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Why the Box Fee "Cash Grab"?

Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 14,210

On the official forums I thought there was an insghtful post made by someone who is apparently defending the game here but wanted to voice some concerns privately.  I thought it was worth sharing the inner thoughts of some of the "defenders" here...

 

Ive taken some jabs in that thread at some of the sillier accusations but at the same time there is something that has been bugging me for a while that is going to get hammered hard over the next few weeks: why the box price?

Pay to train is an integral part of the design and if you are playing and being entertained why not pay, cool. We also have a cash shop which I assume will have cooler stuff as we go. But it really is the box price that makes the cash grab accusations undefendable and takes PFO so far outside the going rate for similar products. I thought the box should have been nixed after the KS, but I guess there was an argument about gating the first couple months of EE.

At this point, starving for population, where is the argument to charge a box price for the digitally dowloaded paid beta (I don't mind calling it a paid beta, F it)? I think GW is shooting to high with that box charge, not just now, but forever. Rough waters ahead, good a time as any to bank the goodwill that comes with nixing it.

https://goblinworks.com/forum/post/27031/

 

 

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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] UncommonPosts: 0
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  • AudoucetAudoucet Member UncommonPosts: 69
    Originally posted by caldeathe

    What's always confused me is the notion of rewarding people to play in alpha or beta. Unless your product is so poor, or so poorly known that you need to do it as advertising, it only attracts people who now taint your pool. I assume the same is true of Pathfinder or any paid early access, whether alpha, beta, or otherwise, to ensure that nobody is there who doesn't want to be there for the startup. What point is there in opening up an early window to people who are only there because it's cheap, or free, or worse, they are being paid to be there? They generally aren't as likely to give you the kind of feedback you need. Ideally you'd be able to pick exactly the early testers that you want, based on a complete breakdown that matches your target market, including things like being interested in that type of game and having the money to be willing to play it for a long time. Asking for money up front to participate is the best way of which I can think, to ensure that the players are representative of that group.

    Because giving money for your subscription isn't giving money upfront ?

  • kikoodutroa8kikoodutroa8 Member RarePosts: 562
    Seeing how fans throw shitloads of money on the premise that "the game may have a chance of turning into something good in a far, far future", it is more a sect than a mmo.
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 14,210
    Originally posted by kikoodutroa8
    Seeing how fans throw shitloads of money on the premise that "the game may have a chance of turning into something good in a far, far future", it is more a sect than a mmo.

    Funny you say that.  The game this most reminds me of is Mortal Online (and that's not a good thing).  I actually wrote a blog about this exactly 3 years ago: http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Slapshot1188/052012/23041_When-fandom-turns-into-a-Cult

    All time classic  MY NEW FAVORITE POST!

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

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  • CyraelCyrael Member UncommonPosts: 239
    I don't consider it a cash grab. If it's a solid game, it's worth a box price.
  • damond5031damond5031 Member UncommonPosts: 445
    Originally posted by caldeathe

    What's always confused me is the notion of rewarding people to play in alpha or beta. Unless your product is so poor, or so poorly known that you need to do it as advertising, it only attracts people who now taint your pool. I assume the same is true of Pathfinder or any paid early access, whether alpha, beta, or otherwise, to ensure that nobody is there who doesn't want to be there for the startup. What point is there in opening up an early window to people who are only there because it's cheap, or free, or worse, they are being paid to be there? They generally aren't as likely to give you the kind of feedback you need. Ideally you'd be able to pick exactly the early testers that you want, based on a complete breakdown that matches your target market, including things like being interested in that type of game and having the money to be willing to play it for a long time. Asking for money up front to participate is the best way of which I can think, to ensure that the players are representative of that group.

