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General: The Best MMO Business Models

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  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    I am curious at to what the industry will evolve in to next. I am guessing the next big mmo monetary structure will involve real money buy ins for pvp tournements. Esports are on the rise and I think the next wave of revenue will be generated from this type of model. It could be done like a half and half raffle. Buy your entry or entries half of what is made from all the entries goes to the developers and the other half is given or divided amongst the winners of the tournement. The legal implications would need to be hammered out but i still could see this happening. It is Basically a secondary stream of money for developers. A P2C (pay to compete) on top of the above mentioned business models.
  • Segun777Segun777 Jade Dynasty Correspondent Lemont, PAPosts: 97Member

    Lifetime sub all the way its fire and forget. Plus at least so far all of the companies have given points/month when they went f2p, you can't go wrong. It's like being a VIP.

  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    I believe the next evolution of these business models with be a supplementary incentive model.
  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAPosts: 1,571Member Uncommon

    You have to remember that there are in fact two parts of every business model, the initial sale, and the ongoing sales. There are F2P games with monthly subs, B2P games with item shops, and P2P games with both.

     

    I would aurgue that lifetime subs is just a variation of B2P. Sure it has a higher price tag, but premise is the same, you pay once, then play forever.

     

    If you look at it this way, then:

    GW2 is P2P (you pay upfront), B2P (one payment last forever) and Microtransactions (it has an Item Mall).

    WoW is P2P (you pay upfront), Sub (you pay monthly) and Microtransactions (it has an Item Mall).
     
    Planetside 2 is F2P (nothing upfront), Microtransactions (it has an Item Mall).
     
    By doing it this way, it is much more clear to the customer when and where they are going to pay... but when you try to lump it all into one simple description, it essentially fails because you pay at different times.
  • xpiherxpiher Indianapolis, INPosts: 3,311Member
    Here is what most people aren’t realizing. B2P is great for both developers and players and it doesn't require GW2 style cash shop. Most mmo players are fickle. They'll burn through a game in a 1-3 months and then quit. The only thing that'll bring players back after that s is good community and a good initial experience. Developers count on this! Despite AoCs fall out initial sales netted the company 2mill in profit. That 15/Mo was just icing on the cake.

    Gw1 was successful for the same reason. Inital sales paid for future development, which always h requires less work because it builds on an existing system.

    image
    Games:
    Currently playing:Nothing
    Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
    Past games:
    Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
    Xpiher's GW2
    GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
    Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
    AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
    Warhammer - Xpiher

  • LuxthorLuxthor ZagrebPosts: 171Member

    For me on first place 'subscription' model because of; game not designed around CS, 24/7 GM support, frequent updates, dedicated community, and so on. Also, I love GW Classic B2P model but this will never ever happen again, even Anet changed this in GW2 with RMT implementation, which I personally despise.

     

    Best F2P model is from LoL, no need to comment on this one.

    ---
    "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Great article. Tons to consider here. I guess it depends on the mmorpg a lot. If I think this mmorpg is going to be fun hack-around for some months, I'd be happy with F2P or B2P with additional options to buy stuff if I felt the game was going well. If I found an mmorpg I'd like to play indefinitely, I'd be happy with a sub around the 5-15$ (ideally $10) mark as I'd feel the cash is going to making the mmorpg better over the years which I'd still be a "future" customer of!

    Obviously F2P allows ppl to test if they like a game and it's about being competitive now other mmorpgs are using this, but I'm not sure if the paywall is a needed device to create an invested community vs a cr@p/transient community?

  • xpiherxpiher Indianapolis, INPosts: 3,311Member
    I should also mention that gw2 model is simply in place to combat gold selling. Rmt and the cash shop items are all accessible, currently anyways, in game. The things not available like character slots and costumes don't force people to pay for anything. Imo its like isk and lols cash shop.

    image
    Games:
    Currently playing:Nothing
    Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
    Past games:
    Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
    Xpiher's GW2
    GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
    Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
    AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
    Warhammer - Xpiher

  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon

    1.  At least it was identified as not being a model.   IMHO,  lifetime subscriptions are scams.   Developers that offer them generally have plans in place to make sure there are other ways of obtaining money from their customers.

