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News & Features Discussion  » General: Is RMT Inevitable?

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  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  5/25/09 2:13:15 PM#1

In this week's edition of Richard Aihoshi's Free Zone, Richard asks "Is RMT Inevitable?" Sure to be a hot topic among our community, who we know have passionate arguments about this issue, Aihoshi nonetheless dares to argue that it is.

Just to be clear, RMT and free to play are not synonymous, although they do overlap to a substantial degree. By my definition, the former is simply the ability to buy in-game items and/or characters using real money, whether directly or indirectly via the step of purchasing a virtual currency. Personally, I don't care if it's possible to cash out or not, although this obviously matters a lot to anyone looking to make a profit.

Basically, it seems like a matter of free enterprise founded on exchanging time for money and vice versa. When you play a subscription game, you pay a flat monthly fee, then progress your character based on the number of hours you invest. It's not a completely linear function. To use myself as an example, I tend to explore and try new things quite a bit rather than grinding for experience and/or farming items all the time. As a result, there are periods, sometimes lasting quite a while, when my advancement is slow. If I happen to decide I want to pick up the pace by buying a better weapon, some bonus XP potions or whatever, I really don't see that as constituting a problem for anyone else.

Read it here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Valeran

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/08
Posts: 972

5/25/09 2:32:43 PM#2

It is just an alternative revenue stream that is working so I believe it is inevitable.  It is rampant now especially with mainstream MMO developers. 

They are using item shops and trading card games.  Some are even using a lottery system within their TCG for a "chance" at obtaining in game items.

I do not think this is a fad...RMT is easy and cost efficient to implement.  For me it breaks immersion.  I do not have much issue with it with F2P games but premium monthly sub games I have big problems with it...but it is not going anyway anytime soon.

 

You have hit some great discussion topics Dana.  Thanks.

--------
Ten Golden Rules Of Videogame Fanboyism

"SOE has probably united more gamers in hatred than Blizzard has subs"...daelnor

  ThomasN7

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6671

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

5/25/09 2:55:23 PM#3

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

  User Deleted
5/25/09 3:05:57 PM#4
Originally posted by SaintViktor

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

I also think its an "either or" situation. You can't have a monthly sub and slap item shops in also. 

 

It's funny to think less then 2 years ago people on this site laughed at the idea of RMT based games becoming mainstream or evolving into a core business model. (for better or worse)

IMHO the F2P model with a premium membership setup will be the wave of the future with western MMO's and will the standard business model in the next few years. (hell, its already happening)

 

  User Deleted
5/25/09 3:11:16 PM#5
Originally posted by Torak
Originally posted by SaintViktor

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

I also think its an "either or" situation. You can't have a monthly sub and slap item shops in also. 

 

It's funny to think less then 2 years ago people on this site laughed at the idea of RMT based games becoming mainstream or evolving into a core business model. (for better or worse)

IMHO the F2P model with a premium membership setup will be the wave of the future with western MMO's and will the standard business model in the next few years. (hell, its already happening)

 

I really hope this isnt the case mate,the thought of a pvp battle with regards to my visa bill does not get me excited.

I do how ever feel you maybe right and that gaming companies will make more money this way,I guess then I will step back and get another hobby.

I guess the good news is I cant see it happening in the next 4 or 5 years,no need to worry atm.

  Khalathwyr

Tipster

Joined: 6/02/04
Posts: 3151

Google is your friend.

5/25/09 3:14:00 PM#6

I don't know that it is "inevitable" either. Especially if you're talking universally. I know that I'm opposed to it when speaking of P2P games, certainly. If it does approach being a universal move, I'd hope that companies offer different servers where such transactions could happen and keep a healthy number of servers for those that want no part in it and believe time invested is the way to go.

As for the North American masses, when pushed enough or in the right way, showing their displeasure with their feet, you sir, missed your SOE NGE 101 class, sir. Precedent has been established, whether you care to recognize/admit it or not. It can happen.

"Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

Kickstarter 1 / Naysayers 0

  Valeran

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/08
Posts: 972

5/25/09 3:14:33 PM#7
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Torak
Originally posted by SaintViktor

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

I also think its an "either or" situation. You can't have a monthly sub and slap item shops in also. 

 

It's funny to think less then 2 years ago people on this site laughed at the idea of RMT based games becoming mainstream or evolving into a core business model. (for better or worse)

IMHO the F2P model with a premium membership setup will be the wave of the future with western MMO's and will the standard business model in the next few years. (hell, its already happening)

 

I really hope this isnt the case mate,the thought of a pvp battle with regards to my visa bill does not get me excited.

