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[Editorial] General: Can Funcom Blame Falling Numbers on F2P Competition?

BMunchausenBMunchausen Staff WriterBurlingame, CAPosts: 400MMORPG.COM Staff

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?

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Comments

  • NephaeriusNephaerius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,539Member Uncommon
    I'd blame their subpar games library

    Steam: Neph

  • HellCasterHellCaster Kansas City, KSPosts: 201Member

    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: GW2 & Robocraft

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,538Member Uncommon

    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_RockRighteous_Rock Youngstown, OHPosts: 494Member Uncommon

    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. 

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member

    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"

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,258Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by someforumguy

    Funcom == awesome concepts with crappy execution...

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

     
  • HellCasterHellCaster Kansas City, KSPosts: 201Member
    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?

    image

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

    Playing: GW2 & Robocraft

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,538Member Uncommon
    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?

  • AlalalaAlalala Gabrielston, SCPosts: 311Member

    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.

  • Sajman01Sajman01 Rochester, NYPosts: 204Member

    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. 

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    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.

  • RenoakuRenoaku Posts: 1,001Member Uncommon

    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.

  • Nickhead420Nickhead420 Schenectady, NYPosts: 131Member Uncommon
    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.
  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member
    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. 

    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

  • Righteous_RockRighteous_Rock Youngstown, OHPosts: 494Member Uncommon
    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.

  • goboygogoboygo Posts: 784Member Uncommon

    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!!!!!

    "Fighting Internet stupidity one post at at time"
  • FearumFearum Cinnaminson, NJPosts: 1,166Member Uncommon

    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.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,966Member Uncommon
    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.

     

    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

  • MitaraMitara NAPosts: 522Member Uncommon

    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!!

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,494Member Uncommon

    A great game is great regardless of the payment model.

    A crappy game is crappy no matter what the payment model.

    Same goes for mediocre games.

    The common issue of failing games is - game quality, the payment model is irrelevant.

     

    Make a kick ass game and players will flock to it no matter what the payment model is.

     

  • ThaneThane berlinPosts: 2,230Member Uncommon

    well, TSW had a nice storry and stuff, but all of a sudden, it was gone. it ended. 

    if they would have continued it faster (and i do not mean raids), maybe they would have more subs :)

    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!"

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    I will say this again and again, just because they make it free to play, does not make it fun.  It has to be fun to play.  There are so many free to log in games now days you have to make a fun game, and a store that has something in it worth spending cash on.

    I could log into Aoc, or TSW any day I wanted, however the fun boat for both of those games has long since set sail. There is no reason for me to log in. 

     

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member

    I really want to like this game. It's well made for sure. Unfortunately I really hate conspiracy theory BS so that makes the setting itself pretty uninteresting to me but I suppose I will give it another try sometime.

     

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,712Member Uncommon

    "Relax, Funcom, no one's saying you should let free-to-play make you run around like a headless chicken; but perhaps you should spend more time making exceptional games instead of excuses."

    Just... lol.

    Oh, and "In any case, though MMOs still seem less comfortable with the free-to-play model than more casual genres, and as such, are prone to off-putting mistakes, (LOTRO I'm looking at you)" lol, this was maybe even more way-off than the other.

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member
    Back in the sub days people played on equal terms (not based on the size of their irl wallets). Everybody had the same equal access to all the content in the game (not taking expansions into account) which meant that the developers had to make a good game to keep people subbed. And they did.

    Npwadays games are made for the whales, and the whales only. The rest just flock to it because it's free. Nomatter the glass wall they have to climb.
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