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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is the 'content locust' a sustainable gaming style?

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55 posts found
  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

12/19/12 10:43:50 AM#41
Originally posted by Aelious

As long as those not paying are good with what they get for free, not constantly complaining, it's a win/win and a great thing.  One idea to keep in mind though is that if the flow of money comes from the "whales" giving you your play for free then you really follow them.  If a polorizing game comes out and a lot of whales swim over you may have less options available to you.  Hopefully that doesn't happen as this would mean layoffs or heftier monetization for older games but either way you'd need to become a whale or follow them over.

Exactly .. you never see me complaining about games i got for free. However, i will walk if the game is not fun for me. Given the size of the market, it is not likely i run out of free games to play.

Now this point of following the whales is pretty fair. However, i have yet to see a lot of free games closing because of not enough whales. So there are still a huge number of choices. The huge list of f2p MMO .. DCUO, DDO, LOTRO, PS2, .. and even those pirate MMOS ... are still here.

Like you say, it is a huge win-win .. that is why F2P is gaining market share in the MMO market.

  apocoluster

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1338

\m/,

12/19/12 11:03:42 AM#42
Originally posted by cosy

 


Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by cosy  

Originally posted by jpnz 'can your style sustain itself?'
  Nope, unless you agree to pay 10USD per every DLC and a monthly subscription
There are so many F2P MMOs, i don't think a) i would ever pay a sub again, and b) i will never run out of content even if i play each only for a few month.

if nobody is making money nobody will make that type of games again

 

  Someone is paying though..just not me. Im happy to let them. I would even shake their hand in real life if we ever met.  Let them know how happy I am that they spent thier hard earned money on gaming which allowed me to enjoy same game for free. 

  {/sarcasm off}

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  apocoluster

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1338

\m/,

12/19/12 11:09:19 AM#43
Originally posted by jpnz

One of the repeating theme about this is this notion that one wants a 'home' or 'community' they want to connect with and you can't do that if you are a 'content locust'.

Think it is worth while to repeat that I don't need to create a 'home' or connect to a community when playing a video game cause I already have one.

I go to a community site to get involved in the community stuff and play video games with them.

Kinda like how I go to a steakhouse to eat steak. Same here, I go to a good community site to get involved with community stuff.

I think it is interesting that there is a shift of perception in this behaviour and hopefully, smart businesses can take advantage of this. Players get content and businesses get paid. Win / Win.

 

Amen bro.  some are looking for home.  Im not..im looking for cheap entertainment. Yes $0.50/day is cheap but free is cheaper.  Hell I have no desire to even be part of the community.  Should I just go play offline video games..maybe when lyou show me a offline game that is FREE with even half as much content to experince as the crappiest free MMO, id go play them

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  TheLizardbones

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

12/19/12 11:19:57 AM#44

I don't think a short term MMO is a sustainable business model. For the game itself to run, it requires a commitment from the developer to support the game with servers and support staff. It seems like such a game would start off highly profitable, and then gradually become less and less profitable over time.

Of course, the game could have more residual income than other games with a cash shop and paid expansions too...but it still seems like it would run at a smaller margin than a game like Fallout 3.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

12/19/12 1:07:44 PM#45
Originally posted by lizardbones

I don't think a short term MMO is a sustainable business model. For the game itself to run, it requires a commitment from the developer to support the game with servers and support staff. It seems like such a game would start off highly profitable, and then gradually become less and less profitable over time.

Of course, the game could have more residual income than other games with a cash shop and paid expansions too...but it still seems like it would run at a smaller margin than a game like Fallout 3.

I don't think you can say that without actually look at financial statements of such games.

And "short term" for a player does not mean "short term" for a game. Out of the 10M wow subscribers, how many do you think play from the start? Even if a player play for 3 month, as long as you can keep on finding new players, why would they care? There are so many gamers out there that you won't be running out of them any time soon.

Newzoo's 2012 report said there are 50M MMO players .. just in the US. If on average, each play only 3 months, the whole market will last more than 10 years ... assuming you can get everyone to play at some point.

If you count the whole world .. the numbers are more in favor.

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2853

World > Quest Progression

12/19/12 1:54:37 PM#46
I think it's safe to say retaining customers is more ideal than consistant customer turnover. John Smedley thinks so and he knows every bit of financial information on one of the biggest companies in the industry.
  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

12/19/12 2:23:10 PM#47
Originally posted by Aelious
I think it's safe to say retaining customers is more ideal than consistant customer turnover. John Smedley thinks so and he knows every bit of financial information on one of the biggest companies in the industry.

