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Sci-Fi/Modern Day MMO's should all be F2P

Posted by Axum Saturday September 20 2008 at 10:14AM
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So, before i start discussing why they should be F2P i would first like to talk about P2P games.

I played WoW for a good 3-4 years, so i am going to use this as an example.

A play to play game, by my standards, is an acceptable way to run a game, but you have to stop it there.

Paid character transfers? Full priced expansions?

That is utterly rediculous in my opinion.

Especially when they are allowing some countries to play for much less than America.


Although it would be out of place in Fantasy MMO's,

in Modern/Sci-Fi MMO's companies could easily integrate in-game advertising,

that could pay for the upkeep of the game. I'm talking non-intrusive real life ad's on the billboards, signs posted throughout the game, posters on walls. Everything.

Maybe a Box-cost, but that should be about it.


MMO developers at the moment, all see us as sheep, or consumers. Gullible people who are just waiting to throw our money at them.  But we are not sheep.

The game they make should be made for us. Because in the end, it is just a product. And the only thing that matters is the customers experience. Why not once, make a game, that not only the developers enjoy, but one in which the audience which they are trying to appeal to will absolutely love also.


Although some companies have been successful just seeing us as ship, think of how much money you could make with 2 million people viewing hundreds of in-game adds each day.  People who love the experience they had in your game so much, they keep coming back, again and again.

So a one time box fee, + the thousands they make each day from advertising.

Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Nekros4442 writes:

they can make millions from the players and no player wants a friggin ad in tehir face when in a instance

Sat Sep 20 2008 11:29AM Report
skeaser writes:

Yup, I've seen it in games already. Wasn't it R6: Vegas that had all the Old Spice billboards?

Sat Sep 20 2008 11:37AM Report
Dreamion writes:

I would rather pay for the subscription than ruining the game experience by seeing some ads here and there in the game.

Sat Sep 20 2008 12:09PM Report
Dreamion writes:

I would rather pay for the subscription than ruining the game experience by seeing some ads here and there in the game.

Sat Sep 20 2008 12:09PM Report
samuraislyr writes:

Yet adds on billboards and stuff just like in real life would really do nothing to ruin the game experience, it would if anything actually enhance it as you would feel like this is the same world as your world.

He didn't say adds would be placed in a fantasy world, that makes no sense but in modern/sci-fi MMO's. Those for the most part make sense. Tabula Rasa really has nothing for the adds so it wouldn't work in that game but in City of Heroes it would make perfect sense and I believe they have plans to do that.

Sat Sep 20 2008 12:41PM Report
Sketch5 writes:

Back when I played MxO all the billboards were essentially blank. I remember thinking to myself, "They should put some real ads on there, it would be more immersive AND put more money in their wallets."


So yes, I agree that any game that can put ads in the game and have the setting still make sense should take advantage of that.

Sat Sep 20 2008 1:05PM Report
SailorCallie writes:

I agree that there are not enough F2P Sci-Fi MMOs. An example would have NCSoft create and release a bonafide F2P Sci-Fi MMO that similar to Guild Wars, Dungeon Runners and Exteel.

Sat Sep 20 2008 3:30PM Report
Radox writes:

I agree. In game ads would make an MMO much more immersive and realistic. To me, it would be win-win yes.

I mean if they have billboards / grafitti with fake ads/messages or even blank (as previously posted), putting some recognisable content in its place enhances it imo.

Should they choose to fund their product development through real ads, then thats a bonus.

Sat Sep 20 2008 4:02PM Report
Tester003 writes:

I smell an ad person in a cloaked user id. 20 USD to buy a dvd/cdrom and than 7 to 15 USD per 30 days/720 hours works fine. As for the packs they sould cost about 10 USD maybe. So no ads no thanks end of line.

Sat Sep 20 2008 4:55PM Report
Tokken writes:

FRee to play? Give it a rest. The best games are the pay to play games and it keeps out the babies who can't afford them.

