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General: Free-to-Play is the Savior



  • drbaltazardrbaltazar drummondville, QCPosts: 7,987Member

    i hear adolph hitler will win his election this year!wait what the eck is this lunacy it will never happen lol,same for f2p idea

  • marksteelemarksteele Newtonville, ONPosts: 26Member

    The issue here is the only F2P games that you subscription gamers hear about are failing F2P games that had great expectations. Some of the best games I have EVER played are indie F2P games. Sure they might not be as overly polished graphics wise but with ane indie F2P the companie takes greater strides then nearly all games to make sure that a cash shop is balanced. An amazing example of this is the game dreamlords. 


    I have never played a subsription or a freemium game and I have no inention of doing so. There are plenty of good F2P games out there, you simply need to look around and take your head out of your ***.

  • balu000balu000 PecsPosts: 3Member

    Originally posted by AKASlaphappy

    Anyone with any understanding of finances would tell you it is always better to buy then rent!

    Are you serious man? You wouldn't pass any Finance 101 if you said something like this. Think before you write nonsense :)

  • Matticus75Matticus75 Posts: 396Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by silverreign

    here we go with the "pay to win" crap. games need money to survive. if its free to play then they have to make money somehow. people expect everything for free nowadays.




    It was done in the past, and paying to win will not create higher quality games because of the revenue increase, just make the inverstors more weathy, and why would I want to do that?

  • jacklojacklo BlackpoolPosts: 570Member

    Originally posted by GeeTeeEffOh


    "Free-to-Play is the Savior"

    Really? Can you recommend one? I want to play a good one?

    I want one that has as much to do as a Sub game, I want to play one that has decent PVE and PVP. I don't want endless repetious grinds that require you to run iTunes in the background in order to maintain your sanity. I want decent and complicated class and combat mechanics that require me to really dig in and learn my class and how to optimize rotations and builds for optimal performance. I want class options that allow me to adapt and change my playstyle if I want to. I want a large helpful community, I want endgame and metagame options to keep me busy.

    I'd even be willing to spend a reasonable amount of money each month ($10-$20)


    Haha, you'd struggle to find a triple A subscription title that fills all those boxes. Good luck.

  • WayshubaWayshuba Ada, MIPosts: 71Member

    F2P is not going to be the saviour of the industry. No matter the original intent, it does eventually effect game play and design too much. It is nothing more than a play to 'milk' more money from players, similar to what DLC has become for tabletop games. It seems the core games are becoming more and more inferior as companies move to get more of the ancillary (store items or DLC) from players for less quality.

    It is not always money that is the issue but TIME. Players only have so much of it and, if the quality of the game isn't there, it doesn't matter if it is subscription, F2P or B2P. Players want something fun - a this is something that the MMO industry as a whole has totally lost sight of. Grinds are NOT fun. You use LOTRO as an example, but since F2P was introduced the end game grind has become so laughable that players do even want to play the content the grind is designed around.

    I think the trends of comments of players between SWToR and GW2 show just how burnt out people are on 'non-fun' grinds that plague the industry and why it seems interest in SWToR is declining while the reverse is happening for GW2- a new business model will not change this fact. It is a last ditch effort to squeeze revenue from a disenfranchised player base.

    F2P is not needed to get new players if the quality of gameplay is good enough; time limited trials can do this if the game is good enough. LOTRO won me during the subscription era with a 10-day trial. Guild Wars got me with the 14-day trial. Most F2P is either a second effort to capture more revenue from a declining player base or increase your marketing success hype as you gain four times as many players (even though 3 out of 4 of them don't buy a thing).

    As for the business models, personally I have been involved with all three. B2P with a time-limited trial is the superior of all of them in my opinion. It gives players a chance to play the game yet pony up with the base game and expansions and not be milked at every corner. Guild Wars expansions, for example, are still superior to expansions put out from other companies even though they are four and five years old. F2P is all about designing content around the micro-transaction and filling the fame with so many ads it overpowers enjoyment. LOTRO is a perfect example of this. F2P didn't SAVE the game. While the have gained more new players, as evidenced by the low level zone population, they have lost a lot of long time players with the stupidity of the end game grind. My bet is a lot of those new players aren't spending the cash, so what good does it do Turbine. Finally, subs are okay, but not really needed if you can put out decent expansions on a regular-basis (like every six to nine months) that keep players playing.

