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News & Features Discussion  » General: Who's Next for F2P?

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196 posts found
  unbound55

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/09
Posts: 328

9/21/10 11:48:31 AM#21

Lot of very likely ones listed above.  Interestingly, Blizzard has been looking at F2P model for WoW (http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/06/30/blizzard-discuss-making-world-of-warcraft-free/)...they claim they aren't looking to get there anytime soon, but the fact that they are thinking about it may be a surprise to some.

  Teala

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 7403

"Really officer, they're herbs."

9/21/10 11:52:53 AM#22

All games will eventually be free to play and have micro-transactions....it is coming and there is little we the consumers can do about it.   What I do not understand is how a game like Guild Wars can operate and continue to add new content constantly in between expansions.    If they can do it, why can't other companies?  

  fansede

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/03
Posts: 957

Pain is fear leaving the body..

9/21/10 11:53:08 AM#23
Originally posted by vack


In my opinion, a game must be built to be F2P, in order to retain anything. Taking a game that is not built on that model, can not work very long.  Let's look at Warhammer;  Players already have the ability to change the appearance of their gear, so to me, I'm not going to spend dollars to look pretty.  The game revolves, like many MMO's, the shiny loot, and you said it best, the "Pay to Win" Model will back fire quickly and decisively.

As for paying for other classes and or races.  The way Mythic is known for adding those things?  Essentially what you are saying is the same thing as "Pay to Win"  You might see an increase at the inception, but I'll bet a dramatic fall off shortly there after.

 

Me 2 cents on it.

 

I would modify that a tad. I think all games should be ready and flexible enough to transition to a F2P model. There are plenty of subscription MMOs that are thriving. Including the big WoW Gorilla in the room. Games age. If the company can't attract more new players the player base will move on eventually. Did GW2 come about because they simply wanted to input a patch of so many new elements they didn't want to ruin GW1? That is the party line. Or did the player base drop and they needed to invigorate the game?

F2P is by far is easiest method to attract new players. However, the big test will be Bioware vs. Arenanet. Reason being is that Bioware is telling us they are investing more money in a production of a game than any other company to date. To hope its players will buy enough cash shop type items  to make this investment pay off is a huge gamble. EA/ Bioware don't like gambles. They can figure box sales will defray a lot of the production costs, but will it be enough? Subscriptions ally those fears.

Now if Bioware bombs, you can estimate subscribers dropping, but will it be a cliff or slope shaped drop? I bet their financial gurus have a backup plan and a danger level of subscribers. If the gamer base drops to that level, offer free trials. If it drops lower, offer F2P. 

Ok Wall of text and going nowhere fast. Point being not every game needs to be F2P, but they should be ready to go F2P with little work to transition to it.

  Ambrose99

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/10
Posts: 68

9/21/10 11:55:15 AM#24
  Mahlo

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/06
Posts: 800

Respectable people... What bastards!

9/21/10 11:58:51 AM#25
Originally posted by snoop101

I dont understand this F2P fetish that a lot of people have now a days. $10-$14 a month is really not that big of an issue. I heard of F2P games that cost way more then that in the long run. F2P really isnt F2P

$14 is a big issue if you don't just want one MMO to choose from. But f2p means you can dip in and out of games when you like. That appeals to me.

edit: oh and my money is on vanguard next

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11363

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

9/21/10 12:01:19 PM#26
Originally posted by Teala

All games will eventually be free to play and have micro-transactions....it is coming and there is little we the consumers can do about it.   What I do not understand is how a game like Guild Wars can operate and continue to add new content constantly in between expansions.    If they can do it, why can't other companies?  

Many subscription MMOs have had paid services and item sales for years now. The consumers have complete control over it, as they wouldn't be present or as prolific as they are if people weren't paying for them. When it comes to leisure activities and entertainment, if there is greater demand for something, more people supply it. If there's little or no demand for something, very few people will sell it, if any.

  Panther2103

Elite Member

Joined: 1/09/08
Posts: 1959

9/21/10 12:01:47 PM#27

I hope it's Lineage 2. The F2P model was great in Russia. Too bad if they did it here it would probably end up getting localized and they would see all the other games where you had to pay to get past certain points. I really hope if it goes F2P that they don't give you the option to pay for newer areas.

  vack

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/05
Posts: 55

9/21/10 12:03:39 PM#28
Originally posted by fansede

Originally posted by vack


In my opinion, a game must be built to be F2P, in order to retain anything. Taking a game that is not built on that model, can not work very long.  Let's look at Warhammer;  Players already have the ability to change the appearance of their gear, so to me, I'm not going to spend dollars to look pretty.  The game revolves, like many MMO's, the shiny loot, and you said it best, the "Pay to Win" Model will back fire quickly and decisively.

