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Free Market Gaming - P2P, P2W, B2P, F2P ETC - How it works. (In the real world)

24

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  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by RealmLordsKen
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    I always know I shouldn't and that the trite shallow analysis will disappoint, but the idea that someone will use critical thinking and logic to spark an interesting dialog always compels me to open the thread.

    Here's an odd, although perhaps obvious, observation I've made regarding the F2P vs Subscription debate:

    I find it unusual that proponents of F2P systems declaring the subscription model dead, tend to point to Freemium game conversions as their proof, while these Freemium games in current form make what might be a significant portion of their income *selling subscriptions*.

    *grin*

    It is an odd assertion some people make. Lizarbones has a great quote in his signature that I refer to periodically:

    "For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong."

    The people that makes those statements haven't really thought through things completely. There really isn't clearly defined and well compartmentalized payment systems. Most systems vary in their implementation by publisher, even when they fit into the same category. For example, both Blizzard and Square Enix have subscription locked games (my preferred way to reference "P2P"), but account services and how one accesses and pays for those games have wildly different experiences in my opinion. Even though both FFXI and WoW require a subscription (post level 20 say for simplicity's sake) their account services don't work at all the same.

    On top of account services being different most every publisher monetizes their IPs in different manners. Very rarely do you see a "P2P" subscription locked IP that only charges a monthly fee to access the content. Most every publisher has secondary revenue streams. Sometimes it is by charging for DLC (box fees), game time credits that can be sold for in game currency (PLEX), account services (name changes and server transfers), micro-transactions (cash shops either in game or via web), or some combination of those.

    There is just rarely an instance where one can shoehorn a broad array of publishers into a single tiny marketing blurb. The system is just too varied for such  overly simplistic generalizations. I do think that overly simple models are probably going the way of the dodo as payment systems evolve, but even then it's hard to make sweeping statements about that without sounding sort of silly.

    side note: I responded to this much earlier this morning but a string of meetings took me away until I could finish at lunch.

  • korent1991korent1991 CakovecPosts: 1,390Member
    Originally posted by Abuz0r

    You can disagree in THEORY all you want, but in PRACTICE, my points are undeniable :)

    I'm sure if you comb through the list of games, you can find a game that breaks the mold, but that's what you'll have to do, comb.

    In practice your points are not valid.

    It's not all that black & white. P2P did offer better deal before, now this isn't the case anymore. No company can guarantee you taht for the amount of money you spent for initial content will be delivered when you break it even with subs. So if you keep paying 15$ a month and you're still not getting any new content then I don't see I'm getting my moneys worth out of it at all.

    Neither is interest in making money with B2P games as easy as "initial cash grab" - I'd guess it's anything but. GW1 didn't break anything apart, they actually had stand-alone expansions where you can decide if you want to go trough the new continent and new content or not. So you could've still play the game as nothing happened and they relied on cosmetic cash shop. They rely on cash shop in GW2 as well, because without that they wouldn't be able to deliver new stuff and keep the game running. Tho, I'm not sure why you made your assumption of company not having any interest for keeping the game alive after the box sales when you've got evidence sitting right in front of you... GW1 is still going, GW2 seems to be doing fine and even TSW is making its way upwards after the P2P disaster.

    Also, there's a lot of examples where P2P is simply failing because there's no way people are willing to cash out just like that long enough so devs can make a profit so they turn to other payment models (which seems to be more suitable and does work better for them). So I guess P2P is not the best value for your money and it doesn't represent the messiah of all gaming payment models anymore and I think it was about time that happened because even with all P2P devs started introducing cash shops with microtransactions so I guess I wasn't getting everything for free when I was paying a sub and since devs aren't even considering lowering the sub prices (who knows that might just be the next holy grail) they set with bleeding subs and then they just switch to freemium.

    "Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life."
    -------------------------------

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  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAPosts: 1,946Member
    Originally posted by Abuz0r
    No- like GW1, they introduce updates that kill the player base and get them to move on, then make another new game to make another cash grab.

    Precisely.

     

    Yet, games like WoW allow players to play even if they don't buy the latest expansion. They'll miss out on the latest features and perks, but can play like they wish...perfect for level locked twink accounts.

     

    Each pay method has the ultimate end -- have to pay for the upkeep in the game, and devs employed. How they deliver it is a perception of value.

     

    I prefer subscriptions because I'm "old skool" and see games as a service like utilities. I pay for access to the themepark, and for customer service when the themepark says, "Hey, you're a bot because you mined for 7 days straight!!!" to prove otherwise.

