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Five Assumptions that are Killing the MMO

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  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,787Member Uncommon

    #2 - I think both players and the game company are the problem in their own way. When the company want to make a unique game then the gamers complain that it lacks the features they are used to. When the game company adds the features players want then the players complain that its a wow clone. When the game company finally makes a "too good to be true" game, then the publisher screw it over with bad business practices and many players(not all) keep supporting the bad practices just because the game has some good features and turn hostile towars players who actualy care about the game that try to make the company fix it.

    #3 - I prefer a good mixed Sandpark if done correctly. The freedom, size, and openness of a sandbox with the character / story progression of a themepark. Also, i want artistic graphics like GW2 OR anime art style graphics like Blade & Soul or Tera. Too realistic(TSW) or too cartoony(except for wow) are not my cup of tea and i may look somewhere else.

    #4 - The story in mmos is important to me because even if i dont roleplay with other people, i play and progress my character around the Lore of the game. If there is no deep story then all i have to do in the game is mindlessly grind kill like a bot to lvl up and that is too boring to even call it a game. After Swtor and TSW i do expect all mmos that require payment  to have voice overs or i will most likely wont care about them and stick to f2p. If i want to pay to read dialog boxes i buy a book. Obviously Swtor and TSW did it wrong. Bioware's strong point is storytelling in singleplayer games, not mmos. That doesnt mean a more mmo experienced company wont do it right in an mmo and with less money than Swtors cost. Funcom is famous for making unfinished mmos so all i can say to them is to stop doing that because they are the ones suffering.

    #5 - About end game.... Im not sure if End Game its what matter to most people, but to me, if my fun doesnt start from lvl 1 - 10 i will most likely dont care about the game. A good game is like a good essay. If the hook is boring and uninteresting, dont expect me to go through the whole thing.

     

    This are just my personal thoughts on these 4 points. I fully agree with OP's #1

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  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Originally posted by tom_gore
    Originally posted by Metentso

    Let me add another assumption, that is killing MMOs, in my oppinion:

    "MMOS have to be fun"

    Bluntly said, MMOs don't have to be fun, they have to be epic, you have to suffer (but not frustrating, hopefully). At the end you have the feeling of having done something amazing, which doesn't equal to fun exactly.

    Yes the need to be fun, but they don't need to be totally trivial and effortless. I think that was what you were after. Even difficult games can be FUN. Even long tasks can be FUN.

    Unfortunately, us "real gamers" are not the core audience anymore. The people playing Farmville and other such non-games are.

     

    I doubt any actual gamers will pass up games like 'To the Moon', Journey, Flower, The Walking Dead just because it is 'easy' or 'effortless'.

    More games are coming out so there is a larger spread in difficulty.

     

    I wouldn't really call The Walking Dead a game. It's an interactive cartoon. Can't comment on the others as I haven't played them.

     

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

    It remains to be seen whether it "works" for GW2.  Attracting old players back is retention and not churn of new/unique customers. Getting a pre existing customer to repeatedly drop money on boxes is retention.

    It workED for GW1. GW1 & 2 wouldn't care (financially) if you buy the box, play 2 weeks, and quit.

    So the cash shop model is based on retaining whales. i.e. retention.

    Retention of whales ... a SMALL percentage of the population. 90% of the population can churn every week and they won't care.

     

    I'm not questioning whether B2P/cash shop is viable or not. I have doubts as to the long term success of mmorpg/community centric games in particular if they have exceptionally low retention rates.

    http://lsvp.com/2008/06/24/acclaim-to-make-30m-in-revenue-from-free-to-play-games-this-year/

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    "That statistic leads to churn rate, which describes player loss per month. “It turns out you lose a lot,” admitted Marks. “You should be prepared to say, ‘I only brought in 100,000 players this month, but only 10,000 stayed.’ That’s okay! That’s okay. Some of them will come back, and you can always get more.”

     

    ... it is not just my opinion ... read this article. Couple with the fact that the market is going more and more F2P .. it is obvious that MMO does not need longer retention than 3-4 months to be viable.

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by tom_gore
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Originally posted by tom_gore
    Originally posted by Metentso

    Let me add another assumption, that is killing MMOs, in my oppinion:

    "MMOS have to be fun"

    Bluntly said, MMOs don't have to be fun, they have to be epic, you have to suffer (but not frustrating, hopefully). At the end you have the feeling of having done something amazing, which doesn't equal to fun exactly.

