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Free Realms Forum » General Discussion » The greed of SOE comes out

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49 posts found
  Kazara

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/20/06
Posts: 1072

"Denial does not change reality."

10/27/09 6:57:13 AM#21
Originally posted by uidLuc1d

Wait... you mean, they want to make money?!  HOW DARE THEY!

I would expect a post like this from a 15 year old, but a 41 year old?  *face-palm*

Well, a thief, a con artist and a beggar want to make money too. :::Roll eyes:::

It is not about $OE wanting to make a profit (of course any company does), it is about how they go about it. If consumers do not feel they are getting their money's worth, they go else where. Obviously $OE is more focused on making as much money with as little effort put into quality, customer service and sound business principles as possible. When a product/service is focused on with the intent of customer satisfaction first (not $OE satisfaction), the product will sell. $OE still needs to learn this lesson. Quality and value DO mean a lot.

I would expect any informed and savvy consumer to know this.

  User Deleted
10/27/09 7:23:24 AM#22

Reality check..... This is not a non-profit organization. Welcome to the real world. The only way you can have a "perfect'  MMO is if you design it yourself. Still there are employees and bills that need to be paid and two or three executives that want to keep their exquisite lifestyle. But only someone that has a real job can understand this.

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

10/27/09 10:09:55 AM#23
Originally posted by Moretrinkets

Reality check..... This is not a non-profit organization. Welcome to the real world. The only way you can have a "perfect'  MMO is if you design it yourself. Still there are employees and bills that need to be paid and two or three executives that want to keep their exquisite lifestyle. But only someone that has a real job can understand this.

 

People don't care about the profit/loss of a company.  They want a fun game and soe charging more and offering less in return has not turned out to be such a great business model.

It does without saying that companies are in business to make money, but when that greed overpowers the basic concepts of making successful products then there is a problem. 

 

Free realms is nothing more than several revenue models with cheap mmo concepts and flash games tacked on top of it.  That is why the game can't even muster enough players to fill one server. 

  VultureSkull

Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/07
Posts: 1803

10/27/09 10:44:12 AM#24

Many don't like SOE for what they did to SWG, i did not expereince that at the time,

I just hate SOE for what they did/are doing to Vangaurd.

There too they showed their greed over the advancement of the genre, and of course they are allowed to what they like to make money, but if they show utter contempt for the genre then people who actual like this genre are going to hate on them, they know exactly what they are doing and so should get all the bad press that is coming to them.

Anyone else hate SoE?

  Kaelaan21

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/31/07
Posts: 349

10/27/09 10:49:51 AM#25

If I owned a music store, I would want to make sure that when a customer enters the store, I have the stands, posters, kiosks, shelves and endcaps all set up in a way to get as much of a sale out of the customer that I possibly can. Why? Because when the customer leaves, there is no way of knowing when or even if the customer will ever return. It's also because I would have overhead of the store as well as employees and cost of stock and build out (shelves, endcaps, etc). Not to mention IT costs of a POS system (cash register), the fact that merchant accounts that process the credit cards charge a 2% fee on top of the $50 per month fee and if I want to take Discover/Novus it is high as 5%. Plus, accounting to make sure that the government gets its fair share and legal fees to make sure that I am filiing my annual corporate meeting minutes properly. The list goes on and on.

 

Now, picture the MMO market. With simular overhead (printing&distribution, marketing, advertising, billing, customer service is a big money drain, emplolyee payroll, benefits and employer contributions, etc) - the only source of income is typically 1 monthly fee per user. Most people do not have 2 accounts, but I do understand that some do. Also, keep in mind in this form of market model, it's a race for retention. You need to make sure that subs stay up. One way of doing this is offering reduced costs for long term subs. Which is even less money as a lot of people will tend to go with the 3-month sub instead of the 1-month after they decide they will continue to play the game.

 

As the game get's older, your retention will reduce and so will your monthly revenue. Layoffs will equal less frequent patching and development which will cause a vicious circle of loss of retention and so and and so forth until you are left with only a die hard player base and a handful of employees with little to no support.

 

Now, going back to the first example, wouldn't it make sense as a business to try to push as much product to a customer as possible to maximize your profit? Why loose a $15 a month sub when instead you can keep that same person for only $5 a month or possible every two months? Why limit your company to only taking $15 a month from one person if they are willing to pay $25, $35 or $50 a month for entertainment? A flat unlimited model with no possibility of additional revenue does not make financial sense unless you dominate a particular market. Yes, I feel that most of the items in a lot of games are not worth the cost. But, I did see buying a pet for $3 for my daughter was worth it. She still plays with it.

 

I think that people need to realize that virtual goods are considered tangible to some and repulsive to others. A great example is that many people of my age (mid 30s) and up do not understand why in the world someone would pay $4-5 to a read a book in the form of a PDF. I mean, it's not the same... it's just wrong. But, on the flip side a lot of younger people would wonder why in the world you wouldn't. The PDF download can be burned to a CD or redownloaded in case you "loose the book". Plus, you don't have to worry about damaging the spine. I think that a lot of people don't want change. Now, if someone was to release a microtransaction game to a fresh audience of tweens .. wouldn't that possibly change your market for games that you haven't even released yet?

