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How will the F2P trend influence the design of future P2P titles?

WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Member RarePosts: 3,292

So, there has been a ton of discussion lately about which P2P title will go F2P next. I've heard people talk about how such-and-such game (SWG most noteably, but I have no experience with it so I can't debate that) wouldn't be a good fit due to how the game was designed. I've seen talk about how CO had to restructure the way it's character creator works so that they would have something to charge for. There are other examples of games that are built in a way that going F2P will be a bit.....tricky. But that is not what I want to discuss.

Do you think that developers of upcoming P2P games will be influenced by the recent events and create an exit strategy to easily transition to F2P should the need arise? It seems like Turbine might have gotten lucky with it's game designs and how they were able to make the switch and I'm curious if other devs will take this into account.

I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

Comments

  • GoronianGoronian Member Posts: 724

    Oh absolutely. They won't stop, until they milk us dry. It will either be full F2P for most major titles from now on or P2P + cash shop in one way or another. And don't expect it to be "vanity only".

    I hate WoW because it made my plush hamster kill himself, created twin clones of Hitler, punched Superboy Prime in reality, stared my dog down, spoiled my grandmother, assimilated me into the Borg, then made me into a real boy, just to make me a woman again.
    image

  • ArnstrongArnstrong Member Posts: 281

    Originally posted by WhiteLantern

    So, there has been a ton of discussion lately about which P2P title will go F2P next. I've heard people talk about how such-and-such game (SWG most noteably, but I have no experience with it so I can't debate that) wouldn't be a good fit due to how the game was designed. I've seen talk about how CO had to restructure the way it's character creator works so that they would have something to charge for. There are other examples of games that are built in a way that going F2P will be a bit.....tricky. But that is not what I want to discuss.

    Do you think that developers of upcoming P2P games will be influenced by the recent events and create an exit strategy to easily transition to F2P should the need arise? It seems like Turbine might have gotten lucky with it's game designs and how they were able to make the switch and I'm curious if other devs will take this into account.

    I think the trend of turning non growing or even non profitable P2P models into false "F2P" models will have a very bad influence on the complete industry. There is a reason these games didn't attain 300 or 500K subs.

    BUT:

    I am not buying the "succes" of D&D and Lotro either. Both games did not show up in the top 20 of Forbes industrial analysis of MMO''s and I am pretty sure they will not show up in the top 20 of 2011 either.

    It is one thing to say you had a 200% of this and 300% of that in the first month of F2P relaunch, but after 3 months it is the game that counts and not the relaunch hype and initial first payments to get going (paying to have more than 2 gold in your bags is only paid once).

     

    If this trend is continuing we might even see a complete fail in upcoming P2P titles.

    For instance what would happen if Blizzard handled the same technique as Turbine did. The end result would be catastrophic: everyone would follow.

    Which idiot would still go for P2P models ?

    Perhaps the number 1 and 2 will not be hurt, but all the rest and everything "new" will feel the pain in setting up a fixed sub. But my guess is that the players will be the ulitmate victim of "free" to play games.

    F2P means no end game - or very little - because the market lays in the beginning and the middle. And the players who finally happen to arrive  in the end game - by paying and paying and paying - will feel isolated and negelected, because that's not where the prime market for the money grabbing is.

     

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504

    Personally I think you'd have to be crazy not to design a MMORPG from the ground up to be a high quality F2P experience nowadays, with an item shop that compliments gameplay (but isn't p2win).

    "Yes I understand the MMORPG market is saturated and cutthroat but we want even fewer customers.  Let's charge a subscription!"

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • IhmoteppIhmotepp Member Posts: 14,495

    What's the king of the hill? WoW, a P2P game.

    I thnk developers will either take a swing at WoW, to become the next King of the Hill, or at least be somewhere on that hill (and that means P2P) OR go F2P.

    Taking a swing at WoW means a HUGE polished game, with a recognizable IP, either a current popular game title, book or movie title, etc.

    I still believe the 3d version of Muds is on the way. For those that didn't play MUDs they were text based games. Everyone and their brother put up a MUD and there were thousands of them. Some were popular, some were not.

    This would happen when someone releases something similar to a zone of WoW, with the tools to easily mod it, for a relatively cheap price.

    Anyone could put up a server, and ad zones, make quests, change the scripts for the quests, weapons, combat, etc., etc. Some will be popular, some won't. They will use subs, donations, advertisements, cash shops, all sorts of things to pay for the servers.

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  • Superman0XSuperman0X Member RarePosts: 2,282

    Originally posted by WhiteLantern

    So, there has been a ton of discussion lately about which P2P title will go F2P next. I've heard people talk about how such-and-such game (SWG most noteably, but I have no experience with it so I can't debate that) wouldn't be a good fit due to how the game was designed. I've seen talk about how CO had to restructure the way it's character creator works so that they would have something to charge for. There are other examples of games that are built in a way that going F2P will be a bit.....tricky. But that is not what I want to discuss.

    Do you think that developers of upcoming P2P games will be influenced by the recent events and create an exit strategy to easily transition to F2P should the need arise? It seems like Turbine might have gotten lucky with it's game designs and how they were able to make the switch and I'm curious if other devs will take this into account.

     

    The smart developer will build a game that supports MULTILPLE business models. It should be a F2P game, with some microtransactions as well as either a subsciption or timecard option. Those companies that provide many different ways to play the game will do better than those that only offer one.

    The only reason that there is any discussion of P2P vs F2P is because customers were forced to choose a side. Now that companies are offering both, there is no longer any need to compete, as both can get what they want... and this means that everybody wins.

