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General: Who's Next for F2P?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,597MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

MMORPG.com's Bill Murphy has a few ideas for the games he believes might go free to play in The List this week. Some of the games may surprise you to find on The List, others not so much. Either way, the trend for so-called premium games going free to play is now established with DDO, LOTRO, EQ II and PotBS all going that route in the last several months. See if you agree with Bill's assessment of which games might (or should) go free to play. Let us know what you think!

There’s sort of a running bet around the virtual offices here at MMORPG.com about which game will try to hop onto the F2P model next. Just this week we watched as Pirates of the Burning Sea announced their switch over to the more “new user friendly” model. Turbine’s DDO has started a tidal wave through the industry as it realizes that there may be better financial success through experimentation with new business models. Everyone seems to be trying something a little different, as in Everquest II’s splitting their service between vanilla EQ2 and EQ2 Extended.

Read more of The List.


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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • PhilbyPhilby Pottsville, ILPosts: 849Member

    Broken link.

    WOW isnt great because it has 12 million players. WOW has 12 million players because its great.

  • ProsonProson MandalPosts: 544Member

    ^ This

    Currently Playing Path of Exile

  • patrikd23patrikd23 GBGPosts: 1,155Member

    page can not be displayed.

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,300Member Uncommon

    ...think it's up to us to make the list :P

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  • DeadAllianceDeadAlliance Blue Springs, MOPosts: 20Member

    I would have said "Star Wars Galaxies"

    Besides ticking off their entire player base with the NGE. It should be F2P, even then they might not get numbers.

  • vackvack Johnstown, PAPosts: 56Member

    In my opinion, a game must be built to be F2P, in order to retain anything.  Taking a game that is not built on that model, can not work very long.  Let's look at Warhammer;  Players already have the ability to change the appearance of their gear, so to me, I'm not going to spend dollars to look pretty.  The game revolves, like many MMO's, the shiny loot, and you said it best, the "Pay to Win" Model will back fire quickly and decisively.

    As for paying for other classes and or races.  The way Mythic is known for adding those things?  Essentially what you are saying is the same thing as "Pay to Win"  You might see an increase at the inception, but I'll bet a dramatic fall off shortly there after.

     

    Me 2 cents on it.

    Vack
    FF XIV - the single worse game to cross my hard drive, ever.

  • AndraxxAndraxx Toronto, ONPosts: 234Member Uncommon

    Well, apparently WAR is on  the list, judging by the screenshot. Any other guesses before they fix the link?

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,300Member Uncommon

    The list is normally 5 games... Lets see if I can come up with 5 games...

    WAR (for sure)

    SWG (most likely)

    Lineage II (to compete with the private servers and give a new impulse to the game)

    STO (after all sh!t that has happened to the game it would not surprise me :D)

    AoC (game had a short peak with the expansion and is dieing again)

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  • HawkieeyeHawkieeye BorlPosts: 3Member
    I would love to see Dark Age of Camelot going free to play!
  • jakinjakin somewhere, ONPosts: 243Member Common

    "Lineage II must eventually find some way to stand out from the thong of new titles."

    :D

    I know the Freemium model is all the rage these days due to DDOs success, but I suspect the next big wave is customizable monthly payments.  That might work for WAR - where you pay for the things you enjoy and have no access to the things you don't.

    For instance, Tier 1 and all it's content is free as a trial.  For a couple of bucks a month you can have access to each other Tier.  For a small charge on top of that you can have scenarios, and so on.

    If they get creative enough with the parcelling, you could have a greatly customized experience for the player, while the developers have instant, unambiguous feedback on which systems players don't feel worth their money.

  • Ambrose99Ambrose99 Palmyra, NJPosts: 72Member

    I think Fallen Earth should go F2P.... but there's really not an easy way to make it F2P... that just a pipe dream of mine so I can add FE to my gaming repertoire.

  • snoop101snoop101 Calgary, ABPosts: 398Member

    Most people play WAR for free anyways. I think WAR would do ok, but I would be affraid of them taking it to far. Like others have said it could/would go P2win.

    I would like to see a game go in the opposite direction. I love would love to see Atlantica go P2P and the dev's working harder on polishing the game. Really its an amazing game that just needs a polishing.

  • maduin75maduin75 Montreal, QCPosts: 16Member Uncommon

    You can still read the article from the main page, in the "Columnists" section.

     

    Games are :

    Age of Conan

    Lineage 2

    Star Trek Online

    Champion Online

    Warhammer

  • jpnolejpnole Tampa, FLPosts: 1,656Member Uncommon
    OK I'll get the list started - all currently released mmos with the exception of WoW, CoH and EVE should immediately go F2P
  • DerWotanDerWotan NorrathPosts: 1,012Member

    While I appreciate your work OP there are some major flaws in it.

     

    Vanguard you said its vision didn't go well with players. Well the problem wasn't the Vision it as the change in ownership and the forced release that killed the game. The game had a huge (judging by realistic numbers) fan base mostly from oldschool gamers till they decided to partnership with soe again, a company known for destroying our Everquest. People aren't trusting Soe anymore so even a F2P modell wouldn't help. I LOVE the game and its vision but I hate Soe with passion so for me there is no way back. I just don't want to have anything to do with this company again.

     

    Warhammer Online as you mentioned a game with a high RvR focus can't go Pay2Win. Lets say they offer only cosmetic items since their designers have done a poorly job making different items they would need to redsign the itemization from the ground up so it don't think thats an option.

     

    Star Trek Online and Champions Online  they are already Pay2Win games. Cryptic is charging a monthly fee and on top of that having a real itemshop. Only difference would be they could go way over the top with their Cstore by going Pay2Win but on the same side losing the rest of their customers.

