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[Editorial] General: How Free-to-Play is Killing Gaming – Part One

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  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,729Member Uncommon

    F2P won't 'kill gaming', only changing it. 'Only', in huge brackets.

    And it's not even some a sudden change, it's quite logical: the playerbase is changing, so the industry follows it. Sure, this change won't be good for us, older ones, but they don't really care... As time goes, we're going slowly out of the market, and the new kids won't mind microtransaction, or f2p, or (sadly) the pay-to-win concept. Actually they're almost 'trained' for it, that they can buy anything right away, and for only a small price (music, xbox marketplace, psn store, etc)

     

    But not that's what I wanted to comment, sorry Derek but I laughed at the piracy part so much :) No wonder the first comment by montin was a correction to it right away. What you mentioned with DRM's was the exact opposite, maybe that was the only era where the publishers were able somewhat to fought back.

    Piracy was there at Speccy, it was _huge_ at the Commodore era (heck, I could count on one hand the original C64 programs I saw during the 80's), then the BBS's in the early 90's, then with the www. introduction piracy literally exploded... A buddy of mine was a retailer then, with ties to the publishers, the selling numbers were sad... (at least in Eu). Same with the consoles :I

    So "Digital piracy had migrated from just music to movies and then to video games." is a  really funny statement...

  • racked3dracked3d Seattle, WAPosts: 5Member
    F2P isn't killing games.    Whats killing a lot of them is that F2P realy means P2W . The P2W sys. costs on average 5 - 10 times per month what a P2P with a 15$ per month cost.  So of course F2P got big.  Its the same way a drug dealer works if u think about it.   heres a taste 4 FREE. Then they make u PAY and PAY. So sure there game lasts a few years at best but by then they have raked in a load of cash
     
  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,145Member Uncommon
    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.

     

    Agree fully with you. Only positive surprise so far for me is gw2. Still only at lv. 15 with my 8 alts. Incredible game, but at same time unique exception.

  • YanariYanari Faribault, MNPosts: 9Member
    Originally posted by SnarlingWolf
    ...snip...

    To me it has always been easiest to look at all of the other industries out there.

     

    We started with pay by minute phone and internet. Choose who you call and when you call but pay for each one. Then people said "You know what would be better? Paying one fee a month and getting to use my phone all I want without worrying about any extra costs".

     

    Text messaging came to the world and it was pay by text. Then people said "You know what would be better? Paying one fee a month and getting to text all I want without worrying about any extra costs."

     

    The natural progression is for things to go from "Pay for each little thing you want/use" to "Pay for the service and use it all you want". The problem is MMOs started with pay by minute, figured this out and switched early. However, a modern movement has come around where people don't think they should have to pay for anything. People fought to try and allow music sharing for free so they'd never have to pay for music. People actual argue on why it is ok to pirate movies and games because they wouldn't pay for them anyway. People get products that allow them to record all the shows they want while letting them skip the commercials in one push of a button. And people want to be able to get a $100 million + costing game to be free to get into.

     

    So companies latched on to this and they look at how people suddenly realized they had spent thousands of dollars on iTunes or on small phone apps and games because at $1 a pop they never thought about it all that much. Now you get it for free but hey why not buy these silly sunglasses for $1? Unfortunately, many gamers are savy enough to see through that so then companies had to switch to selling stuff that was more than just fun, such as pack space/bank space/character slots. So now you get a new game and get 2 character slots when you used to buy a game and get 10.

     

    Now companies are moving beyond that to actual stat raising and essentially necessary items to get everyone to pay something. Battlefield Heroes started off selling cosmetic items and wasn't doing so hot. The moment they switch to selling actual better guns and items their sales skyrocketted.

     

    What is worse is so many players are insistant that this is the way it should be. They are literally telling companies to find ways to rip them off and make them pay for every little thing.

     

    Fortunately 10 years from now there will be the "revolutionary" idea to give you an entire game for one set price and people will find it to be so amazing and wonder why no one thought to do it sooner.

    Very well put.  The gaming industry would not be racing to join this model if there weren't thousands upon thousands of naive (or mentally lazy) consumers.  This group of consumers simply isn't doing the math which would show them just how much they are being overcharged.

     

    My husband and I bought lifetime accounts for LoTRO upon launch.  It was a $600 investment.  Would we play the game long enough to make this cost effective?  A few simple calculations later:  Yes.

     

    The lifetime subscription really isn't the point.  My point is that a smart consumer does the math before clicking the "add to shopping cart" button.

     

    Sadly, the game has since gone "Free to play", which has morphed into "Pay to Win" because of the types of items now in the store.  When games move to something with an in-game store, it seems like the entire development focus shifts from creating solid content with which to lure and retain players, to crapping out bling (and stat increases, etc) fast enough to keep the 'shopping as entertainment' crowd happy.

     

    The original dev team was either a group of Tolkien fans, or understood that their customer base was going to be made up of many people who knew this lore inside-out & were very protective of it.  My understanding is that many of them have moved to the development of the game that must-not-be-named

     

    The current dev team strikes me as Wal-Mart marketing executive types.  Solely profit driven and lacking creativity (and seeing no value in it).

     

    It's only we, the customers who can reverse this trend.  I wish I was optimistic.

