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What Ever Happened To The F2P Cash Shop?

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  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,182
    Wargfoot said:
    I'm not sure how you managed to read that into my post.
    Shockingly, by reading what you wrote....
  • WargfootWargfoot Member UncommonPosts: 257
    Gdemami said:
    Wargfoot said:
    I'm not sure how you managed to read that into my post.
    Shockingly, by reading what you wrote....
    I didn't address the topic of adding grind to a paid subscription model.
    Given that the OP is about FTP I'd have to wonder why that topic would even come up.

    You may have read it, but you also read into it.

    If you could respond to what is actually written, or perhaps ask for clarification if something is confusing you, that would be great.
    GdemamiScot
  • WargfootWargfoot Member UncommonPosts: 257
    The thing with me, is that now, an initial buy price for me is a hindrance for me to even play a game.

    If Elite Dangerous was F2P,  there is a good chance that i would have tried it. Perhaps, i would have gotten addicted to it and then spent money.

    So you can afford a $1000 gaming rig (on the low end), a $50 per month internet connection, and any gaming peripherals (gaming joystick, etc) but the deal breaker, after blowing upwards of $2000.00 (easy to do with gaming rigs) is the price of the game? 

    If you like the FTP model that's fine -  you need no justification past that point.

    Some of the cost analysis from the FTP crowd is a bit sketchy, IMHO.
    jimmywolfGdemamiScot
  • ikcinikcin Member RarePosts: 2,211
    edited April 2019
    Ungood said:

    I hate to say it.. but some of us were in fact watching this trend unfold, and at first, one of the biggest things we saw was that the on average numbers were better for F2P.

    Where a Sub at the time would get $15 a month per player, F2P games were generating $24 a month per player, which is why a lot of games jumped over to the "Item Shop" model, it was in every way, more profitable.

    It had also been proven that F2P games had a much higher return rate than sub games, since it did not cost anyone any money to come back, players were in fact taking breaks and returning to F2P games far more frequently than they did Sub based games.

    So while Whales do get a lot of attention, there were far more reasons to go F2P than simply someone spending big bucks, as many games today could in fact make theoricially make more with a Sub than going F2P, it is just at this point, not competitive to the market.

    Case in point, GW2, made roughly 20 million last quarter, with potentially 1.5 million players, if they had a 15 dollar sub and those same 1.5 million players, they could have made 65 million a quarter, just to give an idea of the current discrepancy.

    But at the same time, if they tried to put in a sub, there is a better than good chance they would not have 1.5 million players willing to shell it out, purely for the privilege of playing their game. TERA, and a few other games have proved this a few times over. 

    Players now want something more than a game to play for $15 a month.

    As for the 3 billion. Keep in mind, at its height, WoW was making 150 Million a Month on subs alone, couple that with expansions, which would have been another, roughly, 450 million, which means WoW alone made 2.2 Billion in one Year, and that is ONE game. 

    So the money has always been out there.. MMO's have proven to be a multi-billion dollar industry, is simply a matter of how to harvest it.. currently the Item Mall/F2P seems to be working.

    What will come next.. who knows.
    In the best days of WoW the revenue was about 1,5 billions. Revenue, not net profit. Indeed WoW earned more per player, but had far less players.

    Based on 2010 annual report of Blizzard, the revenue was:
     
    2008 - 1.15 billions
    2009 - 1.24 billions
    2010 - 1.23 billions
     
    The direct expense related was around 240 millions in 2010, so the profit before taxes was around 1 billion from WoW.
    jimmywolf
  • paulythebpaulytheb Member UncommonPosts: 363
    I'll try any game once. FTP makes it easy to try them.

    I've only given money for games I truly enjoyed playing for more than a few weeks.

    Path of exile is an excellent example. I think I've spent less than 20 dollars there, but I thought after playing it extensively that they deserved a few of my dollars.

    DDO is a different example. I go back and play that once in a while and I just automatically sign up for one month of premium time. It opens up the whole game instead of their piecemeal FTP approach.

    I play a lot of MWO because blowing up Mechs is awesome. They have moved past the rough beginning they had and it's a great game. They only thing money does for you in MWO is buying custom MECH appearances. Yes, there are a few MECHS of every variety that can only be bought with real money MC points, but you don't need them. You can make a very similar loadout with the in game "gold" bought Mechs. They just have custom appearances for the most part.

