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F2P: CoX shows that it is no guarantee of saving SWTOR

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  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jaedor

     


    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    When the problem is a mediocre game, a business model change won't save it. Just because it's now a more palatable model doesn't make it now a more compelling game.

     

    Question though... who ever said F2P can save a bad game?


     

    Don't think anyone did, but LOTRO is generally used as a shining example of how going F2P saved the game.

    LOTRO made it's investment back before going ftp so the cost of going FTP was much lower.

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by tiefighter25

    Blame it on what you will, overly hopeful expectations, a boom-bust economic mentality, whatever.

    FTP has been getting serious industry cheerleading. The most egregious example being:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/analyst-swtor-move-to-free-to-play-could-attract-up-to-50-million-players

    Pachter went from somewhat rosy SWTOR p2p glasses in 2011 up to Fenruary 2012 to FTP is splitting the MMO atom.

    He states that the only two things that were holding SWTO back from financial windfall were the monthly subscription cost, and the cost of the game's box.

    I don't want people to argue why Pachter might be smoking whacky tobacky, but acknowledge that FTP has been quite hyped as of late.

     

    It has been pushed and shilled for the last 2 years at least. Anyone else remember the 'F2P Movement' website?

     

    oh, yeah, here... http://www.f2pmovement.com/ ... Pure unadulterated marketing and opinion forming founded by Luis Paulo Dobreira of the F2P commericial portal MMObomb and the Portugese PlanetaJogos.pt.

     

    Key sites and opinion formers have been targetted to deliver a very clear marketing message, that the sub is dead and F2P is the only choice. It was only a few days ago I recieved an email from Kotaku hammering that exact message yet again.

     

    If some consumers out there want to believe that the selling of this revenue model is being done to benefit them, fine, I can't change that, but I personally seriously doubt that.

     

    Pachter is just yet another monkey at the organ.

    It's been pushed for a good while now from other sources, like MMOHut (youtube).

     

    I believe that the premise of F2P is wholeheartedly good, for everyone.  It allows developers to showcase their product to the masses without an entry fee.  Beyond that, however, is where it gets murky.

     

    Many companies pollute the F2P ideology by disguising their P2P game as F2P, a practice understood as Freemium.  In SWTOR's case, they will offer an extended demo up to level 50, under heavy restrictions, with little to no actual level 50 content available.  All this being done while the subscribing portion of this "F2P" game will have their level caps increased and be moving on to Makeb.  All players won't be on an equal playing field, so it's really only Free to Play as far as a demo for any particular game is free to play.  You can play ... BUT you can not play everything the game has.

    It's not the first time for such deceit, and, unfortunately, probably not the last either.

     

    As for Pachter, I'm under the impression that he is either dilusional, or simply trying to promote this game, for whatever reason.  Too many business models, in computer games or elsewhere, tend to simply predict future trends based on past events.  They don't look at the core mitigating factors that are causing or will cause behavioral changes.

    EA is an example of a company that doesn't "get it".  You see, they look at the marketplace and realize, "WoW is popular.  We need to do what they are doing."  When that fails because they didn't analyze enough of the key factors, then they realize, "F2P titles which are really Freemium are popular.  We need to be doing what those other companies are doing."  Now whether that fails or not, take it as you will, but I don't believe this will suceed.  For one, they don't have a game worth a longterm investment.   Additionally, their Freemium model further restricts a game that already had too little to do (or wasn't designed well either).

    If EA was in tune with realistic predictions, they would branch this game into something brand new.  Something people would talk about, since it is exclusive to SWTOR.  As it is, there is nothing much to talk about.  They did full voice overs in an MMO, for 8 classes, which was huge - but most players will do 1 class and quit, which makes all their efforts wasted.  For the 2 million that played and quit, full voice for 8 classes did not save the day.

    For what EA should do with F2P is just follow NCSoft's Truly Free concept.  NCSoft gets it though - to make a game popular you need to keep the world populated for the fluff cashshop paying members to continue their enjoyment.  Even if a bunch of people never spend a dime, the ones that do spend money won't go away.  And if the game does go under, at least former players will have fond memories of the development company and their publisher.  How many people have or will have fond memories of EA or Bioware as a result of SWTOR & it's design / FTP model?

