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

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  • kol56kol56 gbfbfg, KYPosts: 124Member

    What Does SWTOR F2P Mean?

    The game wasn't good enough for P2P

    It played as a single player RPG, and nobody plays the same single player rpg for years, not even months.

    "Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge."

    "The idea behind the tuxedo is the woman's point of view that men are all the same; so we might as well dress them that way. That's why a wedding is like the joining together of a beautiful, glowing bride and some guy"
    -Seinfeld

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,065Member Uncommon
    I think what SWTOR shows that the business model used has to be right. EA should have re-assessed the market prior to launch.

    My view before launch was that SWTOR should have been B2P with no monthly subscription. New content would be paid DLC and - possibly - EA might opt for a small annual fee for the mmo features.

    SWTOR strongest asset is the stories. Going forward these are going to be given away and the game will have to rely on people wanting to buy pink light sabres or whatever else they introduce. I so not believe F2P for SWTOR will work well.
  • FoxyShoxzyFoxyShoxzy Dallas, TXPosts: 119Member
    Originally posted by gervaise1
    I think what SWTOR shows that the business model used has to be right. EA should have re-assessed the market prior to launch.

    My view before launch was that SWTOR should have been B2P with no monthly subscription. New content would be paid DLC and - possibly - EA might opt for a small annual fee for the mmo features.

    SWTOR strongest asset is the stories. Going forward these are going to be given away and the game will have to rely on people wanting to buy pink light sabres or whatever else they introduce. I so not believe F2P for SWTOR will work well.

     

    I completely agree. I will be picking up SW:TOR again once it goes F2P, for no other reason than to play through the class stories I missed the first time around. That was during my FREE month, btw. I cancelled my sub before I ever paid them a dime beyond the box price.

    F2P isn't a great idea when you plan on giving away the best part of your game. EA/BioWare are grasping at straws at this point, trying to salvage something from the train wreck that is SW:TOR. As to F2P being here to stay, I agree with that too. But sadly, when done right with a quality game, it can end up costing the player more in the long run then a monthly subscription would have.

    I believe that if we see Titan adopt a F2P Cashshop model, that will pretty much spell the end of subscription based MMO's for good. Hate them if you want to, but there is no denying that Activision/Blizzard are the market leaders and trendsetters.

  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk LiverpoolPosts: 976Member Uncommon

    I have to agree with many posters here in saying that SWTOR failed because it was a pile of stinking crap and not because of it's payment model. Developers keep thinking they can achieve WoW numbers when they never will. WoW was a freak occurrence and I very much doubt we'll ever see another MMO hit those numbers again. Add to that the idea that EA/Bioware held, that they had to copy the WoW formula to succeed and you end up with yet another clone doomed to fail.

     

    SWTOR is going F2P because they can see no other way to save it.

     

    I actually did a litle research into WoW's pricing in the far east and the average number of hours played by WoW customers. 22 hours a week at 6-7 cents per hour, works out to between $5.60-$6.00 a month per player. Maybe F2P isn't the way forward after all. Maybe more people would be interested in this pay per hour model, or a reduced sub. Let's face it, current prices for subs can't be justified by the running costs when compared to the costs of MMO's released 10 years ago.

     

    More importantly, if you want to retain players, stop making shit games!

     
  • vieplis666vieplis666 RigaPosts: 33Member

    It means FAKE FREE TO PLAY WITH LOCKED LEVELS ,CONTENT ETC , never trose Sony Online Entertainment, ALL their stuff  IS ADVERTISED FAKE,THEY FORCE people to PAY WITH LIES, most of people wasting time downloading their crap wich they mean is free to play, after that they dissapoint.

    SOE stop LIE !

  • PonicoPonico Montreal, QCPosts: 650Member

    While I did not corner that term myself, the Guild Wars 2 effect seems to really influence a lot of games around. Around the same time that GW2 is coming around, a lot of games seem to slowly attempt to get some of that bright sunshine. 

    A major title with a solid background and proven success is refining its recipe. Like it or not, ArenaNet had it right from the start and now they're making it even better. I think that poses as a menace to other P2P games, especially a title like SWTOR that started to leak  subscribtions after the first major patch. Every major title that came out during last the quarter would suddenly empty half the servers for several days. Some didn't recover and eventually, the way to late server merge simply made things far worse. 

    F2P will probably save that game for a while but I got to admit, Bioware has not performed as expected with an MMO.  

    Now with a title like GW2 on the horizon, this could suddenly kill off a game like SWTOR. 

     

    Let's not forget Planetside 2 and other quite promising MMOs on the verge of release. SWTOR is pretty much forced to run with the crowd. Perhaps the undying Star Wars fans are numerous enough to keep this game going but as a casual fan, I was tired of this game after 3 months.

    image

  • lethyslethys New York, NYPosts: 585Member

    Honestly, I think the subscription model needs to be implemented for games with significantly higher quality than competition. SWTOR thought, for whatever reason, that it was so much different from the rest that it would validate a subscription model.  This turned out to be untrue.  F2P is the haven for games that don't turn out to be as good as their devs would have liked.

