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What are some compelling *business* reasons that MMOs shouldn't have microtransactions?

CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member

Yesterday's announcement of the palomino horse offering in ESO has stirred up anti-microtransaction sentiments again, but just like every other time, all of the focus seems to be on why players shouldn't like it.  But if we're being practical, it's not players who decide revenue models, it's companies.  If people ever want to see something different, the relevant topic is why companies should want to not offer microtransactions in a subscription based game.  

Because let's face it, decisions ultimately aren't made by players or by the game's actual developers, they are made by the business people who control the developer's purse strings. In order to get gaming companies not to move in the direction of subscription + microtransaction instead of subscription only, somebody is going to have to come up with compelling arguments for how refusing to offer microtransactions will result in higher profits.  If nobody can come up with such arguments, companies have not only the "right" but the fiscal duty to offer microtransactions.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

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Comments

  • Flyte27Flyte27 Greenwich, CTPosts: 2,841Member Uncommon
  • Sunnyguy46Sunnyguy46 Santa Rosa, CAPosts: 89Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Flyte27

    Business ethics

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics

     

    And what is the key part in your compelling argument that has to do with microtransactions?

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member

    Devalue of your brand.

    Your Brand is everything. You can't be  the maker of high quality high value entertainment AND low cost low value entertainment. One or the other.

     

     

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • Flyte27Flyte27 Greenwich, CTPosts: 2,841Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sunnyguy46
    Originally posted by Flyte27

    Business ethics

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics

     

    And what is the key part in your compelling argument that has to do with microtransactions?

    It is unethical to sell items in a game for profit.  A game itself is meant to be a level playing field for all that can invest time.  Everyone who buys a game or pays a subscription fee should have access to all items within said game.  To me micro transactions are exploiting people by trying to feed on their impulse to buy things in game and also taking away the spirit of games in general.

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    Originally posted by Sunnyguy46
    Originally posted by Flyte27

    Business ethics

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics

     

    And what is the key part in your compelling argument that has to do with microtransactions?

    Children are the biggest spenders?

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    People act like players have no say. If players didn't buy it these games wouldn't be around. Obviously there are people out there who are not bothered by these things. They're just under represented on forums.

    When these games stop expanding their cash shops and what they're putting in them we'll know players have finally had enough.

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    You still don't get it. You think it's about money.

    These games were able to capture people because they offered a world. Inside that world were different rules. That's what makes people play for years. Realize that some games have been around for over 5 years. Years of people's lives they put into games. They are entirely too personal to say one thing will trump all or even one payment model.

    Once one game became 5, people had to decide which rules they preferred.

    Now that 5 has become 505 the rules are still the differentiators.

    Without distinguishing gameplay, all games are the same.

    Without distinguishing payment models, all companies are the same.

    The payment models became part of the differentiation system as a whole and they will be as hotly contested as any other gameplay related item. They will be the parcel by which decisions are made. Even more so as the number of games and game companies increase.

    The players CHOOSE the game and the players CHOOSE the payment models no matter which are offered.

    Today I make a new game.

    My game costs 100 a month to join and play. Inside you play as a white cube that engages in battle with other white cubes. I have made the decision as a game developer that my game costs 100 a month to play and you should respect me for my wise business decision. Why should I settle for 15 a month when clearly my cubes are worth 100 a month. This is a wise business decision for me. I will also be selling colors for my cubes at 10 per color in my add-on cash shop because I choose this as the developer.

    You will be playing my game - correct? And my decision to charge you for colored cubes along with my 100 a month fee because I am in charge, I am the one with the product and I am the one who determines pricing?

    No, you will deny my cube game because you know that as the player - you make the decision on not only what game you will play but also which pricing structure you will choose.

    To deny that is to deny reality.

    You post portends that players have little control. You are so very wrong about this. Anything can be for sale, only things that sell have value.

    ESO with a cash shop no longer had value to me. Cut and dry. As a player I make this decision. You can't talk me into liking their cash shop anymore than you can talk me into liking Maplestory's graphics.

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    Originally posted by Flyte27
    Originally posted by Sunnyguy46
    Originally posted by Flyte27

    Business ethics

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics

     

    And what is the key part in your compelling argument that has to do with microtransactions?

