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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What are some compelling *business* reasons that MMOs shouldn't have microtransactions?

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86 posts found
  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

 
OP  3/14/14 11:18:22 PM#21

Originally posted by Flyte27

It is unethical to sell items in a game for profit.  A game itself is meant to be a level playing field for all that can invest time.  Everyone who buys a game or pays a subscription fee should have access to all items within said game.  To me micro transactions are exploiting people by trying to feed on their impulse to buy things in game and also taking away the spirit of games in general.

To your first statement, it's only unethical if you believe capitalism and profit are inherently unethical.  And the "level playing field" argument really holds no water if you think about it for a second, because in a sub only game the playing field isn't level.  It is simply tilted in favor of those who have more time, instead of those who have more money.  Offering things like XP boosts and gear for sale could fairly be seen as *correcting* an imbalance, allowing those with more money than time to still have as good an experience as those with more time than money.  Player A wants to reach goal X, and has enough free time that he can spend 50 hours in a week doing so.  Player B wants to reach goal X as well, but only has 10 hours in a week that he can dedicate to it; he also has a lot more disposable income, and is perfectly willing to spend an extra $100 in order to be able to reach goal X in 10 hours instead of 50.  

Why should these products prioritize the experience of people who prefer spending time to spending money, and as a result leave money on the table?  In both cases, at the end of the week the players have achieved goal X.  Why is it any of player A's business how player B got there, or vice versa?  These games aren't primarily populated by children anymore.  The average age of gamers in general is in the early to mid 30s, and MMO subscribers as a population skew even higher.  A lot of people in this market have a lot more money and a lot less time than they did when they started gaming, and companies offering those people a way to use money as a substitute for time is not only good business, it's good customer service.

Originally posted by greenreen

You still don't get it. You think it's about money.

These games were able to capture people because they offered a world. Inside that world were different rules. That's what makes people play for years. Realize that some games have been around for over 5 years. Years of people's lives they put into games. They are entirely too personal to say one thing will trump all or even one payment model.

Once one game became 5, people had to decide which rules they preferred.

Now that 5 has become 505 the rules are still the differentiators.

Without distinguishing gameplay, all games are the same.

Without distinguishing payment models, all companies are the same.

The payment models became part of the differentiation system as a whole and they will be as hotly contested as any other gameplay related item. They will be the parcel by which decisions are made. Even more so as the number of games and game companies increase.

The players CHOOSE the game and the players CHOOSE the payment models no matter which are offered.

Today I make a new game.

My game costs 100 a month to join and play. Inside you play as a white cube that engages in battle with other white cubes. I have made the decision as a game developer that my game costs 100 a month to play and you should respect me for my wise business decision. Why should I settle for 15 a month when clearly my cubes are worth 100 a month. This is a wise business decision for me. I will also be selling colors for my cubes at 10 per color in my add-on cash shop because I choose this as the developer.

You will be playing my game - correct? And my decision to charge you for colored cubes along with my 100 a month fee because I am in charge, I am the one with the product and I am the one who determines pricing?

No, you will deny my cube game because you know that as the player - you make the decision on not only what game you will play but also which pricing structure you will choose.

To deny that is to deny reality.

You post portends that players have little control. You are so very wrong about this. Anything can be for sale, only things that sell have value.

ESO with a cash shop no longer had value to me. Cut and dry. As a player I make this decision. You can't talk me into liking their cash shop anymore than you can talk me into liking Maplestory's graphics.

You still don't get it.  You think it's not about money.  You do get to decide whether or not to play a given game.  But guess what?  The people who are financing these games don't care whether you play.  They do not care about any individual.  They only care about market segments.  If they believe they can lose 100% of the potential revenue from the market segment of people who refuse to play a game with cash shops, and still make more money than if they weren't offering a cash shop, then eventually we will reach the point where no AAA game is without a cash shop.  Historical trends in the industry have shown (so far) that there is no financial downside to adding a cash shop to a game.