Sat Sep 20 2008 5:12PM Report
Fadedbomb writes:

Get lost if your wanting to promote that F2P crap on mmorpg. ALL F2P games are crap, just go try them. Guild wars being the exception, until you beat all the content in the first week and had nothing to do but buy all their expansions just FOR the storyline.


NOT a single F2P mmo is immersive or expansive, why....because they can't afford to pay the salaries of all their content designers/coders for better and constant updated content.

Now, the route they should NEVER go, and John "The Fish" Smedly is going, are micro-transactions. The fool has looked @ F2P games with item malls (the MOST unbalancing and bullcrap thing anyone could have ever come up with), and has gotten jealous pants and wants the cash they are raking in. Oh, and the reason why item malls make so much money is because rich snubs play those games and buy items that drastically make them overpowered, because in most item-mall ran games you can trade your bought-with-real-money possessions for in-game currency, completely destroying any hope of a real and fair economy.


Bottom line, F2P games are crap.......the ONLY problem nowadays is the fact they are trying to grab WoW's success and making cookie cutter slapstick bullcrap copies. Of which, WoW gained fame for (copying everyone else and putting other people's ideas into one, low end product for ease of use).


F2P games =/= MMO

Sat Sep 20 2008 5:48PM Report
Ekaros writes:

"Especially when they are allowing some countries to play for much less than America."

Yep, while we Europeans pay a lot more than Americans in some cases up to 66%...


Anarchy Online has it's F2P part and advertisement for froobs. Still game is mainly run by paid players, I can't think that free games could reach same level than paid. Might work for some open source game, but then there would be problems with balance and how to keep servers up...


Sat Sep 20 2008 7:07PM Report
Salvatoris writes:

It has been my experience that with "free" MMOs, you get what you pay for. 

Sat Sep 20 2008 8:27PM Report
linadragon writes:

@Fadedbomb The microtransaction system is actally quite often misrepresented by many people they see item mall they automatically think unbalancing... There are usually free versiosn of said items (sure sometimes they take longer to get but...) and alot of the time its nothing that boosts the characters and is just fashion.... .  There are plenty of MMO's that offer as good as an experience as any P2P game out there but people cant get past tjhe stigma that there is a cash shop so they dont bother.... 

People like you just dont get it lol. WoW is no better the Silk Road online or Perfect World or many other games. And at least the free to play games try to do things that are different from time to time. No one copied WoW get over it period. MMO's have been like WoW since forever they just tossed everything together and dumbed it down for the masses... 

Frankly reason i play F2P games alot mroe then P2P? The games have little to do with why I play an MMO anymore... I play it more for social aspects and to kill some time... As do many people but the game is to be considered to. Most P2P games are just as rubbish as free to play. In fact i bet you i can find some F2P games that stack up quite well when compared to other games out there that cost money to play. 

People just need to get over the cash shop stigma and play. Runes of Magic is going to counter balance the cash shop with free in world equivalents of all the items. Many people do this but most people dont realizze it and just frown on it saying boo. 

Sat Sep 20 2008 10:04PM Report
MysticRyu writes:


I respectively disagree.  For a few isolated examples, you are correct.  However, most of the microtransation games I have played give you a very significant boost in performance if you use the cash shop.  That being said, the ones that are purely for fashion are more than okay for me.  I actually enjoy them.  However, even if there are in-game equivalents to the "stat-improving" items you can get in the cash shop, they will be exceedingly hard to get.  A character in an MMO is a type of investment.  If you don't want to spend money, you could spend a month trying to get an item that someone could get on the first day through the cash shop.  I find that to be discouraging.  There is a difference between possibility and practicality.

As for the f2p Sci-Fi MMO (The actual topic :P), I actually agree with BRYANBARTLEY, the OP.  Advertisement is a part of everyone's lives.  Seeing a giant, broken-down, half-buried coke sign in a post-apocolyptic MMORPG would make me go "Whoooaa that's cool".  And on top of that, it would be nice knowing that coke is paying my subscription fee.

