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Is the 'content locust' a sustainable gaming style?

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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by cosy

     


    Originally posted by jpnz
    'can your style sustain itself?'


     

    Nope, unless you agree to pay 10USD per every DLC and a monthly subscription

    There are so many F2P MMOs, i don't think a) i would ever pay a sub again, and b) i will never run out of content even if i play each only for a few month.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Ultimately it boils down to the specific players, what he like, what he is willing to pay for, and how much free time he has.

    Personally, i am a content locust and my gaming style not only is very sustainable, i have been doing it for years.

    I always have less time to finish all the games i want to. I always have less time to "proper play" quite a few of MMOs (including STO, DDO, even PS2).

     

  • VendettaDFAVendettaDFA Pleasant Hill, MOPosts: 72Member
    Originally posted by jpnz

    Ever since I proclaimed that 'I am a content locust', I've had discussions around it; offline and online.

    One of the questions asked in a recent conversation was 'can your style sustain itself?'

    I didn't give a justifiable answer to that question at the time as I haven't thought much about it.

    I just naturally assumed content will keep on being produced by company X then company Y then company Z and on on on.

    As long as there are players like me who'll buy / sub for content, content will be produced; demand / supply thing.

    But is it sustainable?

     

    I believe it is and one of the reasons for that is my ever-increasing-gaming-backlog that I will never ever clear.

    I talked to a few gamers and they all have backlogs that they know they will never clear as well.

    PS2 is where my MMO gaming lies right now but after me and the folks I play with get bored, we'll move on.

    We can sub back to an MMO we left a few months ago to see the new content since (like SWTOR), finish it, cancel sub and jump to another MMO etc.

    Question to the MMORPG.COM community is, do you think this is sustainable? Or is there a flaw in my reasoning?

    Well seeing as a content locust is someone who devours all content and then moves on to the next content, your thread and OP don't truly add up. You point out that you have a backlog of game content that you will never clear. By definition that is contrary to what a locust is. You are more likely a content collector and of course content collectors are a sustainable gaming style. You are why games continue to be made, but in reality all of us are content collectors with a backlog of game content. There isn't a flaw in your reasoning, only in your premise.

    Of course you will point it out as irrelevent, which is your favorite catch phrase for any view not in line with yours. An individual game will reach a point where content is unsustainable.It occurs sooner  IF you were to play only that one game,but someone playing only one game is highly unlikely, self-proclaimed locust or not. We all play multiple games at multiple times at various immersion levels. Those playing a slower pace give sustainablity to an individual game more than a "locust". However content collectors or "locusts", if that is the badge of honor you prefer, sustain the gaming industry as a whole.

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 723Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by cheyane 

    I do this with other things in life too including games I tend to savour or things I love or like and try to make them last but often this makes me take too long and I often do not complete something because I took too long. I am perhaps the exact opposite of the op and I end up not reaching the end of the game because I am too busy trying to replay parts I like or trying to by rolling 8 characters in SWTOR experience every single story and having my highest toon only at 28. I suppose we all do things differently and I am wondering which of  our playstyles is in the majority and I suspect mine isn't.

    I do this. In a way it's a more extreme form of content locust in that i'm trying to experience every aspect of a game i like from every possible angle. By the time i finally got my first EQ character to the original max level 50 i must have levelled at least 40 other different race/class combos to around level 30-ish over the years in between.

     

     

    You can't really do that if a game has no depth though.

  • KillgoresKillgores Newport News, VAPosts: 2Member

    I know that I am a content locust and I do not like it.  I have played 6 different MMOs throughout this year and have seen probably about 90 percent of what each has to offer.   At the end of the day, I do not feel a strong connection to any of the games' worlds or to the "friends" that I made in those games.. 

    I would much rather find a home that keep my attention for longer than a few months at a time.  I know that it is not sustainable for me because I will probably quit gaming altogether if I can't find something that I can truly enjoy. 

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Killgores

    I know that I am a content locust and I do not like it.  I have played 6 different MMOs throughout this year and have seen probably about 90 percent of what each has to offer.   At the end of the day, I do not feel a strong connection to any of the games' worlds or to the "friends" that I made in those games.. 

    I would much rather find a home that could both keep my attention for longer than a few months at a time.  I know that it is not sustainable for me because I will probably quit gaming altogether if I can't find something that I can truly enjoy. 

    Because you have this notion that you need a "home". May be that is your problem. I have no such needs. I finish a game and move on. In fact, i logged the games i have finished in a file, as a kind of trophy.

    I can enjoy SP games, MMOs, and other types for its content. That, i think, is the definition of a content locust. You have to enjoy it .. otherwise, why bother?

