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Reader Comments (75)

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 9:08AM DeadlyAccurate said

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Hopefully the sub model will stick around, at least the one that offers everything for one subscription price and not the double-dipping model becoming too popular these days.

I like Runes of Magic, and I like that I don't have to worry about stopping a subscription or not getting my money's worth, but I also like just paying one price in a game and having all the content available. (Plus, though they are few in number, games without cash shops seem to focus more on the game and less on the cash shop).

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 9:11AM Jade Effect said

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MMO companies will simply do whatever that is proven to bring in more money. Making money is the reason they exist.

If microtransaction shops are taking root in an ever-increasing amount of MMO, that can only mean there is a market for whatever they offer. You can either accept how the market is evolving, or sit in the mud and be bitter about it.

It's like I could wonder all day why people actually want to spend money to eat unhealthy fried stuff and drink unhealthy cola. Paying money to make yourself fat and unhealthy? That's just crazy. But there's a lot of people who like these greasy and fried stuff, so that's just how it is.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:26AM EdmundDante said

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@Jade Effect That's exactly the problem with our society and world today. The assumption that "greed is good" - and if it "makes money" then it's acceptable. Even if it is poor quality or ruins the environment.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 9:26AM Averice said

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Prob gonna see more diablo style. Purely optional microtransaction is what the future of multiplayer games is all about. "optional". Some companies will do it right, some will do it so bad it's equivalent to a pay to win cash shop.

Either way, we'll probably see MMO's continue to remain generic; systems built to be focused solely around their value capturing techniques and not actually innovative design or gameplay.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 9:48AM real65rcncom said

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Titan will be the last one. /snicker

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 9:53AM DarkWalker said

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@real65rcncom
I wouldn't be surprised if Titan launched as a F2P game.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 10:07AM smartstep said

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@DarkWalker

Kinda depends when it will be released. if it will be released in next 2-3 years then it is very posible that it will be f2p.

If later then no way to tell , there is no saying which business model will be most attractive then, especially that there might be business models then we don't exist yet.

When something new starts to work , many people (that include CEO's as well) start to think that this is 'final best solution' , well life usually shows diffrent.

New models emerge , old come back from 'grave' , etc
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Posted: Sep 9th 2011 11:29AM real65rcncom said

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@smartstep

Precisely. Great post. Just because most of the industry will be going to a FTP model, that does not mean ALL of them will. I don't know why some people think everyone will have to do that.

Games will be made for different people. Titan is already going to be a casual game they said, so given the amount of money Blizzard undoubtedly will put into it it makes no sense not to charge at least some fee. Other companies competing vs WoW will have to go FTP but when you look at what they will probably give you based on what those companies can afford, it probably won't keep people interested long.

Usually FTP games that have some decent content to start can have people playing it for a few weeks, but they realize they have to pay to see all the rest. When they figure that in, they weigh it vs paying for a fully stocked P2P game instead.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 9:52AM DarkWalker said

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I would guess SW:TOR. And cluelessly, too, far beyond the point where EA will be losing money by clinging to the P2P model.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 6:44PM Valkesh said

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@DarkWalker

Are you kidding me? EA has been clamoring to cram a cash shop into that thing to milk customers for all they're worth since the start of it. When subs start to decline and they haven't made their money back, it's going to be their perfect excuse to do it as well.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 9:58AM smartstep said

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Well I don't agree with that P2P will die out.

I mean game companies managment might be having wet dreams now after Lotro and D&D success , or even with smaller AoC 'success' but they are people as well and all just are jumping bandwagon becasue it is new and many western players are jumping it as well cause it is new!

We saw that many times in history , everyone following one , last , ultimate money making pattern. Remember .dot companies that 'everyone invested in' , or recent mortage-paper investments or that western economies can flourish without industry just be service based (and now look how many cash was injected to keep heavy industry in US, EU when goverments realized that they need it as well).

Not to mention that Asian mmorpg market that is flooded with f2p / item shops / microtransactions for long long years already , they still do have and are releasing p2p games as well (Aion , Tera , maybe ArcheAge)

There is enough people that want P2P games WITHOUT double dipping and they are ready to pay premium for that.
Game comanies have to realize that those people are ready to pay like 20$ or even 22$ / month if they won't be double dipped with item shops.

Since future mmorp market will be much more fractured (one giant like WoW hovering over everything else won't hapen again) , some companies will start cater for those players that want PURE P2P as well.

Question is how?

Will some games provide totally separate P2P game servers with little modificated game(to cut some awful grinds that are made to 'force' ppl to buy items from CS) next to F2P servers?

or / and

there will be some companies / games that will be made to cater for P2P niche?

