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[Column] General: Is P2P Doomed?

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  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    P2P is not good model. It lack convinience of other models because it forces user to pay for something he is not using.

    People have voted with their wallets and left this model behind.

     

    However, it is now obvious that MMOs need steady income flow. Not because of "we need money for server mainteinance" because this is a lie. But because AAA companies want to make serious money or they will just move to other project and leave the MMO with almost no updates (or simply abandon it after some time)

     

    F2P is not good answer for this problem because it leads MMO company to producing worst type of "sellable" content

     

    B2P is good but eventually the profits go down and company is tempted to abandon the game. And only way of keeping profits is by releasing expansions. But that does not suit every game.

     

    The solution ?

    Some kind of P2P that would charge you only for hours played. Or subscription that gives you benefit even if you are not playing.

    I agree, people voted with their wallets, P2P games are exception, not rule nowadays. Also P2P is convenient for smal indie games. Is it dead? Not completely.

    For everyone interested for "steady income" just look at GW2. Its as steady as it gets.

    Few myths need to be busted:

    1. P2P has better community.

    Wut? GW2, LOTRO...hel even VCO in its hayday had great community and that was fully asian like P2W game

    2. P2P games have fewer bots/hackers

    Wut? Just look at launch of eso/WS. Thsoe were OVERWHELMED with bots and hackers. Yeah, when games pretty much flopped bots and hackers went away

    3. P2P games have steady income

    Wut? If you look at any available chart we have, the only stady in P2P game is DECLINE. So if you are planning to drive your game to the ground....EVERY game, be it P2P, B2P or F2P have to have sane financial plan and budget accordingly. Its economy 101. EVERY games income mostly stabilizes after a while. But problem is where exactly it stabilizes, if that stabilization (or projection of stabilization based on past/current trends) is BELOW line you need to stay afloat (and with slight tendecy of dropping) THEN companies make change to their business model.

    4. P2P games have more content added

    Wut? I had most content added in B2P game for free (no DLCs). In retrospect, NO sub MMO was worth the sub (because when they finally released any meningful content it also had a hefty 45-60$ price tag attached ON TOP of sub) Maybe, maybe, if i strecht it EVE/L2 were because they didnt charge extra for expansions, so you could somewhat justify sub.

     

    Another P2P AAA will succeed - when it will be miles beyond anything else currently on the market, when stars align as they aligned for WoW. Making WoW clone and expecting people to pay premium just to play - yeah, i think THOSE days are over, no matter how much money you throw at it and IP (as it was clearly shown)

    No, i dont think lowering sub fees would do anything for P2P games, its still a sub and still has same problems, if game cant charge 15/month and stay afloat....no sub model will work.

    For a decent game B2P with fairly priced DLCs and tame cash shop is sweet spot. The worse the game does the more aggresive cash shop it needs, since it needs to pull out more $$/player.
     
    AND, just to add, any conclusion based of WoW is false, and saying "since WoW is P2P its all fine and dandy" is just ignoring reality, WoW is exception and currently quadriple dips - box+sub (with VERY slim content patches)+paid expansions+cash shop. Why? because it can. Try doing that in any other game, and...well...yeah.
  • askdabossaskdaboss Member UncommonPosts: 631
    Originally posted by Dr_Shivinski
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Since when is a payment model a foundation for good community? Nonsense. Game design and guilds are the foundation of a good community.

    You wanna point us in the direction of an F2P with good game design and community? BTW Good communities create good guilds, not the other way around.

    Planetside 2.

    Your condescending attitude on the other hand is a turn off. Are you a P2P player by any chance?

  • askdabossaskdaboss Member UncommonPosts: 631
    Originally posted by Caldrin

    "What I dislike about the subscription model isn’t the cost, it’s the pressure. I don’t want to feel like I have to log in or else waste money."

     

    So he feels like he is wasting money if he dont log in for a few days a month ? its like less than half a doller a day oh my god thats going to break the bank for sure..

     

    If you  are going to miss $14.99 a month then its best to save that money and not spend it on gaming.

    I am currently playing HotS, Planetside 2 and GW2 alternatively for a few hours, each week. I intend to put some hours to play PvE on ESO.

