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General: Community Spotlight: Why Are People Into F2P MMOGs?

MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,533

This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on a thread started by forum user maji entitled “why are so many people into ‘free’ MMORPGs?” In the thread, maji wonders why free-to-play games are so popular, especially when given the number of cons he feels the genre inherently has.

Read this week's Community Spotlight here.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • dhayes68dhayes68 Member UncommonPosts: 1,388

    People are broke.

    Also I think realistically there is room for only so many successful monthly subscription MMO's. People can easily enjoy many standalone games, but at 15 bucks a month, I bet most people settle on one or two mmo's and given the time and money invested, as well as social networks built, are loathe leave them once they find the ones they like.

    So f2p mmo's fill that niche for people who want to play more than 1 or 2 mmo's or who just don't have the free cash to waste on video games.

  • EricDanieEricDanie Member UncommonPosts: 2,238

    That's true dhayes. I guess I'll be playing against P2Ps in this thread, showing their issues in a constructive way - I want to see it improve and adapt to the future. I still feel F2P issues are far more negative though. 

    P2P issues:

    - Commitment. If you enjoy this MMO, and another one, that's $30 monthly already. If you want to play a third one... $45. Makes you unable to play multiple P2P MMOs, and no, this isn't good. Depending on your free time, this can become quite a serious issue.

    - Variety. The P2P MMO must offer a lot of different things to do, otherwise the person will get bored before the next monthly subscription, and damn, that makes the person feel so bad about P2Ps. And they focus mostly on combat... virtual worlds go beyond that and obviously it must be fun too.

    - Efficiency. Even if you play that MMO 15 hours a month you already get a $1/hour entertainment cost, which is pretty good. However many feel violated with this. Bringing up the possibility to pay for hours would be interesting for those that play less than X hours a month.

    - Trials. X days may not be good enough. Usually trials involve some map or level restrictions, so why not break the time barrier and keep trials to the map or level restrictions? It does not need to be permanent though, just make the trial last until the player reaches that restriction.

  • grandpagamergrandpagamer Member Posts: 2,221

    Ive tried a couple of f2p games and found them inferior to p2p games. Ive often wondered how long people stay with any given f2p. I would imagine the turnover rate is pretty high. As for why people play them, because they are free (until the reality of the cash shops kicks in) and people love free stuff.

  • ArchemorousArchemorous Member Posts: 197
    Originally posted by grandpagamer


    Ive tried a couple of f2p games and found them inferior to p2p games. Ive often wondered how long people stay with any given f2p. I would imagine the turnover rate is pretty high. As for why people play them, because they are free (until the reality of the cash shops kicks in) and people love free stuff.

     

    I liked your dragon avatar better =(

    image

  • grandpagamergrandpagamer Member Posts: 2,221
    Originally posted by Archemorous

    Originally posted by grandpagamer


    Ive tried a couple of f2p games and found them inferior to p2p games. Ive often wondered how long people stay with any given f2p. I would imagine the turnover rate is pretty high. As for why people play them, because they are free (until the reality of the cash shops kicks in) and people love free stuff.

     

    I liked your dragon avatar better =(

      Yeah I like dragons but needed a change and the latest incarnation of GL i pretty good. 

  • OyjordOyjord Member UncommonPosts: 552

    F2P's are free.  They don't require money.  Kids don't have money, therefore kids play F2Ps.

     

    I'm an adult, and don't want to play with kids.  I therefore don't play F2Ps.

     

    Pretty simple, really.

  • tro44_1tro44_1 Member Posts: 1,819
    Originally posted by Oyjord


    F2P's are free.  They don't require money.  Kids don't have money, therefore kids play F2Ps.
     
    I'm an adult, and don't want to play with kids.  I therefore don't play F2Ps.
     
    Pretty simple, really.



     

    Still I rather not pay RL money to play the large crap feast we have in the MMORPG genre.

  • khameleonkhameleon Member UncommonPosts: 485

    F2P MMOs have closed the gap over the years and right now I find that many F2P games are superior to P2P. Most P2P games are simply not worth the money you pay when you can get a similar or even better game for free now.

    Dungeons & Dragons Online for example has some of the best combat, questing, character customization and fun that can be found in the MMO world and it is free to play now. The graphics are decent enough and sound is great too. It is a very original MMO as well, not a copy/clone of older games like most of them out there.

    I bought AOC, Warhammer, played Aion beta and none of them could keep my interest for over a month. These games were either buggy or boring or both. Not worth the $50 + $15 a month at all compared to many F2Ps.

