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What is an acceptable way to monetize F2P?

blognorgblognorg Roseburg, ORPosts: 643Member
There's still a lot of hate for the F2P model. The most dire of it stems from P2W. However, it's been shown that F2P games can be fun and fair. Most people seem to be okay with cosmetic stuff, but game like GW2 have convenience items, as well, and I don't hear mass cries of P2W. So, where is that line drawn (if there is a line)? What kinds of stuff is accaptable for F2P, and what isn't? Also, some new ideas to throw around would be coool. What would you do?
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Comments

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon

    OP, monetraizing F2P is like fixing global overpopulation.

     

    any effective solution is unethical, any ethical solution is ineffective.

     

    Free to play games should be free to play. That's as far as it goes. anything beyond appearance, anything of any utility what-so-ever is unnacceptable. xp pots? no. dies? yes. boosts? no. clothes with no stats? yes. clothes with some stats? no.

     

    basically if it has stats or boosts any form of attribute, power or time pace it's not ok. if it does nothing at all but looks amazing...okay.

     

    it's called 'free to play'. so i it's a part of the gameplay it must be free. if it's not afecting gameplay at all, it can cost any ammount of money.

     

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  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    Permanent account unlocks such as bag / bank slots, character slots, races, classes, gold cap, item quality level (not per item) unlocks. Maybe Dungeon unlocks too. Also convenience items such as xp boosts.

     

    Other than xp boosts, these are items I feel would be worth paying for if the game is fun. I'm not a big fan of convenience items mysef, but I'm sure others are so they can 'beat the game' as fast as possible...

     

     

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    Additional character slots, permanent, additional bag space for characters, virtual land rental or ownership, different versions of existing armor, weapons or travel options (that have already been obtained), a faster travel option that isn't part of the regular game (if mounts are fast travel, the pay option would be to teleport) and possibly priority access where if the server is full, pay members can still join. I'm sure there's additional things that could work, depending on the game.

    Basically, anything that doesn't benefit vertical progression.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    If there isn't a box price and the game makes its money through cash shops, then my acceptable F2P model would be the following:

    Assuming the game is a themepark like WoW, where content is seperated into zones, instanced dungeons, BG's, arenas, and raids, then money could be made by selling content.

    This means that all races and classes are available free of charge, with the exception of races and classes released at a later date. Content would be sold by the zone. The lower level the zone, the cheaper it would be, since you'd run through that content fast. The later zones would be more expensive.

    Dungeons, BG's, arenas, and raids would be extra and not included in zone purchases.

    Content packs would reduce the overall price by buying it in bundles. So you could buy the Dungeon Pack, Raid Pack, BG's Pack and etc.

    By paying for content, this allows players to purchase content when they come to it. No need to subscribe to see all the content, only to have it revoked when you unsubscribe. You purchase the content and it's yours for the life of the game.

    This means the quality of future content must be good or players won't buy it. Mounts and cosmetic items would be good to sell in the shop too.

    What's not okay to sell in the shop is anything that grants an ingame advantage, such as gear with stats on them, xp potions, and buffs.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,666Member Uncommon
    You're asking the wrong people. The most acceptable system according to most any consumer is the system that costs their playstyle the least.

    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

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    "Acceptable"? That varies with people.

    It is a free world. Any method is "acceptable" legally, and business-wise. A business can charge any way they like. You, of course, have the freedom of NOT to buy.

     

  • blognorgblognorg Roseburg, ORPosts: 643Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    OP, monetraizing F2P is like fixing global overpopulation.

     

    any effective solution is unethical, any ethical solution is ineffective.

     

    Free to play games should be free to play. That's as far as it goes. anything beyond appearance, anything of any utility what-so-ever is unnacceptable. xp pots? no. dies? yes. boosts? no. clothes with no stats? yes. clothes with some stats? no.

     

    basically if it has stats or boosts any form of attribute, power or time pace it's not ok. if it does nothing at all but looks amazing...okay.

     

    it's called 'free to play'. so i it's a part of the gameplay it must be free. if it's not afecting gameplay at all, it can cost any ammount of money.

     

    Not a Guild Wars 2 fan, I take it?

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    I'm convinced that there is no 'acceptable way' to monetize any game.  I seriously thing some players think ANY form of payment is because of a greedy developer.  

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
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  • blognorgblognorg Roseburg, ORPosts: 643Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    "Acceptable"? That varies with people.

    It is a free world. Any method is "acceptable" legally, and business-wise. A business can charge any way they like. You, of course, have the freedom of NOT to buy.