The actual creative artists making the games don't make these decisions, not now, if they ever did.  Nobody who says "Yeah, we could do it without a cash shop and make a ton of people happy, but there is a 99% chance our revenue would be far, far less doing it that way" is going to get their project financed at a high level.  Just not going to happen.  Unless, as I state in the OP, somebody finds a compelling argument for how the road to the highest profit actually requires rejecting microtransactions/cash shops.

Originally posted by Ramonski7

For me the two revenue models are symbolic of two types of core mindsets. One being a developers' mindset focus on enticing players to stay and the other a corporate mindset enticing players to spend. A majority of developers use to work toward retaining players for their mmorpg in the hopes of getting enough subs (players) to satisfy the suits and their desire for more revenue. It goes without saying, happy suits leave devs free to think of more creative ways to develop content for gamers to enjoy. But more and more it seems that developers are being trained (brainwashed) instead to appeal to a gamer's wallet rather than his/her heart. Basically we are no longer trying to get you to stay, but to spend a.k.a. the corporate mindset. 

And it really doesn't help that the suits have the most deceptively powerful term, F2P, at their disposal. They use this to get players to contradict themselves. It's all cosmetics....oh but you want better graphics? In the mean time those are cosmetic too.

In order to succeed, they need to have both mindsets.  If they don't entice players to spend, they will get fired and replaced by someone who does.  If they don't entice players to stay, there won't be anyone around to do the spending.  And the developers aren't being "brainwashed," they are simply doing what they have to do to keep their jobs, which means maximizing profits to keep the suits happy.

 

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.

  GrayGhost79

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4888

3/14/14 11:22:43 PM#22
Originally posted by CazNeerg

Yesterday's announcement of the palomino horse offering in ESO has stirred up anti-microtransaction sentiments again, but just like every other time, all of the focus seems to be on why players shouldn't like it.  But if we're being practical, it's not players who decide revenue models, it's companies.  If people ever want to see something different, the relevant topic is why companies should want to not offer microtransactions in a subscription based game.  

Because let's face it, decisions ultimately aren't made by players or by the game's actual developers, they are made by the business people who control the developer's purse strings. In order to get gaming companies not to move in the direction of subscription + microtransaction instead of subscription only, somebody is going to have to come up with compelling arguments for how refusing to offer microtransactions will result in higher profits.  If nobody can come up with such arguments, companies have not only the "right" but the fiscal duty to offer microtransactions.

Microtransactions reduce the amount of revenue you will see in an  MMO. 

Look back at games like UO, FFXI, and others that are long running. It took time to obtain items and to reach various milestones. Later on after subscriptions declined they began offering items to purchase to generate additional revenue. 

When you take a new game and start offering items for purchase it usually negates the time needed to obtain a similar or the same item in game. Experience increases, armor, weapons, and mounts gained outside of gameplay negates the need to obtain these items in game and speeds a player towards end game and thus ending their desire to subscribe until new content is released. They may or may not return at that point. 

I don't completely admonish cash shops, but there is a time and place for them and at launch is not the it. 

The longer it takes to get things in a game, the longer people play. When they run out of things to obtain (Items, skills, abilities, levels, housing, deco, etc.) they leave. When you devalue these items by making it available on a shop you also diminish the desire to obtain items in game. 

Probably not very coherent considering I'm not completely sober at the moment and it is around 1am-ish, but hopefully you get the jist of what I'm saying. 

The old MMO's in which is took time to obtain things were able to keep decent subscriber numbers for quite some time. Newer MMO's that launch with these cash shop offerings seem to go free to play fairly quickly. Maybe there isn't a correlation and I'm way off base, but I do know I personally felt a lot of pride and gladly paid each and every month in games where it took time to get things done and to obtain items( UO over 10 years, FFXI over 5 years), I typically fizzle out on these new MMO's after about 3 months. 

3 Months at 14.99 a pop + maybe 50 to 60 bucks on the cash shop 

vs. 

10+ years at 9.99 a month and 5 years at 12.99 + my mules bringing it to 14.99 a month. 

 

  Superman0X

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/28/06
Posts: 972

3/14/14 11:28:32 PM#23
Originally posted by AzurePrower
Originally posted by Superman0X

Technically speaking, I am not sure that they are actually doing microtransactions. If you pay X for an item, that is just a direct sale. It does not matter if the purchase is in game, online, or in a store.

