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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » If sub games make more money, why are they all going F2P?

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193 posts found
  Witten

Novice Member

Joined: 6/30/13
Posts: 56

6/30/13 2:00:00 PM#81

I will concede, F2P games are improving. It will probably continue to do so.

But I don't think it will ever match the quality of a subscription game, esp. a subscription game with a good target market, there's too much at risk for the F2P dev.

 

  Gravarg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/24/06
Posts: 3031

6/30/13 2:00:36 PM#82
I've never really liked F2P games.  I hate it when something happens and you get a prompt begging you to spend money.  $15 a month is cheap.  If you can't spend $15 a month on a game, you shouldn't be playing imho, you should get a 2nd job or something lol.

Best Game Ever? Highest game rated on Metacritic!

  Gishgeron

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 1297

6/30/13 2:03:06 PM#83

Its mostly because of how our brains work.  A person is more likely to spend 15 over the course of a month than sign off on paying 15 every month.  Actually, the numbers show we are more likely to spend WAY more in impulse sales than in planned sales, or debt.  There is a really good series of posts from folks in the industry about this, lemme link one of the last ones I read.  Its not directly about MMO games...but the design structures can be paralleled.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RaminShokrizade/20130626/194933/The_Top_F2P_Monetization_Tricks.php

 

I'm sure plenty of you have read some of his stuff, so for many this is gonna be old news.  But it does have bearing in this topic.  The deal is that there isn't a lot of room for market overlap with pay to play.  We, on average, aren't likely to keep several MMO's subscribed because we have time to think about the money lost each month and apply that to others ways it could be spent.  We ARE likely to have several F2P games we toy around with, and if these games utilize those coercive tactics we (particularly those in the 18-25 demographic) are incredibly likely to spend as much, or more than, the aforementioned 15$.  We might even play 3-5 different F2P games that, in turn, draw far more money out of us than we'd spend otherwise.  I wouldn't, but I'm not the target demographic either (I am 30, with wife and kids and bills).  I have a friend that lives as a testament to this, the XBLA game, Happy Wars, is a F2P model.  Its fun, I played it.  I even spent 10$ in its shop (after I had vested enough fun playtime to warrant it, thats my rule...I'll pay what I feel I have already earned in gametime)  HE spent over 200$.  In a monthly set up...he just paid for 19 other people that month if the sub fee had been 10$. 

If 1000 people like him play...its enough to cover 20,000 players. 

Thats 1/20 of your playerbase paying for the rest.  50,000/1 million.  Assuming you held even that small fraction, at a million players you've made 10 million.  That assumes that only your hard spenders pay.  Many more will pay 1$ or 2$ that month if you monetize well.  A very select few will spend MORE.  Simply because of the tactics mentioned in that blog.

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4475

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

6/30/13 2:05:29 PM#84

Eredar Twins in Sunwell was a fight that the world first came with a comp of 2 tanks 11 healers 12 dps. The reason bosses have enrage timers is so you don't bring all tanks and healers and "outlive" them. enrage timers are necesary unfortunatelly.

 

M'uru had a soft enrage where in phase 2 he'd hit several players with shadow dmg every second and every 5 seconds that dmg would grow. At the time, Nihilum, one of the candidates for world first lost the race because they used 6 healers, while SK Gaming used 5. 

 

Interestingly, the battle conclusion from Nihilum was "The fight is not possible with that many healers. There's too much damage".

 

later in wow, this became a meme that sounds like: "when in doubt, drop a healer. when impossible, drop two healers". 