     
  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member

    Monetization of a game is hard but it is the dev's choice and people can and will vote with their wallets.

     

    That being said the title is a bit misleading... it should be How Free to Play is killing the people who pay for our biased reviews! Go QQ in the corner and learn to love change or buy yourself a SNES or comperable PC rig and live in your "golden age" forever.

    image
  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yanari
    Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

    Now companies are moving beyond that to actual stat raising and essentially necessary items to get everyone to pay something. Battlefield Heroes started off selling cosmetic items and wasn't doing so hot. The moment they switch to selling actual better guns and items their sales skyrocketted.

     

    What is worse is so many players are insistant that this is the way it should be. They are literally telling companies to find ways to rip them off and make them pay for every little thing.

     

    Thanks Yanari for finding this, I missed it before. When I wrote previously "new kids won't mind microtransaction, or f2p, or (sadly) the pay-to-win concept", my statement also was based on Battlefield Heroes. We sometimes joking on that BFH is EA's testing ground of pay to win brainwashing... :)

    That game started as a regular f2p shooting game, with some cosmetics and (slighty better than free) weapons in store. Slightly, like "you really spent money on a mere bonus crit chance? lol, it won't help you winning at all". In 3 years, EA turned it into a massive p2w title (like the pic in Tingle's pvp column, where the kid is the free player: http://images.mmorpg.com/features/6658/images/PvP1.jpg). They reached it by only adding items to the store, slowly raising the bar a bit every time.

    Why is it a problem to us, if it's only a lame pew-pew game? Well, because of the playerbase, and what their attitude tells to the industry... They love p2w. If EAsy don't release a new gun for a while (meaning an even playfield, since most of them got the best guns already), they start to whining about new stuff. If not guns, at least new cosmetics. They just need it. Which leading to an even sweeter aspect to companies: they buy everything. Seriously, everything... Sometimes it seems like EAsy testing the limits, how far can they push it :) cough*Bronto head*cough

    The thing is, soon they'll be the target audience, not us. And that's a very grim future for our current game style... Not a surprise, but if you check the forums, the f2p-complainers are (mostly) all the time the veteran players, with many mmo's and played years behind.

     

    And I agree with Yanari, LotRO changed during this 2 years of f2p. The change was slow, I wouldn't even say it's p2w now, but I can understand why they erased from everywhere the "convenience, not advantage" post of Patience (luckily I had a screenshot :) )

  • CymdaiCymdai Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,083Member

    Hello all!

     

    I just had some time to read through all the comments, and I'd like to touch base on a few general points.

    1) This is part one of a multi-part article. I'm attempting to start off with some background information, history, and personal experiences with F2P, DLC, "pay2win", etc etc. I noticed a few of you were particularly hostile, and seemingly even offended by this. However, please be patient and recognize that, for many gamers out there, they haven't had the years or the experience of gaming that you may have. Background and history is necessary in order to get to the present!

    2) This article will continue to grow and evolve. Check back frequently.

    3) The title was designed to be catchy... it seems to be working well :)

    4) I'm really pleased with the level of discussion this article has brought about, and will be typing a more in-depth reply to certain posts tomorrow/the next few days (I'm still working on a different piece atm)

    5) This is an editorial; it is opinion-based, though I am doing what I can to incorporate facts, history, and background to supplement my opinion. 

    With that all said, please keep posting, and I'll be back to post in this article in the next few days :)

     

    Derek C.

    Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  • HurvartHurvart ystadPosts: 565Member

    Some people dont like F2P. Because being able to pay money to get better or progress faster is unfair. To be able to buy any sort of advantage is unacceptable.

    There will always be some players that think like that. They will stop playing if they cant find P2P games or true B2P games. For them F2P really is killing gaming. When games like that are the only option it will be time to find a different hobby.

  • TheCrow2kTheCrow2k Adelaide, AKPosts: 953Member
    I was never a fan of sub to pay or microtransactions, but have spent money on both. I think the end of sub to play or at least compulsory sub to play was inevitable & In the end may be a good thing. That said a lot of f2p games might be well served to charge $5-$10 for the client key so that when a player is banned it actually does cost the banned player something & they can't just re-roll for free.
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,223Member Uncommon

    There are crappy games of varying payment models.  I like F2P and B2P games.  I would much rather try a game and if it is good continue to support it.

    I wish the author had acutally used logic and reasoning to support his premise if he's going to make a bold claim.  Personally, I think he made a bunch of assumptions and lept to a lot of conclusions without any proof.  But hey, whatever floats your boat.  He did nothing to change my opinion.

  • LithuanianLithuanian vilniusPosts: 206Member Uncommon

    Of course, f2p is to blame. It is f2p that has done every single evil in history since Adam and Eve (for sure, Devil was f2p...). If not f2p, there would be no evil, no bad games, no half-done games, no rude players, no scamming, no gold-farming at all.

    The author is terribly wrong on two main topics:

    1) focusing on Sims and some 2 other games. Looks like there are more online games than 3 on the market and errors of "Sims" are not necesserily errors of all other games. That is, if John is blonde Lithuanian and he instantly forgets where his glasses are - does it mean all blonde Lithuanian males instantly forget where their glasses are?