     

    The first game to break the mold from the current WoW model and do it at a high level will be the game that rakes in the subscription fees the way WoW did for the past many years.

     

    And a game like Planetside 2 is perfect for F2P because it really is just CoD except persistent, which isn't necessarily the biggest change for a FPS game.  The fact that its free means a huge audience of people willing to pay $15 for map packs will now be buying $2 aesthetic nonsense and funding this game.  It's amazing as a business idea but still proves nothing about the state of subscription models.

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,065Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jmcdermottuk

    I have to agree with many posters here in saying that SWTOR failed because it was a pile of stinking crap and not because of it's payment model. Developers keep thinking they can achieve WoW numbers when they never will. WoW was a freak occurrence and I very much doubt we'll ever see another MMO hit those numbers again. Add to that the idea that EA/Bioware held, that they had to copy the WoW formula to succeed and you end up with yet another clone doomed to fail.

     

    SWTOR is going F2P because they can see no other way to save it.

     

    I actually did a litle research into WoW's pricing in the far east and the average number of hours played by WoW customers. 22 hours a week at 6-7 cents per hour, works out to between $5.60-$6.00 a month per player. Maybe F2P isn't the way forward after all. Maybe more people would be interested in this pay per hour model, or a reduced sub. Let's face it, current prices for subs can't be justified by the running costs when compared to the costs of MMO's released 10 years ago.

     

    More importantly, if you want to retain players, stop making shit games!

     

    Failing because it was crap - yes and no. As a sub based game clearly the concensus is that it was crap, a failure; if it had been sold as KOTR3 with a bit of mmo on the side - like Assassin's Creed - then I think it would have been OK. Not Skyrim but I doubt people would be calling it crap.

    The game has to match the payment model. Get one or the other (or both!) wrong and you have a fail.

    The WoW far east numbers are interesting as well as they are very close to what annual pass folks are currently paying ($7.50) if you factor in $60 for a D3 purchase.

    At the end of the day it comes down to having the right product and selling it at the right price.

  • EstrangeEstrange Mudhutt, ALPosts: 29Member
    The mentality of this market is ridiculous.  Most people spend 20 times $15 a month going out to eat.  A MMO sub is the best entertainment value in the world.  One movie can be $15 in some markets.  Don't forget to add the drink and popcorn to double the price.  

    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain

  • qombiqombi Unknown, LAPosts: 1,180Member

    It's going F2P because it is too crappy of a game to make money. F2P allows you to have less people playing but with a greater income due to the fact F2P play isn't free at all. The people that do play and buy digital garbage spend much more than the average sub per month.

    Face the facts. They are making games too linear, too easy, to instanced, and too solo without hardly any need to play with others now days. You mind as well labeled this garbage of a game, a single player game with a multiplayer component. No one wants to pay monthly for that. Maybe F2P will keep this garbage can rolling just like the other MMOs that use this scam of a model to keep their garbage rolling (looking at you SOE and Turbine).

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,938Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drainage
    The mentality of this market is ridiculous.  Most people spend 20 times $15 a month going out to eat.  A MMO sub is the best entertainment value in the world.  One movie can be $15 in some markets.  Don't forget to add the drink and popcorn to double the price.  

    I am so sick of this arguement.

    If something is not worth $15/mo, it is not worth $15 a month. And let us not forget it the box price as well. So you are really talking $50-$60 for most people.

    For that same amount of money, you could get several months of Nexflix, Gamefly, Pandora,  a bunch of Redbox movies, or several games on sale at Steam or GG.

    So even in terms of "relative value" TOR does not stack up.

     

    And even all that is beside the point. Even tho for many people (myself included) $50-$60 and/or $15 mo is not a whole lot of money, my free time is also limited and thus valuable to me, even more than the money.

    And TOR is not worth my time, either.

     

     

     

  • tort0429tort0429 New York City, NYPosts: 300Member
    Originally posted by Terranah

     Of course people will take away all the wrong conclusions from this debacle.  That's why we have failure after failure.  It's kinda like those people who make the same mistakes in their lives over and over.  It's dysfunction, and no matter how reasoned your arguements, the wrong decisions will continue to be made because all the wrong people are making those decisions.

     

    Here's an analogy.  For those who can not follow an analogy, or metaphors or similies, just move along to the next post.

     

    Imagine you are novelist well known for writing science fiction.  You have a wide fan base and are loved by your loyal fans.  Along comes your publisher and asks you to write a romance novel.  Since you are such a talented writer and have so many fans who buy your books you think, sure why not.  So you proceed to write a romance novel, but your novel does not contain any romance at all.  Your edgy and innovative that way.  

     

    The publisher markets it as the greatest romance ever told.  Your book releases, all your fans buy it and lots of romance  fans too.  But your old fans don't like it because it's not like your other stuff, and the romance fans don't like it because there's no romance.  Does that mean the romance genre is doomed.  No.  It means you were arrogant for thinking you could redefine something much bigger than you.  

     

    MMORPG is not just a feature set.  It's an idea and concept that is bigger than Bioware or EA or any developer.  It's an idea that is even bigger than the gamers that play these games.