 

For this to be a microtransaction, there needs to be two transactions. One for the exchange of money, the second for the exchange of goods. The reason that many games use virtual currency, is because they only pay the fee for the transaction once, and then can sell multiple items.

P.S. Why all the F2P bashing... on a P2P Game.

 

...Do you even know what a microtransaction is?

Why yes, yes I do. I am actually much more familiar than most. A microtransacion is small (secondary) transaction, which is used as part of a larger (primary) transaction. When you buy a virtual currency, you are doing the primary transaction. When you spend it, you are doing the secondary (micro) transaction.

 

The original concept was that these secondary transactions could be very small, even less than a cent. The reason why two transactions were needed, is that the processing fee for such a small transaction would be more than the actual transaction.

  GrayGhost79

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4888

3/14/14 11:33:48 PM#24
Originally posted by Superman0X
Originally posted by AzurePrower
Originally posted by Superman0X

Technically speaking, I am not sure that they are actually doing microtransactions. If you pay X for an item, that is just a direct sale. It does not matter if the purchase is in game, online, or in a store.

 

For this to be a microtransaction, there needs to be two transactions. One for the exchange of money, the second for the exchange of goods. The reason that many games use virtual currency, is because they only pay the fee for the transaction once, and then can sell multiple items.

P.S. Why all the F2P bashing... on a P2P Game.

 

...Do you even know what a microtransaction is?

Why yes, yes I do. I am actually much more familiar than most. A microtransacion is small (secondary) transaction, which is used as part of a larger (primary) transaction. When you buy a virtual currency, you are doing the primary transaction. When you spend it, you are doing the secondary (micro) transaction.

 

The original concept was that these secondary transactions could be very small, even less than a cent. The reason why two transactions were needed, is that the processing fee for such a small transaction would be more than the actual transaction.

Most consider a microtransaction to be a financial transaction involving a very small sum of money and usually one that occurs online. 

Micro - extremely small.

 

  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

 
OP  3/14/14 11:35:54 PM#25
Originally posted by GrayGhost79

Microtransactions reduce the amount of revenue you will see in an  MMO. 

Look back at games like UO, FFXI, and others that are long running. It took time to obtain items and to reach various milestones. Later on after subscriptions declined they began offering items to purchase to generate additional revenue. 

When you take a new game and start offering items for purchase it usually negates the time needed to obtain a similar or the same item in game. Experience increases, armor, weapons, and mounts gained outside of gameplay negates the need to obtain these items in game and speeds a player towards end game and thus ending their desire to subscribe until new content is released. They may or may not return at that point. 

I don't completely admonish cash shops, but there is a time and place for them and at launch is not the it. 

The longer it takes to get things in a game, the longer people play. When they run out of things to obtain (Items, skills, abilities, levels, housing, deco, etc.) they leave. When you devalue these items by making it available on a shop you also diminish the desire to obtain items in game. 

Probably not very coherent considering I'm not completely sober at the moment and it is around 1am-ish, but hopefully you get the jist of what I'm saying. 

The old MMO's in which is took time to obtain things were able to keep decent subscriber numbers for quite some time. Newer MMO's that launch with these cash shop offerings seem to go free to play fairly quickly. Maybe there isn't a correlation and I'm way off base, but I do know I personally felt a lot of pride and gladly paid each and every month in games where it took time to get things done and to obtain items( UO over 10 years, FFXI over 5 years), I typically fizzle out on these new MMO's after about 3 months. 

3 Months at 14.99 a pop + maybe 50 to 60 bucks on the cash shop 

vs. 

10+ years at 9.99 a month and 5 years at 12.99 + my mules bringing it to 14.99 a month. 