    2) author has not played any other MMORPG except ones he mentioned. I would like to invite him to play some titles. First example - Istaria. No cash shop, no pay-to-win. You may win with Human race and without plot and every single item is obtainable in-game: most crafted, some - looted from monsters. I also would like to invite the author to the Lord of the rings online: you may purchase xp boosts, mounts...explansion packs by grinding for Turbine points. You may enjoy their shop without spending a cent - Turbine points only. Of course, you are more than encouraged and reminded about being "VIP", but you can bypass it.

    The author also does not see (i.e. does not want to see) bad games that were either P2P or B2P.  It's just F2P that is bad.

    Finally, the author makes another logical mistake: he fails to see difference between f2p and p2w. Explaining: if player can enjoy full game content without paying in real cash, it is free-to-play; if player cannot enjoy full game content without paying real cash - it's pay-to-win.  Example: in game A, player can go anywhere, do any quest for free (however, player can be of limited race or have no personal house) - game A. is f2p. In game B player can't go anywhere, do some quests (player may also be limited in housing), but he may "unlock" anything with in-game currency/points - game B still is free-to-play. in game C, player can't go anywhere, do some quests, may also be limited in housing, but he may "unlock" anything with real currency - game C is pay-to-win.

  • evolver1972evolver1972 Port Orchard, WAPosts: 1,118Member
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
    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.

     

    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.

    *snip*

    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.

    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"

    They may not be "miniscule" in terms of real dollars.  I could not afford to pay those costs every month.  However, in relation to the other costs of the game, they are pretty negligible.  If they weren't, no company in their right mind would ever consider releasing an MMO without a sub to cover those costs.  Considering that many do proves the idea that compared to the rest of their budget, the operating costs are basically miniscule.

     

    I guess I wasn't clear enough, but that is what I've been saying all along.

    image

    You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

    Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  • evolver1972evolver1972 Port Orchard, WAPosts: 1,118Member
    Originally posted by Xstatic912
    Regarding mmo in general, why the hell does every new sub mmo being release think they are worth $15 a month.. Why not other lower price point..

    Because that's what the deluded will pay for them.

     

    No game is worth a sub fee.  The only reason sub fees are still around is because some people are still willing to pay them, even though it has been repeatedly shown they are not necessary.

    image

    You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

    Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  • HurvartHurvart ystadPosts: 565Member
    Originally posted by evolver1972
    Originally posted by Xstatic912
    Regarding mmo in general, why the hell does every new sub mmo being release think they are worth $15 a month.. Why not other lower price point..

    Because that's what the deluded will pay for them.

     

    No game is worth a sub fee.  The only reason sub fees are still around is because some people are still willing to pay them, even though it has been repeatedly shown they are not necessary.

    In some F2P games with a CS you can pay $200 a month  if you feel that you must use every boost and "time saving" item all the time when playing.

    How can people be gullible enough to play a fraud and P2W-fest like that? Because it is much more expensive than any P2P game could ever be. If you want to experience the whole game, fastest progress, to be as powerful as possible all the time it is very very expensive to play.

    Games like that should not be legal, IMO. In parts of the world politicians would probably ban that business model if they really learned how it works. Because it is not moral. It is greed. It will kill real gaming if not stopped.

  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,663Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hurvart
    Originally posted by evolver1972
    Originally posted by Xstatic912
    Regarding mmo in general, why the hell does every new sub mmo being release think they are worth $15 a month.. Why not other lower price point..

    Because that's what the deluded will pay for them.

     

    No game is worth a sub fee.  The only reason sub fees are still around is because some people are still willing to pay them, even though it has been repeatedly shown they are not necessary.

    In some F2P games with a CS you can pay $200 a month  if you feel that you must use every boost and "time saving" item all the time when playing.

    How can people be gullible enough to play a fraud and P2W-fest like that? Because it is much more expensive than any P2P game could ever be. If you want to experience the whole game, fastest progress, to be as powerful as possible all the time it is very very expensive to play.

    Games like that should not be legal, IMO. In parts of the world politicians would probably ban that business model if they really learned how it works. Because it is not moral. It is greed. It will kill real gaming if not stopped.

    The thing is nobody is forcing you to pay that per month. Everyone doing it is doing it of their own free will, and simply using it as a shortcut. You could still achieve the same goals in most games, it just takes a lot longer. Doesnt change the fact you can do it for free though.

    Most people spending that money are doing it because they have the money to blow and because the option is there. To them, spending $200 is less hassle than spending 100+ hours a month grinding away through boring PvE when all they want is to get to the "good" part, which is usually being max level and fully geared out for PvP. But thats not a flaw of F2Ps, thats a flaw of mearly ALL games. The whole endgame mindset.

    Just look at it this way. If you made more than enough money to provide for yourself & family and hadextra money to blow on entertainment, would you spend most of your days playing through the most boring parts of a game doing repetetive quests or grind mobs in 1 spot for hours on end, or would you pay to be able to skip most of that repetetive crap and get to doing what you really want faster?

    Truth is most people spending large amounts of money in F2P games are PvPers who are mainly interested in being the strongest in PvP, not killing the same mob 1000 times to gain a couple levels. They can avoid a huge chunk of grinding & farming and get good gear easier by spending what some of us make in just a few hours.

