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Reader Comments (88)

Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:34PM EdmundDante said

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Wow - they're dropping like flies last couple of weeks.

Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:35PM (Unverified) said

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Wow, well would you lookie there.

The F2P bubble has finally burst.

Its about time. Developers need to learn that a crappy product, once converted from P2P to F2P, is still a crap product.

Methinks the F2P MMO Graveyard is gonna be filling up soon.

Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:39PM Lenn said

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@(Unverified) LU isn't exactly a crappy product. Their mistake was not going f2p right from the start.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:43PM Snowblind said

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@(Unverified)
Lego Universe is not and has never been a F2P game, it's completely subscription based.. and THAT'S the reason for its failure.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:45PM BigAndShiny said

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@Snowblind
The issue is that adults are much morel likely to just grab their credit card and pay for an item or two, whereas kids are prepared to just grind or live without certain gear because they have to ask their parents to come to the computer and buy stuff for them.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:46PM (Unverified) said

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@Lenn LU in theory isnt a crappy product. However, transcribed to a digital medium, it does become one.

There has been (for some time now) a free Minecraft-ish game called Block World(or some spelling) that basically is LU but all player created content on private servers. Its not immensly popular, but it has a nice niche.
The problem was The Lego Group trying to pull a primarily young audience to the PC, and that failed. Once they realized this, the game went F2P, because like many other companies had seen a huge subscriber boost. However, free accounts doesnt always mean more money. Sadly, without a great product to make your players want to spend money, your shooting yourself in the foot.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:48PM SnarlingWolf said

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@MarkLIVE

There is a certain thing to what he's saying. I don't think it is as simple as that.

A company that had F2P browser based games just announced lay offs. The company which picked up APB and brought Fallen Earth to F2P just announced layoffs.

NCSoft has some F2P games right? They just announced lay offs.

Now a company who's only product was F2P is completely shutting down.

You can't simply go F2P and make money, just like you can't simply toss out something called an MMO and get money. All of the studios have been trying to do both of those things and the quality has severely suffered making games no one wants to pay for.

Look at what games are doing well: Blizzard still is #1 (even though that kills me a little inside) Rift just released with a sub and is doing fine. SW:tOR is about to relase as a sub with a box sale and have already maxed preorders and will sell over a million copies out the gate.

So if the sub games are still working and new sub games are making money and staying alive while new F2P games are shutting down, that means there is some merit to F2P not necessarily being the future of all gaming.

How many F2P FPS games out there? Now how well did MW2, Blackops, BF3 and soon MW3 sell? They sold like crazy even though there were FPS games you could play for free.

I think F2P is definetly the future for casual gaming. People who play things like Farmville won't ever buy games but they will buy items. More serious gamers seem to still just want to buy games and pay sub. I think both models can live in the gaming world and both work, but they both have specific applications and there will always be both.

As I said in the last topic of layoffs, it was a gold rush and all of the people who dove in thinking it was going to be easy money are going broke.

Oh and now I extra stand by my point that having an article called the firing line when every other article on here is layoffs or games closing is not the best choice.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:49PM SwarlesBarkley said

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@MarkLIVE

Lol, well said..

On a side note, its a shame the game did not do so well, its a good IP and seems to fit in the MMO world, but the price was always way too high and seemed more an adult price for a kid game. Not to offend the adults that played the game, just saying.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:55PM Snowblind said

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@(Unverified)
Again, the game never went F2P. They offered a "free mode" where you could play in a certain area up to a specific level. It's exactly the same as what WoW is currently offering, just slightly more limited.

It was a free trial, not F2P.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:55PM Space Cobra said

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@SnarlingWolf

You really can't count NCSoft in that equation; they *just* turned f2p a mere month or so with CoH, where it been sub and their other products were sub.

Of course, maybe we are just talking "down-sizing", since f2p is not a steady stream of cash-flow as a sub-based model is. However, various research does show it makes money, so there might be something else to it. (I don't believe is f2p being the cause, but I am just adding some fuel to your fire for consideration.)
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 2:57PM Scuffles said

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@MarkLIVE

So your problem with their statement is they were blunt about it?

I mean I don't totally agree but there is some degree of truth there that can't be argued or downvoted away.

F2P is still an extremely Viable option ..... but its not a magic bullet.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:05PM Scuffles said

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@Snowblind

Wait so they were failing so they offered a free trial?

Really haven't bothered following the game since other than being LEGO there just really didn't seem to be anything compelling about it. Which I suspect is at the root of their problem.

F2P even tho it doesn't apply here still isn't a magic bullet but it probably couldn't have hurt them to have tried it. Of course if people weren't sticking past the starter levels ..... *points at the lack of compelling content*
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:12PM Snowblind said

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@Scuffles
Yeah, the trial was obviously intended to bring in more subscribers, but that was never going to work. Say what you will about F2P vs subscription, but this is a kids game, how many parents do you think were willing to pay monthly for a game like this?

F2P could have kept the player base, while letting the kids spend pocket money on new blocks and content.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:12PM SnarlingWolf said

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@Snowblind

Sure, that is technicality though. It is the same thing Warhammer did and what do 90% of the people who play that game do? Sit in the free areas and play without every paying to get past them.

Clearly Lego had the same problem.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:17PM Snowblind said

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@SnarlingWolf
I don't see how it's a technicality. It didn't fail because it's a F2P game because it's not a F2P game. If anything, this is showing that subscription based games are dying.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:23PM Beau Hindman said

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@SnarlingWolf There are literally 100s of FTP games out there, in the US. I know that across the world there are literally 1000s. Many of those will eventually come here.

To say that even a dozen FTP closings means that the FTP "bubble has burst" just shows how little someone knows about the market.

Beau
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:24PM Beau Hindman said

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@SnarlingWolf There are literally 100s of FTP games out there, in the US. I know that across the world there are literally 1000s. Many of those will eventually come here.

To say that even a dozen FTP closings means that the FTP "bubble has burst" just shows how little someone knows about the market.

Beau
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:33PM Daemodand said

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@Lenn Incorrect. Their mistake was not being Minecraft.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 3:52PM pcgneurotic said

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@(Unverified)

Hot air, Mr. Pirate. LU is a solid, quality game. It looks and feels every bit as AAA as Your Favourite Game (tm). Take your pointless negativism away.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2011 4:03PM Seldra said

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@Beau Hindman
If there's any positive take away from this it would be companies would at least take a long hard look at what they're planning to release to the west. MMO gamers are tired of bad/rushed/money grab titles that teams think they can get away with and not suffer crippling financial losses from.
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