    Finally, my forecast. If GW2 delivers on the game play and keeps the B2P model of the current Guild Wars and can follow the same expansion schedule as the original Guild Wars they are going to create the new standard for the new generation of MMOs. The WoW model is dying and changing to F2P isn't going to save it. ArenaNet is going to raise the bar and force companies to deliver quality and FUN content in a timely manner.

  • YarunaYaruna BrusselsPosts: 342Member

    As many people has stated, the advantage of the f2p model over the p2p model is that you as a player can try out the game for free. If you don't like it, too bad, but you only lost the time to download, install and play. If you can't find the time to play for a while, no problem no mothly fees required. Gameplay in these games often starts out quite well too, not to scare away new players and to make them feel good about the game. But the games gradually become harder and harder, at least without the "help" of cash shop items. Once players are hooked into the gameworld, the cash shop temptations often become too great. That's what publishers are hoping for with the f2p model anyway. If nobody were to pay then the game would obviously die.

    The downside to this whole concept is that most Cash Shops are very much pay to win. They simply need to sell items that are worth paying real cash for. The publishers need to generate a more or less steady stream of income. Many will do this by releasing new and better stuff that will get you to fork over cash again and again. So you'll always be wondering what they'll be inventing in the coming months to make your in-game life so hard that you'll be leaning towards forking over some  more money.

    While F2P does have an upside, it most certainly has a downside when compared to the subscription based games. B2P, no monthly fees, just may be the middle ground many people are looking for. A quality game you buy once and then can play as long as you want...

    Waiting for Guild Wars 2, and maybe SWTOR until that time...

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,300Member Uncommon

    but yaruna, cant you play a free trial and get the same feel for the game?


    when I starte WoW I palyed free trial and i was convinced by level 8.


    when I started EVE I was convincd by third day. "industrial ships cant be trained by trial accounts". /instantly subscribed.



  • TalinTalin West Babylon, NYPosts: 824Member

    One key point here that is missing is that with a pure cash shop game, you stand the  possibility of the game being re-balanced and/or updated to all but require some level of regular cash shop purchase to be successful (whether it is PVP or PVP).

    It is entirely possible to pull a "bait and switch" with this model where players have everything they need completely free through most of the game, only to find the experience to change in later levels. While I imagine the playerbase feedback would be extremely negative, who is to say the business model the company has in place doesn't account for a certain % drop off over time while still increasing revenue from those who stay and spend their $$$?

    I like FTP for what it is; an option that allows me to play MMOs without a financial commitment up front. I would be willing to go with an "unlimited trial" in many cases (such as how Warhammer does it, and WoW appears to be planning to), as I don't mind spending the money on a game once I have determined it is worth playing. I don't even mind comparable purchases in cash shops, or paying to unlock content for the same reason.

  • drake201drake201 Avondale, AZPosts: 75Member

    Free to play is tthe death of mmos. Why play an mmo when there is little to no content updates.

  • TalinTalin West Babylon, NYPosts: 824Member

    Originally posted by drake201

    Free to play is tthe death of mmos. Why play an mmo when there is little to no content updates.

    Who says there are no content updates? You may just have to be prepared to pay for the content updates in a more incremental fashion than traditional expansion packs (depending on F2P model).

  • drake201drake201 Avondale, AZPosts: 75Member

    Originally posted by Talin

    Originally posted by drake201

    Free to play is tthe death of mmos. Why play an mmo when there is little to no content updates.

    Who says there are no content updates? You may just have to be prepared to pay for the content updates in a more incremental fashion than traditional expansion packs (depending on F2P model).

    What is the name of  this magical f2p mmo that has the same amount of content updates as a subscription based. 

    F2P mmos have always been jokes, and mmos that have gone over to F2P have done so because they are dying and will barely release  any content whatsoever.

  • jinxxed0jinxxed0 columbia, SCPosts: 835Member Uncommon


    People either spend time or spend money. Thats just the way it goes. Some people have more time than other, some have more money. People have to get out of the mind set that MMOs are a race to get to the top. As for PvPers, you just have to realize that those that pay to win, want to win more than you.


    If winning at a game that doesn't matter gets you so worked up, you should probably look for a new hobby or play death match games to get your adrenline-junkie-fix.

  • LawlmonsterLawlmonster Posts: 964Member Uncommon

    As someone else has already pointed out, there's a huge difference between freemium and a large majority of the F2P garbage that's littering the MMOsphere. Sure, there are a couple titles that offer a decent balance between subscription and item shops (not that I'd ever touch them with a ten foot pole), but the vast majority have been designed and built from their initial planning stages to entice, force, or require players to spend money for something that should just come with the damn game to begin with. Not only is it utterly destructive to the creative aspect of birthing these monstrous projects, but it also reminds those of us with enough insight to acknowledge the bottom-lining of my the time I spend entertaining myself.

