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  1. #1

    Angry EA chief executive: 'Free-to-play is anything but free'

    Snippet:

    "And by the way, for what it's worth, free-to-play is anything but free. We have lots of games that are 'free-to-play', where paying users are giving us ten, twenty, thirty dollars a month.

    "What happens is the first game play is free, but then when you get into the game you have to pay for things."
    Source: computerandvideogames.com/358925/ea-chief-executive-free-to-play-is-anything-but-free/ (It would seem I cannot post links yet. The URL is the same just copy/paste into your URL box. )

    You see, the keywords there being, "have to". You shouldnt "have to" pay anything. You should have the option of choosing to pay for things. Convienience, vanity, Pay2Pretty. Those of you thinking about coming back when F2P hits, you've been warned. Subscribers, you're the next cash cow to milk. You're already being milked, but it will be worse with F2P.

    Prepare to be bombarded with ads in game. Have fun paying for the game, paying your subscription, and then paying for every 5 levels after cap. Whether it's wrapped in a neat little package of a new planet, new content, and called an "expansion" to justify it being sold to you instead of being implemented as a regular release content update.

    But it is EA, you should expect this anyways. Feel free to inform the official forums. I would but I have already unsubbed a few weeks ago, just keep up with the game.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuragisama View Post
    Snippet:



    Source: computerandvideogames.com/358925/ea-chief-executive-free-to-play-is-anything-but-free/ (It would seem I cannot post links yet. The URL is the same just copy/paste into your URL box. )

    You see, the keywords there being, "have to". You shouldnt "have to" pay anything. You should have the option of choosing to pay for things. Convienience, vanity, Pay2Pretty. Those of you thinking about coming back when F2P hits, you've been warned. Subscribers, you're the next cash cow to milk. You're already being milked, but it will be worse with F2P.

    Prepare to be bombarded with ads in game. Have fun paying for the game, paying your subscription, and then paying for every 5 levels after cap. Whether it's wrapped in a neat little package of a new planet, new content, and called an "expansion" to justify it being sold to you instead of being implemented as a regular release content update.

    But it is EA, you should expect this anyways. Feel free to inform the official forums. I would but I have already unsubbed a few weeks ago, just keep up with the game.
    Um...

    You do realize that everyone already knew this and most people are okay with it, right?

    The f2p model that ea is doing is basically an extension of the 1-15 trial to 1-50. And the level cap will be higher than 50 by the time the game goes free to play.

    You didn't think the game would be ACTUALLY free, did you?

    edit: I'm just baffled by this thread already. Are you not familiar with f2p?
    Last edited by Bardarian; 2012-09-10 at 07:04 PM.
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  3. #3
    It would be free to play up to level 50. New content after free to play would be accessed only by the subscribers. You can choose to not pay a subscription but you'll be limited to the number of wz/fp that you can do weekly and probably from other convenient perks. If you want to remove those restrictions you should just pay your subscription or buy cartel coins, that would give you some more content to do.

    I'm suspecting dual spec would be one of those purchasable perks...
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kalamitis View Post
    It would be free to play up to level 50. New content after free to play would be accessed only by the subscribers. You can choose to not pay a subscription but you'll be limited to the number of wz/fp that you can do weekly and probably from other convenient perks. If you want to remove those restrictions you should just pay your subscription or buy cartel coins, that would give you some more content to do.

    I'm suspecting dual spec would be one of those purchasable perks...
    I know all of that, I played from a couple days after launch, took a break about May, played a little from July till August when I unsubbed, and my sub ended Aug 28th.
    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    Um...

    You do realize that everyone already knew this and most people are okay with it, right?

    The f2p model that ea is doing is basically an extension of the 1-15 trial to 1-50. And the level cap will be higher than 50 by the time the game goes free to play.

    You didn't think the game would be ACTUALLY free, did you?

    edit: I'm just baffled by this thread already. Are you not familiar with f2p?
    F2P should actually mean F2P, without having to pay with the exception of expansions if you want to experience that. Like Guild Wars 1 and 2. The keyword was, "have to". Your lack of logic in this baffles me... Meh, it's you're money, get nickel and dimed if you want. Moving on.

  5. #5
    The Unstoppable Force Aeluron Lightsong's Avatar
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    I prefer the 15.00 a month model but since it's F2P I hope it's pay for vanity stuff and the like and not.