    It is unethical to sell items in a game for profit.  A game itself is meant to be a level playing field for all that can invest time.  Everyone who buys a game or pays a subscription fee should have access to all items within said game.  To me micro transactions are exploiting people by trying to feed on their impulse to buy things in game and also taking away the spirit of games in general.

    One could argue that they cannot be considered games at that point as well.

    The ones who control convenience, are the makers and sellers of convenience, they offer a business model that the company itself wouldn't agree to, yet ask their customers to. It's bad for consumers. A company with no ethics does this.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    People act like players have no say. If players didn't buy it these games wouldn't be around. Obviously there are people out there who are not bothered by these things. They're just under represented on forums.

    When these games stop expanding their cash shops and what they're putting in them we'll know players have finally had enough.

    No one does.  Only a tiny fraction pay a single penny.

    That pipe dream is ending, and their brands are worthless.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

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

    People act like players have no say. If players didn't buy it these games wouldn't be around. Obviously there are people out there who are not bothered by these things. They're just under represented on forums.

    When these games stop expanding their cash shops and what they're putting in them we'll know players have finally had enough.

    No one does.  Only a tiny fraction pay a single penny.

    That pipe dream is ending, and their brands are worthless.

    yeah that's what I keep reading on this forum....year after year. Yet microtransactions have grown every year.

  • AzureProwerAzurePrower AustraliaPosts: 1,508Member Uncommon

    Subscription vs. Cash Shop.

     

    When business model interferes with game play. It manipulates the game play to suit the business model.

     

    Best way to piss off the majority of people that support your game.

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,572Member Uncommon

    There arent any.

    However microtransactions have to be implemented well - example Rift, and not poorly (example most mobile apps)

     

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    People act like players have no say. If players didn't buy it these games wouldn't be around. Obviously there are people out there who are not bothered by these things. They're just under represented on forums.

    When these games stop expanding their cash shops and what they're putting in them we'll know players have finally had enough.

    No one does.  Only a tiny fraction pay a single penny.

    That pipe dream is ending, and their brands are worthless.

    yeah that's what I keep reading on this forum....year after year. Yet microtransactions have grown every year.

    As have the amount of games. Money is being funneled into the "best" free games while the other keep making more games trying to find the sweet spot. Some make money simply because they produce a large amount of games and get to charge the larger entry fee to begin - see beta for sale and alpha for sale. Those hack and slash games come out repeatedly from certain companies. They do nothing but change the gameplay slightly and sell repeatedly the same game.

    More people are gaming than they used to and more devices exist to game on. In the early days there were no console MMOs because the internet wasn't interconnected with consoles - we blew money on cartridges and paid premium price for each RPG.

    There were no mobile devices when these games started.

    Gaming as whole has grown - MMOs as a genre have more games than any one person can play now. And you say - they are making money? Well they better be with all the increased usage.

    Ponder this...since everyone loves superdata - the free to play king marketer.

    http://www.superdataresearch.com/blog/us-digital-games-market/

    "the average revenue per user for Candy Crush Saga has been flat in recent months, remaining steady at $0.58 in both January and February"

    Had that been a standard MMO that would have been 15.00 per month not fifty eight cents a month. There's your "business decision", wiping off dead weight. What good is it to say your game has 4 billion people playing if only 10 of them pay you. The more people who game and who game for free - the more they will stretch those limits of profitability. It's inevitable.

    In an MMO on a server you are playing with just a few thousand people - millions are not important to hear about. The only people who want to know there are millions around are the people who like and follow others because their numbers are already high. It's feeding the thought that someone else likes it so I must too. I had better check that out. It's marketing across the board.

    Gee Frank - you tell me 90% of the games are free to play then tell me that 90% of the gaming money is made from free to play games. Ask yourself which games have stayed subscription with the "hybrid" model. Go ahead, look at all the major MMO releases that went free to play and they still have a subscription option right there as a premium membership. They changed the name and the way they report the income but it's still subs paying for this whole genre. They just told you it's not a sub game - it's a free game and you fell for it. (You being the collective buying audience, not you individually and I know your name probably isn't Frank)

    Footnote:

    Take last year.

    They reported 2.8B from P2P MMOs and 8.3B from F2P MMOs. Is that an exact ratio?

    http://www.superdataresearch.com/blog/infographic-digital-games-year-review-2013/

    Do we see 4 free to play MMOs for every one subscription MMO? Not even close.  There are probably less than 5 subscription MMOs making all that money and at least 100 free MMOs sharing only 4 times the money. For free games to be making more they need to only have about 20 games out right now.