     

    But no game can exist for "free", and depending on a few whales to keep a game free, is how the internet is littered with the remains of dead MMOs. Devs pull titles as soon as they reached their initial investment and they see the game isn't pulling in enough to keep them paid.

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

    I find it unusual that proponents of F2P systems declaring the subscription model dead, tend to point to Freemium game conversions as their proof, while these Freemium games in current form make what might be a significant portion of their income *selling subscriptions*.

    You get the wrong declaration.

    It is the "sub-only" model is dead, not the hybrid. Tell me, don't you think the sub-only model is dead given all the freemium games out there that do not force everyone to sub?

     

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

    There is just rarely an instance where one can shoehorn a broad array of publishers into a single tiny marketing blurb. The system is just too varied for such  overly simplistic generalizations. I do think that overly simple models are probably going the way of the dodo as payment systems evolve, but even then it's hard to make sweeping statements about that without sounding sort of silly.

    side note: I responded to this much earlier this morning but a string of meetings took me away until I could finish at lunch.

    That's my problem with all of the threads like this. People say f2p is bad, but what is f2p ? No two are really alike other than the very basic idea of it's free to access and will have a cash shop that sells something on it.

    After that what they offer on the cash shop, how often the game sees up dates and what those up dates are. What level of CS the company provides etc etc etc all vary widely from game to game. Saying all payment models are the same is like looking at two boxes and saying they're the same without actually knowing what's inside.

    It's even worse when people try and label players f2p or p2p and tag them with reasons why they do it. It just screams I don't want to understand people I just want to simplify it so it's easy for me to cope with....and when I put a negative spin on the one I don't like it makes me feel better about the choice I made.

  • Abuz0rAbuz0r Lexington, KYPosts: 354Member Uncommon

    No sorry, the fact is:

    Pay 2 play companies have incentive to keep you having fun and playing.

    Free 2 play companies have incentive to get you to spend money on nic-nacs and figure you'll keep playing regardless of quality because it's free.

    Buy 2 play is a cash grab because they have no incentive to do ANYTHING after your initial purchase.

  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAPosts: 1,946Member
    Originally posted by Abuz0r

    No sorry, the fact is:

    Pay 2 play companies have incentive to keep you having fun and playing.

    Free 2 play companies have incentive to get you to spend money on nic-nacs and figure you'll keep playing regardless of quality because it's free.

    Buy 2 play is a cash grab because they have no incentive to do ANYTHING after your initial purchase.

    ^^KISS principle in action. ^^

     

    WoW has to keep it's players happy, because the price to play is a gate in itself. It's a negative they have to make bearable.

     

    GW2 has no real incentive to improve it's product because the boxes paid for the initial development, and soon as they see the game costing more than keeping it open...here comes GW3.

     

    IGG games is an example of the epitome of a P2W marketer, and since it's so cheap for Snail Games to produce games in China, they don't even have to worry about updates, the addicted will gladly pay for a 2004 quality game to be the king.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,293Member Uncommon
    Fact is a free to play game has to be fun and good quality before I will spend any money at all.

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

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Fact is a free to play game has to be fun and good quality before I will spend any money at all.

    Fact is a free to play game has to be fun and good quality before I will spend any TIME at all.

    "fun" and "good quality", of course, is subjective. Personally i find several F2P game with that.

     

  • Abuz0rAbuz0r Lexington, KYPosts: 354Member Uncommon

    That's a decent point, how ever it does not deter from the fact that if they can get 100,000,000 people to log into a $150 hero engine chinese grinder that runs on a Core2Duo E8400 and 0.1% of them are willing to pay money to dress up their zelda looking pixel stack and be king.  They'll have 100,000 paying customers for total trash.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,293Member Uncommon
    I don't think I am unusual. Likely for those .1% the game must be fun and good quality before they willpay as well. People tend not to pay for things they don't enjoy I'd they don't need to.

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

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,293Member Uncommon
    I'd=if

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

  • TatercakeTatercake Auburn, WAPosts: 279Member
    i do not agree with this at all haven been sucked dry from uo intel last year with subs i come to dislike the subs system it is a huge waste of my time as real life has come into my gaming time now older wiser  and life problems i liek the b2p  system  if i wish to spend a extra 100 on a game i do and i do not feel like i have to play everymoment of the day   to get my monthly  money worth of the game
  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAPosts: 1,946Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Fact is a free to play game has to be fun and good quality before I will spend any money at all.

    Fact is a free to play game has to be fun and good quality before I will spend any TIME at all.

    "fun" and "good quality", of course, is subjective. Personally i find several F2P game with that.

     

    But if players don't stay and be loyal to their FAVORITE game or game they play most, the publisher wins little in the exchange.

