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F2P = Milk the cow publishers are cashing in.

NortonGBNortonGB readingPosts: 279Member Uncommon

So we have all seen the trend to Free-to-play games with cash shops.

This is to attract income far in above to a set low P2P monthly subscription and it appears to be working.

The problem the industry has is that almost every month a new Asian mmorpg is being created with moderately paid devs and unless the publishers give good feedback or bug fixes done which they often don't players get bored very quickly and move on to a newer game to find the same thing.

it's time the industry invested more into supporting their games and not throw them out to the do little publishers.

There is a dying trend in F2P gaming, profit hungry companies superiors that don't want to invest in a good quality game offer poor support and move on to the next game to milk the same communities over and over again.

This is sad for the future gaming industry imo.

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Comments

  • ValerosusValerosus Montreal, QCPosts: 9Member
    I tend to just lurk on this site but honestly I'm getting a little tired of seeing these threads.

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  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    Originally posted by NortonGB

    So we have all seen the trend to Free-to-play games with cash shops. As well as P2P games with cash shops as well.  

    This is to attract income far in above to a set low P2P monthly subscription and it appears to be working. And also to attract players to a game that may not have a AAA budget or well known IP to attract Box Sales or paying subs.  F2P lowers the barriers and allows for more players to try out the game in an insanely competitive market.

    The problem the industry has is that almost every month a new Asian mmorpg is being created with moderately paid devs and unless the publishers give good feedback or bug fixes done which they often don't players get bored very quickly and move on to a newer game to find the same thing.  I would argue that varying quality of MMO's isn't limited to F2P games, or even Asian games.  I've played plenty of P2P games that also lack polish, customer support and that get boring quickly.  

    it's time the industry invested more into supporting their games and not throw them out to the do little publishers.  Again, this problem isn't limited to F2P games and is a plague in the industry in all levels.  Even Atari in the 1980's went through a period of crappy games just to make a buck.  Not a F2P problem, but I agree it is a problem. Thankfully there are so  many choices available, the crappy games don't last anyway.

    There is a dying trend in F2P gaming, profit hungry companies superiors that don't want to invest in a good quality game offer poor support and move on to the next game to milk the same communities over and over again.  Again, blaming F2P doesn't make sense since the same can be said of many big profit gaming companies.  F2P, however, allows for more games to enter the market and brings about more competition and thus will allow for the better games to rise to the top.

    This is sad for the future gaming industry imo.  This is a great time to be a gamer.  Considering that we've gone from what I had available on my Atari 2600 and what we can do now is amazing.  As gamers we are often tempted to become spoiled and focus only on the negatives.  Placing the blame on a payment model is a distraction from a real problem and that is gamers who believe the marketing and hype of a game without truly researching a game as to whether or not it's for them or not.   If a gamer doesn't like F2P Asian games, fine.  The solution is really easy - don't download it!  Problem solved.  Simply blaming gaming's ills on a payment model is just silly.

    This post is typical of F2P-phobia.  Sweeping generalizations without any substance or even a single example.  I've posted my responses in green.

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Valerosus
    I tend to just lurk on this site but honestly I'm getting a little tired of seeing these threads.

    Time to move on?    Cause they won't stop to pop up.

  • NortonGBNortonGB readingPosts: 279Member Uncommon

    Ok here's an example: Aion is far better than many of the newer games and yet all Gameforge EU want to do it maintain a low cost support with only one dedicated programmer who has no time to do what is needed. Every week their cash shop is updated with months of delays for simple ncsoft patches, even a simple bug fix takes months.

  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,604Member Uncommon
    Another F2P "the sky is falling" thread... well, it must have been 5 minutes since the last one, so we were due for another one, I suppose.
  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by NortonGB

    Ok here's an example: Aion is far better than many of the newer games and yet all Gameforge EU want to do it maintain a low cost support with only one dedicated programmer who has no time to do what is needed. Every week their cash shop is updated with months of delays for simple ncsoft patches, even a simple bug fix takes months.

