Thread: Dangers of F2P

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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Malist View Post
    Well I feel the article was handled poorly. Trying to shoehorn a certain category with points that apply more broadly. The focus of the OP and the article are indeed biased as this happens across the board.
    I would like to point out that the article is a post-mortem on the various "dirty tricks" used by the F2P industry - you can even see it as a "how to" guide.

    Personally, I don't see it as passing any judgement on the model.

    I will admit though, I do not have a good impression of F2P in general.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Errr ... By definition "coercive monetization" only applies to F2P. Because in normal games you have already paid in full!

    Do you even lif ... I mean did you even read the article?

    Well now the true colors are shining bright. Paying in full, whatever that means, doesn't stop the practice of adding "coercive monetization" practices.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Malist View Post
    Well now the true colors are shining bright. Paying in full, whatever that means, doesn't stop the practice of adding "coercive monetization" practices.
    Explain how so?

    Those tactics "pressure you to pay". Do tell me how they will work in a normal game.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Malist View Post
    Well I feel the article was handled poorly. Trying to shoehorn a certain category with points that apply more broadly. The focus of the OP and the article are indeed biased as this happens across the board.
    I thought the article was fine. He was talking about the market it works in and talking about the monetization strategies used. Gamasutra is a trade site, so it's going to be more business/industry focused rather than consumer focused.

    But it kinda doesn't happen across the board. That's the thing. You don't see these overly predatory practices in Western F2P MMO's. They use some dramatically watered down versions of these tactics, but nothing quite as overt as you see in the mobile market. This is because the mobile market and the PC MMO market are dramatically different in terms of the bulk of the playerbase and the types of games being played.

    Yes, you'll still find horrible monetization schemes within some of the low budget shitty Korean import MMO's. However with Western games, they've mostly abandoned those practices because they simply don't work that well. Even in SWTOR, the quasi-exploitation of F2P players hasn't gained them any money really. They've gone on record saying the vast majority of the money they make from the Cartel Market comes from subscribers, not F2P players.

    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    I'm going to say it upfront, I'm really skeptical. We have seen how it can go so wrong ... with most people not even realising it - which is the sinister part.

    How is it "different due to the nature of the platforms"? I don't see why the tactics he explained in great detail won't work in non-mobile games. Personally I don't care who he is, as long as what he says makes sense.
    Which Western games has it "gone wrong" in beyond SWTOR or EQ2? And even then, neither is anywhere near as bad as the tactics discussed in the articles.

    It's "different due to the nature of the platforms" in the same way that mobile games are different than PC/console games. You don't see the same monetization models across the two platforms, nor do you see the same types of games. I don't know why I'm having to explain that he mobile and the console/PC market are different...I kinda though that was self evident.

    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    I would like to point out that the article is a post-mortem on the various "dirty tricks" used by the F2P industry - you can even see it as a "how to" guide.

    Personally, I don't see it as passing any judgement on the model.

    I will admit though, I do not have a good impression of F2P in general.
    Used by the mobile F2P developers. Again, you can't translate mobile development or monetization models directly to PC/console MMO's.

    There is no "F2P industry". It's a business model, not an industry. Companies can choose to use it or choose not to. They can choose to use it in some games and not in other games. There is no "F2P industry", because you can't base an industry around a business model. There is PC/console industry. There is a mobile industry. There is no "F2P" industry.

    Our of curiosity, what MMO's have soured your view on F2P and why? I'm asking because I've seen a dramatic improvement in the quality and service provided by F2P MMO's over the years to the point where it's now generally quite a consumer friendly model.
    Last edited by Edge-; 2013-06-30 at 07:05 AM.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusher View Post
    Which Western games has it "gone wrong" in beyond SWTOR or EQ2? And even then, neither is anywhere near as bad as the tactics discussed in the articles.
    How many more examples do you need?

    Not many MMOs out there, compared to normal offline single player games, so expecting a huge number isn't reasonable.

