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News & Features Discussion  » [Editorial] General: Can Funcom Blame Falling Numbers on F2P Competition?

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79 posts found
  BMunchausen

Staff Writer

Joined: 11/22/12
Posts: 259

 
OP  3/08/14 7:02:23 PM#1

This week, mega-publisher Funcom announced its profits were down considerably, and one of its explanations for the drop was heavy competition among free-to-play MMOs. While there's certainly a lot of noise out there these days, with new consoles, mobile games and a new MMO appearing every five minutes, can the company really say competition is the reason it's not doing better?

Read more of Neilie Johnson's Can Funcom Blame Falling Numbers on Free-to-Play?

  Nephaerius

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/09
Posts: 1480

3/09/14 10:09:56 AM#2
I'd blame their subpar games library

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

  HellCaster

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 178

3/09/14 10:22:14 AM#3

It's shame really since Funcom has some of the better IP / concepts out there (Anarchy Online & Secret World). It seems there weakness is in implementation and maintenance of their ideas like the updated graphics engine for A.O. that has been in the plans since circa 2005 and still hasn't come to fruition.

The strategy (game concept) is solid they just can't seem to follow through on the execution and so they fumble over and over.

Playing: ESO

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3518

3/09/14 10:24:06 AM#4

Funcom == awesome concepts with crappy execution. They always lose because of the crappy execution of their ideas.

As for F2P. Anarchy Online would've been gone years ago without F2P.

  Righteous_Rock

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/14
Posts: 316

3/09/14 10:25:00 AM#5

I think f2p can be blamed for a lot of things going wrong. The bottom line is ....

Is the game fun ? If yes how much does it cost? Is it worth it? What kind of uncertainties are there? What kind of schemes are they going to try and pull to take your money? Is the game being produced by a trusted source?

Some basic good rules to live by,

1. Never spend any money on microtransactions

2. Never give any money to f2p games

3. Find buy to play games you enjoy and stick to them. You can focus on the game instead of making business decisions all the time.

4. Sub games that you enjoy are worth the sub, there are no surprises, just a flat fee and again you get to focus on the game, not on business decisions. 

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

3/09/14 10:27:21 AM#6

Free to play is dependent on pay to play.

I'm going to guess and say everyone is playing GTA, and won't be back.

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7674

3/09/14 10:27:45 AM#7
Originally posted by someforumguy

Funcom == awesome concepts with crappy execution...

I understand this now. I didn't a couple years ago. 

 
  HellCaster

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 178

3/09/14 10:28:11 AM#8
Originally posted by BMunchausen

This week, mega-publisher Funcom announced its profits were down considerably, and blamed the drop on heavy competition among free-to-play MMOs. While there's certainly a lot of noise out there these days, with a new MMO appearing every five minutes, the company's reasoning seems faulty. After all, isn't competition what free enterprise is all about?

Read more of Neilie Johnson's Can Funcom Blame Falling Numbers on Free-to-Play?

It seems the link is missing to the Neilie Johnson's editorial, can it updated with the link please?

Playing: ESO

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3518

3/09/14 10:32:50 AM#9
Originally posted by FinalFikus

Free to play is dependent on pay to play.

I'm going to guess and say everyone is playing GTA, and won't be back.

GTA? As in Grand Theft Auto?

  Alalala

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 303

3/09/14 10:34:15 AM#10

Still sore about the Age of Conan launch.

 

I'm mixed about The Secret World. Brilliant concept; great questing; dull combat.   I returned recently and finished the regular content, but didn't find the end-game content worth sticking around for.

 

Anyway, it sounds like a fire sale is imminent.  Too bad; we all suffer when competition is limited.

  User Deleted
3/09/14 10:36:16 AM#11

Play till you run out of content. Come back for updates.

 

Subs / Free doesn't matter. I'll pay to do new content, I wont pay to do old content. TSW was a great game for 1.5 months, highly recommend it if you havent tried it. 

  DamonVile

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

3/09/14 10:37:29 AM#12
Originally posted by someforumguy

Funcom == awesome concepts with crappy execution. They always lose because of the crappy execution of their ideas.

As for F2P. Anarchy Online would've been gone years ago without F2P.

