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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » P2P and F2P are both dead...Long live B2P! (like GW2)

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  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4176

 
OP  8/22/12 6:53:25 PM#1

I've been having a discussion partly about this in another forum here far, far away... But I'm curious to hear the opinions from the Pub inhabitants.

 

I'm basically saying that Guild Wars 2, regardless of what you think of it, is a game changer for MMO financial models. GW2 is a full-featured MMO with robust PVE and PVP content, complex crafting, etc. And yet, they are continuing to use the same GW1 financial "Buy the Box... and that's it" model.

 

When Gw1 did this back in 2005, it was an exciting new no-sub model for something that resembled an MMO. Unfortunately that's all it was: a resemblance. No AAA MMO needed to worry because what they all provided was a much larger and better product. So the monthly sub P2P model carried on largely unchallenged. 

 

Sure, Arenanet has always had a cash shop where you could buy outfits and extra character slots all along and this will continue with GW2. But don't confuse this with the typical "Free" to play game where the content packs, races, classes and items in the cash shops are much more than just "nice but not needed" options. You actually do get everything you need in the initial payment with GW2 just like you did with GW1.

 

The stuff in the GW2 cash shop will generate some extra revenue, sure. But it isn't anything Arenanet is relying on to make ends meet. They will make their profit from the box sales. Anything else will just be gravy.

 

So... what justification is there now for having a monthly subscription for any MMO? Can't other companies budget to make their profit off the original purchase just like many other PC and console games--with very similar development costs to MMOs--have been doing for years?

 

  delete5230

Elite Member

Joined: 8/15/07
Posts: 2649

8/22/12 7:05:14 PM#2
I'm going GW2 all the way. But if down the line I get tired of it, and something really good comes out I would still pay the sub of $15............BUT IT BETTER BE VERY GOOD !!!
  vmoped

Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 1722

8/22/12 7:10:17 PM#3

I will bite.  One A-net has the advantage of using the same engine (updated), database structure (updated), lore, etc... from GW1.  This gives it an advantage over mmo's that have been crafted from the ground up (including leasing engines and/or IPs) by companies with no mmo development.  Two I believe A-net expects more than "gravy" from their cash shop, in fact I would bet that some of their expected recoup is from cash shop sales.

I am not saying that it will not change the industry to some degree, but I do not believe it is the "messiah" of video games that seems to be implied on alot of forums lately.  I believe if anything that this games success, much like WoW's , will lead to more copycats than anything (good and bad).

Cheers!

MMO Vet since AOL Neverwinter Nights circa 1992. My MMO beat up your MMO. =S

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2354

8/22/12 7:17:48 PM#4

Thing is, only with a purely subscription model can you avoid having the cash shop. Either you have B2P with optional cash shop or you have F2P with a very intrusive cash shop as nearly required. I REALLY don't want this cash shop business force on all future MMOs.

Subscriptions can still work with niche markets but they MUST be designed for longevity and community. Themepark style fast progression and endgame is a mess that doesn't work with it. If all themeparks become F2P, fine I don't care, not like I want to play them much anymore nor would I spend more on them than with a sub.

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

"blocked nariusseldon since forever"

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4941

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

8/22/12 7:39:18 PM#5
Originally posted by Iselin

 

I'm basically saying that Guild Wars 2, regardless of what you think of it, is a game changer for MMO financial models. GW2 is a full-featured MMO with robust PVE and PVP content, complex crafting, etc. And yet, they are continuing to use the same GW1 financial "Buy the Box... and that's it" model.

 

 

Sure, Arenanet has always had a cash shop where you could buy outfits and extra character slots all along and this will continue with GW2. But don't confuse this with the typical "Free" to play game where the content packs, races, classes and items in the cash shops are much more than just "nice but not needed" options. You actually do get everything you need in the initial payment with GW2 just like you did with GW1.

 

The stuff in the GW2 cash shop will generate some extra revenue, sure. But it isn't anything Arenanet is relying on to make ends meet. They will make their profit from the box sales. Anything else will just be gravy.

 

 

 

1.  "Buy the Box... and that's it" model"  No, as you stated before they do have a a cash shop.

2.  "Nice but not needed" .  Most of the modern F2P have this as there cs.  Things are nice but not needed.  Even the dreaded EQ2 and VG has this and they have a fairly reviled cs.  You don't need any of the things in their cs.

