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Reader Comments (70)

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 10:53PM pancho72 said

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This article was certainly surprising.
I don't see how anyone could gain anything by EvE going free to play. EvE has some of the most loyal subscribers in the MMO world. Subscribers who for the most part hate F2P games with a passion, as the summer riots showed. CCP has nothing to gain and everything to lose with such a conversion.

For my own part I would do exactly the same as I have done in other games. I would cancel my subscription and never spend a dime in the shop. After a while I would most likely stop playing as the game slowly gets ruined. The F2P business models has ruined more games than I care to think of.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 11:03PM Karth said

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The main reason why EVE cannot be f2p or freemium its because (how it say the article) EVE its not designed to work like that. The whole market will be poop, alts counter would go around 100s instead of the typical 3-4 and still newbees will come, see the game for a week and then quit. JUST BECAUSE ITS NOT A SPACE SIMULATOR. It would end EVE.

When EVE apply the cosmetic MT, it will be a little more profitable and it will be good for CCP and EVE

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 12:22AM WolvenSpectre said

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If your model would be implemented it would be worse than Monoclegate and I would leave EVE (and I like F2P and H2P games).

I am an EVE Industrialist and this would kill the market game and drown the world in fleets of frigates and destroyers making it impossible for carebears to make a living doing things like mining and transport.

EVE could go free to play, but just not this way. It would be NO easy solution and would take a slow careful redesign.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 1:36AM (Unverified) said

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F2P is a death rattle, not a success story. In the end the game does the walking, people are not running to the F2P games in the NA market. The majority are playing sub based games. Sub games make more profit, have more to invest, and produce futher content. Pay to win is for losers.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 1:55AM Budukahn said

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I'm doubtful F2P would work for EVE. I'm not an expert on server capacity or anything, but isn't one of the big draws of EVE the idea that everyone is on a single shared server?

Bringing in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Free Players is going to cause an immense strain on their network, and unlike other titles they can't just throw up another server to take the load while maintaining the EVE experience.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 2:45AM burstup said

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Brendan, I just want to say that I strongly dislike the ideas in your article. MT/F2P/Freemium is an evil that has to stop. Turning videogames into casino games is the worst thing that has happened to MMO culture. Just because a large part of the industry is going that route does not mean it's right. CCP lost a lot of my respect for planning to put microtransactions into Dust and World of Darkness. I hope they learned their lesson from last years protests.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 3:22AM kimowar said

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I heard that skyrim is going f2p, and if you pay a few small microtransactions the game beats itself for you, f2p entitlist will feel accomplishment

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 3:26AM intristin2 said

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Eve online is already free to play. It's called PLEX!

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 4:01AM Choca said

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"microtransaction-supported free-to-play games producing far more money than subscription titles"


That's only true for failed or dying subscription titles, if this was an absolute truth then World of Warcraft would be free to play.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 5:55AM Brendan Drain said

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@Choca Lord of the Rings Online would beg to differ. It was a thriving subscription game with a dedicated core of players (like EVE) before the changeover, and tripled its income by going free. In the long-term, it's been doing much better since swapping to the new model.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2012 8:44AM mikejr said

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@Brendan Drain

I'd rather have 100 players paying$15/month than a thousand paying nothing.

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Posted: Jan 30th 2012 9:40AM silver001 said

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@mikejr unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, you don't run a game. Business don't do things unless it's profitable.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2012 10:48AM Deliverator said

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@Brendan Drain
"and tripled its income by going free"
Do you have a better source than Mersky making an offhand comment on some podcast that he has refused to substantiate after the fact?
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 4:34AM Choca said

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@Brendan Drain

I'm a lifetime subscriber to LOTRO and was playing at the time of the free to play change.

Thriving is not the word I would use to describe the situation at the time, sure it wasn't as dead as games like WAR or Vanguard are today but it still wasn't anything to boast about population-wise.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2012 5:21AM Moonaura said

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Subscription model took EvE from nothing to here, so I'd say it's works just fine.

There is no evidence to suggest F2P is a good long term model that will work over the eight long years EvE has grown. The only reason subscriptions numbers are not higher, is down to CCP themselves, and 3 years of so so expansions until Crucible.

I'm happy paying my subs, as it is a game I truly love.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 5:29AM Rodj Blake said

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The day Eve goes F2P is the day I quit.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 6:40AM Verus said

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This makes no sense ?

CCP has been so successful with Eve that they were able to start making not one but two additional games. They have a relatively small but very loyal base of players supporting them. The game is very difficult compared to other mmo based games and would not get the same influx of free to play customers other games would.

Even adding the small cash shop nerly killed the game and they ended up having to fire people.

Free to play might certainly work for some games but Eve online is NOT one of them.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 7:50AM (Unverified) said

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@Brendan Drain
Brendan let me say first I normally luuv ur articles:D

however I'd join the naysayers on this one,
also pointing out that comparing LOTRO or any other of that sort of game is completely ignoring the (one of the) main attractions of EVE : single server setup

LoTRO or DDO can easily set up as many additional servers as needed to cater for the influx of f2p folks, but I somehow doubt that it is even technically possible for CCP, or any other company for that matter to log in an extra unknown_times_10k or so players without unbelievable LAAAAAGGGGGG,
thus it would completely ruin the experience for old and new players alike

paying sub or buying PLEX, at the end of the day each and every EVE player currently pays CCP (in the case of PLEX based players, have someone else to pay CCP for them),
based on my experience, being a newish player I'm yet to see any evening really sporting below 40k concurrent players, which tells me that we have a steady and dedicated playerbase

no disrespect for f2p players, but that is just the way I like my game to be, if you're out for quick thrills EVE probably is just not the game for you

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 7:52AM DarkWalker said

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I believe the best way for CCP to make EVE F2P would be to launch a different universe, with rules tailored for a F2P model, while keeping the P2P version alive and separated.

This might also be a chance to tune the F2P offering to appeal to non-niche players, keeping the original subscription-based EVE for the players that like the current cutthroat PvP and economy while tailoring the F2P version for more carebear players.

On the other hand, if both Dust 514 and WoD will be F2P, it might be a better idea to just wait for those to launch, see how well they do, fine-tune their business model, to only then look back to EVE and see if a F2P model could be made to work with it.

Posted: Jan 30th 2012 8:12AM Freebooted said

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Brendan, despite the naysayers, I think you're onto something.

As I'm sure you're more than aware existing EVE players have already established their comfort zone, so they have little to gain from this change and most struggle to see beyond their own needs. Additionally, I think the botched Incarna implementation has compounded the short-sighted siege mentality of many established players.

If implemented correctly (which Incarna most certainly wasn't), I think a F2P model could be a huge benefit to EVE as a whole, creating a whole new casual demographic, bringing more money and activity into the game and therefore benefiting the existing playerbase - despite their bitching.

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