    Runes of Magic, Allods Online, League of legends these are 3 more great F2P games.

    Atlantica, Chronicles of Spellborn are also pretty good for free, not to mention tons of good FPS games like A.V.A., Karma, Combat Arms and many others that re very nice for free.

    It is simple, many F2P games nowadays offer tons of content, even original gameplay and new stuff you have not yet seen from their P2P counterparts. No point in paying for something when it is inferior to what you can get fro free.

     

    GAME TIL YOU DIE!!!!

  • khameleonkhameleon Member UncommonPosts: 485
    Originally posted by Oyjord


    F2P's are free.  They don't require money.  Kids don't have money, therefore kids play F2Ps.
     
    I'm an adult, and don't want to play with kids.  I therefore don't play F2Ps.
     
    Pretty simple, really.

     

    Very untrue.

     A lot of kids play P2P games same as F2P, they ask their parents for money and get it. Are you that closed minded to not see that?

    The fact is adults outnumber kids in every MMO I have played whether it be free or pay.

    I find as many adults in F2P games as P2P, games such as DDO, League of Legends and others that I play, the adults far, far outnumber kids.

    GAME TIL YOU DIE!!!!

  • korndog22korndog22 Member Posts: 62

    Unfortunately I found a couple f2p games I liked.the problem is that I end up spending wayyyy too much money on f2p games.So I decided to stick with my subscription games.The problem with F2p games is there item malls are so steep.Limiting the people who actually spend money to a very small minority.I bet if they lowered the prices of there item malls, they would actually make more money.Not everyone can afford to drop 50-100 bucks a month on stuff they want.But if they could get the same stuff for say 10-15 bucks they would attract more people.

  • doragon86doragon86 Member UncommonPosts: 589

    Well when I was younger, it was my only option. Parents weren't going to pay a monthly subscription fee. So my only alternative was f2p until I was able to work. Now though, I'm rather reserved on f2p because when you find one you really like, before you realize it you end up spending quite a lot on it. 

    "For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"
    ~Lord George Gordon Byron

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Member RarePosts: 3,218

    I've been playing Combat Arms and Florensia for about a year or so. Spent $40 on Combat Arms and $15 on Florensia. Have enjoyed both games immensely. Added Dragonica a few months ago ot the list of F2P games that I play, and I haven't spent any cash in that yet.

    I turn to F2P MMOs when I want to play something other than the standard fare of fantasy level-based MMOs. Simply through the sheer number of them, there are plenty of new and different approaches to MMOs.

     

    Another reason I like playing F2P MMOs is because I know I really won't be able to tell if I really like an MMO until a month or two in, so I rather spend ZERO during that process than a box price and a monthly fee.

    -- Whammy - a 64x64 miniRPG - - RPG Quiz - can you get all 25 right? --
  • trancejeremytrancejeremy Member UncommonPosts: 1,222

    Both models are really, really bad, I think.

    Problems with the P2P model - you have to play the game a lot to get your money's worth. You also have to play a lot to keep up with the other players, who the game's content is balanced for.  If you are a casual player, forget about doing most the content in the game. Or being treated fairly in game by other players (if you can find other players). Even if you do eventually get to a high level, you simply get insulted for not having uber gear, not being an uber player "LOL, learn 2 player your character" you'll get told if you ever make a mistake, having your character twinked out exactly.

    And besides the montly fee, you get soaked for expansion pack costs every time they actually add new content to the game.

    You also tend to have a very small growth in new players, so if you don't start the game at launch, it's very difficult finding people in the game to do group quests with and such.

    That is based on my experience with LOTRO, at least. Which has pretty much soured me on trying a P2P game ever again, as it's supposedly the best one.

     

    On the other hand, in free to play games, a lot of those problems are fixed. But on the other hand, once you get to high level, you have to shell out $100s simply to do the high level content.

    Examples, Atlantica Online and Sword of the New World. In both of those games, I reached the level cap (at least the first one) far quicker than I have in LOTRO (still only 45 after about 300 hours and a year and a half). But once I was at that level, unless I spent a ton of money in the CS, I was pretty much stuck.

