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When a MMO goes F2P what does that usually mean about the game's future?

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Comments

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    For the most part it is a cash grab.  The development team switches from playable content being generated to generating items to put in the store for sale.

    At least that is what I saw with LOTRO, and with EQ2.

    I still play eq2 its got a lot of great content, but my number one complaint is the number of items being produced and put in the store, when they should be killing bugs that have been around since the dawn of the game, 

    EQ2 had a saying a while back "Play your way",  honestly the mantra should have been play our way, as they sure taken a lot of fun out of the game with some very bad decisions lately.  

     

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by ro8ter

    Let's use EQ and WoW as examples.  Both had excellent word of mouth advertising.  People would call their cousins and tell them to stop what they are doing, they have to play this game now.

    Of course, both also had sizable advertising budgets, even early on.

    Compare it to the 200 other titles on our mmorpg list? Massive advertising budgets, by mmo standards. Most of those other titles make do with (effectively) zero.

    We get what you're saying, but not really the best examples. Blizzard or SoE or Funcom? The only guys that do get some actual ad money to play with?

    CCP's a better one, I think. We're willing to start off really small, we'll just keep plugging for years, word of mouth will eventually make us big. But CCP's also a good example of his point--how much bigger, and how much earlier, with advertising?

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • whisperwyndwhisperwynd montreal, QCPosts: 1,479Member
     What I want to know MmoExposed, is why you make thread after thread about the inanities of the mmo genre but never return to discuss them?
  • ro8terro8ter Phoenix, AZPosts: 23Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by ro8ter

    Let's use EQ and WoW as examples.  Both had excellent word of mouth advertising.  People would call their cousins and tell them to stop what they are doing, they have to play this game now.

    Of course, both also had sizable advertising budgets, even early on.

    Compare it to the 200 other titles on our mmorpg list? Massive advertising budgets, by mmo standards. Most of those other titles make do with (effectively) zero.

    We get what you're saying, but not really the best examples. Blizzard or SoE or Funcom? The only guys that do get some actual ad money to play with?

    CCP's a better one, I think. We're willing to start off really small, we'll just keep plugging for years, word of mouth will eventually make us big. But CCP's also a good example of his point--how much bigger, and how much earlier, with advertising?

     

    Eve is a good example.  But they advertised a lot too.  Eve's ads were everywhere for a time.

    But Eve is a good game.  Eve was never in danger of not having players.

    If it's a good game, players will show up.  If it's a mediocre game, you can't retain players.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by whisperwynd
     What I want to know MmoExposed, is why you make thread after thread about the inanities of the mmo genre but never return to discuss them?

    Pot stirring is a delicate art.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • whisperwyndwhisperwynd montreal, QCPosts: 1,479Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by whisperwynd
     What I want to know MmoExposed, is why you make thread after thread about the inanities of the mmo genre but never return to discuss them?

    Pot stirring is a delicate art.

    Only if you lack any sort of culinary skills...

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,548Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by whisperwynd
     What I want to know MmoExposed, is why you make thread after thread about the inanities of the mmo genre but never return to discuss them?

    I missed that memo where we were required to come back and look at a thread. 


  • whisperwyndwhisperwynd montreal, QCPosts: 1,479Member
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Originally posted by whisperwynd
     What I want to know MmoExposed, is why you make thread after thread about the inanities of the mmo genre but never return to discuss them?

    I missed that memo where we were required to come back and look at a thread. 

    Then why even make one in the first place? 

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by ro8ter

    But Eve is a good game.  Eve was never in danger of not having players.

    A bit of revisionist history? Took at least five years to get 'off the ground' in terms of sales.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • AIMonsterAIMonster Apopka, FLPosts: 2,059Member
    Originally posted by sportsfan
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal

    F2p, b2p, p2p, converted, and everything in between are all good.  A game's future is it's player base plus the capability of the game's owner to keep the game running and running well.  Pay model really has little to nothing to do with it unless the pay model is so bad it offends and drives away most the player base.