  • TimukasTimukas Member UncommonPosts: 758

    I cannot name any successful AAA MMO that is F2P. Although there are tens if not hundreds F2P Asian grinders, one still-born (D&D), some dying and out-dated (Lotro and EQ2) or some mediocre crap like CO and STO (latter is not yet F2P but will be in a couple of months). 

  • Superman0XSuperman0X Member RarePosts: 2,282

    Originally posted by Timukas

    I cannot name any successful AAA MMO that is F2P. Although there are tens if not hundreds F2P Asian grinders, one still-born (D&D), some dying and out-dated (Lotro and EQ2) or some mediocre crap like CO and STO (latter is not yet F2P but will be in a couple of months). 

     

    What are the sucessful AAA MMO's?

    WoW (assumed)

    but what else?

    I only ask because last I heard LOTRO was #2 or #3.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504

    Originally posted by Timukas

    I cannot name any successful AAA MMO that is F2P. Although there are tens if not hundreds F2P Asian grinders, one still-born (D&D), some dying and out-dated (Lotro and EQ2) or some mediocre crap like CO and STO (latter is not yet F2P but will be in a couple of months). 

    LOTRO (which was very strong) doubled its revenue by going F2P.

    Completely lackluster games survive F2P.

    Making an awesome game F2P right out of the gates is not a risky venture.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • andreiutzandreiutz Member UncommonPosts: 36

    The only reason for a P2P title to go F2P is simply the lack of income to support company needs.

     

    Thus they take a leap of faith, so to say. Tossing the coin, having either a more successful title as a F2P[and as recently seen, P2P going F2P is actually a lie, if you compare it to the myriad of other F2P games out there, which don't limit you from anything, except being the very best without spending a dime on the game] or something even worse than when subscriptions were in place.

     

    In other words, I don't believe the F2P trend will change the design of a P2P in a big enough way for the masses to notice.

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Originally posted by Arnstrong

    I am not buying the "succes" of D&D and Lotro either. Both games did not show up in the top 20 of Forbes industrial analysis of MMO''s and I am pretty sure they will not show up in the top 20 of 2011 either.

    It is one thing to say you had a 200% of this and 300% of that in the first month of F2P relaunch, but after 3 months it is the game that counts and not the relaunch hype and initial first payments to get going (paying to have more than 2 gold in your bags is only paid once).

    It is clear that DDO gets more money now than when it was P2P, but than does not mean that it is one of the games that pulls in most money. Going P2P did increase the revenue and it is very possible that it will do the same thing for LOTRO, but it is still so new it is hard to say.

    Nothing will however get a game like DDO to earn money like Wow, the best case scenario is money like Guildwars.

    I think it will affect the newer games. The P2P games have already added RMT shops to mention one thing, and I think that is entering dangerous waters. When the difference between a P2P and a F2P game is small the P2P game will loose a lot of players to the F2P.

    But it wont be a huge impact. Another thing is of course that the more games the better do a specific game need to be to keep it's subs, and P2P game are at some disadvantage there.

    LOTRO and EQ2X are the first quality MMOs who went F2P and that is important. It also shows companies like Cryptic that you can't release anything and take monthly fees.

    DDO however is a CORPG and I think the main reason it needed to go F2P was Guildwars. When you get something similar for a lot less money most people tends to go for the cheaper alternative. Therefor do I have the feeling that GW2 will affect the AAA P2P games more than any of the upcoming F2P games. GW2 will compete with AAA P2P games on it's own account, not because it is cheap (or at least seems cheap, F2P can cost a lot more than 15 bucks every month) which have been the main reason so far people choose them.

  • TimukasTimukas Member UncommonPosts: 758

    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Originally posted by Timukas

    I cannot name any successful AAA MMO that is F2P. Although there are tens if not hundreds F2P Asian grinders, one still-born (D&D), some dying and out-dated (Lotro and EQ2) or some mediocre crap like CO and STO (latter is not yet F2P but will be in a couple of months). 

    LOTRO (which was very strong) doubled its revenue by going F2P.

    Completely lackluster games survive F2P.

    Making an awesome game F2P right out of the gates is not a risky venture.

    Lotro was a ghost town hence they had to go F2P especially several strong games coming out next year. I agree that they made a right move to survive but it's still F2P, isn't it?

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Member UncommonPosts: 7,945

    Free to play is a last refuge for games that could not find much success in the subscription market.  It is the participation prize for p2p games. 

    I doubt many upcoming big titles will be aimed towards a free to play model.  At best there may be some alternative payment models, but subscription dollars are still king.  They are dependable and easier to develop content for.

    We still have not seen if the recent free to play converts can sustain their initial growth.  It is quite likely that if these games were struggling to retain players while under a pay to play model, then it will just be a matter of time for the same problem to resurface under the free to play model.  Changing revenue models doesn't really fix the problem of why people left in the first place. 

     

  • astoriaastoria Member UncommonPosts: 1,677

    I think it will encourage longer free trials.

    Obviously, 'free to play' is marketeering semantics, these products are not free to produce and someone has to pay for it. Why did LotRO and DDO have success by going 'F2P'?

    Because most people are not suckers, more tried them, liked them, and subbed becuase it was cheaper than paying as you go.

    The math is easy:

    A sucker is born every minute

    60 minutes x 24 hours = 1440 minutes in a day

    1440 minutes x 365 days = 525600 minutes in a year

    annual human birth rate is around 140,000,000

    thus, only .38% of people are suckers.

    "Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga

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