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If sub games make more money, why are they all going F2P?

Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon

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...

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Comments

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,904Member Uncommon
    Never really heard it argued that they make more money (not  to say it doesn't happen)  I just don't think it's all that common. Most want subs simply because it costs less to have everything a game offers ( if it's based solely on a sub model). Even Hybrids like TOR etc.. Are better experiences (for the buck) with a sub over what it costs without.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

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  • ApocalypseSunriseApocalypseSunrise Paducah, KYPosts: 80Member

    Uhh, games eventually get old and start losing subscribers. The publishers make a big "Hoo-Hah" press release about going F2P and then all the grabasses who never paid any attention to the game before start trampling the elderly and small children to play yet another free game. They then leach off of that sucker until they're bored or until another game they never tried goes F2P and the cycle starts all over.

    Yes, I've read a poem. Try not to faint.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon

    wow isn't. eve isn't.

     

    it's the bad p2p games that go f2p. not all of them.

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  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon

    Personally, I just think there are too many MMOs and not enough players to sustain most games. MMOs are so different from every other genre, the games are made and then new ones come out but the only ones don't go away. The old MMOs are still trying to keep their players faithful to them, and the new ones are trying to lure them away.

    I think back to the old days and how people were more committed to their MMOs but were we really? Or was it just a lack of choice?

    I recall playing Meridian 59 with my brothers, and we were hardcore about that game. We loved it to death and had no intentions of quitting. But then EverQuest was coming out, we read the articles and saw the screenshots. So we hopped on board the EverQuest mobile! Then I believe it was another couple years or so until Asherons Call came out and my brothers and I decided to try that, and then Anarchy Online etc etc.

    I think WoW and EverQuest 2 were the last two MMOs I actually spent more than a year on respectively.

    The point of all this rambling, is back then MMOs took a long time to come out. We didn't have a new game every few months to try out and convert to. I think about the last year or so and I've had GW2, TSW, Defiance, Dragon's Prophet, Neverwinter, Marvel Heroes, and FFXIV beta all installed on my computer and launched/beta'd to different degrees. That's more MMOs than my first TEN years of MMO playing combined!

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  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    wow isn't. eve isn't.

     

    it's the bad p2p games that go f2p. not all of them.

    So in your opinion, WoW and Eve are the only two good P2P MMOs ever made? And since you hate all F2P MMOs... is it your opinion that WoW and Eve are the only two good MMOs ever made, period?

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  • pfcgriffpfcgriff Fallon, NVPosts: 26Member

    From what I've seen, F2P does make more money on less people. I'm not saying a F2P game with 5m players would make less money than P2P. There is a number where the number of players has reach to break even between F2P and P2P.

    IE. Less than 500k the game would be better off F2P than P2P, but over that its more a question of what the Dev wants to do. Wow has an item shop, while very limited and silly expensive it is there. And the money they made from the like 5 mounts they have on there likely would buy them a very nice castle on a hill somewhere. 

    The freemium model of  EQ2 is the only one that bothers me. A vast majority of the new art assets for armor and weapons are on the marketplace instead of being available VIA in game means. This is the only thing that worries me about EQN is that it will be a freemium model like EQ2 and have a cash shop where all the decent looking stuff ends up. 

    So your sub may get you bonus xp or no queue time but the cool looking gear is all on the item shop. Sony has actually shown this plan with PS2 actaully, with the only difference between a Sub and a Free is bonus xp and no server queues.

     

      

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  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,853Member Uncommon

    IMO it's because most titles are more of the same.  While subs do give you a sustained income better suited to execute projects (content) you actually have to get people to pay for them.  Why pay for game A if game B looks and tastes similar without an upfront cost? Many players don't anymore due to how many are free(ish) and so you see more F2P conversions.  IMO these conversions are a way to get your core base that used to just pay 15.00 a month paying more so that others can play for free while keeping the doors open.  I'm concerned that as new F2P(ish) titles come out like EQN that the "whales" (see above) will move towards new waters and leave old titles to close or tighten the cash shop grip.

  • MuffinStumpMuffinStump Frankfort, KYPosts: 474Member Uncommon

    All you are going to get in this thread are armchair economists and doomsayers.

    Mmorpgs are notorious for keeping their numbers veiled either in terms of population (active accounts, forum accounts, registered accounts) or profit (other than quarterlies dependent upon knowledge of investment/upkeep).

