to know exactly how much went into the production of this game,not all the little overhead costs that procure a business that makes several games but just what this game cost.If less than 50 million then they knew they would recoup that just from box sales and could lead into f2p as soon as they see a significant drop off.If they invested a lot more,then i would say they had full intentions of maintaining a sub fee.

Really only the CEO of Zeni know what they have planned for this game,they are NEVER going to tell people up front what that is but like most  every developer,they will choose to mislead or just keep the truth quiet.In contrast of what i just said Square Enix actually is one developer who has been up front,they said if they could not maintain a sub fee for FFXIV they would probably shut it down,so some developers are truthful and up front.

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  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

3/06/14 7:03:01 PM#105
Originally posted by Wizardry

I think only time will tell us what Zenimax had in store for the game.If it goes f2p within 3-4 months,then i think they always had that in the plan and those that paid the first several months of sub fee should be a bit upset if that happens.If it goes f2p say a year or more from now,then i would chalk that up as more or less circumstance and not Zenimax originally trying to drain extra dollars from the faithful in the early going.

I think to really grasp the whole picture,one needs to know exactly how much went into the production of this game,not all the little overhead costs that procure a business that makes several games but just what this game cost.If less than 50 million then they knew they would recoup that just from box sales and could lead into f2p as soon as they see a significant drop off.If they invested a lot more,then i would say they had full intentions of maintaining a sub fee.

Really only the CEO of Zeni know what they have planned for this game,they are NEVER going to tell people up front what that is but like most  every developer,they will choose to mislead or just keep the truth quiet.In contrast of what i just said Square Enix actually is one developer who has been up front,they said if they could not maintain a sub fee for FFXIV they would probably shut it down,so some developers are truthful and up front.

We also have to remember that development teams see a lot of turnover over time, and post launch a lot of games bring on what is essentially an entirely new team to actually run the game that others created.  Just because the people making the decisions now honestly plan to do things one way doesn't mean the people who are in charge at any given point in the future will agree, and if Development Team March 2014 promises one thing, and mostly different Development Team August 2014 does something inconsistent with that promise, it doesn't mean anyone "lied" or did anything shady.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  Arndush

Novice Member

Joined: 10/27/09
Posts: 309

3/06/14 7:19:56 PM#106

We'll know within the first 12 months whether or not it will happen. I fully expect them to stat bleeding subs around the 3 month mark. Not every game is for every person. Some will try it and love it. Some, not so much. If they can stop the bleeding and maintain at steady 750,000 + subs for a few months, then as word gets around, start to grow the game slightly, I think the sub model will have legs and stick around. However, if they start bleeding subs and can't stop because high end PvP is lacking and high end PvE isn't engaging, well that's another story.

 

If you look at games that have failed to maintain subs, they have a few things in common. First, most of them aren't very good. Yes, there are some that are. But really, if they were good enough, the market would've been there. Second, many of them were too similar to games that came before. You don't need earth shattering, mind bending innovation to succeed in the MMO space. But, as EVE has shown, if you can carve out your own niche, and be extremely loyal and responsive to the fans of that niche, you can be very successful.

 

Can ZeniMax create that niche for themselves? It certainly seems like they are trying too with the 3 faction PVP, in depth character creation, in depth character skill progression, and storytelling. Will ESO be too much Single Player RPG for most MMOers? Will it be too much MMO for TES players? Or, can ZeniMax strike the balance they are searching for?

 

As an MMOer and a TES fan, I must say, I was skeptical ZeniMax could pull it off. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by the beta. Hopefully, the game will do well. It will be good for a genre which has had so many disappointments, that some of it's fans have become jaded to the point, they now hope games will fail.

 

 

  timidobserver

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/15/14
Posts: 247

3/06/14 7:25:20 PM#107

Judging by this thread and many others like it, I think that ESO has a bright future. You know your P2P game has a problem when nobody gives a F if it goes F2P. With the amount of people concerned about ESO going F2P, it indicates that there is a lot of interest in the game. Some of those people, after being hooked into the beta, will just give in and buy it. The others will be there if the game ever reaches the point where it financially needs to go F2P. 

For example, I could care less of Wildstar goes completely F2P. I am not playing it regardless. The same goes for a number of other games. 

  Mtibbs1989

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 2875

3/06/14 7:31:44 PM#108
Originally posted by Loke666

It will not turn into B2P, B2P games launches like B2P, after that will almost all potential players already own a copy.

F2P is possible, it really depends on if the players support the game or not.

 Didn't The Secret World turn into a B2P game after failing subscription based?


Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.