     

    Everyone has different opinions about everything discussed on this forum. Pointing out that this topin, in particular, seems a little redudant... unless you were just practicing your astuteness, then nice job. The point of the discussion is to see where people personally feel that line should be drawn. Do you actually have an opinion about that?

  • blognorgblognorg Roseburg, ORPosts: 643Member
    Originally posted by GrumpyCharr
    I'm convinced that there is no 'acceptable way' to monetize any game.  I seriously thing some players think ANY form of payment is because of a greedy developer.  

    What would be acceptable for you, then? Cosmetic stuff? Character slots? Anything?

  • Asuran24Asuran24 St. pual, MNPosts: 517Member

    There is really no way of making a f2p model that would be prrofitable or appealing enouph, without many people calling it p2w in some fashion. Convience items are by fact of what they stand form an item that makes your experince in game more convient for a fee, though how much this will effect other players is more based on the effect of the certain item, as well as the different players in the game really. Nothign about most convience items would ever in most people's eyes turn them into an issue, as you still are able to ay any of the content in the game that is availible to other characters that do not use the item, but you just gain a effect that makes your play time more convient. Most items that give players a raw boost of power such as stat boosts, damage increasements, higher drop rates (debatable for me.), and alot of other effects that make you much better (this is kinda the point that people do not want someone that plays less then them being equal or better by sheer fact of buying power). Though for me so long as the degree that you can gain power from buying it in the cs via items, boosts, and such is kept relatively low so that it is counterable in game by skill or tactics (such as ganing only a 5 to 10% increase in power in the cs from a pretty large purchase), than it is fine as the more casual players can still compete while also only gving more experinced player a slight boost that still would not be uncounterable.

     

    When it comes to it free to play is well more like free access to a game without a fee to play the game, while making the actual game a skelaton of a game really so that players will need to pay to flesh out the game fully or access some of the better content. Yet by the fact of what "free to play" means most games that tout themselves as f2p are actually trully free to play, as you can log-in to the game free of cost an play for however long youo desire wihtout having to purchase game time to log in. No where in most of the games does it say you woul have access to all the content, features, or other thgins in the game for free, just that you can play the game for free. In short what is acceptable is going to very from person to person, and group to group based very heavily, and almost till you make the entire game free to play without any purchaseable content (good bye game as now it is not profittable) some group will find it unacceptable.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by blognorg
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    OP, monetraizing F2P is like fixing global overpopulation.

     

    any effective solution is unethical, any ethical solution is ineffective.

     

    Free to play games should be free to play. That's as far as it goes. anything beyond appearance, anything of any utility what-so-ever is unnacceptable. xp pots? no. dies? yes. boosts? no. clothes with no stats? yes. clothes with some stats? no.

     

    basically if it has stats or boosts any form of attribute, power or time pace it's not ok. if it does nothing at all but looks amazing...okay.

     

    it's called 'free to play'. so i it's a part of the gameplay it must be free. if it's not afecting gameplay at all, it can cost any ammount of money.

     

    Not a Guild Wars 2 fan, I take it?

    not a fan, not a hater. uninterested. haven't been following it. haven't played the first, and i never play a new mmo at launch. Soooo I'd prefer not to be ragged into a GW2 war :)

     

    why, what did I say?

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  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    xp pots? no.

     

    since i dont buy them i dont care who gets them. But, experience potions with limited time dont break the game in any way....i dont care how fast you can level up, your not getting better than me by leveling faster. Actually, in mmo i stay behind on purpose because i like to wander around for long times exploring and killing stuff while following quest lines... so everyone can be lvl cap using pots and i happily stay far behing. Your not getting power from those pots. I level at my own pace, those are useless for me

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  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon

    the reason I rejected them is that they alter the leveling experience. they...do affect gameplay. That's where my line is. These, while relatively harmless happen to land across the line.

     

    they change the number of quests/kills per level...giving player A a leveling path unachievable by player B. equality becomes broken.

     

    in my opinion at least.

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  • blognorgblognorg Roseburg, ORPosts: 643Member


    Originally posted by Robokapp

    Originally posted by blognorg

    Originally posted by Robokapp OP, monetraizing F2P is like fixing global overpopulation.   any effective solution is unethical, any ethical solution is ineffective.   Free to play games should be free to play. That's as far as it goes. anything beyond appearance, anything of any utility what-so-ever is unnacceptable. xp pots? no. dies? yes. boosts? no. clothes with no stats? yes. clothes with some stats? no.   basically if it has stats or boosts any form of attribute, power or time pace it's not ok. if it does nothing at all but looks amazing...okay.   it's called 'free to play'. so i it's a part of the gameplay it must be free. if it's not afecting gameplay at all, it can cost any ammount of money.  
    Not a Guild Wars 2 fan, I take it?
    not a fan, not a hater. uninterested. haven't been following it. haven't played the first, and i never play a new mmo at launch. Soooo I'd prefer not to be ragged into a GW2 war :)   why, what did I say?
     