  User Deleted
10/27/09 10:56:36 AM#26
Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

 

This is quite possibly the most ridiculous premise for a posting I have ever seen.

 

Developers make game, game uses Micro transaction model. Players realize they have to spend money on entertainment, rants on forums.

This is just a sign that this model is working, because you really want that banana suit, you just dont want to pay the 2$ for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh wait you read it wrong its one Banana Suit for $15 but it last for 7 days..haha

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

10/27/09 11:12:35 AM#27

Kaeleen21,

I think at the heart of it all what you are saying is true.  Every bit of it, but at the same time it is also showing the exact problem without even detailing it.

Having a plan on how to make money is wise.  Creating a handful revenue models for a product as a main design focus isn't a good idea.  In order to get all those dollars, people have to actually play the game.  Gluing a few mmo features, some flash web games and some concepts from popular console games doesn't really make a great game that people are going to open their wallets for. 

Nor does releasing it feature and content light. 

 

Designing a game around a revenue model doesn't make great games.

Designing a game around great gameplay is what needs to be the core concept of a gaming company. 

 

Greed got in the way of making a good game.

  Kaelaan21

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/31/07
Posts: 349

10/27/09 11:24:44 AM#28
Originally posted by Daffid011

Kaeleen21,

I think at the heart of it all what you are saying is true.  Every bit of it, but at the same time it is also showing the exact problem without even detailing it.

Having a plan on how to make money is wise.  Creating a handful revenue models for a product as a main design focus isn't a good idea.  In order to get all those dollars, people have to actually play the game.  Gluing a few mmo features, some flash web games and some concepts from popular console games doesn't really make a great game that people are going to open their wallets for. 

Nor does releasing it feature and content light. 

 

Designing a game around a revenue model doesn't make great games.

Designing a game around great gameplay is what needs to be the core concept of a gaming company. 

 

Greed got in the way of making a good game.


 

What a lot of people are forgetting is that the game is meant for the 7-14 age group first before any other age group. Short mini-games and quests that allow the player to play for around 30 minutes at a time. It's the equivlent of a child tugging on the back of their parent's shirt and trying to have them buy one of those virtual fish tanks or pocket pal type of games at the store. You know, the ones with the LCD screen that you know they will only play for 10 minutes and put it down.

 

Personally, I think they did a good (not superb) job of doing this. However, I have never seen advertising on TV channels that my girls watch or a physical product to bridge the target audience into the game (like WebKinz). So, not many kids even know about FreeRealms until they have grown out of the target audience range.

  Slampig

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 2406

Whatever you do, do NOT speak ill of Asheron's Call 2...

10/27/09 11:31:49 AM#29

 Curse you SOE! Trying to make money and all!

That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

10/27/09 11:37:28 AM#30

Free realms had tv ads plastered all over cartoon network and other kids channels.  For every wizard 101, toon town there was at least one free realms ad.  That is how they got to 5 million unique accounts in a few months time.

I suspect they don't advertise the game anymore, because it isn't doing them any good.  Free realms has 10 servers and can barely get 1 or 2 of them to medium capacity.  Think about what needs to happen to get 5 million players and not be able to fill up 1 server.  Just 1.

Keep in mind a server has such a small land mass that 1,000 or so players would completely fill the server to the rim with activity. 

 

 

 

 

  therain93

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/06
Posts: 2048

"Racing to endgame is like racing to the end of your vacation."

10/27/09 11:39:25 AM#31
Originally posted by midmagic
Originally posted by thexrated

Well, micro-transaction models are in their infancy, but of course companies like SOE do what is most profitable for them. They are a business and responsible not for the gamers, but to their shareholders.

 

They are not responsible to the gamers but are responsible to the shareholders? Really? I strongly hope business people have not fallen so far. Without a happy customer base there are no shareholders because you sell nothing and the stock is worthless because no one believes in the company. Always, customers first (quality product, fun stuff, blah, blah), the more successful game companies live by this motto. This is the same random nonsensical cliche being touted around as the new "we are your boss and you answer to us" by silly people whining about the government.


 

Yeah....and by that logic the happiest customer is the one who gets something for nothing.  Sure, companies spring up from nothing to give away their product for nothing, all to make the "customer" happy because that is the company's job.  Not really -- every game designer who makes a game and sells it is doing it for the "greed", not just to make you happy.

  blueshadow

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/05
Posts: 150

10/27/09 11:50:10 AM#32

I do not like microtransaction way of funding games.

One thing is the responsibillity a game company has. I mean. If I  buy loads of stuff over the years. And suddenly that company decides to pull the plug?

I  mean. If you pay a subscription. Its almost like renting a movie. You pay for the fun that you have, you see it and deliver it back. When you buy a movie you expect to keep it and be able to access it as long as you want.

In game, You pay for a month and when that month is done you have got what you payed for.  So you can either pay for a new month or leave. But when buying virtual items. You have invested in a total different way. Its a much more long term commitement by the companies that are operating the games.