    This sounds like something a pitch man for a MLM scheme would say, "We have to charge this large entry fee to weed out the people who aren't really serious about selling our product.".  What a load of crap man, when Dancy sends people out to try and recruit folks to buy into this game do you really think he cares who they are? He doesnt give a damn who is playing as long as they are paying, feedback be damned.  I have thought about asking for a trial key several times but always stop myself thinking "even if this game is decent I still wouldnt pay a box price for an unfinished game so what is the point". If the CEO had any sense at all, he would drop the box price and put a low sub fee on the game. Many more people would give it a go and the game would probably be much more fun with lots of people running around as opposed to just a few hard core believers. Would you go pay full price for a car that that was just a seat sitting on a rusty frame with three wheels?? Hell no you wouldnt, I wouldnt even pay a dollar at Mcdonalds for a half ass finished sandwhich. For some reason projects like this get a pass from people because technology. You should try and save some face now man because this ship is about to go under with all hands on deck.

  • AudoucetAudoucet Member UncommonPosts: 69
    Originally posted by caldeathe
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    On the official forums I thought there was an insghtful post made by someone who is apparently defending the game here but wanted to voice some concerns privately.  I thought it was worth sharing the inner thoughts of some of the "defenders" here...

    If people like something, and post why, they're fanbois. If they communicate concerns to the developers, on the official developer forums, as they're supposed to, they're voicing some concerns "privately." Maybe the fans are just fans, like those of any other game.

    It's just an unfinished game. Some people like it, some don't. It isn't perfect. It won't ever be perfect. Neither will any other game. Some people hate the ceo, some people think he's incredible. He isn't perfect. He won't ever be perfect. Neither will any other ceo. Where is the payoff for anybody in obsessing about something we don't like and getting so caught up that no matter what the people who like it do, they're always wrong?

    Actually, it is completely justified to fight this game.

    It's not a question of drowning it for the sake of drowning it, it's a question of fighting against some new industry standards, like subscription early access.

    I consider it completely justified, to fight against what I consider toxic for the industry. And a lot of things in PFO are, very bad for the industry. With the help of a few other games, PFO succeeded in entirely destroying the confidence of A LOT of players, towards the entire Kickstarter concept.

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  • KilrainKilrain Member RarePosts: 1,180
    You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't.
  • kikoodutroa8kikoodutroa8 Member RarePosts: 562
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188
    Originally posted by kikoodutroa8
    Seeing how fans throw shitloads of money on the premise that "the game may have a chance of turning into something good in a far, far future", it is more a sect than a mmo.

    Funny you say that.  The game this most reminds me of is Mortal Online (and that's not a good thing).  I actually wrote a blog about this exactly 3 years ago: http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Slapshot1188/052012/23041_When-fandom-turns-into-a-Cult

    The Almighty power of marketing!

    http://www.referralcandy.com/blog/foot-door-7-examples-commitment-consistency-marketing/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot-in-the-door_technique

    I suspect there's another psychological mechanism behind the "consistency" thing that I haven't seen covered in articles (I could have missed it though): Let's say one pay 400$ for a game + sub. It's probably easier for that person to think that investment hasn't pay off yet ("game will improve", "it's a beta") than to tell himself he just threw away a good amount of money.

    I remember people paying 200$ for Neverwinter packs. 200$ for a f2p game? Totally worth it! And of course it was going to be the best game ever.
  • EdgeXEdgeX Member UncommonPosts: 39

    My favorite part about the box fee is the CEO brings up Eve Online a lot and how he sees the game slowly growing with time like Eve, but guess what game has no box fee.....

  • Avari3Avari3 Member Posts: 16
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    On the official forums I thought there was an insghtful post made by someone who is apparently defending the game here but wanted to voice some concerns privately.  I thought it was worth sharing the inner thoughts of some of the "defenders" here...

     

    Ive taken some jabs in that thread at some of the sillier accusations but at the same time there is something that has been bugging me for a while that is going to get hammered hard over the next few weeks: why the box price?

    Pay to train is an integral part of the design and if you are playing and being entertained why not pay, cool. We also have a cash shop which I assume will have cooler stuff as we go. But it really is the box price that makes the cash grab accusations undefendable and takes PFO so far outside the going rate for similar products. I thought the box should have been nixed after the KS, but I guess there was an argument about gating the first couple months of EE.