    I never labeled you as a hater; I just happened to notice that your list seemed specific to GW2, and you went on to say that monetizing can't be done well.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    the reason I rejected them is that they alter the leveling experience. they...do affect gameplay. That's where my line is. These, while relatively harmless happen to land across the line.

     

    they change the number of quests/kills per level...giving player A a leveling path unachievable by player B. equality becomes broken.

     

    in my opinion at least.

    that is true and makes sense. But in my case, for example, im not racing with other players to reach lvl cap. Also, i never do every single quest with one character in a current area. I do enough quests to move along, and then, with other characters i do the ones i missed with the main character so i give myself a variety even on the same map. That sounds like a good reason to use xp pots since i do less quests? not really actually i dont need pots so i dont feel like its breaking my experience if someone else wants to skip content faster :(

    But of course, like you, this one is my opinion

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  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by blognorg
    There's still a lot of hate for the F2P model. The most dire of it stems from P2W. However, it's been shown that F2P games can be fun and fair. Most people seem to be okay with cosmetic stuff, but game like GW2 have convenience items, as well, and I don't hear mass cries of P2W. So, where is that line drawn (if there is a line)? What kinds of stuff is accaptable for F2P, and what isn't? Also, some new ideas to throw around would be coool. What would you do?

     

    F2P is a marketing term. 

    P2W is a business model.

    Nothing about P2W is acceptable, but some of it is tolerable.

  • blognorgblognorg Roseburg, ORPosts: 643Member
    Originally posted by thinktank001
    Originally posted by blognorg
    There's still a lot of hate for the F2P model. The most dire of it stems from P2W. However, it's been shown that F2P games can be fun and fair. Most people seem to be okay with cosmetic stuff, but game like GW2 have convenience items, as well, and I don't hear mass cries of P2W. So, where is that line drawn (if there is a line)? What kinds of stuff is accaptable for F2P, and what isn't? Also, some new ideas to throw around would be coool. What would you do?

     

    F2P is a marketing term. 

    P2W is a business model.

    Nothing about P2W is acceptable, but some of it is tolerable.

    Are you implying that F2P only exists in the heads of marketing executives, and that all F2P games are actually P2W? If so, that kind of seems like a streatch. Eleborate more on what you consider P2W and what is tolerable in your mind.

  • JoeyMMOJoeyMMO SomewherePosts: 1,326Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    *snip*

    Free to play games should be free to play. That's as far as it goes. anything beyond appearance, anything of any utility what-so-ever is unnacceptable. xp pots? no. dies? yes. boosts? no. clothes with no stats? yes. clothes with some stats? no.

    basically if it has stats or boosts any form of attribute, power or time pace it's not ok. if it does nothing at all but looks amazing...okay.

     it's called 'free to play'. so i it's a part of the gameplay it must be free. if it's not afecting gameplay at all, it can cost any ammount of money.

    Do you know any good F2P MMO's that have a cash shop where nothing affects gameplay in any way? I'd be interested in seeing how they pull off making a game, and getting by on the goodwill of players buying stuff that doesn't help them in any way when playing.

    imageimage
  • cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,002Member Uncommon
    League of Legends is not MMORPG but a MOBA .It has only skins meaning looks for real money that cannot be purchased via influence points. Everything else can be bought with IP.

    image

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by blognorg
    Originally posted by GrumpyCharr
    I'm convinced that there is no 'acceptable way' to monetize any game.  I seriously thing some players think ANY form of payment is because of a greedy developer.  

    What would be acceptable for you, then? Cosmetic stuff? Character slots? Anything?

    Character slots and strictly content (access to new zones & dungeons). 

    That's it. Nothing else.

     

    Cosmetic stuff might be more important than stats for roleplayers or people that play games mostly for aescethics reasons.

    "Convenience" stuff get so stretched nowadays that it often include p2w and even if not - it greatly affects gameplay sooner or later anyway.

    Advantage stuff - don't have to explain why it is not acceptable right?

     

     

    Anyway - you won't find "universal" set up that will be ok with majority of players, unless you do truly very SMALL monetarization, but that might be very uneffective from business point of view.

     

    Besides I accept very diffrent things in diffrent type of games.