    I am leveling a toon for D3 season 2.

     

    Are you suggesting if I cannot afford 5 x $15 = $75 a month I should do something else than gaming? I can't even begin to imagine what people with children would pay if all games were P2P.

     

    If you trust the "experts of the industry", even the creators of the most successful western P2P game of all times (WoW) are only releasing F2P games for their new IPs these days: Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Heartstone.

  • SulaaSulaa Member UncommonPosts: 1,329

    I am not gonna play MMORPG with microtransactions even if that means I won't play MMORPG ever again.

     

    Also B2P+cash shop is not B2P.     It is freemium with upfront cost.

  • raapnaapraapnaap Member UncommonPosts: 454

    P2P will make a come-back once enough people realise 'Free to Play' is nothing but a scam, where they try to squeeze every penny out of you for 'micro' transactions at the cost of actual game development. The cash they earn primarily goes into the creation of new cash shop items, resulting in a game doomed to stagnate... But that's okay, because by that point the developers have already earned everything they can from you. A good example of this poor behaviour is Trion and ArcheAge.

     

    People embracing 'F2P' are mostly people who need to reconsider gaming as their hobby, because if $15 a month to play on a 100% level playing field with all other players is too much for them, then they got bigger things to worry about.

     

    A lot of recent 'F2P' games would have benefitted from a stable P2P playerbase which could then attain steady game development and growth. Instead, developers and publishers are more interested in making quick money with no long term revenue plans, by riding the short lasting 'F2P' wave, a wave that comes and goes in a period of 60 days after the launch of a new game.

     
     
  • SulaaSulaa Member UncommonPosts: 1,329
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    There is a name that has come up for the business model, and it's a pretty sound one at that. Here's a statement from Ryan Dancey on Pathfinder Online's approach: “We’ll begin with subscriptions only, and transition to microtransactions as soon as it makes sense to do so.” (Source

    I've got the model's name written down at work. I should drive in tomorrow and get it because it's been bugging the heck out of me that I can't remember. 

    Danger of adding microtransactions or P2P->microtransaction model transition is what additionally keep me away from playing MMORPGs.

    I definately don't wanna play an MMORPG if there is a chance that it will add microtransactions/switch models in 6 month, 1 year, 2 years, etc

  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Originally posted by Sulaa

    I am not gonna play MMORPG with microtransactions even if that means I won't play MMORPG ever again.

     

    Also B2P+cash shop is not B2P.     It is freemium with upfront cost.

    Its like, what is the difference between B2P + Cash Shop/Microtransactions and  F2P Cash Shop/Microtransaction game with a box price.. 

     

    Answer = 0 image

    Which basically means you take away a F2P games Box Price, the only difference is that the B2P + Cash Shop game has more up front charges.image

  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Originally posted by Phry
    Originally posted by Sulaa

    I am not gonna play MMORPG with microtransactions even if that means I won't play MMORPG ever again.

     

    Also B2P+cash shop is not B2P.     It is freemium with upfront cost.

    Its like, what is the difference between B2P + Cash Shop/Microtransactions and  F2P Cash Shop/Microtransaction game with a box price.. 

     

    Answer = 0 image

    Which basically means you take away a F2P games Box Price, the only difference is that the B2P + Cash Shop game has more up front charges.image

    Wrong. This is a case by case scenario.

    Some pretty good examples out there of great B2P models in which you literaly dont have to spend another dime to play entirety of the game even competitive if you wish (just based on your skill, playfield if EQUAL wheter you paid 100000000$$ or zilch)

    OTOH there are examples of F2P games where you are pretty much required to dish out 100+$ just to play the game as intended and thousands more if you actually want to be competitive.

    But theres still 1 fact - when compared to good B2P/F2P models/games required 15/month is just sucker tax.

  • askdabossaskdaboss Member UncommonPosts: 631
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    However, it is now obvious that MMOs need steady income flow. Not because of "we need money for server mainteinance" because this is a lie. But because AAA companies want to make serious money or they will just move to other project and leave the MMO with almost no updates (or simply abandon it after some time)

    ...

    The solution ?

    Some kind of P2P that would charge you only for hours played. Or subscription that gives you benefit even if you are not playing.

    Good post.