     

    So because the game you like has poor support and doesn't do the things you want the whole f2p movement is the same? Smell like nerdrage to me.

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • NortonGBNortonGB readingPosts: 279Member Uncommon
    Golock! can't youread above, i'll find another forum where posters listen. mmorpg.com can keep their non contructive comments.
  • ManestreamManestream PrestonPosts: 633Member Uncommon
    Not really, if a game comes out thats classed as an F2P, I and i know at least a dozen or so other people do not even look at it (usually stay well clear). If a P2P game goes into F2P mode you know its time to leave or that the days are numbered. They only go into this mode because its been a failure and that they just want to milk the loyal supporters of as much as they can before finally hammering the nail in the coffin and laying it to rest.
  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Manestream
    Not really, if a game comes out thats classed as an F2P, I and i know at least a dozen or so other people do not even look at it (usually stay well clear). If a P2P game goes into F2P mode you know its time to leave or that the days are numbered. They only go into this mode because its been a failure and that they just want to milk the loyal supporters of as much as they can before finally hammering the nail in the coffin and laying it to rest.

     

    So you avoid certain games just because of a label? you are missing out on lots of great and free gaming but as they say ignorance is bliss. 

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,045Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by NortonGB

    Ok here's an example: Aion is far better than many of the newer games and yet all Gameforge EU want to do it maintain a low cost support with only one dedicated programmer who has no time to do what is needed. Every week their cash shop is updated with months of delays for simple ncsoft patches, even a simple bug fix takes months.

    Thats not realy exclusive to F2P, there are plenty of P2P games that went like that a long time as well. Vanguard before it went F2P this summer is a good example, it had nearly no updates whatsoever for 3 years.

    I am not that found of F2P myself, but it is not how you as customers pay the companies that affect how large team a game have or how much money a company invest in it from launch.

    F2Ps bad side is that it generally is actually more expensive to play them at the endgame than P2P and that it often becomes pay2win. And it is fun disliking F2P, after all have companies like EA and Activision ideas to make all computer games F2P and they hardly say that out of kindness. They expect more profit, preferably a lot more. And we will have to pay for it. Personally do I think this instead will lead to a second comming of software pirates and we might get back to the old C-64 and Amiga days where almost all games were pirated.

    So I dont like F2P games either, but dont blame the payment method on stuff it have nothing to do with. If Aion have a small crew it is because it doesnt have enough players/income and changing the model back to P2P would change nothing.

  • roo67roo67 londonPosts: 402Member

    Theres a BIG difference between the Asian and western free to play models . Personally I prefer free to play to subscription models because I can just play the content when I want to without worrying whether I'm getting value for money .

    As for it dieing don't make me laugh if anything its growing .

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,538Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Valerosus
    I tend to just lurk on this site but honestly I'm getting a little tired of seeing these threads.

    Then go back to lurking and don't read them. No one forces you to click on a link and read a thread you're not interested in.

    Simple, right?

    The OP makes a valid point, and one that is becoming increasingly clear to more and more people as time goes on.

    F2P is intended to "milk" players for all the developer can. They are designed that way, and this is a known fact. The result is that more effort goes into finding ways to monetize players through deliberately imposed limitations, speed-bumps and handicaps which can all be "paid away" via cash shop purchases, than is going into finding new and interesting ways to actually entertain the players enough for them to actually want to stick around and play month after month.

    The players are steadily beginning to realize it and are becoming more and more vocal about it. This is a good thing.

    Regarding the OP, I personally hope the industry soon hits a point where that "bubble" bursts, big publishers decide MMOs aren't a good place for them, they all run and dig their greedy fingers into the social-gaming scene, and get the hell out of MMOs. They've done more than enough damage at this point already.