    Sometimes games fold even when they are turning a profit for various reasons such as occupying a valuable spot in some perceived gaming real estate or genre branding. I suppose if another project needs team members and the speculation is high on the new venture then they might even scrap the old for team resources. Hard to say what the monetary implications are for some of these decisions.

    The mmo world seems primed for a massive shake-up in my opinion which is worthless as I sit in this armchair (babbling as I take a break from reviewing a project set)

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,853Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by pfcgriff

    From what I've seen, F2P does make more money on less people. I'm not saying a F2P game with 5m players would make less money than P2P. There is a number where the number of players has reach to break even between F2P and P2P.

    IE. Less than 500k the game would be better off F2P than P2P, but over that its more a question of what the Dev wants to do. Wow has an item shop, while very limited and silly expensive it is there. And the money they made from the like 5 mounts they have on there likely would buy them a very nice castle on a hill somewhere. 

    The freemium model of  EQ2 is the only one that bothers me. A vast majority of the new art assets for armor and weapons are on the marketplace instead of being available VIA in game means. This is the only thing that worries me about EQN is that it will be a freemium model like EQ2 and have a cash shop where all the decent looking stuff ends up. 

    So your sub may get you bonus xp or no queue time but the cool looking gear is all on the item shop. Sony has actually shown this plan with PS2 actaully, with the only difference between a Sub and a Free is bonus xp and no server queues.

     

    They have talked about putting cosmetics in the game as recipes, not sure if they have actually done it though.  My worry for EQN is that there will be no sub option... at which point SoE could pull what NC pulls where you get changed more than a sub to enjoy the game.  I was also bothered by the cosmetic cost even with a sub with EQ2.  It's been topped by the RNG lock boxes and reagent needs of other MMOs.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    I wouldn't say it's even just the bad ones. It's the mediocre ones that can't stay a float as p2p. These games that can't keep people playing for more than a month or two at a time don't really keep people longer as f2p. they just don't have the pay barrier that kept people from playing when they were p2p.

    They still have the same turn over but they get way more people trying it. Way more people spending small amounts and people come and go and come back more often.

    A good game keeps it's players, it doesn't matter what it's pay model is. f2p does however have the ability to earn more per month from a player than p2p does.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    wow isn't. eve isn't.

     

    it's the bad p2p games that go f2p. not all of them.

    So in your opinion, WoW and Eve are the only two good P2P MMOs ever made? And since you hate all F2P MMOs... is it your opinion that WoW and Eve are the only two good MMOs ever made, period?

    no, in my opinion wow and eve are some good mmo's. you asked why all are going f2p, i gave you two examples that aren't.

     

    I don't hate f2p mmo's, just the cash shops. I play a f2p mmo in my eve browser while mining. I think they're great temporary distractions, much like addictinggames.com games are - which are also f2p but without the cash shop. yet not MMOs.

     

    so in your opinion, are all p2p mmo's going f2p like your title says ?

     

     

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  • wordizwordiz Eugene, ORPosts: 464Member
    Because they don't make more money. 
  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,066Member Uncommon
    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...

     Theres only 1, maybe 2 P2P games that make more money then if they go F2P.  Wow and Eve.  The market share is not large enough to support so many P2P games.  Just like in in 1999 when only 3 major games were P2P, the same holds true today in 2013.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

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  • fyerwallfyerwall Posts: 3,155Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fendel84M

    Personally, I just think there are too many MMOs and not enough players to sustain most games. MMOs are so different from every other genre, the games are made and then new ones come out but the only ones don't go away. The old MMOs are still trying to keep their players faithful to them, and the new ones are trying to lure them away.

    I think back to the old days and how people were more committed to their MMOs but were we really? Or was it just a lack of choice?

    I recall playing Meridian 59 with my brothers, and we were hardcore about that game. We loved it to death and had no intentions of quitting. But then EverQuest was coming out, we read the articles and saw the screenshots. So we hopped on board the EverQuest mobile! Then I believe it was another couple years or so until Asherons Call came out and my brothers and I decided to try that, and then Anarchy Online etc etc.

    I think WoW and EverQuest 2 were the last two MMOs I actually spent more than a year on respectively.

    The point of all this rambling, is back then MMOs took a long time to come out. We didn't have a new game every few months to try out and convert to. I think about the last year or so and I've had GW2, TSW, Defiance, Dragon's Prophet, Neverwinter, Marvel Heroes, and FFXIV beta all installed on my computer and launched/beta'd to different degrees. That's more MMOs than my first TEN years of MMO playing combined!