    Yes the need to be fun, but they don't need to be totally trivial and effortless. I think that was what you were after. Even difficult games can be FUN. Even long tasks can be FUN.

    Unfortunately, us "real gamers" are not the core audience anymore. The people playing Farmville and other such non-games are.

     

    I doubt any actual gamers will pass up games like 'To the Moon', Journey, Flower, The Walking Dead just because it is 'easy' or 'effortless'.

    More games are coming out so there is a larger spread in difficulty.

     

    I wouldn't really call The Walking Dead a game. It's an interactive cartoon. Can't comment on the others as I haven't played them.

     

    And difficulty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Look at Diablo 3 ... you have monster power 0-10 .. from trivial to very hard (depends on your gear, but for 99% of the players, MP10 is instanced death). Not to mention hardcore mode.

    Some players will just do MP0 and breeze through hordes and hordes of mobs in the name of efficiencies. Personally i do the upper limit of MP (6 is the most i can do now and still feel like i am getting somewhere) so that there is a challenge.

    And many are in between.

     

  • bunnyhopperbunnyhopper LondonPosts: 2,751Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by bunnyhopper

    It remains to be seen whether it "works" for GW2.  Attracting old players back is retention and not churn of new/unique customers. Getting a pre existing customer to repeatedly drop money on boxes is retention.

    It workED for GW1. GW1 & 2 wouldn't care (financially) if you buy the box, play 2 weeks, and quit.

    GW1 was far from a traditional mmo and is kept alive to a great extent by the fact that it is a focused pvp centric esport game. I would imagine that if GW2 drops down to a small amount of subs within the space of this year, that yes ANET will care, even if they have generated a profit by that time.

    So the cash shop model is based on retaining whales. i.e. retention.

    Retention of whales ... a SMALL percentage of the population. 90% of the population can churn every week and they won't care.

    The model is reliant on retention non the less. If retention was only providing a small percent of the profit then you would have a point. But the opposite is the case.

     

    I'm not questioning whether B2P/cash shop is viable or not. I have doubts as to the long term success of mmorpg/community centric games in particular if they have exceptionally low retention rates.

    http://lsvp.com/2008/06/24/acclaim-to-make-30m-in-revenue-from-free-to-play-games-this-year/

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    "That statistic leads to churn rate, which describes player loss per month. “It turns out you lose a lot,” admitted Marks. “You should be prepared to say, ‘I only brought in 100,000 players this month, but only 10,000 stayed.’ That’s okay! That’s okay. Some of them will come back, and you can always get more.”

     

    ... it is not just my opinion ... read this article. Couple with the fact that the market is going more and more F2P .. it is obvious that MMO does not need longer retention than 3-4 months to be viable.

     

    That will be the Acclaim Games that had to get bought out a couple of years later and then shut down right? Not exactly the best case to give in fairness.

     

    F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

    "Come and have a look at what you could have won."

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

     

    F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

    I am referring to this general statement:

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    So F2P works with low retention.

     

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

     

    F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

    I am referring to this general statement:

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    So F2P works with low retention.

     

    Many buy and P2P games don't seem to have a much higher one, I've played several MMO's where I was gone after my free 30 days or a few months later, and I've seen at least several other people doing it too.

    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.)

  • ScottgunScottgun Williamsville, NYPosts: 356Member
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by bunnyhopper

     

    F2P clearly generates money. It is not though clear whether a typical fully fledged mmorpg (especially those with an emphasis on "world space" and community) with low retention rates is going to do well, regardless as to whether it has a cash shopped rammed onto it.

    I am referring to this general statement:

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    So F2P works with low retention.

     

    Many buy and P2P games don't seem to have a much higher one, I've played several MMO's where I was gone after my free 30 days or a few months later, and I've seen at least several other people doing it too.

    Yes. There are people who quit after 30 days, but there are also people who keep their subscriptions up since from the beginning and to the end if there is one. The rest of us fall somewhere in between.

    The F2P model is good for quick return on investment. The head honcho of Final Fantasy XIV acknowledged this, but noted that many games solicit investors for venture capital. Those investors want to see their money returned with a profit fairly quickly, so they adopt a Free-to-Play model so they can pay them off. But what I found encouraging is that while Square-Enix obviously has to recoup production expenses, after that it's all in-house gravy and there is no one knocking on the door every three days asking where their money is. So, they are going to play the long game and make it a traditional sub.