    I know what this means, but alternatively they could do something along those lines maybe:

    - The first time you log in to the game in a month, you pay $0.99. This gives you between 0 - 3 hours of gaming

    - If you play 3 hours+, you are charged an additional $4 ($4.99 total). This gives you between 3 - 12 hours of gaming time.

    - If you play 12+ hours, you are charged a full price sub for an additional $4 ($8.99 total) and unlimited play for this month (plus shitty rewards and what have you).

     

    Then for the people who "know" they will play loads, then you get the 3 or 6 months contracts with discounts.

     

    The problem is that the P2P publishers know people have running subs that they forget to cancel. Similar to the mobile industry really. So it won't happen.

  • TheodwulfTheodwulf Member UncommonPosts: 307
     I would pay $24.99 a month for a game as good as WoW vanilla or SWG CU (w/JTL). It's all about quality, if it's not worth a monthly fee, it's probably not worth my time and effort.
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 12,889

    There was a time when saying you were only going to play games which where P2P seemed rather elitist or just unnecessary. But now the changes are so obvious and so in your face you need have your head in the sand to not see them.

    P2P may well be doomed, but that will be the decision of gaming companies not players.

     25 Agrees

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  • UtukuUtuku Member Posts: 30

    Fact is there are still plenty of people willing to pay a sub for a decent mmo. Just run a pole on this site and you will see that it's true.

     

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,067

    Making games with revenues just to get by, means no more games will ever be made - game development simply won't make enough money to fund new ventures.

    Simple business economy.


    Significant return of sub at lower rates? Because lower sub price means more people, right?

    And this is the true gem:

    "When you look at the ratio of players vs bots/hackers, P2P has a smaller score, strictly because the investment to return to the game is much greater."

    Maybe...just maybe, the business model has nothing to do with bots but it is purely dependent on demand for ingame currency, items, or w/e those bots work for?

    Also, show me your data please.

    Still, it never stops amaze me what some people are willing to pay for...being it ideas on drawing board or articles like this.

  • Righteous_RockRighteous_Rock Member RarePosts: 1,234
    If you don't pay and keep up with the joneses, you're going to try playing an mmorpg mostly as a solo experience. Once you realize that, you begin to realize you're better off playing single player rpgs than trying to play mmorpgs. Giving people the ability to pay for advancement has created a separation of what being a Jones is, now we have two kinds of joneses, one is a whale, and one is guy who does nothing but grind video games. The latter form, grindy Jones we can call it, that Jones has always been accepted, they played the game and they earned their achievements. Whales Jones on the other hand didn't really earn it, whale Jones took a short cut and payed for it. Having whale Jones though has created more joneses, a lot more. So for average Joe, average Joe looks around and says what in the world, I don't belong here, average Joe moves on. Average Joe, is better off playing single player games. The issue then becomes for mmorpg, less population in games, I believe average Joe, far out numbers grindy Jones and whale Jones, this is the reason mmorpg appear to be in downward spiral, but financially they are just fine. The downward spiral is only an illusion to average Joe, it's a very real illusion, but it's one that grindy Joe and whale Joe can not see.
  • tordurbartordurbar Member UncommonPosts: 421

    There is no such thing as P2P without a cash shop. Tell me of ANY mmo that is p2p and does NOT have a cash shop. The reason is strictly economic . For a game to continue producing content requires money - a constant stream of income. You have servers to maintain, techs to pay to maintain those servers, electricity bills, developer costs, software costs, etc.

    Paying a one time fee and then nothing else does not keep a game running. The Germans have a word for it "there is no such thing as a free lunch".

  • DerrosDerros Member UncommonPosts: 1,216

    P2P isnt dead, but it has to overcome a major hurtle.  

     

    Can I have a much better time paying reguarly in a p2p game, than I could by playing free/at my own pace in a f2p game?

     

    Then you have to factor in the amount of time dedicated to the p2p experience.  One of the reasons that I left ESO, despite liking the questing, was that I just couldnt dedicate the time to the game to justify a p2p price, I was bouncing between GW2, Neverwinter, trying out Wildstar (which I eventually left for endgame reasons), Marvel Heroes, and Warframe.  I was having fun experiences in all of these games, and I was paying at my own pace (except W*), usually significantly less than I would be if I was paying a sub, with the added benefit of never needing to worry about taking breaks and having to resub.