    Sorry, call me old fashioned, but I'll pay the designers and producers of the world a flat fee (once, or monthly) to play a damn game that should have everything included with the product. Otherwise, you're nickle and diming your customers, and there's really no justification that can be provided, or has been provided, that can prove otherwise: especially this article.

    "This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  • WSIMikeWSIMike Catskill, NYPosts: 5,564Member

    Originally posted by silverreign

    here we go with the "pay to win" crap. games need money to survive. if its free to play then they have to make money somehow. people expect everything for free nowadays.

    Tell that to the F2P developers, and even the hybrid MMO developers plastering "FREE!!" on every piece of marketing they put out. What you're arguing against is precisely what they are trying to sell people on.

    Though your intent was obviously to defend the F2P model and the "pay to win" that can tend to creep in... you've actually made a good point against it, even if you don't realize it. Many of us, myself included, have stated time and again that F2Ps are designed from the ground up specifically to get people to spend money... and as much as possible. Those who aren't spending money also aren't experiencing the game to its fullest... unless they're spending a lot of extra time grinding away in-game to do so.

    As for the article... all I'll say at this point is, given the love-fest around F2P lately, including on this site, I have my doubts that the article's author was playing Devil's Advocate at all. It repeats all the same arguments, defenses, flawed comparisons and rationalizations used in forums every day to defend F2P. I personally think this was a straight-up "In Defense of F2P" article. Apart from the title claiming otherwise, it's pretty much a collection of all the common pro-F2P mantras and arguments gathered into a single article.

    And that people keep trying to use P2P MMOs that have changed to a freemium/hybrid model as a way to legitimize true F2P that relies solely on cash shop sales, when the two are very, very different has grown tiresome to me. It's pure willful ignorance at this point to continue pounding that drum.

    As I've stated before in another thread, the whole F2P thing has been in the Western market now for several years now. It's still fighting to lose the stigma it rightfully has earned among people who aren't dazzled and mesmerized by the word "FREE!" being shoved in their face. If it was as honest, straight-forward and not at all shady as its proponents continually insist it is... it would sell itself. It wouldn't need constant defending, spinning and PR trying to make it look like something that anyone with working brain-cells can see it isn't.

    "If you just step away for a sec you will clearly see all the pot holes in the road,
    and the cash shop selling asphalt..."
    - Mimzel on F2P/Cash Shops


  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,021Member Uncommon

    Well this article really got my goat.  I been trying to decide what I was going to post.  My first thoughts were, did we need another free to play column, that is what Richard Antoshi already does on a regular basis, so are we got to get hit from two sides now, or is this column going to replace his.

    all I can say about free to play is, there sure seams to be a huge rash of it lately, will it save gaming? I don't think so. 

    There I did that without going all negative like I really wanted too.

  • LanessarLanessar PALM HARBOR, FLPosts: 87Member

    I understand that DDO was wildly successful, however, I wonder how many of those "million subs" were like myself and three friends I've talked to: We logged in, saw the same DDO we played when it went live (we didn't enjoy the gameplay, slow and unresponsive near-Turn-based combat) and uninstalled. Same with CO. LotrO was the best of the bunch, but I still don't play it. I just didn't like the tired gameplay of yesteryear anymore. But, I'm also not thinking that myself and several other friends are "the silent masses" in this instance.

    WOW lost 600,000 players out of 12 million active subscribers. I and many of my guildmates were in that number. That's 5% of their pre-loss playerbase, which factually, isn't many. Activision is still earning 174 million [i]monthly[/i] from it's player base.

    In perspective, let's say a game has 200,000 players. They lose 10,000 of those players. You would not now say that this game was failing or that the model it was based on was unsuccessful. This is [i]normal flux[/i]. Activision is taking steps to get "new blood" hooked into WOW, and basically surveyed and found the best way to get an entry point for new subs to the game, since the 7/14 trial wasn't working.

    I think calling the paid model "dying", or inferring that people want to move to the F2P model because of some successes is incorrect. You still have well over (across all paid games) 30 million people willing to pay a monthly sub. Some of us are on hiatus because there's just nothing worth our money at the moment in the market, or we're burned out on elves and wizards and raiding.