    Now we're calling prostitutes "sex workers". What's next? Calling hit men "end-of-life technicians"?

  • GreyfaceGreyface Detroit, MIPosts: 390Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    I am referring to this general statement:

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    So F2P works with low retention.

     

    Did anyone else see this post on Massively yesterday? 

    Back in November, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Management published a study tracing the roots of player loyalties in a variety of MMO environments. The study outlined the mentalities of MMO gamers and the things that successfully encouraged them to keep coming back for more looting, more grinding, and more /hugging. Most importantly, the study declared that an MMO that increases loyalty by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.

     

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,622Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Greyface
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    I am referring to this general statement:

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    So F2P works with low retention.

     

    Did anyone else see this post on Massively yesterday? 

    Back in November, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Management published a study tracing the roots of player loyalties in a variety of MMO environments. The study outlined the mentalities of MMO gamers and the things that successfully encouraged them to keep coming back for more looting, more grinding, and more /hugging. Most importantly, the study declared that an MMO that increases loyalty by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.

     

     I'd love to see a non-Korean version of that study using modern MMOs.

    One concept I found interesting regardless is the discussion about "cognitive lock-in" -- the period of adjustment to a new MMO's way of doing things. There seems to be this idea that these periods are "necessary evil" that you have to persevere through before the actual enjoyment begins (which may go a long way toward explaining WOW-interface design cloning.) Ironically, for me, this is the most enjoyable part of new MMOs. I may be atypical but I enjoy learning the new system... and then I get bored.

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

    I am referring to this general statement:

    "The average lifetime for a player in the free-to-play space is 3-4 months per game, less than what is generally expected for a more traditional subscription MMO."

    So F2P works with low retention.

     

    Did anyone else see this post on Massively yesterday? 

    Back in November, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Management published a study tracing the roots of player loyalties in a variety of MMO environments. The study outlined the mentalities of MMO gamers and the things that successfully encouraged them to keep coming back for more looting, more grinding, and more /hugging. Most importantly, the study declared that an MMO that increases loyalty by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.

     

    There is no conflict between being successful with low retention in a F2P MMO, and this study.

    What you need in a F2P MMO .. is not a high AVERAGE retention, but high retention of the whales. There is a big difference. Since the whales consist of only a very small percentage of the population (the convention wisdom is way less than 1% but let's use the more generous 1% number), even if 99% of the population is churning, it still can make a lot of money. And churn, while high, is probably no where close to 99%.

    So the key is to keep the big spending players loyal, the rest of the players are just content, and replaceable.

  • GreyfaceGreyface Detroit, MIPosts: 390Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    There is no conflict between being successful with low retention in a F2P MMO, and this study.

    What you need in a F2P MMO .. is not a high AVERAGE retention, but high retention of the whales. There is a big difference. Since the whales consist of only a very small percentage of the population (the convention wisdom is way less than 1% but let's use the more generous 1% number), even if 99% of the population is churning, it still can make a lot of money. And churn, while high, is probably no where close to 99%.

    So the key is to keep the big spending players loyal, the rest of the players are just content, and replaceable.

    That makes sense in theory, but where are these big spenders coming from and why are they sticking around?  Putting aside the fact that your hypothetical game is so bad that nearly no one sticks with it, it's community, not content, that makes MMOs sticky.  We can debate the form that community should take, but without any social ties between players, why would someone choose to invest money in the game? 

    I grant you, it's possible.  There could be F2P MMOs out there being supported by a few hundred insane people.  But to depend on that?  It seems riskier than trying something new. 

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member
    Originally posted by Greyface
     

    That makes sense in theory, but where are these big spenders coming from and why are they sticking around?  Putting aside the fact that your hypothetical game is so bad that nearly no one sticks with it, it's community, not content, that makes MMOs sticky.  We can debate the form that community should take, but without any social ties between players, why would someone choose to invest money in the game? 

    I grant you, it's possible.  There could be F2P MMOs out there being supported by a few hundred insane people.  But to depend on that?  It seems riskier than trying something new. 

    Content that appeals to players will sell and a portion of those players will stick with it.

    Whether that content appeals to your personal taste is another issue.

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

  • GreyfaceGreyface Detroit, MIPosts: 390Member
    Originally posted by jpnz

    Content that appeals to players will sell and a portion of those players will stick with it.

