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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: Free-to-Play and Schadenfreude

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170 posts found
  Einherjar_LC

Tipster

Joined: 5/03/05
Posts: 1067

8/01/12 11:56:46 PM#141
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

Actualy I think the real title of this piece should be "Lowered Expectations - and how to pretend it's something else."

Here's a dumb thought....

Maybe the REAL problem is that they designed a game that most people didn't feel was WORTH $15 per month to play....

but instead of admiting that the quality was TOO LOW...they spin it as "the price being too High"..... cute but functionaly equivalent.

$15 per month is DIRT CHEAP as far as entertainment dollars go.  I probably loose more then that to pocket change falling into the couch each month.  I'd gladly pay 3 to 4 times that for a decent MMO....unfortunately they simply aren't building any these days. It's sad when the closest thing availble to a quality MMO experience is a 1980's text based MUD (and I can't quite bring myself to go back to that).

No Mike....the problem isn't the pricing model....the problem is that Dev's these days seem to have failed to get the barest grasp on how to build a half-way decent game actualy WORTH playing.....and TOR is just another sad example of that.

 

The real news flash here.... F2P is neither the Solution, NOR the problem.... it's the SYMPTOM.

Symptom of industry who's products for the most part aren't really WORTH BUYING..... and when no one thinks your products are worth buying....the only choice you have is to give them away for FREE.

I've been sitting here for years now with money buring a hole in my pocket....just waiting for a half-way decent,  half-way fun MMO to spend it on.... and it's still just sitting there....because all I keep seeing is one piece of badly over-hyped dreck after the next.... TOR being the latest iteration.

THAT's your problem, right there.

 

 

 

This post hits the nail squarely on the head.

 

Well stated and closer to the truth than what this article portrays.

 

I actually had to take another look at the OP because I was certain this was more "F2P is the bestest and you suck if you don't agree" ramblings of Mr. Aioshi.

 

I've been around here for awhile and I'd have to say I haven't seen an article that has made me question MMORPG's reputation until now.  This article screams we're getting a ton of revenue from EA/BW/LA to push this game...true or not, it's the impression it gives, at least to me.

 

Mikey B., I'm afraid I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one.

 

 

Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

8/02/12 12:28:55 AM#142
Originally posted by CazNeerg

Oh, and to those asking for SWG back; depending on which estimates you believe for current TOR players, SWG at it's peak had somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of what TOR has now, it's peak was many years ago, and it's engine is horribly dated.  Add to that, if a miracle occurred and they did bring it back, it would be the NGE SWG that virtually nobody actually liked, not the one that could have been described as innovative and worth saving.  But keep dreaming, it doesn't hurt anything.

You can take a deep breath and relax, it's not coming back. I personally just put that out there to express my dismay that SWG was pushed out needlessly by LA when they attempted their WoW killer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  daltanious

Elite Member

Joined: 4/19/08
Posts: 1752

8/02/12 12:52:27 AM#143

F2P is the worst disease to ever hit gaming industry. Wondering why would any company invest any decent ammount of money for quality gaming if cheap people would like to live for free whole life.

  sumo0

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/18/10
Posts: 121

8/02/12 2:52:25 AM#144

poo game from a poo company (EA) = failed mmo.

 

atleast with a f2p model they can bring in some cash from noobs who dont know anything about EA.

here is the best advice i can give concerning EA:

DO NOT SUPPORT THEM!!

  Mahavishnu

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/17/12
Posts: 338

8/02/12 3:13:46 AM#145

This is obviously their last attempt to save this game. But maybe some guys at mmorp.com are still blind to the obivous. Not all of course. Just read this: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/367/view/reviews/loadUR/120

And so many issues had already been discussed during beta! Aside from the solo-missions it is a bad experience. MMOs are about playing together, but this game does not deliver any interesting idea to bring players together. It copied some stuff from WoW and that's it.

When SWTOR came out, a huge amount of players were ready to pay a monthly subscription - and they still would be! So the question is, why did they leave the game? Not because of the payment, because that was never a problem for them!

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.

  Vesavius

Old School

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 7147

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

8/02/12 5:57:36 AM#146
Originally posted by Robsolf

One thing we’ve heard consistently, and something I’ve even heard in my own circles, is that SW:TOR is actually a really fun game to play, many have simply felt that it wasn’t necessarily worth putting $15/month into.