     

    WoW is many things because they have a loyal base of players that will remain and keep the publisher employed to make more games/expansions.

     

    Butterflies have to come home some day, afterall...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z9wd9bS1FM

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Pyatra

    You know, after the first few sub sentences I thought: "Oh, an unbiased breakdown of the payment model"

    http://tsaoshin.deviantart.com/art/Part-of-Your-No-388260981

    So to put it bluntly without the pay base fan boyism

    Sub = Companies can spend more for updates because they can budget better, sometimes cash shop for aesthetic items but minimal income from it.

    B2P = Box sales are driven by grassroots and word of mouth growth to not "burn out" sales growth additional cash shop subsidizes and allows for small content updates after the honeymoon period.  Income somewhat unstable but usually 1st year is solid

    F2P =  Cash shop is primary source of income. Initial investment in the came is lower than the others, highly unstable income but maximizes potential profits until specific changes in player base.  Only keeps a small team on payroll for many small but rapid aesthetic updates and usually employs level faster via cash shop or the Gem Combining Pyramid of Probability. (PWI uses the combing pyramid for a lot of there supplementary profits.)

    Freemium = Sub + one of the others, like a free trial but significantly more locked down, some content/features behind pay wall.  Income has a portion that can be budgeted for while a separate portion can potential provide an additional unstable income bonus.

    I am fine with all models, they have their place and some games just aren't built to be F2P and that's fine.  Anyone who can't see that all the options are viable business models either doesn't understand business or they refuse to be wrong in their hating.

    So, having said that, time for the biased part.  I don't like the Gem Combining Pyramid of Probability like PWI uses, that is all.

    Can you link to any data, reports or articles that support those "facts"? You don't see that you're doing the same kind of "I think it is this, therefore it must be" post as the OP?

     

    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

  • plat0nicplat0nic new york, NYPosts: 301Member
    I'm gonna have to go with p2p. if they lose subs they lose money. they have the greatest incentive to keep a quality engine running. I do enjoy f2p though for a more "enjoyable" experience because I don't have any expectatioN and am sometimes pleasantly surprised.

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  • rsealmanrsealman LondonPosts: 44Member
    Originally posted by plat0nic
    I'm gonna have to go with p2p. if they lose subs they lose money. they have the greatest incentive to keep a quality engine running. I do enjoy f2p though for a more "enjoyable" experience because I don't have any expectatioN and am sometimes pleasantly surprised.

    Technically speaking, not really.

    Just because a gaming company gets a steady stream of cash doesn't mean they are going to asure a quality engine. All it takes is for the dev team to use some 3rd party engine like Hero Engine or Gamebryo and weird stuff might happen.

    Examples, Rift and SWTOR. Both run like snails due to limitations on their respective engines.

     

  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAPosts: 1,946Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Can you link to any data, reports or articles that support those "facts"? You don't see that you're doing the same kind of "I think it is this, therefore it must be" post as the OP?

     

    Can you as well?

     

    After all, we need evidence not just poking issues with a stick because it's easier.

  • Abuz0rAbuz0r Lexington, KYPosts: 354Member Uncommon

    Your 2 examples, rift and swtor.  Free 2 play quality games.  Exactly.  The point is, to be a p2p game, you have to deliver a quality product.   Rift and SWTOR were both miserable failures that didn't deliver a nice enough product to keep their subscribers. 

    Rift is a single path game. Lineology is a major determination of game quality.  If there is only 1 path to follow (per faction) and each time you choose that same faction you repeat the same activities as you level, you have found yourself in a low quality grinder.

    Swtor was too generic to even interest me to level 20.  I realized I was in a major time sink relying solely on its IP to keep paralyzed fanatic subscribers.

    When Lineage 2 came out, with all the different starting areas, all the different choices classes dungeons, multiple but parallel paths to reach common ends of difficult monsters and dungeons.  

    As time went on and Lineage 2 became a game of the 2000 era, NC realized it was no longer a subscription quality game and changed it to a f2p.  This is success and proof of my points in action.

     

  • GaendricGaendric Posts: 447Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Can you link to any data, reports or articles that support those "facts"? You don't see that you're doing the same kind of "I think it is this, therefore it must be" post as the OP?

     

    This seems to be ging on a lot lately, on both sides of the argument.

    Everyone claims to have "facts" and to know the "truth" without a shred of evidence or (in many cases) even having it thought through logically. 

     

    I guess it just shows that it is an emotional debate.

    People love their games and then project their feelings and thoughts, even if heavily biased.

