The million $ question, how do you compete with FREE?

KopogeroKopogero Shevat, ONMember UncommonPosts: 1,685

...and the simple answer is by being a better free to play product. That is as simple as it can be put. We are seeing a big shift in monetizing models. Truth is one can only do as much with a game to bring an audience and what's even more challenging when it comes to the MMORPG market is the fact players are "invested" in other MMORPG's.

It's not only about making a superior product than those available but giving the market a trustworthy product, one that players will know years from now will still receive updates, content, and so forth. Bottom line is developers realize today how valuable all players are both paying and not paying.

What does a producers receive from a non paying customer? Community, healthy population, and more importantly potential new recruits like bringing friends, which is far more valuable than advertising that these non playing players provide to the game. When we come here on forums like these often many players seek for a new game and guess which one will be recommended the most?

I think by 2017 the B2P and P2P product will become obsolete in this genre. There is also only as much one can do to their unpolished, fresh MMORPG, especially how expensive is today to deliver AAA MMORPG and competing with the rest.

It was about time we saw producers compete with one another more aggressivly than ever to give us the best experience without restrictions.

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Comments

  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenMember UncommonPosts: 2,437
    I don't think every MMO has to be F2P to be viable.

    We saw the same with software a decade ago, everything was going to be open source and every model would be ad driven or donation driven.

    Yet paid software is still around, people still prefer quality over short term goals. It isn't one or the other that survived, they coexist and have done so for years.
  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 4,966
    You don't have to be free at all, you just have to be good.

    If you have a hit, people will throw their money at it. 

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairMember EpicPosts: 7,872
    edited September 2015

    The million $ question, how do you compete with FREE?

    Does anyone else see the irony in this question?
    Hint: "There's no free lunch"
    Post edited by GeezerGamer on
  • AkulasAkulas GoldcoastMember UncommonPosts: 2,090
    If no one paid, everyone would be on an equal ground and games would go back to how they used to be.

    This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

  • WarlyxWarlyx UnknowMember RarePosts: 2,374
    creating a game (updates included) that its worth the sub fee :)

    now gimme my million of $ :pleased: 
  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 4,966
    Kopogero said:

    I think by 2017 the B2P and P2P product will become obsolete in this genre. There is also only as much one can do to their unpolished, fresh MMORPG, especially how expensive is today to deliver AAA MMORPG and competing with the rest.

    I'm more inclined to believe the opposite

    By the year 2017 most people will come to realize what a sham F2P really is.

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • JDis25JDis25 Member RarePosts: 1,311
    What about AAA games that have.. commercials! that would be worth it to me.
    Now Playing: TERA / Elder Scrolls Online / Summoners War
    Interested In Playing: Blade and Soul / Lineage II Revolution
    Looking forward to: Crowfall / Lineage Eternal / Lost Ark
  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 4,966
    JDis25 said:
    What about AAA games that have.. commercials! that would be worth it to me.
    THE FINAL SWING AND.....

    Now a word from our sponsors


    Be careful what you wish for, it just might come true


    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,909
    You don't have to offer something free to compete with other free things, you need to offer a far better product instead. Bog water is free, perrier is expensive after all and guess which one of those people prefer to drink...

    A great game will always beat a crap game, people would pay $25 a month for a great game but will not play a lousy free game very long. They can stay a while in a free so-so game butthe only 100% certain way of earning lots of money with a game is to create a really good one.
  • SomeHumanSomeHuman Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 518
    Exclusivity competes well against free.  The exclusivity must be enjoyable and enviable, but it could work.  This is one reason people now pay money to be in alphas and betas, which used to be free and exclusive.

    Gaming since 1985; Online gaming since 1995; No End in Sight! My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8POVoJ8fdOseuJ4U1ZX-oA

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,680
    Well, if you are a major game developer with deep pockets, you seek federal regulations which will be used to remove the indie game companies from existing.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAMember RarePosts: 1,924
    edited September 2015

    The million $ question, how do you compete with FREE?

    Does anyone else see the irony in this question?
    Hint: "There's no free lunch"

    Business 101.

    But in hindsight, I challenge the very notion.

    There's very much a free lunch.  Sit under a tree while resting / working.  Eat an apple that falls from it.

    Takes no time.  A seed was produced by nature and is able to be acquired without paying anything initially.

    There's no such thing as a free lunch in a society of money.  But there's always been the potential for free meals in nature when it comes to vegetarians or omnivores.  In the forests.  Grabbing something from trees owned by someone else is illegal, but that's still in the realm of man and money.  If we go into specifics and "that food had to come from someone's pocket", then we have to go even further in that "at one point in history, that seed was free.  For someone."

    Time = money was also solved when someone was simply laying under the tree.  Perhaps working for money during such, perhaps on their leisure time.  The apple came to them.

    laserit said:
    Kopogero said:

    I think by 2017 the B2P and P2P product will become obsolete in this genre. There is also only as much one can do to their unpolished, fresh MMORPG, especially how expensive is today to deliver AAA MMORPG and competing with the rest.

