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Reader Comments (73)

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 8:28AM Azaetos said

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Easy ... all of them! They should all offer a subscription option alongside the F2P/cashshop one.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:07AM Bladerunner83 said

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I have to agree. Ideally all of them should offer a subscription variation, aside from the standard F2P. If anything it should be easier to set a game up with a subscription, they wouldn't have to worry about specializing items in their item malls; Or even people refusing to buy X item, and it eventually having to be removed and replaced with something a little more reasonable. Subscription is a simple concept to understand and it's a steady income; It makes these companies look like fools. But then again its the foolish players that are falling for this garbage. And I've heard the F2P argument, "F2P makes more money than subscription." Well that makes the players look even more foolish. Games die for a reason, if they can't hold sub numbers then they deserve to die. Have fun with your cheap re-hashes.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 8:34AM Seffrid said

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I'll be interested in the replies to this question, an excellent one by the way Eliot in that it rather neatly turns the usual argument 180 degrees.

Many who prefer pure sub-based games tend to the view that the pure F2P ones do not have as much depth and variety of content, so I'll be interested to see which ones are put forward as having sufficient to warrant a sub. I'm still looking for a game that is genuinely free to play or which at least costs less than a typical sub whilst offering as much depth and variety as the better sub-based games, so perhaps such a title will emerge from the replies here.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:09AM Dril said

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@Seffrid

"I'm still looking for a game that is genuinely free to play or which at least costs less than a typical sub whilst offering as much depth and variety as the better sub-based games"

This baffles me: what makes you think that having a smaller budget to work with will somehow be able to produce equivalent results?

And, if you expect people to pay less, that means there has to be more people playing the game. And, as COD and WoW have proven, incredible depth and variety is not what draws in the mainstream crowd.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:16AM smartstep said

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@Dril

No I don't see them as worse.

I don't have problems with f2p per se, games are games.

I do have problems with item malls themselves. Don't like to have them in a game.


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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:30AM Bhima said

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@Dril

The guy was asking for a game that is just as high of quality as a AAA MMO but doesn't cost as much for him to pay for... he wasn't referring to the budgets companies have to utilize to make a game.

I'd argue GW2 will do just that
; be a AAA MMO for cheaper than sub-based games

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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:50AM Zenn said

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@Seffrid

Try Mabinogi if you want something different and with lots of depth
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:59AM Dril said

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@smartstep

What? I'm not saying F2Ps are inherently worse, I'm asking how he expects companies to do the same with less money.

@Bhima

If people pay less (and are expected to pay less from the outset) then either: a) the devs expect a lot of people to play, and, as I pointed out, depth and variety haven't been key constituents of the games that roll in profit; b) they'll have less initial investment, which means less resources for depth and variety or c) the devs expect to make a loss but are doing it for the heck anyway.

MMOs are already an incredibly cheap form of entertainment. Whilst I don't think they really need a price increase (especially considering the underhanded methods $OE and their ilk are using to try and squeeze money out of the people, or the pathetic update rate of Blizzard) I find it quite sad that people are so cheap that they want to pay less.

£9.99 really is a pittance.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 11:08AM Seffrid said

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@Dril "What? I'm not saying F2Ps are inherently worse, I'm asking how he expects companies to do the same with less money."

I never said I did expect that, you're making my words up totally.

But in any event, who says F2P games make less money than P2P games? All I'm getting at is that supporters of F2P games say they get better value from them, so it's a fair question to ask which of those games offers the same amount of content as the better sub-based games at no more than the same monthly outlay?

So far only Maginobi has been suggested, but unfortunately the cutesy child-like character graphics deter me from looking into it, that style simply isn't for me. Thanks for the suggestion tho'.

As for GW2, we'll see how the business model works out when the game launches but I'm willing to bet that the cash shop will play a bigger part in the game's viability than it has in the case of GW.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 8:45AM Titan1 said

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The ones worth playing already do (LotR, DDO for example)

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:15AM Gaugamela said

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Easy: Allods Online. That game was amazing, very polished with unique mechanics and lore and a PvP type that is unique to it in the way it is implemented.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 12:39PM (Unverified) said

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@Gaugamela

Agree. Allods should have been a subscription game in stead of what they did to it.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:19AM smartstep said

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Lately 90% of info on this site is about F2P or item malls or microtransactions.