In 2004 this would have been a compelling argument.  When there were very few games to play, and all of them required a sub, people weren't nearly as likely to game hop, because doing so would mean paying the same amount of money for a less developed character roster and starting over at building social connections.  But fast forward to 2014, and the barriers to entry are so low in most games that people will shop around, and if they see more value in game B than game A, they will probably switch.  As a purely practical matter, games which offer cash shops offer more value than games which don't.  It may not be value that every customer cares about, but it is still value, and this is a numbers game.  Look at TOR; they made more money just on their cash shop in 2013 that any game other than WoW made from subscriptions.  They have to design revenue models for the way people actually behave in these games now, not for the way the (much smaller) audience behaved ten years ago.  And who knows, even back then the games might have made more money with sub + cash shop, nobody tried so the question is academic.

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.

  greenreen

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1440

3/14/14 11:45:20 PM#26
Originally posted by CazNeerg

You still don't get it.  You think it's not about money.  You do get to decide whether or not to play a given game.  But guess what?  The people who are financing these games don't care whether you play.  They do not care about any individual.  They only care about market segments.  If they believe they can lose 100% of the potential revenue from the market segment of people who refuse to play a game with cash shops, and still make more money than if they weren't offering a cash shop, then eventually we will reach the point where no AAA game is without a cash shop.  Historical trends in the industry have shown (so far) that there is no financial downside to adding a cash shop to a game.

The actual creative artists making the games don't make these decisions, not now, if they ever did.  Nobody who says "Yeah, we could do it without a cash shop and make a ton of people happy, but there is a 99% chance our revenue would be far, far less doing it that way" is going to get their project financed at a high level.  Just not going to happen.  Unless, as I state in the OP, somebody finds a compelling argument for how the road to the highest profit actually requires rejecting microtransactions/cash shops.

 

Let's go by the poll in their beta forums.

 

o-[xxx||]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

Are you happy they are selling mounts now in the cash shop?.

331 votes

Yes I am happy - 28% in favor of   (95 votes)
No this sucks - 71% in favor of     (236 votes)
 
o-[xxx||]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

 

You seem to think people like this but the players don't agree with you. Which segment are they. Are they warm sells or cold sells, beta testers. If your warm sells are in 70% dislike on a topic is that significant or insignificant.

An MMO is doing great if it sells 3m copies. If you knock that down 70% what is left. 900,000 players.

900,000 *15 a month = 13,500,000

versus

3,000,000 * 15 a month = 45,000,000

You really think they can compensate for 31,500,000 off that cash shop monthly and that those 900,000 players are willing to each spend 35 additionally a month on the cash shop? C'mon now, the second the cash shop takes over people will be screaming about paying a sub at all. They won't accept both at once and there's no way they are going to pay 35 extra bucks a month just to compensate for the people who don't like the cash shop. Those cash shop haters (if they stay) will be constantly sitting around with a strike against the game waiting for a chance to leave. The second they run out of the newness of this game they'll be ranting about that cash shop and talk about how they could get that treatment in a free game.

People talk about how WOW got away with adding a cash shop. WOW had people invested for at least 5 years before they did it. Five years of building a character and investing in it. People could ignore anything WOW did when it didn't affect them personally because of all that investment they had in their characters. How attached are you to your ESO character. Not even a single day attached. Your real character hasn't even been started.

Now that people have begun finally leaving they are selling characters to take away that building process by selling pre-made chars. This game hasn't had MMO players locked in for 5 years or longer. They are new to this segment and if they think they can walk in and just "do" what WOW did without earning their stripes by making people content enough to pay year after year, they've got a lesson to learn. They are going to have enough trouble selling a sub game to the console people who were their largest Skyrim audience. It only sold something like 17% of the 20m in PC sales. MMOs are much heavier on the PC side than the console side. Then you think they'll accept a cash shop on top of it - really.

 
  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

3/14/14 11:48:26 PM#27

There is none.

And there are plenty of compeling business reasons to have microtransactions. Otherwise, why would you think it is so prevalent?

  GrayGhost79

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4888

3/14/14 11:57:15 PM#28
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by GrayGhost79

Microtransactions reduce the amount of revenue you will see in an  MMO. 

Look back at games like UO, FFXI, and others that are long running. It took time to obtain items and to reach various milestones. Later on after subscriptions declined they began offering items to purchase to generate additional revenue. 