    Then we can get back to having MMORPGs designed by gamers who understand the genre, where it came from and it was intended to be. I'd prefer that over them being designed by market analysts, bean counters and suits who are couldn't shoot their way out of a wet-paper bag with instructions and a starter hole, because they'd be more concerned about how much doing so would affect their bottom line.

    MMORPGs have become a cash grab to the big game developers and publishers, and the players are nothing more than open wallets to them.

  • obiiobii WienPosts: 779Member Uncommon

    So games with a monthly fee and an item shop are better?

     

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    Originally posted by NortonGB

    Ok here's an example: Aion is far better than many of the newer games and yet all Gameforge EU want to do it maintain a low cost support with only one dedicated programmer who has no time to do what is needed. Every week their cash shop is updated with months of delays for simple ncsoft patches, even a simple bug fix takes months.

    Aion (which I played in beta and at launch) had serious issues even when the game was supposed to take the West by storm. My opinion is that each game should be looked at on a case by case basis rather than a sweeping statement about F2P or greedy publishers.  I don't feel that it's greedy to keep a game alive instead of closing the doors when the sub fee didn't generate the revenue they had hoped.  Players should be thankful that the game is still availabe to play.  While I agree that it's not staffed the way it shoudl be, we must consider the alternative in Aion's case.  Keep the doors open with minimal staff or close the doors.  No company is going to spend more on support staff than the game can financially support.  If NCSoft has proven anything it's that they won't keep a game running that doesn't make money (i.e., City of Heroes).

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

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

    So games with a monthly fee and an item shop are better?

     

    Nope. Cash shop is bad also in p2p games.

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,538Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by obii

    So games with a monthly fee and an item shop are better?

     

    False dichotomies aren't arguments.

    And, no, P2P with cash shops aren't better. I'd argue it's worse because it's double-dipping.

    Cash Shops are bad, period. In-game items should be obtained in-game by playing it. If they want to get more money from players, then offer them real items of some value. Shirts, collectibles, keychains, mouse-pads, etc. Those things would be every bit as "optional" as their in-game counterparts, but at least they're real items and have no impact on the game design or gameplay.

    The correct response is: P2P with a monthly subscription, period. Either with an initial box fee + sub or, if the developer can make it work, subscription with no initial box fee.

    You should buy the game, pay a monthly sub fee for the on-going support and service, and that's it. Nice. Simple. Straight-forward. No room for shenanigans through dubious cash shop practices.

     

     

  • obiiobii WienPosts: 779Member Uncommon

    And if the trend is dying that developers don't support their games why so pesimistic :)

    The days will come when EA supports a game and not just milk it. When Blizzard offers timely updates and not every blue moon.

    When developers interact with their customers and at least explain some crappy design decisions.

    One talk I had with a developer why he did not introduce one feature for a year was 'I do not like toggled features'  :P

    He introduced a toggle in the end though so kuddos to him :)

     

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    Originally posted by roo67

    Theres a BIG difference between the Asian and western free to play models . Personally I prefer free to play to subscription models because I can just play the content when I want to without worrying whether I'm getting value for money .

    As for it dieing don't make me laugh if anything its growing .

    Interesting thought.  I guess I hadn't really looked at the differences between eastern and western cash shops.  I would say that cash shops are an evolving creature that hasn't yet reached it's peak.  There is such a fine line betwen a cash shop that can't generate revenue and a cash shop that is pay to win.  Not an easy task, to be sure.  It's been successful in Asia for years and is still somewhat frowned upon in the West.  I do think, however, that Western companies are finally getting a grip on how to  do them correctly. 

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,538Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by obii

    And if the trend is dying that developers don't support their games why so pesimistic :)

    The days will come when EA supports a game and not just milk it. When Blizzard offers timely updates and not every blue moon.

    When developers interact with their customers and at least explain some crappy design decisions.

    One talk I had with a developer why he did not introduce one feature for a year was 'I do not like toggled features'  :P

    He introduced a toggle in the end though so kuddos to him :)

     

    They'll have to implode, or come close to it, before that happens.