Yeah on paper their games always sound great. Nothing about them ever makes me want to keep playing or paying though.

  Renoaku

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/07
Posts: 973

3/09/14 10:42:29 AM#13

The problem isn't free 2 play, the problem is the Failure of Innovation, and Pay 2 Win / Pay 2 Enjoy aspects that MMO Developers use in their online games.

 

FunCom, Gamers First, Perfect World, Nexon, SWTOR, NC Soft, Age OF Wushu,  Are all Free 2 Play games I would tell players to Avoid because these companies suck all their F2P titles its a matter of my opinion but still my opinion don't spend your money here not worth your money.

The problem with F2P games, is players don't feel they get what they pay for, I am willing to pay $15 a month to play Aion, why I don't is because I can't freely customize my character any time I please, I have to buy additional housing slots to enjoy the game the way I would want to I would be spending over $100 a month that is enough to cover like 7 EVE Online accounts.

FunCom, as a game company fails to deliver Good Content to their Cash Shop in their games like The Secret World, and Blood Line Champions, not only does BLC have rare upgrades but character models are not as good as they should be, and the customization options in TSW are limited, I can't just change my hair and skin when I want to Freely as a paying subscriber instead I am restricted on a lot of things until later levels and so on limited to how I can customize have to pay with in game cash or cash shop items.

Age OF Conan is a good game with potential but same thing it lacks players and needs improvements/real cosmetics added to the game better character models and visuals would be nice.

Nexon, Vindictus It costs over $50 to customize a single character the way I want it to look.

SWTOR lacks customization the way I want it.

Age OF Wushu, same problem, says its sand-box really has crafting restrictions, have to spend over $30 a month to enjoy the game the way I want.

APB Reloaded, is a good game, but Gamers First, Sucks they have no idea how to improve the game, fixing character models a bit better although they are pretty good already, adding more clothing slots, adding optional subscription with benefits and so on instead of making the game Pay 2 Enjoy / Pay 2 Win would have helped the game a lot instead of G1 making changes for good they limited clothing slots and made the game worse.

Instead of F2P Games focus on just cash shop items they should look at how they can offer subscribers a $14.99 subscription and give them benefits like full ability to customize their character when they please with subscription, Free 30 day mount that expires when subscription expires + additional cash shop options like XP Boosters and so on.

Instead companies focus on Making money, Gamble items, and so on like Perfect World in their games many gamble items ( I refuse to play games that limit enjoyment of my game the way I want to experience it.)

Most F2P Games are not worth playing, Its not because they suck its because the companies have no idea what they are doing and some gamer who thinks they hit hte bomb puts money into the game.

The only F2P Game worth playing is (Rift) at the moment thats not Pay 2 Enjoy or Pay 2 Win.

  Nickhead420

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/23/14
Posts: 118

3/09/14 10:43:19 AM#14
IMO F2p games are raising the bar for all developers.  With so many free choices out there, it's hard to justify $60 on another average game.  I own every Battlefield from 1942 to BF3.  Couldn't justify buying BF4 knowing it wouldn't be a better value than Planetside 2.
  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2565

3/09/14 10:44:50 AM#15
Originally posted by Righteous_Rock

I think f2p can be blamed for a lot of things going wrong. The bottom line is ....

Is the game fun ? If yes how much does it cost? Is it worth it? What kind of uncertainties are there? What kind of schemes are they going to try and pull to take your money? Is the game being produced by a trusted source?

Some basic good rules to live by,

1. Never spend any money on microtransactions

2. Never give any money to f2p games

3. Find buy to play games you enjoy and stick to them. You can focus on the game instead of making business decisions all the time.

4. Sub games that you enjoy are worth the sub, there are no surprises, just a flat fee and again you get to focus on the game, not on business decisions. 

I totally disagree with you. Sub games are dying because they are NOT OFFERING anything better than F2P games do. It is that simple. If I can get the same style of game play from a F2P game, why would I sub to a game? F2P is a symptom of the fact the major studios can't get their collective heads out of the sand.

 

F2P should not be blamed, the game companies themselves should be blamed for making subpar games.