And i am sure you will agree with him in this interview that:

- F2P is the way to go

- only 10% of PS2 players pay but free players are as important as paid players.

- and how he revers LOL

 

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/12/14/soe-president-john-smedley-on-planetside-2s-future-free-to-play-and-everquest-next/

  TheLizardbones

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

12/19/12 2:29:26 PM#48


Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by lizardbones I don't think a short term MMO is a sustainable business model. For the game itself to run, it requires a commitment from the developer to support the game with servers and support staff. It seems like such a game would start off highly profitable, and then gradually become less and less profitable over time. Of course, the game could have more residual income than other games with a cash shop and paid expansions too...but it still seems like it would run at a smaller margin than a game like Fallout 3.
I don't think you can say that without actually look at financial statements of such games.

And "short term" for a player does not mean "short term" for a game. Out of the 10M wow subscribers, how many do you think play from the start? Even if a player play for 3 month, as long as you can keep on finding new players, why would they care? There are so many gamers out there that you won't be running out of them any time soon.

Newzoo's 2012 report said there are 50M MMO players .. just in the US. If on average, each play only 3 months, the whole market will last more than 10 years ... assuming you can get everyone to play at some point.

If you count the whole world .. the numbers are more in favor.




You can't count the whole world. That's silly. Half the world doesn't even know what the internet is because they're too busy trying to find clean water.

Why would you assume you'll get everyone to play at some point? Game sales drop off dramatically after the initial release date. If a game sells 3 million copies the first month, it's not going to get 50 million players. The only game that might come close is WoW, and WoW players on average are playing longer than three months.

We do know that in 2007, WoW's total played time for all players was 5.93 million years and they had 9 million players. If you take their retention rate from 100% fo 20%, giving a total number of players between 9 million and 45 million, you get an average played time (in eight hour days) of between 144 and 721 days. Even at 45 million players, which was more than the entire MMO market at the time, players were playing more than 4 months, at eight hours a day. WoW has a higher retention rate than the 'average' of 3 months.

The only part that matters is that games' sales drop off over time. They very rarely remain steady or increase. Whatever an MMO sells in its first month is probably going to be the peak sales. Even releasing expansions, game updates, etc. doesn't stop this. Sales will drop off which means the player base will drop off. If the game is, by design a short term game, meaning no players will stick around for more than three months, then the player base is going to drop off much quicker than other games. If that's the goal, and the plan is to write a new game, then cool. It will work, so long as the game sells well. If the game's sales are mediocre, then it will die very quickly.

Here's a thought experiment:
If a game starts with 3 million sales the first month, and sales drop to 75% of the previous month's sales, and players are retained for 3 months tops, then by year two the game is down to 12k people. By the end of year three, it's down to 523 people. By year 4 the game is down to 17 players. If player retention isn't something that a game at least tries to achieve, the game will have a very short life span. Please note that I'm very very generous with the drop off in sales. It's usually much more dramatic than what I've outlined.

I have a chart for this, but it's not going to be formatted very well in the editor, so I'll put it at the end.

Now, knowing the game has a finite lifespan, and not knowing exactly when that game is going to end, what's the incentive for players to buy into the game a year or two after the game launches? This isn't an insurmountable problem, but it is an issue.

Here's the table of data:
Month Sales Retention
1 3000000 3000000
2 2250000 5250000
3 1687500 6937500
4 1265625 5203125
5 949219 3902344
6 711914 2926758
7 533936 2195068
8 400452 1646301
9 300339 1234726
10 225254 926044
11 168941 694533
12 126705 520900
13 95029 390675
14 71272 293006
15 53454 219755
16 40090 164816
17 30068 123612
18 22551 92709
19 16913 69532
20 12685 52149
21 9514 39112
22 7135 29334
23 5351 22000
24 4014 16500
25 3010 12375
26 2258 9281
27 1693 6961
28 1270 5221
29 952 3916
30 714 2937
31 536 2203
32 402 1652
33 301 1239
34 226 929
35 170 697
36 127 523
37 95 392
38 72 294
39 54 220
40 40 165
41 30 124
42 23 93
43 17 70
44 13 52
45 10 39
46 7 29
47 5 22
48 4 17

** edit **
Total sales for this hypothetical game are about 12 million copies. Peak players is almost 7 million players. This is assuming that 100% of the people who play the game stick around for 3 months.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2853

World > Quest Progression

12/19/12 4:56:30 PM#49
Nariusseldon

He said LoL was a high quality game, which is true, but reverence is a bit strong to describe it. He also thinks emergent gameplay is the future of MMOs and scrapped SoE's flagship title twice to come up with a sandbox type game in an open world engine :)
  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

12/19/12 6:33:50 PM#50
Originally posted by lizardbones

** edit **
Total sales for this hypothetical game are about 12 million copies. Peak players is almost 7 million players. This is assuming that 100% of the people who play the game stick around for 3 months.