Same as many people don't like P2P as they choose F2P or freemium games on purpose , same is with some people who don't like Item Shos / microtransaction/ RMT in any kind. There will be bit more people that favour PURE P2P in some time , as some % of people playing f2p/rmt games will grow tired on those models.

Well anyway. If I won't be able to find good mmorpg , that is NOT f2p , rmt with offcially selling gold , allowing players to officaly trade items diablo style or is double-diping P2P+ item shop cash grab.

I will just stop playing. Will return when there will be pure P2P option avabile. If there will not be I won't come back.

I already played f2p games when they were not popular in USA / EU , then I played Lotro freemium and I really don't want to lay this business models anymore.

Real money official items / gold trading is just same thing to me as item shops ,etc so I won't play game like that as well.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 10:52AM cored said

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"That makes us wonder which game will be the last to convert fully to the modern Western-style F2P."

Your premise is flawed. There will always be subscription games that do not include microtransactions, because there is a market for them. A fairly large market.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:06AM Furdinand said

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This reminds of the "Last Console Standing" argument of the early 1990s. It was obvious even then that video game consoles weren't going to stick around for long. You'd only see new ones released sporadically while new arcade games were showing up in malls and movie theaters every month. It was clear that once people realized they could play games for a quarter at a time, only paying for what they experiences, they weren't going to shell out hundreds of dollars for a game system and them $20-$40 for each cartridge.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:36AM Link064 said

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@Furdinand
Very good point. I like the example. Technically, it isn't drawing a 1:1 comparison (you have to leave your house to go to an arcade, no real ownership involved, no true gameplay continuity, and possibly having to wait to get a turn) but yet the example still shows how the "pay as you go" sector hasn't exactly had a great history (at least in western cultures). With that being said, I doubt either is going away as long as there is a market for both. As long as people are willing to pay into either scheme, both types will coexist.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 2:19PM StClair said

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@Furdinand
erm, I was around then and I don't recall that argument getting much traction. If anything, it was the other way around; it was already clear that home consoles (which were by then often using the same hardware as the arcades, just a generation behind) could produce almost as good an experience as a big expensive arcade machine only months or a year later, while the operator was still paying off the cost of the latter.

When the actual content can be ported over, quickly and cheaply if with somewhat inferior quality, then the only option left - to arcade manufacturers and owners as well as movie theaters - is to try selling "the experience" and other features, such as advanced hardware (3D and stadium seating, or fancy input devices like surfboards or full-sized DDR pads) that's still impractical to have in a home theater or gaming setting.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:53AM NathanAllen said

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Easy, Sub games will eventually incorporate content as smaller-transactions. Instead of a highly polished expansion pack you'll purchase access to an instance/zone. This way you can do a slow ramp for revenue stream.

The other big change will be legacy instancing. The same zones you ran in early progress will offer the same items; except leveled for your current game progress. Instead of each content release invalidating the previous release it adds to the options of what you can do.

The vanilla game costs X$ or is free, and content drives revenue. This way a new player would purchase content expansions based on interest instead of by requirement. Think of the WoW example; right now you need to purchase vanilla and 2 antiquated expansions at $39 each in order to experience current content. This is a huge price barrier to activating new accounts. On the flip side excluding those expansion packs removes bonus revenue from new players. If you instead allowed payers to unlock portions they want to experience. Since MMOs are social people will require access to this or that level of content to join their guild, others may only want a PvP experience; easily handled and turned into a revenue stream.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:00PM Utakata said

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Brianna states this as though it's a good thing. Yet, she does not point out that not a single triple "A" title that has converted has gone over to a fully Nexus like F2P model. Subscriptions are alway left as an option. Nor is there any triple "A" title that is planning released as a full F2P as far as I am aware.

It seems to that subs are still the lucrative main choice for the best MMO's. When that is exhausted...then they switch to a hybrid instead of pulling the plug on it as a financial compromise. But still the full F2P model doesn't seem to be cut out to do the job as many industry pundits claim, at least not where triple "A's" are concerned. Subscriptions are still king.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 3:29PM Samael said

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@Utakata

Most of the Massively staff is heavily in favor of F2P everything. Mention F2P and most of the Massively staff and heap praises on the game faster than you can blink an eye. They turn a deaf ear to the other side of F2P.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:07PM Laurs said

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F2P = pay to win. Only people desperate enough and severely lacking skill would ever want that in their MMOs, especially now since the difference between f2p and freemium is all but gone. Succeeding in a fair playing field is much more satisfying than any form of success obtained through forking more cash to developers could ever be. Downvote away.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:47PM Unverified2002 said

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@Laurs

"F2P = pay to win"...yeah, especially in PvE...:P
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