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F2P being considered for SotA long term, says Richard Garriott

blorpykinsblorpykins Member RarePosts: 466
edited June 2017 in Shroud of the Avatar

"Clearly there is a worthy debate on the long term best plan be it subscriptions, vs free to play, vs buy once and sell vanity items as we do." - Richard Garriott


Check the comments section of the SotA SeedInvest page.  Months away from commercial release and they're still debating on how to offer the game; F2P is the likely future of SotA just like what happened with Tabula Rasa.  So below I copied the messages for context, a backer voices some concerns and Richard responds and that's where he discloses that they're debating F2P for the long term.  How can Portalarium not know how they're going to make money?

---

Deckard Cain

There are many who are concerned that SotA will never be successful in the long run - there are major core issues with the game that cannot be solved by throwing more money into it. The biggest issue many gamers have with SotA is the conflict in creating an RPG with so much Real Money Trading involved. Most gamers in this market absolutely despise "Add-on" stores and things of this nature, especially when the items being sold are so crucial to advancement and economic competition in the game. Many players will quickly lose interest in this title knowing that a home and tax-free lot deed can be simply purchased for hundreds of real life dollars instead of working towards it like everyone else. A player who is wealthy in the real world can gain massive economic advantage in the game by simply selling their high-level backer tier rewards or by purchasing indestructible crafting tools, special armor/weapons, etc.

Everyone I know that has taken a look at SotA's add-on store have reacted extremely negatively, and if you look at reviews and initial impressions of this title you will find mostly everyone agrees.

As an early backer of this title, I am sad that such a promising game has turned into the monster that it is now. I wholeheartedly believe that future investors/developers will look back at SotA as an example of how not to implement microtransactions in a game.

---

Richard Garriott de Cayeux · Team Member

Deckard Cain,

For their initial purchase of about $40, players get full unlimited access to the game. Most all we sell in the ad on store is primarily “vanity items” like outfits, emotes and homes. These are optional and generally have little or no effect on player gameplay competition and progress. Clearly there is a worthy debate on the long term best plan be it subscriptions, vs free to play, vs buy once and sell vanity items as we do. We continually poll our players and work to find the fairest most pleasant exchange of value we can. While theses standards continue to evolve for us and many games in the online segment, I believe we have a strong economic model foundation, and are improving it with time. While there is no one billing method that will please all players, we constantly review and poll to help us find a positive and fair method of raising funds for the development of Shroud of the Avatar.

- Richard Garriott


Post edited by blorpykins on
RawynEarthgirl
«13

Comments

  • RawynRawyn Member UncommonPosts: 202
    edited June 2017
    I don't doubt they'll have an optional subscription tacked into this game. Rg liked the idea when it was brought up on the forums before. Expect it as the desperation grows with this failed game. Anything to milk the few hundred people they got left since they can't get many new people to play it. These dudes have no shame and will milk the few players they got left anyway they can before they go bankrupt.

    Even Chris talked about what their subscription could look like.

    "BTW, I think we've discussed a monthly pledge option publicly before. It would have multiple different levels, maybe $5,$10,$20,$50 a month pledge tiers. They would include a number COTOs at a good exchange rate, and a few fun items based on how many consecutive months you had pledged. COTO rewards per month could also increase over time as a reward for sticking with it. I know this isn't exactly what you want with a subscription BUT it would be really hard to force a completely new mandatory payment model onto the existing audience."

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/quick-brain-dump-on-our-logic-behind-cotos.71486/page-3#post-705035
    blorpykinsEarthgirl
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member EpicPosts: 2,073
    How can they even consider a sub when the game has avg 133 players in the past month.

    http://steamcharts.com/app/326160

    It's time to refund all the money they collected and admit they failed.

    RexKushmanRawynblorpykinsLeFantomePhizbinAgent_JosephpostlarvalDerpangedJoseph_Kerr
  • RexKushmanRexKushman Member RarePosts: 596
    You have to love how RG doesn't even try to address the points brought up in the post he responds to. The game is a steaming pile of crap.
    RawynLeFantomePhizbinJoseph_Kerr

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,321
    blorpykins said:
    How can Portalarium not know how they're going to make money?

    Because contrary to ridiculous believes of the posters here, monetization model isn't an initial and driving force behind game design and is usually decided in quite late development...
    blorpykinsPhizbinRealizerpostlarvalMightyUncleanIselinrpmcmurphyRhoklawKyleran
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,827
    Gdemami said:
    blorpykins said:
    How can Portalarium not know how they're going to make money?