3.  But it isn't anything Arenanet is relying on to make ends meet. They will make their profit from the box sales.  How you do you know this?  I would say the opposite.  They added the cs to GW1 because they weren't making enough, and they made sure that GW2 had it in because they are counting on it.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Kopogero

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/09
Posts: 752

8/22/12 7:47:13 PM#6

I disagree,

F2P is best option so far thx to DCUO. They are doing a great job with it. The F2P model gives more choices and freedom of how you want to access the game.

GW2 charges upfront $60, which is expensive and then to access the further content year and a half to two years from now expect to spend another $50-60. Still GW2 does far better job and its more affordable MMORPG compared to P2P must.

As many know the P2P era is coming to an end, thx to the competition in the market. I'm glad to see companies that value their customers and go for small, but guaranteed profits over greed that eventually scares away a lot of potential players.

 

Starcraft aka wise/04. SWG/UO aka Wise HeRo, Light Jedi Knight pre-cu (Bria)

  Fadedbomb

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

8/22/12 7:54:49 PM#7
Originally posted by Iselin

I've been having a discussion partly about this in another forum here far, far away... But I'm curious to hear the opinions from the Pub inhabitants.

 

I'm basically saying that Guild Wars 2, regardless of what you think of it, is a game changer for MMO financial models. GW2 is a full-featured MMO with robust PVE and PVP content, complex crafting, etc. And yet, they are continuing to use the same GW1 financial "Buy the Box... and that's it" model.

 

When Gw1 did this back in 2005, it was an exciting new no-sub model for something that resembled an MMO. Unfortunately that's all it was: a resemblance. No AAA MMO needed to worry because what they all provided was a much larger and better product. So the monthly sub P2P model carried on largely unchallenged. 

 

Sure, Arenanet has always had a cash shop where you could buy outfits and extra character slots all along and this will continue with GW2. But don't confuse this with the typical "Free" to play game where the content packs, races, classes and items in the cash shops are much more than just "nice but not needed" options. You actually do get everything you need in the initial payment with GW2 just like you did with GW1.

 

The stuff in the GW2 cash shop will generate some extra revenue, sure. But it isn't anything Arenanet is relying on to make ends meet. They will make their profit from the box sales. Anything else will just be gravy.

 

So... what justification is there now for having a monthly subscription for any MMO? Can't other companies budget to make their profit off the original purchase just like many other PC and console games--with very similar development costs to MMOs--have been doing for years?

 

Threads like this are the EXACT issue I have with GW2 "fanbois".

 

NO, P2P (without cash-shop) is the superior choice. One flat MONTHLY LOW rate of $15/mo for unlimited access that puts everyone on a level playing field regardless of real-world advantages (ie: more money than other people to spend on in-game fluff). People who complain about P2P either are college students or believe that they're owed something. An MMO is a business, and if it is a good business P2P prospers like a mofo (look at WoW, if B2P or F2P were superior they'd go that route, didn't because they're both inferior for businesses).

 

I bought B2P simply because it is worth the one-time payment of $80 (digital deluxe), and I won't be spending another dime on it until the expansion rumored for around this time next year for $60.

If GuildWars2 were P2P I wouldn't play it because it isn't high enough quality for P2P, but for a B2P it fits the bill perfectly.

If GuildWars2 were purely F2P with cash-shop it'd fall on its face.

 

A-Net knew what they were doing with GW1 & 2 when they went B2P route the first time around, and B2P + Cash-Shop this time around.

 

However, I've yet to find a quality F2P game EVER. They're all x-P2P because they failed so hard they had to go onto the "life-raft" known as F2P to keep the "Big Wigs" in a position to make money.

 

P2P will remain the best for quite some time due to server costs & content development costs for the best quality.

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  Drachasor

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 2693

8/22/12 9:26:14 PM#8
Originally posted by vmoped

I will bite.  One A-net has the advantage of using the same engine (updated), database structure (updated), lore, etc... from GW1.  This gives it an advantage over mmo's that have been crafted from the ground up (including leasing engines and/or IPs) by companies with no mmo development.  Two I believe A-net expects more than "gravy" from their cash shop, in fact I would bet that some of their expected recoup is from cash shop sales.

I am not saying that it will not change the industry to some degree, but I do not believe it is the "messiah" of video games that seems to be implied on alot of forums lately.  I believe if anything that this games success, much like WoW's , will lead to more copycats than anything (good and bad).

