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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How well exactly does the F2P conversion work for failed P2P games?

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  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7151

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/24/12 3:33:21 PM#1

We all hear the hyperbole of success when a previously P2P game makes the change, and we all see the odd new server or two being thrown up, but...

Can someone tell me if any F2P has consistently been forced to add new servers post launch (on an ongoing basis) as they became ever more popular? Or have all the converted P2P games that have made the shift seen exactly the same player attrition that the saw under their old model? 

 

Does the shift to F2P give ongoing growth, or does it just allow the devs of failed mainstream games to make more money off a small player base?

 

 

 

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/24/12 4:17:49 PM#2

The games which have posted numbers about it have consistently reported some pretty impressive revenue increases.  F2P gives a permanent increase to the flow of new installs, of course, but it doesn't change the fundamental trait of games where as they age they attract fewer players.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12140

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

6/24/12 4:43:31 PM#3
Originally posted by Vesavius

We all hear the hyperbole of success when a previously P2P game makes the change, and we all see the odd new server or two being thrown up, but...

Can someone tell me if any F2P has consistently been forced to add new servers post launch (on an ongoing basis) as they became ever more popular? Or have all the converted P2P games that have made the shift seen exactly the same player attrition that the saw under their old model?

Kind of a red herring there, as even most successful subscription MMOs don't add many servers after launch. APB, Fallen Earth, DDO, LOTRO, AoC and several of the other conversions seem to still be receiving new content a year or two after the switch, which is a positive sign. If a game is failing, it's not going ot have dev teams allocated to it to create new content. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fovoroth

  Chrisbox

Elite Member

Joined: 7/15/10
Posts: 1506

6/24/12 4:48:06 PM#4

Depends on the game too be honest, some still fail, and some attract alot more people.  What makes absolutely no sense to me, is that once a game does go F2P they usually fix what was wrong with the game immediatly, why couldn't they have just done that while it was P2P and the game wouldn't have ended up there.  As for my view, when I play those games I always get this feel of lesser quality and presentation, which is why most F2P games don't appeal to me. 

Played-Everything
Playing-FFXIV:ARR

  UsulDaNeriak

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 642

6/24/12 4:53:46 PM#5

I am still waiting, that the 1st of these conversions closes the doors and grant, that freemium is not the holy gral for older games, but it did not happen so far. But the more intersting question is indeed, if they still have a dev team working on new expansions after conversion. Old games can run forever: look at EQ1; even still launching expansions. I wonder, if we will see a dedicated dev-team for Vanguard after conversion.

played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7151

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/24/12 4:55:26 PM#6
Originally posted by Axehilt

The games which have posted numbers about it have consistently reported some pretty impressive revenue increases.  F2P gives a permanent increase to the flow of new installs, of course, but it doesn't change the fundamental trait of games where as they age they attract fewer players.

 

So the seeming main success of F2P would seem to be the more efficient milking of a small player base, rather then the attracting of a new mass audience?

Would it be fair to say that the only time we have seen month on month increase in player numbers is under the P2P model?

Even ignoring the profound efgfect that cash shops have on game design, maybe this is not the bright new future that many promised..?

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7151

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/24/12 4:56:29 PM#7
Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

I am still waiting, that the 1st of these conversions closes the doors and grant, that freemium is not the holy gral for older games, but it did not happen so far. But the more intersting question is indeed, if they still have a dev team working on new expansions after conversion. Old games can run forever: look at EQ1; even still launching expansions. I wonder, if we will see a dedicated dev-team for Vanguard after conversion.

 

well, I am sure the cash shop will get a dedicated team... not sure about the rest of the game tbh.

 

  Storman1977

Novice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 202

6/24/12 5:12:55 PM#8

I can't speak to any of the other games that have gone from a full on P2P to the F2P/P2P hybrid, but DDO has been growing.  It was a nice big burst at first (Sept 2009) and has had a steady enough growth rate to justify 14 content updates (not all of them large), the addition of three servers (Cannith, Wayfinder, and Orion), and an upcoming full on expansion (Menace of the Underdark, launches tomorrow).  Seeing how Turbine is very tight lipped about actual numbers, I can't say what kind of increase it really is.  There was rumor, and I will state it just as that, that they were over a million accounts for DDO now.  Not paying accounts, mind you, just accounts.

Not that the conversion hasn't had it's stumbling blocks.  They've done a fair amount of nickel and diming with some of the content updates and additions.  Overcharging for races.  Charging extra for a race that was part of the original game (warforged).  Double dipping on a couple of things.  Poorly thought out packages for the expansion (what use is it to add things that the subscribers already get to the special edition?).  And, let us not forget the biggest thing of all - This is Turbine we're talking about.  For every good thing they do, they screw up three more...And that's coming from a fan of the company and game...