     

    That's why, inspite of all the flaws of the early mmos the genre flourished.  It's because the idea of the mmo, of millions of people coming together in a virtual space conceived by human imagination is so powerful.  Daydreaming, the playground of the mind was always a solo affair; but the mmo gives us the ability to play with others in a virtual setting.  The concept resonates within the collective subconcious, even if most people are incapable of realizing it.  

     

    That is the strength of the mmo, and when you disrespect that powerful idea you will be put in your place no matter how big you are.

     

    My dear, this was simply awesome.   Thank you.

  • TuchakaTuchaka san diego, CAPosts: 468Member
    ...it means this is what you get when you overspend on one aspect of a game.  I still remember having to wait behind 1K people just to get in the game during the headstart period.  I do not revel in any games demise for many people will get fired who are not responsible for the mistakes that made the game fail in the first place.
  • BrenacusBrenacus herePosts: 44Member
    i will play it now, and i wont spend a dime. i played it for the final beta weekend just before release. i got 1 toon 2/3 the way to lvl cap, and another 1/3 in the one weekend. there was no way i was paying for that game.
  • EstrangeEstrange Mudhutt, ALPosts: 29Member
    Originally posted by Burntvet
    Originally posted by Drainage
    The mentality of this market is ridiculous.  Most people spend 20 times $15 a month going out to eat.  A MMO sub is the best entertainment value in the world.  One movie can be $15 in some markets.  Don't forget to add the drink and popcorn to double the price.  

    I am so sick of this arguement.

    If something is not worth $15/mo, it is not worth $15 a month. And let us not forget it the box price as well. So you are really talking $50-$60 for most people.

    For that same amount of money, you could get several months of Nexflix, Gamefly, Pandora,  a bunch of Redbox movies, or several games on sale at Steam or GG.

    So even in terms of "relative value" TOR does not stack up.

     

    And even all that is beside the point. Even tho for many people (myself included) $50-$60 and/or $15 mo is not a whole lot of money, my free time is also limited and thus valuable to me, even more than the money.

    And TOR is not worth my time, either.

     

     

     

    So, a meal at a mediocre restaurant is worth more than a month of entertainment?  If you buy a box and each expansion takes two years, you are still talking 17.50 a month.  That person would pay less however, because they would buy at least 3 months at a time.  

    The $15 is just a number that was dictated in the industry years ago and due to inflation it  is worth far less to the company than when subs started.  

     

     

     

     

     

    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    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. 

    image   image I gladly pay a subscription fee if the mmo is a good one. I'd much rather pay a sub fee than have cash shops, because I usually end up spending a lot less yearly with a subscription.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • EstrangeEstrange Mudhutt, ALPosts: 29Member
    Originally posted by Tayah
    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. 

    image   image I gladly pay a subscription fee if the mmo is a good one. I'd much rather pay a sub fee than have cash shops, because I usually end up spending a lot less yearly with a subscription.

     

    i think the sub price is too cheap, as dictated by WoW.   When something costs so little, people don't take it seriously.  

    Blizzard knows the product is worth more, but they like keeping the price down.  

     

     

     

    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,938Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drainage
    Originally posted by Burntvet
    Originally posted by Drainage
    The mentality of this market is ridiculous.  Most people spend 20 times $15 a month going out to eat.  A MMO sub is the best entertainment value in the world.  One movie can be $15 in some markets.  Don't forget to add the drink and popcorn to double the price.  

    I am so sick of this arguement.

    If something is not worth $15/mo, it is not worth $15 a month. And let us not forget it the box price as well. So you are really talking $50-$60 for most people.

    For that same amount of money, you could get several months of Nexflix, Gamefly, Pandora,  a bunch of Redbox movies, or several games on sale at Steam or GG.

    So even in terms of "relative value" TOR does not stack up.

     

    And even all that is beside the point. Even tho for many people (myself included) $50-$60 and/or $15 mo is not a whole lot of money, my free time is also limited and thus valuable to me, even more than the money.

    And TOR is not worth my time, either.

     

     

     

    So, a meal at a mediocre restaurant is worth more than a month of entertainment?  If you buy a box and each expansion takes two years, you are still talking 17.50 a month.  That person would pay less however, because they would buy at least 3 months at a time.  

    The $15 is just a number that was dictated in the industry years ago and due to inflation it  is worth far less to the company than when subs started.  

     

     

     

     

     

    The other side of it is that bandwidth and servers costs are less than 10% of what they were in the old days when the $15/mo pricepoint for subs was established. Those things were a MAJOR expense in running an MMO back then, and now, they are practically nothing. (And thus B2P/F2P games can run)
     

    So even tho that $15 is worth less than 10 years ago, the expenses of running an MMO after launch has declined to the point that the profit from each paying sub is higher, a LOT higher then the loss to inflation. on the order of 300% more profitable. (Several devs have talked about this at various sites.

     

    But all of that is beside the point: $15/mo is too damn much when the game stinks, i.e. what we have with TOR once people finish leveling. So it is irrelevant whether it is expensive or cheap, it is straight up not worth it.

    (And frankly, I get more extertainment value from nexflix/Pandora which is only slightly more than $15/mo together.)

     

     

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