Cheers!

Eh, GW1 was a 2D game.  The engine didn't understand three dimensions.  So I don't think there was much if any time saving there (even assuming it is the same engine heavily updated).

I think the pay model does help to screw over promising games.  By going for Subs, they have to design the game to try to keep people playing on and on and on.  They have to design treadmills, etc, etc.  That's a bit tricky to balance the psychology so that it isn't boring.  WoW managed it and despite having rather poor features and really slow content updates given the massive amounts of money it generates it thrives.  This isn't because WoW is awesome, but because its competition sucks.  The gameplay in WoW certainly suffers because it is designed to manipulate consumers into support the subscription model.

I think that is a large part of why these big name MMOs fail.  That and getting rushed so they come out unpolished.

  Nidwin

Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/12
Posts: 94

8/23/12 2:45:17 AM#9

You have to be very carefull with GW2 and it's B2P model with a cash shop.

 

I'm not going to throw names here but high competitive PvP and W vs W guilds have already told their members they expect them to spent 10 a 15$ monthly for GW2 coinage. (crafting, claim, auction, ...)

 

If you're just looking to have some fun in GW2 than it's going to be a "cheaper" model than a P2P game. You'll probably spent some $ on some appearance stuff.

But for those that are going to play it for the high end, top competition it's going to be very different story. To get up there and stay it's going to cost you a lot of bucks.

  Drachasor

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 2693

8/23/12 2:51:16 AM#10
Originally posted by Nidwin

You have to be very carefull with GW2 and it's B2P model with a cash shop.

 

I'm not going to throw names here but high competitive PvP and W vs W guilds have already told their members they expect them to spent 10 a 15$ monthly for GW2 coinage. (crafting, claim, auction, ...)

 

If you're just looking to have some fun in GW2 than it's going to be a "cheaper" model than a P2P game. You'll probably spent some $ on some appearance stuff.

But for those that are going to play it for the high end, top competition it's going to be very different story. To get up there and stay it's going to cost you a lot of bucks.

I have heard there is so potential abuse if you have a lot of gold in WvWvW.  I expect that will be addressed because it makes the game less fun, but we'll see.

Overall, I find it rather absurd that these guilds would due this, if it is even true.  They have no idea how much 5 bucks will get you and there are ways to do it without spending money...so..eh, what's going on in their heads?  Sounds like they are just basing these demands off the cost of sub-based MMOs rather than you know...what makes sense for the game or even if it is necessary.

In any case, such things are only valid in WvWvW for PvP.  In structured PvP that sort of thing gets you zip, zero, nada, nilch, nothing.

  bobfish

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/06
Posts: 1664

8/23/12 3:21:34 AM#11

I actually think Runescape, Dofus, Wizard101, etc have the best model.

 

Free to play for awhile, then you upgrade to a small monthly premium fee with fluff cash shop items. I'd rather pay $6 a month and have an optional cash shop than pay out for $60 on a box and have a cash shop.

 

Try before you buy.

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2555

World > Quest Progression

8/23/12 3:26:35 AM#12

From a ground up development standpoint? Yes, the B2P/cash shop seems to be the optimal model for making, launching and updating a AAA MMO over a long period of time.

 

F2P/CS - Where is your initial return money coming from? 50-100M (a rough "AAA" pricetag) has to be forcasted in a resonable amount of time and I just don't see it happening unless it has a deep pocket parent company (*cough* SoE).  After the fact comversions do not count as they were initially made for a different model.

 

P2P - Oh, how you felt so secure just paying a sub and not having to think about any outside CS.  The problem is accountability.  As F2P became all the rage people asked: "what am I getting over here paying 15.00 every 30 days? The answer was a little convaluted because the F2P titles were made for P2P models and very high quality.  Anyhow, now people don't want to pay more than they need to (big surprise) and now expectations are set.  P2P is great if the company is really doing something with the money (*cough* Trion) but how do you gauge that?  You don't, you just complain you aren't getting enough because it isn't free.

 

B2P/CS gives you up front money and a means of constant income for updating.  Each expansion will continue this process and if you did well enough the first time there should be many people buying them.  GW2 has a brilliant CS, and fair in regards to P2W, but it's more than just fluff and cosmetics.  I think most people will be paying a "sub" in GW2 because it is a game that could have a sub so it's easy to justify.