When you take a new game and start offering items for purchase it usually negates the time needed to obtain a similar or the same item in game. Experience increases, armor, weapons, and mounts gained outside of gameplay negates the need to obtain these items in game and speeds a player towards end game and thus ending their desire to subscribe until new content is released. They may or may not return at that point. 

I don't completely admonish cash shops, but there is a time and place for them and at launch is not the it. 

The longer it takes to get things in a game, the longer people play. When they run out of things to obtain (Items, skills, abilities, levels, housing, deco, etc.) they leave. When you devalue these items by making it available on a shop you also diminish the desire to obtain items in game. 

Probably not very coherent considering I'm not completely sober at the moment and it is around 1am-ish, but hopefully you get the jist of what I'm saying. 

The old MMO's in which is took time to obtain things were able to keep decent subscriber numbers for quite some time. Newer MMO's that launch with these cash shop offerings seem to go free to play fairly quickly. Maybe there isn't a correlation and I'm way off base, but I do know I personally felt a lot of pride and gladly paid each and every month in games where it took time to get things done and to obtain items( UO over 10 years, FFXI over 5 years), I typically fizzle out on these new MMO's after about 3 months. 

3 Months at 14.99 a pop + maybe 50 to 60 bucks on the cash shop 

vs. 

10+ years at 9.99 a month and 5 years at 12.99 + my mules bringing it to 14.99 a month. 

In 2004 this would have been a compelling argument.  When there were very few games to play, and all of them required a sub, people weren't nearly as likely to game hop, because doing so would mean paying the same amount of money for a less developed character roster and starting over at building social connections.  But fast forward to 2014, and the barriers to entry are so low in most games that people will shop around, and if they see more value in game B than game A, they will probably switch.  As a purely practical matter, games which offer cash shops offer more value than games which don't.  It may not be value that every customer cares about, but it is still value, and this is a numbers game.  Look at TOR; they made more money just on their cash shop in 2013 that any game other than WoW made from subscriptions.  They have to design revenue models for the way people actually behave in these games now, not for the way the (much smaller) audience behaved ten years ago.  And who knows, even back then the games might have made more money with sub + cash shop, nobody tried so the question is academic.

EA got somewhere around 2k from me for UO

EA got around $120 from me with TOR. TOR's a revolving door. Sure, marketing has probably been pretty good at getting people to stop by for a month or 3 and dropping a bit in the cash shop but it certainly isn't keeping them. With the money they've had to keep dumping into marketing and advertising to keep that revolving door going how worth it could it be? 

In any case... in the year 2013 and 2014, WoW still exists and still has far greater revenue than TOR and its a sub based game that has never relied on a true cash shop. So the epitome of your microtransaction setup still pales in comparison to a sub based game from about a decade ago... I think my point might still be relevant in 2014 lol. 

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

3/15/14 12:02:08 AM#29
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by GrayGhost79

Microtransactions reduce the amount of revenue you will see in an  MMO. 

Look back at games like UO, FFXI, and others that are long running. It took time to obtain items and to reach various milestones. Later on after subscriptions declined they began offering items to purchase to generate additional revenue. 

When you take a new game and start offering items for purchase it usually negates the time needed to obtain a similar or the same item in game. Experience increases, armor, weapons, and mounts gained outside of gameplay negates the need to obtain these items in game and speeds a player towards end game and thus ending their desire to subscribe until new content is released. They may or may not return at that point. 

I don't completely admonish cash shops, but there is a time and place for them and at launch is not the it. 

The longer it takes to get things in a game, the longer people play. When they run out of things to obtain (Items, skills, abilities, levels, housing, deco, etc.) they leave. When you devalue these items by making it available on a shop you also diminish the desire to obtain items in game. 

Probably not very coherent considering I'm not completely sober at the moment and it is around 1am-ish, but hopefully you get the jist of what I'm saying. 

