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Star Wars: The Old Republic: F2P: How Soon Is Too Soon?

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Comments

  • LanfeaLanfea EssenPosts: 219Member Uncommon

    "I am glad that Jeff and Matt were so candid in saying SWTOR should have been a F2P game from the get go. I believe most every game should be."

    dear mr murphy,

    i'm very curious about some things and maybe you can help me understand. how much does a mmog like rift, tsw or sw:tor cost during development and how much does it monthly cost to keep games like them running? on gamasutra i once read that a high budget game needs an investment of 25 to 50+ million dollars and that 75% of every 15$ a player spend for a month playing are for employees, further development, taxes, traffic and so on. should this be true how long would it take to get profit out of a high budget game if it will be relased with a f2p payment system right from the start?

    if these numbers are correct a 50 million budget mmog will need 500.000 subscribers to a premium account per month for around 20 months to get even with the initial investment. and how likely is that? rumors saying that sw:tor cost 200 million dollars including (!) the licence payment to lucas art for 3 years for the star wars franchise. these are my informations after doing research on this topic, but maybe they are wrong, if you have other numbers it would be very nice if you can share them with me (us).

    many regards

    lanfea

  • MMOGamer71MMOGamer71 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 1,930Member Common

    7 to 9 months after charging $150 for a Collectors Edition game.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When do we see a story on what perks people that bought the game should/might get?

  • barezzbarezz Granite City, ILPosts: 140Member Uncommon

    I think that pretty soon games will launch with a hybrid subscription and F2P option.  All it will take is a AAA game and company doing it before it becomes the industry "standard".  That could have been TOR, but I think that Bioware and EA were a bit arrogant and over confident and just assumed that the Bioware story and Star Wars setting would keep people paying subs.  Heck I wouldn't be surprised if they had thought that $14.99 was a steal and that they could have charged $19.99 a month.

    Neverwinter Nights from Cryptic/Perfect World will launch F2P, but I don't know if that will be enough to have the industry wide effect.  I think people will attribute the move to Cryptic being owned by Perfect World and will forget that Cryptic had a lot of success with the F2P hybrid model with CO and STO, and most likely would launch that way regardless of being with PWI.

    I have a feeling that when SOE launches Everquest Next that it will have a Hybrid sub/F2P model.  I think they have come to see the value in F2P and that they will do it to benefit from the news the move will be.  And after that I think a lot more games will start to launch that way.

    Right now companies seem to be using a F2P conversion as a way to get a sort of "second launch" and generate news and hype.  The fact that TOR is doing this soon tells me that they had had these plans ready for some time now.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,905Member Uncommon

    I have to say they should have released that way. The F2P model fits the game design a lot better than a sub does, not to mention the growing disdain towards the P2P model out there. It would have helped sell the game IMO, it would have also saved EA/BIoware from much of the outrage they've received. All in all the B2P model would have made a much more attractive package for many.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon

    Could re-title the article as Too Soon or Not Soon Enough?!? In some cases, games should start F2P.

  • darkhalf357xdarkhalf357x Brooklyn, NYPosts: 1,164Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Osirrus

    i think this is a trend were seeing from  a lot of developers now.

    release game as subscription based.

    make there initial investment back through box sales and monthly subs.

    milk the monthly sub for as long as possible.

    say game was alway meant to be free to play

    and switch to a FTP model that has been in developement since before launch.

    I understand this is a way for the games companies and investors to make the investment back asap. but as a gamer it always make me feel like the games company pulled a fast one on me and if i had only waited x amount of months i could of gotten 90% of the game or w/e free ...

    Over generalization but understand your point.  Dont think BW created SWTOR secretly as F2P then sold it as P2P.  They already admitted that the model was wrong as well as how much work they had to do to strike the appropiate balance between free and CS content.

    I dont know why we keep talking about how much money a game makes or who the investors are when we have no empirical evidence to validate any claim.  Its all speculation.  Lets get back to talking about the game itself and how we feel about playing it (or not).

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  • jagd1jagd1 istanbulPosts: 281Member

    Am i paranoid or mmorpg.com trying to rationalise F2P route of SWTOR  with latest column/articles ?

