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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Mar 11th 2012 5:08PM Valkesh said

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So they gathered some of the biggest exploiters and abusers of this model and put them in a discussion. I don't even want to listen to this as I'm certain I would only take away from it illness and rage.

Posted: Mar 12th 2012 3:35AM (Unverified) said

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@Valkesh
So I take it you didn't read it then? Just skipped straight to the comment section.
Well I read it and it was't particularly deep or anything, but not a bad read either. At the very least it gives you insight from the other side, what people usually forget is that game developers aren't necessarily gamers themselves so they see things a little differently.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 5:14PM Dalano said

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'"German gamers like to think a lot, whereas American gamers like explosions," Merel said.

"Chinese players are willing to grind it out, and work for it," Young agreed. "American players won't put up with that."

"American players need a context, or a story, or a reason to go in [a dungeon]," Levy interjected, before going on to say that the only real context is loot and rewards. "In an MMO, the reason is the loot. The reason is that I'm getting something cool."

"That is what MMOs have devolved into," Georgeson laughed.'


Excuse me while I go throw up.

Posted: Mar 11th 2012 5:52PM Rialle said

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@Dalano

It is no wonder they think they can make more money nickel and diming gamers with "F2P" (the term itself is a lie) versus subs. They think all American gamers are idiot brogamers.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 5:56PM edgecrusherO0 said

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@Rialle

No, not it's not. Of the 8 or so F2P games I have installed on my computer (including freemium games like EQ2), I've spent money on only three of them (and only 5-10 bucks each at that).
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 6:19PM Jef Reahard said

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@Dalano

In Georgeson's defense, he strikes me as an old-school gamer, and he was responding to Levy's mistaken belief that MMOs are only about loot.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 6:32PM DerpMchurson said

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@Dalano If you look at the best selling games each year, I can see why he would say that. Kotick could take a shit in a box, wrap it up and call it Call of Duty X (where X equals the year it releases) and 6 million copies will be sold day one. Guaranteed.


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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 6:39PM Dalano said

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@Jef Reahard

Fair enough. I was too nauseated by that point to consider that his laughing may have been ironic.

And that does nothing to excuse the other three. Those statements are collectively wrong on more levels than the steps of congress. If I ran PR for any of said companies, these guys wouldn't even be able to send internal emails without a rubber stamp.

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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 7:00PM Space Cobra said

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@Dalano

I got something different out of those set of quotes (although, I can blame some stereotyping on that, too).

Like Jef points out, although I hate to wear my "old gamer" hat and link it up with current/modern media, but that is the way it is. The only thing I may concede that it is more wide-spread internationally. Take a look at movies now versus certain movies from the 1960's-70's. While there are still some movies that make you "think" being made, they are harder to find. Even in the American Comics fan-sphere, you hear many people complaining about stories that "make you think" or progressing/changing/evolving characters.

If you look back further, such "modernization" could be to blame, but as is usual, people like the path to least resistance in general. Things get simpler and people want more "action" and not enough "thought". I could theorize Asians are the same way, but they enter, what I call a "Zen state" in grinding similar to why some people like "farming" here; it doesn't take much thought/effort: It's the same thing Americans want, but they want it in a different system of the game. I could link this up to the "Dynasty Warriors" series, which I enjoy, although I hate "grinding" in an MMO. The Dynasty Series could be more akin to "farming", although it is more visceral for me (to cut down masses of people and "give back" some damage to a peon that damages me). There are many people/reviews that denounce the series, but it still sells and is popular, even over in America. In a way, Asians consider this "recreation" because it doesn't require much thought just as Americans may consider "Mindless Action" as a way to leave RL concerns. In a way, it is the same as vegging in front of a TV and yes, it is not particularly "active" for the mind or "thought-provoking".

Germans have been more about procedures and thought and how things work (again, admittedly generalizing here and I probably know even less about the German mind-set than the Asian one). They have been the builders and the tinkerers. I would say a deep and very involving crafting MMO would work well for them, but that also includes building your character and skill-sets. Of course, I think many readers here could get very involved into that, especially if one refuses to look at a Wiki page and figure it out for themselves, but again, I point to other media and particularly foreign movies versus American ones.