I do how ever feel you maybe right and that gaming companies will make more money this way,I guess then I will step back and get another hobby.

I guess the good news is I cant see it happening in the next 4 or 5 years,no need to worry atm.

 

It's already here.

--------
Ten Golden Rules Of Videogame Fanboyism

"SOE has probably united more gamers in hatred than Blizzard has subs"...daelnor

  McGamer

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/05
Posts: 1035

"Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering" -Master Yoda

5/25/09 3:20:24 PM#8

Any oppurtunity to use money to buy X item instead of having to spend game time earning X item is an advantage no matter how it's sugar coated. I won't subscribe to any game making it necessary to advance in that fashion or allowing others to bypass earning the same item I had to work through a 2 hr dungeon for. Now if it is useless items for only appearance reasons or collectible items perhaps for a player's in-game house that's fine.

If a developer wants to raise the monthly fee to make more money, fine, but I won't subscribe if they get greedy. There is a difference between earning a living and trying to suck every dime out of your customers.

  User Deleted
5/25/09 3:26:50 PM#9
Originally posted by Valeran
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Torak
Originally posted by SaintViktor

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

I also think its an "either or" situation. You can't have a monthly sub and slap item shops in also. 

 

It's funny to think less then 2 years ago people on this site laughed at the idea of RMT based games becoming mainstream or evolving into a core business model. (for better or worse)

IMHO the F2P model with a premium membership setup will be the wave of the future with western MMO's and will the standard business model in the next few years. (hell, its already happening)

 

I really hope this isnt the case mate,the thought of a pvp battle with regards to my visa bill does not get me excited.

I do how ever feel you maybe right and that gaming companies will make more money this way,I guess then I will step back and get another hobby.

I guess the good news is I cant see it happening in the next 4 or 5 years,no need to worry atm.

 

It's already here.

I meant as a pre buisness model,atm alot of mainstream games release as a monthly fee and I dont see that changing(if ever)for at least 4-5 years.

  Valeran

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/08
Posts: 972

5/25/09 3:32:28 PM#10
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Valeran
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Torak
Originally posted by SaintViktor

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

I also think its an "either or" situation. You can't have a monthly sub and slap item shops in also. 

 

It's funny to think less then 2 years ago people on this site laughed at the idea of RMT based games becoming mainstream or evolving into a core business model. (for better or worse)

IMHO the F2P model with a premium membership setup will be the wave of the future with western MMO's and will the standard business model in the next few years. (hell, its already happening)

 

I really hope this isnt the case mate,the thought of a pvp battle with regards to my visa bill does not get me excited.

I do how ever feel you maybe right and that gaming companies will make more money this way,I guess then I will step back and get another hobby.

I guess the good news is I cant see it happening in the next 4 or 5 years,no need to worry atm.

 

It's already here.

I meant as a pre buisness model,atm alot of mainstream games release as a monthly fee and I dont see that changing(if ever)for at least 4-5 years.

We have mainstream F2P games with RMT now along with P2P mainstream games with RMT now.  Ideally the game developers want both sub fees with RMT.   SOE for sure will release DC Online with RMT or some sort either with cash shop or TCG lottery.

--------
Ten Golden Rules Of Videogame Fanboyism

"SOE has probably united more gamers in hatred than Blizzard has subs"...daelnor

  kefkah

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/04
Posts: 851

5/25/09 3:35:07 PM#11

With Bioware's TOR and Cryptic's Champions Online both playing around with various RMT offerings - I would say that we are about 1 to 2 years away from seeing it as the norm. SOE already has it in place in some of its games and it will surely be implemented in others.

What will really speed it along is if Blizzard finds a way to place it in WoW or announces that its future mmo will have RMT options. Seeing as every action they seem to have is cloned or imitated - that would sound the death knell for the strictly monthly subscription mmo.

 

  Valeran

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/08
Posts: 972

5/25/09 3:37:23 PM#12
Originally posted by kefkah

With Bioware's TOR and Cryptic's Champions Online both playing around with various RMT offerings - I would say that we are about 1 to 2 years away from seeing it as the norm. SOE already has it in place in some of its games and it will surely be implemented in others.

What will really speed it along is if Blizzard finds a way to place it in WoW or announces that its future mmo will have RMT options. Seeing as every action they seem to have is cloned or imitated - that would sound the death knell for the strictly monthly subscription mmo.