    P2W: I think that's just what a lot of people want to avoid.
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  6. #6
    It depends on the game and how they've chosen to monetize it.

    The freemium model EA is going for with SWTOR is "anything but free" if you want 100% of the content. You can get a whole lot of content for free, but for full access to the game you need a subscription. That's how freemium models work. They're essentially giant extended trials, but they're self contained in that you can legitimately play through all the content they provide without paying a cent and still get a lot of playtime out of it.

    Then there are the actual free to play games. Games like Lineage 2, Aion, and Vindictus fall into this category. They don't gate any content behind subscriptions or microtransactions, providing all of it for free. They monetize through convenience purchases and cosmetic purchases. These games you CAN play 100% for free, and DO NOT require players to spend any money to see all the content the game provides.

    And he's talking to investors, so he's trying to convince them that the free-to-play/freemium model is profitable and has value in it. It's still a model that has investors/stockholders worried about its short term and long term sustainability, so they have to quell their fears.

    Anyways, there's nothing "evil" or inherently "wrong" with the freemium model. It's giving players a MUCH lower barrier of entry and giving them power (democratizing the game) in choosing how they support the game (if they support it at all) and what kind of content and features they want. And the truth of it is that there are a number of people who spend well over what a subscription would cost every month in those types of games. They have the expendable income to do so, and they help make sure that games using the F2P model are profitable for the rest of us who can't afford or don't want to spend money on the games.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuragisama View Post

    F2P should actually mean F2P, without having to pay with the exception of expansions if you want to experience that. Like Guild Wars 1 and 2. The keyword was, "have to". Your lack of logic in this baffles me... Meh, it's you're money, get nickel and dimed if you want. Moving on.
    So you don't want f2p, you want it to be b2p.

    They are different models.

    This is just... Gold.

    You honestly think that they should just hand out their game for free.

    By free to play they mean you can log in and play it... For free. But they have to make money somehow.

    your lack of logic baffles me.
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  8. #8
    They have been pretty upfront about it being a "Limited" F2P option since they first announced it. They never said it would be completely F2P. In fact right after they announced it they put up a handy chart to show what F2P people would have access too. Also, they have been really clear that there will still be a subscription option. If the game was completely F2P what would the point of having a Sub option be? Idk maybe you heard from someone else wrong or something. Here's the chart for you: http://www.swtor.com/free/features

  9. #9
    I am Murloc! SirRobin's Avatar
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    Wait, what? Anyone who bothered to pay attention has known for ages what Johnny 5 is after here. They are going free-to-play because they think they can get more money that way. If they didn't they would leave it P2P like WAR still is. TOR's sales and subscriptions went into free fall by February or March and never recovered. So F2P is possibly the best option for revenue growth left to them. They certainly are not going to spend tens of millions more in redeveloping the game.
    Last edited by SirRobin; 2012-09-10 at 08:14 PM.
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  10. #10
    This shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. Sure there will be several people that pay nothing more and enjoy the game. Most will end up dishing out more cash then they would have and get gobbled up by micro transactions. The vocal groups of people that seem to think that for some reason a company is just going to give away a game and access to it for nothing in return just baffles me. I am sure the players that continue to play often will come out on top paying the 15 dollars a month over 1 to 2 dollars here and there.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrven View Post
    Most will end up dishing out more cash then they would have and get gobbled up by micro transactions.
    How do you figure? Subscribers will continue to get full access to content for their subscription. The only thing they won't get as part of their subscription is access to the convenience and cosmetic items, but they will get a monthly stipend for it. The cash shop allows people to pay far more, but in a game like SWTOR all the cash shop purchases beyond the subscription are purely optional.

    As with most F2P games, the biggest chunk of players will likely either play entirely for free, or pay very little. The next biggest chunk will likely be subscribers who spend little to nothing beyond the monthly subscription fee. And the smallest group will likely be those that buy the subscription and spend a lot of money on cosmetic and convenience purchases. That's how it breaks down for most F2P/freemium games, and I don't see why it would be any different for SWTOR.