    Whether that content appeals to your personal taste is another issue.

    Granted.  But the issue we're talking about at the moment is retention -- specifically, retention of big spenders.  Developer created content is, by definition, finite.  The kind of player who will drop large amounts of money in a cash shop over long periods of time is probably also the kind of player who consumes content rather quickly.  I'm not aware of any developer that can crank out updates as quickly as hardcore players can blow through it. 

    What happens when the well runs dry?  What's keeping the whales around if they haven't become a part of any kind of community?  There are dozens of games with substantially similar gameplay just waiting to welcome them and their money.

    I'm not arguing that F2P games with high churn can't be profitable.  They sometimes are, if only for a short time.  You can also make money in real estate by stripping copper pipes and wiring out of condemned houses.  Does that make me wrong for wanting a nice neighborhood where I can put down roots?

     

  • Trudge34Trudge34 Stevens Point, WIPosts: 392Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Greyface
    Originally posted by jpnz

    Content that appeals to players will sell and a portion of those players will stick with it.

    Whether that content appeals to your personal taste is another issue.

    Granted.  But the issue we're talking about at the moment is retention -- specifically, retention of big spenders.  Developer created content is, by definition, finite.  The kind of player who will drop large amounts of money in a cash shop over long periods of time is probably also the kind of player who consumes content rather quickly.  I'm not aware of any developer that can crank out updates as quickly as hardcore players can blow through it. 

    What happens when the well runs dry?  What's keeping the whales around if they haven't become a part of any kind of community?  There are dozens of games with substantially similar gameplay just waiting to welcome them and their money.

    I'm not arguing that F2P games with high churn can't be profitable.  They sometimes are, if only for a short time.  You can also make money in real estate by stripping copper pipes and wiring out of condemned houses.  Does that make me wrong for wanting a nice neighborhood where I can put down roots?

     

    I don't think I've commented on this thread yet, although I've read through it a few times. Excellent points and I don't think I disagree with any of them. Especially about the story part. Story is one thing that should be saved for an individual experience, not in a shared multiplayer world. Lore and allowing a players actions to tell their story should be the focus.

    To the quoted piece, I think part of the reason for lack of retention is lack of adversity as well. There's not a whole lot of danger in MMOs anymore, especially while leveling to max, that really makes the times you do succeed sweet. Failure does not seem like a real possibility anymore and instead of having lows and highs in the game, it's all about middleground because there really is no option for failure. Lows are a small bump in the road while the highs are basically reaching your intended destination with only the hassle of the drive. Not as compelling and not much reason to continue on with the journey. Kind of like these quotes to describe it beceause it's about how I feel about the current state.

    “If the road is easy, you're likely going the wrong way.” 
    ? Terry Goodkind

    “Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.” 
    ? Edgar Allan Poe

    Played: EQ1 (10 Years), Guild Wars, Rift, TERA
    Tried: EQ2, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Runes of Magic and countless others...
    Currently Playing: GW2

    Nytlok Sylas
    80 Sylvari Ranger

  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLPosts: 867Member Uncommon
    I guess it depends on what your definition of story is. I think it's somewhat pointless to talk about story from the vantage of whether it should be in game or not, because I see it as we're all telling a story whether we want to or not. I think interactive story is what most people want; if it's too scripted it will not engage the listener, however if it's formless it becomes grandiose and unpalatable. Interactive is the key word. As someone who has told stories and listened to them I understand it fills a basic human need. It doesn't even have to have an end (one of my favorite quotes from waking life: "the trick is to remain in a state of continual departure while always arriving; saves on introductions and goodbyes") but it's tied to everything I do. I guess I take a broad view of what a story is (and it's funny you should mention Edgar Allen Poe, a good source of re-telling). On the one hand I see it as a lost art, on the other I have empathy for those jaded with the packaged/processed fare that passes for a full-course meal in popular media to discard the concept wholly. Find whatever speaks to you.

    "To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
    Authored 110 missions in Vendetta Online
    Check it out on Steam

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

    There is no conflict between being successful with low retention in a F2P MMO, and this study.

    What you need in a F2P MMO .. is not a high AVERAGE retention, but high retention of the whales. There is a big difference. Since the whales consist of only a very small percentage of the population (the convention wisdom is way less than 1% but let's use the more generous 1% number), even if 99% of the population is churning, it still can make a lot of money. And churn, while high, is probably no where close to 99%.