    At this point, starving for population, where is the argument to charge a box price for the digitally dowloaded paid beta (I don't mind calling it a paid beta, F it)? I think GW is shooting to high with that box charge, not just now, but forever. Rough waters ahead, good a time as any to bank the goodwill that comes with nixing it.

    https://goblinworks.com/forum/post/27031/

     

     

     

    Yeah, that was me, and I do believe the box price is hurting GW way more than it can possibly be helping them.  Despite however people want to throw the label of blind stupid fanbois at anyone paying for PFO, the truth is very far from that.  My guild alone, the 7th Veil, is BY FAR the most intelligent and educated group of gamers I've ever been around.  It seems like half of them have programming backgrounds, I'm like the village idiot because I only work on creative suite.  We are talking about decades and decades of gaming experiences good and bad and in depth understanding of why the most recent bug happened.

    And if you think we haven't been harsh on Ryan Dancey or GW when they have deserved it you are dead wrong.  The community pushed back Early Enrollment by about 3 months and I suspect there will be a minor ground swell for GW to do something about the population soon, which is trickling in at a drop by drop rate.

    So when this group of players along with equally knowledgeable gamers in other active guilds says that they are willing to pay the sub for Early Enrollment, people should pay attention.  The game is fun RIGHT NOW, because when you roll with a group that is fighting other groups the game mechanics are way better than the sum of their parts.

    There are other finished games I should be playing?  Really, which one?  PFO has hooked me to sandbox and I have simply no appetite for any railroad of any kind.  I'd rather read a friggin book or watch a movie than be led like a mule through illusions of self determination.

    Now I see everyone jumping all over Crowfall's nuts, of course because its 2 years away.  These are the same people that already soured on Star Citizen and SotA.  The grass will always been greener in the next game for them, they can suck a cow tittie.

    So, yeah, I'm dogging the box price.  But I also am playing and paying for PFO because its the best game I want to play RIGHT NOW.

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  • Avari3Avari3 Member Posts: 16
    Originally posted by caldeathe

    Lots of people think that paying for an incomplete game is an awful practice that will destroy the industry. Lots don't. There's nothing wrong with advocating for your preferred position, but implying that something is a scam (and therefore those who are supporting it are of sub-par intelligence) because it uses a form of funding with which one disagrees, is not a valid logical position, and is not fair to those people who feel the project is worthwhile.

    I have received good value for what I have paid over the last couple of years. It is not for anyone else to tell me I was scammed.

     

    The Kickstarters have undoubtedly gotten their money's worth and then some.  The game could close shop tomorrow and we actually put money down on a game that was made, got a bunch of cool Pathfinder stuff and played the game for 4 months.  Anybody says PFO was a kickstarter scam can, as I said before, go suck a cow nipple.

     

    My worry is that there is no justification for the box price for people trying to get in nthe game right now.  The sub makes all the sense in the world because there is no xp rollback and the pay to train model is what the game is built around.  The cash shop has absolutely nothing you really need so it's 100% optional.  The box price at this stage of the game has no validation and the bad press alone makes it a bad idea.

  • goboygogoboygo Member RarePosts: 2,141
    I think people use the word cash grab too loosely these days.  As often as I see it used now on this site to describe anyone selling a product in any state, technically every time I spend money on anything its a cash grab.  Trendy words and phrases annoy me, it shows a lack of creativity on the part of the writer.
  • Avari3Avari3 Member Posts: 16
    Originally posted by goboygo
    I think people use the word cash grab too loosely these days.  As often as I see it used now on this site to describe anyone selling a product in any state, technically every time I spend money on anything its a cash grab.  Trendy words and phrases annoy me, it shows a lack of creativity on the part of the writer.

    I also suspect that there are at least 1000 better ways to grab fast cash and run than building a video game, much less an MMO.  PFO is building an MMO and they are doing it at a pretty furious pace all while fixing bugs and polishing for the game a couple thousand people are playing and doing it all with a dozen or so employees.

    If the idea of a scam is to make money without putting in the work, well this is one awful scam.

  • VesaviusVesavius Member RarePosts: 7,908
    Originally posted by Audoucet
    Originally posted by caldeathe
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    On the official forums I thought there was an insghtful post made by someone who is apparently defending the game here but wanted to voice some concerns privately.  I thought it was worth sharing the inner thoughts of some of the "defenders" here...

