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Reader Comments (46)

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 3:33PM blueimpact said

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A shift in funds, simply. We will have our Fremium Heroes that hardcore their way to the top without spending a dime. but our subscription still exists. Just nestled within our addictive little hearts.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 3:45PM pcgneurotic said

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The thing that continues to interest me, which you exploited here for various effects Jef, but didn't address as a direct point, is the US/EU divide in the perception of F2P. It does seem to me that American players are very much more vehemntly against any kind of F2P model, whereas in Britain and Europe we're more of the B. Hindman mindset - it matters less how you pay for your game than how your game plays.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 4:54PM Seffrid said

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I'd be intrigued to know where you get that generalisation from. It's pure guesswork as far as I'm aware.

As for SOE and EQ2, the initial separation of the two versions of the game between different server sets will not last long, Georgeson has said as much ("I'm afraid we just have to leave them separate at this point"). The veracity of his statement that subscription players won't notice the difference will depend partly on how many of the new players come across to the subscription servers while they are separate, and partly on whether the emphasis on Station Cash within the new UI and standard merchants is maintained when the new setup goes from Test to Live.

This whole exercise is less to do with introducing F2P and more to do with increasing the use of the Marketplace. That is where SOE believe the most money is, and they are doing the minimum they need to do to retain the existing subscribers while maximising their revenue from the Marketplace.

EQ2 is doing ok on a reduced development team, again the exercise is less to do with making enough money to survive and more to do with making more money than they are at the moment. SOE's track record is one of squeezing the last dollar out of their customers, this is just the latest wheeze in pursuit of that aim.

Will it work? Maybe, but on balance I don't see the present F2P proposals drawing in and retaining a significant number of additional players, whilst it could cost SOE quite a lost of the existing players.

Long-term I don't see the Western MMO's sticking with the F2P option anyway, I think subscriptions and especially lifetime deals have a lot of advantages for developers and players alike, especially as F2P tends to be associated with the half-finished shallow clones and those in financial trouble rather than the original fully developed complete games with a solid playerbase.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 3:49PM (Unverified) said

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I'm interested to see what happens to these anticipated games now that the F2P 'bubble' has burst into SOE as well as Turbine. Will the longevity of those games last with a P2P system, or will they end up being a flavor of the 'year/month/whatever' kind of like Aion turned out to be?

I do think the F2P system is putting a bit of a bite on some of the pure P2P games that aren't high in numbers of players, but I also do not think that it will just affect older games but possibly newer games in the future.

Also note that games like Black Prophecy and others are coming out as F2P from the start rather than P2P which you fail to mention and was awarded during E3 by many companies/groups.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 3:52PM (Unverified) said

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Well after posting in an earlier post on here about this, I dropped in on my old EQ2 guild site, and apparently I'm not the only person unable to play EQ2 due to a lack of funding that had their sudden euphoria dashed when we all realized that we couldn't come back to hang with our friends in-game.

None of us really care if our old toons became suddently gimped, or even if GASP we had to re-roll new toons. It is simply the social aspect of hanging out in-game and having fun. And the seperate server deal is simply a deal breaker for us.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 4:30PM pcgneurotic said

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What's stopping you all having an F2P Guild Re-roll? As a sidebar to your main guild activities, it could be a good laugh and even lead to something bigger. My guild is already planning an Extended Version!
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 10:59PM Bizzac said

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Sony games have cross game voice/text chat. How thats added *probably gonna be something you pay for, or maybe you can join but not start a chat?* to the new Eq2x I don't know.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 3:55PM wondersmith said

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I'm a fan of F2P, but I do recognize that many of those who prefer the subscription model or separate servers are more egalitarian than elitist. They simply want a world where everyone is truly equal. Nothing wrong with that, but I like the option to pay as much (or as little) as I'm comfortable with. Besides, even subscription servers are tarnished by cash shops, multiboxing, gold sellers, and powerleveling services.

It surprises me that Eve Online is seldom (if ever) mentioned in F2P vs. P2P debates. This successful AAA game does not require a retail box purchase, charges nothing for expansions, and can be played free by buying PLEX cards (virtual 30 day game time cards) from other players using in-game currency. I played Eve for more than 2 years this way, paying only for my first month's subscription. This is an innovation I wish more subscription games would emulate.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 6:53PM wcdregon said

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@univac
you make a good point abhotu EvE Online, but those PLEX cards are still purchased by someone. my guess would be that gold farmers buy them in bulk for a cheaper price than you can get in the store then sell them for the instore value or virtual currency, say the card is $30. the farmers buy them in bulk for $10 each and sell them for $30 worth of virtual currency. It is cool that games like EvE have that community though. I never met a WoW player that was willing to sell time cards ingame. I actually started an ebay business to do just that in WoW and it worked wonderfully until i got tired of playing WoW. If I could make a fulltime living selling time cards for virtual currency I would quit my job and do that. Maybe one day when I build up enough clientele I will be able to game full time. Until that day comes, I am in favor of F2P revolution. The playing field is evened and soon there will be F2P games of similar quality to WoW which is a plus for everyone. The only way to improve on a game like WoW is to make it free. There's a reason its the gold standard in the MMO industry, it honestly should be a gold standard in all of gaming.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 1:36AM ChromeBallz said