    At least it shows they deeply care. :)

     

  • IGaveUpIGaveUp NW, INPosts: 273Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by RealmLordsKen

    I find it unusual that proponents of F2P systems declaring the subscription model dead, tend to point to Freemium game conversions as their proof, while these Freemium games in current form make what might be a significant portion of their income *selling subscriptions*.

    You get the wrong declaration.

    It is the "sub-only" model is dead, not the hybrid. Tell me, don't you think the sub-only model is dead given all the freemium games out there that do not force everyone to sub?

     

    I agree, many are hybrids.  And I think that's actually my point.  To my understanding, item shop F2P didn't kill subscriptions (yet) in the western market.  The market adapted with the hybrid as a way of staying competitive.  Subscriptions didn't die, they changed.

     

    Sub-Only?  I see it primarily as a means to optimize revenue at release, cashing in on box sales.  Is there any doubt that most (of course not all) subscription games are expected to go hybrid eventually?  Will that stop publishers from selling boxes?  I sort of doubt it, as long as publishers think they can make some extra bucks by doing so.

     

    On the other hand, some publisher might insist on staying sub-only for the life of the game.  It better be a damned good game because the competition in this market is fierce.

     

    BTW: my post wasn't intended as chain-yanking.  Just encouraging discussion and sort of poking the F2P advocates with the idea that subscriptions haven't really died, while being realistic that P2P systems either have to adapt or die off.  I'm of the opinion that most highly polarized debates are founded in a reality that's more in the middle than either side wants to believe.

    edit: kant spel

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,293Member Uncommon
    Swtor kept over 500k subs far far more than almost all mmo. They just didn't have enough to justify the 200 million it cost to make.

    Keeping more subs than that is not realistic. Now they know it.

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

  • Abuz0rAbuz0r Lexington, KYPosts: 354Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by RealmLordsKen
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by RealmLordsKen

    I find it unusual that proponents of F2P systems declaring the subscription model dead, tend to point to Freemium game conversions as their proof, while these Freemium games in current form make what might be a significant portion of their income *selling subscriptions*.

    You get the wrong declaration.

    It is the "sub-only" model is dead, not the hybrid. Tell me, don't you think the sub-only model is dead given all the freemium games out there that do not force everyone to sub?

     

    I agree, many are hybrids.  And I think that's actually my point.  To my understanding, item shop F2P didn't kill subscriptions (yet) in the western market.  The market adapted with the hybrid as a way of staying competitive.  Subscriptions didn't die, they changed.

     

    Sub-Only?  I see it primarily as a means to optimize revenue at release, cashing in on box sales.  Is there any doubt that most (of course not all) subscription games are expected to go hybrid eventually?  Will that stop publishers from selling boxes?  I sort of doubt it, as long as publishers think they can make some extra bucks by doing so.

     

    On the other hand, some publisher might insist on staying sub-only for the life of the game.  It better be a damned good game because the competition in this market is fierce.

     

    BTW: my post wasn't intended as chain-yanking.  Just encouraging discussion and sort of poking the F2P advocates with the idea that subscriptions haven't really died, while being realistic that P2P systems either have to adapt or die off.  I'm of the opinion that most highly polarized debates are founded in a reality that's more in the middle than either side wants to believe.

    edit: kant spel

    Thank you, the highlighted portion proves all my points.  You want to float a turd, that's easy, but the best of the best of the best will be found in the pay2play market, the succesful side of it atleast.

  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAPosts: 1,946Member
    Originally posted by Gaendric
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Can you link to any data, reports or articles that support those "facts"? You don't see that you're doing the same kind of "I think it is this, therefore it must be" post as the OP?

     

    This seems to be ging on a lot lately, on both sides of the argument.

    Everyone claims to have "facts" and to know the "truth" without a shred of evidence or (in many cases) even having it thought through logically. 

     

    I guess it just shows that it is an emotional debate.

    People love their games and then project their feelings and thoughts, even if heavily biased.

    At least it shows they deeply care. :)

     

    Evidence is like matching the statistics to stock reports.

    Evidence is the players claim XYZ is broken, and the raid stats show but 2% of even 10% raiding even finished it.

    Evidence is WotLK with 12mil players because of ease of access, to Cata and 7mil players because of limiting access despite having LFG/LFR afterwards.

     

    There's a lot of evidence to share.

  • Abuz0rAbuz0r Lexington, KYPosts: 354Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Swtor kept over 500k subs far far more than almost all mmo. They just didn't have enough to justify the 200 million it cost to make.

    Keeping more subs than that is not realistic. Now they know it.

    You don't make a $200m product unless the market has a void and is craving what you're creating.

    When the market is somewhat satisfied, and the only thing you're bringing to the table is a competing alternative, you don't invest $200m.  That's their foolishness. 

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