So, you have different play styles here, the most popular (IMO) is to "get away from Real Life" to "This is just a game. I don't care for the world and only want to enjoy some aspect and don't care for Immersion (PvP or PvE)."

I think all on the panel should consider my words (but do they read Massively? I woulda tried to gone to GDC but...well..."Real Life" ;P ). It is nice to see there are still some differences in the world but if you think about it, not all that different, just different ways to get to the same "goal" of what one considers "recreation".

It's like food: I tend to be a connoisseur and can identify tastes and flavors, but even though I like flavorful and"fine dining" I can appreciate and enjoy a lowly burger or hot dog for a spell. Now, there may be many f2ps that could be called the "McDonalds of MMOs" but that may not describe certain folks personally. In fact, my tastes are varied and some people just want particular flavors, be they "mass-produced" or "epicurean". While I look forward to an "epicurean MMO", I know I have a long-while to wait for it. It may or may not come out. The timing may not be right, sad to say (although, there is hope in Kickstarter and really, Mobile designs atm, until they both become commercialized).
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 7:06PM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra

Basically, for American society, even I realize in myself I like things faster and quicker than before. This may be because of my maturing, but I think not, because I try to keep a youthful opinion and I see some of my friends losing patience on things. But really, things are faster and quicker nowadays. Soundbites and commercials, too. Compare News programs from the 70's-early 80's to today (go ahead and YouTube them) and see how much time they take to cover a story compared to now. In fact, most (American) National Nightly News shows were an hour in length compared to 30 minutes today (Check out the "McNeil/Lehrer Report" on PBS for a modern version of how News used to be presented as with points/counter-points).
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 7:28PM silver001 said

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@Space Corns I don't think the guy was wrong what he said, to me it makes sense. Let' look at American blockbusters most of them amount to nothing more than mindless fun, it all about CGI effects. There are very few movies that make a person think at end up with a fraction of the profit transformers (with the exceptions being inception and titanic) America is a culture were fancy supersedes function or smarter, just look at what people call the Toyota prius, or how for years the Hummer existed.

So his assessments is generally correct about most Americans. Call of duty, bf3 all gaming examples of the type of blockbuster mentality that exist in American.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2012 4:58AM Cyroselle said

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@Space Cobra Back in the 90's British satire took that to extremes.

It was oddly prophetic.


Well, though I understand I'm in the minority here, I like doing things slow. For instance, IRL I use a push mower and a grass whip for my yardwork rather than their gas and electric powered relatives.

I like planning, I like thinking. In-game, when I go into a dungeon, it's not for loot, it's for the dungeon design and the boss encounters. Preferably, the first time I go into a dungeon, it kicks my ass. I'd like to survive, but only through merit and a little luck. I don't like, as the colloquial term puts it: 'facerolling'.

I desire difficulty. True difficulty. A 'grind' in a sense that people are referring to when talking about Asian MMOs is not difficulty. That is length of time. The panelists were inferring that Western gamers had entitlement and patience issues.

Perhaps so.

But we also have fully functioning bullshit detectors, and going through thousands of mobs in order to progress, or running through boring repetitive quests that don't engage the mind is bullshit.

However I do understand why that grind is there. many Asian MMOs aren't running on a monthly sub basis, but rather pay by the hour, and usually for fairly short durations, when compared to those in the Western audience.

So it behooves the game developers to keep the players gaming, and paying for as long a duration as possible.

But in the West we are used to our monthly subs, and out extended (sometimes poop-socking) gameplay sessions. This difference requires better questing, larger, more expansive in-game worlds, and immersive gameplay.

Honestly I don't know if the 'Germans like complexity, Americans like explosions' comment was completely serious or not, but I can't help but find it highly insulting. Dalano's right, these guys would drive a company's PR department nuts!
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Posted: Mar 12th 2012 5:11AM Cyroselle said

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@Rialle I really found it pretty funny how 'won't earn a dime, didn't earn a dime' is bandied about in this article. Usually those $hop items don't cost anywhere near a dime! In fact, to get an edge some of these games will have extracted several thousand dollars (that's USD) out of your wallet.

I am glad that this article's author spotlighted the lack of examples of why these people can't work with the 'old' model anymore, or that many gamers would much rather pay a flat fee than be 'nickle' and 'dimed' to death.

