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View Full Version : Free to Play model


gregoris
05-23-2010, 08:37 PM
<p>I have a theory that Everquest 2 may end up with a similar model to Dungeons and Dragons Online where the game is free but it relies on microtransactions to purchase content such as dungeons, character slots, potions etc... With the changes to the starting areas, the revamped 1-90 leveling system (the golden path) and the impending graphic updates it seems like they are preparing for an influx of players that are going to be starting fresh.</p><p>Personally i think this would be a good move for the game, in Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) it has boosted subscriber numbers up to the near million mark (from a game with less than Everquest 2 has now), and Turbine are boasting that the profits from the game exceeded their forecasts. It seems like a good idea to breath life into a game that is on the decline and of course boost it popularity.</p><p>SOE would make a killing off it as well with $25 for a mount being the equivalent of almost 2 months subscription fee to play the game. I recall the $7.99 mini expansions from long ago, now we pay $25 for what is much less work on the developers part.</p><p>For the record, i plan on buying a mount with the new character i create in Halas later this week.</p>

Aldhissla
05-24-2010, 05:14 AM
<p>I hope not.</p>

Delameko Stone
05-24-2010, 05:22 AM
<p>Why go F2P when they can just charge us a subscription and have microtransactions?  They're having their cake and eating it too!</p><p>The thing to remember about DDO is that it was going under, they had nothing to lose.</p><p>EQ2 has a large playerbase paying a monthly subscription.  They're not going to risk that kind of financial stability on something that could ultimately fail.</p>

Carthr
05-24-2010, 09:16 AM
<p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>EQ2 has a large playerbase paying a monthly subscription. </p></blockquote><p>They do?</p>

Lizzoraus
05-24-2010, 09:19 AM
<p><cite>Carthrax wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>EQ2 has a large playerbase paying a monthly subscription. </p></blockquote><p>They do?</p></blockquote><p>Alot more subscribers than most MMOs.</p>

Delameko Stone
05-24-2010, 10:20 AM
<p><cite>Carthrax wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>EQ2 has a large playerbase paying a monthly subscription. </p></blockquote><p>They do?</p></blockquote><p>Small compared to WoW, but 250k subscribers is a large amount of people any which way you look at it.</p>

Iamken
05-24-2010, 10:36 AM
<p>I like it exactly the way it is now.</p>

CoLD MeTaL
05-24-2010, 11:07 AM
<p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p><cite>Carthrax wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>EQ2 has a large playerbase paying a monthly subscription. </p></blockquote><p>They do?</p></blockquote><p>Small compared to WoW, but 250k subscribers is a large amount of people any which way you look at it.</p></blockquote><p>They are making $3.7Million+ a month and they can't even give us enough quests to get to 90/250 in the new expansion (that was an extra burst of cash as well).  How would F2P be any better?</p><p>I personally doubt the 250k number at this point.</p><p>Save some money and merge some servers since populations are pitiful.</p>

Alvane
05-24-2010, 11:28 AM
<p><cite>gregoris wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>I have a theory that Everquest 2 may end up with a similar model to Dungeons and Dragons Online where the game is free but it relies on microtransactions to purchase content such as dungeons, character slots, potions etc...</p></blockquote><p>Nah... I serious doubt that. What I believe due to the goals of the current Senior Producer (Smokejumper), he will introduce more and more micro-transactions through Station Cash similar to the fluffy pet peeps are going goo goo over. It's just another way of generating income.</p><p>This was as a biz model, the game's growth isn't dependable solely on monthly subs but brings in coin from other areas such as LoN, SC, micro transactions. It all goes into a big pool called EQ2. It's biz saavy.</p><p>This game is a subscriber game with and up front purchase price and monthly rentals. The recent changes over the past couple years or so simply add in additional income sources. IOW, EQ2 doesn't put all their eggs in one basket.</p><p>If you want a purdy fluffy to ride around one - go fer it. Your dollars will help EQ2 to expand their game from better server mechanics and codes to less lag and faster zoning and less zoning. If enough monies come in through the various means, perhaps there will be a new EQ2 or EQ3 or w/e engine to build upon.</p>