    If people like something, and post why, they're fanbois. If they communicate concerns to the developers, on the official developer forums, as they're supposed to, they're voicing some concerns "privately." Maybe the fans are just fans, like those of any other game.

    It's just an unfinished game. Some people like it, some don't. It isn't perfect. It won't ever be perfect. Neither will any other game. Some people hate the ceo, some people think he's incredible. He isn't perfect. He won't ever be perfect. Neither will any other ceo. Where is the payoff for anybody in obsessing about something we don't like and getting so caught up that no matter what the people who like it do, they're always wrong?

    Actually, it is completely justified to fight this game.

    It's not a question of drowning it for the sake of drowning it, it's a question of fighting against some new industry standards, like subscription early access.

    I consider it completely justified, to fight against what I consider toxic for the industry. And a lot of things in PFO are, very bad for the industry. With the help of a few other games, PFO succeeded in entirely destroying the confidence of A LOT of players, towards the entire Kickstarter concept.

     

    The entire KS concept with regards to MMORPGs, maybe. But only maybe. I don't consider PFO's problem, charging too early for what GW consider a 'MVP', but which clearly isn't, a KS issue. This game is not Greed Monger and it would be a lazy mistake to throw it in the same basket.

    I say again, PFO's problems right now are not KS related.

    The game's issue is that as soon as you charge people to play, you create an entitled expectation of a market level of completion and quality. PFO clearly isn't in a place to meet these right now and has made a mistake in taking money in the form of box sales and subs at this point.

     

    I am a Kick Starter fan in general. It has delivered quality games in genres declared 'dead' by the mainstream, from platformers, to isometric  RPGs, to space sims, that I wouldn't have been able to enjoy otherwise. It has helped give an alternative to a bloated stagnant creatively bankrupt numbers driven games industry and enabled passion driven grass roots niche gaming to flourish. I won't even get onto how it has been great from my other interests, from tabletop gaming, to art, to comics.

  • GruugGruug Member RarePosts: 1,773
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    On the official forums I thought there was an insghtful post made by someone who is apparently defending the game here but wanted to voice some concerns privately.  I thought it was worth sharing the inner thoughts of some of the "defenders" here...

     

    Ive taken some jabs in that thread at some of the sillier accusations but at the same time there is something that has been bugging me for a while that is going to get hammered hard over the next few weeks: why the box price?

    Pay to train is an integral part of the design and if you are playing and being entertained why not pay, cool. We also have a cash shop which I assume will have cooler stuff as we go. But it really is the box price that makes the cash grab accusations undefendable and takes PFO so far outside the going rate for similar products. I thought the box should have been nixed after the KS, but I guess there was an argument about gating the first couple months of EE.

    At this point, starving for population, where is the argument to charge a box price for the digitally dowloaded paid beta (I don't mind calling it a paid beta, F it)? I think GW is shooting to high with that box charge, not just now, but forever. Rough waters ahead, good a time as any to bank the goodwill that comes with nixing it.

    https://goblinworks.com/forum/post/27031/

     

     

     

    I really do not understand these sorts of complaints. Do people not know that they do not need to shell out their money (or anyone else's for that matter) on ANY product. Well except maybe those mandated by government but that is off-topic. If you do not like something because of the price, quality, subject matter or any other thing, DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON IT. It is the individuals CHOICE as to what they wish to spend or not spend their own money on. If is not our place to force or judge that choice.

     

    Let's party like it is 1863!

  • goboygogoboygo Member RarePosts: 2,141
    Originally posted by Avari3
    Originally posted by goboygo
    I think people use the word cash grab too loosely these days.  As often as I see it used now on this site to describe anyone selling a product in any state, technically every time I spend money on anything its a cash grab.  Trendy words and phrases annoy me, it shows a lack of creativity on the part of the writer.

    I also suspect that there are at least 1000 better ways to grab fast cash and run than building a video game, much less an MMO.  PFO is building an MMO and they are doing it at a pretty furious pace all while fixing bugs and polishing for the game a couple thousand people are playing and doing it all with a dozen or so employees.