  Mackaveli44

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/26/08
Posts: 130

3/06/14 7:34:25 PM#109

I sure as shit hope it doesnt.  I want it very much to stay buy the game and sub.  And also, the game isnt having a cash shop and IF, key word IF they do, it would be nothing but appearance stuff as theyve already said.

For starters a price and then a sub will keep out the retards that plague games big time.  Higher quality content, higher quantity content for a price.  Its something that has been the norm for years.  Why all of a sudden has the MMO community become so damn cheap they bitch and complain about a sub?  Jesus christ people get a fucking job.

  SomeHuman

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/24/12
Posts: 287

3/06/14 7:36:05 PM#110
After playing it through this weekend, I think it will be F2P by it's second year.  The game didn't feel special to me, but it didn't feel like a total dud either.

Gaming since 1985; Online gaming since 1995; No End in Sight! My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8POVoJ8fdOseuJ4U1ZX-oA

  Gilllean

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/04/14
Posts: 195

3/06/14 7:37:56 PM#111
No ESO will have a huge fan base like WoW. And if expansion will be good people will stick to it for long time!! Might be big thing if fans will support !
  Pednick

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/14
Posts: 29

3/06/14 8:51:09 PM#112
If they're smart they'll switch to free to play, nuff said.

"An it harm none, do what thou wilt"

  killion81

Elite Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 915

3/06/14 9:40:51 PM#113
Originally posted by gervaise1

The question needs clarification as there are two parts to it: the initial payment and the continuing payment.

 

Initial payment:

Most companies charge for their products; whether it is $60 or 99 cents. There are however some Free-to-Buy games; ones you can start playing for nothing. Different business strategies - "price points", "consumer resistance" even  "luxury pricing".

Do I think ESO will go Free-to-Buy (as STWOR did for example): NO. I believe it will stay B2P like e.g. TSW. Might get cheaper over time but I don't believe it will become free-to-buy.

 

Continuing Payment:

Do I believe that ESO will adopt a "micro-transaction" style approach - NO. don't believe it will work either. It isn't designed around the concept.

Do I believe that if ESO launches with a sub it will carry on with a sub? YES probably.

Do I believe that ESO will "adopt" a DLC model like TSW. If it launches - as seems to be the case - with a sub not likely but possible. Post launch there are problems of what to do with the people who did sub. And most of the lost sales will stay lost; TSW has not really recovered.

Do I believe it will continue with a sub: sadly YES.

Having a sub however impacts the price point. And generates huge customer resistance. There is also no longer any justification for having one. When they started networks, database software, techs all made for huge costs and it was accepted. And new content was not included. Look at the justifications usually given out: 

  • bug fixes - no, zero tolerance; if a game has bugs you expect them to be fixed sub or not
  • customer support - "all" companies provide this (good or bad!); 
  • network costs - still some justification but the cost is tiny otherwise e.g. GW1 would never have been possible; 
  • keep the riff-raff out; classic "luxury pricing" comment, but luxury pricing implies smaller markets ....
  • future content / keep the devs working. Why? You don't buy a TV for $500 and then keep paying $125 a month so that the designers can come up with next years design. Destiny launches later this year without a sub. Destiny is planning on 10 years of content - no sub and yet it is still going to pay its devs. How can this be?
  • WoW has lots of subscribers. Indeed but it also loses lots every month and lots of people return. ESO won't have returning subscribers for a long time.
There is another - business - reason:
  • to smooth out revenue flow and as there is nothing set in stone as to what the sub is for it is very flexible
 
 
 
Will ESO sell. Absolutely. Tens of millions? Unlikely. If it only gets e.g. 2.4M sales like SWTOR .... will it ever fulfil its potential? Does anyone doubt that with a sub we are looking at initial sales; medium retention; decline down to a core playerbase that gradually dwindles? 
 
So will the sub revenue make up for lost sales ... and potential DLC sales?
 
When Titanfall launches later this month it will use the same model that EA have used with BF3 and BF4. So Respawn (and maybe Microsoft) must be happy with it.  
 
The BF model is B2P + "optional subscription package". Those who take out the package get a fixed number of xpacs. Very clear; very clean cut. Very simple. Those that don't have to buy as DLC. There is still an element of trust required on the part of the subscribers but a clear commitment. And note all these games have networks but no sub.
 
Activision's attempt at a subscription service for CoD is interesting. They offered "fuzzy" service extras, nothing definitive; the service failed. And when Desiny launches later this year it won't have a sub. 10 years of expansion packs are planned but no sub.
 
 
Moral: I suggest that consumers don't have a problem paying for something as long as they know what they are getting and believe that the price they are paying is reasonable. They are happy with cash on delivery but some would prefer the "luxury price" that a sub represents to "keep out" the undesirables. Never understood it myself but it is there.
 