     

    Wrong. A game's sole future is its revenue, not (free) player numbers. The moment you pull the subscription plug, you unplug your steady revenue. As such these games have a very doubtful future as nothing is for free in this competitive world. 

    What you see now is merely a MUCH needed shake out. Too much free garbage, it is time 95% of those free thingies are weeded out.

    It is bad for the business to promote crap. And no, turning a turd to free to play is even worse.

    Like all the games that switched to the F2P and have since shutdown?  I'm pretty sure switching to F2P as revitalized a number of games that were failing and made the company significantly more money than they were making under the sub model.  I can't a think of a single MMO than went from sub based to F2P that shutdown, can you?

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    Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:
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  • boxsndboxsnd Kraxton, ARPosts: 438Member Common
    TERA and SWTOR were ghost towns before they converted to F2P. They have healthy populations now. The same thing is happening to Rift now (population has been rising very quickly after the F2P announcement)

    DAoC - Excalibur & Camlann

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,712Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AIMonster

    I'm pretty sure switching to F2P as revitalized a number of games that were failing and made the company significantly more money than they were making under the sub model.  I can't a think of a single MMO than went from sub based to F2P that shutdown, can you?

    As I wrote above, CoH. But I agree with you on the revitalizing part, and I believe strictly because of the f2p switch CoH also could be among us. (meaning the shutdown had nothing to do with the f2p conversion, CoH was in a pretty decent shape)

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,633Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ro8ter
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by ro8ter

    If you have a fantastic product, word of mouth is the only advertising you need.

    "Build it and they will come" only works in the movies. Any MMO relying solely on word of mouth either has to pray for some viral miracle or become content with obscurity. Neither is a good marketing strategy.

     

    Let's use EQ and WoW as examples.  Both had excellent word of mouth advertising.  People would call their cousins and tell them to stop what they are doing, they have to play this game now.

    It's not so much as a strategy as a phenomena.   After the population explosion, the main stream media picks it up.

    If a game is good, you can't keep people away. 

    I don't even know where to begin with that one. At their release, each had the biggest ad campaign for their time, both including even TV commercials.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • SilacoidSilacoid Chicago, ILPosts: 237Member
    Check out DCUO for an example of how a reputable company deals with F2P.  They for example saw double the revenue AFTER the switch to F2P than they did from the subscriber based system.
  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBPosts: 2,030Member

    I too am not a fan of most F2P models but...

    It's better than closing the game down even if it is a temporary stay of execution

    Secondly from a business standpoint it makes sense.Gamers in subscription games expect constant and substantial updates for them to keep subbing.Gamers in F2P games do not expect such things on such a regular basis,hell most of the paying player base in F2P games seems happy with cosmetic content added regularly to the cash shop.I can only imagine this makes upkeep of a F2P game a lot cheaper than a subscription based one whilst keeping similar revenue and in cases actually increasing revenue.

    I really can't blame developers/publishers loving the F2P model.However we shall see what the long term effect of this model is both in terms of long term profitability and it's impact on game design for better or worse.

  • severiusseverius sacramento, CAPosts: 1,514Member Common

    Well, seeing as how this whole thing is relatively knew I think everyone is  kinda wondering about the same thing.  So far it seems that  f2p is a way to stave off shutdown.  Star Trek Online and Lords of the Ring Online are two that had been p2p that have earned knew life from going f2p.  SWTOR may end up in the same boat.

    Now that games are coming out and releasing as f2p it would seem that its a pretty solid model.

     

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  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    but is that truly the case with most conversions?

    what usually happens?

     

     

    The game gets a boost in player activity, and slowly heads towards it's death.   The problem is that the game needs to sustain a boost of at least 5 times it's most recent P2P population if it hopes to sustain the previous revenue.   Except converting to a cash shop model doesn't change any of the previous problems and piles on more for developers.

