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MMOs have been largly immune to piracy.
Sure, there is the box sale, but what you are really buying is the account that grants you access to the server, or the license to upgrade your account. The box is just something physical to have to scan at the cash register.
That's the "beauty" of an MMO - to be Massively Multiplayer, you need to be online and connected to the server. Without that connection to a server, the game is pretty meaningless.
So with MMOs you aren't pirating anything, you have licensed accounts, and those are guaranteed to be one to one (one purchase to one user). Even if that account gets traded or sold afterwards (which may or may not be allowed by the EULA) - whereas in typical piracy, you have one copy that gets duplicated onto hundreds/thousands/millions of other computers (and those get seen as lost sales, regardless of if they really are or not)
As soon as i hear the word "free" i get suspicious.
"Free", implying "something for nothing" is just the wrong word here, and when you hear that word from companies such as SOE or EA, you have to really naive if you think you will end up spending LESS money than before to get the same content.
I dont want things for "free". I want to pay a fee that gives the company a reasonable profit, fairly paid devs AND me the right to demand a proper product.
F2P is a hoax and the sooner the players are willing to pay a fair amount to a company that listens to the player base, the better.
Originally posted by BizkitNL Hm. I can quite easilly prove a lot of people here wrong simply by mentioning League of Legends. No pay to win, but pay for some pretty damn awesome skins for your heroes. THAT is how it should be done. Not literally though, but you get the idea.
There is a subtle difference between a battle arena and a persistent world mmorpg. Well there used to be anyway. What works well for one genre doesn't necessarily work well for another.
Resticting it to skins only is fantstastic and would work in any game. Trouble is in a battle arena time/grind/disparity is not an issue so it is all vanity items. Whereas in mmos... it is progression based, so the cash shop is more than vanity. A whole different kettle of fish.
"Come and have a look at what you could have won."
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2 Originally posted by evolver1972 Originally posted by GrumpyMel2 Originally posted by evolver1972 Originally posted by Yakamomoto "F2P" is mostly a scam. (same goes for "B2P" with cash shop) If you read "FREE" on the internet, something smells fishy. I prefer the good old honest subscription model.
Honest subscription model. That's funny. Considering the costs of running a game are basically miniscule your honest sub model goes to one of two things: Marketing and Profit.
And with the right CS, B2P is not a scam. To me, that is the most honest and fair way to run a game. You buy the game (just like every other game), and you don't have to spend another dime to play if you don't want to. How is that a scam?
I also think that F2P, if done correctly, can also not be a scam, although I do admit that model leaves much more opportunity for scamming.
I personally think LotRO's F2P version was just fine. I didn't feel cheated, or pressured to spend any money at all.
I'm not sure where you got the impression that costs for running an online service (which is what MMO's basicaly are) are "miniscule" but I can assure you they are not. I just got done putting together the yearly budget for Operations of my companies online services (and no we are not an MMO, we're in business services) which doesn't even include customer service/tech support and I can assure you it counts for a rather significant chunk of our gross revenue....much larger then either marketing budget or proffits. MMO's can get by with a bit cheaper as they don't have to provide quite as high a level of service....but by no means is their operating costs miniscule..... unless you think it's acceptable to run your game out of someones garage.
Subscriptions ARE "honest" (or at least WERE before cash shops) in the sense that you know up front exactly what it will cost you to play the FULL game up front each month. I wouldn't neccesarly describe F2P as "dishonest", but a little bit more like "hidden fee's" based services. It's not until you actualy start playing until you learn how much it will actualy cost you to play the game at a level you are comfortable with...and this can change drasticaly as you progress...or even day to day as the Dev's tinker with items and prices in the cash shop.
If you look at earnings reports for MMO companies, you will see that the costs of maintaining an MMO are relatively cheap, compared to the overall costs associated with making and developing an MMO. Developing an MMO is where the majority of the cost comes in.
It used to be that the server costs, bandwidth, etc. cost a lot of the budget money, but that's just not true anymore and it certainly doesn't cost so much that companies still need to charge $15/month for it. That is how games like GW1 and GW2 are able to make it. GW1 has been running almost purely on box sales of the game and expansion for 7 years (there is minor income from its CS, but not a significant amount). GW2 is using basically the same system. And I'm sure Anet isn't banking on the idea that the CS will cover all of their development costs over the next 7 years. That's why you are charged for the box price. It recoups their development costs, and allows them to continue to maintain the game, which includes adding content, maintaining servers and bandwidth, and fixing bugs.