    Because contrary to ridiculous believes of the posters here, monetization model isn't an initial and driving force behind game design and is usually decided in quite late development...
    Idk, man. I feel like these days they think about the monetization even before planning what genre the shit will be.
    RawynPhizbinbartoni33MightyUncleanKyleranJDis25
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    Current playing: 
    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Shadowbringers; Genshin Impact

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • blorpykinsblorpykins Member RarePosts: 466
    edited June 2017
    Gdemami said:
    Because contrary to ridiculous believes of the posters here, monetization model isn't an initial and driving force behind game design and is usually decided in quite late development...
    Well, there is the little matter of more broken Kickstarter promises.  On the SotA KS page, they did say this:

    • Shroud of the Avatar is a “buy-to-play” game that, once purchased, does not require a subscription to play! 

    I've never worked in the crowdfunded game development industry, but the dozen or so game projects I do track seem to have a firm grasp on how they intend to monetize their product.  Most recent one being Ashes of Creation, they're subscription based... at least that's what they said during Kickstarter.  Looking at Portalarium's SeedInvest page and knowing that they are in fact attempting to raise funds to Market and Publish the game for a Commercial Launch I think them not knowing how they're going to make money is a significant problem.  Their development process has been flippant and careless and now at the 11th hour, launching later this year is most definitely quite late in development; they don't even know what sort of marketing strategy they want to move towards.  But hey, at least they know they need another $2,000,000.00 USD to do it!
    Post edited by blorpykins on
    RawynPhizbinbartoni33Earthgirl
  • SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126
    We're going to reach out to Portalarium for an interview about this for clarification. We'll keep you posted!
    blorpykinsNycteliosRawynMrMelGibsonrpmcmurphyd_20Octagon7711


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,321
    Nyctelios said:
    Idk, man. I feel like these days they think about the monetization even before planning what genre the shit will be.
    Yup, ridiculous believes...
    rpmcmurphy
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,321
    Well, there is the little matter of more broken Kickstarter promises.  On the SotA KS page, they did say this:

    • Shroud of the Avatar is a “buy-to-play” game that, once purchased, does not require a subscription to play! 

    I've never worked in the crowdfunded game development industry, but the dozen or so game projects I do track seem to have a firm grasp on how they intend to monetize their product.  Most recent one being Ashes of Creation, they're subscription based... at least that's what they said during Kickstarter.  Looking at Portalarium's SeedInvest page and knowing that they are in fact attempting to raise funds to Market and Publish the game for a Commercial Launch I think them not knowing how they're going to make money is a significant problem.  Their development process has been flippant and careless and now at the 11th hour, launching later this year is most definitely quite late in development; they don't even know what sort of marketing strategy they want to move towards.  But hey, at least they know they need another $2,000,000.00 USD to do it!
    ...never said that it is the only ridiculous believe posters here fall to.
    MadFrenchierpmcmurphy
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,827
    Gdemami said:
    Nyctelios said:
    Idk, man. I feel like these days they think about the monetization even before planning what genre the shit will be.
    Yup, ridiculous believes...
    I bet you are really fun at parties.

    Or don't know anything about Activision and EA...

    Or live in a world without Activision and EA... I would love to live in said world.
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    Current playing: 
    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Shadowbringers; Genshin Impact

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • LeFantomeLeFantome Member RarePosts: 647
    That game became a joke.  A game, if we can call this a game.. a game who got ruined by a selfish dev ( chris)  and a team of  give me MOREEE moooney. 
    Rawyn

    image
  • rune_74rune_74 Member UncommonPosts: 115
    SBFord said:
    We're going to reach out to Portalarium for an interview about this for clarification. We'll keep you posted!
    Do not let red thomas do that interview please, he is too close to the team.
    LeFantomeRawynLheiah
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,690
    edited June 2017
    BruceYee said:
    How can they even consider a sub when the game has avg 133 players in the past month.

    http://steamcharts.com/app/326160

    It's time to refund all the money they collected and admit they failed.

    They don't really have any money they could return, it's used up to the game.

    But it's time the people still backing this did a reality check. The project has failed, the money is gone. This is the time when people need to have courage to accept they've lost everything they put into this game and move on. To linger with the game as it slowly dies out will only prolong the suffering.
    Post edited by Vrika on
    LeFantomeRawynbartoni33MightyUncleanste2000blorpykinsKylerand_20
     
  • LeFantomeLeFantome Member RarePosts: 647
    This game is literally going nowhere. As Vrika said, it's time for a reality check. And by the time this game get released, the games already on the market will be way better than this crap.
    They are doomed to fail.