  • ZarriyaZarriya Member UncommonPosts: 446

    I would much rather pay a subscription over the other models.

     

     

  • NitthNitth Member UncommonPosts: 3,904
    Originally posted by Righteous_Rock

    Buy to play means you pay once and that's it, no cash shops or dlc content.

    Buy to play never defined itself in that way.

    image
    TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  • jbombardjbombard Member UncommonPosts: 592
    Originally posted by Zarriya

    I would much rather pay a subscription over the other models.

     

     

    I would too, as long as they can provide me with value for my money.  The problem with subscription games is very few developers can actually do that.(Wildstar was doing fine until they just gave up on their value statement)  I can buy Mass Effect Trilogy for what it costs for a month subscription, and that will give me many hour hours of play than I could possibly play in a month.  Not to mention that I can play it again whenever I feel like it without having to fork out more money.

     

    I think Sword Coast Legends might be a good model for me.  Just sell me the damn content, because that way I can decide if it was worth it and buy what I want and play it as much as I want.

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Member UncommonPosts: 1,636
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    P2P by itself isn't working in the current market. Then again neither is B2P. We are in an era of micro transactions. The pendulum will swing in another direction sooner or later.

    Whoah... slow down there. You seem to be jumping a bit into conjecture there.

    Have microtransactions become more popular, even (unfortunately) in P2P MMOs?

    Yes. Again, unfortunately.

    However, that's all we know. To my knowledge, no P2P developer has come out and said "we added mt's to our sub-based game because subs alone won't cut it".

    You seem to be making the assumption that, "well they added microtransactions to a P2P, so clearly the game wasn't doing well enough on subs alone, and they needed the extra income".

    While that sounds like a great argument in favor of "the inferiority of P2P", and characterizes microtransactions as some hero who's swept in to save the day... it's not even nearly an established fact.

    Blizzard was clearly not struggling for money with WoW when they started selling in-game items, like the Celestial Steed. Why'd they do it? Because they could. Because, if people are willing to spend money on a sub, and spend another $25 on a virtual item... then why wouldn't they take that extra money?

    FFXIV has started selling in-game items, not because the game was struggling. By all accounts, it has been doing much better than even SE expected it to. They added cash shop purchases because it was requested by many players who wanted the option in the game. This is consistent with something Yoshi-P had said earlier in the game's development, where he explained that they'd add in-game purchases if enough players showed interest. So, again... you're already accepting a box fee, and a monthly sub... but some people want to throw more money your way? Why wouldn't you do it?

    Not even the full switch to F2P indicates that a game was failing as P2P.

    It was quoted, and sourced, in another thread (can't remember which at the moment) that a person at Turbine made it a point to explain that, while it's popular to believe that LoTRO made the switch to F2P/Hybrid because it wasn't doing well enough as a P2P... that it's not true. The game and company were doing fine.

     

    So, again... This idea that "P2P can't survive anymore without microtransactions" has become a favored mantra among the pro-F2P/Anti-P2P crowd. However, it's not "the only obvious conclusion" that it's true. Not at all. Unless, or until someone can put forth actual numbers - valid data, or some kind of actual, verifiable statement from someone at each of these companies stating "yeah, we had to add MT's 'cause subs just weren't paying the bills anymore"... it's all conjecture. Not fact.

     

     

  • ET3DET3D Member UncommonPosts: 316
    Originally posted by Alverant

    "I don’t want to feel like I have to log in or else waste money."

    Do you feel the same way about your cable and internet services? You pay the same for TV whether you watch 2 hours a day or 10 hours a day.

    What about half an hour a day?I

    If I put less than a certain amount of time into a service, I'm not inclined to pay a sub for it. 10-15 years ago I never had cable, preferred to buy DVD's of series and movies, since it was cheaper and I could keep them. I have a very cheap, metered mobile phone plan because I hardly use it.

    Subscriptions make sense for heavy users, but it puts off light users. When subs were the norm for MMO's, I advocated a more granular plan for light players. Let me pay a small sum per hour, it's better than a larger sum per month.