And are you going to tell me that the costs of maintaining a game are the same as they were in 2004? I highly doubt that, especially when it comes to hardware. That's why the $15/month isn't so great anymore. You are paying them to play only one game and much of that money you're paying them goes to profit and marketing.
I'll take B2P any day over that. Even with a CS. I get to decide where my money goes then. Rather than feeling that I'm stuck in a game I'd rather not play because I have so much invested in it. And with B2P, I do know exactly how much I have to pay to get the full game: A one time fee of $60.
Yes, the costs of hosting are not that drasticaly different then they were 8 years ago. It's NOT the hardware....that shows me that you really aren't all that informed on the subject..... it's the costs of running the DATA CENTER....some of the costs associated with that have gone down but others (power, staffing, cooling, construction, property taxes) have gone UP SIGNIFICANTLY. Generaly speaking costs for rack space in a quality data center remain pretty close to what they were 8 years ago. You MAY be able to reduce that somewhat if you can offload some of your processing to cloud services (not a bad idea given the spike demand nature of MMO's) but whether you can actualy do that depends upon your application archectecture and to what degree your application is dependant on responsiveness....cloud services introduce thier own bit of latency into an application.
That's not even counting the other big driver of operating costs....your own CS/Tech Support staff.
Purchasing the HW is not the issue...it's OPERATING IT in a reliable/secure environment.
If I want to run out of someones garage....yeah, I can do that dirt cheap.
Then explain to me how some MMOs can run a quality game without charging a monthly fee. Surely their costs for maintaining the game are roughly the same as those who charge the fee.
Sorry, but I don't buy the argument that it costs anywhere near $15/month per user to run a game after it's been released. Not when there are so many games out there that don't get that much in income but still manage to keep the game running.
You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???
Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!
Originally posted by erictlewis Originally posted by superniceguy It is not Free to Play that is killing gaming, it is the way it is being implemented that is killing the games. The only things that should be purchaseable in the shop are content packs, which unlock loads more quest to do, which get you specail items. But the way they do it is put these items in the store so you can get them without playing the game. eg LOTRO - They bring in mounts in the store which last for a limited period of time. If I see one expiring within 24 hours I will not have time to level up a character to 20, and get the Riding Skill, so what do I do, play until level 5, buy the Riding Skill, buy the Mount, and then not play the game. What they should do, is create content, that you can buy, and then play whenever with no time limit, when you reach the appropriate level, and get that mount. Alternatively the items could be added to the crafting professions, and be able to be crafted. The other things that are OK being purchased, are extra inventory slots (although in SWTOR these can be increased with in game credits), charcter transfers, renames, extra char slots etc Basically devs are being lazy putting in items in the shop when best played to get instead of bought with real money to get. Even XP boosts can be acquired by playing game or within crafting items. Free to play is mostly stealing gameplay, because it gets companies more money when people can buy it without having to play the game, in effect it is cheating.
Seriously I could not have put it better. I agree it is the way free to play is being implemented, there are several games eq2, lotro and so forth.
What we wind up with is the dev staff is to bussy doing re-skins of the same product over and over, meanwhile we dying to have real playable content. I get so angry when I see soe on their facebook going hey take a look at the latest item we are offering in our item shop. Argggg, I don't want items I want content.
Oh well I totally agree with what you have said.
cant agree more , its frustrating how p2p games go to f2p and fall below what i call "standards" , in eq2 no legendary gear or fabled ....and the tokens to even able to wear.....oh well....go f2p full or dont go....
Lotro however did a good job , u can gain currency while playing (farming hard ><) but at least i was able to buy Moria expansion , after playing for a while ! free !
Originally posted by Yakamomoto "F2P" is mostly a scam. (same goes for "B2P" with cash shop) If you read "FREE" on the internet, something smells fishy. I prefer the good old honest subscription model.
The problem is most games aren't worth the subscription model.....Also if you're limited on time or have sporadic play times, then the monthly sub doesn't always work very well......I dont think the f2p movement is hurting MMOs....Alot of these games that went f2p probably would have gone under if the only option was monthly sub....THe way I see it, the more payment options we have as consumers the better.....We have literally hundreds of MMOs to choose from now and we should be able to find a game that fits what we like and our finances.
F2P, P2W, Subs .. all of it is irrelevant. The biggest problem we have in terms of mmo's today is that they are all copies of one another, it seems all the potential customers know this and all the devs are completely oblivious to it.