     

    Then you take a conglomerate gaming company like SOE. Now, they have multiple titles and they are willing to give you a flat fee to access multiple games knowing one thing. You are only likely to play one at once. If you would like to play multiple games they'll be happy to sell you micro-transactions which aren't transferable between games too. You are the same server load across multiple games but the more they can produce, the more they can package them and talk you into taking the package deal. Those are the big players now, the ones who keep you going from game to game while they have time to update the games but you never leave their little structure and you think you are the one getting a deal with all these games you can access for the same price. I think they used to call that a Jelly of the Month Club lol

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    People act like players have no say. If players didn't buy it these games wouldn't be around. Obviously there are people out there who are not bothered by these things. They're just under represented on forums.

    When these games stop expanding their cash shops and what they're putting in them we'll know players have finally had enough.

    No one does.  Only a tiny fraction pay a single penny.

    That pipe dream is ending, and their brands are worthless.

    yeah that's what I keep reading on this forum....year after year. Yet microtransactions have grown every year.

    So have buy to play and subs.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAPosts: 1,609Member Uncommon

    Technically speaking, I am not sure that they are actually doing microtransactions. If you pay X for an item, that is just a direct sale. It does not matter if the purchase is in game, online, or in a store.

     

    For this to be a microtransaction, there needs to be two transactions. One for the exchange of money, the second for the exchange of goods. The reason that many games use virtual currency, is because they only pay the fee for the transaction once, and then can sell multiple items.

    P.S. Why all the F2P bashing... on a P2P Game.

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon

    For me the two revenue models are symbolic of two types of core mindsets. One being a developers' mindset focus on enticing players to stay and the other a corporate mindset enticing players to spend. A majority of developers use to work toward retaining players for their mmorpg in the hopes of getting enough subs (players) to satisfy the suits and their desire for more revenue. It goes without saying, happy suits leave devs free to think of more creative ways to develop content for gamers to enjoy. But more and more it seems that developers are being trained (brainwashed) instead to appeal to a gamer's wallet rather than his/her heart. Basically we are no longer trying to get you to stay, but to spend a.k.a. the corporate mindset.

     

    And it really doesn't help that the suits have the most deceptively powerful term, F2P, at their disposal. They use this to get players to contradict themselves. It's all cosmetics....oh but you want better graphics? In the mean time those are cosmetic too.

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member

    Talent goes to work in other fields.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • AzureProwerAzurePrower AustraliaPosts: 1,508Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Superman0X

    Technically speaking, I am not sure that they are actually doing microtransactions. If you pay X for an item, that is just a direct sale. It does not matter if the purchase is in game, online, or in a store.

     

    For this to be a microtransaction, there needs to be two transactions. One for the exchange of money, the second for the exchange of goods. The reason that many games use virtual currency, is because they only pay the fee for the transaction once, and then can sell multiple items.

    P.S. Why all the F2P bashing... on a P2P Game.

     

    ...Do you even know what a microtransaction is?

  • RenoakuRenoaku Posts: 1,005Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    Yesterday's announcement of the palomino horse offering in ESO has stirred up anti-microtransaction sentiments again, but just like every other time, all of the focus seems to be on why players shouldn't like it.  But if we're being practical, it's not players who decide revenue models, it's companies.  If people ever want to see something different, the relevant topic is why companies should want to not offer microtransactions in a subscription based game.  

    Because let's face it, decisions ultimately aren't made by players or by the game's actual developers, they are made by the business people who control the developer's purse strings. In order to get gaming companies not to move in the direction of subscription + microtransaction instead of subscription only, somebody is going to have to come up with compelling arguments for how refusing to offer microtransactions will result in higher profits.  If nobody can come up with such arguments, companies have not only the "right" but the fiscal duty to offer microtransactions.

    I will be honest with you from my experience in online gaming.

    My problem isn't Micro-Transactions, or Real Money Trading in games, in fact I personally support both as long as RMT is from legit sources and not bot's but this is about Micro-Transactions so lets get started.

     

    I have no problem with ESO selling a Horse as a Early Starter Item for $20  for example, the problem is I don't trust the gaming industry or game companies anymore, I don't Trust the developers of ESO after Beta testing for 24 hours submitting my recommendations and them not taking me serious enough to fix many of my complaints with ESO I am done with ESO I am just not buying the game because it tells me they likely won't stop with a horse micro transaction, but will likely sell pre-leveled characters, cosmetics, and charge for every character re-customization you want to do like all the others I don't want to be playing a game like this.

