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A Major Concern about the B2P model: Lack of Power in Consumer Voice

MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,257Member Uncommon

A Major Concern about the B2P model: Lack of Power in Consumer Voice or even care about consumer's opinion post launch.

I was really looking forward to the future of the B2P model for saving me money from subs,

but major concerns still stand out.
With Guild Wars 2, being the recent huge example of this model in action, I dont like the limited voice of the consumers in this model.

Recently on the official forum a poster voicing their opinion on the poor design decisions that Anet has done to the game over the last few days, and their rude comments, this poster was infracted.

well in most cases in the genre, people would simply say, unsub and dont support the title,

but B2P games dont have a sub. They already have your money. Your voice is meaningless as a consumer because of this.

 

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Comments

  • BossalinieBossalinie Hattiesburg, MSPosts: 683Member Uncommon
    When will you realize you are too pro for MMO's and just...give up?
  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,660Member Uncommon

    People quitting and not doing things like spending money on the cash shop is different than people not paying a sub how exactly? Even as a non-cash shop player, youre there to draw in those that do spend $, because theyre not going to spend that money on a dead and empty game. Also the expansion sales wont go very well if theyre losing all their players.

    Youve got just as much voice, if not more, than in a sub game. In a sub-game you have to pay for them to care about your voice. In B2P, they have to listen to both sides or risk losing a large chunk of players from 1 or the other.

  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member

    Yep, the consumers only recourse if they feel disnefranchised by a BTP game company is to essentially just FUCK OFF.

    Pretty much the same way it is with a single player game title.

    image

    "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  • Rhianni32Rhianni32 Denver, COPosts: 222Member
    Presuming they want to sell more copies of the game past the first month, that they know about "word of mouth" advertising and the bagillion gamer blogs out there, and that there is a cash shop... you are wrong that they are not concerned about the consumer voice.
  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,006Member Uncommon

    While at first I see your point, realize they are not totally immune from market forces.

    They most certainly hope that some portion of the player base will utilize the cash shop, so making customers unhappy by being not responsive or implementating changes that will alienate many is not smart from a business sense.

    Also, one assumes if they make someone mad, that person won't buy any of the next 4 expansions, again costing them money in the long run.

    But assume that what ever changes they make to the game will alienate some portion of the player base, be it class nerfs, changes in monetary compensation etc.  They have to look at what will retain (and perhaps grow) the most player bases over the long haul.

    Finally, without a monthly sub fee, there has to be some cost savings implemented somewhere, and live customer support is one of the most expensive post implementation items in any software's budget.  In the company I work for in real life our management is manical about keeping a lid on production support costs, and we have a mandatory target to reduce them by 10% year over year.

    This results in large amounts of offshoring, automation and IVR's, and even a general cut back on services/hours when necessary to achieve these goals.

    You really do get what you pay for, and if a title is not going to have monthly subs, expect them to cut a few corners in certain areas.

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "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

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,279Member Uncommon
    "Telling me how to play." This thing may have legs. 
  • hfztthfztt GlostrupPosts: 840Member Uncommon

    Come one. GW2 is not REALLY B2P. Its more F2P (done right) with all current content sold up front in a one time fee.

    Kinda like if you had to buy all the adventure packs in DDO to play up front. The rest of the shop items are very similar...

    GW2 B2P? Not really...

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon

     

     B2P doesn't exist. It's an idiotic label that ArenaNet saw some groups using and let ride so that they could position against subscription games in a way that doesn't freak out the anti-F2P gamers. The marketing was brilliant because by positioning against subscription, avoiding the F2P label and offering a retail box, ArenaNet was able to genuinely pitch a quality game. Had they NOT sold the box up front - just because of how messed up consumer thinking is - the perception would have been a low quality free to play game. Not only did they break the perception of their free to play game, but they made a truckload of money doing it.

    ArenaNet never called the game B2P. To refute that, some pull out the FAQ entry where the words Buy and Play appear in two of the sentences. [mod edit]

    GW2 was an amazing experiment in consumer rationalization.