    So the key is to keep the big spending players loyal, the rest of the players are just content, and replaceable.

    That makes sense in theory, but where are these big spenders coming from and why are they sticking around?  Putting aside the fact that your hypothetical game is so bad that nearly no one sticks with it, it's community, not content, that makes MMOs sticky.  We can debate the form that community should take, but without any social ties between players, why would someone choose to invest money in the game? 

    I grant you, it's possible.  There could be F2P MMOs out there being supported by a few hundred insane people.  But to depend on that?  It seems riskier than trying something new. 

    Bad assumption.

    1) No one says players will stick with a good game. You can have good short games .. or good games that you only like a portion.

    2) You are guessing how it works. In fact, evidence (the article i quote) that average players stick around a F2P MMO for 3-4 months. So it is not like everyone sticks around for long. And obviously there are enough whales or else STO, DCUO, DDO and LOTRO will not be still running, and ADDING content.

    3) I suppose it depends on the different preferences of players. What you like is different from what i like. It is not difficult to imagine that a game like STO (as an example, you can find others) clicks with a few hundred, or even thousands of people (out of milions transcient) and these gaming trekkies will stick with the game and spends lots of money because for whatever reason, they love the star ships, they love the uniforms, they have to become the most powerful vice admirals to fight klingons. For you ... you will go in and do some star ship battle and have fun for a while .. when the novelty wear off, you move on.

    That is probably closer to what is happening than all these guess that you have.

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

    Content that appeals to players will sell and a portion of those players will stick with it.

    Whether that content appeals to your personal taste is another issue.

    Granted.  But the issue we're talking about at the moment is retention -- specifically, retention of big spenders.  Developer created content is, by definition, finite.  The kind of player who will drop large amounts of money in a cash shop over long periods of time is probably also the kind of player who consumes content rather quickly.  I'm not aware of any developer that can crank out updates as quickly as hardcore players can blow through it. 

    What happens when the well runs dry?  What's keeping the whales around if they haven't become a part of any kind of community?  There are dozens of games with substantially similar gameplay just waiting to welcome them and their money.

    I'm not arguing that F2P games with high churn can't be profitable.  They sometimes are, if only for a short time.  You can also make money in real estate by stripping copper pipes and wiring out of condemned houses.  Does that make me wrong for wanting a nice neighborhood where I can put down roots?

     

    The point is AVERAGE retention does not have to be high. YOu wrongly assume that whatever keep the whales around will keep the free players around. Obviously it does not work that way.

    Different things keep different players around. A dev only need to figure out what keep the whales around (or create new ones). If 90% of the free players churn, no harm done. And why do you assume community is the only thing to keep people around. How about investment? If i dump $1000 into my starship, i would be attached to it, right? I would like to spend $10 more next week to get my new ship skin right? Tons of reasons beyond community.

    And "dozens of games with substantially similar gameplay" is just plain wrong for many F2P games.

    What is the alternative to STO? There is no other Star Trek MMO .. not even a recent alternative to Star Trek single player game. If you want STar Trek, STO is it.

    Ditto for D&D.

    Ditto for LOTRO.

    Don't tell me you don't know that some are crazy for those settings.

    Not only F2P is demonstratable to be profitable .. many F2P games are adding content.

    Of course you can want some other type of games ... but once again, it is not hard to see retention of the WHOLE population does not have to be the focus to make money. Just retaining the whales is enough.

  • GreyfaceGreyface Detroit, MIPosts: 390Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Bad assumption.

    I was only citing your earlier "99% churn" example.  I doubt very many games actually achieve that dubious honor -- The War Z maybe.

     

    1) No one says players will stick with a good game. You can have good short games .. or good games that you only like a portion.

    For some types of games, short is alright.  For MMOs, short is a design flaw.  There are games surviving with low retention, but I doubt that was the intention.

     

    Different things keep different players around. A dev only need to figure out what keep the whales around (or create new ones). If 90% of the free players churn, no harm done. And why do you assume community is the only thing to keep people around. How about investment? If i dump $1000 into my starship, i would be attached to it, right? I would like to spend $10 more next week to get my new ship skin right? Tons of reasons beyond community.

    What you describe is called  Post-Purchase Rationalizarion.  It's a form of irrational thinking.  It works, I'll give you that.  But I really think we should aspire to more.