And yes. Microtransactions in a game marketed towards Kids is a big no from my perspective.

Subscription based model is a much more honest way to operate any game in my opinion.

I dont mind SOEs idea to sell stuff like your characters avatar printed on a t-shirt etc. Thats creative and cool.

 

  User Deleted
12/06/09 7:58:53 PM#33

SOE greedy?   Of course.    You must have posted this thread from your flat in North Korea.    Here in the west we call it "Capitalism".

  Binko

Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 288

12/29/09 2:49:48 AM#34

Don't blame SOE, blame the people that buy the stuff. If people didn't buy the best car the race would be same for all or the weapons etc.

 

Played:
From Earth & Beyond, Anarchy Online, Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, Tabula Rasa (Beta), EvE Online, City of Villians, Atlantica Online, Guild Wars, Lineage 2, Pirates of the Burning Sea, PlanetSide, RF Online, Second Life, Fallen Earth.

  User Deleted
12/29/09 3:00:26 AM#35

To the OP: I think SoE owe you so much they should make a game and let you play it free.

They should never charge you anything, and they are robbers, they hold you at gunpoint to patronise their cash shop.

They also kidnap babies to sacrifce them to the mainframe god, so that the codes are bug free.

Any other additional information you want to lecture us on?

  User Deleted
12/29/09 3:33:14 AM#36
Originally posted by Spiider

 And you are suprised that they are greedy? Greed (profit) is their only motiv, only reason to exist. They do cancer research or try to find new energy sources. They exist to make money and will be remembered only for that once they go down. They have given nothing new or revolutionary to the world to make you rant like this. The solution is simple, don't play their games.


 

lol once they go down dude there online game section of SONY they are going no where. also hate to inform you i plan to play there mmo's for long time"EQ,EQ2,POTBS,SWG and freerealms". yeah it's people like me who keep them going but i love the mmo's even though half of them are doing poor. pure and simple there business just like wal-mart,mcdonalds and any other greed is how you succeed in BUSINESS.

  TacBoy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 138

12/29/09 4:24:47 AM#37
Originally posted by Kaelaan21

Now, going back to the first example, wouldn't it make sense as a business to try to push as much product to a customer as possible to maximize your profit? Why loose a $15 a month sub when instead you can keep that same person for only $5 a month or possible every two months? Why limit your company to only taking $15 a month from one person if they are willing to pay $25, $35 or $50 a month for entertainment? A flat unlimited model with no possibility of additional revenue does not make financial sense unless you dominate a particular market. Yes, I feel that most of the items in a lot of games are not worth the cost. But, I did see buying a pet for $3 for my daughter was worth it. She still plays with it.


 

While this is the most suscinct and well thought out argument in favor of microtransactions in MMO's I've read I can't help but feel it is missing a key point.

If FreeRealms was selling "entertainment" I would agree with it. Something along the lines of the Dungeons & Dragons Online model where you buy access to an instance. Don't want to play it? Don't pay for it. Only pay for those elements that you actually find value in. An ala carte type system. You are selling the experiences.

But once you move from that to saying "Pay more and you get to compete better" is where you get into iffy territory. Now you are not buying entertainment but instead are buying an advantage. The same goes for shops that sell gear in a PvP based game. I think this is what many people rail against. (In addition to feeling "nickel and dimed", pushed and marketed to.) And it's not uncommon. If you followed the logic, why not allow atheletes to dope up? Why have weight classes in boxing?

But if it is pure "pay for your level of entertainment" I'd have to agree with you despite my aversion to cash shops. Thank you for putting it in a way I finally get.

NOTE: I have played FreeRealms ever for about 20 minutes so I can't directly speak to the reality of that game but am talking about the general concepts.

  fawdown

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/06
Posts: 182

Elim Darvar of Hodstock
Permafrost-Everquest 2

5/30/10 8:35:24 AM#38

Well it might not be your favorite, but with almost 9 million active subs, it should surpass WoW in subs by year's end.  Since so many of the WoW accounts are farmers, it probably has already.

  Dreathor

Tipster

Joined: 9/03/07
Posts: 543

5/30/10 8:38:08 AM#39


Originally posted by fawdown
Well it might not be your favorite, but with almost 9 million active subs,

What? Where did you pull that number out from?

"If all you can say is... "It's awful, it's not innovative, it's ugly, it's blah.." Then you're an unimaginative and unpolished excuse for human life" -eburn

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

5/30/10 8:50:26 AM#40
Originally posted by Dreathor

 


Originally posted by fawdown
Well it might not be your favorite, but with almost 9 million active subs,


What? Where did you pull that number out from?

Soe has released press statements that have claimed over 10 million people have signed up for the game.

Some people read that to mean that somehow everyone that signs up for the game is an active player.

 

I'm not sure how many active players there are, but when a game adds 9 million people trying it out and never has to add 1 server to serve all of thoses new player it says the retention rate is horrible.  It pretty much says that the game isn't the favorite of very many people.

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