 
Like I said if Zenimax go with a sub I think they will stay with a sub. And the game's potential, imo, will be unfulfilled.
 
ESO will be an ideal DLC platform. And they can sell legendary packages in later years. And if they need to hold back some dungeons from the core game fine. Just make sure they can launch some solid DLC in the first year say. 
 
 

 

This is probably the most well reasoned, intelligent post in the thread.  Nice post. :)

  Triddle

Novice Member

Joined: 7/21/06
Posts: 17

3/07/14 12:48:56 AM#114
ESO is not going to go FTP. ESO is next level, its not comparable to previous MMORPGs. Think more along the lines of World of Warcraft than of Rift or Tera.
  Skuall

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/05
Posts: 863

3/07/14 1:07:14 AM#115
Originally posted by Gilllean
No ESO will have a huge fan base like WoW. And if expansion will be good people will stick to it for long time!! Might be big thing if fans will support !

huge fan base like : Star wars? or Lord of the rings?

ESO will be FTP (sadly) zenimax will milk the fans , and then go ftp , its have been the plan the whole time im afraid.

The preorder was a hint.

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

3/07/14 1:10:26 AM#116
Originally posted by Triddle
ESO is not going to go FTP. ESO is next level, its not comparable to previous MMORPGs. Think more along the lines of World of Warcraft than of Rift or Tera.

I anticipate ESO being my favorite MMORPG, ever, but you need to put down the pipe.  WoW's arrival in the market was the equivalent of the Yankees entering a little league tournament.  ESO faces a hell of a lot stiffer competition, in a market that is no longer seeing much overall growth.  Expecting WoW level success from any new MMO, no matter how good, is just nuts.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  Tondagon

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/03/13
Posts: 19

3/07/14 2:36:36 AM#117
Originally posted by Zinzan

It's fundimentally unsustainable as a box price game with a subs fee and a cash shop (let alone the pre-order content lock-out paywall).

TESO will go F2P at some point or will struggle to survive with a tiny subs base, this is inevitable. The modern MMORPG market is saturated to breaking point, on release they will get an incredible amount of players which will dwindle to almost nothing within 6 months once players have consumed all the content like locusts and moved on to the next feast.

This is the fundimental flaw of linear, themepark MMO's, once the content is gone all that is left is the end game and if the PvP/Raiding is not utterly amazing, the game fails.

People must realise this is the model, cash-in as much as possible at launch, pre-orders, cash-shop, subs fee's because once the rollercoaster grinds to a halt, the ride is over and everyone moves onto the next one.

 

Bollocks, there have been several games over the years that have proven that subscription fees properly applied to ongoing game development, not only allow a company to create and release new content on a regular basis. They also form a solid foundation for continuous profit.

While I do agree that the modern MMO market is saturated. It is primarily saturated with free to pay crap, which is disappearing at a rapid rate as the flaws in the business model become more and more apparent to western MMO players.

Which in turn leaves room for quality MMO's utilizing the traditional western payment model plenty of room to thrive and grow. Provided that they can shake off the lingering effects of the free to pay aberration, such as thinking that anything on top of a subscription fee is acceptable.

  Krampus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/12
Posts: 8

3/07/14 2:49:59 AM#118
Originally posted by Castielle101

I believe the game will go F2P.  ESO, while a great game seems more like an online RPG than an MMO.  It doesn't do anything that any other MMO doesn't do better.  What it does do is let you play ES with friends.  I don't think that's enough to warrant 15$ a month for long.

 

Cas

 

Really? It's PvP is pretty much better than anything out there and it's crafting system is one of the best as well. So to say "It doesn't do anything that any other MMO doesn't do better" gives me the impression you haven't played it or you have some reason for an unwarranted prejudice comment like that.

 

  muffins89

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/15/12
Posts: 1255

3/07/14 2:51:47 AM#119

Zenimax has the benefit of console sales. it is less likely compared to other mmo's to go f2p or b2p.

I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  Knotwood

Novice Member

Joined: 2/08/14
Posts: 1117

3/07/14 3:07:20 AM#120

Yeah...  I don't think I could play ESO if it was Free to Play, when I play a game, I look for the sub model first.

 

AW, who am I kidding,  I would still play it, and I would throw 75 bucks a month at it on top of it.  But I hope it never comes to that with ESO, I rather like the 4-6 week content update they are going with.

 

But if content runs dry in the game to the degree that updates are only in expansions once a year or through the cash shop, you can bet your ass I'll be looking for a new game.

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