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Do you believe SWTOR is a failure for becoming "F2P"?

FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member

I'm seeing this constantly now on forums everywhere after the recent announcement (relatively speaking) of SWTOR's "payment model change". What I found most interesting about the subject at hand isn't that SWTOR is making the move to F2P, but the fact that people are now viewing "F2P" as a move for failing MMOs to make in order to avoid closure.

This means that the overall outlook towards "F2P" has either downshifted from "Where the market is going" to a more broadly understand realization that "F2P" isn't what consumers want out of their payment model for an MMO regardless of what big companies are telling us. (Looking @ you EA / SOE).




The move from P2P -> F2P is seen as a failing move, but games built from the ground up with F2P in mind are still becoming popular. However, on a personal note I've never once encountered a product that was built from the ground up with F2P in mind that was worth a single hour of my time invested into it. All of the current "F2P" titles on the market currently that people point to as "How you should do F2P" were box & subscription based payment models for the longest time, and only recently have made the move to F2P in order to keep their products more open to audiences they may not have touched yet so they can keep their doors open longer on aging products.


Do you consider either of these views plausable, or do you have your own idea of what "F2P" means for the market after SWTOR's announcement? Afterall, SWTOR was pushed by the general big-corp market as being the "Title to watch" to see where the market should go for the next 10years.



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



  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon

    i dont think its a fail move

    i think its an adaptive move - to make the game a freemium mmo w better earnings


    until I see EA allowing ftp for DAOC and Warhammer,

    I'm not convinced EA has embraced ftp

  • SuprGamerXSuprGamerX Montreal, QCPosts: 531Member

     Ok , I've said this a few times , and will re write it again.   Let's say for example your creating a MMO which costs money , and you notice that to get back your money and start making profit out of it , you'll need 8,000 to sub at 10$ a month for 3 years. Which is pretty reasonable.  But Devs only care about the $$$ , they want to be billionaires within the first 2 months of release , so they put the game F2P with a cash shop and catter millions.  By doing this , they just killed the soul of the MMO and it's community.    If CCP only cared about $$$ , EVE-Online would of been free YEARS Ago , but they are making enough millions to upgrade their servers yearly and releasing free expansions , last time I checked,  WoW's expansions weren't free.


      So yeah , pretty much every Dev team sucks now a days , besides a FEW.     SWTOR could of been something GREAT.  But it's just another WoW / GW2 or whatever type of game with chewbaccas and light sabres.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,341Member Uncommon

    It was a failure from the start.  Typical big company hired a bunch of people without a clue how to keep MMO players engaged in a game.  Making a technically superior game with lots of voice overs does not get it.   Too much hand holding quickly leads to boring gameplay.

    I love Star Wars, but did not even attempt to purchase this game,  beta testing showed what a loser it was.  It was far inferior when it comes to gameplay than what was already on the market.

    Any company working with Lucas Arts has a huge handicap, they don't even know what a MMO is.  They think that it is just an extension of their single player games.   That is why I don't have great hopes that a Star Wars universe MMO will ever be successful unless LA gets new leadership.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,318Member Rare

    I think EA sees it that way.

    Lets face it, TOR is not the success it could have been but MMOs live longer than other games and can change, Eve started out with 25K players and are doing fine.

    But just making the game F2P wont change anything, Bioware need to update the game so it becomes better long term and keep its players. I am not sure that is what they have in mind since that cost more money, maybe they let it sink like WAR.

    But failure to reach EAs guesses does not make the game a failure, that is something we cant judge short term. If they close it down next year it surely was a failure, but they might fix it up and turn things around, anything is possible.

    My bet however is that EA will try to milk out as much money they can from it while putting in so little they can and in that case it will indeed go down as failure in MMO hoistory. But then have my opinion of EA never been high since what they did to Westwood, so I might be too pessimistic.

    I hope they turn it around though, the IP deserves better than what MMOs made out of it.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,990Member Uncommon

    No.  "Free to play" does not mean a game is a failure.  The only business model that conclusively says a game is a failure is pulling the plug, and even then, only if it comes not that long after launch.