     

    Age of Conan its the most realistic from all listed games though I don't think Funcom will do it.

     

    Personal Stance: Pay2Win is not an option for me there is a reason why I'm only playing p2p games. On the other hand pay2win can only work if its built from the get go just switching to pay2win can backfire big time eg. Everquest 2 Extended.

    We need a MMORPG Cataclysm asap, finish the dark age of MMORPGS now!

    "Everything you're bitching about is wrong. People don't have the time to invest in corpse runs, impossible zones, or long winded quests. Sometimes, they just want to pop on and play."
    "Then maybe MMORPGs aren't for you."

  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon

    If Vanguard were free I would definitely play it. I liked a lot of what it had to offer: diplomacy, crafting, all the races and professions. Just not enough to pay a monthly fee for a dying game.

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  • snoop101snoop101 Calgary, ABPosts: 398Member

    I dont understand this F2P fetish that a lot of people have now a days. $10-$14 a month is really not that big of an issue. I heard of F2P games that cost way more then that in the long run. F2P really isnt F2P.

    Dont get me wrong I play Atlantica Online which is F2P, but not because its F2P. I play it because its a great game. I would easily pay $14 a month to play it.

    Before DDO went F2P no one really talked about it. Now everyone is on the band wagon.

  • ElidienElidien Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,058Member

    I think the question is not about a game but about what companies will make a complete transition to F2P. I really think Cryptic will adopt an across-the-board free to play model since their games (in my opinion) are games that you can really enjoy in short bursts and not longterm. The most common complaint or comment you see about their games are "It was fun for a while but I got bored" - a perfect example of a situation where a F2P model might help.

    After that, I think SOE will take the model to all of their games as well with SWG being next.

    Turbine made it clear that the F2P model works if done right (at least to an extent) and that they will extend it to all games.

    And thats why I think Turbine's next game will be Harry potter, with a F2P model similar to LOTRO and Wizard 101. Just my prediction.

  • PiasekPiasek LimanowaPosts: 318Member

    Star Trek Online or AoC should be.

    image

  • unbound55unbound55 South Riding, VAPosts: 325Member

    Lot of very likely ones listed above.  Interestingly, Blizzard has been looking at F2P model for WoW (http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/06/30/blizzard-discuss-making-world-of-warcraft-free/)...they claim they aren't looking to get there anytime soon, but the fact that they are thinking about it may be a surprise to some.

  • TealaTeala SomewherePosts: 7,430Member Uncommon

    All games will eventually be free to play and have micro-transactions....it is coming and there is little we the consumers can do about it.   What I do not understand is how a game like Guild Wars can operate and continue to add new content constantly in between expansions.    If they can do it, why can't other companies?  

    image
  • fansedefansede Raleigh, NCPosts: 960Member

    Originally posted by vack



    In my opinion, a game must be built to be F2P, in order to retain anything. Taking a game that is not built on that model, can not work very long.  Let's look at Warhammer;  Players already have the ability to change the appearance of their gear, so to me, I'm not going to spend dollars to look pretty.  The game revolves, like many MMO's, the shiny loot, and you said it best, the "Pay to Win" Model will back fire quickly and decisively.

    As for paying for other classes and or races.  The way Mythic is known for adding those things?  Essentially what you are saying is the same thing as "Pay to Win"  You might see an increase at the inception, but I'll bet a dramatic fall off shortly there after.

     

    Me 2 cents on it.


     

    I would modify that a tad. I think all games should be ready and flexible enough to transition to a F2P model. There are plenty of subscription MMOs that are thriving. Including the big WoW Gorilla in the room. Games age. If the company can't attract more new players the player base will move on eventually. Did GW2 come about because they simply wanted to input a patch of so many new elements they didn't want to ruin GW1? That is the party line. Or did the player base drop and they needed to invigorate the game?

    F2P is by far is easiest method to attract new players. However, the big test will be Bioware vs. Arenanet. Reason being is that Bioware is telling us they are investing more money in a production of a game than any other company to date. To hope its players will buy enough cash shop type items  to make this investment pay off is a huge gamble. EA/ Bioware don't like gambles. They can figure box sales will defray a lot of the production costs, but will it be enough? Subscriptions ally those fears.

    Now if Bioware bombs, you can estimate subscribers dropping, but will it be a cliff or slope shaped drop? I bet their financial gurus have a backup plan and a danger level of subscribers. If the gamer base drops to that level, offer free trials. If it drops lower, offer F2P. 

    Ok Wall of text and going nowhere fast. Point being not every game needs to be F2P, but they should be ready to go F2P with little work to transition to it.

  • MahloMahlo YorkshirePosts: 798Member

    Originally posted by snoop101

    I dont understand this F2P fetish that a lot of people have now a days. $10-$14 a month is really not that big of an issue. I heard of F2P games that cost way more then that in the long run. F2P really isnt F2P

    $14 is a big issue if you don't just want one MMO to choose from. But f2p means you can dip in and out of games when you like. That appeals to me.

    edit: oh and my money is on vanguard next

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,665Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Teala

    All games will eventually be free to play and have micro-transactions....it is coming and there is little we the consumers can do about it.   What I do not understand is how a game like Guild Wars can operate and continue to add new content constantly in between expansions.    If they can do it, why can't other companies?  

    Many subscription MMOs have had paid services and item sales for years now. The consumers have complete control over it, as they wouldn't be present or as prolific as they are if people weren't paying for them. When it comes to leisure activities and entertainment, if there is greater demand for something, more people supply it. If there's little or no demand for something, very few people will sell it, if any.

    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

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