As for everyone saying F2P games are crap.. You have a strong tendency to be right about that.  But the reason is that the companies just don't have the revenue to make the game better.  The idea proposed here is an alternative for a subscription model.  No, it's not honestly even free-to-play, but the companies' advertising partners are paying your subscription so you don't have to.  Of course they're not thinking about it that way.  They're looking at it as paying to get an advertisement in a high-traffic area.

This is the same theory as many other technology "genres" are looking at.  For example: lets you see a lot of TV shows for free, completely legally.  How?  They insert ads.  for a 30-minute show there might be 3 ads.  This is significantly less than you would get watching the show on actual TV.  The ads, however, pay for the bandwidth and other costs associated with you watching that TV show.  Another example, ruckus.  It's a free music-downloading service for college students.  Once again, completely legal.  They get all of their money from advertising revenue (And they pay some maajor royalites for their songs, trust me.)  As a last example, there were MANY theories going around a while ago about the "Google gPhone".  This was going to be a FREE cell phone, with free service.  How? Advertisments on the phone.  Of course, you could pay to remove the ads.  This hasn't come to fruition yet, but there's nothing to say it won't.   All these examples show that advertisements allow for free software (and possibly even hardware) that could normally cost a significant sum of money.

Now, out of all the mediums that use advertising, gaming could be both the most inegrated, and the only one that could actually improve the experience.  We're not talking about a bright-flashing banner ad at the top fo a webpage.  We're talking about gritty, realistic, integrated advertising.  If done right, I would probably still pay a subscription fee even with advertising.  I think this kind of advertisement, when very meticulously put into the game, enhances the experience.

For one last example,'s advertisements.  Their "page-theme" advertisements for games seem really cool to me a lot of the time.  Not only does it look cool to see a giant page of Age of Conan-theme, but I'm betting is getting a fairly large sum of money for those advertisements.  Would you rather have them get rid of those ads, and charge you every month for their service?  It's the same exact premise, just in a more developed medium.

Sun Sep 21 2008 12:52AM Report
Ravnos80 writes:

I would rather pay a monthly fee and have a good quality game...a long the lines of WoW, AoC, AC, AO, DAoC or any of those other games...have them ad-free...with better maintenance, better gfx and better substance...with out the obnoxious, blatant ads that like to pop up at what seems to be, constantly, the wrong time.

I don't think you will ever get something equalling WoW, SWG, EVE or anything that's big and has made a name from a F2P MMO.

Sun Sep 21 2008 1:21AM Report
Axum writes:

Half of you are either totally missing the point, or have no comprehension skills whatsoever.

Advertising PAYS!

For your ad to be seen by a million people, multiple times a day, then you are doing GREAT advertising. Think about a Modern MMO where there are posters in the city advertising a concert, or Companies on billboards, or even a apocaliptic MMO where there is all this and more but 1/2 destroyed!


I am not saying insert ad's into your beloved Fantasy. Sci-Fi and Modern Day MMOs. It makes sense. It makes money.

It works.

Albeit it may not generate enough money to make it totally free,

thats where the box fee comes in. And even after that if you have to pay for an expansion, so be it. At least you aren't paying a monthly fee.

Sun Sep 21 2008 1:29AM Report
Fadedbomb writes:

@ BryanBartley,


No sir, it is YOU missing the point. Advertising ruins immersion when placed in-game for real-world "modern" products. 90% of the time said products do NOT fit within the realm world of the MMO you are playing.

Advertising = BIG NO NO


@ LinaDragon,

You haven't been playing MMO's as long as the average "MMO player", for that is completely obvious.


You have been playing F2P games because your parents won't let you pay for a subscription to a real MMO. For this, you have gained the shunted perspective of not knowing what a real MMO is. It will always be the fact that a game with an item-mall that gives the buyer a higher advantage over normal players. You ALSO miss the point completely that games whom have item-malls shunt your playstyle to force you to buy items from the item mall to make it the same pace/playstyle as normal games. Those whom deny this have no idea what they are doing in said game to begin with.

