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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
  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16835

7/01/13 5:14:12 AM#121
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...

F2P do make more money right now. EA and Activision have both stated that they want all games to be F2P in the future and not just MMOs, those guys would not make decisions like that unless they expected more income on it.

The advantage of P2P games is that you pay a static sum each month to get access to all of the content, in F2P you might both be forced to both pay a monthly sub and buy stuff to be competetive.

There are really no proven connection between payment model and content updates either.

The reason so many people here prefer P2P is instead that many of the more fanatic MMO fans (including me) are somewhat annoyed that people buy stuff they didn't really earn in the game which really can mess up the game balance.

I personally think it is one of the reasons people tire faster now on a game than before, you just buy the cool stuff and then you have very little to work for. Something I work hard for always means more to me than something I didn't but it might be that we old style MMO fans are a dying breed today. 

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16835

7/01/13 5:21:57 AM#122
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

A lot of people are tossing around a lot of speculations and opinions.

It's really simple. Games that go F2P aren't good enough. That's all there is to it.  If a game is worth it, it will hold subscribers. If it isn't it will not get them or lose them. 

Game developers want subs? That's easy. They need to stop making games that suck or leave nothing to work for after a month of play.

A good game will earn money no matter what payment model it uses.

What isn't speculation is that many devs have stated that F2P just make more money.

What we players need to do is to play games who's payment model we support and don't put in 50 bucks the first month we play a new game. Just pick a sum you want to pay (I have $15 a month as max myself) and avoid games that you must both buy stuff and pay a sub for to do well in the game.

TERA and DDO as example have good F2P models while EQ2s on the other hand is really bad. And if the companies wont make more on F2P we will see new P2P or B2P games in the future.

  Miblet

Novice Member

Joined: 8/19/10
Posts: 333

7/01/13 5:43:36 AM#123

As to the OPs question.

The F2P market makes considerably more money, however also has considerably more games (from information providing by the F2P advocates - this information being a bit of a grey area on it's collection and presentation).  The last figures from the sources people keep pushing show it earns twice as much as the P2P market whilst having roughly 10x the games.  This leads to the specualtion that on average P2P games make more money per title, whilst the F2P market makes more money.  Again, this is not technically true as the figures themselves don't say anything about per title, but people (especially on this forum) love twisting figures and graphs to show what they want.

The question as to why so many are going F2P now has largely been speculated and I would imagine that it is largely a bit of everything.

Almost all games are trying to capture the market leaders magic by emulating the market leader (it's not just MMOs - see the FPS market), however the game they are emulating is more established, has more content, players and is probably producing more content at a far cheaper rate than the new games cost to build in order to try to compete.

You also have the issue that choice is enormous now and there are so many to try, game budgets have swollen to the point that what was long ago considered amazing now wouldn't even break even, so people migrate a lot more to try and keep that fresh feeling rather than settling down, whilst game budgets demand more than ever that people HAVE to stay.

Also as a lot of people have mentioned the newer games look so pretty but have been built to cater to the largest demographic, in doing they so they become a bit bland and inoffensive since they try so hard to alienate nobody for fear of a possible lost sale.  This leads to games that while fun for a very short while become very boring and have few real attention grabbing moments (since somebody somewehere might be offended or dislike any given decision).

However F2P games are usually considerably cheaper to produce and updates easier to monetise.  For a business it's a no brainer, go where the largest profit is, it's easier than trying to create magic in a pond so full of fish there is little water left.

In short many of the games transitioning are doing so because they are not good enough for the payment model they have chosen and players have voted with their wallets.  This has lead to the hybrid F2P model today that is slowly becoming the norm (pay a sub for everything or play with huge restrictions and constant reminders to get out your wallet).  As much as people would love to see either F2P or P2P die the reality is they are merging and while there will always be F2P and P2P titles they will become less common.

  Renoaku

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/07
Posts: 973

7/01/13 5:49:53 AM#124
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...