As for paying for other classes and or races.  The way Mythic is known for adding those things?  Essentially what you are saying is the same thing as "Pay to Win"  You might see an increase at the inception, but I'll bet a dramatic fall off shortly there after.

 

Me 2 cents on it.

 

I would modify that a tad. I think all games should be ready and flexible enough to transition to a F2P model. There are plenty of subscription MMOs that are thriving. Including the big WoW Gorilla in the room. Games age. If the company can't attract more new players the player base will move on eventually. Did GW2 come about because they simply wanted to input a patch of so many new elements they didn't want to ruin GW1? That is the party line. Or did the player base drop and they needed to invigorate the game?

F2P is by far is easiest method to attract new players. However, the big test will be Bioware vs. Arenanet. Reason being is that Bioware is telling us they are investing more money in a production of a game than any other company to date. To hope its players will buy enough cash shop type items  to make this investment pay off is a huge gamble. EA/ Bioware don't like gambles. They can figure box sales will defray a lot of the production costs, but will it be enough? Subscriptions ally those fears.

Now if Bioware bombs, you can estimate subscribers dropping, but will it be a cliff or slope shaped drop? I bet their financial gurus have a backup plan and a danger level of subscribers. If the gamer base drops to that level, offer free trials. If it drops lower, offer F2P. 

Ok Wall of text and going nowhere fast. Point being not every game needs to be F2P, but they should be ready to go F2P with little work to transition to it.

 

I can agree with your flexibility statement in future games.  However; taking these earlier games which were never intended for F2P, and bandaiding them to retain customers on things such as a new hat!?!  That I can not agree with.  New games coming along, sure, but never "Pay to Win". 

Vack
FF XIV - the single worse game to cross my hard drive, ever.

  User Deleted
9/21/10 12:04:32 PM#29

http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/4557/Whos-Next-for-F2P.html

This is the Link

There’s sort of a running bet around the virtual offices here at MMORPG.com about which game will try to hop onto the F2P model next. Just this week we watched as Pirates of the Burning Sea announced their switch over to the more “new user friendly” model. Turbine’s DDO has started a tidal wave through the industry as it realizes that there may be better financial success through experimentation with new business models. Everyone seems to be trying something a little different, as in Everquest II’s splitting their service between vanilla EQ2 and EQ2 Extended. Just as when subscription games initially gained a foothold in the videogame marketplace, prompting studios like Blizzard to enter the fray, the apparent success of DDO’s resurrection as a F2P title is prompting studios to get off the subscription train. The only question remains, which will be next? After all, the market is getting more and more crowded with every release… it might make sense to start designing your game and business operations with a bit of mobility in case the standard subscription method isn’t cutting the mustard.

 

6.) Age of Conan

I was close to not putting this one on the list. After all, as far as we know AoC is doing quite well for itself with around 100,000 players according to some accounts. While those aren’t exactly the million plus numbers Funcom was hoping for back at launch it’s certainly not a consistently paying total that should be scoffed at. But here’s the kicker… Age of Conan sold over one million boxes back when it launched. And while I’m not sure of the number of copies currently circulating, I’m sure it’s even higher today with the lowered cost of the original game. So if estimates are correct and AoC is pulling around 100K active subscriptions, but has a potential user-base of over one million out there who have bought and presumably played the game, does it not stand to reason that Funcom could see some large transaction numbers on a DDO-esque “Freemium” model right off the bat without even having to attract new players first? After all they already have an installed base of over a million strong. It’s food for thought.

5.) Lineage II

Lineage II has been around now for more than six years, and for all intents and purposes is still going strong. It has a loyal core fan-base that is more than content to take part in the siege warfare the game is known best for. So why would the game even consider going F2P? My logic is that aging games like Lineage II must eventually find some way to stand out from the thong of new titles. Lineage II is another title with a large list of potential users at their disposal, and as games like TERA come to the forefront to try and steal its thunder, it might make sense for the game to take a new approach here in the West. It could also serve as NCsoft’s first foray into the new trend of operating on a hybrid model. If successful, maybe some of the Korean company’s previously closed titles might find a way to resurrection.


4.) Star Trek Online

The next two titles on the list could be interchangeable, but I thought it was worth listing them both separately to talk about why each could potentially benefit from the move. Star Trek Online, recently re-reviewed by our own staff, has had a definite trial during its first year in existence. Stacked up against impossibly high odds, and presumably developed on a shorter timeline than just about any other MMO, it hasn’t seen the greatest rallying of support from the vocal minority on our interwebs. But here’s where it may actually find some sense of relief from critics. If it were to switch a F2P model that was supported more by users purchasing new “episodes” of content (among other things I’m sure), I think the crowds of people crying out that STO isn’t enough game to pay for monthly would quickly quiet down.