  12. #12
    I played SWTOR from launch to mid-march or so and it was quite fun. I support their F2P model, I will definitely play again once it goes F2P, will I sub ? Perhaps, perhaps not. It depends on how much time I have and if it is worth the extra costs for the content I would run (either WZ or Operations).

    Hopefully they don't put too low a limit on the amount of WZ you can run a week to make it seem like it isn't a money grab, but the remains to be seen. SWTOR has always been a good game (to me), my guild just ran out of steam in the end and lost too many people to really be able to do anything.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Synche View Post

    Hopefully they don't put too low a limit on the amount of WZ you can run a week to make it seem like it isn't a money grab, but the remains to be seen. SWTOR has always been a good game (to me), my guild just ran out of steam in the end and lost too many people to really be able to do anything.
    This. If they suppress pvp too much they might kill it.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusherO0 View Post
    How do you figure? Subscribers will continue to get full access to content for their subscription. The only thing they won't get as part of their subscription is access to the convenience and cosmetic items, but they will get a monthly stipend for it. The cash shop allows people to pay far more, but in a game like SWTOR all the cash shop purchases beyond the subscription are purely optional.

    As with most F2P games, the biggest chunk of players will likely either play entirely for free, or pay very little. The next biggest chunk will likely be subscribers who spend little to nothing beyond the monthly subscription fee. And the smallest group will likely be those that buy the subscription and spend a lot of money on cosmetic and convenience purchases. That's how it breaks down for most F2P/freemium games, and I don't see why it would be any different for SWTOR.
    I was refering to the players that don't subscribe and go with the a la carte version of payment.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrven View Post
    I was refering to the players that don't subscribe and go with the a la carte version of payment.
    That's possible. You can easily just spend 50 bucks unlocking what you want and then not pay for another 4-5 months and end with a lower average monthly cost than a subscription though. You're right though, it can go either way.

  16. #16
    I always do some research before playing.
    I am more worry about wasting time than money.

    I will not play any "F2P" if money gives any advantages.

  17. #17
    Stood in the Fire rogoth's Avatar
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    to be fair all i'm hearing is "it will be free to play, but players will be forced to spend cash to unlock all the content we have available, so we will still rake in the coinage, but it will be more subtle and more profitable than trying to go subscription based on a game that was never really going anywhere cos it has been milked dry overt he decades".

    i just wish when something comes along and is "free to play" that it truly is FREE to PLAY, i don't care if u can pay a sub or a 1 off transaction for epeen items, theres loads of games that follow this model and are still very popular, but that would be too easy i guess for a company like EA.

  18. #18
    If the F2P model they go with is like that of Lord of the Rings I'll be OK with it. Much of it is based like how the old Everquest was - and WoW is - where the "expansions" cost money, the only difference is you don't pay a monthly sub.

    It's only if things get really pay-gated that there will be a problem.

    In other words, paying for zones, classes, races and FURTHER access to convenience features such as the auction houses is fine. Having to pay to join a guild, get access to your travel beyond currency naturally earned up while playing or in order to access a lot of the "normal" content in the game.

    Either way very few folks will actually be happy with the F2P system since they are bound to restrict a lot of areas and put pay walls on all the stuff that's required to play the game. Fact is that they won't be able to make the amount of money they require for the game to meet their projections of profitability on vanity alone - so don't expect zones to be gated but the quests in said zones outside of the "story quest" to be. Making the only way to level up to be either purchasing content on grinding.

    On the plus side anyone who's purchased the game already shouldn't have those quests or mounts gated on us.

  19. #19
    Pit Lord philefluxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hk-51 View Post
    Um...

    You do realize that everyone already knew this and most people are okay with it, right?
    We'll see. I think "some" is a better word. Remember, this is a EA cash shop. Just a quick glance of this community the general feel is they will only play the free model source. If EA's new SWTOR f2p model does not produce enjoyment without purchasing, the writing will be on the wall.
    Last edited by philefluxx; 2012-09-11 at 03:57 PM.

  20. #20
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    It would have to be pretty significant for me to warrant paying for an 'expansion' at this point in time. They've dropped the ball on numerous occasions and there will be other games competing for that money. While I'm not surprised, the entire dialogue revolving around how and what exactly is going to be charged remains disturbing.

    Still, not worrying about it until it comes. MMOs are not life support. Thankfully this transition is happening early instead of having years invested and having to change directions.

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