 

 

I believe WoW has some RMT items in place now although they may be cosmetic only in nature.  They also have a TCG.

--------
Ten Golden Rules Of Videogame Fanboyism

"SOE has probably united more gamers in hatred than Blizzard has subs"...daelnor

  User Deleted
5/25/09 3:38:27 PM#13

I have no problem with RMT as long as it's part of the game. Since the RMT games are usually F2P, they're often more populated and cost me less per month. In the past 4 months, I've spent nothing in Dungeon Runners, $10 in Florensia and and $15 in Combat Arms. I had fun in three games for $25 and if those were subscription MMOs, it would have cost me five or six times that.

  latinus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/08
Posts: 19

5/25/09 3:41:04 PM#14

Well from a money earning company view it makes sense however from a customer point of view it can make sense only to people willing to spend a lot of money...

There is no doubt that RTM/Cash shop/non P2P type model creates/evolves the game primarily around income/money...whlle P2P model although spnines around income/money its influence on the game balancing is much less and more oriented to creating quality content...

It will be a said day if they really makes this payment types stick in the west...

 

 

  eHero

Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/05
Posts: 40

5/25/09 3:53:34 PM#15

I'm surprised anyone would look at something that works in other countries and then look at America and say, "Sure! It's inevitable!"  There've been better ideas that didn't hold water here.  Let's name some.

The metric system. 

The electric car (except the gas prices changed that finally). 

Bullet trains. 

From everything I've read, gamers in asian countries tend to be more cooperative and team-centered.  Whereas in the U.S. there's a larger trend toward individualism.  To me, even if a game doesn't put me in direct competition with someone else (via pvp), I'm still in competition with them as far as level and item gains go.  I'm proud of the fact that I've got Shiny Sword of Pigmailia on my max level toon, because I know how hard I had to "work" to get it.  And as well, if I see someone with something even better, there's a little awe for what they, likewise, were able to accomplish.

Now, give people the ability to speed through levels or gain cool looking items just by buying them with real money, that kind of thing sours me on the entire experience.  Now I don't know if that person with the awesome hammer actually earned it, or paid for it with dollars. 

Again, most of this is just my opinion, but I hope to not have to play a game where the richer person wins or has the ability to win based solely on his real world wealth. 

  User Deleted
5/25/09 3:56:19 PM#16
Originally posted by Valeran
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Valeran
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Torak
Originally posted by SaintViktor

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

I also think its an "either or" situation. You can't have a monthly sub and slap item shops in also. 

 

It's funny to think less then 2 years ago people on this site laughed at the idea of RMT based games becoming mainstream or evolving into a core business model. (for better or worse)

IMHO the F2P model with a premium membership setup will be the wave of the future with western MMO's and will the standard business model in the next few years. (hell, its already happening)

 

I really hope this isnt the case mate,the thought of a pvp battle with regards to my visa bill does not get me excited.

I do how ever feel you maybe right and that gaming companies will make more money this way,I guess then I will step back and get another hobby.

I guess the good news is I cant see it happening in the next 4 or 5 years,no need to worry atm.

 

It's already here.

I meant as a pre buisness model,atm alot of mainstream games release as a monthly fee and I dont see that changing(if ever)for at least 4-5 years.

We have mainstream F2P games with RMT now along with P2P mainstream games with RMT now.  Ideally the game developers want both sub fees with RMT.   SOE for sure will release DC Online with RMT or some sort either with cash shop or TCG lottery.

I think you are missing the point a little.

You mention the like's of WoW in a later post,also you say that DC will release with RMT.

Now wow's payments are for things like server change,name change etc.we dont know what the extent of DC will be but with WoW's it doesnt improve your guy,it just gives you alittle more freedom to move him around or his looks.

As I said in my 1st post I dont want to battle guys who may or may not have a bigger Visa card,anything that is for looks or what server they play on doesnt matter....we still play on a level playing base,this has nothing to do with what your player can do ingame,only what server and how he looks doing it.

What alot of players dont want is the fact you can buy lots of pots/upgrades/armor/etc/etc.

Then you have an advantage because you spend more real cash every month>>>>no more skill or how you play,just how much you can afford.

  Valeran

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/08
Posts: 972

5/25/09 4:09:24 PM#17
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Valeran
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Valeran
Originally posted by daylight01
Originally posted by Torak
Originally posted by SaintViktor

I have no issues with RMT as long as the items being sold do not give players an advantage in pvp. The problem I have with the model is that some companies like SOE want to slap a monthly fee on top of that or make "must have" items that must be bought from the item mall. I'm sorry but gamers are not walking atm machines for game developers. I do think it is far from inevitable because gamers find it much easier to pay a month subscription if need be.