    I play the Snit out of MWO so I support them. I also pre ordered Mechwarrior 5 and they gave me a boatload of free stuff in MWO. Well worth the money in my book.
    Scot

    ( Note to self-Don't say anything bad about Drizzt.)

    An acerbic sense of humor is NOT allowed here.

  • UngoodUngood Member EpicPosts: 4,223
    Wargfoot said:
    Ungood Said: It had also been proven that F2P games had a much higher return rate than sub games.

    --------------------------------------------

    I don't doubt this; however, I do have a question about it.

    Do we have a triple AAA title out there that is FTP and delivers the quality of content of the subscription triple AAA titles of the past?

    While I'm sure the FTP is generating a ton of money, and may in fact be keeping the doors open on failing sub-based titles - is the huge cash influx resulting in new, high quality content?

    It seems to me that a subscription implies 'more content coming soon'.  Good story telling and all that sort of thing.  FTP seems to be more about 'more shop items coming soon' - do FTP games (with cash shop, no sub) get the high quality content of the past?

    I ask this because IMHO, I think there is room out there for a $25.00 per month sub provided it is high quality with frequent updates - an absolutely no cash shop.  I think people are willing to pay for a high end experience.
    I am not exactly sure how to gauge this question, and to the best of what I could figure out, neither does any of the Data collection agencies that I frequent.

    Keep in mind, this is a hard question, as "AAA titles of the past" typically only provided new content in the form of expansions, which were a box fee and a sub fee to access, and currently a lot of F2P MMO's also use expansions for direct content updates.

    There are outliers, but as far as I can tell, not enough to really get a hard metric on this kind of question.
    WargfootScot
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • UngoodUngood Member EpicPosts: 4,223
    Kyleran said:
    kjempff said:
    Let's repeat it again. F2P is much more than a monetization model, it changes the entire game from core to detail (and not for the better).
    The sooner f2p dies, the sooner you can get good games again.
    Would you really want to pay $15 a month for every single game you play? We did it back in the early 2000s because we had no other choice and there were only a handful of games, but in 2019 we have many choices. Also just because you pay a monthly doesn't aurtomatically make the game better.
    Wouldn't bother me, I only play one game at a time and once "done" with it rarely return.

    Not paying for subs is more of a game hopper issue.
    As it was noted, at least in a few articles I read on this subject, that it was more a burn out issue, since beating an MMO is near impossible, players would "take a break" from the game (for whatever reason), and since they had to pay to return..  they just wouldn't.

    Expansions often functioned as a means to bring a lot of these burned out players back, at least, for a time, but not 100% effective, and the loss was noted.

    I mean, just keep in mind, when people say that WoW had 100 million players over the course of its life, that 97 million opted to leave and not return.
    Kyleran
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • WargfootWargfoot Member UncommonPosts: 257
    Ungood said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Ungood Said: It had also been proven that F2P games had a much higher return rate than sub games.

    --------------------------------------------

    I don't doubt this; however, I do have a question about it.

    Do we have a triple AAA title out there that is FTP and delivers the quality of content of the subscription triple AAA titles of the past?

    While I'm sure the FTP is generating a ton of money, and may in fact be keeping the doors open on failing sub-based titles - is the huge cash influx resulting in new, high quality content?

    It seems to me that a subscription implies 'more content coming soon'.  Good story telling and all that sort of thing.  FTP seems to be more about 'more shop items coming soon' - do FTP games (with cash shop, no sub) get the high quality content of the past?

    I ask this because IMHO, I think there is room out there for a $25.00 per month sub provided it is high quality with frequent updates - an absolutely no cash shop.  I think people are willing to pay for a high end experience.
    I am not exactly sure how to gauge this question, and to the best of what I could figure out, neither does any of the Data collection agencies that I frequent.

    Keep in mind, this is a hard question, as "AAA titles of the past" typically only provided new content in the form of expansions, which were a box fee and a sub fee to access, and currently a lot of F2P MMO's also use expansions for direct content updates.

    There are outliers, but as far as I can tell, not enough to really get a hard metric on this kind of question.
    I appreciate this response.
    I'm actually enjoying the cash shop on Elite Dangerous, which surprises me a little bit.
    It isn't pay-to-win though.