    I do, on the other hand, believe that SWTOR is a failure for not selling better after being so expensive to build.  Exactly the same sales numbers on a $20 million budget would be a success.

  • KopogeroKopogero Shevat, ONPosts: 983Member Uncommon
    SWTOR is a failure because it didn't copy the SWG-Pre CU model. Themeparks in generals been failure over the last 5 years with the exception of WOW.


  • TobiasGreyTobiasGrey Worcester, MAPosts: 166Member
    I think its a failure for them closing half the servers, firing half the staff, and being forced to go FTP to recoup losses, yeah. That's what you get when you tack a monthly fee on a game that plays like a singleplayer game.
  • TobiasGreyTobiasGrey Worcester, MAPosts: 166Member
    Originally posted by Kopogero
    SWTOR is a failure because it didn't copy the SWG-Pre CU model. Themeparks in generals been failure over the last 5 years with the exception of WOW.

    Try the last 8 years. There hasn't been a single successful themepark. Rift came the closest but even they were merging servers almost right away.



  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666

    My bet however is that EA will try to milk out as much money they can from it while putting in so little they can and in that case it will indeed go down as failure in MMO hoistory. But then have my opinion of EA never been high since what they did to Westwood, so I might be too pessimistic.

    i hope you are wrong but i have not forgotten what happened to Sims Online

    later renamed to EA Land and made ftp -- then 5 months later shut down


  • daeamarthdaeamarth denver, COPosts: 24Member

    To me F2P == flexibility. That is, if I decide not to play much if at all for 6 months I can stop paying. The ability to jump on once a month and play for 2 hours or just take care of "business" (guild duties, bank, broker, etc) is VERY appealing to me. I refuse to pay any amount per month just to "maintain" my account. Ive seen a lot of moves to f2p from ddo to eq2 and beyond those margins and well between. To me its a smart move to give the customer options and its anything but a failing move. Rather its a competitive move. You have features the others do not. At the end of the day regardless of how you implement that f2p it will come down to two things in my opinion. Marketing and game quality/availability.

    Its sad that marketing plays such a heavy role as Ive seen numerous games that from a quality and availability perspective squelch anything out there and yet they die a slow and painful death of player base lacking.

    Overall, F2P inclusion is a smart move and beneficial to both parties.

    -It makes it easier to try out.
    -It makes it easier for the customer to "take a break but still participate".
    -Most content up front was a "loss in cost" regardless anyhow so why not use it as an advertising unit.
    -Even if people remain F2P they bring community to the game which is one of the primary driving forces in online gaming if not THE driving factor.
    -Charging for content allows you to offset marketing costs to the consumer and they educate you without surveys etc and yet even with investment in content to do so you still gain said content and the tech behind it.
    --Could continue but why... we all know the truth of it.

  • Storman1977Storman1977 Columbus, OHPosts: 207Member
    I believe that it depends on whether the games initial design had a Free2Play conversion built it.  If not, then, IMO, it is safe to say that going F2P after launching as pure subscription play, is an effort to save an otherwise dying game.  In some cases, the conversion works beautifully and saves the game (DDO, DCUO) and in other cases, it tends to flounder about half heartedly (LoTRO, STO) and acts more as life support than resuscitation .


  • daeamarthdaeamarth denver, COPosts: 24Member

    The logic of a f2p conversion being a failure because it was not part of the original design is directly equivalent to saying if they change the way a skill works in a game after some period of time and other changes then the original skill was a failure. Sorry, that is wrong. Things have to adapt. If there was any failure it would be in the original consideration of the designers to have f2p part of it not the fact they went f2p later.

  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Riverside, RIPosts: 3,323Member Uncommon

    When a company spends the kind of money they did on a game, and to have it bleed subs like it did, I believe it is a sign of failure yes.


    I promise you this: EA/Bioware probably knew they would eventually go F2P, but I don't think any of them expected to have to pull the trigger nearly as fast as they had to.

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
    ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
    Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  • XicomXicom Oshawa, ONPosts: 17Member Uncommon

    Swtor was a failure unfortantly long before the F2P  came along..    sad, I enjoyed the time I had there..