That's pretty much it for me. 

 

But they would invest their precious leisure time into if it was 'free'?

 

I don't get that at all. Why is fun now, but wasn't then? Whats changed, except the tiny £2.50/wk it cost?

 

Personally speaking, If it isn't worth my money then a game certainly isn't worth my time.

 

If devs want to retain players they need to just make better games, rather then making the same old shit and then giving the client away in the hope that they snag some addicted impulse buyers. 'F2P' is really such a seedy revenue model.

  solarine

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 1204

8/02/12 6:24:58 AM#147
Originally posted by Vesavius
Originally posted by Robsolf

One thing we’ve heard consistently, and something I’ve even heard in my own circles, is that SW:TOR is actually a really fun game to play, many have simply felt that it wasn’t necessarily worth putting $15/month into.

That's pretty much it for me. 

 

But they would invest their precious leisure time into if it was 'free'?

 

I don't get that at all. Why is fun now, but wasn't then? Whats changed, except the tiny £2.50/wk it cost?

 

Personally speaking, If it isn't worth my money a game certainly isn't worth my time.

 

If devs want to retain players they need to just make better games, rather then making the same old shit and then giving the client away in the hope they snag some addicted impulse buyers. 'F2P' is really such a seedy revenue model.

 

Yeah. Me, I can't see how something is fun but not worth $15 a month, either. Those players probably mean "it's fun to level, but not fun to stick around for the mediocre endgame". And I'd agree with that. 

To me, SWTOR up until the cap was fun. And yes, it was worth the sub - as long as I was still leveling. So, if SWTOR was a game where quite impossibly the leveling & storyline & flashpoint progression content went on endlessly all together, I'd keep subbing. But it's not, and, you know, this is what happens.

I guess they'd be OK if they could keep a continuous flood of new subscribers that came in for the story - probably meaning a lot of newcomers to the MMO genre as well - but they've probably found Blizzard has already hit the ceiling on the MMO player numbers and it's not really going to go up by that much.

 

Oh, and again, on that note.... Giving away what to many players are the sole attraction of the game and expecting them to pay for the stuff people didn't like enough to pay to play in the first place? 

That's like cutting the rose's thorns away, giving the rose for free and expecting people to pay for the thorns! :)

  UsulDaNeriak

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 642

8/02/12 7:01:39 AM#148

Isnt it weird that just some strange terms like Schadenfreude, Weltanschauung, or Blitzkrieg made it from my mothers language into english?

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

  shantideva

Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/09
Posts: 193

8/02/12 7:22:56 AM#149

--message deleted--

 

"Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night, all day!"

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1158

8/02/12 7:22:57 AM#150

Wow, Mike. You really seem to have a sort of "Protective Parent" thing about you with TOR.

Last time it was taking people to task over their opinions that TOR plays more like a single-player RPG with multiplayer, than a true MMORPG. Now you're taking them to task over the predictions it would go F2P and trying to shoot them down on that. One might almost think you have a deep love for the game or something :).

Saying a MMORPG is going to go F2P at this point is almost a guaranteed safe bet these days. There are few MMOs remaining that haven't gone that route, some fail outright and, of course, there's GW and GW2 which have a different revenue model altogether.. "Buy To Play with a Cash Shop".

However, some of the "I told you so's" are vindicated, I think. Very much so. Look back to the hype around TOR before its launch. Look at all the bold declarations being made about it. How, fail or succeed, it would forever change the face of the industry. How it would bring a sea-change to the genre and forever alter what MMO gamers expected and demanded from the genre. How it would be THE MMO - for real this time - to finally take on and possibly topple the mighty WoW. The hyperbole was flying, from EA/Bioware, from the media, from the fans and even from folks here at MMORPG.com. I seem to remember a particularly gushing article from yourself during that period.

This was "The One MMO To Rule Them All", and almost everyone, it seemed, was on that bandwagon. Those who maintained a position of cautious optimism or outright skepticism were often scoffed at for not seeing the obvious truth unfurling before them. The irony being, of course, that they were.