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Esquire1980

    Here's hoping this is a wake-up call for the entire MMORPG industry.  I tried CoX several years back (free trial) and I didn't make it thru that trial for the exact same reasoning as I left TOR.  The gameplay.

    F2P can not save a game that is lacking in the basic game.  ONLY post launch development and changing directions in development can do that.  No studio can keep up in a themepark model with players unsatiable want/need for more and more content.  There has to be something else there that keeps a playerbase while waiting for that more and more content or development swings in direction.

    TOR simply does not have any of that and no amount of added instances (more of basicly the same as it has now),  that will take development "6 weeks" (yeah right) and players a few days to burn thru, will fix that problem.  They can even add difiiiculty to no end in their instances and it will become moot as most of the playerbase will just find it impossible and stop even trying more quickly than if they could burn thru it. (put it on farm) Then there's that pesky little deal of feeling your being nickle and dimed to death, everytime you turn around, that tends to come in a F2P game and most certainly leads to P2W.  You simply do not end up feeling as invested in a F2P game as a sub based game due to nothing more than these facts.

    Did  you start at coh release or much later?  The game has a lot of content.

    It wasn't content I was pointing out above.  It is the design of gameplay, itself.  WoW has massive content and it wasn't my game either and I just tried that for the 1st real time a couple of months ago.  Got a pal up to 60-something before I just couldn't handle nothing but questing anymore.

    I think it was either after NGE (Nov 2005) or shortly after C6CD (around May 2007/8) that I tried CoH.  It just wasn't my game.  No housing, crafting was simple compared to SWG, drop economy, all questing, in fact CoH was 1 of the 1st MMOs I got the feeling of I'm playing their game, their way, and not mine.  Admitedly, I didn't see much of it as I didn't make it thru the free trial period before uninstaling.

    TOR has exactly that same feeling (for me anyway) along with the added feeling of "I've seen that game before, oh yeah, it's WoW with lightsabers".

  • audiophilusaudiophilus Laurel, MDPosts: 6Member
    LOTORO had a very well thought out F2P model and COX did not. That needs to be consdered when comparissons are made.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,667Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Jaedor

     


    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    When the problem is a mediocre game, a business model change won't save it. Just because it's now a more palatable model doesn't make it now a more compelling game.

     

    Question though... who ever said F2P can save a bad game?


     

    Don't think anyone did, but LOTRO is generally used as a shining example of how going F2P saved the game.

    LOTRO made it's investment back before going ftp so the cost of going FTP was much lower.

    Exactly. Jaedor, I think you're thinking of DDO. Either that or you've been reading too many of the Sub Or Die crowd's talking points. :)

    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

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,068Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Jaedor

     


    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    When the problem is a mediocre game, a business model change won't save it. Just because it's now a more palatable model doesn't make it now a more compelling game.

     

    Question though... who ever said F2P can save a bad game?


     

    Don't think anyone did, but LOTRO is generally used as a shining example of how going F2P saved the game.

    LOTRO made it's investment back before going ftp so the cost of going FTP was much lower.

    Exactly. Jaedor, I think you're thinking of DDO. Either that or you've been reading too many of the Sub Or Die crowd's talking points. :)

    Suspect Jaedor may be thinking of DDO as well - not that it matters. The cost of DDO and LotR was swept up in whatever Warner Bros. paid for Funcom when they bought them. They will have seen the books and if the price paid will have reflected whatever the games were earning.

    Same applied to SWTOR as well of course as EA bought Bioware and a % of the $620M cash that EA paid was for the SWTOR game under development. (The $860M figure is what the shareholders paid when stock options are allowed for).

    DDO though - did it ever announce 100k sales post launch. It certainly had very little content. Announced lots of new players when it went F2P of course but since then .... same with LotR.

    That said I think DDO and LotR are both moving away from "F2P" and seem to be adopting the paid xpac route of GW1 / GW2. Maybe not totally however - which may tarnish the player experience.

    I don't see any sign of SWTOR going down this route at the moment however - just a cash shop. And that will need huge numbers of people ...