     

  • CymdaiCymdai Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,083Member
    Originally posted by Lithuanian

    Of course, f2p is to blame. It is f2p that has done every single evil in history since Adam and Eve (for sure, Devil was f2p...). If not f2p, there would be no evil, no bad games, no half-done games, no rude players, no scamming, no gold-farming at all.

    The author is terribly wrong on two main topics:

    1) focusing on Sims and some 2 other games. Looks like there are more online games than 3 on the market and errors of "Sims" are not necesserily errors of all other games. That is, if John is blonde Lithuanian and he instantly forgets where his glasses are - does it mean all blonde Lithuanian males instantly forget where their glasses are?

    2) author has not played any other MMORPG except ones he mentioned. I would like to invite him to play some titles. First example - Istaria. No cash shop, no pay-to-win. You may win with Human race and without plot and every single item is obtainable in-game: most crafted, some - looted from monsters. I also would like to invite the author to the Lord of the rings online: you may purchase xp boosts, mounts...explansion packs by grinding for Turbine points. You may enjoy their shop without spending a cent - Turbine points only. Of course, you are more than encouraged and reminded about being "VIP", but you can bypass it.

    The author also does not see (i.e. does not want to see) bad games that were either P2P or B2P.  It's just F2P that is bad.

    Finally, the author makes another logical mistake: he fails to see difference between f2p and p2w. Explaining: if player can enjoy full game content without paying in real cash, it is free-to-play; if player cannot enjoy full game content without paying real cash - it's pay-to-win.  Example: in game A, player can go anywhere, do any quest for free (however, player can be of limited race or have no personal house) - game A. is f2p. In game B player can't go anywhere, do some quests (player may also be limited in housing), but he may "unlock" anything with in-game currency/points - game B still is free-to-play. in game C, player can't go anywhere, do some quests, may also be limited in housing, but he may "unlock" anything with real currency - game C is pay-to-win.

    These are not only inaccurate, but unfounded assumptions to make. You're blatantly discounting the fact that is is part 1 of this series. To say I haven't played other games could be verified with the basic browsing of this site.

    I'd like to really request that if you're going to hate on the piece, by all means, pick it apart for what it IS, not what it ISN'T.

    Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  • CymdaiCymdai Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,083Member
    Originally posted by itsneo
    Originally posted by rumpleman

    Ugg... why does everything have to be so absolute?

     

    "Free to play is killing gaming", "this game is dead", or "that game failed".

    When in all actuality, lots of people are gaming. Some would argue that there are more gamers than ever before. And those games that people often quote as "dead" or have "failed" are still making money or they wouldn't be online.

     

    Just because "you" don't like a particular game or aspect of a game, does not mean the sky is falling. If you want things to change, make a stand and stop spending money on the games you dislike.

     

    /endrant

    edited typo's

    I agree with this statement, F2P is not the enemy.. we are.  The problem is not the buisness model, its the player base.  WE force the companies into being more creative with their buisness models because WE are more choosy, we have more games than ever to dedicate our gaming time to.  WE have other finacial responsiblities, WE are more and more becoming more demanding, have more expectations, some unrealistic.    WE, the gaming community sub-culture as a whole are the issue here.  WE are killing games.   WE are all as unique as the next fellow in game genre's, gaming playstyle, preferences, likes and dislikes and, frankly, now that there are MILLIONS of gamers, and for this conversation I am going to exclude console gamers as, well, this is MMORPG.COM.. so we will stick to MMO's, WE have come to expect ALL our demands be met or we simply move on to the next game.  

    I might add, I am rather disappointed in this article, it's poorly written.  The examples used to justify your opinion are weak and in all honesty, self-saticfying.   I mean.. The Sims?  Who even played that?  Kidding, I know allot of people did, it was a distraction from other MMO's when one was needed, like SL, or IMVU, or some other SOCIAL, and or REAL LIFE/VIRTUAL LIFE line blurring games are.  

    Look, Free to PLay is not the enemy, subscription based business models are no longer the BEST models to use, Cash Shops, Pay for Power, or Pay to Win, how ever you wish to coin it, is here to stay.   This article would be better served if you were not forcing your opinion on us as fact.  You failed.    And I wont even begin to touch on my personal choice of business model because I'd like to think it varies.    BUT..   if given the choice I would have to say it is totally dependant on the title.    Allow me to elaborate;

    Lets take a title like the recently released Guild Wars 2, and its predecessor Guild Wars 1.  Here is a business model that clearly has worked, pay for the game, no sub fees, pay for expansions, and a cash shop you CAN  use if you so desire for consumables, social items etc...    While I PERSONALLY think this is a great model, and perhaps even IDEAL, I would like to say that a PERFECT model in my view would include the above with an OPTIONAL subscription.  Subscribing has its bennifits, so I would hope there'd be some real advantage to subbing to a game with this model, say, sub based content, or items, exp buffs, etc.. 

    Now, lets look at the subscription only model, keeping it recent,  games like Rift, WoW (yes I know wow is free for 20 levels, so is Rift), TSW, etc..  All pay for client, pay for subscription, and pay in cash shops.  All fine and dandy untill you burn through all the content and get bored, a new title is released, cancel sub, play new title, get bored, and re-sub to your favorite game.    Lets be frank.. While wow may be the king of subcriber accounts, it was NOT king of the mmo's, if one uses percentages, wow may have had the largest number of subscribed accounts, but it also has the largest percentage of canceled subbed accounts as well.  Simply because of its numbers.    But my point in bringing this up is only to show that subbed based business models are not always the best way to keep your players long term.  

