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Reader Comments (41)

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:10PM Gabrielo said

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this: "Oh, hai! >.< All your base are belong to pedo bear! O.o Angry writer is angry!" ruins the fun. i do hate these three "internet trends", someone fix this!

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:11PM Gishboy said

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So many group nights on Lord of the Rings Online with my guild are utterly destroyed by the fact some folks "don't own that quest pack" - I, for one, wholeheartedly agree with the all or nothing approach to F2P.

A very disheartening but utterly relate-able read!

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:22PM Arkanaloth said

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agreed entirely with the whole article... the rental cash shop of Vindictus is the games only failing. Some items are permanent but most are not and I avoid the rental items like the plague. They're crazy expensive for something that's only going to be around 30 or so days.

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:26PM Greyhame said

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If you are going to charge money for additional game content, you might as well just release it as expansions or charge a subscription fee.

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:33PM Higurashi said

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Gpotato is now doing this cash shop rental garbage too. I really dislike it.

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:38PM Beau Hindman said

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I'm open to the fact that this problem might be pretty specific to me, being that I normally have no issues with rentable items. I just don't have the ability to write down and remember "oh yeh, go re-charge that!" lol call me crazy, but those lil mental reminders drive me nuts.

Beau

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:40PM Ayenn said

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So, in other words, you are saying that the F2P model has problems? You say they should either outright offer a sub or offer everything for free (which means they will go out of business)?

I couldn't agree more! Earnest business models are falling to the delusion that freemium is the way of the future. It is not and I believe the whole of the industry is about to figure that out. Could 2011 be the year the F2P bubble pops? it is totally possible :D

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:36PM Beau Hindman said

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@Ayenn No, I have an issue with Freemium more than "true" ftp. Classic FTP is what I always prefer -- freemium is what I do not. hehe

Either way, there are always examples of good and bad in either. Mabinogi's service is a time-limit thing, but I like it because of what it is selling.

Beau
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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:47PM Beau Hindman said

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@Ayenn I would like to add that I have never said to make everything free. If that were the case, the games could no exist. I say to make the game *optionally* free, or stick a sub on it.

This would get into definitions of content and what is valuable, something I would have to put into another article.

Beau
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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:54PM Irem said

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@Ayenn

I don't like microtransactions, but there's a middle ground that I can live with and that a lot of people are happy with (i.e. purely cosmetic items, although I would rather earn that stuff through gameplay). The real problem with the model is that because it makes money hand over fist, some companies will always try to see how much they can get away with. How exactly do players define "purely cosmetic" and "game changing"? If they'll pay $5.00 for an item once, will they keep paying $5, or slightly less, to keep it if we take it away after a certain amount of time? Can we offer microtransactions on top of a subscription? Can we offer both subscriptions and a freemium model? The list goes on.

Microtransactions and freemiums aren't any more about "Falala, we want to offer our players options~" than my foot is; they wouldn't have become so widespread if they didn't make much more money, in many cases, than the subscription model. Because of that, we won't see them going away or getting unpopular any time soon. But there's only so far they can push the model without players saying, "Gee, if I'm giving you $15 to keep all my stuff every month, I'm basically paying for a subscription." At some point it becomes a blatant money grab with no way for the publisher to even start to make it sound cute.

Unfortunately, subscription games aren't doing much to fight back, or explain why they're better, because deep down most of them want to (or plan to, or already do) charge for fluff or access to certain content too. Far from the death of the freemium model, I think this is the last gasp of subscription-based games--much to my dismay--before the F2P model settles on what the sacred cows are and which boundaries they can't cross without alienating players and becomes the standard.
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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:48PM Brockobama321 said

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Obligatory:

You mad?

There, now that thats out of the way...

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 12:55PM Tizmah said

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The greatest things in life are free. Wrong.

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:02PM Arkanaloth said

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@Tizmah

true.. but just cause it costs money doesn't make it worthwhile either, look at FF14.
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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:19PM Gaugamela said

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@Arkanaloth

Last time I heard FFXIV was free untill they fixed their problems. Not completely sure about that though.

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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:36PM Beau Hindman said

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@Gaugamela No, you still have to pay 50 bucks for the box.

Freemium is closer to the truth.

Beau
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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:22PM Gaugamela said

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I actually prefer the freemium model and I think you contradict yourself when you like Wizard 101 but are against the LotRO and EQ2 models.

However, I do agree that the freemium model is a bit awkward on those games since they weren't built from the onset with it in mind. DDO fits that model a LOT better!
LotRO isn't that bad though, but maybe they should make more questing content available.

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:38PM Beau Hindman said

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@Gaugamela I'm not sure where I said that I "like" Wiz 101 while "not liking" EQ2 and LotRO? I actually admit to having a free account for Wizard 101, which adds to my liking of it! lol

Beau
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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:32PM ScottishViking said

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Beau said:

"Essentially this is a game that features free or limited content up to a certain point. At that crossroads players need to decide whether to truly subscribe to see other the rest of the content or to sit and miss out on the fun...Again, it's not that I have an issue with a practice that is obviously very popular as well as beneficial to the developer; it's that I am just not able to mentally keep track of so many subscriptions and forced payments."

So, let me get this straight...you have a problem with this practice because you have trouble keeping track of your subscriptions and forced payments? Forgive my LOL. (Do you use that? If not, it means Love Our Leader.)

"Selling entire chunks of content is almost as unlikable. If you want to sell extra dungeons or adventures to play through, that's OK with me. If you want to charge me to even go up a level, that's a bit silly."

Name me an MMO where "chunks of content" =/= "levels." Most content is only accessible at certain levels. Not only that, but your complaint is outdated in some cases: LOTRO's F2Pers are now able to get to max level, but they have to pay to get certain major expansion areas (like Moria). Is this really such a big problem? The content in most of these areas is huge, really, really huge. I'd imagine that's largely true across most MMOs.

Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:45PM Beau Hindman said

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@ScottishViking

1) Yes, I have an issue with having to remember small subs or payments. Remember I said very clearly that the issue might be very specific to me and my gaming schedule -- after all, I switch games weekly at the least.

2) The second didn't read very clearly, I admit. What I mean to say is that optional, extra content (for example, a house or an add-on dungeon pack) is fine by me, mainly because I can grab it and go. Making me pay for something that is normal in the game, like a level, is not. The content you normally have to be of a certain level to access is being sold, essentially.

Of course, this is open to what you value in your content. You might care about killing dragons, while I just want to grow a farm. That's why I said this is a very specific issue to me.

Beau
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Posted: Jan 5th 2011 1:54PM ScottishViking said

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@Beau Hindman

Re. #2: Well, it sounds like this is a philosophical issue for you -- not so much a "trend" as a fixture of the MMO scene that you're opposed to. Unlike #1 (above), I do understand your opposition to this, even if I do not necessarily agree. Maybe this is a problem of terminology (something I believe you've written about before) -- that the word "free" is misleading, and is a provisional word, rather than a hard line.

Still, until there is a terminological revolution in the F2P world, I'd think this is less a Machiavellan plot on the developer's behalf, and more an alternate solution to outright subscription, which you don't seem opposed to. And yet how realistic is a straight-up sub content revival? Not frakkin' likely, if you ask me.
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