  UsulDaNeriak

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 642

6/24/12 5:21:13 PM#9
Originally posted by Vesavius
 

 

So the seeming main success of F2P would seem to be the more efficient milking of a small player base, rather then the attracting of a new mass audience?

Would it be fair to say that the only time we have seen month on month increase in player numbers is under the P2P model?

nice saracasm, but i guess you are wrong.

all these games had a decreasing player base and not enough new players entered the game. even with fee-trials and all that stuff. obviously with F2P/Freemium more players try the game and also enough new players are willing to spend money in the shop or even subscribe premium, in order to compensate for the natural player-loss of older games.

i agree, that every type of cash-shop model is able to produce more revenue than pure P2P. however, if a game dies slower due to conversion, it was the right business decision.

played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/24/12 5:24:45 PM#10
Originally posted by Vesavius 

So the seeming main success of F2P would seem to be the more efficient milking of a small player base, rather then the attracting of a new mass audience?

Would it be fair to say that the only time we have seen month on month increase in player numbers is under the P2P model?

Even ignoring the profound efgfect that cash shops have on game design, maybe this is not the bright new future that many promised..?

Sure, the MoM numbers have been all that we've heard reported (although I want to say DDO also reported a second number a bit later than the first month they switched..but can't recall what the result was.)

Although I'd disagree that it's not a "bright new future".  After all, box sales encourage developers to hype their game while F2P models encourage developers to actually provide a fun product.  This includes not sacrificing your F2P gameplay on the altar of pay2win, because players are going to see through that and ditch those games (the most successful F2P games have all been games where victory can't be purchased.)

  udon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1606

6/24/12 5:24:56 PM#11
Originally posted by Chrisbox

Depends on the game too be honest, some still fail, and some attract alot more people.  What makes absolutely no sense to me, is that once a game does go F2P they usually fix what was wrong with the game immediatly, why couldn't they have just done that while it was P2P and the game wouldn't have ended up there.  As for my view, when I play those games I always get this feel of lesser quality and presentation, which is why most F2P games don't appeal to me. 

Only thing I can think of is the press/hype that comes with a F2P conversion gives a lot more oppertunity to draw in new players vs just patching content.  

I use to say you only get to launch a game once.  That's not really true anymore.  You can have two launches in todays market, one when you release the game P2P and one when you go F2P.

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7151

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/24/12 5:29:38 PM#12
Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak
Originally posted by Vesavius
 

 

So the seeming main success of F2P would seem to be the more efficient milking of a small player base, rather then the attracting of a new mass audience?

Would it be fair to say that the only time we have seen month on month increase in player numbers is under the P2P model?

nice saracasm, but i guess you are wrong.

all these games had a decreasing player base and not enough new players entered the game. even with fee-trials and all that stuff. obviously with F2P/Freemium more players try the game and also enough new players are willing to spend money in the shop or even subscribe premium, in order to compensate for the natural player-loss of older games.

i agree, that every type of cash-shop model is able to produce more revenue than pure P2P. however, if a game dies slower due to conversion, it was the right business decision.

 

Sarcasm? No... Honest questions and ideas in the interests of conversation.

But, anyhow, I agree... it was undoubedtly the right business decision, as in it makes more money from the same diminishing player base, but that's kind of what I am asking.

I guess what i am trying to say is that does F2P actually 'save' a game in the long term, or does it simply exist to wring more money out of (ultimately) the same size player base on the whole?

  UsulDaNeriak

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 642

6/24/12 5:33:56 PM#13

I am pretty sure, that we will never see pure P2P games in the future again. They all will have a cash-shop.perhaps some indy-sandboxes will still stay P2P, but they are doomed to fail anyways.

F2P as usual (P2W or not)

B2P with cosmetic cash shop (or even more "unconvenient" stuff), miliking via wy too regular (dull) expansions and even worse bombing you with DLCs

P2P with boxsale and cash-shop, which is purely cosmetic at the beginning (e.g.TSW) but ready for conversion and this "2nd launch". this conversion point will be planned already and will happen much earlier than today. usually after 6-12 months, when subscriptions drop dramatically these days.

played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7151

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/24/12 5:36:31 PM#14
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Vesavius 

So the seeming main success of F2P would seem to be the more efficient milking of a small player base, rather then the attracting of a new mass audience?

Would it be fair to say that the only time we have seen month on month increase in player numbers is under the P2P model?