  • CastillleCastillle KhobarPosts: 2,703Member Uncommon

    How to beat content locusts to the ground

    -

    Increase the amount of experience to level up by a factor of 10.

    ''/\/\'' Posted using Iphone bunni
    ( o.o)
    (")(")
    **This bunny was cloned from bunnies belonging to Gobla and is part of the Quizzical Fanclub and the The Marvelously Meowhead Fan Club**

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Castillle

    How to beat content locusts to the ground

    -

    Increase the amount of experience to level up by a factor of 10.

    Then we will play other MMOs. Competition is a wonderful thing.

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    I play until I get bored, which usually happens because I run out of goals to achieve that I find viable.

    I don't like massive grinds with no real purpose.

    I like working towards goals a few hours at a time and feeling like those hours are meaningul progression.

    One of the greatest motivators for me in terms of goals is really "owning" a specifc avenue of gameplay.

    If its PvP, I want to be fully decked out and blowing up fools left and right.

    If it's PvE, I want to be the best at whatever role I choose (Tank/DPS/Healer) as I'll never settle for being less than 1st place.

    So in summary, I am not a content locust I am a systems guy.

    I don't care if I have to run the same 8 dungeons over and over again if the rewards are measurable and the activity gives me opportunity to improve upon and prove my dominance of whatever role I've chosen.

    I can't do the exact same thing over and over again like grinding quest hubs or farming a particular instance or battleground etc.

    I do really, really miss what I'd consider to be "meaningful" open world PvP, but I haven't really experienced it since the Factions system in UO post-Trammel split - and even that was very elementary in hindsight.

    So no, I don't think content locusts can last forever with pure content consumption - you have to have systems in place that encourage retention and longevity and in 12+ years the best method I've found for that is a combination of continual change and updates and goal based carrot-stick game systems.

  • BanaghranBanaghran HuisoPosts: 869Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Castillle

    How to beat content locusts to the ground

    -

    Increase the amount of experience to level up by a factor of 10.

    Then we will play other MMOs. Competition is a wonderful thing.

    You are a bit against youself, everyone can trade or craft items from endgame dungeons, and everyone does, grinding out lower to mid range items the jocks up there have no real interest in but leveling people will be happy with is a nice solo experience, and a nice source of cash sometimes, if the leveling people are not at endgame in a week...

    Flame on!

    :)

  • cosycosy ColentinaPosts: 3,304Member


    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by cosy   Originally posted by jpnz 'can your style sustain itself?'
      Nope, unless you agree to pay 10USD per every DLC and a monthly subscription
    There are so many F2P MMOs, i don't think a) i would ever pay a sub again, and b) i will never run out of content even if i play each only for a few month.

    if nobody is making money nobody will make that type of games again

    BestSigEver :P
    image

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    One of the repeating theme about this is this notion that one wants a 'home' or 'community' they want to connect with and you can't do that if you are a 'content locust'.

    Think it is worth while to repeat that I don't need to create a 'home' or connect to a community when playing a video game cause I already have one.

    I go to a community site to get involved in the community stuff and play video games with them.

    Kinda like how I go to a steakhouse to eat steak. Same here, I go to a good community site to get involved with community stuff.

    I think it is interesting that there is a shift of perception in this behaviour and hopefully, smart businesses can take advantage of this. Players get content and businesses get paid. Win / Win.

     

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by cosy

     


    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by cosy  

    Originally posted by jpnz 'can your style sustain itself?'
      Nope, unless you agree to pay 10USD per every DLC and a monthly subscription
    There are so many F2P MMOs, i don't think a) i would ever pay a sub again, and b) i will never run out of content even if i play each only for a few month.
    if nobody is making money nobody will make that type of games again

     

    Lucky me .. there are lots of whales spending money and subsidizing my games. So yeah, i don't see content running out any time soon, do you?

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,849Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by cosy

     


    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by cosy  

    Originally posted by jpnz 'can your style sustain itself?'
      Nope, unless you agree to pay 10USD per every DLC and a monthly subscription
    There are so many F2P MMOs, i don't think a) i would ever pay a sub again, and b) i will never run out of content even if i play each only for a few month.
    if nobody is making money nobody will make that type of games again

     

    Lucky me .. there are lots of whales spending money and subsidizing my games. So yeah, i don't see content running out any time soon, do you?

     

    As long as those not paying are good with what they get for free, not constantly complaining, it's a win/win and a great thing.  One idea to keep in mind though is that if the flow of money comes from the "whales" giving you your play for free then you really follow them.  If a polorizing game comes out and a lot of whales swim over you may have less options available to you.  Hopefully that doesn't happen as this would mean layoffs or heftier monetization for older games but either way you'd need to become a whale or follow them over.

