They will get over it fast enough. games made for f2p sucks. low producion value. Greedy creators taking out shit that was basic in 2001 to earn more cash.
Games that was p2p and now f2p. Well. they suck aswell. Or they wouldn't be f2p. I rest my case
Game experience [nebulous concept] and gameplay [definite concept] are two different things.So paying cash for an in-game item vs earning it via in-game mechanics isn't a "difference" in game experience?
One doesn't imply the other:
It can be that a cash shop item does effect gameplay and game experience. E.g. Nevewinter
It can also be that a cash shop does not effect gameplay or game experience. E.g. World of Warcraft
Works both ways. With the former being the rarer of the two outcomes regardless of business model.
The reality of the F2P model is to incentivise the player to spend cash. At first it starts with vanity items, but when times get desperate - when the novelty of being a new game has worn off and the number of whales start to decline - it starts leaking into game play related items aka P2W. Even when it's just vanity items, it impacts the experience of the game as things are withheld to try to get you to pay.
I'm not happy with WoW's cash shop. 5.3 there will be a new tree guardian pet ... cash shop. Now this wouldn't be so bad if earned in-game pets were on avg of the same quality and the cash shop was just something "on the side". But there are a significant number of earned in-game pets that are just lazy scale down of existing mob models.
I'm worried. It's more or less P2W in the "coolness" aspect of the game. So far it's limited to pets and mounts - vanity gear is still stuck behind in-game things like Challenge mode dungeons - but ...
In hindsight I suppose I might have been a bit "heavy handed". That said, the precedence hasn't been encouraging. Maplestory has been one of the most successful F2P MMOs, to my knowledge, even they have started resorting to P2W. P2W being the easiest way to get the player base to pay up.
You're using a single data point. Not only that, but a poor data point due to the context of it. So again, do you have any evidence to back this up beyond Maple Story and other Korean import MMO's? I'm specifically talking about Western MMO's that either made the transition from P2P to B2P/F2P, or Western MMO's that launched F2P/B2P.
How are Western F2P MMOs doing? Don't know. No doubt many went F2P to savage as much of the production cost as they can. The more they had spent, the "harsher" will be the "monetization mechanics", e.g. SWTOR. Content will be on a "when we can afford it" basis, which isn't too bad since it's "free" so players can't really demand anything.
I'm not optimistic about the quality of such games - even excluding the disruptive effects of "monetization mechanics".
SWTOR is unique in how shitty its business model is, and it's contrary to the trend of F2P MMO's stripping away their restrictions (AoC, EQ2, EQ1, Vanguard, and others have seen the removal of class/race restrictions as well as other restrictions in recent years) and transitioning with few to no restrictions (Tera and most recently Rift). It's not a barometer for the F2P market on the whole. At all.
And to its benefit though, it's actually seeing more content now than it was prior to the subscription. Prior to the subscription, they were barely getting a content patch out every few months, with 5+ months without a patch at one time. Now they've been staying pretty steady on an 8 week content patch cycle. It's not a ton of content with each patch, and it's not the "best content ever", but it's actually doing far better now than it was. It's issues are with its cash shop, not the actual content in the game. Though the cash shop issues haven't seemed to hurt it as it's found its core of subscribers who are happy to pay for the game.
Redit: You assume that the subscription business model is never factored in while content is being designed in a game like WoW? Because it kinda is. They need to ensure that the subscription remains valuable, and that they create longer term grinds and gear resets (new tiers) in order to continue to make the subscription appealing.
As for the quality of F2P games, most of the current batch of F2P games used to be subscription based games. If there was some kind of quality inherent with a subscription, then it should still be there, no?
If all future MMOs go that way, well I'm not going to bitch too much - hey it's "free"; people who have too much money will be subsiding my playing ... but I don't pay anything.
Still "monetization mechanics" don't sit well with me and I would prefer that developers could just concentrate on making the game fun and entertaining (so people stay subscribed) and not have to dream up of "methods" to extract money from their player base. The "traditional" scheme of paying for entertainment above board seem to feel better to me than my entertainment trying to "covertly induce" me into paying. If you get what I mean.