True innovation ended in 2002, since then its been a relentless rehash of the same old crap, we now even have unmovable genres of games because quite frankly, they have all run out of ideas. All they can do is 'try' and make the next 'better' game within said genre's.
In relation to this article, F2P is code for 'demo', noone does anything for nothing, they want paying for it and the only innovation since 2002 is payment methods.
DLC is killing gaming more then free to play because of this term that has long since been forgotten by almost every game company in the world now a days," updates", instead of shelling out freaking expansions or dlc..
Greed is what sends so many of us to the free 2 play games since they rely on updates to keep their populace and their income coming back..
This article seems strange since it even points out how absurd the sims is...
F2P in the MMO market started the downward trend with SOE, it was a huge abuse because they started out with limiting content. Content limited F2P or Freemium is never a good idea and even tho the author does admit that F2P has evolved to create a balanced gaming life and an environment that isn't harsh on the players wallets in this article he fails to mention the badboys of the most recent F2P translations. SWTOR and the RMAH in D3. Both of these are designed poorly and with the execs rather then the player in mind. They require large sums of money to do anything meaningful in the game titles and basically expect the players to repurchase the entire game in smaller pieced increments, content that should be available and managable without the need to nickle and dime the players.
What's sad is articles and forum posts like these often ignore these two titles as problems or as great examples of how F2P has gone wrong in the industry because of their unwavering dedication to these game companies. The larger the bank account the better the ratings the fewer the negative things said about your title often becomes the norm.
Piracy is no more or less an issue in the F2P games then the P2P games. People for example have been complaining about GW2 as of late, mostly because it's a new title, but they fail to realize that not only has Blizzard failed to completely eliminate the gold farming in their big title World of Warcraft but these gold farming companies have thrived on WoW for YEARS even with the authenticators. If one were to go seek out one of these companies you would see how every single one lists the ability to sell you gold on World of Warcraft still to this day.
And Finally, There is hardly any mention about examples of poor F2P MMO designs in the MMOcentric gaming market considering the website's focus.
Originally posted by evolver1972 Originally posted by GrumpyMel2 Originally posted by evolver1972 Originally posted by GrumpyMel2 Originally posted by evolver1972 Originally posted by Yakamomoto "F2P" is mostly a scam. (same goes for "B2P" with cash shop) If you read "FREE" on the internet, something smells fishy. I prefer the good old honest subscription model.
I didn't say they cost $15 per month/per user to run. I said the Operating costs were not, as you put it, "miniscule"
This is a topic where i feel a large amount of gamers have their heads in the ground. F2P is never ever going away in fact it is going to be the payment model of the future. Games are costing more and more to make and the subscription model is simply not as profitable.
So unless they wanna pay a ton of money on the front end, this is really the most painless solution. I have no interest in the majority of cash shop items, so if other people buying crap i don't care about that doesn't affect me, and the result is i get to play for free, what diety did i please.
yes I am quite aware thanks.
when I said
"In closing, articles like this, frustrate me, passing one's opinion off as fact is, well, shameful. The FACT is, we are all very different, and the opinions on this subject are as varied as we are unique. I do not believe that any one opinion, be it mine, or anyone ones will be the answer to the gaming industry woes."
I was speaking in general and not fingering out the Author.. I was actually pointing out that this article will solve nothing. And as the title was meant to "get our attention", it did more than that, it did not ask the question whether or not F2P is killing the industry, it had already presumed it has, and the content of the "editorial" would explain how it did? My point was.. IT HAS NOT.
im not even going to read the piece as its going to be another BS blame game statement.
free to play kills nothing. the very first game i ever owned besides the old wolfinstine 3d on 4/25 disk was a freeware game of biomance. the thing that kills games is not its subscription or lack there of. BUT piss poor gameplay mechanics, poor visual/audio and just out right stupid corprate shills screwing over the player pop that the vast majority quit.
sighting that F2P is a cause of games dying is the same as saying mcdonalds killed hamburgers. its totally asine and really just a finger pointing blame.
if a game wants to succeed post 2012 they have to provide 5 major important elements.
1) best possible game play mechanics the game eng/style can support. (dont give me counter strike 1.0 under the name of battlefield 3)
2) best bang for buck (gameplay/mechanics has to warrent the sub model. i will not pay 9.99-19.99 for windows minesweeper)
3) acceptable graphics/audio (its 2012 not 1989 so 6bit graphics will no longer cut it. ill accept some pixalation if the game is good, and i wouldnt expect Crys1 but id expect some quality.. and audio has be good.. )
4) best possible game balance for players. (be it crafting/questing/pvp if the game is hyping one or all of those and it falls flat providing ... its cheaping out players)
5) if the game is f2p in any regards it should not hamstring or rip off players to an extent that unless you shell out 50bucks a week to the mall you cant even play the game. granted this would fall under bang for buck. but some p2p games are not worthy of their sub price or box price for what you get..