I do prefer Sub vs. Freemium builds (I'm not gonna say F2P, 'cause that's a duplicitous term), but there are a few Freemiums out there that seem to be doing it right. Two of these that I've experienced is LotRO and Fallen Earth. Moreso to LotRO since you can actually earn $hop currency through normal game play.

On the panelists point that content can't be released on a continual basis... have these people never heard of Trion?!

I'd appreciate a little honesty here. They could instead say 'we have too many titles and have spread ourselves too thin' or 'well we thought we could make a game, then sit back on our laurels and just let the money roll on in'... rather than this stupid idea that they can't continually work on, and improve a game. Heck, some sub games don't even use the expansion system, rather opting to release regular content patches and smaller tweaks in between.

This panel just had so much wrong in it.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2012 6:10AM bobfish said

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@Dalano

It is a massive generalisation, but on the whole it is true as well. You just need to look at game sales across the countries to see that simple, big explosion games sell better in America and the thoughtful, complex games sell better in Germany.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2012 4:16PM (Unverified) said

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@Jef Reahard
Yeah, but WoW, the king of MMO's at the present time, sort of proves that.

All we heard from people who wanted easier mode raids was "We don't care about the loot we just want to see the content". Ok, Blizzard made the content essentially tank and spank and pug's in LFR completed it in the first week. Now the complaint is "Why isn't the loot as good as normal and HM?", "The loot system is broke cause I didn't win 'my' (insert item name here)". So now there is still calls to nerf NM and HM Dragon Soul, which was done, so guess what, it isn't about the content.

When I left WoW last June I was playing on 2 different serveres regularly. I could count the number of people on both servers combined who understood the lore on one hand, and I am not exaggerating. And people didn't care about the story.

So yes, I really think that if you go by WoW as an example, it is all about the loot.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2012 5:34PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) That's because WoW is structured so that entire segments of content are locked to players unless they get their gear stats high enough. The gear treadmill is baked into the game as a roadblock to keep people playing (and paying the monthly fee) longer. So if someone wants to SEE certain dungeons or raid content they are basically forced to become a loot-hoarder.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 5:20PM valestorm said

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oh, wow,...seeing those guys talking about ..free to play make me...shudder

i'm sure, at least perfect world "good guys" sleep very well at night knowing that dressing a character with the best gear in game (NOT farmable by any means in game, only available through cash shop) costs around 6K USD... If you want to upgrade said gear...ad some more.I don't know about the others but...

So yeah, if you wanna hear how to get very rich,very fast ..this guys should be your guru(s)

Posted: Mar 11th 2012 6:34PM Rialle said

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@valestorm

Here's a fun little topic from the Wakfu forums about how scammy some F2P titles really are.

http://www.wakfu.com/na/forum/127-general-discussions/28889-why-don-people-understand-free-play-generally-scam

Now I'm sure that most of the apologists here will reply stating that this is a bad example of the F2P model, and it may well be for now. But I'm sure that some of the recent converts like SOE and Turbine are drooling over the prospect of bait-and-switching over to the Asian Pay to Win models.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 7:06PM edgecrusherO0 said

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@Rialle

Except that the reason there are few pay 2 win games in the West compared to places like Korea is because players don't won't stand for it. There are definitely some around, but they're VERY small games compared to the populations of say, EQ2 or Champions Online. There is MUCH more money in non-pay 2 win games because those games have a bigger draw.

Free 2 play isn't a myth, get over it. They all have cash shops because guess what, they need to fund the development of the game and turn a profit too. It's all in how the game is monetized that counts.
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 7:31PM Space Cobra said

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@edgecrusherO0

"Free 2 play isn't a myth, get over it. They all have cash shops because guess what, they need to fund the development of the game and turn a profit too. It's all in how the game is monetized that counts. "

I commented about this, but I'll respond here since it is hidden in the "wall-of-text" : I think many people get caught up in the terms. "Free" should mean "no money". I think a simple correction of phrase would solve many problems other than "Free 2 Play". Yes, it *can* be F2P, but maybe something more explicit.detailed like, "Cash Shop online Game" or somesuch.
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