    I *think* if my current buying holds pace I'd probably be about in the same territory as a $15 per month sub.  Maybe a little bit more.
    Ungood
  • ikcinikcin Member RarePosts: 2,211
    The biggest advantage of F2P is the reach. 15 USD per month is a small sum in US, Japan, Canada, Australia and Western EU. In Eastern EU, Russia, Turkey and China, it is not so small, but affordable, in India, East Asia and Latin America 15 USD is expensive. But with F2P everyone pays as much as he can. So you have a global market. Even Blizzard was selling WoW in China for example with huge discounts, actually it was very close to F2P there.
  • WarEnsembleWarEnsemble Member UncommonPosts: 252
    My attitude is I will play and pay how I want regardless of what anyone else does. If I like the game, I will play. If there are things in the shop that are worth buying (worth it to me) then I will pay for them. 

    I have played games where I spent many hours and never spent a single dime on it because it wasn't worth it to me. (League of Legends)

    I have played games where I spent a small amount of money in the shop because something caught my attention. (Path of Exile)

    I have played games where I spent way too much real money in the shop because I thought they had many neat things I wanted. (Everquest 1)

    The point is value is subjective. Play and pay your way and don't worry about what anyone else is doing.
    Cryomatrix
  • WargfootWargfoot Member UncommonPosts: 257
    ikcin said:
    The biggest advantage of F2P is the reach. 15 USD per month is a small sum in US, Japan, Canada, Australia and Western EU. In Eastern EU, Russia, Turkey and China, it is not so small, but affordable, in India, East Asia and Latin America 15 USD is expensive. But with F2P everyone pays as much as he can. So you have a global market. Even Blizzard was selling WoW in China for example with huge discounts, actually it was very close to F2P there.
    So people who cannot afford $15 per month are the money tree the game developers are shaking?
    Scot
  • ShaighShaigh Member RarePosts: 2,059
    All it takes for people to purchase items in a cash shop is enjoying the game. To pay $15 extra just so they can continue playing a game they already paid for they expect frequent content updates or they just play a game that offer something similar where they don't have to pay a premium.
    The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  • Superman0XSuperman0X Member RarePosts: 2,220
    F2P was developed as a marketing counter to P2P... not as a counter to subscriptions. The simple premise of F2P is that you can save marketing costs (which can be as high or higher than the total development cost) on the game launch by getting your players to market for you. This has led to the current marketing by social influencer which is commonly used today.

    Cash shop vs sub has played out in both F2P and P2P games for a completely different reason.  A cash shop (and eventually loot boxes) are about increasing the average revenue per user vs the fixed value from a sub. As games slowly became more about the recurring revenue rather than the box/expansion sales cash shops won out due to the higher average.

    The way to get P2P sub based games is to find a lower marketting cost for the sale of boxes/expansions. With that combination, you will see these types of launches and sales.
    GdemamiikcinScot
  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 4,099
    edited April 2019
    Well at this point it's kind of moot since many games are AAA prices with F2P gameplay and cash shops anyways.  

    I like subs but the game can't be shallow themepark.  But again I don't believe there is any reason there won't be bait out there for whales in a cashshop for $59.99 game and $20.00 month game.


  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member RarePosts: 6,590
    edited April 2019
    To me free to play with the cash shop makes more sense than p2p-. if the free-to-play game wants to get my money then they have to give me a good experience first. If I don't like it I don't pay. If I stop liking it I stop paying. If they don't have anything I want I never pay. 

    Pay-to-play and or subscription games they already have my money at least for the first monthmonth us before I've tried the game or at least tried significant portions of the game. 
    Cryomatrixikcin
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,261
    Gdemami said:
    Wargfoot said:
    For example, when developers intentionally put grinds into the game so that you by the 'half the grind' scroll in the shop.  To me, it is obvious that the cash shop would give the studio incentive to make some things suck so that you buy the key that fixes the problem.  That is BAD for players.

    I have to laugh at people that wince at a $20 sub but then go on to spend 3x that in the cash shop.

    ...as opposed to case when developers intentionally put grinds into the game so that they bleed you not only for subscription fees but ton of your time on top.

    Because that is actually GOOD for players.

    /facepalm
    At least players were playing and even <gasp> being sociable while grinding.
    Scot

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,261
    Wargfoot said:
    Gdemami said:
    Wargfoot said:
    I'm not sure how you managed to read that into my post.
    Shockingly, by reading what you wrote....
    I didn't address the topic of adding grind to a paid subscription model.
    Given that the OP is about FTP I'd have to wonder why that topic would even come up.

    You may have read it, but you also read into it.