  • Dren_UtogiDren_Utogi OuterSpacePosts: 1,707Member Uncommon

    more players trying the game for the first time, granting a second chance of retention. It also gives a nice jolt to the populations mental state, giving them renewed interst in the game if they seen the population leaking.

     

    Some games, like Rift, who has a great population already, will see an increase of interest in the title and the community, being a good one, will retain a good amount of returning and new players.

    reviews are !@#$ing stupid. Play what you love.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    - increase population

    - usually increase revenue (DDO, LOTRO, TOR, many examples)

    - usually have new content (DCUO, STO, LOTRO, DDO....) including new expansions.

     

  • niceguy3978niceguy3978 Gainesville, FLPosts: 2,000Member
    Originally posted by sportsfan
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal

    F2p, b2p, p2p, converted, and everything in between are all good.  A game's future is it's player base plus the capability of the game's owner to keep the game running and running well.  Pay model really has little to nothing to do with it unless the pay model is so bad it offends and drives away most the player base.

     

    Wrong. A game's sole future is its revenue, not (free) player numbers. The moment you pull the subscription plug, you unplug your steady revenue. As such these games have a very doubtful future as nothing is for free in this competitive world. 

    What you see now is merely a MUCH needed shake out. Too much free garbage, it is time 95% of those free thingies are weeded out.

    It is bad for the business to promote crap. And no, turning a turd to free to play is even worse.

    I tend to agree, and I think most of the P2P game devs that convert to F2P agree as well.  This is why almost all of those conversions include some sort of sub option.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,185Member Uncommon

    To me it means that if a decent game was hampered by a more restrictive payment model it could see growth and increased revenue.

    It also means that if a game just wasn't fun for anyone a more permissive payment model isn't going to attract players and payers.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by niceguy3978
    Originally posted by sportsfan

    Wrong. A game's sole future is its revenue, not (free) player numbers. The moment you pull the subscription plug, you unplug your steady revenue. As such these games have a very doubtful future as nothing is for free in this competitive world. 

    What you see now is merely a MUCH needed shake out. Too much free garbage, it is time 95% of those free thingies are weeded out.

    It is bad for the business to promote crap. And no, turning a turd to free to play is even worse.

    I tend to agree, and I think most of the P2P game devs that convert to F2P agree as well.  This is why almost all of those conversions include some sort of sub option.

    You agreed with utter nonsense. A sub is a 1 month guarantee of $15, not the life time commitment he's making it out to be. A steady revenue comes from people playing your game. Population matters, and a well know fact that sub players often quit when they feel the game is no longer active enough. It's one of the reasons having all these thousands of free players in a game is looked on as a good thing. If you're only going to have 50k people subbing/paying, it's better to have 50k subs and 500k free players ( random number ) than just 50k people. One game is a ghost town the other is very active.

    None of the aaa p2p conversions are making less money after going free to play.

    It's a pretty weak argument to make when you can't list a single example to prove your point.

  • niceguy3978niceguy3978 Gainesville, FLPosts: 2,000Member
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    Originally posted by niceguy3978
    Originally posted by sportsfan

    Wrong. A game's sole future is its revenue, not (free) player numbers. The moment you pull the subscription plug, you unplug your steady revenue. As such these games have a very doubtful future as nothing is for free in this competitive world. 

    What you see now is merely a MUCH needed shake out. Too much free garbage, it is time 95% of those free thingies are weeded out.

    It is bad for the business to promote crap. And no, turning a turd to free to play is even worse.

    I tend to agree, and I think most of the P2P game devs that convert to F2P agree as well.  This is why almost all of those conversions include some sort of sub option.

    You agreed with utter nonsense. A sub is a 1 month guarantee of $15, not the life time commitment he's making it out to be. A steady revenue comes from people playing your game. Population matters, and a well know fact that sub players often quit when they feel the game is no longer active enough. It's one of the reasons having all these thousands of free players in a game is looked on as a good thing. If you're only going to have 50k people subbing/paying, it's better to have 50k subs and 500k free players ( random number ) than just 50k people. One game is a ghost town the other is very active.