    Next, lets look at the Free to Play model, and the massive number of titles in the business model, and lol, all the titles that have converted to it  from a sub based model, those that are about to (swtor, AoC, and Aion are just 3 examples) .  I use these three because I subbed to all of them at one point.  There are also a slew of titles upcomming that will be FREE to PLAY..   Why?  An attempt to KILL the gaming industry?  LOL come on..   the only thing that can kill the industry would be we all stop playing games, and that's not likely to ever happen, even as we grow older, we, er I at over 40, are still gaming.  And younger generations are joining in on the fun.  Free to Play just opens the doors to more and more gamers, who, perhaps do not have the cash for subscriptions but do, perhaps from time to time have a few extra bucks they can sink into a cash shop or micro-transaction shop as they are better known as in the industry, for some gear or consumables, or bag expansions, what have you.

    I do not claim to be a profesional writer, nor is my spelling all that accurate, and lacking a spell checker in this forum post, pretty sure you will find many.  Nor to I claim to be an expert in the gaming industry, I do however claim to be a gamer, and as a true gamer, perhaps old-school gamer, business model means absolutley NOTHING to me..  What matters, and what should matter is whether or not I enjoy the game, that is what will keep me playing.  If I am no longer challenged, I move on.   Hell I paid over a 100 bucks for all of WoW's expansion, bought 6 months of game time, and I played 2 weeks.  Did I give it a fair chance? Perhaps not, but no game that lets me go from level 1 to 85 in three solid days is worth my time.  And I am not singling out WoW here, so fan boys and haters need not troll, but its true of ANY title..   Sorry TSW, loved the game, just blew through it too fast, same is true with swtor, and many other titles.  

    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.  The Fact is, some people do not like to pay subscriptions, some perfer it thinking they get ALL the game has to offer for a montly fee, some like a mix, some like Box Priced games with no subs and a cash shop to support the developers and still, some prefer a mix of all three.   There is no industry killing business model.  There is however game killing players who move on for lack of .. well content, a game that keeps their attention, and I have been at this a loong time, very looooong time.   I can say with some certainty, no matter the business model, if you love a game, you stay and play, if you get bored and move on to other games , you WILL come back to the one game you loved most, provided it is still online.    Lets put the game killing chat behind us and own up to our own faults first.  WE are the game killers.  

     

    thanks all.  cheers.

    In regards to the GW2 business model vs the Rift business model, I would argue strongly against your claims that it is ideal.

    When you are subscribing to a game, you are paying not only for the game, access to it, etc, you are also paying for customer service. Perhaps you haven't explored the G2 forums across the web as much, but you should. There are rampant claims of botting and hacking taking place, all because there is a minimalist approach to stopping it. Similar issues could be noted in games like Diablo 3, where hacking and botting had run rampant for months. While it's true that the GW2 and D3 teams are doing what they can to combat these problems, the lack of an in-game game moderator allows these to carry on until their CSR tickets are resolved. In the case of D3, botting is so profitable that people and botting groups went on record via youtube, claiming they owned 50-100 botting accounts which were effectively paying for themselves.

    This is not to say such exploits do not occur in P2P games; anyone who ever suffered through the travesty of Age of Conan can certainly tell you about exploits. Indeed, it is the failure of the P2P games that, in my opinion, has given rise largely to the F2P business model; you can't charge for a service you aren't providing.

    By comparison though, the F2P model has produced large-scale fronts of cheating, botting, hacking, etc. If you need any proof, simply search the forums for many of the top F2P games. There are exceptions to the rule, of course. You rarely hear about cheating in League of LegendsDotA2, or the MOBA genre (as it's monitored more tightly, IMO, and games in served in session rather than continuous)

     

    As for games switching from P2P to F2P, they aren't trying to kill the gaming industry. It's a matter of basic economics. While the games aren't as popular as they were, they still have a decent sized playerbase. Rather than closing up shop and folding, those games can still generate revenue. But let's not be fooled; those games aren't bringing anything new to the table anymore either. They're on life-support, fighting to stay competitive and popular. Funding those games with the F2P model isn't going to evolve the industry, it stagnates it by letting titles that couldn't match up staying on the marketplace.

    Perhaps my biggest gripe with F2P is the community aspect. When you're paying for something, you're going to be more involved with it. Look at how many F2P MMORPG are out there. Did you make any lasting friendships in those games? Do you feel like you're involved with your server? No. And you won't. Because people can come and go freely with little-to-no regard for the other players in the game. P2P games like Final Fantasy 11 and Eve Online, in my opinion, were the finest community-driven MMORPGs ever made. You were paying to play the game, but more importantly, to be a part of the community it brought. And that's an element I have yet to see *ANY*  F2P game even come close to recreating thus far.

    Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  • CymdaiCymdai Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,083Member
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    F2P won't 'kill gaming', only changing it. 'Only', in huge brackets.