Yimway
05-24-2010, 11:29 AM
<p>What the OP fails to recognize or acknowledge is that MOST DDO players are paying for the all inclusive subscription and not using the MT model to play the game.</p><p>What DDO does that worked is provide basically a free basic game that you can play and add to it with MTs.   In truth the vast majority of players that stick with it as their primary MMO convert to the subscription model within the first 90 days.</p><p>When polled, MMO players clearly indicated which subscription models they prefer.  I'm pulling the numbers from memory but it game down similar to this:</p><p>32% - Lifetime Subscription22% - Monthly Subscription12% - Microtransaction</p><p>And then on down from there.  The clear data was when asking players what they prefered, a subscription model was above and beyond the majority decision.  The survey was designed to marginalize the subscription majortiy by segmenting subscriptions into two choices, but its not hard to see where the important data is.</p><p>There is industry buzz going around on how successful DDO was on the F2P MT model they adopted, and it is clear they have grown the game by offering it (low to no cost of entry to try the game), and they've done a good job of turning the people trying it for free into a lucrative revenu stream either by converting them to subs or selling them dungeons one off. </p><p>Just talk to DDO players though, and see how many truely playing the game fulltime are not on the subscription model.</p><p>-----------</p><p>I can see a hybrid of this working for eq2.  They could instead of giving the 20 level trial give the entire orriginal game (or some subset) away for free and once players latch onto the game try to convert them to subs or sell the $25 horses.  However, the game engine, and lack of community in thar orriginal release content isn't going to win over too many players in my opinion.</p>

MoiraesFate
05-24-2010, 11:37 AM
<p>If this game goes free 2 play, then I'll quit. Simple as that.</p>

agnott
05-24-2010, 01:56 PM
<p>Think of the EQ2 subscrption as that huge wall that kept in King Kong. But instead of King Kong  ..... it keeps out millions of little children.</p>

gregoris
05-24-2010, 08:12 PM
<p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>What the OP fails to recognize or acknowledge is that MOST DDO players are paying for the all inclusive subscription and not using the MT model to play the game.</p><p>What DDO does that worked is provide basically a free basic game that you can play and add to it with MTs.   In truth the vast majority of players that stick with it as their primary MMO convert to the subscription model within the first 90 days.</p><p>When polled, MMO players clearly indicated which subscription models they prefer.  I'm pulling the numbers from memory but it game down similar to this:</p><p>32% - Lifetime Subscription22% - Monthly Subscription12% - Microtransaction</p><p>And then on down from there.  The clear data was when asking players what they prefered, a subscription model was above and beyond the majority decision.  The survey was designed to marginalize the subscription majortiy by segmenting subscriptions into two choices, but its not hard to see where the important data is.</p><p>There is industry buzz going around on how successful DDO was on the F2P MT model they adopted, and it is clear they have grown the game by offering it (low to no cost of entry to try the game), and they've done a good job of turning the people trying it for free into a lucrative revenu stream either by converting them to subs or selling them dungeons one off. </p><p>Just talk to DDO players though, and see how many truely playing the game fulltime are not on the subscription model.</p><p>-----------</p><p>I can see a hybrid of this working for eq2.  They could instead of giving the 20 level trial give the entire orriginal game (or some subset) away for free and once players latch onto the game try to convert them to subs or sell the $25 horses.  However, the game engine, and lack of community in thar orriginal release content isn't going to win over too many players in my opinion.</p></blockquote><p>The fact that most subscribers are choosing a monthly model works only to prove that the micro transaction concept has been a success. I think most of us agree that Everquest 2 could do with a more healthy population, i am not talking WOW populations here but more than we currently have now.</p><p>I have noticed SOE taking great pains to improve the first impression of the game, there is no real reason to do this for existing players, the time and expense to implement GPU shadows, Shader Model 3, New Halas and the revamped leveling is just enormous. My guess is that SOE has something planned and they are expecting an influx of people onto the servers. The microtransaction concept is just my guess, it could be anything.</p>

Yimway
05-24-2010, 10:30 PM
<p><cite>gregoris wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><blockquote></blockquote><p>The fact that most subscribers are choosing a monthly model works only to prove that the micro transaction concept has been a success. I think most of us agree that Everquest 2 could do with a more healthy population, i am not talking WOW populations here but more than we currently have now.</p></blockquote><p>I look at the data and fail to see your conclusion.  The majority of players prefer a subscription model, even more prefer the lifetime, but in instances the lifetime is not available, I don't think you'll find those folks asking for MT.</p>

kcirrot
05-24-2010, 11:06 PM
<p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>I can see a hybrid of this working for eq2.  They could instead of giving the 20 level trial give the entire orriginal game (or some subset) away for free and once players latch onto the game try to convert them to subs or sell the $25 horses.  However, the game engine, and lack of community in thar orriginal release content isn't going to win over too many players in my opinion.</p></blockquote><p>I could see something similar to FreeRealms working.  Something like you get one character for free, no house or perhaps you can only buy a starter house, things like that.</p>

