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[Column] Star Wars: The Old Republic: What Does SWTOR F2P Mean?

2

Comments

  • Cyberdeck7Cyberdeck7 Fingerlakes area, NYPosts: 239Member

    "What does SWTOR F2P mean?"

    It means the game failed. Miserably. It's boring and it's not so much a virtual world as a series of instances. The F2Pers can have it.

    And really, "Actually, even though I knew there was zero possibility at the time, I expressed the opinion years ago, well before launch, that the game might be better served by redesigning it to be free to play from the get-go." - don't you say this about every. single. game.? Can you name a game you think should be designed as a subscription based MMO?

  • Paradigm68Paradigm68 New York, NYPosts: 884Member Uncommon
    It means that regardless of how long the game stays live, it will never be the robust, dynamic, community thriving, Star Wars MMO everyone had hoped for.  It'll just be a casual video game that the pubs/devs focus mostly on how best to get people to spend money in it.
  • SeariasSearias Edmonton, ABPosts: 712Member Uncommon
    I believe that going free to play from grounds up without an initial box fee is not such a good idea, because as the market or f2p matures it would be extremely risky for anew company to start up and it woul be hard to get investors to invest. It would be better to have a B2P model at least with this model you can cover the initial expenses.

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  • NephaeriusNephaerius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,539Member Uncommon
    Edit: Deleted...just wasting my breath here.

    Steam: Neph

  • BerzerkBlackBerzerkBlack LondonPosts: 167Member Uncommon

    Still churning out these evangelizing F2P articles...

    Like many have said above, what SWTOR F2P means is simple :

     Players are cancelling their subscriptions because the game failed to deliver expectations coming from a big I.P. developped by a big company and financed by one of the biggest wallets in the world.

    They've got cocky, didn't listen to feedback, haven't learned from previous major titles that also failed for the same reasons, keeping a subscription model with a deserting playerbase is just not a good business any longer, of course F2P switch is needed to bring sheeps back into the game.

    F2P is NOT a superior model at all, stop spreading your rubbish, it works because lately companies have given up their passions for creating fun games for greed quick bucks business model via item shops stripping games of vital functions aimed to rip players off to purchase features that should already be included in a game.

    F2P works because players see games as a competition and most F2P games will pit players against themselves in hope they will buy their way to victory, there are loads of players who have too much money.

    "Interviewing" F2P designers to support your article ...really? Of course they are going to preach the model why would they criticize their own business model they designed for themselves??

    Make a good fun game, developped for the players not for the guys in suits, we are the ones paying your wages in the end!

  • darkehawkedarkehawke SouthendPosts: 178Member

    swtor going free to play only shows how much of a poor game it was.

    i was expecting at least a year before they admitted they cocked it up

    Currently playing- SWG PreCU & GW 2
    Have tried WoW, AoC, & Vanguard, SWG:NGE, GW, LOTRO & SWTOR
    Best MMO: SWG
    Worst MMO: SWTOR

  • LangsdorffLangsdorff Raleigh, NCPosts: 29Member

    I think TOR brought on a lot of unnecessary bad repoir with people expecting more. I mean people were nostop swtor this and that, much like gw2 and tera. 

    Just because a game goes f2p doesn't mean it's a bad game. Personally, there are good f2p games out there. there are some rotten ones too. For me. That doesn't mean they're bad for everyone and I don't make up the concensus for all gamers out there. I think this topic combined with the fact it's TOR brings out the people that A) bought the same B) hyped it up and C) the game wasn't for them all they had hyped it to be. Look at Archeage now, people are hoping it's the NEXT BIG THING, much like the way that TOR was looked at. If you don't like a game (R.O.D.E. stands out for me) uninstall the sh*t and morve on, find a game you do like.Geez it can't be that hard to do.

    Langsdorff

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    I must disagree.  SWTOR going free to play means they created a crapy game and nobody wants to play crap.

     

  • luciusETRURluciusETRUR Lewisville, TXPosts: 442Member
    Originally posted by Coolit

    I think at this point for new games the subscription model is dead. SWTOR going f2p and of course the imminent release of GW2 shows the direction the industry is going whether people like it or not.

    At this point I can't think of any sensible publisher that would launch a game as p2p. f2p doesn't mean an inferior game or service anymore and it hasn't done so for some time, I think this stigma is starting to erode now and once it does that will be it for p2p.