    In example - there are certain ways of monetarization that I would accept in example in MOBA's, but I would NOT accept that kind of monetarization in mmorpg.

    In other genres / types of games that might be even diffrent.

     

    Anyway one thing is certain : for mmorpg's I have STRICTEST rule about monetarization and I accept smallest amount of it, - actually I find it hard to accept anything for mmorpg apart of sub without any cash shop / rmt/ rmah.  I could also accept B2P BUT without selling anything aside of new content.  Since that propably would not be enough for business, then well...

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JoeyMMO
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    *snip*

    Free to play games should be free to play. That's as far as it goes. anything beyond appearance, anything of any utility what-so-ever is unnacceptable. xp pots? no. dies? yes. boosts? no. clothes with no stats? yes. clothes with some stats? no.

    basically if it has stats or boosts any form of attribute, power or time pace it's not ok. if it does nothing at all but looks amazing...okay.

     it's called 'free to play'. so i it's a part of the gameplay it must be free. if it's not afecting gameplay at all, it can cost any ammount of money.

    Do you know any good F2P MMO's that have a cash shop where nothing affects gameplay in any way? I'd be interested in seeing how they pull off making a game, and getting by on the goodwill of players buying stuff that doesn't help them in any way when playing.

    not MMO despite being advertised as one but...Urban Rivals. it's a card game and as you can imagine, there are some OP cards that cost millions of in-game currency.

     

    the twist is...those cards aren't allowed in tournaments. They serve purely a collection purpose. Not a gameplay purpose.

    yes you can buy stuff with real money but stuff that's easily affordable in-game as well. EASILY being the keyword here.

     

    it's as close as it gets. for me, the cash shop in the game simply did not bother. I could ignore it entirely and still have the optimal game experience.

     

    and what i just said is horrible. But that's my view on it. I want a cosh shop where I won't spend a dime, someone else can spend as much as he wants, and my gameplay will remain optimal despite him spending and me not spending. so the question becomes...why would he spend? I don't know...that's why this business model is volatile and i have no faith in its success. But yeah, that's about it.

     

    p.s. very cute little browser game. took a break for abou a year, logged one day and...no new overpowered cards, my deck as i left it was still competitive. that was a surprise. I would've expected it to be unrecognisable but it was the same fun game I had forgotten about somewhere in my favorites bar. a few new mods were introduced but at its core it wasnt ruined by greed.

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  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by blognorg

    Are you implying that F2P only exists in the heads of marketing executives, and that all F2P games are actually P2W? If so, that kind of seems like a streatch. Eleborate more on what you consider P2W and what is tolerable in your mind.

     

    P2W accurately describes players purchasing in-game advantages (microtransactions).   It doesn't have anything to do with " how much " of an advantage. 

     

    What I find tolerable may not be the same as other people, but normally I quit or won't start a P2W game that gives players too much advantage through the cash shop.   When the cash shop becomes a requirement to participate in some aspect, then that is too much for me.

  • EtherougeEtherouge Candler, NCPosts: 514Member
    I think the Guild Wars model is pretty good. Buy the actual game and add fluffy accessories or services. I my "dream" model is if the game has levels, make the game completely free up to a certain level, then ask for a one-time fee; never a recurring subscription. This would attract costumers without too much dedication.
  • sunrunnersunrunner Bullhead City, AZPosts: 8Member
    Originally posted by blognorg
    There's still a lot of hate for the F2P model. The most dire of it stems from P2W. However, it's been shown that F2P games can be fun and fair. Most people seem to be okay with cosmetic stuff, but game like GW2 have convenience items, as well, and I don't hear mass cries of P2W. So, where is that line drawn (if there is a line)? What kinds of stuff is accaptable for F2P, and what isn't? Also, some new ideas to throw around would be coool. What would you do?

    I don't draw a line.

     

    I have no objection to playing pay-to-win games to begin with.  I pay the amount I'm comfortable paying, as determined by how much I'm enjoying the game I'm playing and my current gaming budget.

     

    If that amounts to $50 for the box, $30 for two additional months and $0 in the (non-existant) cash shop, then corporation gets $80 out of me.  If that amounts to $300 for the lifetime box, $0 for two additional months and $200 in the cosmetic-only cash shop, then the corporation gets $500 out of me.  If that amounts to $0 for the box, $0 for two additional months and $2000 in the cash shop, then the corporation gets $2000 out of me.  You can guess which one the corporation would prefer ...

     

    In any case?  I consider the money well-spent so long as I enjoyed the process.

    That is why we play these games, isn't it?  To enjoy and entertain ourselves?

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