Then, reality happened. The game launched and, just like many of those skeptics and cautious folk had warned (and were promptly boo'd and hissed at for), the game turned out to not be all it was proclaimed to be. In fact, not even close. Not even in the same ballpark. Challenge WoW? Not at all. Change the face of the genre? Not even close. TOR's predicted game-changing tidal wave of a splash turned out to be a rather small and mostly unimpressive splash in the pond.

Some have tried to now go back and revise history, to claim that no one was really ever hyping up the game, that it was all the fans' doing. To try and sweep the unbridled pre-launch love-fest under the rug like it never happened. Only it did, and those of us who were around to see, and endure it remember it all too well.

TOR did not do nearly as well as it was expected to, by almost everyone, at every level, in every corner of the MMO community.

It was only a matter of time before the announcement of F2P would come because the subscription model was too much to ask for a game that was not delivering the experience it boasted for so long, nor for the rate at which new content would be released. Lower people's expectations by removing the sub-fee, and suddenly all those complaints go away. Happens every time.

If TOR was maintaining 2 million-plus active subscriptions, nevermind the millions upon millions it was assumed they'd have, I don't think you'd have seen this F2P announcement so soon. In fact, I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't have.

So, are the people saying "told you so" vindicated? Yes, I think they are.

 

 

 

"Devs need to stop trying to make MMOs for people who don't like MMOs" - thevampirelematt/Reddit

  Dolmong

Novice Member

Joined: 3/11/04
Posts: 516

8/02/12 8:58:32 AM#151

Good Move ! So Now they can attract more people to play the games.

I hope the Cartel Coin actually worth for buying!

  Dolmong

Novice Member

Joined: 3/11/04
Posts: 516

8/02/12 8:58:32 AM#152

Good Move ! So Now they can attract more people to play the games.

I hope the Cartel Coin actually worth for buying!

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

8/02/12 10:28:37 AM#153
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by TheBigDRC

Going from sub to F2P is life-support.

Ok.  So explain why converting to Freemium always results in increased revenue, often to the point where previously stagnating games are able to release frequent updates, and on occasion even well received expansions.  Why do so many subscription worshippers insist on ignoring the reality that Freemium has been a more effective business model for every game that has tried it?

You are arguing facts not in evidence. That contention that it has "always" increased revenue is unsupported by any real data. If you contend otherwise then please show me the internal accounting numbers for all the games you have claimed experienced it and provide a supportable methodology to create a control set for  what revenue games would have experienced had they not converted.

The only uncontrovertable case I can see without such hard data was DDO....but DDO was at near zero revenue to begin with.  LOTRO did see a breif bump right after the conversion, but it rapidly fell away after that. It's highly debateable whether LOTRO wasn't ultimately worse off due to the conversion, especialy when one postulates what the resources sunk into the conversion could have been utilized for otherwise. However the executive in charge over at Turbine was wedded to the business model, since that's how she made her reputation. So no going back there. What other examples do you maintain are indisputable?

 

Note:  That is NOT to argue that F2P or Freemium are neccesarly poor business models (at least from a commercial perspective, whether they are good for the HOBBY as opposed to the industry is another matter). However, CHANGING business models in mid-stream....and especialy so quickly after launch IS an act of damage control/desperation to try to salvage a struggling product. No successfull company PLANS on designing, budgeting and financing for one business model only to throw it out after a few months and scramble to replace it with another. That's an abject failure, one that typicaly results in senior executives and board members being replaced and stock prices tumbling. Gee...I wonder where we might have seen such things happen?

  psychobgr

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 129

8/02/12 10:39:21 AM#154

What I saw alot on the official forums where sub paying players felt cheated and let down by the decision to go F2P. I welcome the F2P as I played it for 3 months but didnt want to pay a monthly fee anymore.

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

8/02/12 10:40:29 AM#155
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by TheBigDRC
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by TheBigDRC
 

It's making them money sure, but by sucking their customers money out like a vampire. Freemiums are blood-suckers, leechs, parasites.

Everything in a freemium would cost you.

Want to access this zone? $7 for a month.

Want to make better gear? $10

Want to join in the raid tonight? $12

I'm not going to deny that, at a business view-point, it's effective. And with so much moeny flowing in they gotta spend it, need more stuff to keep people spending. It's just not good for the consumer in the long run.

As far as I know, every freemium game out there offers the a la carte version or a sub and you get everything.