     

    Of course you can want some other type of games ... but once again, it is not hard to see retention of the WHOLE population does not have to be the focus to make money. Just retaining the whales is enough.

    So you're saying that "niche" games can do alright.  I agree.  My particular niche, however, is underserved.  And there's a world of difference between getting by and thriving.  The genre, at the moment, is just getting by.   I maintain that an MMO that combines a player-driven, persistant world with accessible gameplay will retain more than just a niche audience.  It's never been attempted.

    The intent of my original post was to point out the flawed, black-or-white, us-or-them thinking that many MMO designers and players seem to be trapped in -- e.g. that there is no space between Walt Disney and Ayn Rand.  Your response is another example of a false choice.  F2P games with a high churn can do well enough to get by.  Of course they can.   But we shouldn't mistake the moderate success of mediocre games for the idea that mediocrity is all that's possible.

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member
    Well just look at the mmo genre as a whole. Guess what they all make the same game! Almost every single one of them do it. They copy and paste everyone else's ideas. Just imagine if every company who was making a mmo gave us something different. The mmo genre would be a much pleasant place for gamers for the long term. Nice post OP!
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  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,317Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Normandy7
    Well just look at the mmo genre as a whole. Guess what they all make the same game! Almost every single one of them do it. They copy and paste everyone else's ideas. Just imagine if every company who was making a mmo gave us something different. The mmo genre would be a much pleasant place for gamers for the long term. Nice post OP!

    Only if you are only looking at a specific style of game.  There are lots of variations on the market.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • AeolynAeolyn Langley, BCPosts: 217Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Greyface
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    There is no conflict between being successful with low retention in a F2P MMO, and this study.

    What you need in a F2P MMO .. is not a high AVERAGE retention, but high retention of the whales. There is a big difference. Since the whales consist of only a very small percentage of the population (the convention wisdom is way less than 1% but let's use the more generous 1% number), even if 99% of the population is churning, it still can make a lot of money. And churn, while high, is probably no where close to 99%.

    So the key is to keep the big spending players loyal, the rest of the players are just content, and replaceable.

    That makes sense in theory, but where are these big spenders coming from and why are they sticking around?  Putting aside the fact that your hypothetical game is so bad that nearly no one sticks with it, it's community, not content, that makes MMOs sticky.  We can debate the form that community should take, but without any social ties between players, why would someone choose to invest money in the game? 

    I grant you, it's possible.  There could be F2P MMOs out there being supported by a few hundred insane people.  But to depend on that?  It seems riskier than trying something new. 

    What I would like to know is why companies are catering to f2p players that have this kind of mindset?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "You are right. I don't "support" anything. I am a consumer and i consumer entertainment product. If the price is compete down to zero, i will take it. I am not going to donate money to company to "support" anything."
    -------------------------
            [I'd pay $25 a month for a game that could keep me entralled for three or more years.]

    "Why should i do that when there are 20 games that can last me 3 month each, and they are all free?"
    -------------------------
    "i never put money into the game thoug. In fact, i made a small amount. I still have a $40+ and i use d3 money to buy mop."
    -------------------------
    "Personally, there are enough fun F2P that i don't see a reason ever to pay for a sub, and i probably won't."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Is it strictly so possible investors see big numbers  so think  an investment in it will pay off, because if that is the sole reason for these games no wonder the quality has gone so downhill in terms of long-term enjoyable entertainment. 

    Kind of like garbage movies we've all experienced with big names in them that draw a large crowd on opening week but then crash and burn with their videos being sold for $1 in liquidation stores, compared to epic movies that have their fans paying to see the same movie multiple times then paying premium for all versions of it once it hits retail(vhs, dvd, blue-ray, collections, art books, etc.)

    If I were a developer/suit I'd much rather have players that want to pay to play my game and yes the free loaders may be able to try out the game on restrictive free trials but if they want to play past the first 10 levels or interact with anyone else or even play longer than 10 days they will have to p2p because if they don't want to invest in my game and become part of the community of paying players, why would I want them? 

    Servers aren't free to run or maintain and neither are repairing the problems that freeloaders tend to bring in the form of goldsellers and exploiters.

     

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

    What I would like to know is why companies are catering to f2p players that have this kind of mindset?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "You are right. I don't "support" anything. I am a consumer and i consumer entertainment product. If the price is compete down to zero, i will take it. I am not going to donate money to company to "support" anything."
    -------------------------
            [I'd pay $25 a month for a game that could keep me entralled for three or more years.]

