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Can F2P Games Ever Go Back to P2P?

fat_taddlerfat_taddler Wanaque, NJPosts: 286Member

We're seeing quite a lot of games going the direction of F2P but will we ever see a game go from F2P to P2P?


I think the knee-jerk reaction would be "no", but if a developer makes some dramatic improvements to their offering and regains a loyal player-base would it be possible or even beneficial to attempt to switch back to a P2P model?


We see reports that games going F2P actually see revenue boosts but my guess is that most developers would prefer the stability and predictable revenue of the P2P model.

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Comments

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

    We're seeing quite a lot of games going the direction of F2P but will we ever see a game go from F2P to P2P?


    I think the knee-jerk reaction would be "no", but if a developer makes some dramatic improvements to their offering and regains a loyal player-base would it be possible or even beneficial to attempt to switch back to a P2P model?


    We see reports that games going F2P actually see revenue boosts but my guess is that most developers would prefer the stability and predictable revenue of the P2P model.

    If most developers prefer the stability and predictable revenue, then why is the market trending towards F2P? The F2P share grows from something like 39% to 50% (in revenue of MMO market) in the last 2-3 years.

    I think it is exactly the opposite, they prefer a higher average rate of return with more risk. Now that is taking risk.

    There is no point switching back to P2P. F2P games depends on whales that spends much more than a sub. If you go back to P2P, you dramatically lower the amount a whale is going to pay. And i doubt you are going to get much of the free riders pay up. They will just move to another F2P game.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Honestly I don't see this happening. All it would do is alienate a sizable portion of a F2P games player base. Not to mention F2P is generally seen as a flopped P2P to a lot of older MMO players, you won't draw them back, and you'll lose the F2P base you once had.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,734Member Uncommon
    The only way I could see that working is if its a game where players have alot invested and would pay a sub to keep going.... Let's face it for most games the f2p model simply works out better for both the players and the company.
  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon

    F2P might make a transition more towards freemium with VIP status and gold memberships. The old way of doing P2P is dead though. Going Buy 2 play might also make sense for these solo centric MMOs like GW2 and TSW. TERA should have went Buy 2 play and not free 2 play.

  • DaxamarDaxamar Green Cove Springs, FLPosts: 554Member
    I doubt it will switch back. There making too much money of the F2P crowd right now.
  • Cod_EyeCod_Eye jarrowPosts: 1,016Member
    They can but it will never happen.
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon

    A better question is, "Can games, that aren't WoW, afford not to offer free play?"  I don't see subs lasting much longer for most every game except a very few dedicated niche games.  EVE will probably survive quite nicely because they offer the plex/isk deal, but outside of that and WoW probably not many.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    A better question is, "Can games, that aren't WoW, afford not to offer free play?"  I don't see subs lasting much longer for most every game except a very few dedicated niche games.  EVE will probably survive quite nicely because they offer the plex/isk deal, but outside of that and WoW probably not many.

    That is a good point, I can see WoW staying P2P forever, probably EvE as well. Probably Rift as long as content is continued to be delievered at the pace it has since release, maybe ESO when it comes out. But it does look grim for the P2P market.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • kadepsysonkadepsyson sun prairie, WIPosts: 1,937Member

    The amount of rage and crying from people who would have to actually pay for a product they use for hundreds of hours created by hundreds of people over years would be so massive that the game companies probably wouldn't bother.

     

    It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

     

    Oh well, cheap is a powerful mindset.

    El Psy Congroo

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,912Member Uncommon

    I don't think a full switch is likely.  Dev / publishers love their item shops, and I can't see them giving that up.

     

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kadepsyson

    The amount of rage and crying from people who would have to actually pay for a product they use for hundreds of hours created by hundreds of people over years would be so massive that the game companies probably wouldn't bother.

    It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

    Oh well, cheap is a powerful mindset.

    The irony.

    It's sad to me, no wait I meant hilarious, that people cling to their old memes and mantras.

    Somehow in all this free, people end up paying for games, the way they like, publishers and developers get paid along with their poor victimized families struggling to survive on an 80k income, people are happy and the industry is generating billions of dollars in revenue a year.  Where are the starving children we need to think of again?

    Oh well, preconceived agenda is a powerful mindset.

  • darkhalf357xdarkhalf357x Brooklyn, NYPosts: 1,164Member Uncommon

    Emphatically No.  Common (business) sense says you will stand to make MORE money a la carte vs flat rate because you can never predict how much money a particular gamer will spend.  Giving away everything for a flat 15/mo is leaving money on the table.

    Works better for me in the long run as I dont like paying for aspects of games I will never play.  If there a feature I really like and its not part of the F2P I'll happily buy it as there is value.