    It's "different due to the nature of the platforms" in the same way that mobile games are different than PC/console games. You don't see the same monetization models across the two platforms, nor do you see the same types of games. I don't know why I'm having to explain that he mobile and the console/PC market are different...I kinda though that was self evident.



    Used by the mobile F2P developers. Again, you can't translate mobile development or monetization models directly to PC/console MMO's.

    There is no "F2P industry". It's a business model, not an industry. Companies can choose to use it or choose not to. They can choose to use it in some games and not in other games. There is no "F2P industry", because you can't base an industry around a business model. There is PC/console industry. There is a mobile industry. There is no "F2P" industry.
    What I'm wondering is why?

    You have not explained why those tricks would not work on the PC or console.

    Our of curiosity, what MMO's have soured your view on F2P and why? I'm asking because I've seen a dramatic improvement in the quality and service provided by F2P MMO's over the years to the point where it's now generally quite a consumer friendly model.
    The whole concept of it really. The utilisation of dirty tricks to make money. The side effects on game play - even the "cosmetic only" cash shop ones effect the game; it means those very nice items won't be available for earning in-game via gameplay.
    Last edited by SodiumChloride; 2013-06-30 at 07:12 AM.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    How many more examples do you need?

    Not many MMOs out there, compared to normal offline single player games, so expecting a huge number isn't reasonable.
    How about a few more examples? Those are two games that have not so great F2P models, but still have far better models that what is discussed in the article. Especially considering you can subscribe to both games and then basically ignore the cash shop.

    The number of F2P MMO's with good models dramatically outweighs 2 with kinda not great, but not terribly shitty, models.

    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    What I'm wondering is why?

    You have not explained why those tricks would not work on the PC or console.
    Because they're different markets. Because the guy who is playing games on his PC/console may play some games on his phone/tablet, but generally is going to have the PC/console mentality. Because you don't see those practices in any existing Western F2P MMO released/converted in the past half decade or more. Because there is a strong anti-P2W sentiment on PC/console that doesn't exist in the mobile/social market. Because much of the revenue for games like the one in the article comes from Asia, where you don't see the big Western F2P MMO's released.

    Shall I go on?

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    You have not explained why those tricks would not work on the PC or console.

    The whole concept of it really. The utilisation of dirty tricks to make money. The side effects on game play - even the "cosmetic only" cash shop ones effect the game; it means those very nice items won't be available for earning in-game via gameplay.
    PC and console games are usually made by better-known companies that have reputation and legacy to consider. PC and console gamers also tend to be a different sort of consumer than mobile game players. I'm not saying people who play mainly mobile games are not as smart, but they have different wants, needs, and expectations, and mobile game-makers know this and take advantage of it.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusher View Post
    How about a few more examples? Those are two games that have not so great F2P models, but still have far better models that what is discussed in the article. Especially considering you can subscribe to both games and then basically ignore the cash shop.

    The number of F2P MMO's with good models dramatically outweighs 2 with kinda not great, but not terribly shitty, models.
    Again, even those with optional subs could "go wrong" when they cripple the F2P gameplay to the point of being worthless.

    Because they're different markets. Because the guy who is playing games on his PC/console may play some games on his phone/tablet, but generally is going to have the PC/console mentality. Because you don't see those practices in any existing Western F2P MMO released/converted in the past half decade or more. Because there is a strong anti-P2W sentiment on PC/console that doesn't exist in the mobile/social market. Because much of the revenue for games like the one in the article comes from Asia, where you don't see the big Western F2P MMO's released.

    Shall I go on?
    Heh. So you admit, that it's because of "haters" like me that they haven't fully drove the knife in.

    That if there were "acceptance" of said tactics, they would work just fine.

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-30 at 07:26 AM ----------

    Overall my main gripe with F2P, apart from the frequent dirty tricks, is that it inevitably affects "the game".