    In the end, you should be consoled in knowing the game is a free to play game at its core. Players have more voice than they do with subscription games. There is a higher priority to regularly deliver quality content and not get complacent in their development.

     

     

    Related links:

     

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • IstrebiteIIstrebiteI SpbPosts: 266Member

    Honestly, i disagree.

     

    There is customer voice in both systems. Subscribtion is not an incentitive for developer to make players happy, really. You are trying to think real world, where business can be based on finding several "regular customers" and sticking to them, so that they buy your service over and over, or on having gross income of people who do not stay as regular customers, but buy once and forget about you.

    MMO cannot really work in the second way. It has to rely on regular customers, otherwise it WILL fail. A single player game can do it, but not MMO. I believe ANet understand it very very well.

    After box price, you have cash shop, regular expansions or subscription fee, or a combinaton of those - it is just one same "monetisation". Its the way you get paid for providing the service, nothing ese. As an MMO, GW2 needs to have constant player base in order to prevail.

    Therefore, in any model, developer has to care about customer voice. Be that F2P, P2P, B2P. People just think that its easier to judge customer voice by calculating amount of subs - but no, it isnt. A lot of people keep a sub but dont play the game - you'd be surprised about it! If you just rely on sub numbers, you may actually get a very bad surprise when you think your game's doing fine while it isnt. An MMO needs to stay interesting for people to continue regularily playing it. and so, customers do have full impact here.

    What is not understood by people such as the poster from screenshot, however, is that no good business tries to please EVERY single customer. Of course you shouldnt be offensive or abuse your customers, saying "YOU DONT WANNA PLAY MY GAME THE WAY I WANT IT GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SITE YOU BITCH" but.... generally, if a patch is made, and 5% of the population quit because of that.... it doesnt mean the patch was bad. It just may be that game has attracted unintended customers and for the good of intended customers, they have to go!.

    Yes, they have to go. Not every lost player is a bad thing. Players that want something that isnt intended for this game have to leave the game, otherwise they will keep complaining about Game X not having feature Y, making it sound like its a BAD thing, an oversight. Like, for example, if someone's going to complain about GW2 not having addons, such person has to go, because GW2 will never ever have interface addons, and this isnt a feature not present in the game, and should not be viewed as that (missing feature)!

    There actually should be NO power for one consumer to control what a company does to other 2 million consumers. Consumer has to have only one power - to get what he paid for. Nothing else. It should not be about consumer's power to dictate how game should be developed, otherwise every single online game would be screwed as hell...

    ----------

    Clear example. Say, I come to a game which has full loot pvp (thing EVE Online, Runescape or Darkfall Online), but a bug that allows you to retain some of your inventory when you're killed. I hear about this bug not being fixed for some time, and i buy the game and play it. Then patch hits and this bug is finally fixed. I go crying at forums that if patch is not reversed, they lose a customer.

    What is the right way for developers to react to this statement? Tell me that i should go, because this game is intended to be played with full loot pvp always and in any situation, and if i dont like it, thats my problem. Does it matter if i'm also paying a 15$ a month fee and threaten to stop playing? Should they not fix it because if they do they lose my sub? Of course not! The patch has to stay and they have to lose customers because of it, because it is for the greater good of the whole game, whole community.

    Same thing if say, someone learns how to do dll-injection or something else to add addons to GW2, without game noticing and banning you, and one day they they fix this hole and now you cannot do it without getting banned, but some player already got used to using those addons. Then several players complain that "you lose a customer if you dont revert this patch" - should developers listen?

    I mean, its obvious that developers should not listen to every single indivitual or even a group of individuals who threaten to cancel their sub if patch is not reversed!

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,919Member Uncommon

    Subscription is only part of a player's voice.

     

    Non-subscription games rely on players for word of mouth advertising, and to play the game so the game world feels alive.  They also rely on players for expansions, item shop sales, and account service sales as continued revenue streams.

     

    Overall I see this as not very different from subscription games.  It boils down to... "if you don't like it, don't play it, don't pay for it, and don't bring your friends into the game".