 

 

  Witten

Novice Member

Joined: 6/30/13
Posts: 56

6/30/13 2:12:35 PM#85
Originally posted by Gishgeron

Its mostly because of how our brains work.  A person is more likely to spend 15 over the course of a month than sign off on paying 15 every month.  Actually, the numbers show we are more likely to spend WAY more in impulse sales than in planned sales, or debt.  There is a really good series of posts from folks in the industry about this, lemme link one of the last ones I read.  Its not directly about MMO games...but the design structures can be paralleled.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RaminShokrizade/20130626/194933/The_Top_F2P_Monetization_Tricks.php

 

I'm sure plenty of you have read some of his stuff, so for many this is gonna be old news.  But it does have bearing in this topic.  The deal is that there isn't a lot of room for market overlap with pay to play.  We, on average, aren't likely to keep several MMO's subscribed because we have time to think about the money lost each month and apply that to others ways it could be spent.  We ARE likely to have several F2P games we toy around with, and if these games utilize those coercive tactics we (particularly those in the 18-25 demographic) are incredibly likely to spend as much, or more than, the aforementioned 15$.  We might even play 3-5 different F2P games that, in turn, draw far more money out of us than we'd spend otherwise.  I wouldn't, but I'm not the target demographic either (I am 30, with wife and kids and bills).  I have a friend that lives as a testament to this, the XBLA game, Happy Wars, is a F2P model.  Its fun, I played it.  I even spent 10$ in its shop (after I had vested enough fun playtime to warrant it, thats my rule...I'll pay what I feel I have already earned in gametime)  HE spent over 200$.  In a monthly set up...he just paid for 19 other people that month if the sub fee had been 10$. 

If 1000 people like him play...its enough to cover 20,000 players. 

Thats 1/20 of your playerbase paying for the rest.  50,000/1 million.  Assuming you held even that small fraction, at a million players you've made 10 million.  That assumes that only your hard spenders pay.  Many more will pay 1$ or 2$ that month if you monetize well.  A very select few will spend MORE.  Simply because of the tactics mentioned in that blog.

Thank you. I know it's profitable. I know it's coming.

The question is why are you guys okay with it.

So will the tiers/rankings of players one day be divided by how much money they spent?

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11834

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

6/30/13 2:31:21 PM#86
Originally posted by lizardbones

Sub game make more money at release. F2P games make more money long term. So games release as P2P, then go F2P to maximize the money made.

I suppose it's possible for a F2P game to make a bunch of money at release too, but we haven't really had a good example of it.

Your example of it is Guild Wars 2, but to acknowledge that would cause several heads around here to explode.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11834

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

6/30/13 2:34:07 PM#87
Originally posted by Robokapp

Eredar Twins in Sunwell was a fight that the world first came with a comp of 2 tanks 11 healers 12 dps. The reason bosses have enrage timers is so you don't bring all tanks and healers and "outlive" them. enrage timers are necesary unfortunatelly.

That's not a necessity, it's one of the many band-aids needed to build content around the trinity. Worse, it's designed not only to counter such a scenario but to force the necessity of the trinity when there is no other logical reason for its presence.

  Gishgeron

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 1297

6/30/13 4:10:12 PM#88
Originally posted by Witten
Originally posted by Gishgeron

Its mostly because of how our brains work.  A person is more likely to spend 15 over the course of a month than sign off on paying 15 every month.  Actually, the numbers show we are more likely to spend WAY more in impulse sales than in planned sales, or debt.  There is a really good series of posts from folks in the industry about this, lemme link one of the last ones I read.  Its not directly about MMO games...but the design structures can be paralleled.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RaminShokrizade/20130626/194933/The_Top_F2P_Monetization_Tricks.php

 

I'm sure plenty of you have read some of his stuff, so for many this is gonna be old news.  But it does have bearing in this topic.  The deal is that there isn't a lot of room for market overlap with pay to play.  We, on average, aren't likely to keep several MMO's subscribed because we have time to think about the money lost each month and apply that to others ways it could be spent.  We ARE likely to have several F2P games we toy around with, and if these games utilize those coercive tactics we (particularly those in the 18-25 demographic) are incredibly likely to spend as much, or more than, the aforementioned 15$.  We might even play 3-5 different F2P games that, in turn, draw far more money out of us than we'd spend otherwise.  I wouldn't, but I'm not the target demographic either (I am 30, with wife and kids and bills).  I have a friend that lives as a testament to this, the XBLA game, Happy Wars, is a F2P model.  Its fun, I played it.  I even spent 10$ in its shop (after I had vested enough fun playtime to warrant it, thats my rule...I'll pay what I feel I have already earned in gametime)  HE spent over 200$.  In a monthly set up...he just paid for 19 other people that month if the sub fee had been 10$. 