It’s largely a PvE game as it stands, and the general trend that I’ve noticed is that players come back for a look when new content releases, and then go away again until the next batch comes through. Instead of fighting an uphill battle, why not aggressively use this trend to the game’s benefit? Now I have no idea of the budget STO was created on and if this would actually work for the game, but I do believe it would at least get a lot of us cynical players of Cryptic’s back when it comes to charging $15 a month for a game many claim only has one month worth of content as is.

3.) Champions Online

Champions Online, like STO, faces stiff player attitudes these days. The game has its loyal users, but the growing consensus is that it is lacking in enough depth to constitute its subscription fee. Both games already make extensive use of a micro-transaction store for cosmetic items (which has been exhaustively lampooned by customers). But I’ll hazard a guess that Champions would be able to charge for many more costume variations in its C-Store were the game to try a hybrid F2P model akin to what DDO has on offer. The adventure packs that Cryptic is already releasing are a great thing to charge $5 to $10 for depending on the complexity of each pack. We already know that players of MMOs will gladly pay for cosmetic items, they just more often than not don’t like to pay for said items on top of a subscription fee… unless it’s a sparkly flying horse. And with CoH still ruling the roost of superhero MMOs and DCUO poised to make a dent as well, one wonders if Champions Online will be able to compete without some change to its strategy.


2.) Vanguard

Vanguard might not seem like an obvious choice for the F2P movement to some, but with SOE’s EQ2 Extended and PotBS going F2P, one has to wonder if some of the company’s other titles aren’t far off. Vanguard was one of those games that came out after Blizzard’s World of Warcraft from the mind of one of online gaming’s first luminaries. But Brad McQuaid’s vision didn’t seem to sit well with gamers when the title launched, or rather the execution of said vision didn’t. But still the game’s only been getting better since release, and yet we rarely hear anything on that front. One wonders if some aggressive marketing aimed directly at making Vanguard the Old Schools’ game of choice for the low price of free couldn’t do something to turn around the silence on that front. It’s a title with a lot of good ideas in place that might only need some more players to make such an expansive world seem livelier.

1.) Warhammer Online

Speaking of titles that have a lot of good ideas in place, there is perhaps no better game to benefit from going F2P than Warhammer Online. Already the title has an Unlimited Trial of its first ten ranks in place that keeps Tier One thumping on a daily basis. There’s no cost to continue playing outside of the monthly subscription either. Meaning players don’t have to buy a box to enjoy some RvR in WAR. The question is: how would a F2P or Freemium model work in WAR? What would players pay for? Would they pay for access to special holiday Scenarios? How about keeping the transactions to cosmetic equipment, mounts, and other items? Surely the idea of “Pay to Win” couldn’t even come into the equation or the switch to a F2P model would quickly backfire. WAR is a game that’s almost entirely based on RvR (PvP) action. So while it may be tricky for Mythic and EA to figure out what’s safe to offer for players to purchase, it may be the title’s best way to maintain viability in the future as other titles come and suck away at their existing user-base. One thing which comes to mind that players would probably gladly pay for is the addition of new races and factions.


But what about you, dear readers? What games on this list or left off of it could you see giving the F2P model a try and why?

  User Deleted
9/21/10 12:10:15 PM#30

I agree that all games are headed F2P at some point and to some extent. I hope that, if they do, they will learn something from LOTRO's way of doing things.

To me, a F2P option is a great way to go and not make the game completely F2P with just a cash shop.

I love the fact I can sub to LOTRO at anytime and leave the shop behind. At the same time, I love the fact, if I can't, I can buy the zones as needed. That is an awesome option for a very casual player with a newborn child!

To me the F2P option is nice if its an option and full sub rights remain and also if the items in the cash shop do not allow the buyer to get better or easier to obtain gear. That is where I draw the line. Again its all about options and consumers prefer that today.

  Khur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/16/10
Posts: 7

9/21/10 12:23:51 PM#31

I think Asheron's Call has a good chance to become the next F2P game, since Turbine is clearly committed to the concept, it's the only P2P game in their stable, and it's actually a great game that only needs a bit of work to become competitive again.

  snoop101

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/07/07
Posts: 384

9/21/10 12:24:18 PM#32

Can we look at it also regarding the people that play F2P. Lets take LOTRO. I have the game and all the xpacs. The only reason I wont sub again is because I know I will be playing with people that just go F2P. IMO people who dont want to pay for a quality game are just there for the free ride and really could care less about the game and the people that play it. A good example would be being in an dungeon with a group of people. lets say everyone subs except for the one person. If that person needs to go somewhere in RL he is just going to drop out. Why, because he losses nothing, as the other people who enjoy the game and are willing to pay with dedicate their time to it.