    There's an obvious arrogance among big game developers where, no matter what their players are actually telling them, they're going to ignore all that and do whatever their analysts and bean counters tell them is "the right thing". Their decisions are based on milking more of their customers' money, not providing their customers better entertainment or service.

    CDProjekt, the people behind The Witcher games, said it themselves... Gamers are treated like milking cows instead of as valued customers.

  • kaiser3282kaiser3282 Phoenix, AZPosts: 2,662Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Roxtarr
    Originally posted by roo67

    Theres a BIG difference between the Asian and western free to play models . Personally I prefer free to play to subscription models because I can just play the content when I want to without worrying whether I'm getting value for money .

    As for it dieing don't make me laugh if anything its growing .

    Interesting thought.  I guess I hadn't really looked at the differences between eastern and western cash shops.  I would say that cash shops are an evolving creature that hasn't yet reached it's peak.  There is such a fine line betwen a cash shop that can't generate revenue and a cash shop that is pay to win.  Not an easy task, to be sure.  It's been successful in Asia for years and is still somewhat frowned upon in the West.  I do think, however, that Western companies are finally getting a grip on how to  do them correctly. 

    I agree. Western implementation, for the most part at least, has been much better than the Eastern version, which is typically P2W. Unfortunately the Eastern / P2W style has been around longer and in many more games and so the whole P2W stigma still sticks to anything dubbed F2P.

    Some Western games have gone down the road of becoming P2W, but we also have some great examples of how to do it right without making a game P2W and also offering alternatives to spending real money (like farming and exchanging in game gold, or earning Favor through playing like in DDO).

  • strangepowersstrangepowers Chiacgo, ILPosts: 602Member Uncommon

    News Flash!

    A company's goal is to make money, more at 11 Jim.

    The scary part is one day the world will be run by adults who were never spanked as kids and got trophies just for participating.

  • MagaskaweelMagaskaweel Santo AndrPosts: 35Member

    I'd like to jump in and comment on this.

    I've been unemployed for a while now, and because of that the only mmos that I play are f2p. And after playing so many of them lately, I've come to change my mind about how we pay for these things. I used to prefer flat subs, but now, I dont really care for them.

    Partially its because I cant really afford one atm, sure. But also because, when you think about what you are actually getting for your sub money, you might realise that just "access to servers", having customer support for one or two help requests in 4 years or a shallow bug fix or new dungeon every few months (or a proper expansion, which is payed in full and seperately btw) isnt really worth 15 dollars every month.

    But with f2p, when you pay for something, you know exactly what you are getting. 5 dollars, I got another character slot. 10 dollars, I got the latest expansion pack content. Another 5 for a few cosmetic items. And then, for 4 or 5 months, I pay nothing more, because I dont want XP potions, I dont want the other cosmetics, I dont want whatever else they are selling. In those 4 months where I am just enjoying what I got for 20 dollars a wow player spends 60. If its a slow period, that player probably got no new content updates. If he's careful and/or lucky, he wont need customer support.

    So whats the better deal then? You can tell me that wow is a better game than Fallen Earth, Champions Online or Vanguard, but take all the bells and whistles away, and the differences get murky.

    Living without a job for as long as I have been made me appreciate the other side of mmo gaming, and its not as thorny as you might think.

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    Originally posted by strangepower

    News Flash!

    A company's goal is to make money, more at 11 Jim.

    I LOL'd at this.  Based on what I frequently read from some gamers, I think they prefer no sub and no cash shop.  Just free everthing.  What could possibly go wrong?

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,538Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by NortonGB

    Ok here's an example: Aion is far better than many of the newer games and yet all Gameforge EU want to do it maintain a low cost support with only one dedicated programmer who has no time to do what is needed. Every week their cash shop is updated with months of delays for simple ncsoft patches, even a simple bug fix takes months.

    Thats not realy exclusive to F2P, there are plenty of P2P games that went like that a long time as well. Vanguard before it went F2P this summer is a good example, it had nearly no updates whatsoever for 3 years.