     

    There's a high chance what I just said didn't make any sense and if so that's okay image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Aelious

    As long as those not paying are good with what they get for free, not constantly complaining, it's a win/win and a great thing.  One idea to keep in mind though is that if the flow of money comes from the "whales" giving you your play for free then you really follow them.  If a polorizing game comes out and a lot of whales swim over you may have less options available to you.  Hopefully that doesn't happen as this would mean layoffs or heftier monetization for older games but either way you'd need to become a whale or follow them over.

    Exactly .. you never see me complaining about games i got for free. However, i will walk if the game is not fun for me. Given the size of the market, it is not likely i run out of free games to play.

    Now this point of following the whales is pretty fair. However, i have yet to see a lot of free games closing because of not enough whales. So there are still a huge number of choices. The huge list of f2p MMO .. DCUO, DDO, LOTRO, PS2, .. and even those pirate MMOS ... are still here.

    Like you say, it is a huge win-win .. that is why F2P is gaining market share in the MMO market.

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by cosy

     


    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by cosy  

    Originally posted by jpnz 'can your style sustain itself?'
      Nope, unless you agree to pay 10USD per every DLC and a monthly subscription
    There are so many F2P MMOs, i don't think a) i would ever pay a sub again, and b) i will never run out of content even if i play each only for a few month.
    if nobody is making money nobody will make that type of games again

     

      Someone is paying though..just not me. Im happy to let them. I would even shake their hand in real life if we ever met.  Let them know how happy I am that they spent thier hard earned money on gaming which allowed me to enjoy same game for free. 

      {/sarcasm off}

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jpnz

    One of the repeating theme about this is this notion that one wants a 'home' or 'community' they want to connect with and you can't do that if you are a 'content locust'.

    Think it is worth while to repeat that I don't need to create a 'home' or connect to a community when playing a video game cause I already have one.

    I go to a community site to get involved in the community stuff and play video games with them.

    Kinda like how I go to a steakhouse to eat steak. Same here, I go to a good community site to get involved with community stuff.

    I think it is interesting that there is a shift of perception in this behaviour and hopefully, smart businesses can take advantage of this. Players get content and businesses get paid. Win / Win.

     

    Amen bro.  some are looking for home.  Im not..im looking for cheap entertainment. Yes $0.50/day is cheap but free is cheaper.  Hell I have no desire to even be part of the community.  Should I just go play offline video games..maybe when lyou show me a offline game that is FREE with even half as much content to experince as the crappiest free MMO, id go play them

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    I don't think a short term MMO is a sustainable business model. For the game itself to run, it requires a commitment from the developer to support the game with servers and support staff. It seems like such a game would start off highly profitable, and then gradually become less and less profitable over time.

    Of course, the game could have more residual income than other games with a cash shop and paid expansions too...but it still seems like it would run at a smaller margin than a game like Fallout 3.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    I don't think a short term MMO is a sustainable business model. For the game itself to run, it requires a commitment from the developer to support the game with servers and support staff. It seems like such a game would start off highly profitable, and then gradually become less and less profitable over time.

    Of course, the game could have more residual income than other games with a cash shop and paid expansions too...but it still seems like it would run at a smaller margin than a game like Fallout 3.

    I don't think you can say that without actually look at financial statements of such games.

    And "short term" for a player does not mean "short term" for a game. Out of the 10M wow subscribers, how many do you think play from the start? Even if a player play for 3 month, as long as you can keep on finding new players, why would they care? There are so many gamers out there that you won't be running out of them any time soon.

    Newzoo's 2012 report said there are 50M MMO players .. just in the US. If on average, each play only 3 months, the whole market will last more than 10 years ... assuming you can get everyone to play at some point.

    If you count the whole world .. the numbers are more in favor.

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,849Member Uncommon
    I think it's safe to say retaining customers is more ideal than consistant customer turnover. John Smedley thinks so and he knows every bit of financial information on one of the biggest companies in the industry.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Aelious
    I think it's safe to say retaining customers is more ideal than consistant customer turnover. John Smedley thinks so and he knows every bit of financial information on one of the biggest companies in the industry.

    And i am sure you will agree with him in this interview that:

    - F2P is the way to go

    - only 10% of PS2 players pay but free players are as important as paid players.

    - and how he revers LOL

     

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/12/14/soe-president-john-smedley-on-planetside-2s-future-free-to-play-and-everquest-next/

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by lizardbones I don't think a short term MMO is a sustainable business model. For the game itself to run, it requires a commitment from the developer to support the game with servers and support staff. It seems like such a game would start off highly profitable, and then gradually become less and less profitable over time. Of course, the game could have more residual income than other games with a cash shop and paid expansions too...but it still seems like it would run at a smaller margin than a game like Fallout 3.
    I don't think you can say that without actually look at financial statements of such games.