    Well back then each game was built differently than the next. Sure, some of the basics were the same, but DAoC went with RvR, AO was sci-fi with a unique character build system (also the first use of instances and flying mounts), AC was more sandbox type progression than the others, etc.

    Then WoW came out. It was new, it was a bit more polished at launch than any of the other games that came before it and it was made by a company that was known for quality games (at one point). It grabbed almost the entire genre. It pulled in players who may have never touched an MMO otherwise. 

    And then it started.

    MMOs began popping up everywhere, Imports from the east, Movie IPs, etc. Everyone saw WoW and said "We can do that too!"

    Players began bouncing around from game to game. New MMOs would launch with a million box sales and finish out the month with less than 200k subscribers. No one wanted to pay for a game they were pretty much already playing, or the games launched in such a disastrous fashion it just scared people away. Players were scattering out across an expanding ocean of new games, thinning the populations of already existing games. It became harder for developers to keep people subbed.

    So you are pretty much correct in the 'too much supply, not enough demand' area. But it goes a bit deeper in that a lot of the supply fell short on bringing anything new or worthy to the genre. 

    Also, I do want to apologize in advance. If this seems a bit all over the place it's due to the fact I am riding a pretty big sugar high atm. The girlfriend is trying a ton of different frosting recipes for a family event and I am the default taste tester. I may just end up in a diabetic coma by sunrise today...

    There are 3 types of people in the world.
    1.) Those who make things happen
    2.) Those who watch things happen
    3.) And those who wonder "What the %#*& just happened?!"


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  • HeretiqueHeretique Posts: 1,101Member Uncommon
    Games aren't about the games anymore, it's about how much you can make off of it. F2P offers more to the company than a sub can.

    Originally posted by salsa41
    are you have problem ?

  • Matticus75Matticus75 Posts: 396Member Uncommon

    P2P games can make the most money, but you make more if you make a cheap level game like farmville, advertise it as full P2P game, then reduce it to what it is (a low budget F2P) then you make more money add the cost to make the cheap game in itself

     

    More like ask yourself this, make a farmville F2P with a low budget of lets say $50,000 and make $150,000 off it, Or make a $50 million P2P and make $150 mil off it.

    Alot easier and less risky to make a farmville than to make a WoW

    And where is the market going?  its not going to put the millions to make lets say SWTOR right the first time, why instead you can make a low budget game that is compatable for your cell phone, tablet, and low end laptop, make it F2P and make a little cash with lower risk, as opposesd to alot cash P2P with a high risk, high budget game.

    Im afraid after all the milltions spent on SWTOR, nobody is going to invest on a large budget game in a long time

    Gold spammers and Farmville in a round bout way runied gaming for now, suprised that businesses did jump on the F2P garbage concept years eariler.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,051Member Uncommon

    Several reasons:

    1. P2P model is outdated. - You can not charge subscription for a similar game that competitors give for free(ish). This is simple rule of market.

    2. Subscription makes more money if you have enough subscribers. - Simply there is profit line where P2P game makes less money than F2P

    ---

    Said that. I dont think F2P is here to stay either.

    I think market is moving towards B2P as model that makes more logic both for player and publisher.

     

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  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,532Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    Several reasons:

    1. P2P model is outdated. - You can not charge subscription for a similar game that competitors give for free(ish). This is simple rule of market.

    2. Subscription makes more money if you have enough subscribers. - Simply there is profit line where P2P game makes less money than F2P

    ---

    Said that. I dont think F2P is here to stay either.

    I think market is moving towards B2P as model that makes more logic both for player and publisher.

     

     

    Well even if they do they will still have a cash-shop, that is simply to good of a way to get money for them to pass up. I think that the current F2P model will stay around for a good amount of time actually and become more and more common. Maybe even to the point of moving in to single player games.

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    wow isn't. eve isn't.

     

    it's the bad p2p games that go f2p. not all of them.

    So in your opinion, WoW and Eve are the only two good P2P MMOs ever made? And since you hate all F2P MMOs... is it your opinion that WoW and Eve are the only two good MMOs ever made, period?

    no, in my opinion wow and eve are some good mmo's. you asked why all are going f2p, i gave you two examples that aren't.

     

    I don't hate f2p mmo's, just the cash shops. I play a f2p mmo in my eve browser while mining. I think they're great temporary distractions, much like addictinggames.com games are - which are also f2p but without the cash shop. yet not MMOs.

     

    so in your opinion, are all p2p mmo's going f2p like your title says ?