Not all games are going F2P.

1. EVE Online

2. DarkFall

3. Final Fantasy XIV

A lot of the outdated MMORPG's which lost a lot of their player base are going Free 2 Play, TERA for example lost a lot of its customers so they went F2P same with Aion, APB, and so on I was around when populations dropped even in SWTOR.

  Beilis

Novice Member

Joined: 4/13/13
Posts: 6

7/01/13 5:51:56 AM#125
Its simple,most games not only p2p offer enough content and hype first 1-2 year than they start die out cause lack of ideas or anythink innovative to lure gamers attention further.Now subbased games if are sub they must OFFER somethink better ,but as seen nothink good recent years except WoW and EvE online.Everythink else is just ash in my eyes for me least.Both of these games offers tremendious worlds  and expansions like no other game,plus as u see these 2 are most played of their kind.
  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4297

7/01/13 5:58:13 AM#126

There are two main reasons games go f2p..

 

1. They are bad

2. They are old

My 3D models
http://dragon3d.webs.com/

  User Deleted
7/01/13 6:06:02 AM#127
They lie. Do you really think that having a profitable business, you're gonna take the risk to change it? I don't. Most games going ftp are games that otherwise would shut down their servers. Blizzard is a good example. But, of course, WoW keeps being a woth paying to play game. I can't say it of other game sadly.
  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5192

7/01/13 11:03:44 AM#128
Originally posted by Doogiehowser
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

A lot of people are tossing around a lot of speculations and opinions.

It's really simple. Games that go F2P aren't good enough. That's all there is to it.  If a game is worth it, it will hold subscribers. If it isn't it will not get them or lose them. 

 

Game developers want subs? That's easy. They need to stop making games that suck or leave nothing to work for after a month of play.

And you are not? 

Ultimately, I guess you'd be correct in that, but it's not so much speculation as it is just basic marketing. The price has to match the product or people don't buy.

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5192

7/01/13 11:28:52 AM#129
Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

A lot of people are tossing around a lot of speculations and opinions.

It's really simple. Games that go F2P aren't good enough. That's all there is to it.  If a game is worth it, it will hold subscribers. If it isn't it will not get them or lose them. 

Game developers want subs? That's easy. They need to stop making games that suck or leave nothing to work for after a month of play.

A good game will earn money no matter what payment model it uses.

What isn't speculation is that many devs have stated that F2P just make more money.

What we players need to do is to play games who's payment model we support and don't put in 50 bucks the first month we play a new game. Just pick a sum you want to pay (I have $15 a month as max myself) and avoid games that you must both buy stuff and pay a sub for to do well in the game.

TERA and DDO as example have good F2P models while EQ2s on the other hand is really bad. And if the companies wont make more on F2P we will see new P2P or B2P games in the future.

We have to assume that you start off with a product that has some value to it. That being said, there is some intrinsic value to the product or service that people will be willing to pay. You have to hit that target.

If you have to (or in some cases, can't even) give your product away for free, your product has little to no value in the demographic. The idea is that F2P will somehow expand the demographic. But this isn't what's happening in some  MMOs that go F2P. There is a different dynamic. Once it's obvious that the game isn't generating the revenue the developers want, they try to come up with new ways to re-monetze the remaining player base to recoup the loss from the canceled subs. Anarchy Online and SWTOR are good examples of this. In these cases, the cash shop is just a form of exploitation.

 

But that's not the only issue with the cash shop model. GW2's cash shop model is not without it's issues.  In an attempt to not give the game away, (And I don't blame ANET for this, they are a company out to make money after all) They have designed certain incentives into the game to buy gems, But they aren't mandatory, you can play around the gem shop if you choose to. Again, that's fine. But because of high trade taxes and restrictions on players, GW2 has one of the worst in-game economies in an MMO I've ever played. Which has an impact on players who enjoy that particular meta-game aspect of MMOs. or in my case, a profoundly negative impact on the crafting market. Crafting is probably my favorite meta-game in the MMOs I play. And in GW2, the crafting system is great. But the reasons to actually do crafting in GW2 suck. So while I recognize that game developers need to make money, it becomes extremely bad (in my own opinion) when the need for profit somehow surfaces in the game play itself, and also where real money is converted into game currency.