     

    Besides, look at all the games that completely ignore legitimate consumer issues.  I really don't think they give a hoot about if players do or don't like something.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

     

     B2P doesn't exist. It's an idiotic label that ArenaNet saw some groups using and let ride so that they could position against subscription games in a way that doesn't freak out the anti-F2P gamers. The marketing was brilliant because by positioning against subscription, avoiding the F2P label and offering a retail box, ArenaNet was able to genuinely pitch a quality game. Had they NOT sold the box up front - just because of how messed up consumer thinking is - the perception would have been a low quality free to play game. Not only did they break the perception of their free to play game, but they made a truckload of money doing it.

    ArenaNet never called the game B2P. To refute that, some pull out the FAQ entry where the words Buy and Play appear in two of the sentences. [mod edit]

    GW2 was an amazing experiment in consumer rationalization.

    In the end, you should be consoled in knowing the game is a free to play game at its core. Players have more voice than they do with subscription games. There is a higher priority to regularly deliver quality content and not get complacent in their development.

     

     

    Related links:

     

     

    AHH - GW1 was B2P also. One can say it was successful. Why wouldn't A.Net follow the model they already had success in.

     

    You quoting those articles does not mean you understand  what was done before. GW1 WAS B2P!!!

    image

    "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

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by botrytis
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

     

     B2P doesn't exist. It's an idiotic label that ArenaNet saw some groups using and let ride so that they could position against subscription games in a way that doesn't freak out the anti-F2P gamers. The marketing was brilliant because by positioning against subscription, avoiding the F2P label and offering a retail box, ArenaNet was able to genuinely pitch a quality game. Had they NOT sold the box up front - just because of how messed up consumer thinking is - the perception would have been a low quality free to play game. Not only did they break the perception of their free to play game, but they made a truckload of money doing it.

    ArenaNet never called the game B2P. To refute that, some pull out the FAQ entry where the words Buy and Play appear in two of the sentences. [mod edit]

    GW2 was an amazing experiment in consumer rationalization.

    In the end, you should be consoled in knowing the game is a free to play game at its core. Players have more voice than they do with subscription games. There is a higher priority to regularly deliver quality content and not get complacent in their development.

    Related links:

    AHH - GW1 was B2P also. One can say it was successful. Why wouldn't A.Net follow the model they already had success in.

    You quoting those articles does not mean you understand  what was done before. GW1 WAS B2P!!!

    Great point! That means that GW2 is the same exact business model despite everyone involved in creating the business model stating otherwise! You're right! o/ Thanks for clearing that up for me. You win the internet.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,007Member Uncommon

    B2P games like to keep players as well if they have an itemshop, sell any services or plan to release an expansion.

    Case dismissed.

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member

    I dont want to pay 15 a month just to be able to make an "I cancel my sub post" under nerd rage.

     

    I also dont believe that the "I'm cancelling my sub if you dont..." -threads have any impact to begin with. Especially when it's just an empty threat trying to have your way, but actually keep playing.

     

    The only thing that matters is the number of players playing. They can see it in real time. If there's a shit patch, let them know, and stop playing. Nothing to do with sub or no sub.

  • hfztthfztt GlostrupPosts: 840Member Uncommon

    This all assumes that voting with your sub works.

    Lets get a list of the times where players have succesfully changed teh direction of a developer using this kind of pressure:

    1) EvE Online - Monacle gate

    Ok ... I am out of examples...

  • Kuro1nKuro1n GothenburgPosts: 771Member
    Originally posted by hfztt

    This all assumes that voting with your sub works.

    Lets get a list of the times where players have succesfully changed teh direction of a developer using this kind of pressure:

    1) EvE Online - Monacle gate

    Ok ... I am out of examples...

    Yepp same for me, only game I believe it had an effect and only because the players actually care to organize stuff as they are used to it (sandbox players). However it was quite effective when it actually happened yet I doubt any other company than CCP would let you make such a thread on their forum just to keep count on how many accounts that have unsubbed. :p

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,460Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MMOExposed


    Recently on the official forum a poster voicing their opinion on the poor design decisions that Anet has done to the game over the last few days, and their rude comments, this poster was infracted.