    Take Age OF Wushu, a recent F2P Game I wanted to go back to, the game is a good game not the best but decent in my eyes, but my problem is that you have to spend $30 a month to enjoy the game to buy cosmetic items, money for VIP, and money for a mount, the cosmetics are rental items, the mount is rental, and VIP is just time purchased so basically I have to pay to enjoy my game and pay for everything I want to enjoy the game why not just pay $15 for EVE Online have the ability to re-customize as much as I want for free.

    Games Like Aion, almost every Perfect World Game too have similar issues with Micro Transactions, even APB Reloaded a game with potential completely ruined my Gamers First who I hope goes out of business down the Road and the game gets put in hands of developers that can give us a Truly free 2 Play MMO.

    If you want my honest truth, I think (RIFT) is the only current MMO, with a Truly Free 2 Play game, Without having to spend tons of money to play the game, I wouldn't bother playing or spending money in games like Perfect World, Nexon or many of these titles, the games have good graphics, and audio, but limiting a players experience is what kills the game.

    Micro-Transactions, are not a bad thing, its the reputation they get because of all these foreign game companies and the way they do Micro-Transactions on everything which to me kills the game for me.

    However if used properly with Micro-Transactions and used properly in ESO they can be used for good things, but the moment ESO starts limiting character Re-customization, charging for Barber-Shop's, and so on I would just unsubscribe even if I purchased the game I would say I am done here and mean it until it goes F2P. 

    Selling Cosmetics, and Mounts, are perfectly fine as long as they are done similar to Rift, Where a person just unlocks the cosmetic pack, then can freely use it whenever they choose to use it changing hair's, face, and so on, but charing $2 USD per character change for example or Points that require Real Money would make me quit.

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member

    Originally posted by Flyte27

    It is unethical to sell items in a game for profit.  A game itself is meant to be a level playing field for all that can invest time.  Everyone who buys a game or pays a subscription fee should have access to all items within said game.  To me micro transactions are exploiting people by trying to feed on their impulse to buy things in game and also taking away the spirit of games in general.

    To your first statement, it's only unethical if you believe capitalism and profit are inherently unethical.  And the "level playing field" argument really holds no water if you think about it for a second, because in a sub only game the playing field isn't level.  It is simply tilted in favor of those who have more time, instead of those who have more money.  Offering things like XP boosts and gear for sale could fairly be seen as *correcting* an imbalance, allowing those with more money than time to still have as good an experience as those with more time than money.  Player A wants to reach goal X, and has enough free time that he can spend 50 hours in a week doing so.  Player B wants to reach goal X as well, but only has 10 hours in a week that he can dedicate to it; he also has a lot more disposable income, and is perfectly willing to spend an extra $100 in order to be able to reach goal X in 10 hours instead of 50.  

    Why should these products prioritize the experience of people who prefer spending time to spending money, and as a result leave money on the table?  In both cases, at the end of the week the players have achieved goal X.  Why is it any of player A's business how player B got there, or vice versa?  These games aren't primarily populated by children anymore.  The average age of gamers in general is in the early to mid 30s, and MMO subscribers as a population skew even higher.  A lot of people in this market have a lot more money and a lot less time than they did when they started gaming, and companies offering those people a way to use money as a substitute for time is not only good business, it's good customer service.

    Originally posted by greenreen

    You still don't get it. You think it's about money.

    These games were able to capture people because they offered a world. Inside that world were different rules. That's what makes people play for years. Realize that some games have been around for over 5 years. Years of people's lives they put into games. They are entirely too personal to say one thing will trump all or even one payment model.

    Once one game became 5, people had to decide which rules they preferred.

    Now that 5 has become 505 the rules are still the differentiators.

    Without distinguishing gameplay, all games are the same.

    Without distinguishing payment models, all companies are the same.

    The payment models became part of the differentiation system as a whole and they will be as hotly contested as any other gameplay related item. They will be the parcel by which decisions are made. Even more so as the number of games and game companies increase.

    The players CHOOSE the game and the players CHOOSE the payment models no matter which are offered.

    Today I make a new game.