If 1000 people like him play...its enough to cover 20,000 players. 

Thats 1/20 of your playerbase paying for the rest.  50,000/1 million.  Assuming you held even that small fraction, at a million players you've made 10 million.  That assumes that only your hard spenders pay.  Many more will pay 1$ or 2$ that month if you monetize well.  A very select few will spend MORE.  Simply because of the tactics mentioned in that blog.

Thank you. I know it's profitable. I know it's coming.

The question is why are you guys okay with it.

So will the tiers/rankings of players one day be divided by how much money they spent?

  The question initially present was based around whether or not sub games are more profitable.  The answer is, they are...in times of low market density.  With a few thousand MMO's....not so much.  Too much player division, and far too many casual gamers among them.  The F2P strategy is nearly tailor suited to that demographic.  Those games are actually not expressly more profitable, they just carry greater certainty OF profit (rather than what another poster here suggested).  A P2P MMO is competing against everything else that takes up your time.  In our minds, thats how we justify it...we pay for only as much as we feel we have time to play.  Its not something associated with F2P games, even though we spend more its mostly on impulse purchases and done before the brain (in younger players) has time to really process the effects of the transaction against their play time in game.

  In both cases these games are effectively anti-consumer in design.  One seeks to draw the game out arbitrarily to keep people paying.  The other seeks to arbitrarily spike difficulty at peak moments to keep you paying for ways around it.  Some are even more vile, flagging the user as a predisposed buyer and raising the gate even higher to bleed them.  Neither style of game is actually ABOUT what is fun.  Its about doling fun out and then gating you in order to draw money out of you.  They are ALL terrible.  GW2 actually has the best design, the game is box sale only so it HAS to win on its own merits to encourage future xpack sales.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10377

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

6/30/13 4:15:15 PM#89


Originally posted by Loktofeit

Originally posted by lizardbones Sub game make more money at release. F2P games make more money long term. So games release as P2P, then go F2P to maximize the money made. I suppose it's possible for a F2P game to make a bunch of money at release too, but we haven't really had a good example of it.
Your example of it is Guild Wars 2, but to acknowledge that would cause several heads around here to explode.


GW2 isn't a F2P game. It's B2P, which is different. It has the advantage of collecting a lot of the initial sales, with the longevity of F2P games. It's really more like the P2P games that go F2P than it is like a F2P game.

I've personally had the best experience with B2P games overall and had the most satisfaction from those games. It is the model that has the most similarity with all of the non MMORPG that I've purchased too, which makes it a comfortable purchase. But we're not talking about the merits of B2P. :-(

If EQN or ESO released as a F2P game, then we'd have our example. I think even WildStar releasing as a F2P game and being successful would be good enough. WildStar isn't necessarily the AAA game that people are looking at, but I think it would be big enough to count.

**

I think ArcheAge would be a fine example too, if it were successful and released as F2P.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  azmundai

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/10
Posts: 1422

6/30/13 4:16:01 PM#90

its quite simple really. just because a dev/pub decides to charge $15 a month doesn't mean the game is actually worth $15 a month. the ones that are make plenty of money.

LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4339

6/30/13 4:20:36 PM#91
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Robokapp

Eredar Twins in Sunwell was a fight that the world first came with a comp of 2 tanks 11 healers 12 dps. The reason bosses have enrage timers is so you don't bring all tanks and healers and "outlive" them. enrage timers are necesary unfortunatelly.

That's not a necessity, it's one of the many band-aids needed to build content around the trinity. Worse, it's designed not only to counter such a scenario but to force the necessity of the trinity when there is no other logical reason for its presence.