    In normal pay upfront games, money does not impact gameplay in anyway - other than it must be fun.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Heh. So you admit, that it's because of "haters" like me that they haven't fully drove the knife in.
    Way to ignore a good 90% of a response and focus on something that vaguely references your weak stance.
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  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Again, even those with optional subs could "go wrong" when they cripple the F2P gameplay to the point of being worthless.
    So because something can go bad, we need to be seriously concerned? That's kinda not really reasonable. Traditional models for MMO's (P2P) have gone "bad" at different points in different games, and traditional retail/DLC models have gone "bad" as well. Should we be seriously concerned about hem as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Heh. So you admit, that it's because of "haters" like me that they haven't fully drove the knife in.

    That if there were "acceptance" of said tactics, they would work just fine.
    What? I'm horribly confused as to what you're even trying to say. Who's driving what knife into whom? What's the knife?

    Who is accepting the tactics described in the article? I think I've been pretty clear that I don't approve of the monetization tactics of mobile F2P games, and most mobile games in general. So what are you even trying to say?

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Explain how so?

    Those tactics "pressure you to pay". Do tell me how they will work in a normal game.
    Dead Space 3.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthi...-of-its-games/
    Last edited by Remilia; 2013-06-30 at 08:10 AM.

  12. #52
    There are different F2P games. Problem is, most of them are exploitative. Most sub games are too - but at least their way to exploit you is to make you want to play the game, and chances are, this is a welcome exchange for you - exchanging money for happiness and pleasure. But article very well showcases how F2P games are built - they are not built to be enjoyed or played, they are built to extort money from you via different catches and quirks of your human being.

    This is the problem of F2P - you have to constantly "fight" the game for control of your own self - so you do not give in to numerous pitfalls and traps they prepare for you. And as pointed out in the article (assuming it doesn't lie) - they are smart enough to use tricks that their target audience is especially weak against because the relevant part of the brain hasn't fully developed yet. This is some serious shit!

    I think the only two TRUE F2P games I know of is Dota 2 and HoN, since all heroes became free. In these games you truly can never ever buy anything to help you play the game, EVER. Even LoL forces you to grind for champions, and you basically can't keep up and have to pay up for boosters or champions. And even those utilise the damn Lockbox tricks to extort money out of you (in Russia this kind of trick is called "Fool-A-Tron" and was actually practiced on streets to extort people of money - you're told you've won something, and then you have to pay up a little bit to receive it - same thing happens when you get lockboxes you have to get keys for in games like Dota 2). And whenever you can get at least something to boost your play - it can go downstream pretty fast. Soon you'll find that you are either way forced into paying.

    IMHO, the only GOOD way of making an F2P game is by allowing one to buy the game and never have to put up with this crap. So you have three options:
    - play for free and suffer
    - do microtransactions and avoid suffering
    - buy the game and pay the sub and do not be affected by microtransaction shit

    I've heard that SMITE was doing (or planning on doing that) - a Moba game where you can either buy it full and have all champions unlocked forever, or play it F2P and buy champions for ingame gold or cash.

  13. #53
    I liked the article. Good overview. Thanks.
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  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by SodiumChloride View Post
    Again, even those with optional subs could "go wrong" when they cripple the F2P gameplay to the point of being worthless.
    That's such an exaggeration. Other than the 20 dollar expansion, you can do just about anything in Swtor as a preferred player (which you would have if you got the expansion). It's like, two dailies per weekly pass + a bunch of cheap unlocks. Me and some of my friends have all the restrictions lifted in swtor, without spending any RL money.