    "Why should i do that when there are 20 games that can last me 3 month each, and they are all free?"
    -------------------------
    "i never put money into the game thoug. In fact, i made a small amount. I still have a $40+ and i use d3 money to buy mop."
    -------------------------
    "Personally, there are enough fun F2P that i don't see a reason ever to pay for a sub, and i probably won't."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Because there are few other mindsets? You have to cater to what is there.

    If I were a developer/suit I'd much rather have players that want to pay to play my game and yes the free loaders may be able to try out the game on restrictive free trials but if they want to play past the first 10 levels or interact with anyone else or even play longer than 10 days they will have to p2p because if they don't want to invest in my game and become part of the community of paying players, why would I want them? 

    You sound as if they have a choice. The F2P model is very clear. You attract the free players to be content for the whales, and you try to make sure the whales a) stay, and b) pays.

    You want them because a) they are content, and b) they *may* become paying customers.

    "Investing in my game" .. don't make me laugh.

    Servers aren't free to run or maintain and neither are repairing the problems that freeloaders tend to bring in the form of goldsellers and exploiters.

    Again, the F2P model is not a mystery. There are plenty of articles on the web about how it works. And it works on many MMOs. And keeping everyone "invest" in the game, and play "a really long long time" is not one of the key characteristic of this model.

     

     

     

  • AeolynAeolyn Langley, BCPosts: 217Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Because there are few other mindsets? You have to cater to what is there.

    You sound as if they have a choice. The F2P model is very clear. You attract the free players to be content for the whales, and you try to make sure the whales a) stay, and b) pays.

    You want them because a) they are content, and b) they *may* become paying customers.

    "Investing in my game" .. don't make me laugh.

    Again, the F2P model is not a mystery. There are plenty of articles on the web about how it works. And it works on many MMOs. And keeping everyone "invest" in the game, and play "a really long long time" is not one of the key characteristic of this model.

     

     

     The race to the bottom is often crowded.... that doesn't mean it's a good choice.  In fact, it's usually the hard choices that are the most rewarding in the long run.  

    As for your apparently negative attitude towards games that people feel invested enough in their characters and the world they play in that they actually want to spend more than a few months in it, I'm sorry you don't seem to have ever experienced that kind of entertainment or at least appreciate that others have and would like to continue to do so and would even *gasp* be willing to pay a sub for.  Imo it's much more satisfying than spending a couple of weeks or so racing to endgame, getting bored and then running to the next one and then the next one, etc. 

    Compare it if you will to reading a great series of books compared to knock off romance novels.  I don't see many lining up for the next rinse and repeat harlequin romance but when Rowlings put out a new book in her Potter series there were lineups and preorders.  Yes they both sell but if you were a publisher, which would you rather have the rights to sell?

    So unless these companies are not interested in long term rewards for both them and their consumers(that keeps them coming back for more), but would rather take minimal short term profits, rinse and repeat, it's us the consumers that are the big losers, whether you pay or not it's still time taken from your life that's being wasted and from what most gaming forums seem to be reflecting, for mostly substandard products.

    I think gaming companies need to take a good hard look at the future of gaming and decide if they really want to keep the f2p model where they're all racing after the few "whales" as you call them while they give most of their product away free, or if they'd rather go back to selling quality games to loyal customers(note I didn't say consumers).

     

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

     The race to the bottom is often crowded.... that doesn't mean it's a good choice.  In fact, it's usually the hard choices that are the most rewarding in the long run.  

    LOL .. how patroniziing. What you like is top and all others is "to the bottom"? This kind of elitism is just sad. YOu just can't accept others enjoy other types of gamepaly, can you?

    I think gaming companies need to take a good hard look at the future of gaming and decide if they really want to keep the f2p model where they're all racing after the few "whales" as you call them while they give most of their product away free, or if they'd rather go back to selling quality games to loyal customers(note I didn't say consumers).

    They took a hard look at subs .. and you know what they see ... F2P is eating up sub market share in the last two years. Wishful thinking can't turn back the tide.

    All this hoopla about quality. STO has much better combat mechanics, and story mission than Eve .. and that is quality you get for FREE. Yeah, i am playing quality games, at NO sub .. and i call that a win-win.

     

     

     

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