    I'm more inclined to believe the opposite

    By the year 2017 most people will come to realize what a sham F2P really is.

    What isn't a sham?  Most games aren't worth paying $15 a month, especially with how low bandwidth and the like cost (or 20 month droughts like a certain infamous MMO).  F2P is only a sham to those who can't control their impulse buying.  Not to mention those who put most of the game behind a paywall.  But even then, there is an argument on normal games that people pirate just to try it before potentially wasting money.  At least with F2P, people know what they are getting.  Founders packs are also sketchy, but it's again playing on people without the ability to control themselves, as they want the shiny as soon as possible.  Despite it going to open play weeks or months in the future.

    Post edited by Yaevindusk on
  • The_CleanerThe_Cleaner Pit, PAMember UncommonPosts: 13
    It was about time we saw producers compete with one another more than ever to aggressively monetize the removal of restrictions to get the best experience.

    FTFY

    I dislike FTP games for that reason alone, there is always a wall blocking your way unless you play the game so infrequently that you never find one.  That works for the player who pays NOTHING but plays 10 free games for an hour or two each week.  Great for them, bad for anyone that enjoys immersing themselves in a game for extended time.  The question that needs to be asked in return is what is the motivation of producers to actually improve the quality of the game for all players when they can make money hand over fist with a mediocre niche product as long as you catch enough whales.

    I used to play FTP games all the time, but I found that my actual enjoyment of the game came more from feeling smart by milking as much free as I could out of a product before moving on, quantifying my enjoyment with a $spent/time wasted ratio rather than playing the game.  Ultimately those games were no more than a cheap throwaway, and I regret playing all of them because I didn't actually have fun.

    An actual GOOD, polished, well balanced game will sell no matter the payment model, problem is nobody is making them these days.
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLMember EpicPosts: 7,397
    Good > Free

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • RendolpheRendolphe Montreal, QCMember UncommonPosts: 8
    Quality.

    Honestly, it's not the 15$ per month that kill the game, but the game itself. If a MMO is really addictive, anyone who have interrest in it will pay for it. 

    What make people choose a F2P game instead of a P2P game most of the time are the lack of quality game on the market.

    Sadly for Dev and publisher, the margin between a quality game and a shitty game is really small. Lag, technical issue (FPS drop), TTR (Time to react) from dev to balance, lack of content, bugs that affect the game mechanic or any shitty annoyance failure that make the game annoying can make the difference.
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,909
    waynejr2 said:
    Well, if you are a major game developer with deep pockets, you seek federal regulations which will be used to remove the indie game companies from existing.
    Wouldn't that just make the indie developers to move to Canada or EU?SomeHuman said:
    Exclusivity competes well against free.  The exclusivity must be enjoyable and enviable, but it could work.  This is one reason people now pay money to be in alphas and betas, which used to be free and exclusive.
    The problem of course is that the free beta testers actually did what they were supposed to, testing the game while the paying people mostly whine about how broken the game is...

    But I understand your point, I do however think that you need to focus on amking a great game instead of making it feel exclusive.

    It is very hard to earn money with crap (even though it obvously work at times) but it is also hard to not earn money on something really good. I think MMO developers need to stop looking on what all other games do and focus on making something fun that doesn't feel like you already played it before.

    And just because another game is fun doesn't mean a blatant copy will be. Look on the cardgame Magic the gathering, after it became a hit everyone and their grandmother tried to copy it but besides Pokemon and possibly Yugi-oh they all failed miserably. A copy needs to be far better than the original to work.
  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Boring, TXMember UncommonPosts: 1,345
    Quality maybe? Is the answer Quality? Because I feel like the answer is Quality.
  • The_CleanerThe_Cleaner Pit, PAMember UncommonPosts: 13
    Loke666 said:
    The problem of course is that the free beta testers actually did what they were supposed to, testing the game while the paying people mostly whine about how broken the game is...

    Totally true, and ends up giving the product a bad rep when people complain publicly about how the beta is in such a beta state and will never be worth paying for.  The trend of beta launches isn't really helping either, except with getting revenue in the door and spending less budget on internal QA.  Many sites, including this one, will review the game as soon as you publicly launch and start taking people's money, claim of open beta or not.
  • d_20d_20 SeoulMember RarePosts: 1,591
    edited October 2015
    It depends on the arena in which you are competing. It depends on your costs and what kind of return you need or want on your investment.

    Here's a question: How does a small local microbrew compete with Budweiser? Do they compete?

    I was discussing with my students the definition of the word "cool" in English. As you can guess, we define this word subjectively. My students are not native English speakers. In their culture, the word "cool" is synonymous with "trendy," which has mixed meanings in English, but is invariably positive in their culture. I tried to explain to them that some people find things to be cool if they are not trendy, if they are original, authentic, of high quality, and not mass-producible, but rather are crafted.