  Drachasor

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 2693

8/23/12 3:30:20 AM#13
Originally posted by bobfish

I actually think Runescape, Dofus, Wizard101, etc have the best model.

 

Free to play for awhile, then you upgrade to a small monthly premium fee with fluff cash shop items. I'd rather pay $6 a month and have an optional cash shop than pay out for $60 on a box and have a cash shop.

 

Try before you buy.

GW2 DOES have an optional cash shop.

  Calerxes

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 1660

8/23/12 4:38:29 AM#14

They release GW1 in April 2005 as a B2P cooperative online game and subsequent released two chapters and a so called expansion. They announced GW2 on March 27th 2007 barely 2 years after the initial release of GW1 as they say that the Utopia chapter they were planning was not going to be able to be a chapter as the scope was to wide. So GW1 expansion content lasted barely 2 years and the B2P model was not picked up by any other studio at that point. Over the next 5 years you have Arenanet telling anyone who will listen that subs are bad and are ripping the consumer off and GW2 will show that you can run a fully fledged MMO with a B2P model. Was the OP listening? I think so. 

 

Calerxes listens to this and thinks well why no continuation of chapters for GW1? and why such an early announcement of a sequel to a game thats raking in so much cash? Thus comes to the conclusion that the B2p play model wasn't working as well as thought and the announcement of GW2 was used to stop any further development of expansion content for GW1. That also made me think that GW2 was not going to be B2P only and would have a fully fledged cash shop. Low and behold on March 27th 2012 a few weeks before the first BWE Arenanet announce a fully fledged cashshop with boosts and gamble boxes with an ingame gold exchange system for real money just like a F2P with the announcement that GW2 had been built from the ground up with microtransactions in mind. Bingo I think sits back self satisfied.

 

No this will not be a game changer to B2P as GW2 isn't a true B2P. A Freemium model for me is more attractive to developers as it has the benefit of a sub option and that means a regular set income for the company making the game.

 

 

Names and events in the piece have been changed to protect the innocent.

This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  comrademario

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/19/11
Posts: 98

8/23/12 5:33:00 AM#15

I would suggest waiting until GW2 has been out for a minimum of 1 year before declaring it the model to follow. I have a feeling they'll be sneaking a few power items in to their cash shop over the next few months and using the current f2p argument of 'you don't really need these and we didn't tell you to buy them' whilst letting their guilds etc. drive up sales by making them requirements.

 

I honestly think that f2p will be the way to go once f2p companies have worked out the intial problems (I think most have realised selling uber-power in the CS is a bad thing)

  Nidwin

Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/12
Posts: 94

8/23/12 5:43:08 AM#16

Every model is ok as long as people find it worth to spent the necessary money in it. The real question is which one is the less worse when a game starts to lose a large amount of it's playerbase.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4176

 
OP  8/23/12 1:30:00 PM#17
Originally posted by Calerxes

They release GW1 in April 2005 as a B2P cooperative online game and subsequent released two chapters and a so called expansion. They announced GW2 on March 27th 2007 barely 2 years after the initial release of GW1 as they say that the Utopia chapter they were planning was not going to be able to be a chapter as the scope was to wide. So GW1 expansion content lasted barely 2 years and the B2P model was not picked up by any other studio at that point. Over the next 5 years you have Arenanet telling anyone who will listen that subs are bad and are ripping the consumer off and GW2 will show that you can run a fully fledged MMO with a B2P model. Was the OP listening? I think so. 

 

Calerxes listens to this and thinks well why no continuation of chapters for GW1? and why such an early announcement of a sequel to a game thats raking in so much cash? Thus comes to the conclusion that the B2p play model wasn't working as well as thought and the announcement of GW2 was used to stop any further development of expansion content for GW1. That also made me think that GW2 was not going to be B2P only and would have a fully fledged cash shop. Low and behold on March 27th 2012 a few weeks before the first BWE Arenanet announce a fully fledged cashshop with boosts and gamble boxes with an ingame gold exchange system for real money just like a F2P with the announcement that GW2 had been built from the ground up with microtransactions in mind. Bingo I think sits back self satisfied.

 

No this will not be a game changer to B2P as GW2 isn't a true B2P. A Freemium model for me is more attractive to developers as it has the benefit of a sub option and that means a regular set income for the company making the game.

 

 

Names and events in the piece have been changed to protect the innocent.