The old MMO's in which is took time to obtain things were able to keep decent subscriber numbers for quite some time. Newer MMO's that launch with these cash shop offerings seem to go free to play fairly quickly. Maybe there isn't a correlation and I'm way off base, but I do know I personally felt a lot of pride and gladly paid each and every month in games where it took time to get things done and to obtain items( UO over 10 years, FFXI over 5 years), I typically fizzle out on these new MMO's after about 3 months. 

3 Months at 14.99 a pop + maybe 50 to 60 bucks on the cash shop 

vs. 

10+ years at 9.99 a month and 5 years at 12.99 + my mules bringing it to 14.99 a month. 

In 2004 this would have been a compelling argument.  When there were very few games to play, and all of them required a sub, people weren't nearly as likely to game hop, because doing so would mean paying the same amount of money for a less developed character roster and starting over at building social connections.  But fast forward to 2014, and the barriers to entry are so low in most games that people will shop around, and if they see more value in game B than game A, they will probably switch.  As a purely practical matter, games which offer cash shops offer more value than games which don't.  It may not be value that every customer cares about, but it is still value, and this is a numbers game.  Look at TOR; they made more money just on their cash shop in 2013 that any game other than WoW made from subscriptions.  They have to design revenue models for the way people actually behave in these games now, not for the way the (much smaller) audience behaved ten years ago.  And who knows, even back then the games might have made more money with sub + cash shop, nobody tried so the question is academic.

GTA is the future.

Everyone had to pay.

You can avoid those that pay more or those that ruin your experience. And their micro sales will be around TOR's.

Just what people wanted.

Why isn't Elder scrolls the future? Why is ToR the last of it's kind?

 

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4655

3/15/14 12:42:28 AM#30
Originally posted by greenreen
Originally posted by CazNeerg

You still don't get it.  You think it's not about money.  You do get to decide whether or not to play a given game.  But guess what?  The people who are financing these games don't care whether you play.  They do not care about any individual.  They only care about market segments.  If they believe they can lose 100% of the potential revenue from the market segment of people who refuse to play a game with cash shops, and still make more money than if they weren't offering a cash shop, then eventually we will reach the point where no AAA game is without a cash shop.  Historical trends in the industry have shown (so far) that there is no financial downside to adding a cash shop to a game.

The actual creative artists making the games don't make these decisions, not now, if they ever did.  Nobody who says "Yeah, we could do it without a cash shop and make a ton of people happy, but there is a 99% chance our revenue would be far, far less doing it that way" is going to get their project financed at a high level.  Just not going to happen.  Unless, as I state in the OP, somebody finds a compelling argument for how the road to the highest profit actually requires rejecting microtransactions/cash shops.

 

Let's go by the poll in their beta forums.

 

 

 

What % of customers standing in the complaint department are happy with their purchases ? Does that sample represent what all customers in that store think ?

Forum polls do not represent what all players think, just those that visit the forum and feel the need to vote on that issue.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

3/15/14 12:46:43 AM#31
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by greenreen
Originally posted by CazNeerg

You still don't get it.  You think it's not about money.  You do get to decide whether or not to play a given game.  But guess what?  The people who are financing these games don't care whether you play.  They do not care about any individual.  They only care about market segments.  If they believe they can lose 100% of the potential revenue from the market segment of people who refuse to play a game with cash shops, and still make more money than if they weren't offering a cash shop, then eventually we will reach the point where no AAA game is without a cash shop.  Historical trends in the industry have shown (so far) that there is no financial downside to adding a cash shop to a game.

The actual creative artists making the games don't make these decisions, not now, if they ever did.  Nobody who says "Yeah, we could do it without a cash shop and make a ton of people happy, but there is a 99% chance our revenue would be far, far less doing it that way" is going to get their project financed at a high level.  Just not going to happen.  Unless, as I state in the OP, somebody finds a compelling argument for how the road to the highest profit actually requires rejecting microtransactions/cash shops.

 

Let's go by the poll in their beta forums.

 

 

 

What % of customers standing in the complaint department are happy with their purchases ? Does that sample represent what all customers in that store think ?

Forum polls do not represent what all players think, just those that visit the forum and feel the need to vote on that issue.

Polls on login would be better, but there must be something completely wrong with them because they are almost certainly avoided.  I wonder why?