    RawynAgent_Joseph

    image
  • donger56donger56 Member RarePosts: 443
    This guy is just incapable of dealing with criticism. He should have been a politician or something. He will never admit he was totally wrong, which is why all his recent projects have been a disaster. All of these older guys that had some success back in the good old days just can't seem to grasp that the gaming landscape is different now. This is yet another game that has focused entirely on fund raising and not game development. No amount of money is going to fix this and I'll be surprised if Garriot hasn't jumped ship by this time next year and moved on. 
    LeFantomeRawynEarthgirl
  • blorpykinsblorpykins Member RarePosts: 466
    I wonder if this PC Invasion piece is insight into why Richard is considering going F2P; it reads like they have no clue about what they're supposed to do next.  I pulled a couple quotes out, they're compelling and not in a good way.  There is no way 65,000 backers is a real thing.  I have 100 games in my Steam account, I play three of them.  That and alt accounts, I would not be surprised if more than half of those 65k accounts are alts or merged bundle accounts.

    Richard Garriott Probed Over Additional Shroud of the Avatar Funding

    POSTED BY: PAUL YOUNGER JUNE 17, 2017

    “At this moment it’s our one product focus, by all means we do in the long-term hope to partner both with other companies to help not only Shroud of the Avatar, but any other games we might work on, sell to their maximum potential around the globe, but concurrently to have partners to help and work on developing other titles that we would be bringing out under our label.”

    “If we have 65,000 backers now, if you just move that up to something as small as 100,000, and you look at a modest spending like in Ultima Online which was usually about $10 per month, that’s 12 million a year. If you bump that up to 200,000, that’s $24 million in revenues. Those kinds of numbers I think for many roleplaying games including ours are well within reach.”

  • Tiamat64Tiamat64 Member RarePosts: 1,538

    “If we have 65,000 backers now, if you just move that up to something as small as 100,000, and you look at a modest spending like in Ultima Online which was usually about $10 per month, that’s 12 million a year. If you bump that up to 200,000, that’s $24 million in revenues. Those kinds of numbers I think for many roleplaying games including ours are well within reach.”

    65,000 backers... of which only 133 are playing the game right now.

    Yea, "old person who isn't with the times" is seriously correct, else you'd think RG would know about the low rate of initial-player-base retention that's common knowledge by now.
    RawynMightyUnclean
  • kitaradkitarad Member LegendaryPosts: 6,259
    65,000 backers and only 133 playing the game right now. Those figures do not compute. Something is off.
    Agent_Joseph

  • cyxscyxs Member UncommonPosts: 27
    The thing about that 65k accounts is they don't have to spend any money. So that 12 million isn't going to happen. They have gotten 12 million over 4 years from that 65k. That is 1/4th the speed. Hard to say you will get that once you launch when people who own the product don't have to pay for anything more. They have no business plan for how to keep money rolling in.
    blorpykinsRawynMightyUncleanKyleran
  • cyxscyxs Member UncommonPosts: 27
    kitarad said:
    65,000 backers and only 133 playing the game right now. Those figures do not compute. Something is off.
    Yep everyone knows its a junk game and has more or less written it off. Lets see how they spin it for the next kickstarter or project on why we should back it.
    Rawyn
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    kitarad said:
    65,000 backers and only 133 playing the game right now. Those figures do not compute. Something is off.
    Actually, that ratio is probably standard for "early access" games, particularly of the MMO kind. A great many people buy , try and shelve it for "later" once they find that the "early" state of the game is not really compelling. 

    And in the case of MMO's, there's often a wipe or two during development, which also discourages frequent or prolonged play.
  • Tiamat64Tiamat64 Member RarePosts: 1,538
    edited June 2017
    Is it 65k backers over the course of 4 years with non-recurring donations?  If so, you'd think that a good chunk of them by now would have either forgotten the game existed, lost interest, moved on, abandoned ship, or died to various causes.
  • bartoni33bartoni33 Member RarePosts: 2,044
    kitarad said:
    65,000 backers and only 133 playing the game right now. Those figures do not compute. Something is off.
    I'm one of those 65K. I haven't played it in at least a year. It is not the game I Kickstarted at all. I have totally put this game off my radar. I'm sure I speak for most of those 65K.
    EpicJohnsonLeFantomepostlarvalRawynste2000Kyleran

    Bartoni's Law definition: As an Internet discussion grows volatile, the probability of a comparison involving Donald Trump approaches 1.


  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,368
    edited June 2017
    Was F2P really that shocking after that launch? Well I guess it is shocking if people though it would be shut down by now.
  • LasterbaLasterba Member UncommonPosts: 135
    Long term?  LOL

    C'mon Garriott...you know this shit is not going to have a "long term".
    Agent_JosephLeFantomeRawynMightyUncleanste2000blorpykins
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