Heh. I enjoyed that. I like your style.

 

However I'm not sure you can infer quite that much from the timing of the original GW2 announcement 5 years ago. GW1 just didn't have that much longevity, imho. Its restrictive world and engine didn't age very well compared to MMO releases of the past few years. I was long past caring about new expansions by that point.

 

It also fell short in that all-important determining factor "End-game content." Leaving aside the exceptions of the world-wide cultural phenomenoms known as WOW and EVE, MMOs have "best before" dates and only the most dedicated fans stick-it out past that. Some keep longer due to truly fun things to do after you finish leveling but even then the expiration dates do seem to be getting shorter and shorter all the time. The great unwashed just moves on to the next heavily hyped shiny prescious and then cry in despair a month later when they realize that this one also won't be the life-long perfect MMO we all seem to want.

 

And to try to nip the very predictable response way above in the first page in the bud, no, I'm not now nor have I ever been a member of the GW2 fanboi party, Mr. McCarthy. I'm just a long-time MMO hobbyist financially comfortable enough to buy every one that interests me and subscribe or not depending on their model. But I do enjoy stepping back and watching changes and trends in the bizz, especially because I have PC game programming son that feeds me some tiny bits of insider gossip.

 

Someone else above mentioned the relatively new MMO player phenomenom of trying to create a direct link between the sub cost of MMOs and monthly content updates. None of us have ever enjoyed needing a sub to play an MMO but we have always rationalized it on the basis of the world itself being worth it. Lately though I see many more posts in MMO forums examining monthly updates in detail and attempting to quantify their value. It's no longer enough, it seems, to create a fun world to lead a virtual life in. That world now additionally needs to excite us again on a monthly basis it seems, and most, as you would expect, fail in that respect.

 

Retention in new MMOs past that first free month seems to me to be an ever shrinking percentage of "box sales" with each new release and companies, especially publicly traded ones, that make financial forecasts based on even conservative estimates, are finding themselves in deep doodoo when they don't reach the targets. Funcom's The Secret World is a recent example of that--despite being a very good theme park indeed.

 

Finally, there, I said the "T" word. Many here and elsewhere attribute the chaos in the 2012 MMO business to bad designs or the "ultimate boring futility of themepark end-game." Sandboxes are where it's at, they say (despite the fact that sandboxes seldom sell) and what is needed. I beg to differ. Sure there are some design problems, not the least of which is the continued futile attempts by the "suits" to go after the WOW demographics with lesser WOW clones...good luck with that. The real problem, imho, is gauging success based on how well a game does when compared to financial models that were viable in 2003 but are extremely tough to sustain with all the diversity and competition for our MMO bucks in 2012.

 

Any new MMO in development right now better budget themselves based on a box-sales break-even point or suffer the consequences. GW2 isn't the whole P2P coffin--that is the 100s of MMOs we can chose from now--it's just the last nail coming at the right time.

 

And please, let's not quible over purity of the B2P race. GW2 is about as B2P as they come. Their cash shop is nothing like F2P cash shops where you truly need to spend $$ to play the full game. I'm sure some consider pirate outfits and 10% experience gain boosts for 1 hour requirements--I don't and I have no plans whatsoever to spend any more money on GW2 until the next expansion pack comes out.

 

  Emrendil

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

8/23/12 1:41:13 PM#18
I think I'm done with the sub fee mmos. Maybe if they lower the sub price, but i don't know.
  thinktank001

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1954

8/23/12 1:53:24 PM#19
Originally posted by Iselin

So... what justification is there now for having a monthly subscription for any MMO? Can't other companies budget to make their profit off the original purchase just like many other PC and console games--with very similar development costs to MMOs--have been doing for years?

 

 

How about a game with no restrictions?   A game where every mechanic isn't designed to take your nickel and dimes? 

 

You like many other players are confusing the terms B2P and P2W.    B2P means there is a box and/or expansion cost only for the game.   GW2 has a cash shop and the means it falls under the P2W category of games.   It is built around the idea of players making microtransactions.       

  WhiteLantern

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/27/10
Posts: 2782

8/23/12 1:56:48 PM#20
Regardless of wether or not GW2 turns out to be any good, I whole-heartedly support the B2P model. I think DCUO should have gone that route. I think TOR should have gone that route. I think Warhammer should go that route. And on, and on, and on.

I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

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