     

     

     

    edit: I thought the poster was the one who made rude comments.
  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,928Member Uncommon

    You couldn't be more wrong when it comes to GW2.  If you are unhappy with GW2 then you:

     

    1) won't be buying any gems for cash.  They will notice this.

    2) won't be playing much.  They will notice this too and assume you won't be interested in buying their expansions

     

    Similar impact is felt by Blizzard with regards to D3.  Less people playing means fewer people using RMAH and fewer expansion sales.  That's why they are working pretty hard to fix their mistakes.

     

     

     

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,854Member Uncommon
    Word of mouth is a huge factor in wanting to keep the customers happy. As big as GW2 has been in one month they want to build exponentially. ANet also has a way with not coddling rude individuals, that being seperate from complaining.

    I for one appreciate when rude people, above and beyond expressing an opinion, are put in thier place.
  • AwDiddumsAwDiddums Great YarmouthPosts: 397Member Uncommon

    The OP is talking utter nonsence.

    They are assuming that Anet will never produce a B2P expansion or B2P DLC's.

    The cash shop itself relies heavily on contented players, that in itself lends the players a booming voice that the devs need to listen to.

    B2P does not mean "You've bought the game suckers now lump it or like it", do you really honestly believe that a company would stake it's reputation on a single game purchase? they want ppl to continue playing, they want ppl to want more content, they want ppl to use their cash shop, a good solid game means your going to stick around, devs that aren't going to listen to you means your going to lose potential revenue.

     

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,454Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rhianni32
    Presuming they want to sell more copies of the game past the first month, that they know about "word of mouth" advertising and the bagillion gamer blogs out there, and that there is a cash shop... you are wrong that they are not concerned about the consumer voice.

    I agree they do care and want to sell xpacs,but all they do in those situations is HIDE customer dissatisfaction.This way they can tell media how great the game is doing,tell them the players are all happy.So they lose some dissatisfied customers,by hiding the truth or misleading the media,they probably gain as many new xpac buyers in the long run.

    There is a  couple apps that show current users online,to give a weak indication of a games status but it is not a definitive answer like sub numbers and retention rate.

    I also feel MANY users probably have some complaints but accept  a game as being good enough or feel the developer won't listen to them anyhow.

    I read that Craig Morrsion interview and for once a guy tha ttells the truth without trying to mislead people.He was asked about listening to the customers and he said yes we listen but we can't listen to everyone of course,otherwise we would be changing our game every two minutes.So in reality,they don't listen,they CAN'T,they will do whatever they think is right ,if it happens to be what some were asking for ,it makes them look good,they can say oh ya see we were listening lol.

     


    Samoan Diamond

  • JimmyYOJimmyYO Columbus, OHPosts: 520Member
    Consumers only have the illusion of voice. Sure companies will throw you a bone every now and then but don't mistake that for having voice. The only way to get their attention is to vote with your feet.
  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    A Major Concern about the B2P model: Lack of Power in Consumer Voice or even care about consumer's opinion post launch.

    I was really looking forward to the future of the B2P model for saving me money from subs,

    but major concerns still stand out.
    With Guild Wars 2, being the recent huge example of this model in action, I dont like the limited voice of the consumers in this model.

    Recently on the official forum a poster voicing their opinion on the poor design decisions that Anet has done to the game over the last few days, and their rude comments, this poster was infracted.

    well in most cases in the genre, people would simply say, unsub and dont support the title,

    but B2P games dont have a sub. They already have your money. Your voice is meaningless as a consumer because of this.

     

    Why do you never think these posts through before making them? They are relying on players to buy expantions, use the shop, and to tell others about the game and get them to buy it. 

    You should focus more on Quality over quantity... 

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    If you don't like it, don't shelf out $60 (or whatever) for the game.

    Play a demo, or read a review first.

     

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,752Member Uncommon
           Basically GW2 is both a p2p and a f2p game....Its p2p for the first 4 months, then f2p with  after that (until an expansion is released anyway then it starts all over again)....And if that wasn't enough then a cash shop to boot.
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