ANET did a great job in keeping their CS from being P2W.  But I don't think they did a good job in proving that a CS can exist in a game without negative impact.

I'd rather pay the subscription and have everything in the game 100% equal opportunity from there on.

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  Yyrkoon_PoM

Novice Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 150

7/01/13 11:39:01 AM#130

The f2p market is a high risk/high reward market.  You can make a lot of money in it, but attract too big a % of the free players and you end up making less than you could have if there was a sub. However, if you can attract a fair amount of "whales" and plan out your cash shop offerings you stand to reap a whole lot of cash.  Sub games have a ceiling on how much money they can make and it directly relates to the number of subs it has, and while they can add in a cash shop they must be very careful what they put in it as they do not want to lose their subs.

 

In the end f2p games are all about the cash shop and control.  How much can the developer manipulate the players and cash shop to extract the most amount of profit? That is the real game in f2p games. Seasonal and limited time items will always sell very well, and a company that keeps a close eye on its metrics knows exactly when and how much they can add/subtract at any given time. The developer can control or manipulate how much money they make by watching the trends and spending habits of its player base, and anticipating/reacting to players spending patterns.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20515

7/01/13 11:45:35 AM#131
Originally posted by Robokapp
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Robokapp
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.

 

 

Why picture something that is not realty? We already know that there are whales who pay through the roof.

Let's picture many players spend exactly zero, and a few whales pays through the roof .....

hmm .. it looks like a great situation .. for the free players.

 

answer to red is in green.

Well, then you can imagine the action in any context .. and it can be good or bad depending on the context .. so it is absolutely useless.

In this case.

1) Many players spend exactly zero, some whales spends a ton .... good for many.

2) Every player spends exactly zero. Game company bankrupts and no game to play ... bad.

 

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17594

7/01/13 11:49:01 AM#132
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Sovrath

Originally posted by Robokapp

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.    
yeah, I like that. Makes a lot of sense to me and is a pretty good way to frame things. No matter what the subject.


If everyone in the world ate potatoes all at once, we'd run out of potatoes the first day and we wouldn't have any french fries until the next crop of potatoes came in.

**

The point is that almost nothing is good if everyone does it, and almost anything can be good in small measures, especially if applied correctly.

 

I think I'll take it as the thoughtful  way it was intended. And not your thing.

 

  Nadia

Tipster

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11780

7/01/13 11:52:44 AM#133
Originally posted by Caldrin

There are two main reasons games go f2p..

 

1. They are bad

2. They are old

its more involved than that

 

SOE has adopted the business strategy that *all their games*  including future games will be ftp

 

March PAX 2013 video interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wVIIIZ6ETtY#at=129

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

7/01/13 11:54:04 AM#134
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...

 Let's take a look at TV for second.

 

High quality dramas are expensive to make, but at the same time they tend to top out the ratings charts and so they bring in more ad revenue. However, that more money can (and did) often mean lower profit margins because the cost to make the drama is so high. With all the competition out there they found a new approach, reality TV.

 

Reality TV is very cheap to make in general. It also tends to get significantly fewer viewers (with the exception of the mega hit American Idol, but the viewership is dropping fast). Those fewer viewers mean less ad revenue. However, the costs are so so low that they make a bigger profit margin by doing the crappy and cheap reality TV. And because they need so few viewers to make that good profit margin there is room for many crappy reality TV shows in existence as once because they each need a fraction of the viewers that a large high budget, high quality drama needs.