    My game costs 100 a month to join and play. Inside you play as a white cube that engages in battle with other white cubes. I have made the decision as a game developer that my game costs 100 a month to play and you should respect me for my wise business decision. Why should I settle for 15 a month when clearly my cubes are worth 100 a month. This is a wise business decision for me. I will also be selling colors for my cubes at 10 per color in my add-on cash shop because I choose this as the developer.

    You will be playing my game - correct? And my decision to charge you for colored cubes along with my 100 a month fee because I am in charge, I am the one with the product and I am the one who determines pricing?

    No, you will deny my cube game because you know that as the player - you make the decision on not only what game you will play but also which pricing structure you will choose.

    To deny that is to deny reality.

    You post portends that players have little control. You are so very wrong about this. Anything can be for sale, only things that sell have value.

    ESO with a cash shop no longer had value to me. Cut and dry. As a player I make this decision. You can't talk me into liking their cash shop anymore than you can talk me into liking Maplestory's graphics.

    You still don't get it.  You think it's not about money.  You do get to decide whether or not to play a given game.  But guess what?  The people who are financing these games don't care whether you play.  They do not care about any individual.  They only care about market segments.  If they believe they can lose 100% of the potential revenue from the market segment of people who refuse to play a game with cash shops, and still make more money than if they weren't offering a cash shop, then eventually we will reach the point where no AAA game is without a cash shop.  Historical trends in the industry have shown (so far) that there is no financial downside to adding a cash shop to a game.

    The actual creative artists making the games don't make these decisions, not now, if they ever did.  Nobody who says "Yeah, we could do it without a cash shop and make a ton of people happy, but there is a 99% chance our revenue would be far, far less doing it that way" is going to get their project financed at a high level.  Just not going to happen.  Unless, as I state in the OP, somebody finds a compelling argument for how the road to the highest profit actually requires rejecting microtransactions/cash shops.

    Originally posted by Ramonski7

    For me the two revenue models are symbolic of two types of core mindsets. One being a developers' mindset focus on enticing players to stay and the other a corporate mindset enticing players to spend. A majority of developers use to work toward retaining players for their mmorpg in the hopes of getting enough subs (players) to satisfy the suits and their desire for more revenue. It goes without saying, happy suits leave devs free to think of more creative ways to develop content for gamers to enjoy. But more and more it seems that developers are being trained (brainwashed) instead to appeal to a gamer's wallet rather than his/her heart. Basically we are no longer trying to get you to stay, but to spend a.k.a. the corporate mindset. 

    And it really doesn't help that the suits have the most deceptively powerful term, F2P, at their disposal. They use this to get players to contradict themselves. It's all cosmetics....oh but you want better graphics? In the mean time those are cosmetic too.

    In order to succeed, they need to have both mindsets.  If they don't entice players to spend, they will get fired and replaced by someone who does.  If they don't entice players to stay, there won't be anyone around to do the spending.  And the developers aren't being "brainwashed," they are simply doing what they have to do to keep their jobs, which means maximizing profits to keep the suits happy.

     

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    Yesterday's announcement of the palomino horse offering in ESO has stirred up anti-microtransaction sentiments again, but just like every other time, all of the focus seems to be on why players shouldn't like it.  But if we're being practical, it's not players who decide revenue models, it's companies.  If people ever want to see something different, the relevant topic is why companies should want to not offer microtransactions in a subscription based game.  

    Because let's face it, decisions ultimately aren't made by players or by the game's actual developers, they are made by the business people who control the developer's purse strings. In order to get gaming companies not to move in the direction of subscription + microtransaction instead of subscription only, somebody is going to have to come up with compelling arguments for how refusing to offer microtransactions will result in higher profits.  If nobody can come up with such arguments, companies have not only the "right" but the fiscal duty to offer microtransactions.

    Microtransactions reduce the amount of revenue you will see in an  MMO. 

    Look back at games like UO, FFXI, and others that are long running. It took time to obtain items and to reach various milestones. Later on after subscriptions declined they began offering items to purchase to generate additional revenue. 

    When you take a new game and start offering items for purchase it usually negates the time needed to obtain a similar or the same item in game. Experience increases, armor, weapons, and mounts gained outside of gameplay negates the need to obtain these items in game and speeds a player towards end game and thus ending their desire to subscribe until new content is released. They may or may not return at that point. 