Even ignoring the profound efgfect that cash shops have on game design, maybe this is not the bright new future that many promised..?

 

Although I'd disagree that it's not a "bright new future".  After all, box sales encourage developers to hype their game while F2P models encourage developers to actually provide a fun product.  

 

Surely both models require the dev to provide a 'fun' product?

P2P games need you subbing, and therefore it needs to be fun, and cash shop games need you in their game to use the shop.

Why do you think a sub game is less 'fun' then a F2P game?

Surely, generally speaking, it is true that F2P games actually tend to build in artificial barriers to make the game LESS fun in order to drive you in to their shop to buy boosts or whatever to overcome them? Those same designed barriers in a sub game would lose the dev revenue because the player would just leave, so in fact it can be said that it is in sub game's interests to be more 'fun' then the F2P ones?

  Isane

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/24/06
Posts: 2696

"Some do , Some don''t , Others just cry"

Jean Sali

6/24/12 5:39:26 PM#15
Originally posted by Vesavius

We all hear the hyperbole of success when a previously P2P game makes the change, and we all see the odd new server or two being thrown up, but...

Can someone tell me if any F2P has consistently been forced to add new servers post launch (on an ongoing basis) as they became ever more popular? Or have all the converted P2P games that have made the shift seen exactly the same player attrition that the saw under their old model? 

 

Does the shift to F2P give ongoing growth, or does it just allow the devs of failed mainstream games to make more money off a small player base?

 

 

 

F2P is a myth for starters as your Play(Gameplay is limited), Free to play a limited subset of the game.)

Generally it is good as a lot more cash has been invested into the P2P game so for F2P players to start with it's great. For the legacy population not so good.

F2P games make a lot more cash than P2P games ...... Addiction and Pay to win is a very interesting model. DDO is a very good example of a conversion that has done well.....

________________________________________________________
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  UsulDaNeriak

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 642

6/24/12 5:39:45 PM#16

F2P and P2P are both supposed to be fun. of course just for paying customers. everything else would be stupid. same for B2P, or nobody will buy the next expansion.

played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  Atlan99

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/07/08
Posts: 1355

6/24/12 5:40:15 PM#17
Originally posted by Vesavius
 

 Sarcasm? No... Honest questions and ideas in the interests of conversation.

But, anyhow, I agree... it was undoubedtly the right business decision, as in it makes more money from the same diminishing player base, but that's kind of what I am asking.

I guess what i am trying to say is that does F2P actually 'save' a game in the long term, or does it simply exist to wring more money out of (ultimately) the same size player base on the whole?

I think the problem is you are implying that the two are mutually exclusive.

  waynejr2

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Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3733

RIP City of Heroes!

6/24/12 5:43:04 PM#18
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Vesavius

We all hear the hyperbole of success when a previously P2P game makes the change, and we all see the odd new server or two being thrown up, but...

Can someone tell me if any F2P has consistently been forced to add new servers post launch (on an ongoing basis) as they became ever more popular? Or have all the converted P2P games that have made the shift seen exactly the same player attrition that the saw under their old model?

Kind of a red herring there, as even most successful subscription MMOs don't add many servers after launch. APB, Fallen Earth, DDO, LOTRO, AoC and several of the other conversions seem to still be receiving new content a year or two after the switch, which is a positive sign. If a game is failing, it's not going ot have dev teams allocated to it to create new content. 

Also, if the transition to f2p has p2p and f2p servers, then by definition, they have added servers.  That doesn't mean the same thing as "OMG so many new players we have to add servers!".

  UsulDaNeriak

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 642

6/24/12 5:46:33 PM#19
Originally posted by Vesavius
..., or does it simply exist to wring more money out of (ultimately) the same size player base on the whole?

no, your assumption is wrong. it is not the same player base. the player base is either growing (see DDO), or it is shrinking slower. also growing revenue is not guaranteed or reported so far. the motivation for business decisions is more complex than your imagination ;)

played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
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  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7151

Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.

 
OP  6/24/12 5:51:05 PM#20
Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak
Originally posted by Vesavius
..., or does it simply exist to wring more money out of (ultimately) the same size player base on the whole?

no, your assumption is wrong. it is not the same player base. the player base is either growing (see DDO), or it is shrinking slower. also growing revenue is not guaranteed or reported so far.

 

Have you got links to support this, or are we both assuming? Have we any real proof that the loss rate is slower with F2P? Or that, ultimately, the player base will end up any bigger then under a sub?

 

I am genuinlly interested though, when did DDO add it's new servers?

 

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