So the consumer has a choice.

True, forgot about that.

Just ran into so many people in-game from MMO to MMO that say, "Freemium is cheaper, I don't have to pay a sub." Nah, just gotta pay for everything else.

Thanks though, reminding me about that part of freemiums.

Add to that, Freemium often has a faster pace of content creation, in keeping with the idea that they only make money from "free" players by giving them more things to pay for.  As a result, people who continue to subscribe enjoy total access to an increased pace of new content delivery, for the same amount of money they had previously paid for either no new content, or slow new content.

Nope, Freemium has a faster pace of reskinning old content to be sold in the store under a new label to both free players and subscribers as a premium item. That's how they monetize thier content creation process. Make as few changes as possible to an existing item/piece of content and repackage it in hopes someone will buy it. Repeat as rapidly as possible and see what sticks to the wall. Freemium games have to do that....as they tend to serve a much larger user base at much lower margins. That typicaly means they need to push as much volume as possible and let quality slip by the way side. It's what lower margin businesses need to do in order to be proffitable.

 

 

 

 

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

8/02/12 10:55:04 AM#156
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by toddze
Originally posted by Arawnite

I've never met anyone in any MMO that has decided to quit because of the payment method or amount.

It's always based on them not enjoying the game anymore, for various reasons. As far as I'm concerned, the original sub amount is moot.

Yes your right about that, but there is a big crowd out there that will not play a game with a sub. So the F2P version more so targets them atleast IMO.

Its becoming a disturbing trend, release as P2P then go F2P in 6-8 months. But then again these type of games are not MMO's.

EDIT: TSW will be another example of this, they will milk subs until they hit the low target mark then go f2p in 6-8 month

Let me guess, you are one of those who thinks "Not a sandbox" = "Not a MMO?"  It has become a trend, and I agree that TSW will be another example of it.  But why is it disturbing?  Why do so many people have an emotional attachment to not having the option to play a game without a subscription?  When did having choices become a negative thing?  When they are done well, Freemium conversions lead to a situation where subscribers are getting more content while paying the same amount as before, while new players get the ability to save money by only paying for the parts of the game they want.  Everybody wins, except for people with an apparently totally baseless and irrational hatred for the hybrid model.

Nope sorry....I want an all inclusive vacation....not a trip to the casino. Unfortunately your casino intrudes itself into my resort vacation and makes me put money into the slot machines just to access the beach that I wanted to goto to get away from thinking about money.

To put it breifly the existance of an RMT/FTP option effects core decisions about a games design, presentation, development , community and user experience that DIRECTLY and indirectly impact it's subscription based customers in ways many of them find negative and unwanted.

 

 

 

 

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

8/02/12 11:02:48 AM#157
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by iceman00
 

Damn, that kool-aid is awesome no?

When a game launches with 2.4 million, and 6 months later is "above" 500k, that isn't a success!

Nothing else to say.  That's a huge amount of kool-aid drinking.

So, when you make more money in a month than you spend, you consider that an unsuccessful month?  It's easy to classify anything as a failure if you use a different definition of success for every product/service.

It may be a "successfull" month but under that arguement, if you invest $200 million in building a product and make $1 per month over operating budget...that would be "success" by the same standard too.

In that case....where is my $200 million?  I promise I'll have it back to you in 70-80 million years, tops!

 

  GrumpyMel2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1813

8/02/12 11:19:17 AM#158
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by iceman00
 

I consider something a "success" if you recoup your investment and make a strong profit.  That they've lost 75% of their subscriber base in 6 months and are going to F2P, as well as EA's stock tanking, I think that's pretty concusive evidence we aren't looking at a success.

Now there's a more subjective one, and that's did you get a good return on your investment.  I can't answer that question, but the market seems to have responded with not just no, but hell no.

In my opinion, if we are going to measure based on total cost vs. total revenue, rather than cost vs revenue on a month to month basis, then one can't logically describe TOR as a success or as a failure, from a financial standpoint, until one of two things happens; they recoup all of their development costs and turn a profit, or the game shuts down.  It is highly unlikely tht anyone outside EA is going to be provided the necessary data to make that judgment.  We don't know for sure what they spent, we don't know for sure what they've made.  But technically speaking, the game won't be a failure unless it fails to make a substantial profit over the lifetime of the product.  The Freemium conversion is likely to substantially extend the lifetime of the product, giving it more time to become successful, if it isn't already.