    If you are being "crippled" by swtors model, then you need to get better at F2P.
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  15. #55
    I'd love to know the MMO where I could purchase access to everything the game has to offer without a commitment beyond the initial purchase. Sure, with a sub I could traditionally have access to almost everything for a monthly stipend but this access ends as abruptly as the payments stops and if you on't think this doesn't effect the design of the game or it's presentation then you are honestly living in a dreamland of your own creation. Business models inform the design of games and the design of game informs it's business model, this much is a given, where it comes under debate is whether a particular business model's influence on game design is more "nefarious" than another's which is a wholly subjective proposition.
    The idea that F2P by virtue of being a monetisation scheme utilising gamification concepts being inherently prone to "corruption" and contrasting this against the traditional sub model which allowed almost entire access for the duration of the subscription as a model free from gamification and "corruption" from unscrupulous publishers just cannot stand up beyond the slightest scrutiny and the only question is what an individual subjectively prefers.
    On the subject of the article, it was quite clearly leveled at a brand of F2P models particular to the mobile market, and while there can be some extrapolation to the wider process of F2P monetization schemes it was obviously not the author's stated intent.
    Games involving repeated payments have always had gamification and monetization elements to them, but I guess some people were more happy when those involved consuming large blocks of time and the personal value placed on the players in relation to opportunity costs ie, they have invested X time so far and may as well go all the way.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by madrox View Post
    I'd love to know the MMO where I could purchase access to everything the game has to offer without a commitment beyond the initial purchase.
    That would be GW2
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  17. #57
    Nope, that wouldn't be GW2.
    Unfortunately, GW2 sells boosts (that work in WPVP!) for real money, as well as game money for real money and more. Yes it is very well disguised - like, you cannot just buy damage / hp boost, you have to buy a key, also find a lockbox, open it with that key, and get the boost you desire, but that's what's very well described in the article - multiple layers of abstraction leading to people not seeing an obvious pay-for-power. Yes those boosts are not huge but they still are boosts. Same with gold - getting full best gear set will take you some amount of gold, which you're not going to get very fast... Unless you know some very effective farming techniques. But option to buy gold for gems is there - and you can even feel "cool" for buying when it's "low" (truth is - difference miniscule) so you feel like you gained something when in reality you were milked for your dollar.
    Last edited by Istrebitel; 2013-06-30 at 12:46 PM.

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Istrebitel View Post
    Nope, that wouldn't be GW2.
    Unfortunately, GW2 sells boosts (that work in WPVP!) for real money, as well as game money for real money and more. Yes it is very well disguised - like, you cannot just buy damage / hp boost, you have to buy a key, also find a lockbox, open it with that key, and get the boost you desire, but that's what's very well described in the article - multiple layers of abstraction leading to people not seeing an obvious pay-for-power. Yes those boosts are not huge but they still are boosts. Same with gold - getting full best gear set will take you some amount of gold, which you're not going to get very fast... Unless you know some very effective farming techniques. But option to buy gold for gems is there - and you can even feel "cool" for buying when it's "low" (truth is - difference miniscule) so you feel like you gained something when in reality you were milked for your dollar.
    /face palm
    So, getting the whole game and monthly content updates isn't enough? The, what? 5% bonuses for 1 hour ruin it for you?

    That's really sad.
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  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Bardarian View Post
    That would be GW2
    Sure, there in a transfer of in game currency for the intermediate currency used in the cash shop but when the in game currency is by intent kept as one of the most valuable and comparatively scarce commodities the gold to gem transfer becomes exactly one of layers of abstraction talked about in the article. Now I'm not not saying that is inherently a good or a bad thing in of itself ( I have little problems with GW2's cash shop) but I don't think there is a case of anyone enjoying all of the content for the price of the box and further to that I don't think there are many people who have played the game for a length of time who haven't used gems.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by madrox View Post
    Sure, there in a transfer of in game currency for the intermediate currency used in the cash shop but when the in game currency is by intent kept as one of the most valuable and comparatively scarce commodities the gold to gem transfer becomes exactly one of layers of abstraction talked about in the article. Now I'm not not saying that is inherently a good or a bad thing in of itself ( I have little problems with GW2's cash shop) but I don't think there is a case of anyone enjoying all of the content for the price of the box and further to that I don't think there are many people who have played the game for a length of time who haven't used gems.
    Currency exchanges are the best thing ever (assuming your game isn't bugged).

    The people who don't have money but are willing to grind can get the things that cost money.
    The people who have money but aren't willing to grind can get the things that would normally take too much time.
    And the company profits off both of them.

    Literally everyone wins.
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