    And it's not even some a sudden change, it's quite logical: the playerbase is changing, so the industry follows it. Sure, this change won't be good for us, older ones, but they don't really care... As time goes, we're going slowly out of the market, and the new kids won't mind microtransaction, or f2p, or (sadly) the pay-to-win concept. Actually they're almost 'trained' for it, that they can buy anything right away, and for only a small price (music, xbox marketplace, psn store, etc)

     

    But not that's what I wanted to comment, sorry Derek but I laughed at the piracy part so much :) No wonder the first comment by montin was a correction to it right away. What you mentioned with DRM's was the exact opposite, maybe that was the only era where the publishers were able somewhat to fought back.

    Piracy was there at Speccy, it was _huge_ at the Commodore era (heck, I could count on one hand the original C64 programs I saw during the 80's), then the BBS's in the early 90's, then with the www. introduction piracy literally exploded... A buddy of mine was a retailer then, with ties to the publishers, the selling numbers were sad... (at least in Eu). Same with the consoles :I

    So "Digital piracy had migrated from just music to movies and then to video games." is a  really funny statement...

    Well, I can only go off of what I've experienced and witnessed first-hand in relation to this. 

    Unfortunately, this is a specific instance of age bearing down on my insight. To my credit, I did specifically say I wasn't sure when it started, but I PERSONALLY started to take notice of it with the peer-to-peer sharing programs, like Kazaa and Napster and such.

    Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  • evolver1972evolver1972 Port Orchard, WAPosts: 1,118Member
    Originally posted by Hurvart
    Originally posted by evolver1972
    Originally posted by Xstatic912
    Regarding mmo in general, why the hell does every new sub mmo being release think they are worth $15 a month.. Why not other lower price point..

    Because that's what the deluded will pay for them.

     

    No game is worth a sub fee.  The only reason sub fees are still around is because some people are still willing to pay them, even though it has been repeatedly shown they are not necessary.

    In some F2P games with a CS you can pay $200 a month  if you feel that you must use every boost and "time saving" item all the time when playing.

    How can people be gullible enough to play a fraud and P2W-fest like that? Because it is much more expensive than any P2P game could ever be. If you want to experience the whole game, fastest progress, to be as powerful as possible all the time it is very very expensive to play.

    Games like that should not be legal, IMO. In parts of the world politicians would probably ban that business model if they really learned how it works. Because it is not moral. It is greed. It will kill real gaming if not stopped.

    I agree that games set up that way are crap.  So I wouldn't ever play them.  Just like I'd never play a game with a sub.

     

    The difference, though, is with the F2P game, you are not forced to spend the money to play.  You can still play without it.  You don't have that choice in a sub game.  You must pay to play, period.

     

    As for saying the Pay2Win thing is immoral, I don't agree with that assessment.  You are not forced to spend the money and to me, it's no more greedy than charging a sub when the sub is not necessary to cover costs.  F2P, or better yet, B2P games prove that a sub is not necessary for a well made game.

    image

    You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

    Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  • ChnkyBoyChnkyBoy Westminster, COPosts: 3Member
    Originally posted by evolver1972
    Originally posted by Hurvart
    Originally posted by evolver1972
    Originally posted by Xstatic912
    Regarding mmo in general, why the hell does every new sub mmo being release think they are worth $15 a month.. Why not other lower price point..

    Because that's what the deluded will pay for them.

     

    No game is worth a sub fee.  The only reason sub fees are still around is because some people are still willing to pay them, even though it has been repeatedly shown they are not necessary.

    In some F2P games with a CS you can pay $200 a month  if you feel that you must use every boost and "time saving" item all the time when playing.

    How can people be gullible enough to play a fraud and P2W-fest like that? Because it is much more expensive than any P2P game could ever be. If you want to experience the whole game, fastest progress, to be as powerful as possible all the time it is very very expensive to play.

    Games like that should not be legal, IMO. In parts of the world politicians would probably ban that business model if they really learned how it works. Because it is not moral. It is greed. It will kill real gaming if not stopped.

    I agree that games set up that way are crap.  So I wouldn't ever play them.  Just like I'd never play a game with a sub.

     

    The difference, though, is with the F2P game, you are not forced to spend the money to play.  You can still play without it.  You don't have that choice in a sub game.  You must pay to play, period.

     

    As for saying the Pay2Win thing is immoral, I don't agree with that assessment.  You are not forced to spend the money and to me, it's no more greedy than charging a sub when the sub is not necessary to cover costs.  F2P, or better yet, B2P games prove that a sub is not necessary for a well made game.

    The problem is people's unrealistic expectations of what a F2P game is.  "Free" is just a buzz-word; it doesn't end up changing the "true" price to play online.  GW was the first AAA F2P title that I played, and it seemed like a great deal at first, and it was.  The problem was the expansions.  If you didn't have the latest expansion, you weren't competitive in PvP - and PvP was the only reason GW appealed to me.  So in essence my subscription was repackaged in a box; which is alright, but I still feel like I was jipped when they told me it was going to be "free".  Sure, you didn't HAVE to buy it, but you wouldn't be competitive in PvP.  Why would I play a PvP-centric game if I wouldn't be competitive?  Essentially, it's become a solo RPG for me, with a chatroom.  This strategy fragments the community into casual (see: new to MMO) gamers that are there for the social aspect and competitive (see: experienced) gamers that, well, want to play the game to it's fullest potential.  The same holds true in any game with a Cash Shop that effects character level/stats in any way.