    I don't completely admonish cash shops, but there is a time and place for them and at launch is not the it. 

    The longer it takes to get things in a game, the longer people play. When they run out of things to obtain (Items, skills, abilities, levels, housing, deco, etc.) they leave. When you devalue these items by making it available on a shop you also diminish the desire to obtain items in game. 

    Probably not very coherent considering I'm not completely sober at the moment and it is around 1am-ish, but hopefully you get the jist of what I'm saying. 

    The old MMO's in which is took time to obtain things were able to keep decent subscriber numbers for quite some time. Newer MMO's that launch with these cash shop offerings seem to go free to play fairly quickly. Maybe there isn't a correlation and I'm way off base, but I do know I personally felt a lot of pride and gladly paid each and every month in games where it took time to get things done and to obtain items( UO over 10 years, FFXI over 5 years), I typically fizzle out on these new MMO's after about 3 months. 

    3 Months at 14.99 a pop + maybe 50 to 60 bucks on the cash shop 

    vs. 

    10+ years at 9.99 a month and 5 years at 12.99 + my mules bringing it to 14.99 a month. 

     

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAPosts: 1,609Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AzurePrower
    Originally posted by Superman0X

    Technically speaking, I am not sure that they are actually doing microtransactions. If you pay X for an item, that is just a direct sale. It does not matter if the purchase is in game, online, or in a store.

     

    For this to be a microtransaction, there needs to be two transactions. One for the exchange of money, the second for the exchange of goods. The reason that many games use virtual currency, is because they only pay the fee for the transaction once, and then can sell multiple items.

    P.S. Why all the F2P bashing... on a P2P Game.

     

    ...Do you even know what a microtransaction is?

    Why yes, yes I do. I am actually much more familiar than most. A microtransacion is small (secondary) transaction, which is used as part of a larger (primary) transaction. When you buy a virtual currency, you are doing the primary transaction. When you spend it, you are doing the secondary (micro) transaction.

     

    The original concept was that these secondary transactions could be very small, even less than a cent. The reason why two transactions were needed, is that the processing fee for such a small transaction would be more than the actual transaction.

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by Superman0X
    Originally posted by AzurePrower
    Originally posted by Superman0X

    Technically speaking, I am not sure that they are actually doing microtransactions. If you pay X for an item, that is just a direct sale. It does not matter if the purchase is in game, online, or in a store.

     

    For this to be a microtransaction, there needs to be two transactions. One for the exchange of money, the second for the exchange of goods. The reason that many games use virtual currency, is because they only pay the fee for the transaction once, and then can sell multiple items.

    P.S. Why all the F2P bashing... on a P2P Game.

     

    ...Do you even know what a microtransaction is?

    Why yes, yes I do. I am actually much more familiar than most. A microtransacion is small (secondary) transaction, which is used as part of a larger (primary) transaction. When you buy a virtual currency, you are doing the primary transaction. When you spend it, you are doing the secondary (micro) transaction.

     

    The original concept was that these secondary transactions could be very small, even less than a cent. The reason why two transactions were needed, is that the processing fee for such a small transaction would be more than the actual transaction.

    Most consider a microtransaction to be a financial transaction involving a very small sum of money and usually one that occurs online. 

    Micro - extremely small.

     

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member
    Originally posted by GrayGhost79

    Microtransactions reduce the amount of revenue you will see in an  MMO. 

    Look back at games like UO, FFXI, and others that are long running. It took time to obtain items and to reach various milestones. Later on after subscriptions declined they began offering items to purchase to generate additional revenue. 

    When you take a new game and start offering items for purchase it usually negates the time needed to obtain a similar or the same item in game. Experience increases, armor, weapons, and mounts gained outside of gameplay negates the need to obtain these items in game and speeds a player towards end game and thus ending their desire to subscribe until new content is released. They may or may not return at that point. 

    I don't completely admonish cash shops, but there is a time and place for them and at launch is not the it. 

    The longer it takes to get things in a game, the longer people play. When they run out of things to obtain (Items, skills, abilities, levels, housing, deco, etc.) they leave. When you devalue these items by making it available on a shop you also diminish the desire to obtain items in game. 

    Probably not very coherent considering I'm not completely sober at the moment and it is around 1am-ish, but hopefully you get the jist of what I'm saying. 