Really it seem like promoting this models.
Which is not bad by itself but it is kinda one sided and tiring to be honest.


As for F2P game offering a sub.

Hmm does not matter for me tbh. I don't want to play a game with cash shop , so it having a sub or not does not really matter.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:07PM Bladerunner83 said

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@smartstep

" Lately 90% of info on this site is about F2P or item malls or microtransactions.

Really it seem like promoting this models. "

I totally agree with you, it's like subscription games are too old to talk about, or they are not as fascinating, because of all these new trends that have started poking out. But you do have to give Joystiq some credit, they have a totally separate website dedicated to the most prominent subscription based MMO out on the market; WoW Insider. Then again, I would love to read an article about activities in the older game category. Something with a snazzy title like, "Out with the new, in with the old" column.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 2:26PM Sean D said

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@smartstep

I disagree that Massively seems to be promoting the free-to-play model and I'm not sure where you get 90% unless you mean 'most'. If you mean 'most' then say 'most'.

I do agree that Massively has been instigating a lot of debate lately about the subscription vs. free-to-play models and that it's getting tiresome. We all end up saying the same things over and over again. After a while, it starts to feel like no one is listening and that Massively is just trying to increase readership and get our collective ire up.

That's not to say the debate isn't worth having. It is worth having. But the debate is useless unless something comes of it.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 4:43PM blackcat7k said

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@Sean D

Keep the discussion going. If anything it's going to make people think before they pay piecemeal for a game to give them in game advantages with cash.

I would like to see games like Vindictus, Dungeon Fighter Online, and Grand Chase be released the way Guild Wars was marketed. I pay for the main game. Then I pay for addons.

However, if they continue to sell the bypass of grind for cash as all these microtransaction seem to do (Including Guild Wars). I'm may just have to drop MMOs (and the majority of new game releases) for good.

It was unheard of to charge for these bypass-gameplay-items years ago. Gamers seemed know the difference between a inherently pay-to-win item and a vanity item.
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Posted: Sep 12th 2011 3:47AM Sean D said

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@blackcat7k

I hear you. I'm not sure, though, if our comments here really do cause other players to consider their purchases or the effect every individual purchase will have on the industry and future payment models. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: payment models have progressed from subscription only, to free-to-play with a cash shop, to subscription OR free-to-play with a cash shop, to what we're seeing emerge now, which is a subscription AND cash shop model. It won't be long before progression in a game can only be made through purchases made in a cash shop and subscription fees will be mandatory, but grant nothing more than game access. Additionally, I think we'll see that those purchases that we do make will amount to much more than the subscription fee we could otherwise be paying. Heck, we're already seeing developers like Bigpoint talk about how selling in-game advantages is a good idea (http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/09/07/bigpoint-says-game-publishers-should-sell-in-game-advantages/). Nevertheless, there is a population of players, albeit a small one, that will continue to support cash shops no matter what the price, or what we say, or what reason tells us.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:44AM MMOaddict said

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This question is kind of moot as Smartstep mentioned above the very reason I can't think of a F2P that deserves a sub. They need to be built around a sub model FIRST to be viable for subscription. Otherwise, I'm not getting my money' worth.

We still only have one truely "good" FTP and that's Lotro, and only because of it's hybrid payment system and it was built as a subscription game first.

Yeah...still can't think of any FTPs I would sub to. Also can't think of any FTPs I've played for longer than a day.

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 9:50AM sjet said

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allods death penalty was removed over a year ago...and the "curse items" can be removed for free by getting charms that are sold for free in the itemshop until they remove the ability all together...journalism overrated tonight?

Posted: Sep 11th 2011 1:33PM Azaetos said

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@sjet

Allods is still paying for their stupidity when people virtually begged Gpotato not to bring the same mechanics they added to the Russian version into the english one. But greed got the better of them and I don't believe the game will ever recover regardless of what they do.

I played Allods when it was still in testing and thought it was a decent game as did many others, but I wont ever return to the game. Once bitten twice shy as they say, they blew their chance to keep me as customer and now I have no interest in going back.

Like many other MMO's these days they really only get one chance to shine when they are released and if they blow that then I haven't seen one yet that has recovered. AoC, Warhammer, Aion and the list goes on.
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