    F2P success is going to be on a case-by-case basis dependent on how the developer implmented the model.  TSW F2P is better than SWTOR F2P for example.  Its a delicate balance they will learn through experience over time.

    image
  • kadepsysonkadepsyson sun prairie, WIPosts: 1,937Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by kadepsyson

    The amount of rage and crying from people who would have to actually pay for a product they use for hundreds of hours created by hundreds of people over years would be so massive that the game companies probably wouldn't bother.

    It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

    Oh well, cheap is a powerful mindset.

    The irony.

    It's sad to me, no wait I meant hilarious, that people cling to their old memes and mantras.

    Somehow in all this free, people end up paying for games, the way they like, publishers and developers get paid along with their poor victimized families struggling to survive on an 80k income, people are happy and the industry is generating billions of dollars in revenue a year.  Where are the starving children we need to think of again?

    Oh well, preconceived agenda is a powerful mindset.

    Ah tell me more about how Free to Play City of Heroes was raining cash on developers :)

    Sorry, I just feel that if a person finds something worth playing for hundreds of hours, perhaps they should pay money for it?  I know its a wild notion that flies in the face of the "I'm never paying any sub again" mindset all over this forum, but hey, I guess getting paid for ones work is outdated now.

     

    So yeah, tell me how paying for a product is a bad thing.  Please I'd love to hear it :)

    El Psy Congroo

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kadepsyson
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by kadepsyson

    The amount of rage and crying from people who would have to actually pay for a product they use for hundreds of hours created by hundreds of people over years would be so massive that the game companies probably wouldn't bother.

    It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

    Oh well, cheap is a powerful mindset.

    The irony.

    It's sad to me, no wait I meant hilarious, that people cling to their old memes and mantras.

    Somehow in all this free, people end up paying for games, the way they like, publishers and developers get paid along with their poor victimized families struggling to survive on an 80k income, people are happy and the industry is generating billions of dollars in revenue a year.  Where are the starving children we need to think of again?

    Oh well, preconceived agenda is a powerful mindset.

    Ah tell me more about how Free to Play City of Heroes was raining cash on developers :)

    Sorry, I just feel that if a person finds something worth playing for hundreds of hours, perhaps they should pay money for it?  I know its a wild notion that flies in the face of the "I'm never paying any sub again" mindset all over this forum, but hey, I guess getting paid for ones work is outdated now.

     

    So yeah, tell me how paying for a product is a bad thing.  Please I'd love to hear it :)

    I can probably explain how F2P CoH was raining money down on the devs as soon as you can explain how sub-based CoH was raining money down on the devs.

    Please do explain how not requiring a recurring monthly fee as limited rental access to the game somehow means that people don't pay for a game?  I pay for all my games if I like them and keep playing them.   Try using something other than broad generalizations to support your argument.

    So again, with a lot of sub free titles in the industry please explain where all these billions are coming from?  EVE and WoW?

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
     All it would do is alienate a sizable portion of a F2P games player base.

    If alienation was the most important issue, games wouldn't switch either way.  The question is which business model will bring in the most revenue for the game at hand.

     

  • ScottgunScottgun Williamsville, NYPosts: 356Member
    Subs going f2p is entropy, which is generally irreversable.

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

  • kadepsysonkadepsyson sun prairie, WIPosts: 1,937Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by kadepsyson
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by kadepsyson

    The amount of rage and crying from people who would have to actually pay for a product they use for hundreds of hours created by hundreds of people over years would be so massive that the game companies probably wouldn't bother.

    It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

    Oh well, cheap is a powerful mindset.

    The irony.

    It's sad to me, no wait I meant hilarious, that people cling to their old memes and mantras.

    Somehow in all this free, people end up paying for games, the way they like, publishers and developers get paid along with their poor victimized families struggling to survive on an 80k income, people are happy and the industry is generating billions of dollars in revenue a year.  Where are the starving children we need to think of again?

    Oh well, preconceived agenda is a powerful mindset.

    Ah tell me more about how Free to Play City of Heroes was raining cash on developers :)

    Sorry, I just feel that if a person finds something worth playing for hundreds of hours, perhaps they should pay money for it?  I know its a wild notion that flies in the face of the "I'm never paying any sub again" mindset all over this forum, but hey, I guess getting paid for ones work is outdated now.

     

    So yeah, tell me how paying for a product is a bad thing.  Please I'd love to hear it :)

    I can probably explain how F2P CoH was raining money down on the devs as soon as you can explain how sub-based CoH was raining money down on the devs.

    Please do explain how not requiring a recurring monthly fee as limited rental access to the game somehow means that people don't pay for a game?  I pay for all my games if I like them and keep playing them.   Try using something other than broad generalizations to support your argument.

    So again, with a lot of sub free titles in the industry please explain where all these billions are coming from?  EVE and WoW?

    The truth is, even if you support the free to play titles you play, you are one person.  Coming across the "never going to pay a sub again" lines in this forum is extremely common.  So while you might pay money, many many others do not and see no reason to ever pay anything.  A subscription would mean that every player sticking around supports the company. 