As for the market, TOR doesn't have it's own stock price, and it isn't EA's only product.  Trying to pin an entire company's stock woes on a single game is a little silly, compared to a lot of their other products, TOR is an absolute gem.

EDIT:  It would be nice if people stopped treating "not as successful as people hoped it would be" as if it were equivalent to "not successful."  They are two different standards, and the word seems to get misused more often than not on these forums, not just in regard to TOR.

Originally posted by Tanvaras

Never played SWTOR, as I never was interested even though a big SW fan, but.....

Just another failed MMO going Pay2Win. Isn't there enough P2W mmo's out there now, let alone adding another one.

Good luck to those who stay with it, I know the few friends that played left very quickly with a sour taste in there mouth, maybe it might get lucky and actually get more players. Time will tell.

Ah, one of the people who has clearly not played many Freemium games.  I have yet to see one that gives users of the cash shop any substantial gameplay advantage over anyone else.  Maybe try actually playing them before trash talking them?  Can you buy gear in some of them that is better than trash loot off of mobs?  Sure, you can grab +2 Swords from the Turbine shop in DDO.  Can you buy gear that is better than gear you earn at the same level from quests?  Not in any game that springs to mind for me.

 

Incorrect. In investment you have to consider Opportunity Cost. Something is NOT a success simply because you EVENTUALY may get your money (or more) back. Something is a success only if you can get a higher return at less risk then most of the OTHER things you could have done with that money.

If I have a million dollars sunk in something for 10 years...that's 10 years I can't use that money for anything else...it better give me a good return compared with the things I could turn around and get my money back on within a year.....and it sure as heck better beat inflation.

Alot of investors are ALREADY looking at TOR as a financial failure...which is PART (obviously not all) of the reason EA's stocks (and executives) have taken a drubbing. It's still got some time yet to see if it can turn things around, as less then a year honestly isn't that long for this type of product to be out....but trends are looking for a REALLY disappointing ROI for this product...which is why EA is scrambling like it is.

If a few years from now investors look at TOR and see they would have been better off buying tax free, government insured municipal bonds....then yeah, TOR will have been an abject failure from a financial standpoint even if it eventualy reaps a proffit.

  mnemic666

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/23/10
Posts: 92

8/02/12 11:20:08 AM#159

A whole lot of excuses in this article.

 

The game failed to live up to the expectations and hype of either EA/BW OR of the playerbase as a whole. I'm not saying the game is bad (I think it has issues, but it's a good game), nor do I think the game is a "failure", as they are still profitable, but based off all their previous statements and the expectations of fans, it's been an abject failure.

 

A game can't launch as a subscription based game in this market? I have one word for you. Rift. Still going strong and pushing out rapid, top quality content updates well over a year after launch, with an expansion slated for this winter.

 

There is absolutely still room for subscription based games in the market, they just need to be DAMN good. With all the high quality F2P games, subscription based games need to offer something that F2P games don't, and have a level of quality that surpasses that of F2P games. Rift has managed to do this. EVE has done this. WoW has done this, but also survives off of its own inertia at this point. EA/BW didn't provide that with SWTOR, hence why the biggest reason people left was because of the "subscription". Despite the hundreds of millions in development costs and marketing, the game hasn't provided that level of quality or that "hook" to keep players playing at levels that EA/BW want.

 

Please, stop making excuses for the game. I'm not some mindless hater (I'm super stoked for the transition and plan on playing it more when it goes F2P, I'm mainly interested in the story so the fact that that's 100% free pleases me even more), but I'm also not going to look at a chicken and call it a computer. SWTOR has failed to live up to expectations, plain and simple. Maybe not your individual expectations, since there are still plenty who love the game and that's great, but the expectations of the market. Given how hard EA/BW pushed the subscription model and how much trash talking they did of F2P and WoW, they totally deserve a black eye for this.

  nilden

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 886

8/02/12 3:13:23 PM#160

Going from 1.7m and 200 servers to less than 20 servers and free to play. Guess what it's not the business model.

 

It's sad when people outright deny that this game failed, let alone have no idea why.

It's a lot like saying the Titanic didn't sink.

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