^ none of that has anything to do with a game being free or not. but everything todo with why games are falling flat on their faces day in and day out. cloning WoW or EQ or skyrim will not make that game a success hell charging me 30 bucks +sub for pong wont make pong a success either... (as great as it is...) once game companies pull their heads out of their backsides or from between their secrataries legs and figure out players WILL not pay top dollar for garbage, they will start to make successful games..
CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 860 2.8GHzEvga GeForce 670 FTW Evga P55 SLI
Originally posted by Dampyre This is a topic where i feel a large amount of gamers have their heads in the ground. F2P is never ever going away in fact it is going to be the payment model of the future. Games are costing more and more to make and the subscription model is simply not as profitable. So unless they wanna pay a ton of money on the front end, this is really the most painless solution. I have no interest in the majority of cash shop items, so if other people buying crap i don't care about that doesn't affect me, and the result is i get to play for free, what diety did i please.
Fair point isnt it. Not as profitable .. compared to subscriptions .. a subscription is something that requires a constant interest in said product, when devolpers cannot maintain that constant interest they resort to quick fixing F2P, abit like like employing a SMG.. quick firing, limited utility, ultimately a limited a lifespan.
Hate to say it but Blizzard saw this and created a game that has longlivety, and this is coming from someone who quit Wow at level 30 because they were relentlessly bored with it.
you're very correct but...how does that translate to MMOs? it doesn't really...does it? that' the problem most want to touch upon.
First off there are very few ftp games. Most are "we will give you a taste but if you want to /really/ play the game you pay". DDO, EQ2, Tor, etc unless you want to do a lot of grinding and/or cripple or otherwise make gamelife annoying you pay.
I see many ftp as just a different type of trial and a lure. If you can visit with your guildmates and see your character, how much more likely are you going to go back to playing the game?
It also in some cases gives paying players someone to play with or at least makes a game look better on paper than it otherwise is.
How about this then. How many new mmos come out as ftp? Not many, most are failed games looking for a little extra life. Therefor I would suggest, it is the fault of the devs to make games players want to play/pay for that is "killing gaming".
Originally posted by Haradeas Only took couple of years or so, but finally people start to realise that F2P kills mmorpgs in general. There is no kwality anymore... it has become a mass production clone fest.... WoW, Lineage, guildwars 1 everyone knows these in memories for good reasons. F2P = pay to win, only 1 game did NOT do this : Leaque of legends. Also the reason why it is the most played game atm ( xfire hours played ) F2P = lacks kwality, look at Aion, it couldnt deliver the kwality you normally get from P2P mmorpgs so it went F2P to sqeeze still something out of it. Yet I am certain this game will not make it another year Going to make a website with predictions ( 20 years gaming, wanna make it to good use ^^ )
What the hell is "kwality"?
LoL does do Pay-to-Win. "Spend a year to get what you need to be good at Ladder...or just buy it! You'll do better if you buy! Look, you can even buy boosters!" Very few people have gotten far on Ladder purely using the points you gain from playing matches without spending way too long grinding on a single game.
@Article: Blizzard gained popularity from Diablo 2? What? It wasn't that game before it...you know...that one called Starcraft? The game that practically invented E-Sports.
You cannot blame developers for maximizing on profits. If they see people are stupid enough to buy a couch for $5, or an outfit for $10 that only lasts a month, or any the other crap people bought, why exactly is it the developer's fault? Sure, maybe they shouldn't be so quick to cash in on stupidity, but that's what the players clearly showed they wanted. Take WoW for example. They released that paid mount that literally did nothing for you...and people ATE IT UP. They sold hundreds of thousands of units before the content was even released! Why would Blizzard NOT maximize on this? It clearly works, people are clearly stupid and will buy anything. Once some companies showed how easy it is to cash in on stupidity, are you really surprised that's the direction it went in?
Let's not forget that WoW is both P2P AND Cash Shop. It's both. Hell, your own main example is Sims, a game that is Buy to play, and then with a Cash Shop. It's not, "F2P is runing games!" It's, "Morons who buy anything are ruining games!"
---This is but a brief parting.