"Definitely. I'm personally a big fan of game designers being involved in the monetization design, because that's what will ultimately make for the best game. A lot of times I think those become very disconnected in the industry. Someone that's more business-oriented or production-oriented will graft a business model onto a game because that's what they think is going to drive the most revenue, but the game doesn't really support it. That's one of the things you've seen a lot with the subscription-based business model. I personally think subscription-based business models can still work, but you can't over-value your game. There's been some games in the past where they've put the subscription model on it because they thought they could get away with it. The reality is if you're going to do a subscription model you need to deliver an immense amount of premium content over time, because people are going to be looking at as 'If I'm going to be $10 or $15 per month, what am I getting month after month?' If I'm not spending enough hours in your product, it's just not going to make sense as a value proposition.
Free-to-play is a much more friendly business model for a lot of people to try out. People can try these games with no risk, and then only decide to pay for games that they really see the value in or want to spend on. I think that is a really strong model. Free-to-play is almost like a genre of business models, there are so many different ways you can apply it. I think for free-to-play to work really well it has to be deeply integrated with the game design itself. What is it that people are going to buy, and how much are you going to pay for this versus the other thing? One of the biggest issues with free-to-play models these days is the feeling that a lot of games give me: That for me to progress in this game, or to really have a deep game experience, you have to pay. That's where free-to-play gets a bad rap. But that's more the game design than the model."
Should explain to you the mistakes or routes game publishers, developers do when it comes to their games and why they often over rate their own games and content.
Not too long back, a Bio Ware developer himself came out and said that they expected players to take 5 months to reach level cap. Don't know if that was naive or just a cop out, but that is what most current MMOs have done.
That was in answer to your last questing as to why P2P games that started with that model at launch were forced to switch.
I agree with you on the last bit. I don't like games that try to strongarm me into paying. It doesn't work, because I don't like being strongarmed. If a game gently nudges me in the direction of the cash shop without harassing me though, I'm much more inclined to happily poke around and spend some money. Hell, I've got a ton of Station Cash for SoE's games just sitting around from when I purchased it to support both DCUO and Planetside 2.
Mobile/social "games" (I use quotes because most of them can hardly be called that) are not a barometer to use when looking at bigger budget F2P MMO's. The similarities begin and end with the F2P business model, and the implementations of the business model are radically different as well.
A game like Tera, SWTOR, or soon Rift, doesn't make an overly long, painful leveling process. They still sell experience potions, but the game isn't designed with an overly long leveling curve. This hasn't changed since F2P (though SWTOR did create XP reductions for F2P players for a while. Thankfully, they've removed the restrictions). Heck, even games like Aion continue to add in more leveling quests in order to help mitigate the length/grind to level cap.
Poorly designed games (Perfect World is a prime example of this) do that. It is now, however, a common practice outside of the import Asian (since Perfect World is actually Chinese and not Korean) MMO's.
I won't say that every aspect of the cash shops are sunshine and roses, because they're not. Even the better models have some annoying bits. However that kind of practice hasn't really been implemented in any mid-size Western MMO in the past 5+ years that I can think of.
If you leave the door open for gold sellers, this criminal element will provide the player base with P2W options. Then, the developer has to spend money fending off the gold sellers and fighting hacked accounts. The alternative is providing expensive but safe indirect P2W options in the cash shop. Hopefully, fewer people will use these options, but if they do, at least their accounts are safe and the money can go toward adding more content to the game, etc.
Also, there is a group of gamers out there that play really aggressively and obsessively. They drop hundreds of dollars in the cash shop to hit max level in a week. Then, they trash the game on the internet and swarm to the next game. Some cash shops are designed to take advantage of this.
People prefer F2P now because so many companies churn out F2P games that are a high enough quality for people to be satisfied with that model.
Sub-based games will eventually have their subs eroded as better quality F2P games enter the market. Why have a contract when you can pay for what you need or want?
For example, EvE online - that game grinds my balls paying a sub when some days, all I do is log on and change skills! F2P would be much better. I often sub a month and then cancel again after a few days when I realize what my money bought me.
EvE's saving grace is that it's friggin' awesome, however and I keep trying it every 9 months or so.