    If you could respond to what is actually written, or perhaps ask for clarification if something is confusing you, that would be great.
    But what he said is true. Subscription games often put in "time sinks" to slow players down, so they'd be playing and paying longer. Items that had a slim chance of dropping, seemingly long spawn timers, hell levels that seemed to take forever to get through. Subscriptions are not a perfect solution, but much more preferable to cash shops for me.

    The argument I literally laugh out loud at is, "Subs make me feel like I have to log in." If you don't even want to play a sub game, cancel your sub and move on. How often do you use your subscription based phone? How about your subscription based cable/satellite TV? How often does subscription based Netflix MAKE you watch something? No, ONLY games get to force people to play...
    ScotWargfoot

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,826
    I remember the anti-subber period not too many years back. The white knights for F2P would bitch about how sub games were unfair because the no-lifers were always winning since they put in so many more hours than everyone else.

    But then they would turn around and defend the F2P model because it wasn't really P2W if they could put in the time to grind out the gear they wanted.

    WTF????
    AlBQuirkyVermillion_RaventhalVengeSunsoarNilden
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,261
    To me free to play with the cash shop makes more sense than p2p-. if the free-to-play game wants to get my money then they have to give me a good experience first. If I don't like it I don't pay. If I stop liking it I stop paying. If they don't have anything I want I never pay. 

    Pay-to-play and or subscription games they already have my money at least for the first monthmonth us before I've tried the game or at least tried significant portions of the game. 
    Come now... Most Sub MMOs came with "First 30 days free!" with an initial purchase :)

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,366
    AlBQuirky said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Gdemami said:
    Wargfoot said:
    I'm not sure how you managed to read that into my post.
    Shockingly, by reading what you wrote....
    I didn't address the topic of adding grind to a paid subscription model.
    Given that the OP is about FTP I'd have to wonder why that topic would even come up.

    You may have read it, but you also read into it.

    If you could respond to what is actually written, or perhaps ask for clarification if something is confusing you, that would be great.
    But what he said is true. Subscription games often put in "time sinks" to slow players down, so they'd be playing and paying longer. Items that had a slim chance of dropping, seemingly long spawn timers, hell levels that seemed to take forever to get through. Subscriptions are not a perfect solution, but much more preferable to cash shops for me.

    The argument I literally laugh out loud at is, "Subs make me feel like I have to log in." If you don't even want to play a sub game, cancel your sub and move on. How often do you use your subscription based phone? How about your subscription based cable/satellite TV? How often does subscription based Netflix MAKE you watch something? No, ONLY games get to force people to play...
    Clearly games are much more evil than other forms of entertainment.

    I've read somewhere they can even go into your wallet and make you spend money in the cash shop....

    Weird.

     
    :)
    AlBQuirkyGdemamiikcinScot

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,919
    Kyleran said:
    AlBQuirky said:
    Wargfoot said:
    Gdemami said:
    Wargfoot said:
    I'm not sure how you managed to read that into my post.
    Shockingly, by reading what you wrote....
    I didn't address the topic of adding grind to a paid subscription model.
    Given that the OP is about FTP I'd have to wonder why that topic would even come up.

    You may have read it, but you also read into it.

    If you could respond to what is actually written, or perhaps ask for clarification if something is confusing you, that would be great.
    But what he said is true. Subscription games often put in "time sinks" to slow players down, so they'd be playing and paying longer. Items that had a slim chance of dropping, seemingly long spawn timers, hell levels that seemed to take forever to get through. Subscriptions are not a perfect solution, but much more preferable to cash shops for me.

    The argument I literally laugh out loud at is, "Subs make me feel like I have to log in." If you don't even want to play a sub game, cancel your sub and move on. How often do you use your subscription based phone? How about your subscription based cable/satellite TV? How often does subscription based Netflix MAKE you watch something? No, ONLY games get to force people to play...
    Clearly games are much more evil than other forms of entertainment.

    I've read somewhere they can even go into your wallet and make you spend money in the cash shop....

    Weird.

     

    Adults should - key word should - be able to see through persuasive (or should that be deceptive marketing). The same can be said about gambling and slot machines but a whole host of places seem to disagree.

    When it comes to children in particular though there is clearly enough evidence to persuade lawmakers in multiple countries that some control is needed.

    So you are entirely correct they clearly can go into your wallet, presumably by messing with your head. 
    Gdemami
  • goboygogoboygo Member RarePosts: 2,140
    Ungood said:
    goboygo said:
    There I was when the first F2P hit the western market and Im going how stupid does someone have to be to think F2P games are going to be good in the long term.  And there is the wave of short sighted penniless gamers arguing with me about how great it was.  And some writer on this very site, don't remember who he was, telling everyone F2P games were the future of gaming and the western market was behind the times. everyone wins he says.  