     

    I wouldn't say it spells the end and GW2 being b2p isn't really that big of a deal, since well GW1 already was. PS2 might be a better argument, since it is as well, but SOE has -never- released a game in that fashion.

    Too early to tell, when Rift and WoW still do have success with the model. It isn't dead, it just has a lot more competition than it did a few years ago.

    image

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member
    Actually Bioware just announced another ops raid to come in a month or so time, so Free-two-play looks like it will see lots of premium new content too.
  • wahala99wahala99 Punta Gorda, FLPosts: 146Member
    Originally posted by Illyssia
    Actually Bioware just announced another ops raid to come in a month or so time, so Free-two-play looks like it will see lots of premium new content too.

    People on the free to play plan will not be able to access ops.  Nor all races.  Nor all the flash points.  Perhaps they will put in "fees" for opening some of the stuff that only subscribers will get. http://www.swtor.com/free/features

    It is obvious from all the stuff I read about f2p sucess stories that f2p really costs more to play than subs  ... on average ... look at this article where it says something about f2p (which is a lie anyway .. it should be f2t ... free to try or f2ps .. free to play some) fitting the "impulse buying nature" of gamers.

    Since a f2p game has no guaranteed income, the developers will spend more time and effort trying to figure ways to wheedle money out of the players, instead of making the game more awesome, so they can make a profit.  With 800k players (latest number I have seen) SWTOR should be making "some" money (about 12 mil a month).  Unfortunately EA is a giant Greed machine and wants more.

    Swtor is my favorite game of the moment.  I really enjoy playing it and will keep on paying my $15 anyway.

     

     

     

     

    If Ya Ain't Dyin, Ya Ain't Tryin

  • scrittyscritty WorcesterPosts: 89Member
    Having seen how poor the gameplay is in the much awaited GW2 I'm not convinced. I'd happily pay $40 even $50 a month for a good game. SWTOR was as shallow as a puddle and GW2 is really REALLY rough and adds absolutely nothing to the genre, Sadly I think the trend is coming. See games made with "MMO game engines" being churned out and the end of what tiny little bit of innovation there is. Back to indie gaming then  ..sigh...
  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,931Member Uncommon
    I've never heard of any of those contributors companies or games other than Ragnarok.
  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 531Member Uncommon

    SWTOR didn't fail because of the model.  They failed because they didn't provide value to their subscribers for their money.  The subscription model is perfectly viable, but if people are going to pay $15 a month you better be prepared to release high quality content frequently enough to keep your subscribers satsified and engaged in the game.

    It is estimated that only 40% of F2P players ever buy anything at all, and we aren't talking reoccuring monthly purchases.  I don't know how many users buy stuff every month but I would guess that it is much lower.  Of course you have some players who spend a great deal more than $15 a month so that might offset that somewhat.  Regardless it looks like Bioware is going to have less income to develop with, if they couldn't create enough content to keep players interested when they were receiving a steady income, I don't see how they could all of a sudden be able to do so with less.  If the don't fix the real problem, you are just going to see people level up and leave without spending a dime, which is exactly what you saw with release but at least they were getting subs while people were leveling.

  • HurricanePipHurricanePip Sommerille, MAPosts: 167Member

    Please define F2P ... the term doesn't really seem descriptive of current non-sub business model.

     

    Hybrid probably isn't a better term, but that's what most companies are offering.

     

    Box + microtxns, Box + sub / content packs, etc.  It's clear if you read the articles and blogs what companies are offering, but the headlines are misleading.  Many of the game covered here are not actually free to play + microtxns.

     

    Also, can you fix your comment system to use <br> instead of <p> or add more space after </p>?  I have to do a double enter to get the correct space between paragraphs when I post now.

     

    It's a lot like how 4G as a term got watered down and really isn't descriptive of any specific cellular technology anymore.  For example, comparing one 4g network to another in many cases is like comparing apples and oranges.

     

     

    If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.

  • darkhalf357xdarkhalf357x Brooklyn, NYPosts: 1,164Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nephaerius
    Originally posted by noblood
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    Subscription games don't fail because people don't like paying subscriptions; they fail because people don't think they are worth the subscription price.  Lower the sub fee, make better games, and watch them succeed.

    The force is strong with this one.