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@Jerronimo

GTC's don't get cheaper than around ~$23 in bulk. CCP still has to earn back the money, and they're not going to sell 60-day GTC's (which are the only ones available) at $10, which is a loss of at least $20. Selling them to resellers at $23 is already not a very good practice if you want to make a profit. Do remember that CCP doesn't see a dime from what resellers actually earn, they already payed for their stuck in the original purchase.

Also, a GTC is only worth about 300 million isk, tops. ISK sellers are barely making $50 per 1 billion isk. At $23 a pop, that means they'd be paying around $80 and make a $30 loss.

And last but not least - The only way to buy GTC's in bulk at it's minimum price is to buy them from CCP directly. All authorized GTC sellers are listed on the main EVE site. Any other site is usually not to be trusted since their codes are most likely fakes. And CCP would not be selling GTC's to some obscure Chinese site in the first place, some direct correspondence is required (letters, phonecalls, maybe even a meeting in person) in order to be able to buy and resell GTC's. It's highly unlikely that a gold seller would slip through the net.

IMHO: PLEX are pretty much the best solution to combat gold sellers in the industry at the moment. No other game does anything but spam control. With PLEX, no isk is added to the economy (since players have to earn isk in order to pay for your plex, no isk is added to the ingame economy by buying them for RL$), and CCP gets payed for the game time (albeit at a discount), no one else gets the RL$. Everyone wins.
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Posted: Aug 3rd 2010 8:23AM (Unverified) said

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Only problem is, the PLEX system greatly encourages goldselling, since the cheapest way to play EVE is to buy isk from a goldfamer, and then use that isk to buy a PLEX. Last I looked, if you did that, you'd pay roughly half of what it costs to pay for a legit subscription - at least until you get your account stripped of all it's illicitly purchased wealth.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 3:56PM (Unverified) said

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F2P wont take over completely but the majority of games will go that way either for survial or expanded revenue opportunities.

The rest of the MMO market will be games like WoW and DCUO that will have subscriptions but also greatly increase the use and reach of cash stores.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 3:58PM (Unverified) said

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What people are angry about is that SoE doesn't offer ANY reason to pick the subscription servers over the F2P server. Anything that you can get in the Sub server can be acquired and then some on the F2P server. I don't mind the F2P server IF there was a reason for the new players to join the Sub server. As it stands, it seems that SoE is just going to let the Sub server sit there and rot and place all their bets on the F2P server. I mean, heck, there is a way for the people on the Sub servers move to the F2P server but not the other way around. This just makes it seem that SoE is giving their long time player base an ultimatum, "Either move to our new F2P server or enjoy not having new players join your server".

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 7:28PM wjowski said

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Well there's one reason...it's cheaper.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 4:01PM Lateris said

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I can only base my opinion on the history of SOE. They make decisions that are completely against what their existing customer want routinely. Hence many changes in the games they make such as Planet side, SWG with the NGE, EQ, EQ II, have been protested by their customer base and always ignored. Clearly the only course of action is to cancel the subscription.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 8:50PM (Unverified) said

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You're forgetting Free Realms. We got our own version of the "Combat Upgrade" last December.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 4:02PM (Unverified) said

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I don't see the facts for saying the majority oppose F2P.

Point 1) F2P are just starting to roll out in force and so far browser F2Ps and client F2Ps are saving some games and improving the chances of others. The new batch of F2Ps show great promise too relative to their target audience.

Point 2) Cash stores provide a clue at the popularity of this F2P model type too. Even in subsciption games cash store are proving to be very popular with player bases.

I see the opponents of F2P as more a vocal minority and not a majority of American gamers.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 6:33PM Lateris said

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My only problem here is the factual proven track record for SOE and how they can ignore the existing community they provide entertainment for. I can only assume that the boss which Mr. Smedley answers to does not like the numbers for EQ II. They will close it or increase it.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 4:12PM TheJackman said

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I want a world where everyone is truly equal! I do not want a world where the money in your wallet is buying you the next level! Thats why WoW is a great game sure people may be able to buy useless pets or a retarded horse. But every WoW player is the same in the end!

Posted: Aug 2nd 2010 4:25PM (Unverified) said

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Player side:

There is no moral difference in someone with alot of time pumping it into a game to advance and get stuff compared to someone with a alot of money pumping it into game to advance and get stuff, who simply doesn't have the free time.

Company side:

Players pumping in more money is a whole lot better than player pumping in more time.

As MMOs move more towards a mainstream casual audience. Time requirements and the benefits of grinding will be more "compromised" by purchases.
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