I also think its an "either or" situation. You can't have a monthly sub and slap item shops in also. 

 

It's funny to think less then 2 years ago people on this site laughed at the idea of RMT based games becoming mainstream or evolving into a core business model. (for better or worse)

IMHO the F2P model with a premium membership setup will be the wave of the future with western MMO's and will the standard business model in the next few years. (hell, its already happening)

 

I really hope this isnt the case mate,the thought of a pvp battle with regards to my visa bill does not get me excited.

I do how ever feel you maybe right and that gaming companies will make more money this way,I guess then I will step back and get another hobby.

I guess the good news is I cant see it happening in the next 4 or 5 years,no need to worry atm.

 

It's already here.

I meant as a pre buisness model,atm alot of mainstream games release as a monthly fee and I dont see that changing(if ever)for at least 4-5 years.

We have mainstream F2P games with RMT now along with P2P mainstream games with RMT now.  Ideally the game developers want both sub fees with RMT.   SOE for sure will release DC Online with RMT or some sort either with cash shop or TCG lottery.

I think you are missing the point a little.

You mention the like's of WoW in a later post,also you say that DC will release with RMT.

Now wow's payments are for things like server change,name change etc.we dont know what the extent of DC will be but with WoW's it doesnt improve your guy,it just gives you alittle more freedom to move him around or his looks.

As I said in my 1st post I dont want to battle guys who may or may not have a bigger Visa card,anything that is for looks or what server they play on doesnt matter....we still play on a level playing base,this has nothing to do with what your player can do ingame,only what server and how he looks doing it.

What alot of players dont want is the fact you can buy lots of pots/upgrades/armor/etc/etc.

Then you have an advantage because you spend more real cash every month>>>>no more skill or how you play,just how much you can afford.


Understood but those items with WoW are still RMT.  TCG is also a form of RMT.   It is a slippery slope and one so far Blizzard has climbed rather successfully. 

As long as Blizzard remains the sub king I do not think they will cross that line that you are concerned with. 

SOE however has a proven track record of not giving a crap about their customers and what they think or want and has outright lied to them.  Smed right now is all about RMT.

I agree with you I don't mind getting my arse handed to me to someone who has put forth more time and effort...if it becomes a Visa card challenge then I forfeit.

My point is that RMT is here now and definately forthcoming in new games.  The sad thing is that the developers wouldn't use RMT if players were not laying down the cash.  Ultimately the players can kill it.

 

--------
Ten Golden Rules Of Videogame Fanboyism

"SOE has probably united more gamers in hatred than Blizzard has subs"...daelnor

  red_cruiser

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/07
Posts: 462

5/25/09 4:10:49 PM#18

I don't have a problem with RMT.  If its a popular feature, it will only give developers an incentive to add more fun things to the game.  That being said, you aren't going to get many people leaving WoW to try out a game that requires a subscription fee, XP potions to deal with the grindy gameplay, and then charges you real life money for an in game system like talent respecs.  The important thing is that RMT must be used in such a way that it is seen as an enhancement to the game overall as opposed to something that is needed to either make a bad game palettable or a requirement to be competitive at high level.

  Vortigon

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/12/06
Posts: 727

RMT is for weak people.

5/25/09 4:29:25 PM#19

I will Never subscribe to ANY RMT game. Whether its an compulsary or a voluntary option, even if it's for fluff items.

RMT is a slap in the face to the unwritten rules of this genre, it breaks the gaming spirit of MMOs.

MMORPGs are a special kind of gaming genre, immersion is key for many people, and even just knowing that the person in front of me could be wearing or using an item that they have purchased out of game and with no prior effort, is contrary to everything this genre is and should be about.

RMT is a slipper slope, at first it will be sneaked in the back door and then like a virus it will spread to everything. We need to make a stand NOW! NO to RMT or ANY kind.

ANY game with RMT of ANY kind will NOT get me as a subscriber.

So that's one potential customer lost. And if there's 1 theres a lot more.

  viralz

Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/09
Posts: 92

moderated by agenda

5/25/09 4:32:33 PM#20

RMT from western companies is just another form of blizzard envy. if you cannot best them at subs, just make the few subs you have pay more. it is a good idea for "certain companies" who constantly drive customers away and cannot maintain a decent playerbase.

i predict many players will never accept the idea of paying to play and RMT in the same game though. especially in the current economic climate.

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