 

So sometimes for companies it is actually better to produce a lesser product and bring a lower amount of money if the production cost is so low that the margins go up. If you have a f2p game and focus on popping out something that takes a few of hours to make, like a simple weapon and can charge $5 to everyone for that weapon you can make more money than someone who is investing tons of man hours to create new, compelling, deep, content as content is the most time consuming part of the MMO process.

 

That's general the theory people are going with when they say F2P makes less money.

  Nephaerius

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/09
Posts: 1480

7/01/13 11:56:23 AM#135
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...

 Sub games don't make more money than F2P games.  In fact, games that originally had a mandatory sub that then go f2p with an optional sub wind up with more subs than prior to the F2P transition.  F2P makes more money.  That's why folks are using it.  Every model has its own benefits so this is not to say the sub model is without any, but making more money isn't one of them.

Twitter: @Nephaerius
Steam: Neph
Xbox 360 GT: Nephaerius

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20515

7/01/13 12:09:15 PM#136
Originally posted by Nephaerius
 

 Sub games don't make more money than F2P games.  In fact, games that originally had a mandatory sub that then go f2p with an optional sub wind up with more subs than prior to the F2P transition.  F2P makes more money.  That's why folks are using it.  Every model has its own benefits so this is not to say the sub model is without any, but making more money isn't one of them.

Sub-only game is being taken over by F2P games. Just look at the trend last 2-3 years. I don't think sub games have any compeling benefit left .. not to devs anyway.

  Eunuchmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 203

. . .

7/01/13 12:11:41 PM#137
Originally posted by Loktofeit
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.

 

Hmmm . . . so if every new F2P mmo from here on out charged you $50-$60 up front just to play it, as long as it didn't have a sub, you would still call it F2P?  The fact that I cannot even log into it without paying the fee up front doesn't change the fact I suppose. 

I guess the mmorpg.com community is grateful for now knowing that the term buy to play (B2P) is hogwash.

  APRIME

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 69

7/01/13 12:15:59 PM#138
Originally posted by Eunuchmaker
Originally posted by Loktofeit
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.

 

Hmmm . . . so if every new F2P mmo from here on out charged you $50-$60 up front just to play it, as long as it didn't have a sub, you would still call it F2P?  The fact that I cannot even log into it without paying the fee up front doesn't change the fact I suppose. 

I guess the mmorpg.com community is grateful for now knowing that the term buy to play (B2P) is hogwash.

Yeah, I didn't really follow that logic either.  I guess I'll go pick up some F2P XBOX games at Gamestop . . . they'll be single player RPG's, not mmo's, but they don't have a sub, so I like to think of them as being free.  Sucks that  I need to shell out 60 bones to be able to play them  though.

 

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5192

7/01/13 12:26:34 PM#139
Originally posted by APRIME
Originally posted by Eunuchmaker
Originally posted by Loktofeit
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.

 

Hmmm . . . so if every new F2P mmo from here on out charged you $50-$60 up front just to play it, as long as it didn't have a sub, you would still call it F2P?  The fact that I cannot even log into it without paying the fee up front doesn't change the fact I suppose. 

I guess the mmorpg.com community is grateful for now knowing that the term buy to play (B2P) is hogwash.

Yeah, I didn't really follow that logic either.  I guess I'll go pick up some F2P XBOX games at Gamestop . . . they'll be single player RPG's, not mmo's, but they don't have a sub, so I like to think of them as being free.  Sucks that  I need to shell out 60 bones to be able to play them  though.

 

The keyword Loktofeit is using here is monetization. It's how the game is designed to earn revenue after the initial account creation or box purchase in the case of B2P. Once you get past that point of entry, there is little difference in business models between F2P and B2P.

 

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20515

7/01/13 12:29:19 PM#140
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
 

The keyword Loktofeit is using here is monetization. It's how the game is designed to earn revenue after the initial account creation or box purchase in the case of B2P. Once you get past that point of entry, there is little difference in business models between F2P and B2P.

But there is a huge difference BEFORE you get past that point of entry.

F2P enables easy entry. $60 does not. That is a world of difference.

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