    None of the aaa p2p conversions are making less money after going free to play.

    It's a pretty weak argument to make when you can't list a single example to prove your point.

    This is why I like many if not most of the recent transitions, they all include a sub if you want (almost everything) and when they don't feel they are getting a sub price worth of stuff to do, they drop the sub.  The bad part about purely P2P is that when the person drops sub, they can't play the game at all, but in these newer transitions I can play no matter what.  So I can choose to pay a monthley sub, and I don't lose access to my character if I no longer choose to pay a monthly sub.

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,117Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by niceguy3978
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    Originally posted by niceguy3978
    Originally posted by sportsfan 

    Wrong. A game's sole future is its revenue, not (free) player numbers. The moment you pull the subscription plug, you unplug your steady revenue. As such these games have a very doubtful future as nothing is for free in this competitive world. 

    What you see now is merely a MUCH needed shake out. Too much free garbage, it is time 95% of those free thingies are weeded out.

    It is bad for the business to promote crap. And no, turning a turd to free to play is even worse.

    I tend to agree, and I think most of the P2P game devs that convert to F2P agree as well.  This is why almost all of those conversions include some sort of sub option.

    You agreed with utter nonsense. A sub is a 1 month guarantee of $15, not the life time commitment he's making it out to be. A steady revenue comes from people playing your game. Population matters, and a well know fact that sub players often quit when they feel the game is no longer active enough. It's one of the reasons having all these thousands of free players in a game is looked on as a good thing. If you're only going to have 50k people subbing/paying, it's better to have 50k subs and 500k free players ( random number ) than just 50k people. One game is a ghost town the other is very active.

    None of the aaa p2p conversions are making less money after going free to play.

    It's a pretty weak argument to make when you can't list a single example to prove your point.

    This is why I like many if not most of the recent transitions, they all include a sub if you want (almost everything) and when they don't feel they are getting a sub price worth of stuff to do, they drop the sub.  The bad part about purely P2P is that when the person drops sub, they can't play the game at all, but in these newer transitions I can play no matter what.  So I can choose to pay a monthley sub, and I don't lose access to my character if I no longer choose to pay a monthly sub.

    I'd be curious to know just how much these F2P converted games are making in comparison to when they were still popular with a subscription model.  All we ever hear from these people is that they are getting more business, but that's only after they've been suffering from a rather large lull in subscribers.  Do they in fact reach or surpass the same income levels as before or are they just implying better income than when they were at their lowest?  I would assume that if my company was now making superior profits compared to the profit margins when subscribers were at their highest, I would trumpet this success, yet we never hear this from the converted MMOs.

     

    The trend I have noticed with most of the converted games is a distinct slowdown in new content, updates and bug fixes and expansions.  I also notice a distinct lowering of the quality of future content once the conversion is made.  I'm not sold on F2P being the savior of the genre.  I feel it's more of a bandaid for much deeper problems.

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  • MyownGodMyownGod SydneyPosts: 205Member

    What happened through out my gaming years, the great games that stays subs, they turned into ghost town, and in the end they closed the server down *cough* SWG *cough* CoH/CoV *cough*

    F2P games how ever, because its free *depending on the title* say like LOTRO, DNDO and etc.. They've gained more population. I mean I played LOTRO and DNDO during the sub era, it was a complete ghost town. Most people arent willing to pay for their entertainment, if they have it free for grab, why not? and play along with it. If they like the game, they without a doubt would like to support the game by spending some cash on the item mall to look different or etc. But there will be the day when it became too outdate, they will closed down the server also depending on the population it self, there are hardcore fan that wants the game to stay alive, like theres a group of SWG fan opening up and running an SWG server. It's all really about the community.

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