to me its way to early to find out if LOTRO is a success. I would to see the same amout of F2P players make it to end game as P2P. Lotro is all about the adventure of leveling and it does take time. F2P players dont have time. Like another person replied to one of my posts that he/she plays more then one MMO. Which is fine, but unless you dont work/school you really cant be dedicated to more then one mmo on a serious level.

  itomic97

Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/09
Posts: 48

9/21/10 12:25:23 PM#33

nfs world also became f2p, would like to see global agenda and apb going f2p, most likely will happen

  User Deleted
9/21/10 12:26:48 PM#34
Originally posted by itomic97

nfs world also became f2p, would like to see global agenda and apb going f2p, most likely will happen

Global Agenda is B2P now so it has no sub and ABP closed down.

  snoop101

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/07/07
Posts: 384

9/21/10 12:27:21 PM#35
Originally posted by itomic97

nfs world also became f2p, would like to see global agenda and apb going f2p, most likely will happen

Global Agenda will not work as once you buy the game its free. Which a lot of people like.

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

9/21/10 12:31:28 PM#36
Originally posted by Khur

I think Asheron's Call has a good chance to become the next F2P game.

 I was surprised that this wasn't on the list since the company has turned 2 of its 3 games into F2P models now. But I generally find these lists to miss out on details that people who are actually involved in the MMO community can easily notice.

 

It is like when UO gets rewards for longest running MMO when The Realm was around before and has been running non-stop. It is often those who know the least that decide things I guess.

  OkhamsRazor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/10
Posts: 1066

9/21/10 12:37:18 PM#37
Originally posted by snoop101

Can we look at it also regarding the people that play F2P. Lets take LOTRO. I have the game and all the xpacs. The only reason I wont sub again is because I know I will be playing with people that just go F2P. IMO people who dont want to pay for a quality game are just there for the free ride and really could care less about the game and the people that play it. A good example would be being in an dungeon with a group of people. lets say everyone subs except for the one person. If that person needs to go somewhere in RL he is just going to drop out. Why, because he losses nothing, as the other people who enjoy the game and are willing to pay with dedicate their time to it.

to me its way to early to find out if LOTRO is a success. I would to see the same amout of F2P players make it to end game as P2P. Lotro is all about the adventure of leveling and it does take time. F2P players dont have time. Like another person replied to one of my posts that he/she plays more then one MMO. Which is fine, but unless you dont work/school you really cant be dedicated to more then one mmo on a serious level.

 This made me laugh people dropping out of groups has always happened in Lotro and I've been playing it for 3 years . It does'nt matter if its free to play or not .Also f2players wont have access to all instances . The way I look at it is i would rather have a lot more people playing in the lower levels so I get to do the instances I had a tough time finding groups for in the past . My betting is a lot of those try the game on a free to play basis will end up subbing anyway as they progress through the game .

Maybe your looking it in the wrong way and have the dogmatic view that nothing should ever change in the way an mmo funds itself even if theres a far more successful buisness model available . The subscription model has been overpriced for too long and people wanted an alternative . If your giving up on mmos because of these new buisness models you'll proberbly soon have to give up on the majority of mmos .

I know its slightly different but did you complain that say the likes of modern warfare or left for dead did nt charge a monthly sub ? I m betting you did nt so why should it be acceptable in online co op games and not mmos . Its just what you get used to at the end of the day .

  Ceridith

Novice Member

Joined: 11/24/09
Posts: 3001

The more you hype an upcoming game in your mind, the more it will fail to meet your expectations.

9/21/10 12:37:46 PM#38

Less "F2P" and more B2P with mini expansions.

The free to play payment model shift has only ever proven to actually work out for a sinlge MMO so far. Every other MMO that has or is gonig to hop over to a F2P model has yet to prove that it will actually do so profitably.

  User Deleted
9/21/10 12:38:15 PM#39
Swg...
  Khalathwyr

Tipster

Joined: 6/02/04
Posts: 3147

Google is your friend.

9/21/10 12:42:18 PM#40

Bill...comments like what you said about Brad McQuaids's vision make me wonder if you were really following that game through development.  Vanguard had a huge following. The frank and honest truth of the matter, one you may get in trouble for writing, is that when Microsoft dumped Sigil and Sigil went running to SOE, droves of players turned away from that game.

 

If someone else brought forth a polished game using Brad's Vision (he (Brad) is kinda damaged goods now) and managed to do so without climbing into bed with SOE you'd see a game with 500K+ subscribers. You can't dance around reputation and this community of gamers hasn't had turnaround such that there aren't those who remember how SOE treated past customers and current.

 

Vanguard would be one of the top grossing MMOs today if it had had another option other than SOE.

"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..."

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