     

    The reasons I prefer P2P are simple: I can expect new content INCLUDED in my fee, and the game will be more likely to involve SKILL and/or TIME to win, not cash, since the content offered will be the same for everyone involved (GASP!).  I also like when new content is more applicable to the current state of the game, i.e. seasonal events, dynamic plots, "limited edition" quests.  If you aren't interested in the current goings-on, then get off my lawn... err... game!  Also, simply by being P2P, most people playing will have more invested in the game.  Everyone online is more dedicated.  I don't care if they don't have 1 million subscriptions; if I've got say, 20 gamers to play with consistently, I'll be very satisfied.  In short, Asheron's Call circa 1999, before the marketplace and housing.  There just better be enough content that I don't reach that damned "endgame" - when did the destination become more important than the journey?!

     

    F2P is here to stay, and it does have it's market, but I'm just not down with social "gaming" and e-peens.  But there will always be a desire for a well thought out, hardcore P2P experience that can last for years on end, with a consentual agreement between developer and player where fees and expectations are layed out logically up-front - it feels much more professional and less gimmicky.  I just hope that desire is widespread enough to keep a new AAA title like that alive.

     
  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cymdai
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    But not that's what I wanted to comment, sorry Derek but I laughed at the piracy part so much :)

    So "Digital piracy had migrated from just music to movies and then to video games." is a  really funny statement...

    Well, I can only go off of what I've experienced and witnessed first-hand in relation to this. 

    Unfortunately, this is a specific instance of age bearing down on my insight. To my credit, I did specifically say I wasn't sure when it started, but I PERSONALLY started to take notice of it with the peer-to-peer sharing programs, like Kazaa and Napster and such.

    I apologise if I sounded offensive, it wasn't intended.

    And I agree, with the heavier weight of online gaming, piracy shifted the focus on these games. I remember when I first saw infos of a goldfarming 'factory', I thought it's fake... of course now even those are obsolete. But at least AoC mocked them with the Little farmer and his goldselling master :) funniest npc's ever.

  • RagnarokWarRagnarokWar Huntsville, ALPosts: 35Member Uncommon

    You know what killed gaming for me? Nickel and Diming. The DLC was the nickel and diming that this article seems to lavish and praise. Expansion Packs were hefty in their builds, they had new characters, classes, entire maps. DLC has made it so it's tiny, about half the price of an Expansion pack, so they're putting in MUCH less work for more reward. No company is going to tell you that's a bad deal... for them.

     

    To blame F2P is wrong though. Several games that went F2P stayed alive because of it. The problem is people that stole the models that made it successful and twisted them into something evil. Let's take DDO, the one that set the standard. You get cash shop money from doing quests which you can buy quests and other commodities with. That's awesome. That encourages you to fill in your gap with actual money.

     

    Now look at Age of Conan. Several cut off classes that you HAVE to subscribe to get, the end game and PvP are almost COMPLETELY locked off, and their model made Everquest 2 pick up an even crappier one by adding onto all of that locking higher level skills and gear behind subs. It's all about the model itself. Is it pay to win, or does it add convenience? Convenience is unlocking that new, shiny shotgun right now instead of playing 20 rounds for it. It it grindy? Is that 20 rounds actually 80 rounds? Then again, it's probably a terrible game (I'm looking at you AVA).

     

    All in all, don't blame the good companies and F2P itself. Blame the companies that make terrible decisions and ruin it by screwing with the system in a horrible way. F2P is great when it works, but unfortunately, these companies are looking for every way under the sun to screw their customers over and make them pay out the mouth.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,223Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ChnkyBoy
    Originally posted by evolver1972

    I agree that games set up that way are crap.  So I wouldn't ever play them.  Just like I'd never play a game with a sub.

    The difference, though, is with the F2P game, you are not forced to spend the money to play.  You can still play without it.  You don't have that choice in a sub game.  You must pay to play, period.

    As for saying the Pay2Win thing is immoral, I don't agree with that assessment.  You are not forced to spend the money and to me, it's no more greedy than charging a sub when the sub is not necessary to cover costs.  F2P, or better yet, B2P games prove that a sub is not necessary for a well made game.

    The problem is people's unrealistic expectations of what a F2P game is.  "Free" is just a buzz-word; it doesn't end up changing the "true" price to play online.  GW was the first AAA F2P title that I played, and it seemed like a great deal at first, and it was.  The problem was the expansions.  If you didn't have the latest expansion, you weren't competitive in PvP - and PvP was the only reason GW appealed to me.  So in essence my subscription was repackaged in a box; which is alright, but I still feel like I was jipped when they told me it was going to be "free".  Sure, you didn't HAVE to buy it, but you wouldn't be competitive in PvP.  Why would I play a PvP-centric game if I wouldn't be competitive?  Essentially, it's become a solo RPG for me, with a chatroom.  This strategy fragments the community into casual (see: new to MMO) gamers that are there for the social aspect and competitive (see: experienced) gamers that, well, want to play the game to it's fullest potential.  The same holds true in any game with a Cash Shop that effects character level/stats in any way.