     

     

    You said the bad P2P games go F2P, the only P2P games that haven't gone F2P(I believe) are FFXI, WoW, and Eve. Oh! And Ultima Online. So that's 4 that I can think of. Based on your statement every other P2P game was bad, so it went F2P.

    And it's not really a matter of opinion. It does seem like all P2P games are going F2P. I'm still on the fence about F2P, I think some games have taken things a bit too far with their cash shops.

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  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,853Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    Several reasons:

    1. P2P model is outdated. - You can not charge subscription for a similar game that competitors give for free(ish). This is simple rule of market.

    2. Subscription makes more money if you have enough subscribers. - Simply there is profit line where P2P game makes less money than F2P

    ---

    Said that. I dont think F2P is here to stay either.

    I think market is moving towards B2P as model that makes more logic both for player and publisher.

     

    Great point.  Up front cost to keep the company stable past the "drop" so it can transition into some form of cash shop.  B2P also falls in line with the typical model for consoles, which look to be featuring a lot of MMOs soon.

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    There are  simple reasons why some games go, F2P.  The main reason being that the majority of mmorpg releases have tried in some form to copy the WoW formula and came up short.  Trying  to compete with a Godzilla by releasing a slightly sub par game is not going to cut it.

    Once devs have realised all their inhouse marketing hype is crap, they make job cuts and go the only route they know they can to try and up-sell their product.  The chance a F2P gamer drops chump change once a year is better for them than not having that player at all.

    I shall illustrate two niche examples with subscription intact:

    EVE Online is a sandbox, it has little to no competitors and merrily continues to charge a subscription fee which I and other people are happy to pay for.

    Darkfall Online (Unholy Wars).  Aventurine charge more than any other mmorpg I know,  they have a dedicated following that love the full loot pvp and the fps style gameplay.

    Those 2 games offer unique experiences and by doing so sustain their business model.  I believe FFXARR will stay a subscription game and I am willing to pay to play that.  I also believe Camelot Unchained will be successful with the subscription model.  They already have a pool of dedicated players who gave them money with no hope of a release date!

    Here is a personal fact for you: I now rarely try F2P games, I find them shallow and that they cannot provide me with enough content long term.

    If I walked into a bank asking for funding with a great business plan for a low cost point burger and chip chain of fast food restaurants. I would be shut down and told to change my remit fast.  That market is saturated and so is the theme park genre. 

    Developers need to have in mind  a realistic population figure, this was not the case with games like SWTOR (thats my guess).

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

     

     

  • DoogiehowserDoogiehowser ParisPosts: 1,873Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    wow isn't. eve isn't.

     

    it's the bad p2p games that go f2p. not all of them.

    So in your opinion, WoW and Eve are the only two good P2P MMOs ever made? And since you hate all F2P MMOs... is it your opinion that WoW and Eve are the only two good MMOs ever made, period?

    no, in my opinion wow and eve are some good mmo's. you asked why all are going f2p, i gave you two examples that aren't.

     

    I don't hate f2p mmo's, just the cash shops. I play a f2p mmo in my eve browser while mining. I think they're great temporary distractions, much like addictinggames.com games are - which are also f2p but without the cash shop. yet not MMOs.

     

    so in your opinion, are all p2p mmo's going f2p like your title says ?

     

     

    EVE isn't a pure P2P MMO. Majority of people use PLEX to buy sub. That is why they don't need to go F2P.

    WOW is the only pure P2P MMO surviving unless you want to count dirt old MMOS like DAOC or FFXI.

    OP is talking about the MMOS of recent years and he is right. Giving one or two example show that P2P MMOS is not a viable business move any more. To make a convincing argument one has to show a lot more than just one P2P MMO which has been successful but that is not the case now is it?

    "The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: 'We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.'
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  • keenberkeenber galwayPosts: 438Member

    I believe f2p model makes a lot more than sub games. I also believe that the reason sub games get better updates than F2P is nothing to do with how much they make but because who is gonna pay a sub if the game doesn't give you something back.

    They have to at least make sure bugs are fixed and keep the end gamer happy be that added free content or expansions. F2P doesn't have to do that and also F2P make money from the shop so they are gonna consentrate on making content for the shop more than trying to improve the game.

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    Aren't lineage 1 and 2 sub games too?

    Dark age of camelot is still sub

    So is warhammer

    Plenty of them.

     

    There was a good point made though. If you have a subscriber base then they expect regular large updates. F2P games get away with minor maintenance and fanfare very tiny tiny updates. 

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