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    Switching business models like this is a bad way to treat customers. Sometimes it's unavoidable....and in this case probably needed to be done. However a company should DESERVEDLY get it's brand reputation dinged for pulling stunts like that.

    If I sell you a product today, you should be able to have relatively high confidence that I don't give it away to everyone else tomorrow. If I sign you up for a service based on a specific pricing plan this week, you should have relatively high confidence that I won't be switching (bait and switch) plan around on you tomorrow.

    Else what does that say about how I value your patronage as a paying customer. What does that say about whether you can rely  on the stability of my plans, offers and products?

    At the very least, the customer would be justified in NEVER purchasing one of your products again at or near release...because they know it likely they could get the same product  for free or vastly reduced price just by waiting a couple months. They would also be justified in NEVER signing up for a long term commitment (i.e. multi-month plans or game cards) from you again, because they couldn't rely on the terms remaining consistant with what they signed up for. More likely they would just simply refuse to do business with you again and find a competitor who was predictable and stable in the goods, services and pricing models they offered thier customers....as most customers VALUE perdictability and stability in a brand.

    Again sometimes things like this are unavoidable in business...but it's something that should be approached very hesitantly...and is clearly the result of mismanagement and poor planning..... and frankly when businesses DO need to switch pricing plans or business models, they USUALY offer some form of compensation for existing customers as recompense for the disruption.

  • jeremyjodesjeremyjodes antioch, ORPosts: 679Member

    I hate to be the debbie downer of the forums. but F2P won't save this game. I predict by end of 2012 and the latest march 2013 this game will be shut-down or in maintence mode. It's just that bad. unless they overhaul the pathetic engine and start taking this thing off the rails it will keep sinking regardless of payment model. Thats about it for my opinion on TOR.

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  • KuppaKuppa Boulder, COPosts: 3,292Member Uncommon

    Too late, should have been f2p or b2p from the beggining.

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  • TruthXHurtsTruthXHurts El Do, KSPosts: 1,555Member

    Funny I bet they are kicking themselves in the ass over at Lucasarts for canning SWG.

    "I am not in a server with Gankers...THEY ARE IN A SERVER WITH ME!!!"

  • JyiigaJyiiga Seneca, SCPosts: 1,041Member Uncommon
    They should all be F2P/B2P at this point. The market is saturated with MMO titles. People flip flop between games like crazy, because innovation is dead. May as well make it easy for them to do so. 
  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 668Member
    Originally posted by jeremyjodes

    I hate to be the debbie downer of the forums. but F2P won't save this game. I predict by end of 2012 and the latest march 2013 this game will be shut-down or in maintence mode. It's just that bad. unless they overhaul the pathetic engine and start taking this thing off the rails it will keep sinking regardless of payment model. Thats about it for my opinion on TOR.


    I agree. If people play this game it will be for the personal story. Assuming they can play that out without paying, then where isn't anything all that interesting to make them want to sub.

    I doubt they will bring out anymore voiced personal quests arcs, unless they are all ready mostly done. No point in throwing good money after bad. So what quests will people miss out on after 50?

  • freegamesfreegames san gabriel, CAPosts: 158Member

    The market can only sustain so many games and F2P games are out in abundance.

    They invested too much into a Star Wars mmo when they could have made a generic scifi world mmo at a fraction of the cost with decent quality gameplay. Having many fetch and grind quests or like we have over 10,000 quests in-game isnt a good way to keep people playing.

    Games need to be fun 1st, stable 2nd, and have replay value.

  • ZigZagsZigZags Modesto, CAPosts: 328Member
    If the game's orginial business model wasn't f2p...then there is no "time", its a fail. The Acronym f2p should be known as "Fail 2 perform" henceforth. 

    Now: Skyrim
    Later: ?
    Played: M59, UO, EQ, Runescape, DAOC, SB, EQ2, WoW, EVE, Darkfall, AoC, FFXI, FFXIV, WAR, SWTOR
    BOYCOTTING: EA/BioWare/Origin/SOE

  • hawok01hawok01 mragowoPosts: 2Member
    Originally posted by Ryowulf
    Originally posted by jeremyjodes

    I hate to be the debbie downer of the forums. but F2P won't save this game. I predict by end of 2012 and the latest march 2013 this game will be shut-down or in maintence mode. It's just that bad. unless they overhaul the pathetic engine and start taking this thing off the rails it will keep sinking regardless of payment model. Thats about it for my opinion on TOR.