You also miss the point that item-mall run games, if you use the item mall for anything other than fashion, will run you MUCH more than $15/mo. That money per month is what your complaining about, and yet you'd rather spend something like $50+/mo on worthless virtual items JUST to make said item-mall game worth enjoying. Its also very prevalent for people whom are in favor of said item-malls to be exploiters of them. Said "exploiting" people love the feel of having more money than the average joe to spend on a game, and thus become extremely overpowered in said game (see 9dragons Online, you can buy stat enhancing packages that permanently increase your stats).

In closing:

-Microtransaction systems in an MMO will ALWAYS be the wrong thing to do for ANY mmo. There is no counter argument, and there most certainly is no positive side to them unless you have an absorbent amount of money to throw around. Also, it should be pointed out ANY microtransaction game will always be flamed and shunned by the serious MMO community. It's seen as sleezy and unfair in almost every avenue. No game will come of serious meat if based around such a mechanic.

-Advertising in an MMO is all fine and dandy as long as it is generally free and isn't trying to produce a real immersive and dynamic game (see Anarchy Online, it's so old and out of date they had to move to a free play aspect mixed with a payed aspect, people who pay don't see the billboard ads). However, if your actually trying to get a true MMO with wonderful gameplay, constant content installments and overall great gameplay, going the free advertisement route (even if coupled with a payed customer service, aka: Anarchy Online) is a BIG no no. Said game supported by in-game ads and a small subscriber base will NOT have the funds to support constant quality content updates or fixes. Finally, if you pay ANY amount of money for said game you'd better bet your pants-o-business that your customers NEVER want to see in-game advertisements for something they payed good money for. Anarchy Online, yet again, was a great census for this. Initially they tried to activate the in-game bilboards for their paying customers also, and they lit the forums up so badly they were deactivated. Now, thats not to say that 2years later the population in that game isn't so low they've turned them back on for paying subscribers. However, the point still stands impeding on a customer's play environment will kill your game very quickly.


-Nuff Said

ps: WoW is NOT a standard for anything to base upon. It is seen by the general community as the "starter" or "beginner" MMO. It brings people into the MMO genre, and brings our more serious games into the limelight later on. The only reason WoW is so vastly profitable is it took ALL the great ideas from everyone else, and packed it into one VERY low end gameplay package.


Sun Sep 21 2008 2:09PM Report
esquire38 writes:

Well i guess no one here has played 9Dragons Acclaim's F2P game. Sure you can play for free up to lvl 13 then the top half of your screen is taken over by google ad's.

It ruined the game for alot of ppl that did not want (because of lack of new content) or could not pay for there premium service (witch is way overpriced compaired to what you would pay for a p2p game per month)

 Also there was alot of talk about adware and screen burn out's due to the flashing ad's that sometimes appear.

The old way they used to do it was the frist i think 15sec's you enter a zone you would see the ad banner that was ok they help them pay the bills but how it now makes it a very annoying thing that ppl hate.

Sun Sep 21 2008 9:30PM Report
MysticRyu writes:

I don't think anyone has said that having half a page of banner ads would be acceptable.  We're talking about things like, for example, bilboards inside the game.  TV ads on TV's in the game.  Radio ads on the radios.  Stores that actually sell pepsi or coke.   Half-ripped posters with Axe ads on them.  Things like that.  Things that are actual mediums used to advertise in the real world.

We're not saying all advertisement would be good.  We're saying it would be very good if implemented properly.

Mon Sep 22 2008 2:57AM Report
esquire38 writes:

Well i was just makeing a point they had it in what you would call a ok use of a ad system, for the type of game that it is Fantasy set in Ancient china so billboards cannot be in the game world lol.  There used to be just a small ad that would show at the top area of the screen but like alot of these game compaines greed sets in and they want more money one way or the other so they made it a perm ad bar at the top of the screen.

Also it does not matter if no one was talking about half the page(but i dident say half the page myself) the point is to talk about Advertising in a MMO good and bad does not matter

Mon Sep 22 2008 5:10AM Report writes:
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