     

    2. F2P isn't a business model, but an advertising term.  At least the correct term was used at the end of the section.

     

    3. Not much to say here.

     

    2.  No MMORPG exists using the B2P business model.  In general these are CO-OP rpgs.   GW2 has a cash shop and is using the P2W business model.

     

    1.  Hybrid is not a business model.   It is a P2W game with " package " deals.   Publishers use this misconception by labeling them as subscriptions, but players never get full access to the game as a normal P2P game.

     

    To make it clear.  Pay to Win,  Pay to Play and Buy to Play are business models.   Lifetime subscriptions, and " Hybrid " would payment models or options designed to fit into a business model.

     

  • xpiherxpiher Indianapolis, INPosts: 3,311Member
    Originally posted by thinktank001

    1.  At least it was identified as not being a model.   IMHO,  lifetime subscriptions are scams.   Developers that offer them generally have plans in place to make sure there are other ways of obtaining money from their customers. 2. F2P isn't a business model, but an advertising term.  At least the correct term was used at the end of the section. 3. Not much to say here. 2.  No MMORPG exists using the B2P business model.  In general these are CO-OP rpgs.   GW2 has a cash shop and is using the P2W business model. 1.  Hybrid is not a business model.   It is a P2W game with " package " deals.   Publishers use this misconception by labeling them as subscriptions, but players never get full access to the game as a normal P2P game. To make it clear.  Pay to Win,  Pay to Play and Buy to Play are business models.   Lifetime subscriptions, and " Hybrid " would payment models or options designed to fit into a business model. 

     

    have you even looked at gw2's cash shop? It is not p2w. Everything in the shop is attainable in game. Buying items do not make your chapter better than a b2p player. Furthermore, you can buy crystals for in game gold.

    image
    Games:
    Currently playing:Nothing
    Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
    Past games:
    Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
    Xpiher's GW2
    GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
    Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
    AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
    Warhammer - Xpiher

  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member

    Best model is one that has content to last more than a month. Even better if it last for years.

    But everyone only cares about the money!

  • xpiherxpiher Indianapolis, INPosts: 3,311Member
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    Best model is one that has content to last more than a month. Even better if it last for years.But everyone only cares about the money!

     

    theme park games typically don't meet this criteria. However, I think gw2 get close for the simple reason that it's 4games I 1: wvw, " spvp, " pve, and solo character development (each race having multiple options)

    image
    Games:
    Currently playing:Nothing
    Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
    Past games:
    Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
    Xpiher's GW2
    GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
    Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
    AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
    Warhammer - Xpiher

  • jeremyjodesjeremyjodes antioch, ORPosts: 679Member

    Reason that most sub games are dying is, the games are not even worth a monthly sub. free to play is just another death blow to the genre. it allows the craptastic to survive. before free to play if an MMO sucked and the developers were narrow minded with their vision for the game, they tried to fix what was wrong or it died. no such thing now.

    With Free to play, it also allows these crappers to over saturate the market. the effect of this "over saturation", is, the players are spread out to thin and homogenized.

    Of course this my opinion. but I feel this genre is on the verge of collapsing. If this happens then free to play will be another straw for the camels back.

    I would like to point out it's the worst companys pushing this model. they keep telling us it's the "future". They wish it was the future. most of my friends hate F2P and will spend a good amount of time ripping the company/developer who has it to shreds.

    Sony Online And EA has been pushing this model hard as of late. almost every interview they talk about it. these people are so far out of touch with real gamers, it is mind boggling at times. They're hoping sites like this and others agree with them. if they can change peoples thinking about F2P? then you give them permission to steal your wallet.