    Take for example, music. Of course some people will think Bruno Mars is cool, whereas others may be into some indie band that only plays grungy dive bars in a specific locale. They don't compete.

    So if you're talking about compete with WoW which is not f2p (yet, at least), or SWTOR, Rift, WildStar, GW2, TESOTU and so on which are backed by corporations which are legally obligated to maximize profit, then it is extremely hard to compete. If you are an indie developer that wants to make an epic and unique game, you have sufficient funding for the scope of your project, and you have time to let word of mouth take effect, then you could create something quite special.

    Think about how Minecraft came to be (before it was sold out to MS).

    I believe that is how we will get the next great game in any genre. Then the corporate investors will come along and try to buy it out, copy it, etc.
    Post edited by d_20 on

    image
  • NukeGamerNukeGamer Member, AMA Guest UncommonPosts: 309
    edited October 2015
    Again the same OP with the exact same thread with a few more words.  I can't wait to come back here when games like WoW, Ffxiv, Swtor, and ESO are still on top.  As the OP just copies this thread and changes 2017 (two days ago he said all this and 2016 these games would be obsolete history check him) will be moved to 2018.  I mean in two days he moved it out a year already.  

    A few fun facts:

    Today there are more quality MMORPGS available then ever before 

    There are more people playing MMORPGS then ever before 

    copy/pasting the same talking points with new dates won't change that..

    Found the link for you guys...

    http://forums.mmorpg.com/discussion/comment/6747343/#Comment_6747343
    "Goodluck with your wishful thinking that FFXIV, WOW and SWTOR will continue to lead the pack with all that's coming in 2016. I honestly hope the best for these MMO's,

    Post edited by NukeGamer on
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,680
    Loke666 said:
    waynejr2 said:
    Well, if you are a major game developer with deep pockets, you seek federal regulations which will be used to remove the indie game companies from existing.
    Wouldn't that just make the indie developers to move to Canada or EU?SomeHuman said:
    Exclusivity competes well against free.  The exclusivity must be enjoyable and enviable, but it could work.  This is one reason people now pay money to be in alphas and betas, which used to be free and exclusive.
    The problem of course is that the free beta testers actually did what they were supposed to, testing the game while the paying people mostly whine about how broken the game is...

    But I understand your point, I do however think that you need to focus on amking a great game instead of making it feel exclusive.

    It is very hard to earn money with crap (even though it obvously work at times) but it is also hard to not earn money on something really good. I think MMO developers need to stop looking on what all other games do and focus on making something fun that doesn't feel like you already played it before.

    And just because another game is fun doesn't mean a blatant copy will be. Look on the cardgame Magic the gathering, after it became a hit everyone and their grandmother tried to copy it but besides Pokemon and possibly Yugi-oh they all failed miserably. A copy needs to be far better than the original to work.

    They might, but if a regulation was a per hour on players in the usa, that is what I am talking about.  Plus code quality laws.   ~100 years ago, there were all kinds of people trying to make cars.  Some got bought out, some just failed, but eventually regulations priced out the small guys.  It is hard for  someone like that to start a new car company without having deep pockets.

    There could be other things.  Remember early computer video games, not the named one everyone remembers, but you could buy them at  that local store and they came in a zip-lock bag?  Move forward in time and if you were that ziplock bag guy, you couldn't approach best buy or target to sell your game.  You had to go through a middleman that best buy and target talked to.  It is anti-competitive but they just call it easier to do business with one guy than a hundred guys to stock their video game needs.   Sometimes there are charges paid to stock items in a best places on the shelf.  


    *****But overall the problem is that the market value of software is dropping.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INMember RarePosts: 5,398
    It isn't so much that most mMOs are free, its that the ones you pay for aren't any better....Personally I want the option to at least try a game for free....If I like it I would spend on it but I dont want a monthly fee!
  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 26,665
    Akulas said:
    If no one paid, everyone would be on an equal ground and games would go back to how they used to be.
    Where everyone paid?  But did they?  I used to pay for 5 accounts, and buff bot two of them at any one time to give my groups an advantage.  Others used extra accounts to spy on enemy realms and provide intel to their faction.

    Things weren't totally fair even back then.

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    On hiatus from EVE Online since Dec 2016 - CCP continues to wander aimlessly

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™
    "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




  • iridescenceiridescence Member UncommonPosts: 1,552
    Any MMO including the ones that call themselves "free to play" need a vast majority of the player base to pay something towards the game's upkeep and  profitability.  The only difference is that the "free" games will either try to make it really annoying for you not to pay (SWTOR model) or worse offer huge advantages to those who do pay (pay to win). Free players main value is as potential paying players and you're kidding yourself if you don't think they're always looking for ways to monetize you when your a free player in a F2P game.

    Because I understand that MMOs are businesses and no one owes me a game for free I'd prefer a buy to play model where the company is upfront about how much they want me to spend to enjoy their content and no other players can buy advantages or "conveniences" over me in the game.

  • MargraveMargrave Member UncommonPosts: 941
    Be better.
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