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4655

3/15/14 12:50:22 AM#32
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
 

In any case... in the year 2013 and 2014, WoW still exists and still has far greater revenue than TOR and its a sub based game that has never relied on a true cash shop. So the epitome of your microtransaction setup still pales in comparison to a sub based game from about a decade ago... I think my point might still be relevant in 2014 lol. 

If that's the case then companies should be making wow clones to copy that success. If it is the true mold which successful mmos are made then it's success should have been duplicated many times over in the past 10 years.

 

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5671

3/15/14 1:42:57 AM#33

I don't see a compelling reason not to have them. In fact I prefer this method (B2P/F2P) to the sub-locked approach.

I suppose if a game over-monetizes their cash shop and that becomes something you must visit frequently to play then maybe that would be a compelling reason to criticize how they've set up their revenue model. Or if they over-monetize period by charging fees for everything (LotRO does this imo), then I think there is room for criticism.

Subs aren't bad either, but I think they should be optional. In my opinion Rift and Tera do a pretty good job at this. I'm just not a fan of renting access to my games. A mandatory sub with mtx also is a big negative for me. Not only do I have to rent the game, but if I spend extra and can't access that content unless I fork over continual rent money. So cash shops really only work for me personally if the sub is optional and the monetizaztion model appeals to me.

 

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  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

 
OP  3/15/14 1:54:22 AM#34

Originally posted by greenreen

Let's go by the poll in their beta forums.

 o-[xxx||]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

Are you happy they are selling mounts now in the cash shop?.

331 votes

Yes I am happy - 28% in favor of   (95 votes)
No this sucks - 71% in favor of     (236 votes)
 
o-[xxx||]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

 

C'mon now, the second the cash shop takes over people will be screaming about paying a sub at all. They won't accept both at once...

 

Not trying to remove the context of the rest of your post, just trying to avoid bloat by only quoting the portion I am responding to. First, I see your poll with less than 500 votes, and raise you 250,000 physical pre-orders (just the physical copies) across all three platforms, plus an indeterminate but likely massive number of digital pre-sales, and physical IEs being sold out everywhere.

And the number of people currently accepting both at once numbers in the millions.  Every game that has a subscription and a cash shop still has subscribers.  Usually *more* subscribers than they had prior to announcing they were adding a cash shop.  After adding cash shops, DDO gained subscribers, LotRO gained subscribers, TOR maintained it's subscriber numbers.  The average spend in games with a cash shop fluctuates month to month, but the absolute lowest report I have seen placed average revenue per player in games with a cash shop at $26/month, with spikes as high as $40 averages in some months.  More people subscribing, plus more revenue per subscriber.  Assuming those numbers are accurate, it's kind of a no brainer.

If the best argument against cash shops that you can think of is trying to treat a tiny poll with self-selected participants as representative of the entire market, it might be time to give up.

Originally posted by GrayGhost79

EA got somewhere around 2k from me for UO

EA got around $120 from me with TOR. TOR's a revolving door. Sure, marketing has probably been pretty good at getting people to stop by for a month or 3 and dropping a bit in the cash shop but it certainly isn't keeping them. With the money they've had to keep dumping into marketing and advertising to keep that revolving door going how worth it could it be? 

In any case... in the year 2013 and 2014, WoW still exists and still has far greater revenue than TOR and its a sub based game that has never relied on a true cash shop. So the epitome of your microtransaction setup still pales in comparison to a sub based game from about a decade ago... I think my point might still be relevant in 2014 lol. 

What marketing and advertising?  I wasn't aware they had some big push.  And you are splitting hairs when you say "true" cash shop.  A cash shop is a cash shop.  WoW makes more money in it's cash shop in a year that many subscription games make on subs over the lifetime of their product.  Even the epitome of your argument has embraced cash shops.

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.

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

3/15/14 2:14:05 AM#35


If people don't want to play with those that use a cash shop, they should have that option.  This isn't about everyone having a business model they prefer so that option won't be offered. 

No one cares what the customer wants, which is why the pipe dream is over.

