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Reader Comments (85)

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:09PM Plastic said

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All good hypotheses. I'd just include the possibility that some development teams lack the resources it would take to implement an effective cash-shop into their ancient code.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 5:26PM Ehra said

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@Plastic

I'd imagine this is the reason, say, Dark Age of Camelot hasn't gone F2P. Along with the fact that it's a PvP focused game and any attempt to monetize PvP would result in the world being flooded in the "OMG PAY 2 WIN!!!11!!!!!111!" QQ, because no one being able to play the game would be preferable to some guy buying a sword.
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Posted: Nov 10th 2011 3:24AM bobfish said

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@Plastic

Yep, Smedley has stated that is one of the reasons VG hasn't gone down that route, the work involved is massive.
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Posted: Nov 10th 2011 9:32AM TexRob said

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@Plastic I think you ignore the negative affects mostly in your article. I have seen F2P done well, Fallen Earth always come to mind for a good example (but it might not be successful, time will tell). I think EVE is a game that could potentially be great F2P, because it's already kind of taken on it's own life in that respect. People play for free by buying PLEX from people who buy them with RL money, it's like a reverse model.

There are so many challenges, some that can only be offset, like how do you keep people from ruining the economy with throw away accounts? Also people tend to care less about playing by the rules and not cheating, and being upstanding members of the community, if the game is free I've seen. In something like EQ, even though it's much easier to level up these days, you still vest a lot of time and energy into a char, and your reputation is important. Enter in F2P and that is cheapened somewhat.

Then there is support, has ANYONE played a F2P with good in game support? It hardly exists with pay games anymore, nevermind a F2P. I think you pay for a game and you get a premium experience for the most part.

Lastly, like was said in the article, the F2P explosion has made it to where games just-won't-die. There are way too many IMHO. I appreciate having choices, but all of these throw away MMOs really flood the market with crap.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:17PM tooright said

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here's one you haven't covered...

Those are games that don't suck so they didn't HAVE to convert to F2P.

you're welcome bro

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:28PM Lenn said

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@tooright Suckage is in the eye of the beholder.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 5:05PM Hipster said

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@tooright
My thoughts exactly
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 5:31PM Space Cobra said

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@tooright

What game *doesn't* suck that hasn't converted into f2p? What current sub-based game is worth the $15 month after month?
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 7:13PM Tovrin said

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@Space Cobra LOTRO.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 7:15PM Tovrin said

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@Tovrin Oops. Misread the question. I hate double negatives.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:21PM aberent said

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Oh would I love for Ultima Online to go free-to-play, I wonder if my old characters are still alive.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:26PM Brianna Royce said

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@aberent SFAIK EA stopped deleting characters after the first couple of years, so they might still be there, depending on when you quit.

Making UO F2P would be tricky because of the housing... I guess they'd have to set it up so that only paid accounts could have a house. Or play on Siege, for that matter.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:25PM Jorev said

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Integrity.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:30PM Lenn said

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@Jorev Blancmange.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:32PM SnarlingWolf said

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WoW is still the top MMO out there, it is subscription.
Rift had big sales and is doing well as a subscription
SW:tOR had huge preorders, will have big sales, and will likely do just fine and is subscription.

There are F2P FPS games out there yet:
CoD:MW2 broke video game sales records
CoD:Black Ops broke the sales records made by MW2
CoD:MW3 is likely going to also sell ridiculous well
BF3 has sold well

There are as you pointed out MMOs that have been running for 12 years as subscription and show no signs of stopping.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how much someone is a F2P super fan trying to convert the minds of everyone else, gamers still want subscription/box sales games and keep showing that with their money.

There are FAR more F2P MMOs out there then there are subscription only MMOs by a factor of probably at least 3x-4x if not higher. Yet in the US markets subscription MMOs still account for over 50% of the money being spent by users despite making up less than 50% of the market.

Indie studios are making games like Minecraft which go off of a box sale instead of a free to play store and people are gobbling it up. Same with other non-mmo indie games.

F2P isn't this magical godsend that everyone is going to jump on board with and buy tons of items from the shop no matter how many articles you write about it.

Posted: Nov 9th 2011 4:46PM Beau Hindman said

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@SnarlingWolf WoW might be the top in profits, but that is barely. I have articles in MMO magazines that show just how much up in the air that profit margin is. Also, Blizzard makes a good deal of profit, but of course they have other products.

As far as number of players, WoW has been dwarfed many times over by other games. MapleStory has broken all records for players on at once, not WoW. Still, WoW is one game. One game having those kids of numbers does not mean that the rest of the sub market (Darkfall, EverQuest, Ultima Online, etc) are making that type of money. Again, FTP is the most successful payment model out there, and has been for a long time.

Beau
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 5:12PM smartstep said

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@Beau Hindman

Might, be I don't personally like it at all though. Seems my mmorpg gaming days are coming to an end, unless some new titles will still release as p2p.
Then there is an issue of cash shops in p2p games, as CS in p2p actually make biggest advantaqge of p2p disappear... :/
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 5:21PM jimr9999us said

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@Beau Hindman I think it's important to draw a line between most common and most successful. F2P is generating more dollars industry wide because of the shear number of f2p games in existence but for dev's with capitol the profit potential of the sub based mmog remains gaming's holy grail. Any f2p model out there would go sub if it meant mirroring WoW's numbers. F2P remains the choice of aging/failed sub based games or of dev's lacking the capitol to release a true AAA experience.



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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 5:23PM SnarlingWolf said

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@Beau Hindman

You cannot compare registered free users to subscribed paying customers.

Many people register and never play. Others register, log in once and never come back. Others register many times. You can't even come close to comparing those two as they are vastly different things.

You also can't say F2P is the most successful model as that is incorrect. The survey, that massively itself just posted. says that in the US MMO market the subscription model is bringing in over 50% of the money from MMO consumers. Go ahead and take a look at the number of F2P games as compared to the number of subscription only games available. Subscription only is far less than half but is causing more than half of the spending.

You skew data and you mix results to further your "F2P is inevitable, all hail F2P!" view point.

Feel free to ignore all of my proof of outside the MMO market as well since it doesn't support your theories.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2011 5:46PM DoctorSmart said

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@SnarlingWolf CoD and Battlefield are not F2P, they're Buy 2 play, a la Guild Wars. Completely different.
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