 

As I said in another thread, this is just like Kodak, when announcing their bankruptcy, the Kodak CEO stated, 'They are going bankrupt because of their competition' not because they mismanaged and basically wasted everything. It is lack of vision that killed Kodak nothing more. Same can be said for the gaming industry.

 

A.Net is at least trying. The rest, I have no clue. I guess they are resting on their laurels and expecting people to throw money at them. 

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  Righteous_Rock

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/14
Posts: 316

3/09/14 10:47:29 AM#16
Originally posted by Nickhead420
IMO F2p games are raising the bar for all developers.  With so many free choices out there, it's hard to justify $60 on another average game.  I own every Battlefield from 1942 to BF3.  Couldn't justify buying BF4 knowing it wouldn't be a better value than Planetside 2.

It is a better value than PS2 - PS2 is fun, but it's not BF4 fun. 

64 player battles is a sweet spot for large warfare and unlike ps2 is your really good at fps, you impact is very noticable. In ps2 if your good at fps you cant make a difference but it's a small dent in the big picture.

  goboygo

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/02/13
Posts: 461

3/09/14 11:11:19 AM#17

I disagree, giving stuff away for free is a race to the bottom, time will show this.  Funcom is right, but they hooked into F2P as the savior of their games. If your going to go F2P you have to dive all the way in and basically gut any value from your game and move it all into the cash shop.  If you don't everyone just takes advantage of your balanced approach on both ends.  You really need to rape and pillage to run a successful F2P, and do this without most people really thinking you are, that's the key.  Their is a formula that plays off the CASUALS and the OBSESSIVE compulsive, Funcom didn't nail it and now their in no mans land.

And on another note, looks like I have one more warning before this account is banned .  Strong opinions don't sit well on this site.  You can have one as long its not attached to a "human" just some nebulas form.    But unfortunately life is not nebulas its driving solely by the opinions of others, good and bad,   And I call it as I see it.   Weeeeeee!!!!!

  Fearum

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/15/11
Posts: 1092

3/09/14 11:11:26 AM#18

If a game is F2P, I don't bother even dling it. I look at them as crap that they can't sell so they try to give it a way for free. As soon as I see F2P it turns me off completely, I'm sure there are others like me out there as well that also think its lowering the bar with all the focus on selling crap in the cash shop.

I think its good that companies that choose to go this F2P route are in trouble, they should make a game that people want to pay to play instead of play to pay.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19514

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

3/09/14 11:26:36 AM#19
Originally posted by botrytis
Originally posted by Righteous_Rock

I think f2p can be blamed for a lot of things going wrong. The bottom line is ....

Is the game fun ? If yes how much does it cost? Is it worth it? What kind of uncertainties are there? What kind of schemes are they going to try and pull to take your money? Is the game being produced by a trusted source?

Some basic good rules to live by,

1. Never spend any money on microtransactions

2. Never give any money to f2p games

3. Find buy to play games you enjoy and stick to them. You can focus on the game instead of making business decisions all the time.

4. Sub games that you enjoy are worth the sub, there are no surprises, just a flat fee and again you get to focus on the game, not on business decisions. 

I totally disagree with you. Sub games are dying because they are NOT OFFERING anything better than F2P games do. It is that simple. If I can get the same style of game play from a F2P game, why would I sub to a game? F2P is a symptom of the fact the major studios can't get their collective heads out of the sand.

 

F2P should not be blamed, the game companies themselves should be blamed for making subpar games.

 

As I said in another thread, this is just like Kodak, when announcing their bankruptcy, the Kodak CEO stated, 'They are going bankrupt because of their competition' not because they mismanaged and basically wasted everything. It is lack of vision that killed Kodak nothing more. Same can be said for the gaming industry.

 

A.Net is at least trying. The rest, I have no clue. I guess they are resting on their laurels and expecting people to throw money at them. 

So the real question is, what exactly could a sub game offer different than a f2p game to make them a better value?

I think that's a great topic for a new thread.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
"People can do with their money what they want. But... that doesn't make it smart" - COORS
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Mitara

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 451

3/09/14 11:35:17 AM#20

Funcom has made a great game with their latest TSW, but...

It was a static game with only contents to last 1.5month. 

There was no replay value, and this is a general failure that most MMO developers are doing.

Thinking shortterm and not long-term.

They need better Game designers!!

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