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  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

 
OP  3/15/14 2:27:34 AM#36
Originally posted by FinalFikus


If people don't want to play with those that use a cash shop, they should have that option.  This isn't about everyone having a business model they prefer so that option won't be offered. 

No one cares what the customer wants, which is why the pipe dream is over.

Why does it matter whether someone else used a cash shop?  If you're looking for a group, and you need a healer, why do you care whether the robe that healer is wearing was a drop he grinded for, or something he spent five bucks on?  As long as he does his job, how is it relevant to *your* experience what his experience has been?

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.

  sfc1971

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/08
Posts: 423

3/15/14 2:29:05 AM#37

There are two kinds of "theme parks", not the MMO kind, the real world kind. For the Dutch the Efteling vs Julinia Heuvel.

In the Efteling, you buy a ticket (an expensive one) and all the rides beyond the gate are then free. In Julinia Heuvel there is no entry free but each rides costs.

Can you make a wild guess which one is by far the more popular? The big fee up front Efteling is. The largest attraction park in The Netherlands.

The business reason is SIMPLE: With a large one time fee, the customer only has to draw their wallets ONCE. With multiple small fees the customer can resist everytime. My mother was't very rich and she would take us to Julinia Heuvel for the free slides. On our bicycles, bringing our own food.

Once every two years or so, a trip to the Efteling was on offer. The Efteling charging a far bigger one time fee DID get our money, Juliana Heuvel got quarter guilder for the use of the toilet.

And yes this applies to games as well. F2P games are well known to rely on whales, big spending customers who are a small percentage of players but who spend the most. But that leaves you as a company extremely vulnerable to the whims of a tiny customer base. If they move on, run out of money, wise up, your business model collapses. 

It might sound nice that one customer pays 5000 dollars to play but what is more reliable? 1x5000 or 5000x1? One payin customer leaves and you got 0x5000 and 4999x1.

ESO itself is now offering 3 books for 100 dollar plus 60 dollars shipping. Had they put the books in the collectors edition, I would have happily payed the 100 more. But paying yet again 160 dollars for just three books? I managed to resist.

The horse? I never used the horse in Skyrim and with all the nodes to be harvested I doubt I will need one in ESO. So I will resist.

It is NEVER smart business to give your customer to many chances to change their minds.Why do you think Xbox and PS give you free games if you subscribe. Because subscribing is a ONE time choice, buying each game seperately is multiple times you can say "nah". 

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

3/15/14 2:42:12 AM#38
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by FinalFikus


If people don't want to play with those that use a cash shop, they should have that option.  This isn't about everyone having a business model they prefer so that option won't be offered. 

No one cares what the customer wants, which is why the pipe dream is over.

Why does it matter whether someone else used a cash shop?  If you're looking for a group, and you need a healer, why do you care whether the robe that healer is wearing was a drop he grinded for, or something he spent five bucks on?  As long as he does his job, how is it relevant to *your* experience what his experience has been?

People who do not use the shop do not want to play with those that do. Continue not offering that option though.

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  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

 
OP  3/15/14 2:42:45 AM#39

I don't know how it works in the Netherlands, but in America paying for admission to a theme park, even when it gets you on all the rides, does not let you eat for no additional cost at restaurants in the theme park.  It doesn't let you take items from the souvenir shops without paying an additional cost.

To bring it back to MMOs, very few games require that you go to the cash shop in order to ride any of the rides.  It's more common for them to sell the online equivalent of hot dogs and souvenirs.

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.

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

3/15/14 2:47:52 AM#40
Originally posted by CazNeerg

I don't know how it works in the Netherlands, but in America paying for admission to a theme park, even when it gets you on all the rides, does not let you eat for no additional cost at restaurants in the theme park.  It doesn't let you take items from the souvenir shops without paying an additional cost.

To bring it back to MMOs, very few games require that you go to the cash shop in order to ride any of the rides.  It's more common for them to sell the online equivalent of hot dogs and souvenirs.

You can bring your own food and drink and eat whenever you want. You can make your own souvenirs. They do not have a monopoly on anything but allowing entrance to the park.  the real world people aren't helpless.

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

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