  • theniffrigtheniffrig DublinPosts: 351Member

    Question: If SWTOR was free to play right now, would you play it?

    My answer: No. In its current form I wouldn't be motivated to log in and play it, free or otherwise.

  • Einherjar_LCEinherjar_LC MelfiPosts: 1,055Member Common
    Originally posted by theniffrig

    Question: If SWTOR was free to play right now, would you play it?

    My answer: No. In its current form I wouldn't be motivated to log in and play it, free or otherwise.

    Exactly, nothing has changed other than the payment model which was never the core issue with SWToR.

     

    I personally think the genre going down this whole F2P, and Freemium is a farce.  I quit LOTRO when it went freemium and I was a lifetime founder.  I lost all interest when TSW went sub + cash shop.  As stated above, I wouldn't go back to SWTOR even though it is F2P.

     

    Developers need to get in their heads that the pricing model is not the issue, the poor games are.  That's why there has been such a push for these types of models by players...they're tired of getting hammered for box + sub for what amounts to a console game.

     

    Once a developer does "get it" and offers a solid MMO instead of single player RPGs, they may find customers willing to pay a sub for an extended stay in their world.

     

    Again all IMO.

    Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  • ktanner3ktanner3 lakeland, FLPosts: 4,074Member Common
    The only thing that the closing of City of Heroes proves is that MMOs don't last forever. Something that the rapid fans of any game should keep in mind before sinking too much money and time in. It's bound to happen eventually. 

    Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  • SouldrainerSouldrainer Elmer, NJPosts: 1,857Member

    I agree with the guy who inapropriately used the bright red, eye-bleeding text.  Is that sad to say?

     

    SWTOR is definitely not related to COX in any way. 

    Error: 37. Signature not found. Please connect to my server for signature access.

  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Creslin321

    I think that studios will find the F2P market much more competitive now, and thus we will start seeing more F2P failures.  When P2P to F2P conversions first started, the F2P market was populated only by mediocre or P2W games.  So when a premium game like LOTRO or DDO went F2P, it wasn't hard for it to compete.

    now though, the F2P market has several premium games, and the non-sub market now has what many believe to be the best MMORPG in the industry, GW2.  So when a game goes F2P, it's no longer just competing with mediocre games, it has real competition from the big boys.  The F2P bubble is about to bust.

     

    I simply can't state how disappointed I am with your post.   It doesn't have anything to do with the other games in the market.   That is part of the beauty of P2W business model.   There is no competition for a players " sub money ".  

     

    LOL at your GW2 " greatest game ever " comment.   

     

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

     

    IMHO, a game has to have the right conditions for a P2P:P2W conversion to work.  

     

    1.  The game has to be absolute dead.  Not dieing

    2.  The game needs to already have game mechanics that easily support P2W.

     

    DDO had both of those and is doing great.

     

    LOTRO had none of those and is doing poorly.

     

    AoC had one of those and is doing poorly.

     

    SWTOR doesn't have any of those and will fail miserably.   

     

     

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by thinktank001
    Originally posted by Creslin321

    I think that studios will find the F2P market much more competitive now, and thus we will start seeing more F2P failures.  When P2P to F2P conversions first started, the F2P market was populated only by mediocre or P2W games.  So when a premium game like LOTRO or DDO went F2P, it wasn't hard for it to compete.

    now though, the F2P market has several premium games, and the non-sub market now has what many believe to be the best MMORPG in the industry, GW2.  So when a game goes F2P, it's no longer just competing with mediocre games, it has real competition from the big boys.  The F2P bubble is about to bust.

     

    I simply can't state how disappointed I am with your post.   It doesn't have anything to do with the other games in the market.   That is part of the beauty of P2W business model.   There is no competition for a players " sub money ".  

     

    LOL at your GW2 " greatest game ever " comment.   

     

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

     

    IMHO, a game has to have the right conditions for a P2P:P2W conversion to work.  

     

    1.  The game has to be absolute dead.  Not dieing

    2.  The game needs to already have game mechanics that easily support P2W.

     

    DDO had both of those and is doing great.