Alvane
05-25-2010, 02:43 PM
<p><cite>[email protected] wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>When polled, MMO players clearly indicated which subscription models they prefer.  I'm pulling the numbers from memory but it game down similar to this:</p><p>32% - Lifetime Subscription22% - Monthly Subscription12% - Microtransaction</p></blockquote><p>Problem with this is that it's only a finite choice. IOW it's an either or... would you prefer to play a MMORPG using a lifetime sub, monthly sub or micro.</p><p>Given that the obvious choice would be lifetime with perhaps a big discount over monthly payment plan - it's understandable. IOW, this survey if true or not is very skewed with a large alpha error - taking a guess because I haven't seen the actual survey, nor how the answers were calculated in a statistical manner.</p><p>However, this really has no bearing on the ability of SoE to foster a growth of income for an established EQ2 game. EQ2 is already established as a month subscription once you pay for the base game and/or future xpacs.</p><p>EQ2 needs more income in order to grow in what ever direction management decides. From what I've read, part of this decision is to increase player base. I don't pretend to know what goes behind the board room doors, but I do have that experience in a different field. So, a lot of this is educated guesses based on my personal experiences and knowledge plus what I've read in various interviews with developers, and management.</p><p>There are two focuses for increasing a player base - current and new.</p><p>To increase new players is one direction that SoE plans on providing given the current MMORPG conditions and what peep look for in an online game. The storylines, cleaning up old content no longer relevant, making entry easier and exciting - these things I'm sure they are looking into for attracting those wanting a long term MMORPG.</p><p>Current players - there is a natural attrition rate due to what ever reasons. Management is probably looking at that closely. As to montoring reasons - well, that is limited to things like exit interviews, what peeps say on forums - and those are very limited to a very small percentage. Another area is analysis a a peep's account over various time plays - such as past year, past 3 months, past 2 months, past month. What did they play? How did their playstyle change if any? If it was a sudden - no longer used account for the past 3 months - can it be traced to a large change in their game play? How long did they play the game. The longer a peep plays, the higher percentage of attrition probibility increases. Was there any "earth shattering" event? Such as a new xpac and the peep quit within 30 days? If no probably cause is traceable, perhaps it's due to rl situation such a accident, long term illness, death, divorce, financial changes, change of lifestyle and so on. Once SoE can identify certain factors, they can work toward eliminating them if possible.</p><p>The other area management would work on is retention of players using psyhological profiles of MMORPG players. What keeps them involved. The recent $24 fluffy pet, the introduction of LoN, the introduction of SC all brought forth numbers accolades, protests and certainly long discussions of armchair quarterbacks including myself! Bottom line - is after SC was introduced - did that increase current players time online or decrease it. Same with LoN.... and microtransactions.</p><p>SoE needs to make monies. Currently there are 3 means of doing so:</p><p>Game purchase and subscriber base</p><p>LoN - an additional card game tied to the player base</p><p>SC - an addition to enhance a players view of the game with personal choices.</p><p>SC - is microtransactions and a very viable area for growth and income. I don't know much about LoN since I don't play - but I assume it must be successful since there is a player base for it enough to keep it active. Perhaps more can be done in this area to improve income. Management might be looking into this area, too.</p><p>One area that hasn't really been noticed, too much is the game purchase. How much income was through Collector's Editions of the various xpacs vs regular editions vs electronic download. What perks were offered in each? Though that information, SoE may wish to look at expanding that with other offerings to entice new players as well as retaining current players with new xpacs.</p><p>Other possible income potential can factor in virtual vs real life card collectors with bonus packs including something like had been in two maybe more other xpac releases - miniture replicas of an ingame item. They can be expanded to include collectables (real life shinies) such as the dragons of Norrath or characters of Norrath, etc. The cost factor to add real life items to a MMORPG is something I have no experience - and that could be a very limiting factor.</p><p>So, the type of model be it subcriber based, long term or short term or free based with microtransactions is something that was already decided - EQ2 is a short term subscriber based game. SoE may offer a long term subscriber base but in effect they already do. If you subscribe for a year, you will get a discount over the monthly rate.</p><p>So, what remains isn't the type of model, but what can be done to improve the income.</p>

feldon30
05-26-2010, 05:12 AM
No. It didn't work for FreeRealms.

MurFalad
05-26-2010, 05:33 AM
<p><cite>agnott wrote:</cite></p><blockquote><p>Think of the EQ2 subscrption as that huge wall that kept in King Kong. But instead of King Kong  ..... it keeps out millions of little children.</p></blockquote><p><img src="/smilies/3b63d1616c5dfcf29f8a7a031aaa7cad.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> Got to agree, and I think it would destroy the playerbase of this game socially.  Free to play is a dishonest description, no one gives their work away for free, so for SOE to offer EQ2 free to play they willwant to make the same as or more money then currently.  If SOE want to make more money then the first place to target I would say is Europe, they have everything setup for a great user base, a high fantasy game that fits well with European culture and legends, localised servers, and language servers.    But no advertising and still no international distribution.</p>

Vortexelemental
05-26-2010, 05:38 AM
<p>They need to just stop being halfsies.</p><p>F2p or Subscription already.</p><p>I don't want to pay for both.</p>

Shailas
05-26-2010, 08:21 AM
<p>I'd rather not have to change it.  I'd like to stay on a subscription model, and as VortexElemental points out they should not go half and half.</p>