    Still, when I get to that point, I simply just move on. Got a decent amount of fun for a decent amount of price (again, about half what I spend on LOTRO, which is $300)

    R.I.P. City of Heroes and my 17 characters there

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Member RarePosts: 3,218
    Originally posted by trancejeremy


    Both models are really, really bad, I think.
    Problems with the P2P model - you have to play the game a lot to get your money's worth. You also have to play a lot to keep up with the other players, who the game's content is balanced for.  If you are a casual player, forget about doing most the content in the game. Or being treated fairly in game by other players (if you can find other players). Even if you do eventually get to a high level, you simply get insulted for not having uber gear, not being an uber player "LOL, learn 2 player your character" you'll get told if you ever make a mistake, having your character twinked out exactly.

     

    Every day it becomes more and more painfully obvious that a large percentage of MMO gamers really have no idea that not every MMO is an EQ/LOTRO/WOW variant. There are actually MMOs that aren't just new incarnations of a DikuMUD brought to the massively online playing field.

    -- Whammy - a 64x64 miniRPG - - RPG Quiz - can you get all 25 right? --
  • NovusodNovusod Member UncommonPosts: 912

    I think free to play (F2P) games are just a passing fad. It won't take long before the players realize the games aren't really free. The (F2P) revenue model is really based on mirco transactions where sometimes you have to pay money to level up past a certain point or enter certain maps and dungeons. Then there are the item malls were you get to buy rather earn your ticket to uberness. Games with heavy item malls tend to trap their players in a never ending cycle of "keeping up with the Jone's" that really in end only separates the players from their money. Good for the game company owners but BAD for the players. It can cost Hundreds of dollars a month to stay current with all the best weapons and armors. The end game player ends up shelling out FAR MORE money in micro transactions and item malls than would be paid in a subscription fee.

    It is a trap players will fall into once but I doubt they will come back for more, not after they have a good look at their credit card statement and realize what they are doing and why they are playing. Micro transactions especially item malls violate the unwritten rule of MMOs where the game is being played in a fair and honest way. In a game where you can just buy your way to the top that is really being no different than the illegal RMT users. The year 2010 may see players flocking to the F2P MMOGs but before the year is out many more will be longing for the good old days of the pay to play model.

  • ronpackronpack Member Posts: 138

    I've tried almost all F2P MMO's and while most are quite fun, I end up going back to P2P. But there is one P2P game that I play and can play for free and that is Eve Online. As long as you make enough money in the game, you can use it to buy more game time. It's awesome.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726

    Anyone saying f2p games are better than p2p is off their rocker.   Sure some of them offer decent content, like DDO, but only if you spend money on them.  You can easily spend far more than the normal $15 a month on them too.

    Most of the f2p games are only that way at lower levels.  High level grinding require significant spending in the item shop. 

    So essentially the f2p games just suck you in with free play at lower levels.  You eventually have to spend money on them the higher you get.

    The major problem with f2p games is that if you want to be competitive in pvp you must dump massive amounts of cash into the game, costing far more than any p2p.

    So in essence there is no such thing as a f2p game, they actually cost you more the longer you play them.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Member RarePosts: 3,218
    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    Anyone saying f2p games are better than p2p is off their rocker.   Sure some of them offer decent content, like DDO, but only if you spend money on them.  You can easily spend far more than the normal $15 a month on them too.


    Most of the f2p games are only that way at lower levels.  High level grinding require significant spending in the item shop. 


    So essentially the f2p games just suck you in with free play at lower levels.  You eventually have to spend money on them the higher you get.


    The major problem with f2p games is that if you want to be competitive in pvp you must dump massive amounts of cash into the game, costing far more than any p2p.


    So in essence there is no such thing as a f2p game, they actually cost you more the longer you play them.

     

    Can you link to any data that supports any of this?

    -- Whammy - a 64x64 miniRPG - - RPG Quiz - can you get all 25 right? --
  • sakersaker Member UncommonPosts: 1,298


    Originally posted by tro44_1
    Originally posted by Oyjord F2P's are free.  They don't require money.  Kids don't have money, therefore kids play F2Ps.
     
    I'm an adult, and don't want to play with kids.  I therefore don't play F2Ps.
     
    Pretty simple, really.

     
    Still I rather not pay RL money to play the large crap feast we have in the MMORPG genre.


    Agree! The pay games are so often crap that I definitely don't have any stomach to pay for them! Buy 1 at launch and you get to pay for their beta (you know it's not really anywhere near worthy of launch till a few months have passed and numerous patches).