     

    LOTRO had none of those and is doing poorly.

     

    AoC had one of those and is doing poorly.

     

    SWTOR doesn't have any of those and will fail miserably.   

     

    P2W works not only for dying games, but for dying companies who produced them.  P2W games will do well upon conversion at first, but then die their death, albeit a little longer than if they never went P2W.  The big change however will be the perception gamers have for that particular company who made the decisions.  The company will die also.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but did any game going P2W have a company surrounding it that thrived later?

     

    I can think of APB, but when they re-released after P2W failed, the game never took off to huge proportions.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    When the problem is a mediocre game, a business model change won't save it. Just because it's now a more palatable model doesn't make it now a more compelling game.

     

    Question though... who ever said F2P can save a bad game?

    This!

    The only reason why LOTRO's switch to Freemium model was a huge success, is because it was a good and succesful game to begin with.

    SW:TOR is a bad game with no longetivity... so switching to F2P is not going to save them sadly. :(

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,982Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ktanner3
    The only thing that the closing of City of Heroes proves is that MMOs don't last forever. Something that the rapid fans of any game should keep in mind before sinking too much money and time in. It's bound to happen eventually. 

    Partly, but believing going F2P could save any MMO is still not true.

    Most people use a certain amount of money for gaming each month so believing that all games would make more profit if you just make them F2P is a bit too good to be true.

    It will be a second chanse for TOR but it still needs to become better to keep the players if they want it to work.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,982Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    This!

    The only reason why LOTRO's switch to Freemium model was a huge success, is because it was a good and succesful game to begin with.

    SW:TOR is a bad game with no longetivity... so switching to F2P is not going to save them sadly. :(

    No, LOTRO was also the first AAA MMO switching to it (DDO is a CORPG), being the first means a lot as well.

  • GrinnzGrinnz Utica, NYPosts: 310Member Uncommon

    City of Heroes was just old.....and the genre doesn't hold much against Fantasy games mostly IMO the game doesn't offer gear eye candy progression. CoX is fairly grind/farm oriented too which grows old fast, even new players with good high lvl buds can get lvl maxed  toons in 3-6 hours.

    It just has run it's course....a game type that has just needed to die off.

    image

  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    This!

    The only reason why LOTRO's switch to Freemium model was a huge success, is because it was a good and succesful game to begin with.

    SW:TOR is a bad game with no longetivity... so switching to F2P is not going to save them sadly. :(

    No, LOTRO was also the first AAA MMO switching to it (DDO is a CORPG), being the first means a lot as well.

    DDO was the first to go F2P, and because it was successful with that, they changed LOTRO as well. If DDO had not gone F2P, I doubt LOTRO would have switched. It also coincidentally happened around the time of the buyout from Warner Bros, and F2P was done to match the payment model of DDO.

     LOTRO was pretty successful from the start, it has won many awards over the years, AFTER people have played it A LOT. SWTOR only won the award for best MMO of 2011, before people realised what it was fully like. I doubt it will win 2012 or any more awards.

  • noncleynoncley LondonPosts: 648Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by zymurgeist
    I wouldn't judge what EA will do based on NCsoft. They'yre very diferent companies. There are no guarantees.

    I think it is guaranteed by past events that EA will screw up this hastily arrived at and poorly implemented decision to go F2P.

  • ktanner3ktanner3 lakeland, FLPosts: 4,074Member Common
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by ktanner3
    The only thing that the closing of City of Heroes proves is that MMOs don't last forever. Something that the rapid fans of any game should keep in mind before sinking too much money and time in. It's bound to happen eventually. 

    Partly, but believing going F2P could save any MMO is still not true.

    When did I ever say that?

    Most people use a certain amount of money for gaming each month so believing that all games would make more profit if you just make them F2P is a bit too good to be true.

    It will be a second chanse for TOR but it still needs to become better to keep the players if they want it to work.

    I agree. 

     

    Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,068Member Uncommon

    We have known for a while that mmos don't last forever - although there was a time when people claimed otherwise.

    I think CoH is the first mmo that started with subs and then changed to "f2p" that is closing however. And as such it should provide a "warning shot" for any company thinking that a sub-based game can be saved by going f2p.