    I agree. If people play this game it will be for the personal story. Assuming they can play that out without paying, then where isn't anything all that interesting to make them want to sub.

    I doubt they will bring out anymore voiced personal quests arcs, unless they are all ready mostly done. No point in throwing good money after bad. So what quests will people miss out on after 50?

    ^This.

    +Locking operations for f2p is a terible idea. Unless there will be unlock of somesort in store its another reason to play the story and leave.

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 530Member Uncommon
    If they couldn't roll out content fast enough to keep people interested when everyone was paying them $15 a month, I'm very skeptical about them being able to roll out content fast enough to keep people interested when nobody is paying them.  The whole reason that they failed was there inability to provide value to their customers and release content quick enough and of high enough quality to keep their subscribers paying.  Switching to F2P isn't going to fix that fundamental problem, because if can't do that people won't be interested long enough to stay and pay.
  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,476Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jbombard
    If they couldn't roll out content fast enough to keep people interested when everyone was paying them $15 a month, I'm very skeptical about them being able to roll out content fast enough to keep people interested when nobody is paying them.  The whole reason that they failed was there inability to provide value to their customers and release content quick enough and of high enough quality to keep their subscribers paying.  Switching to F2P isn't going to fix that fundamental problem, because if can't do that people won't be interested long enough to stay and pay.

    Content as in combat oriented combat will never be fast enough. It's really time for games that call themselfs MMORPG to become MMORPG's and not just story driven online co-op combat games.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    I'd say, from the level of bitterness appearing inevitably in any thread regarding this title, that it's definitely still too soon.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • EmeraldFox01EmeraldFox01 PortadownPosts: 9Member
    Personally I gotta agree with this article.  More and more games are going free to play and drawing in a lot more gamers than sub games.  and with that more of a market with there cash markets.  I can definatly see this is the way the mmo market will go in the future.  Just a pity blizzard wont get on the bandwagon with warcraft or ccp corp with eve online
  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member
    I think EA/Bioware made the right choice and the timing is about right. Times they are a changing in the MMO market. Blizzard has for axample lost over a million subs in a couple of months now, so the sub model doesn't seem to be working anymore. 
  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,863Member Uncommon

    From the business perspective, sooner the better. Once you rack up money from initial box sales, purchase and subscription fees become a burden only.

  • Mariner-80Mariner-80 Winchester, VAPosts: 347Member

    DDO, one of the earliest conversions from Sub-based to F2P, also has one of the best F2P models I've come across: the purchase of adventure packs on a pay-as-you-go basis and class/race unlocks.

     

    I'm leery of SWTOR's conversion to F2P, as it looks (correct me if I'm wrong!) like some really basic things that make the game fun -- multiple character slots, quick travel, GTA (AH) usage, bage space -- are going to be adversely impacted if you choose F2P. That kind of a scheme will not bring me back to SWTOR.

     

    I guess if I'm going to spend money in a F2P game, I want it to be for account-wide unlocks of large chunks of the whole game. I don't want to have to haggle and pick and choose among basic necessities. This is why GW2's system is so attractive and why I generally favor a B2P scheme over most F2P shemes I've encountered.

     

    Sadly, I didn't really like the game itself all that well, but the business model, it was particularly good, I thought. My hope is that the upcoming Neverwinter  will be based on a similar F2P business model -- but ALSO just be a much better game.

  • Mariner-80Mariner-80 Winchester, VAPosts: 347Member
    Correction:  "Sadly, I didn't really like DDO itself all that well, ..."
  • uncletomauncletoma Santa Margherita LigurePosts: 159Member

    Bill, u wrote: "I actually find SWTOR to be a perfectly fun theme-park MMO."

    Well, IMHO the BIG SW:TOR problem is in your words: another themepark MMO. How many are they? Around 80/90% on the full gamelist here? And if u need to create a blockbuster, really doing a game that is the same of thousends is the best way? Sometime being different can be a good idea.

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