    The F2P model may be geting a majority of its subs not subtractively (i.e. from other games), but additively (new players to the MMO genre). No one has posted numbers on that, so basically, such discussions about whether F2P is "working" genre-wide is smoke. It's working for [i]those games[/i], but not neccesarily for MMOs as a whole.

    Basically, in summary, Subscription games arent failing as a model. F2P isn't neccesarily winning over players from sub games who would not have normally paid a sub. Thus, arguments about it being a "saviour" can't be substantiated.

    The only way I'd be convinced sub games are dying is if TOR dies in utero, and within 2 months the box price drops to $20 and they start instigating f2P content. And somehow, I doubt that this will happen.

    I do know that some of the WOW base will move over (at least 5 WOW guilds I raided with have planned a move, so say.... that I know of... 500 players or so). But there's also the additive factor of KOTOR fans who don't normally play MMOs going into TOR. I'm not sure that the silent masses are at all represented by the forum posts here, and in fact, I suspect they are not.

    [i]I'd be willing to bet that a majority of players aren't re-subbing to WOW not because of tired content, but just the fact that they had kids, real life happens, or they just want to do different things[/i]. That's totally out of my rear, but seeing as most of the ex-WOWers are saying "same old gameplay", I'd be willing to bet the silent majority just don't have time anymore. Those players are then subtractive from the genre as a whole. They'll never be hardcore again, ever, and have just removed themselves from the pool, period. F2P or sub, they won't want to get back into a game which requires a lot of time invested.

    Wouldn't that be a shocker. So, a smart developer could make a sub game, and gear it toward a slow-paced experience which can be sampled in chunks... say, one questline at a time. And would have possibly found that story is more important under that constraint of time. And that they don't care about end-game content, but what happens with the character as they level, and made that experience fun.

    Whether TOR achieves that or not remains to be seen. They are most definitely not catering to the crowd which bum-rushes to endgame, however. So they just might make it on acquiring those subtractive players - which WOW, GW2 and many others simply don't address.

  • xKingdomxxKingdomx SydneyPosts: 1,541Member Uncommon

    Allow me to paraphase one of my favourite movie

    F2P is not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed

    But because B2P is the hero MMO deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.



    How much WoW could a WoWhater hate, if a WoWhater could hate WoW?
    As much WoW as a WoWhater would, if a WoWhater could hate WoW.

  • YarunaYaruna BrusselsPosts: 342Member

    Originally posted by Robokapp

    but yaruna, cant you play a free trial and get the same feel for the game?


    when I starte WoW I palyed free trial and i was convinced by level 8.


    when I started EVE I was convincd by third day. "industrial ships cant be trained by trial accounts". /instantly subscribed.


    You can indeed get a bit of a feel of the game in a free trial, things I've seen quality MMO's like Aion and Rift offer and now WoW too. It seems to be p2p's answer to the f2p market. I can't say I really feel tempted to play for 7 days and then buy and subscribe or you're done. There's only so much time I can spend on gaming in any given week. Being able to level to 20 on a trial account, now that could be interesting since it gives you the option of trying different classes without being tied to having your sub end after a fixed number of days. You can take all the time you need to get to like the game, or not like it.

    Lotro freemium where the free players that don't pay for the quest packs are signing up to be bored to death, while those that do pay get to play the actual game. This isn't really a typical f2p game either, since in real f2p games the latter option is not available. The line between f2p and p2p isn't quite as clear as it used to be.

    These trials that seem to be popping up everywhere are no doubt cutting into the f2p market. Those who cannot spend real money will probably not go for it, since it will only leave them frustrated having to return from a quality p2p MMO to some f2p surrogate. If those trials manage to reach the paying f2p players, they could be a serious threat to the f2p business model when the players that blow a lot of money on them realize they're better off elsewhere.

    If you're hooked after 3 days of playing, good for you. If in 3 days you could only have managed 5 hours of gameplay you might not have been as convinced as you seem to be right now.

    F2P games give you to option to pay when you want to pay, with subscription you have to pay or you can't do anything in the game at all. F2P will twist your arm into paying, with P2P you can't even log into the game without having paid. The B2P third option still seems attractive. Give a B2P game a free trial, if it's a good game, and you've got a winner.

    Waiting for Guild Wars 2, and maybe SWTOR until that time...