 

So just the box sales is $480m .. more than enough to fund a good MMO ($100M) with distribution and make a tidy profits. No a bad business deal.

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

12/19/12 6:34:47 PM#51
Originally posted by Aelious
Nariusseldon

He said LoL was a high quality game, which is true, but reverence is a bit strong to describe it. He also thinks emergent gameplay is the future of MMOs and scrapped SoE's flagship title twice to come up with a sandbox type game in an open world engine :)

And he also think the F2P is the way to go .. and free players are as important as paid players.

The point is that not everyone here agree with everything he said.

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2853

World > Quest Progression

12/19/12 8:00:21 PM#52
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Aelious
Nariusseldon

He said LoL was a high quality game, which is true, but reverence is a bit strong to describe it. He also thinks emergent gameplay is the future of MMOs and scrapped SoE's flagship title twice to come up with a sandbox type game in an open world engine :)

And he also think the F2P is the way to go .. and free players are as important as paid players.

The point is that not everyone here agree with everything he said.

 

Are you kidding me? Some people think he shaves his horns down every night before drinking his glass of tears .  I personally like him and understand he has to be the president of SoE before he is a gamer.  I agree that SoE's freemium model is the way to go.  If offers people what they are willing to pay for even if that is nothing.

 

I read the quote about "as important" and take that in regards to gameplay, not importance to the game itself.  As long as the development and continued upkeep of the game require money those that pay are a bit more important to the game as a whole.  One of the fantastic things about the freeimum model is that it allows every person to contribute in some way.

  TheLizardbones

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

12/19/12 8:15:41 PM#53


Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by lizardbones ** edit ** Total sales for this hypothetical game are about 12 million copies. Peak players is almost 7 million players. This is assuming that 100% of the people who play the game stick around for 3 months.  
So just the box sales is $480m .. more than enough to fund a good MMO ($100M) with distribution and make a tidy profits. No a bad business deal.



It would probably die around the 24 month mark when the population drops to 24k or so. That's if everything goes off without a hitch. Of course, everything wouldn't work perfectly. How many people would actually play the game for three months? Not 100% of the people who buy a box. Also, as I said, sales would drop off in a much more dramatic manner.

However, all that said, it could still be possible to develop a game with the idea that it should last about 3 months for a player and then the player is done. All you need now is fifty million to produce the game. ;)

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

12/19/12 8:20:05 PM#54
Originally posted by Aelious
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Aelious
Nariusseldon

He said LoL was a high quality game, which is true, but reverence is a bit strong to describe it. He also thinks emergent gameplay is the future of MMOs and scrapped SoE's flagship title twice to come up with a sandbox type game in an open world engine :)

And he also think the F2P is the way to go .. and free players are as important as paid players.

The point is that not everyone here agree with everything he said.

 

Are you kidding me? Some people think he shaves his horns down every night before drinking his glass of tears .  I personally like him and understand he has to be the president of SoE before he is a gamer.  I agree that SoE's freemium model is the way to go.  If offers people what they are willing to pay for even if that is nothing.

 

I read the quote about "as important" and take that in regards to gameplay, not importance to the game itself.  As long as the development and continued upkeep of the game require money those that pay are a bit more important to the game as a whole.  One of the fantastic things about the freeimum model is that it allows every person to contribute in some way.

Personally i feel very little for or against him. The important thing is the games. PS2 ... i like and i think they are doing it right. I do agree free players do contribute to a game except as he discusses. That does not mean that i agree with him on every single issue.

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

12/19/12 8:23:16 PM#55
Originally posted by lizardbones


However, all that said, it could still be possible to develop a game with the idea that it should last about 3 months for a player and then the player is done. All you need now is fifty million to produce the game. ;)

 

GIven the new reality of shorter attention span, and more competition, i bet devs are now planning for shorter life span of a game and adjust investment and value recapture plan (i.e. the profile of revenue) accordingly.

There is nothing wrong with a 24 month life cycle of a MMO ... that is probably longer than 90% of the single player games.

Now the question is what isthe right level of investment. $50M assume the traditional development model. If the game last only 24 month, may be a lot more can be cut out. May be land mass can be smaller, and more instancing.

Look at TOR. It probably would be a huge success, instead of financial failure, if it is done as a online KOTOR instead.

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