    There are quite a few F2P success, so maybe this might breath some life back in to it.

  • GolelornGolelorn Hiding From Social Media Peeping Toms, ALPosts: 1,104Member Uncommon
    No, its a failure, because its a terrible game that did nothing to move the genre forward.
  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 6,005Member Uncommon
  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,883Member Uncommon


    Closing down = failure.

    F2P = Change of business model.


  • OG_ZorvanOG_Zorvan Fresno, CAPosts: 615Member

    The game was already a failure a few months past launch.

    The F2P announcement itself was just salt in the wound.

    EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,951Member Uncommon
    No. think with P2P is you NEED to be good. Swtor was just far to mediocre to do well. As much as I'm not huge on it, it wasn't that badf of a game. Going F2p tends to be more so a boost to popularity for games that might be doing a bit weaker then desired. Look at DDO, that game was near dead and its now the shining example of what glory good F2P can bring.
  • LissylLissyl Peru, INPosts: 271Member Common

    To me, this particular f2p announcement, like most (but not necessarily all), was indeed a sign of failure.  I think monetizing the subscription revenue stream was EA's goal all along.  They had never mentioned anything about f2p, and there were reports early on about how many subscribers they would need to break even, to make profit, and so on.  The whole time, it was -always- about 'subscribers'.

    I didn't consider the free trial to be a bad move at all.  I think -most- games should have a free, limited trial up to level 20 or so.  But going too much past that, especially starting from a full-revenue subscription, is a sign that the company's plans have gone catastrophically wrong.  Now, I haven't played SWTOR so I won't try to guess why or how it 'failed' or argue the merits of that particular word.  I'm only talking about my perception of the announcement.  I think 'Freemium' is, at present, a terrible concept but has room to be made into a good one; a lot lies in the presentation.  I think the 'cash shop only' 'f2p' model is downright broken and will remain so by definition.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    Swtor was a failure way before. Singing praises about p2p by EA-BW and then going f2p few months after just PROVES it.


    They try to save their investment. It won't help much long-term though.  It will help alot initially by getting alot of players, but Swtor will start hemoraging players fast becaue it is bad game and not build for long-term attraction. Well EA-BW wanted and meaned it to be long-term success, but that does not mean final product is actually made that way.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 4,036Member Uncommon
        I never saw the income vs development costs but I'd guess SWTOR either broke even or made a few million.....F2p can now bring in a whole bunch of new players and there will be money to be made there also...Like others have said though, the game needs to be improved to keep any of those players too.
  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon

    Games going F2P is not necessarily signs of failure, LOTRO went F2P to move in line with the payment model of DDO, and was getting many annual awards and still is. DCUO went F2P because SOE changed their focus to F2P, and all their games are now going F2P, even their new ones like Planetside 2.

    However, SWTOR going F2P is a failure for SWTOR, as the game had 2 million sales and now about 500K subs or less, and that is a loss of over 70% in about 6 months. If the game was a success it would still have at least 1 million subs or even more - people just do not buy MMOs with the intention of quitting within a few months.  It is going F2P because the game needs 500k subs to break even, but that is not happening now. MMOs are games that keep you playing for years. EA also claimed that the game would last ten years. I doubt that will happen now.

    If SWTOR had about 500k subs from the start, then it would not be a failure, because it managed to keep people playing.

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,021Member Uncommon

    SWTOR failed right off the bat,  at the 3 month period we all knew with bleeding populations that the game had a massive failure.

    Free to play is not failure, it is a symtom of the game failing in the first place.  It is what I term a long shot to keep the game alive.  EA/Bioware looked at other companies that made the cut and are still alive.

    The real question is will free to play pull the rabit out of the hat and save SWTOR.

  • olepiolepi Posts: 1,170Member Uncommon

    This seems like a couple of different things confused together.

    1) SWTOR is a "failure" because of the game itself

    2) A F2P model is not an indication of failure, but just another business model

    3) SWTOR going F2P this early is in indication that because of the "failure", they had to change business models

    I played in closed beta, for free, and quit. I like living worlds to play in, and SWTOR was a dead world.


    RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

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