    Vanguard received no updates for 3 years because it was barely even on SOE's radar for all that time. They had it tucked away in a dark corner with a few people checking in on it once in a while, throwing the players a little glimmer of hope that SOE still cared, so they'd keep playing. Vanguard's situation was one of pure neglect.

    Not nearly the same situation as Aion's. 

    SOE did the same thing with Matrix Online, only they eventually just pulled the plug on that one.

    P2P MMOs in full service mode, receiving full interest, attention and support of their developers will never go even remotely that long without updates, be it smaller content patches, or major expansions, or both.

    I am not that found of F2P myself, but it is not how you as customers pay the companies that affect how large team a game have or how much money a company invest in it from launch.

    F2Ps bad side is that it generally is actually more expensive to play them at the endgame than P2P and that it often becomes pay2win. And it is fun disliking F2P, after all have companies like EA and Activision ideas to make all computer games F2P and they hardly say that out of kindness. They expect more profit, preferably a lot more. And we will have to pay for it. Personally do I think this instead will lead to a second comming of software pirates and we might get back to the old C-64 and Amiga days where almost all games were pirated.

    So I dont like F2P games either, but dont blame the payment method on stuff it have nothing to do with. If Aion have a small crew it is because it doesnt have enough players/income and changing the model back to P2P would change nothing.

    The problem, though, is that  the core design of the game is tied in very closely and deliberately with the cash shop. F2P MMOs are designed from the ground up to make cash shop purchases seem as appealing and compulsory as possible, without becoming out right "mandatory". That is, at least not mandatory where the game itself is concerned. The players, through good old-fashioned peer pressure, will usually handle the part of deeming things "mandatory". The players are handling that ugly aspect of it, so the developers don't have to worry about it.

    So, when you play a F2P MMO, every moment you are logged in and playing, there is some part of the game that is designed to make you think about the cash shop. It might be how weak and ineffective those world-drop HP and MP potions you're using are becoming compared to much better ones in the cash shop. It might be how limited your inventory space is considering all the stuff the game is requiring you to carry around, oh but they sell inventory expansions in the cash shop. It might be how slow or temporary your in-game mount is, compared to the one you can buy from the cash shop that is faster and has longer use time. It might be how slow the xp curve becomes as you progress, making those XP Potions in the cash shop look really damn tempting.

    And let's not forget the ever-present cash-shop ads, buttons and reminders showing up while you're playing telling you about sales! and limited time specials you really shouldn't miss out on!  That one's straight out of TV advertising. "Act Now! This offer won't last forever!". A lot of people fall for that kind of "I might miss out!" kind of marketing. Impulse buying ftw?

    And so on and so on and so on...

    Oh, and why do you think they go with a system of cash shop tokens, instead of just using real currency? Here's another question. Why do you think Casinos do the same thing?

    That's my biggest and primary issue with Cash Shop MMOs, and it's what I mean when I say they're designed to attempt to monetize you every moment you're logged in. It's not always in your face. In fact, most times it's very subtle. But it's there. Constantly.

     

     

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthPosts: 2,646Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by NortonGB

    Ok here's an example: Aion is far better than many of the newer games and yet all Gameforge EU want to do it maintain a low cost support with only one dedicated programmer who has no time to do what is needed. Every week their cash shop is updated with months of delays for simple ncsoft patches, even a simple bug fix takes months.

    Honestly, ditch the EU Aion and go to the US one, where you can actually get something done without having to pay a fortune for it, and where the updates are reasonable - I've seen tons of European players make the switch.

    More on topic, I think the ingame "cash shops" actually improve the quality of today's games, they inspire (and more importanly fund) developers to add way more stuff than they would have in the past - and if somehing is added that is of no interest to you? Simply don't buy it.

    As someone already mentioned before, we are spoiled as gamers nowadays, MMO's update much more frequently than they used to.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

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