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Reader Comments (67)

Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:13AM PhelimReagh said

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And I thought AoC's shop was terrible. Yet it still manages to double their revenues and increase their subscriber base.

It's going to be harder to argue against the logic that going some sort of F2P/F2P hybrid can give pretty much any game a second chance. Of course, what the devs do with that chance is a whole different story.

Good luck, AoC fans. I hope FunCom makes the most of their second chance.

Posted: Aug 11th 2011 10:45AM SnarlingWolf said

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@PhelimReagh

The argument will simply be that big titles which have gone F2P haven't posted data after 6months to a year of operating as a hybrid or F2P.

Yes, switching to F2P will drive in a bunch of players in the short term, a 4 year old could figure that out. And since you just drove in a bunch of players to check out the game, some will spend money while they're there. This will mean a short term gain in profits.

What we don't have data on is after that rush of wanting to see what the game is all about, how much money a company is making as compared to before.

There's been a surprising lack of information from companies who have done this change at the 3-6-12 month periods, and that is the information that counts since it determines the life of an MMO.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 11:48AM bobfish said

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@SnarlingWolf

I don't think it stops the decline, just puts it off for awhile.

Most subscription MMOs see a gradual decline in subscribers over time, the hybrid move, like an expansion release, would bring in a few new subscribers, but that decline would continue again after awhile.

What the hybrid thing can do though is further monetize the subscribers. So you probably don't end up with more players in the long run, as you still has that decline, but each player you do have is contributing more money than they would've before, because they are spending it in the shop as well as on the subscription.

Now not everyone does that, but I think enough do it to make a difference. Much like how 10% of people who play a F2P game pay enough to keep it going, as the other 90% don't pay anything.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 12:53PM PhelimReagh said

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@SnarlingWolf
Then there must be quite a few 3 year olds running many MMO studios, as plenty who've tried subs or nothing, and initially failed, are still resisting the swtichover.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 1:38PM Darkstryke said

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@PhelimReagh The only logic is that idiots will spend money on anything.

The ONLY games going F2P are the ones that can't hack it as a subscription based game, because they flat out suck.


F2P is the road to the land of mediocrity.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 2:03PM Ordegar said

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@Darkstryke

That is not true. The Lord of the Rings Online was doing very well as a subscription only game, and the executives at Turbine almost didn't want to make the change because it costs a lot of money to implement a change like that.

In fact, when Dungeons and Dragons Online moved to the hybrid payment system, other developers thought the same way you did, that the change worked with DDO because it couldn't handle the subscription market. Only when LOTRO made the move to the hybrid system did everyone take notice, because it was a successful AAA subscription game that became more successful as a hybrid.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 2:28PM alinos said

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@SnarlingWolf

Kinda irrelevant really.

You start off with 300,000 people. If your loosing 10000 a month thats 10000 sub fees your loosing

Adding a F2P might add 300,000 people and you might loose some subs that will be made up in the shop.

But now you have 600,000 people to hemmorage not 300,000 and generally the more people playing the more likely people are to make friends and stay

Personally i think that alot of the MMO's are going to have to go F2P especially if the market crashes again.

Sure 15 dollars a month is nothing realistically.

But when some people are playing 2-4 different MMO's Suddenly it's 60 dollars a month and they are spending a 1/4 of the time for each subscription.

I know when i went back to lotro after going f2p i spent more money in a month than i would for 3 months. But then i got busy and only got about 5 hours in the next month.

If that had been a sub based game at the time. There would have been a 6 month break after that 5 hour month because i wouldve cancelled my sub for some time.

instead im still chipping away at it, and they are still making money on the random purchases
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 7:34PM DancingTaco said

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@Ordegar

Your info is slightly flawed. Lotro started out successful, but was declining fast and within a couple of years might have been headed in a bad situation. Their numbers were declining, their content was becoming stagnant and spaced out. They were not as strong their 3rd year as their first two. With SW: TOR and GW2, not to mention a few others coming they decided to plan ahead before the numbers dropped anymore.
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Posted: Aug 12th 2011 8:02AM HiroProtagonist7 said

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@DancingTaco
They spent at least the last year making their subs pay for the F2P conversion too. That's horsesh t
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:14AM koehler83 said

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More players is a clear improvement.

Doubling their income.. that's a bit ambiguous. What was it before? $0? A few million in the red?

Are they profitable?

Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:20AM Yellowdancer said

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@koehler83

Doesn't really matter. Its positive press. When was the last time they had positive press? Positive press will lure more players which will increase revenue.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:55AM (Unverified) said

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@koehler83

Income and revenue are two completely separate financial terms. They have doubled their revenues since going free to play, which means that through the hybrid model of cash shop purchases and subscriptions, their intake has increased. Operating costs and other expenses are still the same; in fcat, they probably have increased due to system stress of adding more players.

While they may have truly doubled their revenue, they never actually said that said revenue translates directly into profit. If I have to wager a guess, I'd say profit for them in up 20% to 25% in this month alone, however. May be the first time in a while where AoC can truly say they're more than breaking even.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:58AM koehler83 said

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@(Unverified) I know what revenue means. Thanks. If I could edit it, I would but since I can't it's irrelevant, isn't it?

The point remains, their profitability remains unclear just because their REVENUE doubled. Their REVENUE could double again and it still wouldn't imply anything regarding their bottom line.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 10:51AM Lateris said

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Right,
They doubled what they made for that month compared to that month last year. But long term in a north American market that might hit unemployment records, that's a scarey bottom line.

It has been nice to play with all new blood. I think this is the first time I actually gave f2p a good chance. But they need to award subscribers more tokens.

300k though is great!

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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:19AM Cyclone Jack said

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Impressive. I actually logged in last night to unlock one of my char slots and check out the store. From what I skimmed through, I didn't see much that I didn't like (I always hate seeing gear in cash shops, that's just me though), and I was happy to see them allow the purchase of the various locked features (classes, dungeons, etc). I'm still on the fence with locking Khitai as a whole to the sub, but I can see why they did it.

Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:52AM Comrade Domovoi said

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@Cyclone Jack

It's not locked, you can buy it and unlock it as a non-sub.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 10:01AM Cyclone Jack said

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@Comrade Domovoi

Hmm, I must have missed that in my quick browse through the shop. Not sure I like that then, seeing as I'm looking at my RotGS CD right now. Something about buying the same thing twice rubs me the wrong way.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 10:12AM Okamakiri said

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@Comrade Domovoi

Last I checked, you unlock it on a timer, which ends being more expensive than just subbing. And they still deny the use of epic mounts to F2P, including previous subscribers who bought all original content. Can't even use my tiger that I grinded for months. Their "F2P" model is a joke.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 12:38PM Dril said

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@Okamakiri

I agree.

It's excruciatingly annoying that, having bought RotG when it released, I can't actually play it.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 9:21AM Kerbion said

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I enjoyed this game before it went hybrid.... the cash shop was exciting at first then... I noticed something... rare gear in the shop... armor, weapons... all comparable to the instance gear I was wearing. So then I dug deeper, there is gear available for purchase all the way to max level... they have implemented a pay to win system, and that is despicable.

They have everything from PVE gear, to epic PVP gear just waiting for someone to purchase.

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