    EA on freemium

     

    image

  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Lancaster, UKPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon

    I used to be a 100% subscription supporter but recently I'm a b2p convert. Most games with a sub only updaye PvE content (dungeons) and as I play mainly PvP or grind dailies/craft I don't need the additional dungeon content.

    MAde the mistake once of buying a lifetime sub for a game I rarely played as I thought it would be a good idea at the time.

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon

    Not sure why the Guild Wars "Buy to play" model is so great, its just the Free to play model but with the added extra cost of the box.


    As others have said the best payment model is Eve's. $15 a month gets you everything. No vanity fluff items like pets, mounts or sunglasses, no experience or other boosters and no $40 expansions.

  • Ambros123Ambros123 Neverneverland, TNPosts: 877Member

    Has this author ever played DDO?  I question that.

    I loathed how DDO did their "Freemium" and claiming that a hybrid model is unobtrusive is utter hog wash.  You can't even play the game practically without having multiple purchases which one will easily suck down way more money like over 60 bucks.  You'd have to do extensive grinding to get the favor to even make purchases that is no feasable for a F2P or Premium player.  One has to either A. become a VIP for a while and that is considering they even do the grinding as whole wants to for months just grind favor out or B shell out cash to purchase content.

    The game nickel and dimes players at every turn and is as tedious as the F2P cash shops.

    Also with a sub option one expects a certain quality in return for the game which Turbine falls way off the mark on and I severely question their competence in light of how buggy and broke things get every single time they do an update.  In the past they've no where near produced the amount of content that would ever justify a sub.  With the expansion I saw a lot of content released compared to what they've done in the past but not anywhere near as much as one would expect from an expansion. 

    The game is bug ridden and the are still unfullfilled promises that were made years ago.  Specifically the enhancements, I mainly was sold on the expansion because of the enhancement overhaul and then typical Turbine delayed it yet again which is what... 4 years now delayed from the original promise?  And people are speculating that not even in Aug will we see the enhancements at which point I'm writing off DDO for good as GW2 will be out and will wait on Neverwinter for my D&D fix and not this "Dungeons and Dragons Online" that furthur deviates from D&D with all this epic garbage than Neverwinter.

  • NaeviusNaevius Houston, TXPosts: 334Member Uncommon

    Subscriptions alone are a poor business model, since they prevent you from taking in money from all those who are willing to pay more for stuff like monocles.

    Future games (not just MMOs) will shoot for :

    (1) Buy the box + (2)Cash shop / DLC + (3)Premium subscription +(4)Expansions.

    Games without a huge budget will give up (1). Only some games will be set up to do (3). Almost all will have (2).

  • ArskaaaArskaaa KauhajokiPosts: 841Member Uncommon

    I go with subs, 15€ is not much when u can play whole month. see 2 movie cost same price but last 4 hour:)

     

    Free to play with micro is good if its dont make micro buyers stronger. 

  • MadKingMadKing Pompano Beach, FLPosts: 173Member

    B2P is the best business model out there, the console and PC gaming companies have been doing it for years and it's been very successful. paying a monthly subscription for a game lead to bad design of said game lead the developer to build a game around grinding to keep you paying them every month. WoW is the worst of the lot it's 8 years old and on top of paying a monthly sub you also have to pay for the new expansions which I think is ridiculous, so what are you really paying a sub for?

    I bought GW1 back in May  and got all 30 points  for GW2 HoM rewards and I have to say it felt great that I could play without having to worry about my sub running out in a few days, "the way it's supposed to be".

  • NameWasTakenNameWasTaken Where Osama isPosts: 132Member

    When it comes to B2P with CS, I don't see what all the fuss is about. When you really look at it, the problem is a matter of perspective.

     

    If you don't like your game going B2P + CS, just do what I am going to do with Guild Wars 2... Set myself a $10/800 Gem budget each month, and treat that as my subscription.