    The sum the people are willing to pay varies, but it's lower now than it was because the perceived value of games is lower (for $15 you can buy the current Square Enix 2 Humble Bundle, which will provide you lots of hours of gaming, and it's easy to get tons of gaming for even less).

    Still, I think that the P2P model itself can work, it's just that F2P also works and if your goal as a developer is to get a lot of people to play your game, it's a more attractive option.

  • Viper482Viper482 Member EpicPosts: 3,051

    I highly doubt Daoc has 20,000 subs, unless there are about 15,000 people out there just donating to the game and not playing it.

    Saying that, I will pay a sub for any quality MMO worth playing....I hate f2p. Buy to play is okay, Guild Wars 2 has done it right and I have played on and off for long periods of time since release and still enjoy it. I take that $15 I am not spending in subs and probably spend twice that amount on the store lol.

    Make MMORPG's Great Again!
  • danwest58danwest58 Member RarePosts: 2,011

    This column is nothing but Garbage.  I will never again play a F2P MMO because they are trash period.  Rift, SWTOR, ESO, DDO, LOTRO and all Examples of games that are not worth $14.99 a month and the only reason they went F2P is so they can try to make money for investors because they were FAILED MMOs at the $14.99 price tag.  Sure I would still play SWTOR today if the game didnt have its current cash shop (I dont mind FFXIV or WOWs Cash shop where you can get pets or mounts and nothing else) and the Subscription was maybe $8.99 on the top end.  

     

    WHY?  The game is not worth a $14.99 sub because its too much a game on rails where I cannot go to different zones to level to mix up the process.  The end game also at release was also very buggy and new content is VERY slow to come out.

    The only two reasons why we see so many F2P games right now in the MMO space is because there are too many MMOs and publishers spend so much on this MMOs today that they need the Millions of subs to make a profit.  This has forced MMOs to go F2P and spend more time on making things you will pay for in a Cash shop rather than new patches that come out at a sustainable rate that gives players new content to continue to play with.  Not Fast Food quick content that you have to pay for or that is so easy you see the content in a matter of days not months.  Dont believe me?

    Look at FFXIV.  2 Million Subs, and they shot for about 500K subs, didnt spend but what maybe $25 Million to revamp the game if that.  They come out with new content every what 3 to 4 months.  The Sub Price is $12.99 a month their box cost are lower than the average MMO.  They also do not have LFR type raiding for the best stuff that comes out of Turn 9 - 12 Coil.  You need to earn that gear its not handed to you.  This is why FFXIV is doing well.  Yes it followed the WOW formula in the way of Themepark games, the did not however catter to the most casualist of players in giving them all the gear they want from the hardest content.  They also did try to spend $250 Million on development like SWTOR did and SE also does not have investors to pay off because of their reinvestment of FFXIV.  

    I will never play a F2P game again because they are not worth my time.  I think if you have to switch to F2P to survive as a game you should just shut the game down because you have no business running an MMO.  We also do not need more then 12 o 15 MMOs in the genera anyway.  

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  • TheAmirTheAmir Member UncommonPosts: 433
    Originally posted by Dr_Shivinski
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Since when is a payment model a foundation for good community? Nonsense. Game design and guilds are the foundation of a good community.

    You wanna point us in the direction of an F2P with good game design and community? BTW Good communities create good guilds, not the other way around.

     

    LOTRO and EQ2 have great communities.

     

    WoW has a toxic community. So toxic, in fact, it's become infamous even for people who have never touched the game itself. Likewise, ESO's community is garbage.

    Then again, RIFT has a garbage community.

     

    I don't think F2P or B2P or P2P dictates how good a community is.  I've met poor people who were kind, well spoken, intelligent and creative - they just didn't happen to have a lot of money at the time or didn't see money as a necessarily important goal to chase.  And some of the biggest idiots, asshats and trolls i've met were well off.

    Money doesn't make you a nice person. Paying for a sub doesn't make you a stellar addition to a community.

     

    That said, I do think P2P is going the way of the dodo. People are too complacent and too used to b2p/f2p models now, just as they eat up garbage subpar games and the scam of "early access".  Until people get smart (never), you'll just see it get worse and worse.

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