     When is a game ever going to be worth a sub fee regardless of what it is?  For me the answer is never.  Just look at all the single player and multi-player experiences I can have in the F2P or B2P market and I can't justify it any longer.  When I first got into MMO's I accepted subs as a fact of the genre, paying for server costs and continued development, but I just haven't really seen a benefit from any of my subs.  All that preventing cheating, botting, gold spamming, etc. is BS in my experience because it runs rampant regardless of the title's business model.  Not to mention the fact that regardless of sub I usually have to buy some expansion pack in the standard MMO model.  So much for already having paid for the development of that content with my sub....

    A lot of times others will claim there are so many more hours of content in an MMO, but I simply don't find this to be the case.  In my experience it's the same amount of content as any other game but it tends to either be drawn out artificially through ingame hurdles to jump through or simply through socializing and playing with groups (not a bad thing).  In reality at launch the majority of MMO's are 60-100 hours of content tops (not counting rolling alts and repeating content).  For myself, I can easily get that out of a great shooter, co-op RPG, or any other game I enjoy without ever paying for continuing access. 

    Latest cases in point for me - Super Monday Night Combat over 400 hrs played, SMITE over 100 hours played, if we get back to MMO's Aion has held me for 100's of hours following my return with F2P as well as Fallen Earth.  I'll even be back to check out SWTOR and my level 50 Inquisitor when the F2P switch happens.  Personally, I've decided to never touch a game with a sub again. 

    I'd also like to mention here how many of the F2P games I play, especially those outside the MMO space, provide more frequent updates than any MMO I've ever played.  Super Monday Night Combat updates weekly, SMITE worst case is monthly, LoL bi-weekly.  Aion and Fallen Earth churn out updates all faster than any MMO I've subbed to or when those particular games were sub based.  Even Allods, not a fan, puts out updates faster than WoW, who in theory is raking in the most sub money. 

    What stops me from returning to Rift, WoW, Darkfall (oh how I love you), or most other MMO's I've played?  Can't justify the sub with everything else available to me.  I won a free copy of Eve Online months ago, love the game, trialed many times, one of the best in the genre, sitting unused because for me it's still not worth a sub.

    This is not to say that ALL F2P games are superior to one's with subs.  Simply that there are enough F2P and B2P, MMO and otherwise, to keep me happy without ever returning to the sub model.  Clearly to each his own because it is personal preference based on experience after all.

    AMEN! Could not have said it better myself

    +1 Rep

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  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GI05

    Subscription tiers- $5/$10/$15 may worked. 

     

     

    Edit: spelling 

     

    i dont think that would work because publishers will use the different payment tiers just like a freemium hybrid model...... theywill most likely add game limitations to anyone who pays less than $15.... and if i pay to play the game, no matter how much i pay i expect the full game unlocked because i already paid for the box and im also paying the sub.

    if the game failed witha sub, let it be F2P.

    image
  • setilightsetilight LisbonPosts: 15Member
    F2P is only a superior model for games that lack the basic tools to allow players to have fun after they completed the theme-park content. But even after watching many MMOs fail for the same reasons, companies still insist on the same formula! For example: SWTOR had Mythic developers create PvP content with exactly the same problems WAR had. Those who dont learn from mistakes deserve to fail.
  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BerzerkBlack

    Still churning out these evangelizing F2P articles...

    Like many have said above, what SWTOR F2P means is simple :

     Players are cancelling their subscriptions because the game failed to deliver expectations coming from a big I.P. developped by a big company and financed by one of the biggest wallets in the world.

    They've got cocky, didn't listen to feedback, haven't learned from previous major titles that also failed for the same reasons, keeping a subscription model with a deserting playerbase is just not a good business any longer, of course F2P switch is needed to bring sheeps back into the game.

    F2P is NOT a superior model at all, stop spreading your rubbish, it works because lately companies have given up their passions for creating fun games for greed quick bucks business model via item shops stripping games of vital functions aimed to rip players off to purchase features that should already be included in a game.

    F2P works because players see games as a competition and most F2P games will pit players against themselves in hope they will buy their way to victory, there are loads of players who have too much money.

    "Interviewing" F2P designers to support your article ...really? Of course they are going to preach the model why would they criticize their own business model they designed for themselves??

    Make a good fun game, developped for the players not for the guys in suits, we are the ones paying your wages in the end!

    Well said.