    The old MMO's in which is took time to obtain things were able to keep decent subscriber numbers for quite some time. Newer MMO's that launch with these cash shop offerings seem to go free to play fairly quickly. Maybe there isn't a correlation and I'm way off base, but I do know I personally felt a lot of pride and gladly paid each and every month in games where it took time to get things done and to obtain items( UO over 10 years, FFXI over 5 years), I typically fizzle out on these new MMO's after about 3 months. 

    3 Months at 14.99 a pop + maybe 50 to 60 bucks on the cash shop 

    vs. 

    10+ years at 9.99 a month and 5 years at 12.99 + my mules bringing it to 14.99 a month. 

    In 2004 this would have been a compelling argument.  When there were very few games to play, and all of them required a sub, people weren't nearly as likely to game hop, because doing so would mean paying the same amount of money for a less developed character roster and starting over at building social connections.  But fast forward to 2014, and the barriers to entry are so low in most games that people will shop around, and if they see more value in game B than game A, they will probably switch.  As a purely practical matter, games which offer cash shops offer more value than games which don't.  It may not be value that every customer cares about, but it is still value, and this is a numbers game.  Look at TOR; they made more money just on their cash shop in 2013 that any game other than WoW made from subscriptions.  They have to design revenue models for the way people actually behave in these games now, not for the way the (much smaller) audience behaved ten years ago.  And who knows, even back then the games might have made more money with sub + cash shop, nobody tried so the question is academic.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    You still don't get it.  You think it's not about money.  You do get to decide whether or not to play a given game.  But guess what?  The people who are financing these games don't care whether you play.  They do not care about any individual.  They only care about market segments.  If they believe they can lose 100% of the potential revenue from the market segment of people who refuse to play a game with cash shops, and still make more money than if they weren't offering a cash shop, then eventually we will reach the point where no AAA game is without a cash shop.  Historical trends in the industry have shown (so far) that there is no financial downside to adding a cash shop to a game.

    The actual creative artists making the games don't make these decisions, not now, if they ever did.  Nobody who says "Yeah, we could do it without a cash shop and make a ton of people happy, but there is a 99% chance our revenue would be far, far less doing it that way" is going to get their project financed at a high level.  Just not going to happen.  Unless, as I state in the OP, somebody finds a compelling argument for how the road to the highest profit actually requires rejecting microtransactions/cash shops.

     

    Let's go by the poll in their beta forums.

     

    o-[xxx||]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

    Are you happy they are selling mounts now in the cash shop?.

    331 votes

    Yes I am happy - 28% in favor of   (95 votes)
    No this sucks - 71% in favor of     (236 votes)
     
    o-[xxx||]:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

     

    You seem to think people like this but the players don't agree with you. Which segment are they. Are they warm sells or cold sells, beta testers. If your warm sells are in 70% dislike on a topic is that significant or insignificant.

    An MMO is doing great if it sells 3m copies. If you knock that down 70% what is left. 900,000 players.

    900,000 *15 a month = 13,500,000

    versus

    3,000,000 * 15 a month = 45,000,000

    You really think they can compensate for 31,500,000 off that cash shop monthly and that those 900,000 players are willing to each spend 35 additionally a month on the cash shop? C'mon now, the second the cash shop takes over people will be screaming about paying a sub at all. They won't accept both at once and there's no way they are going to pay 35 extra bucks a month just to compensate for the people who don't like the cash shop. Those cash shop haters (if they stay) will be constantly sitting around with a strike against the game waiting for a chance to leave. The second they run out of the newness of this game they'll be ranting about that cash shop and talk about how they could get that treatment in a free game.

    People talk about how WOW got away with adding a cash shop. WOW had people invested for at least 5 years before they did it. Five years of building a character and investing in it. People could ignore anything WOW did when it didn't affect them personally because of all that investment they had in their characters. How attached are you to your ESO character. Not even a single day attached. Your real character hasn't even been started.

    Now that people have begun finally leaving they are selling characters to take away that building process by selling pre-made chars. This game hasn't had MMO players locked in for 5 years or longer. They are new to this segment and if they think they can walk in and just "do" what WOW did without earning their stripes by making people content enough to pay year after year, they've got a lesson to learn. They are going to have enough trouble selling a sub game to the console people who were their largest Skyrim audience. It only sold something like 17% of the 20m in PC sales. MMOs are much heavier on the PC side than the console side. Then you think they'll accept a cash shop on top of it - really.

     
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