    Also there's the plain simple fact people are POOR! America for instance, is quickly sliding into third-world status (I see it as inevitable, the status-quo is too strong, without true strong change, well....) and as such people don't have money to burn on these things. The rich will laugh at this, but when it's between food/rent/car payments/gas every cent is watched by the poor, the idea of spending it on a game? Never considered. The gap between rich and poor is already a chasm, and heading toward becoming the grand canyon.

  • ScyrisScyris Member UncommonPosts: 149
    Originally posted by Oyjord


    F2P's are free.  They don't require money.  Kids don't have money, therefore kids play F2Ps.
     
    I'm an adult, and don't want to play with kids.  I therefore don't play F2Ps.
     
    Pretty simple, really.

    Guess you never played WoW, so many immature bastards in that game its sickening. Even moreso than you'd find in f2p games since wow is mmorpg noob central.

  • kikinchazkikinchaz Member UncommonPosts: 562

    Why do people play F2P games? Because..they're free. No logic required. They are also vastly inferior from my experience. Sure there are crap P2P games that don't deserve a monthly fee, but I'm yet to find a F2P MMO which keeps me playing more than a couple of hours. They always always have their major drawbacks, usually due to cashshops. Also the reality is there are certainly a larger number of kids and horrible community members in F2P games than P2P, again - you do get goons in P2P games but the volume is less.

    image

  • stinger7491stinger7491 Member Posts: 21

    Its pretty simple.. Cuz they be freez

    I can't see myself ever playing a F2P ever again.. F2P's simply dont get income to fix teh game, rid themselves of bots, and add content.

    Gameplay wise F2P's have micro payments so they can get SOME sort of income. But it usually, USUALLY, ends up in an unfair system. If someone wants to play a game cuz its free they are getting screwed over because they can never be any good because they can't/won't pay for stuff.

    Pay to play always gives better quality but no one wants to shell out the money. "eww im never going to pay 15 bucks a month for a game!!!" thats what i said before WoW grabbed me by the ankles.. 3 years later.. where do i go from here.. F2P? thats just a joke.. a sick sick joke..

  • CrystalSkiesCrystalSkies Member Posts: 3

    My two cents are for people more in my demographic, such as those who are still in school and unable to financially account for themselves in P2Ps. Yes, P2P have much more legroom in terms of content, bug fixes, etc. due to budget limitations, but quite honestly for people who cannot turn to these kinds of games, F2P has a plethora of content for people with both time and money constrictions. I don't want to be obligated into paying for a subscription for a game I will only be able to touch a week max in a month, due to obvious waste of money. I also don't want to be obligated into feeling I need to keep playing to get my money's worth, and in doing so lose out on both academic and social opportunities. And I think it's partially due to this obligation that players spend countless hours in games like WoW.

    I personally keep playing F2Ps because having never seriously invested in a P2P game (though I have played a bit of WoW and Guild Wars), I end up having the kind of mentality where I don't know what I'm missing, so I can't be bothered. Games like Runes of Magic, Allods and Atlantica can tide over my MMO cravings just fine. So until I can get on my own two feet and provide for subscriptions myself (without mooching off the parentals), I am perfectly happy playing F2Ps.

  • Death1942Death1942 Member UncommonPosts: 2,587

    because they are cheap.

     

    The half of my friends who don't play MMO's always say the same thing when they ask me about a new MMO:

    does it have a monthly fee?

    yes, only $15 a month, as are all the other MMO's you asked about

    Its too much, i don't want to fork out that much every month

     

     

    they then go out and fork out $100 a month on a brand new game because they got bored with the last one too quickly.

    MMO wish list:

    -Changeable worlds
    -Solid non level based game
    -Sharks with lasers attached to their heads

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    Originally posted by LynxJSA

    Originally posted by Ozmodan


    Anyone saying f2p games are better than p2p is off their rocker.   Sure some of them offer decent content, like DDO, but only if you spend money on them.  You can easily spend far more than the normal $15 a month on them too.


    Most of the f2p games are only that way at lower levels.  High level grinding require significant spending in the item shop. 


    So essentially the f2p games just suck you in with free play at lower levels.  You eventually have to spend money on them the higher you get.


    The major problem with f2p games is that if you want to be competitive in pvp you must dump massive amounts of cash into the game, costing far more than any p2p.


    So in essence there is no such thing as a f2p game, they actually cost you more the longer you play them.

     

    Can you link to any data that supports any of this?

    Try Atlantica Online, Runes of Magic, Perfect World, Requiem, etc., read the thread on the Rohan review.   While these are the leaders in this genre, they all exhibit this issue. 

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