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,931Member Uncommon
    What it means is if you release a game a year too early, it will quickly lose subs and you will need to convert to F2P.
  • Tawn47Tawn47 LincolnPosts: 512Member

    If you think about it logically, the subscription model itself cannot be the issue.

    Somewhere around 1.7 to 2.0 million people bought the game KNOWING that they were signing upto a subscription based game.  

    If it was the case that people quit SWTOR because of the subscription (as opposed to SWTOR not being good enough to deserve their subscription)...  then they would have never bought the game in the first place.

    If the angle that EA / BW are trying to push were true, then they must have been dissapointed with initial box sales.

    in other words:

    Lower than expected box sales = problem with the payment model

    Lower than expected retention = problem with the quality of game

     

  • nmalthusnmalthus Belmont, CAPosts: 98Member Common
    Originally posted by Coolit

    I think at this point for new games the subscription model is dead. SWTOR going f2p and of course the imminent release of GW2 shows the direction the industry is going whether people like it or not.

    At this point I can't think of any sensible publisher that would launch a game as p2p. f2p doesn't mean an inferior game or service anymore and it hasn't done so for some time, I think this stigma is starting to erode now and once it does that will be it for p2p.

     

    Some launch P2P for the first year to make up dev costs and buffer for future expenses before going freemium which does add up to a lot more revenue in the future.

  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member
    Originally posted by noblood
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    Subscription games don't fail because people don't like paying subscriptions; they fail because people don't think they are worth the subscription price.  Lower the sub fee, make better games, and watch them succeed.

    The force is strong with this one.

    Bingo ^

     

    Low Quality product == bound for F2P.

    High Quality product == people have no issues with paying a flat-rate sub for WITHOUT a cash shop included!

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,538Member Uncommon

    SWTOR is going F2P because its subscription numbers did not add up to what it was assumed they would. It wasn't holding steady and it wasn't trending upwards. It was showing a decline over time. The writing was on the wall and anyone willing could see it plain as day.

    The pre-launch hype - from everyone, including EA/Bioware themselves - had all the indication that it was assumed to be inevitable that TOR would rake in millions upon millions of players, rivaling even WoW. 

    It didn't happen that way. People got through the game, experienced the various flavors of the storyline, found there was nothing more for them to keep playing for and canceled their subs.

    TOR failed to maintain the numbers Bioware/EA expected it to and everyone (and I mean 'everyone' almost literally in this case) predicted it would and it was looking worse over time. 

    So they took the leap and said "okay, let's change to the Cash Shop model, and open an alternate revenue stream". 

    Does anyone here honestly believe for a moment that if Bioware/EA saw TOR maintaining at least 2 million paying players, with the population either holding steady or increasing, that they'd make that change? Of course they wouldn't. Why would they? That's guaranteed income from every single player, every single month. No need to worry about "converting" a free player to a paying one. They're already paying if they're playing the game. 

    If you look at every single MMORPG that started out as a subscription-based game and later changed to cash-shop/F2P or some variety of "freemium", you'll find that they were all in a similar situation... populations had stagnated and/or were decreasing.

    People keep looking to these events as "proof of the subscription model dying". It isn't. Not even close.

    There are subscription-based games that are - to this day - still running and maintaining a viable subscriber base. FFXIV will continue with subscriptions. FFXI continues with subscriptions. DAoC and so on. WoW is an obvious one. Their free trial is up to level 20, but you need to cough up the $$$ if you want to play beyond that. Rift is another.

    If "subscriptions" themselves were the problem, then they wouldn't have survived, nevermind thrived for the past decade plus. They wouldn't continue to be effective today. To argue that MMOs are failing due to a flawed revenue model is to completely ignore facts that are staring one right in the face.

    No. Subscriptions are just fine and will continue to be just fine. They aren't "dying", as much as some would seem to love to see that happen. 

    TOR went F2P/Cash Shop because it was the better business model for EA/Bioware's bottom line at this point in time.

     

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,538Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fadedbomb
    Originally posted by noblood
    Originally posted by Whiskey_Sam
    Subscription games don't fail because people don't like paying subscriptions; they fail because people don't think they are worth the subscription price.  Lower the sub fee, make better games, and watch them succeed.

    The force is strong with this one.

    Bingo ^

     

    Low Quality product == bound for F2P.

    High Quality product == people have no issues with paying a flat-rate sub for WITHOUT a cash shop included!

    A-freaking-men.

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