    The reasons I prefer P2P are simple: I can expect new content INCLUDED in my fee, and the game will be more likely to involve SKILL and/or TIME to win, not cash, since the content offered will be the same for everyone involved (GASP!).  I also like when new content is more applicable to the current state of the game, i.e. seasonal events, dynamic plots, "limited edition" quests.  If you aren't interested in the current goings-on, then get off my lawn... err... game!  Also, simply by being P2P, most people playing will have more invested in the game.  Everyone online is more dedicated.  I don't care if they don't have 1 million subscriptions; if I've got say, 20 gamers to play with consistently, I'll be very satisfied.  In short, Asheron's Call circa 1999, before the marketplace and housing.  There just better be enough content that I don't reach that damned "endgame" - when did the destination become more important than the journey?!

    F2P is here to stay, and it does have it's market, but I'm just not down with social "gaming" and e-peens.  But there will always be a desire for a well thought out, hardcore P2P experience that can last for years on end, with a consentual agreement between developer and player where fees and expectations are layed out logically up-front - it feels much more professional and less gimmicky.  I just hope that desire is widespread enough to keep a new AAA title like that alive.

    F2P isn't entirely a buzzword, although it's heavily used in marketing.  Originally F2P was meant to describe the difference between games with a sub and those without using a cash shop/microtransactions for revenue generation.   Everyone knows the games aren't free.  I really wish we could all just drop that from the discussion.  It's like we have to start with a language course everytime we have this discussion.

    P2P or subscription as a service has some buzz behind it just like F2P.  The thing is new content isn't entirely included with your subscription.  EVE is probably the closest game to providing that and even they supplement their revenue model with game cash sales.  Still I really respect that they provide their content updates for the cost of the subscription.  Everyone else however does not.  So essentially you're paying a subscription plus microtransactions.

    The payment model has nothing to do with e-peens and I'm not sure what you mean by social gaming.  Every MMO I've ever played has social aspects and the potential for epeen.  The last stuff you posted is all fairy tale.  There is no utopic contract.  There are no mutually acknowledged expectations.  P2P is fully gimmick laden and marketing speak driven as I pointed out you're not only paying a recurring fee but micro-transactions as well.

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon

    Hopefully part 2 will wrap up this article in a way that make sense, 'cause so far part 1 left me thinking 'wft?!'.

    First off, the main point of the article is 'DLC is ruining online gaming', and then implying that it's the same as F2P. It's not. He also seems to be grossly oversimplifying the issue by lumping problems with EA (milking games through DLC) and issues with the MMO industry. Again, these are two completely different things. Yes, the Sims & WoW are both online games, but they have completely different problems and are handled very differently.

    Abusing DLCs having a negative affect on games, absolutely. Which is why many game studios have been trying to avoid such practices. EA is (and has been for quite some time) the primary culprit of abusing DLC to milk consumers of as much money as possible. I wouldn't lump the rest of the industry in with EA's shady business practices, cause it's much more complicated than that.

    Who is this guy?

  • TpdrTpdr Ypsilanti, MIPosts: 1Member
    Originally posted by Dihoru

    Monetization of a game is hard but it is the dev's choice and people can and will vote with their wallets.

     

    That being said the title is a bit misleading... it should be How Free to Play is killing the people who pay for our biased reviews! Go QQ in the corner and learn to love change or buy yourself a SNES or comperable PC rig and live in your "golden age" forever.

    [mod edit]

    When we play, we want three things: Content, Community, and Competition. We want quests, dynamic events, loot, side missions, updated mission archs, loot, robust and fair PvP, epics, in depth crafting, an economy that makes sense, and more loot! This is content, which is being killed by the lack of attention it gets by the developers these days. The F2P model, by nature, doesn't support these things. A simple example would be the dumbed down WoW quest system, which is finding its way into too many games. Trying to cater to as large a customer base as  a F2P game brings forces the devs to dumb these things down.

    Secondly: We want to be emersed in a world with players of similar mind and detication to us.  We want the need to group, dungeon dig, and raid to be native to the game. We want the human aspect of the game to remain in tact as much as possible so that it FEELS, like we're playing with other people, not just some npc's with too much to say. I blame the lack of attention to these details, again, on F2P models. It is simply imposible to create a one-size-fit-all game! It is even more impracticle to think that the small dev teams can cater to such a group. We know you need the money devs, and we wan't you to have it so you can keep bringing us the worlds we love, but F2P is not the way to do it. Instead, focus on keeping your players. Hows this for an idea: focus on keeping the players you have. Make your games so immursive, and tailored that you never lose any players. THEN work on expanding your clientele little by little, making ajustments as you go to cater to everyone. 

    Finally: We want to be the most bad-ass player on the server! The first mmo I played was Everquest, and I'll never forget the envy I had when I saw the higher level toons with their glowing swords and mounts. When I hit a high level I want everyone around me to be just as green. That type of envy doesn't come from knowing I payed for my armor, it comes from knowing that I worked my ass off to get that gear and that anyone who wants it can have it only so long as they've worked as hard as I have!

    The F2P model is simply a step in the wrong direction. It focuses on creating large customer bases and atemping to apease them all with one-size-fit-all content. I watched my latest addiction, city of heroes, wrap the F2P noose around thier necks just before they went out. It changes the culture of the game, and makes the needs of the core audience secondary. It was the nail in the coffin to CoH just because of that. And if (or when) your favorite world becomes reliant on the detication of the few, relative to the F2P masses that is, then you will see first hand how F2P kills. 

    < / soapbox >

     

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