    (ShadowBane was sub based but it went "free" rather than f2p after the studio closed etc.)

     

    I think todays TERRA announcement is interesting as well - going from 11 to 3 servers. No mention of F2P and not likely with 3 servers. Another DAoC, UO niche product maybe getting by on a small number of subs? Especially if there is no IP cost involved - which there will be for SWTOR of course.

  • iceman00iceman00 Westland, MIPosts: 1,363Member
    Originally posted by tiefighter25

    Blame it on what you will, overly hopeful expectations, a boom-bust economic mentality, whatever.

    FTP has been getting serious industry cheerleading. The most egregious example being:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/analyst-swtor-move-to-free-to-play-could-attract-up-to-50-million-players

    Pachter went from somewhat rosy SWTOR p2p glasses in 2011 up to Fenruary 2012 to FTP is splitting the MMO atom.

    He states that the only two things that were holding SWTO back from financial windfall were the monthly subscription cost, and the cost of the game's box.

    I don't want people to argue why Pachter might be smoking whacky tobacky, but acknowledge that FTP has been quite hyped as of late.

    So was facebook as a way to generate revenue, and all the F2P games on facebook.  Can you say bubble?

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by thinktank001

    It doesn't have anything to do with the other games in the market.   That is part of the beauty of P2W business model.   There is no competition for a players " sub money ". 

    Time is more important than money. People don't play bad games. People don't buy stuff in games they don't play. So, for your F2P game to be successful, it has to attract players from other F2P games and that's not easy when those games aren't just lousy, low-budget Korean grinders. TOR will have to compete with other F2P titles, including LotRO, Neverwinter, DCUO, AoC, D&DO and maybe even TSW.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,053Member Uncommon

    NCsoft is notorious for closing games. They closed Tabula Rasa that was their biggest most expensive project, basically on a whim. Without even trying to save it or fix it.

    SWTOR is perfect for F2P it will do well

    image

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    SWTOR is perfect for F2P it will do well

    No it won't.   It will attract huge amount of people when they will go f2p.  There will be many people that hop on every f2p game to check it out and there will be alot of former players that will log into their old characters to check game changes and similar.

     

    Most of them will start to drop Swtor (sometimes again) fast.  Becasuse Swtor is just bad game.  It will be conversion similar to AoC.  Huge amounts of people intitially rushing it  and 6 months later dead servers again.

  • NagilumSadowNagilumSadow Atlanta, GAPosts: 299Member
    Originally posted by gervaise1

    Sad panda:  NCSoft have today announced that City of Heroes. CoX was a sub based game from its launch back in May 2004 until it went F2P in June 2011. It had decent 200k-ish sub numbers prior to the launch of WoW but managed to push out at least 20 quarterly content packs. NB: this is not a CoX thread!

    In an "effort" to increase its user base CoX went F2P last June. Quotes from the press release at the time:

    "Arriving later this year, City of Heroes Freedom™ is a compelling new way for Paragon Studios to deliver more content to more players than ever before."

    and

    "starting July 1st, current subscribers will begin accumulating 400 Paragon Points every month up until launch, giving loyal customers unprecedented rewards and options". (The monetization stuff being done by a specialist arm of NCSoft as well).

    Sounds hauntingly familiar to what EA Bioware have said is the future for SWTOR.

    F2P has proved unable to sustain the staff of 80. They are being laid off and Paragon Studios closed.

     

     

     

    In TOR, the problem is there is no player facilitation that makes a cash-shop & f2p model interesting. TOR is based around 100% static linear paths, wherein you have a perfunctory illusion of choice; In TOR there is no "real" exploration, no crafting to speak of, no player housing, no ship painting or decor. If you buy a vehicle, TOR's engine & graphics make the player & vehicle look like  two troglodytes mating. TOR is completely based around linearity and no choices.

    Where LA shot itself in the foot was pulling the license from Galaxies; It had the perfect model for a vast cash shop. Despite its age, Galaxies was a VASTLY superior mmo. The irony is if galaxies had gone f2p, there would have been hundreds of thousands of new and old players overnight.

     

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