    And "short term" for a player does not mean "short term" for a game. Out of the 10M wow subscribers, how many do you think play from the start? Even if a player play for 3 month, as long as you can keep on finding new players, why would they care? There are so many gamers out there that you won't be running out of them any time soon.

    Newzoo's 2012 report said there are 50M MMO players .. just in the US. If on average, each play only 3 months, the whole market will last more than 10 years ... assuming you can get everyone to play at some point.

    If you count the whole world .. the numbers are more in favor.



    You can't count the whole world. That's silly. Half the world doesn't even know what the internet is because they're too busy trying to find clean water.

    Why would you assume you'll get everyone to play at some point? Game sales drop off dramatically after the initial release date. If a game sells 3 million copies the first month, it's not going to get 50 million players. The only game that might come close is WoW, and WoW players on average are playing longer than three months.

    We do know that in 2007, WoW's total played time for all players was 5.93 million years and they had 9 million players. If you take their retention rate from 100% fo 20%, giving a total number of players between 9 million and 45 million, you get an average played time (in eight hour days) of between 144 and 721 days. Even at 45 million players, which was more than the entire MMO market at the time, players were playing more than 4 months, at eight hours a day. WoW has a higher retention rate than the 'average' of 3 months.

    The only part that matters is that games' sales drop off over time. They very rarely remain steady or increase. Whatever an MMO sells in its first month is probably going to be the peak sales. Even releasing expansions, game updates, etc. doesn't stop this. Sales will drop off which means the player base will drop off. If the game is, by design a short term game, meaning no players will stick around for more than three months, then the player base is going to drop off much quicker than other games. If that's the goal, and the plan is to write a new game, then cool. It will work, so long as the game sells well. If the game's sales are mediocre, then it will die very quickly.

    Here's a thought experiment:
    If a game starts with 3 million sales the first month, and sales drop to 75% of the previous month's sales, and players are retained for 3 months tops, then by year two the game is down to 12k people. By the end of year three, it's down to 523 people. By year 4 the game is down to 17 players. If player retention isn't something that a game at least tries to achieve, the game will have a very short life span. Please note that I'm very very generous with the drop off in sales. It's usually much more dramatic than what I've outlined.

    I have a chart for this, but it's not going to be formatted very well in the editor, so I'll put it at the end.

    Now, knowing the game has a finite lifespan, and not knowing exactly when that game is going to end, what's the incentive for players to buy into the game a year or two after the game launches? This isn't an insurmountable problem, but it is an issue.

    Here's the table of data:
    Month Sales Retention
    1 3000000 3000000
    2 2250000 5250000
    3 1687500 6937500
    4 1265625 5203125
    5 949219 3902344
    6 711914 2926758
    7 533936 2195068
    8 400452 1646301
    9 300339 1234726
    10 225254 926044
    11 168941 694533
    12 126705 520900
    13 95029 390675
    14 71272 293006
    15 53454 219755
    16 40090 164816
    17 30068 123612
    18 22551 92709
    19 16913 69532
    20 12685 52149
    21 9514 39112
    22 7135 29334
    23 5351 22000
    24 4014 16500
    25 3010 12375
    26 2258 9281
    27 1693 6961
    28 1270 5221
    29 952 3916
    30 714 2937
    31 536 2203
    32 402 1652
    33 301 1239
    34 226 929
    35 170 697
    36 127 523
    37 95 392
    38 72 294
    39 54 220
    40 40 165
    41 30 124
    42 23 93
    43 17 70
    44 13 52
    45 10 39
    46 7 29
    47 5 22
    48 4 17

    ** edit **
    Total sales for this hypothetical game are about 12 million copies. Peak players is almost 7 million players. This is assuming that 100% of the people who play the game stick around for 3 months.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,849Member Uncommon
    Nariusseldon

    He said LoL was a high quality game, which is true, but reverence is a bit strong to describe it. He also thinks emergent gameplay is the future of MMOs and scrapped SoE's flagship title twice to come up with a sandbox type game in an open world engine :)
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    ** edit **
    Total sales for this hypothetical game are about 12 million copies. Peak players is almost 7 million players. This is assuming that 100% of the people who play the game stick around for 3 months.

     

    So just the box sales is $480m .. more than enough to fund a good MMO ($100M) with distribution and make a tidy profits. No a bad business deal.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Aelious
    Nariusseldon

    He said LoL was a high quality game, which is true, but reverence is a bit strong to describe it. He also thinks emergent gameplay is the future of MMOs and scrapped SoE's flagship title twice to come up with a sandbox type game in an open world engine :)

    And he also think the F2P is the way to go .. and free players are as important as paid players.

    The point is that not everyone here agree with everything he said.

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