    Then later when they realized they do have to spend some money to have any chance at having a normal playing experience, the argument was, but I only spend money when I need it, Im in control.  Okay buddy whatever you say.

    Then the same group realizes they are spending WAY more then they ever would have on a sub game that gave you everything, and they still don't have anything close to everything on the "one" character they can afford to spend money on.

    And now guess what, I don't hear them defending F2P games anymore.
    I hate to say it.. but when I was playing GW2, I used to get a bit of a joy hearing people cry about the price of things in the cash shop, when, spending a pitiful $20 a paycheck I never had an issue buying what I wanted.

    In the endm, if I am having fun playing a game, I want to spend money on it to support it, and a cash shop is a neat way for me to do just that, without feeling obligated to pay a sub. If one month, I am off contract, and need to live on the savings, ok.. I don't spend.. next month, I am back on contract, and I might splurge and spend a c-note, in many ways I am in complete control.

    If I don't like the game, for whatever reasons, I don't spend money on it.. I also stop playing it and try to find a game I will enjoy.. and F2P, well.. allows me to play a game for a bit and make that decision, sometimes, I might make an account, make a character, log in .. and get distracted by something else.. like a Walking Dead marathon leading up to Spoiler, which kills ALL my free time, and not go back to the game for a month, so a "free trial" does not work for someone like me.

    In the end.. whoever said F2P was the future of games.. they were in fact right.
    Yes they were right but for the wrong reasons.
    AlBQuirky
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 2,963
    Wargfoot said:
    The thing with me, is that now, an initial buy price for me is a hindrance for me to even play a game.

    If Elite Dangerous was F2P,  there is a good chance that i would have tried it. Perhaps, i would have gotten addicted to it and then spent money.

    So you can afford a $1000 gaming rig (on the low end), a $50 per month internet connection, and any gaming peripherals (gaming joystick, etc) but the deal breaker, after blowing upwards of $2000.00 (easy to do with gaming rigs) is the price of the game? 

    If you like the FTP model that's fine -  you need no justification past that point.

    Some of the cost analysis from the FTP crowd is a bit sketchy, IMHO.
    Well gaming rigs and accessories are never free. So it is a sunk cost. What is not a sunk cost are the games.

    Hence, everything after gaming rigs is a new species. Not only is it a new species, playing games has a time component too. 

    Hence, i can only play a few games with my limited time and after the sunk cost that is a gaming rig, i choose wisely what i play and thus what i even try. 

    Therefore, non-ftp is a factor for me including all the other issues that decide what i choose to play. The overall money i spent on a rig is irrelevant.

    Even if i made 500k a year, id still be wary of buying games because i hate to buy stuff and not use it.
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,261
    edited April 2019
    The thing about this is I recall the Facebook games of yore. Talk about milking money. You do 2 to 3 activities then get to wait while your "activity bar" fills back up, usually a matter of days. OR, go spend a buck or two and get an insta-fill. Since those activities may take from 5 to 10 minutes, you get to buy those refills 6 times an hour, all at a buck or two a piece. Because of this experience, ALL cash shops feel the same to me.

    Face it, companies want your money. They will do anything and everything to get it. I prefer subs because that puts a cap on what they get, making them work harder to retain their players. Unfortunately, that's a win for the consumer and we all know businesses dislike that scenario :)
    GeezerGamerGdemami

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,826
    AlBQuirky said:
    The thing about this is I recall the Facebook games of yore. Talk about milking money. You do 2 to 3 activities then get to wait while your "activity bar" fills back up, usually a matter of days. OR, go spend a buck or two and get an insta-fill. Since those activities may take from 5 to 10 minutes, you get to buy those refills 6 times an hour, all at a buck or two a piece. Because of this experience, ALL cash shops feel the same to me.

    Face it, companies want your money. They will do anything and everything to get it. I prefer subs because that puts a cap on what they get, making them work harder to retain their players. Unfortunately, that's a win for the consumer and we all know businesses dislike that scenario :)
    These Companies have gone from providing a pleasurable experience for a fair price into straight up exploitation.

    Yes, I mean you Todd!

    I'm sick of it, and i don't see an end to it any time soon. At this point I can't wait for TESVI.......well, yeah, I can actually.
    GdemamiScotAlBQuirky
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