     

    With games like WoW, now throwing in cash shop items (eg. Pay2Mount), it's only a matter of time before this is the preferred option for an MMO's ongoing funding. I would rather pay once, and opt to put more money in when I wish to, rather than have to hand over $15 per month, and THEN have more carrots dangled in front of my face, for a few dollars more.

     

    ArenaNet has it right, and I'm putting my money where my mouth is, with my $10/800 gem sub each month.

     
  • Ambros123Ambros123 Neverneverland, TNPosts: 877Member
    Originally posted by Xiaoki

    Not sure why the Guild Wars "Buy to play" model is so great, its just the Free to play model but with the added extra cost of the box.


    As others have said the best payment model is Eve's. $15 a month gets you everything. No vanity fluff items like pets, mounts or sunglasses, no experience or other boosters and no $40 expansions.

     

    Except EVE is a very PvP centric game and really a unique game in all it's own.  PvE is severely lacking if even existent and no mission running or astroid mining isn't PvE.  Why is B2P is great?  Because it also holds a company accountable and is not a money grubbing corperation.

    B2P is nowhere near the same as F2P.  F2P relies on cash shops to generate revenue while B2P a return is given to the produced for future content which is the most ideal as one can opt to wether or not in the new content.  Thats like saying your $60 D3 (and let's not compare the quality of the title) to some free download game like Farmsville.

  • NameWasTakenNameWasTaken Where Osama isPosts: 132Member
    Originally posted by Arskaaa

    Free to play with micro is good if its dont make micro buyers stronger. 

     

    Very true! So long as the Cash Shop does not turn the game into Pay2Win, then I'm OK with it.

  • WhitestepWhitestep BudapestPosts: 58Member Uncommon

    And the winner is :::::::::::::::: Buy to Play !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • reillanreillan Tulsa, OKPosts: 234Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vannor

    Hmmm  I find D&Ds and LOTROs hybid models to be the worst thing in MMO history. They created the content cash shop grind for those who don't want to pay, it's not a good thing.

    This.  I have a lifetime sub to Lotro, and for the most part I can eke out an existence by grinding through content... but it's really horrible, and getting more horrible day-by-day.  They keep making the game more grindy, to try to drive business toward their content shop. 

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,633Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jeremyjodes

    Reason that most sub games are dying is, the games are not even worth a monthly sub. free to play is just another death blow to the genre. it allows the craptastic to survive. before free to play if an MMO sucked and the developers were narrow minded with their vision for the game, they tried to fix what was wrong or it died. no such thing now.

    With Free to play, it also allows these crappers to over saturate the market. the effect of this "over saturation", is, the players are spread out to thin and homogenized.

    Some people here are so far gone that explaining this to them would be futile, but you're a reasonable fellow, so I want to explain why your belief that the number of players is what keeps the game from shutting down, even if it is a 'crapper', is illogical.
     

    With subscription, the game needs people to pay the sub otherwise it dies. The game doesn't die because it has no people playing but because it has no money coming in.

    Free to Play is no different. The game needs people to pay for items otherwise the it dies. If millions of people play but no one pays, the game dies.

     

    With entertainment services:

    • People pay for what they feel is of value to them.
    • People choose the payment model that best suits them when such an option is present.
     
    The reason more F2P MMOs exist and why most MMOs are switching to F2P is simple: it is the payment model most people prefer currently. It is also the payment model that currently works best for an entertainment service that offers greater enjoyment the more participants there are.
     
    This is nothing new. Skype, TeamSpeak, Ventrillo... you have been using (and probably enjoying) this model for years but since you're not the 10% that pays, you probably don't realize it.  
     
    As for the free participants as product, this is 'Ladies Drink Free Night' at the club or "College Thursday' at the bar. Again, nothing new.
     
    A crap game, like a crap club or crap bar closes down no matter what the model. Free doesn't magically keep a failung venture alive because free doesn't keep the lights on.
     

    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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