    If the idea of a scam is to make money without putting in the work, well this is one awful scam.

    Agreed, game developers are usually struggling to survive, and small companies like GW generally just lose money pursuing a dream barely keeping their heads above water.  People just assume if someone is selling something they are getting rich, you know "grabbing" all the cash 20 bucks at a time and sailing off to the Bahamas lol.  There is as pretty big disconnect for most people on how much money it costs to run a business or to make an MMO.

  • VesaviusVesavius Member RarePosts: 7,908
    Originally posted by goboygo
    Originally posted by Avari3
    Originally posted by goboygo
    I think people use the word cash grab too loosely these days.  As often as I see it used now on this site to describe anyone selling a product in any state, technically every time I spend money on anything its a cash grab.  Trendy words and phrases annoy me, it shows a lack of creativity on the part of the writer.

    I also suspect that there are at least 1000 better ways to grab fast cash and run than building a video game, much less an MMO.  PFO is building an MMO and they are doing it at a pretty furious pace all while fixing bugs and polishing for the game a couple thousand people are playing and doing it all with a dozen or so employees.

    If the idea of a scam is to make money without putting in the work, well this is one awful scam.

    Agreed, game developers are usually struggling to survive, and small companies like GW generally just lose money pursuing a dream barely keeping their heads above water.  People just assume if someone is selling something they are getting rich, you know "grabbing" all the cash 20 bucks at a time and sailing off to the Bahamas lol.  There is as pretty big disconnect for most people on how much money it costs to run a business or to make an MMO.

     

    I don't think PFO is a cash grab, I just think that it has been monetised naively. GW just didn't understand the customer base or the current climate of the market.

    Scam 'games' like Greed Monger haven't helped it, not that it is anything like that game. Lazy minded gamers lump them all in together though.

  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619

    In no way do I feel that PO is a scam like War-Z or GreedMonger but like several posters have stated above, I dont think GoblinWorks had a solid plan going in.  It seems as if they are losing supporters who jumped into the kickstarter and have decided to no longer continue paying a monthly fee.  This resulted in a cash shortage which prompts the CEO to ask the community to bring more people into the game.  Most other games have a budget and the funds to run though release which is why we have not seen another game ask for a box fee + sub during the beta test before.  I personally feel the GW leadership overestimated how many people they could get to continue paying $15 a month while they continue development.

    On a side note, when I say "cash shortage" I am not saying they are out of money now.  I am saying they realize that at the current rate they will run out of money before the planed release date of January 2016.  I have no proof of this obviously, it is only my opinion based on the events.  I also assume they have other connections they could draw on to ask for more money but they dont want to as it could result in them having to sell some ownership in the game.

    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 14,210

    The sad part is that if they were just honest, called this phase the CrowdForging phase... and removed the No Wipe policy they could have charged $30 a month or more and most of the current supporters would still have supported.  It would have left the rest without such a bad taste in their mouths...

     

    I think it was a marketing catastrophe to try and pass this off as anything other than a paid beta, and compounded by the no wipe policy.

     

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  • GolbezTheLionGolbezTheLion Member UncommonPosts: 347
    Originally posted by caldeathe

    Again, not liking something doesn't make it "bad,"

    This head in the sand routine is starting to look sad and pathetic, wake up man.

    PFO belongs to an extremely niche area of the gaming industry, and in this industry when the majority opinion is overwhelmingly negative it has a dramatic, often crippling, effect on how that game is received by the remainder of the gaming public - i.e. the pool of potential players for your game.

    Niche game (sandbox) + bad press + poor PR = you just eliminated 50% or more of your potential customers. You have an utter lack of knowledge in regard to this industry and how it performs. IT DOESN'T MATTER if not liking something doesn't make it bad, the people are saying it is and the impression they are giving others conveys that same viewpoint onto them.

    In this industry that is all it takes to devastate your potential customer base. The opinions of the general gaming public have a much bigger impact on whether a game succeeds than you seem to be aware of.

    Supporters with a mindset such as yours are just as bad for a game as the naysayers are.

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