  • LanfeaLanfea EssenPosts: 219Member Uncommon


    Billionaire Retlaw Yensid has secured $50 million in funding for his new venture, public-XS, which will offer a platform for former massive multiplayer games. public-XS has announced in todays press statement now to be the owner of Tabula Rasa, Chronicles of Spellborn and Wish and that they have hired aorund 15 former developers and designers of these games. "The trend of the business is to go for the casual gamers and to ignore the needs of a minority. We will go against it and provide a new subscription model and a home for the players," said Retlaw Yensid. "Pay one, play three - that will be one point of our formula of sucess." Players get the chance to play all three games for a 25$ fee per month. Although there will be no cash shop, players can buy additional features like guild web space and teamspeak servers. (

  • SuprGamerXSuprGamerX Montreal, QCPosts: 531Member

    Originally posted by Yuui

    Originally posted by mCalvert

    F2p is great for failing games, not so much for making new games.


    Explain to me again on how everquest, lotro, ddo or wow could be counted as failing games, again?

     By having a shit on community filled with kiddies that don't know how to play a game. Seriously , what good is a tank that have putted 3000$ on his gear but doesnt know how to hold aggro?  Sorry but F2P might attract people to a game , but the spark it once had just went down the drain thanks to losers.

     Sorry but F2P / P2W will always suck no matter how shiny you wax it.

  • GeeTeeEffOhGeeTeeEffOh Newington, CTPosts: 731Member

    Let's be clear on something. When you use the word "savior" here, there are 2 completely different contexts in this particular industry. I wil present the 2 in the most objective light I can based on the intentions of the OP (As I understand his argument)

    Context1: in saving the future of the genre by offering players more options to play without being tied down to a particular game or to offer players options to play a lot more casually without feeling they are wasting money every month if they dont [lay...etc, etc.

    Context2: Savior....As in saving individual titles, in danger of failing. They may or may not have been good games but for whatever reason have fallen in terms of subscriptions. These games were never released with the intention of being F2P or have item shops.

    In case 1, It's free to log in and poke around and get your feet wet. You can even have a lot of fun too. But eventually, you will run into the "wall" It's designed that way. If you want to compete and want to experience all the game has to offer, you have to pay for it . If you have the buget, this might be an option. I would imagine the game would be even more fun for those who can afford it. But I have played them and even spent limited amounts of money. but in the end when comparing to sub fee games, the bang for the buck value is just not there.

    In case 2, you have a game that is basically failing and/or aging. It cannot draw and/or hold it's subscriptions. I have to ask. Why? There are different reasons for that and some may or may not be reasons to play or not play. Regardless, the "free" is a teaser. I started playing Anarchy Online this way. I started a Froob account and quickly realized how much was missing. In that game, I did actually sub, in fact, I subbed twice. I liked it so much I had 2 fully paid accounts. But, there was little that was "free". I still had to pay to get any real fun out of it. None of the other games I've tried that went this route, have drawn me into want to pay.

  • GeeTeeEffOhGeeTeeEffOh Newington, CTPosts: 731Member

    The point to my previous post....There's no free lunch. You want to play, you have to pay

  • RinnaRinna Las Vegas, NVPosts: 386Member Uncommon

    Now when I hear "... has gone free to play" I immediately think... failing game making one last attempt to make some money... failing game developer trying to stop the bleed by getting players to just show up in their games.

     I will happily continue to pay a sub to enjoy less populated servers and to avoid cash shops which ultimately cost me MORE over time anyway.  

    No bitchers.

  • DrewDrew Toronto, ONPosts: 434Member

    Originally posted by erictlewis

    Well this article really got my goat.  I been trying to decide what I was going to post.  My first thoughts were, did we need another free to play column, that is what Richard Antoshi already does on a regular basis, so are we got to get hit from two sides now, or is this column going to replace his.

    all I can say about free to play is, there sure seams to be a huge rash of it lately, will it save gaming? I don't think so. 

    There I did that without going all negative like I really wanted too.


    Thanks for the question, and thanks for avoiding the negative!  Just a heads up, because this seems like it may be a concern for many people out there who read the article: The Devil's Advocate is my weekly column, intended to present the unpopular opinion on a series of different topics.  My first column was about F2P/Freemium/P2W, whatever you want to call it. Richard Aihoshi will continue to run The Free Zone, but you shouldn't be seeing another Devil's Advocate based around F2P, unless it's much farther down the road and the market has shifted significantly again.

    Next week will be an entirely separate topic.

    I hope this clears up any confusion any of you had about the nature of the column.  Thanks for chiming in everyone, it's been incredibly interesting to read everyone's reactions, counter-arguments and retorts. Keep 'em coming, open debate is wildly encouraged!

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