You mean other than some people just like a game being built based on it.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  Squeak69

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 959

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

6/30/13 4:25:28 PM#92

iv skipped reading a lot of the post on this one cause I can safely assume that the thread as degenerated into the normal argument for and aginst F2P

now that aside im sure most who have read my post ( if anyone bothers to :P ) know im not for F2P. so when I say that P2P dose I fact not make more profit on average for companies the F2P I would hope people would not think me being some silly twit.

the point in fact is the main reason companies have been changing over to F2P has not been for the good of gamers it is simply cause it makes them more money, the reason why people like me prefer P2P over F2P is several, which im not going to go into currently.

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  Mendel

Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 610

6/30/13 4:29:12 PM#93
Originally posted by Fendel84M

I'm not against P2P and I'm not against F2P I like all models(to some extent).

But I hear it tossed around a lot, that P2P games make more money and get more updates and are hence better. If this is true, why are almost all the P2P games going F2P? Do they just hate money?

Even Rift, which was every P2P die hard's anthem. "Look at Rift! That game pumps out so much content because it is P2P!" well...they went F2P. Were they tired of making all that money?

Other than WoW, Eve is one of the only hold outs with a sub. But even that game allows players to basically buy in game currency through the plex system. (buy tons of plex and sell it all in game) so it's not a pure P2P game with everyone equal regardless of money spent.

I am just curious what the reasoning here is. The P2P games are better, because they make more money, yet they all have to go F2P. Something feels off...

Unless someone has intimate details of the revenue streams of a specific title, regardless of the business model, don't trust what they say.

Businesses are in business to make money, and if one company feels that it can generate better, more sustainable revenues with business model A rather than B, C, D, E or whatever, they will try that method.   If the officers choose badly, they will be out of work, and they know that.  That is the free-market system at work.

Bottom line: the revenue model is unrelated to the game's quality.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11834

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

6/30/13 4:43:26 PM#94
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Loktofeit

Originally posted by lizardbones Sub game make more money at release. F2P games make more money long term. So games release as P2P, then go F2P to maximize the money made. I suppose it's possible for a F2P game to make a bunch of money at release too, but we haven't really had a good example of it.
Your example of it is Guild Wars 2, but to acknowledge that would cause several heads around here to explode.


GW2 isn't a F2P game. It's B2P, which is different. It has the advantage of collecting a lot of the initial sales, with the longevity of F2P games. It's really more like the P2P games that go F2P than it is like a F2P game.
 

Actually, it is a F2P game in every aspect of its design and monetization, but with a front loaded client fee.

"It's B2P, which is different."

That statement is the greatest gift that MMO gamers ever gave the industry.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11834

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

6/30/13 4:44:36 PM#95
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Robokapp

Eredar Twins in Sunwell was a fight that the world first came with a comp of 2 tanks 11 healers 12 dps. The reason bosses have enrage timers is so you don't bring all tanks and healers and "outlive" them. enrage timers are necesary unfortunatelly.

That's not a necessity, it's one of the many band-aids needed to build content around the trinity. Worse, it's designed not only to counter such a scenario but to force the necessity of the trinity when there is no other logical reason for its presence.

You mean other than some people just like a game being built based on it.

If you could link me to a single post from any game where a group of players lauded the enrage mechanic, I will willingly concede to your point.

  Squeak69

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 959

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

6/30/13 4:46:15 PM#96
Originally posted by Mendel
Originally posted by Fendel84M

I'm not against P2P and I'm not against F2P I like all models(to some extent).

But I hear it tossed around a lot, that P2P games make more money and get more updates and are hence better. If this is true, why are almost all the P2P games going F2P? Do they just hate money?

Even Rift, which was every P2P die hard's anthem. "Look at Rift! That game pumps out so much content because it is P2P!" well...they went F2P. Were they tired of making all that money?

Other than WoW, Eve is one of the only hold outs with a sub. But even that game allows players to basically buy in game currency through the plex system. (buy tons of plex and sell it all in game) so it's not a pure P2P game with everyone equal regardless of money spent.

I am just curious what the reasoning here is. The P2P games are better, because they make more money, yet they all have to go F2P. Something feels off...