     

    In this case I'm not really debating the two pay systems, but rather saying I find cheapskates offensive.  "Gimme!"

    It is more the stingy attitude of never-pay free players that I draw issue with.  They have every intention to play as much as possible while paying nothing.

    El Psy Congroo

  • ScottgunScottgun Williamsville, NYPosts: 356Member
    Originally posted by kadepsyson

    It is more the stingy attitude of never-pay free players that I draw issue with.  They have every intention to play as much as possible while paying nothing.

    Even Vork from "The Guild" paid a subscription even when he was stealing electricity and WifFi from his neighbor with Alzheimer's. :D

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

  • CecropiaCecropia Posts: 3,472Member Uncommon

    Funny that you should ask, fat_taddler. I was on Massively a couple of days ago and read that Allods Russia opened up a subscription-based server. 

    They really should have done this a long time ago, but it will still be interesting to see how it pans out.

    "Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

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

    It's sad to me that people are unwilling to pay a dime for something they enjoy and use frequently that took years to create and peoples jobs and families depend on.

    That is human nature. Why should i pay a dime when there is free alternatives? The cost does not matter to consumers. It is not their costs.

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

    In this case I'm not really debating the two pay systems, but rather saying I find cheapskates offensive.  "Gimme!"

    It is more the stingy attitude of never-pay free players that I draw issue with.  They have every intention to play as much as possible while paying nothing.

    Well, in that case, you are going to be offended for a long time and by a lot of people. Statistics show that a majority of MMO players never pay anything.

    But i am curious of why you are offended. It is not even your game. If the owner (i.e. dev or publisher) wants to give part of it away, what is it to you?

  • CatAtomic99CatAtomic99 Long Beach, CAPosts: 60Member

    Of course. Free to Play games generally retain a subscription option. If the game is doing well, the developers can either offer less and less of the new content piecemeal, or raise the price of it to the point where subscribing is a more appealing option. Eventually, the cash shop could revert to a curiosity that sells a few old, outdated pieces that no one is interested in.

    That's *if* the game starts doing much better.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kadepsyson

    The truth is, even if you support the free to play titles you play, you are one person.  Coming across the "never going to pay a sub again" lines in this forum is extremely common.  So while you might pay money, many many others do not and see no reason to ever pay anything.  A subscription would mean that every player sticking around supports the company. 

    In this case I'm not really debating the two pay systems, but rather saying I find cheapskates offensive.  "Gimme!"

    It is more the stingy attitude of never-pay free players that I draw issue with.  They have every intention to play as much as possible while paying nothing.

    I guess I can understand that.  I mean that is why I pay for my games and for the free software I use at work (Notepad++, 7zip, truecrypt, linqpad, etc).  But I don't expect everyone to pay and the authors and publishers of those programs make them available with that understanding in mind.  I pay what satisfies my conscience that is within my budget and hope that sets an example.  What other people pay or don't is up to them and I don't feel it's really any of my business.  I mean it just doesn't bother me if they don't pay.

    Anyway it's always fun to throw darts back and forth with you.  You're a sharp wit.

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    Games dont hold up to keep paying customers for a long period of time. They have to do something to keep people in to try to milk some extra money. Going f2p is their only option. If a mmorpg was out of this world, full of content, had tools to make your own, and just crammed pack full of features the pay model is trivial. Sadly e dont have to many of those games released, thus more games resorting to f2p to get you in, then get your money from the item shops.

    Making a great game will bring the money f2p or b2p. Its just another fad until they understand this.

  • LanfeaLanfea EssenPosts: 219Member Uncommon

    Can F2P games ever go back to P2P?

    No, ...

    1) ... because the marketing brand 'f2p' is now burned into the mind of the customers. just have a look around, people over-simplify the term 'f2p' without even the slightest consideration that there are a lot of diffrent f2p models out there. all f2p titles have only one thing in common: the client for the basic game is free. after that there are about 4-5 diffrent concepts. from the classic 'pay to win' to the 'you can choose the content to pay for' or the 'we only want to force you into subscription'. i really would like to see that people don't use the term 'f2p' so light headed and be more specific about it.

    2) ... because there are quite a few reasons why companies choose the f2p revenue model for their game. there are several reasons why a (client based) mmog went the path of f2p. only to name 3 of these reasons:

    a) it was a high budget p2p title with a solid and loyal playerbase, but the company wanted a bigger slice of the mmog customer base after 2005 and jumped on the 'f2p marketing train'. (f.e. eq I and II, lotro, ddo, aoc and so on).

    b) the game dosen't have the quality that players will pay for it (classic low budget grinders)

    c) the game is made for a special market. never underestimate the huge differences in customers behaviour between the asia and the north america market. and even between north america and europe are differences, lesser significant but existent. 

     

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