Unless someone has intimate details of the revenue streams of a specific title, regardless of the business model, don't trust what they say.

Businesses are in business to make money, and if one company feels that it can generate better, more sustainable revenues with business model A rather than B, C, D, E or whatever, they will try that method.   If the officers choose badly, they will be out of work, and they know that.  That is the free-market system at work.

Bottom line: the revenue model is unrelated to the game's quality.

I agree with everything you said exept the last part, I beleave the current module in use dose not incourage a company to improve upon the quality of the game but instead play psychological tricks to get you to spend money in the cash shop.

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19143

6/30/13 5:02:32 PM#97
Originally posted by Witten
Why are you buying into a game made to empty your wallet?

I do not. That is why i play F2P games. So far, i spent exactly zero on them.

  tkoreaper

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/03/09
Posts: 406

6/30/13 5:03:58 PM#98

F2P is the better business model and has the potential to be A LOT more profitable, but that varies from game to game.

 

WoW is a sub game WITH a small marketplace and service fees, but just because it hasn't gone F2P doesn't mean it is better or won't make more money... Just stop and use your brain. The game came out at a time when there really wasn't much to choose from, let just say they got a head start of sorts. It built a massive player base which has gotten smaller over the years, but it is still massive. Now tell me, if you invested years of your time, money, ect. into a game would you leave at the first sight or something that may be better? Most would likely say no, but those that don't probably wouldn't realize what they're giving up for a new game because not only are you leaving your character behind, you're also leaving your friends and everyone else you  made bonds with over the years... That is, of course, if they're not leaving with you.

I am certain that WoW's player base will dwindle so much eventually that it will either go F2P or shut down completely with the latter being the most unlikely. So why doesn't WoW go F2P? It simply doesn't need to because while the potential IS there to make a lot more money than it already does, the stigma behind the F2P model isn't worth the risk IMO. People will have mixed feelings about the change and might leave because of the bad rap that the F2P model has been given.

 

EVE on the other hand may be a subbed game, but it does give players a way to continue playing without spending a dime... I might be wrong about this as I don't play it, but it is what I've heard.

 

So to answer your question... F2P is much better for games that are just starting, especially in the gaming society as it is today. Games simply won't make near as much money with a sub as they could with a F2P model and I stand behind that opinion because I very much doubt that some absolutely spectacular game will come out with a sub and be able to hit WoW's numbers.

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4475

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

6/30/13 5:08:40 PM#99
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Robokapp

Eredar Twins in Sunwell was a fight that the world first came with a comp of 2 tanks 11 healers 12 dps. The reason bosses have enrage timers is so you don't bring all tanks and healers and "outlive" them. enrage timers are necesary unfortunatelly.

That's not a necessity, it's one of the many band-aids needed to build content around the trinity. Worse, it's designed not only to counter such a scenario but to force the necessity of the trinity when there is no other logical reason for its presence.

You mean other than some people just like a game being built based on it.

If you could link me to a single post from any game where a group of players lauded the enrage mechanic, I will willingly concede to your point.

Brutallus. wow forums.

at half-time if boss was at 55% you were considered 'ahead'. it was fully expected he'll die after he enrages...and we loved it. 

 

it's quite a rush burning 3% through enrage. doing all the emergency spreading out and immunities to buy your dots another 5 seconds. I always loved it. 

 

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4475

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

6/30/13 5:15:48 PM#100
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Witten
Why are you buying into a game made to empty your wallet?

I do not. That is why i play F2P games. So far, i spent exactly zero on them.

one modern philosopher once said that to understand if an idea or action is good or bad, simply imagine everyone in the world doing it at once and the answer will be obvious.

so...let's picture f2p MMOs where everyone spends exactly zero.

 

-either they live from in-game advertising. not a big deal in sci-fi, problem in fantasy. [p.s. I wish this was tried once. I can see a Grand Theft Auto mmo where real car brands and various bilboards and product placements are integrated. Would driving real-named cars really be immersion-breaking? or driving past a pepsi bilboard?]

-or they don't live period.

 

 

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