F2P MMO X dies

Quick observation: I find it interesting that pro-F2P people continue to point out that most new MMOs are F2P ‘for a reason’, yet don’t acknowledge that just about every month (or week), Massively has a new “this F2P MMO is shutting down” post.

Yes, I get that the MMOs that shut down are garbage, but maybe its time to link garbage with F2P a little closer?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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47 Responses to F2P MMO X dies

  1. Steel H says:

    Speaking of F2P (P2W) MMOs, on this very chill ~Thursday evening~, I just dropped by Tobold’s blog today, and it seems he still hates you…

  2. tuxedocasual says:

    F2P will be here for some time. I am not saying that the games will be successful, but everyone in the MMO industry is just playing the “me too!” game. Until some real indie devs can come along, make a game meant to be profitable on 50k-100k subs that is addicting, challenging and rewarding (basically EQ from 1999), you are going to keep seeing F2P trash being recycled every 3-6 months. Everyone’s just trying to win the WoW lottery. Too bad most of the players that drove WoW are now playing LoL.

  3. Anti-Stupidity League says:

    Yes, because failed subscription-based games first go into f2p mode, failed subscription-based games never shut down. And because subscription-based games never shut down they are a lot more viable than f2p games.

    I see no faults in your logic.

    • Where is the fault logic? He said: “maybe its time to link garbage with F2P a little closer?”
      You mention in your post that a f2p games is already a failed game(failed sub). So isn’t it closer to the garbage? Because a failed sub game is a failed game not a failed business model, unless you point me to an MMO that failed as f2p and changed to sub.

      • Anti-Stupidity League says:

        Would you call the movie Blade Runner garbage because it failed in the box office but then made a plenty of money with DVD/Bluray rentals and sales as alternative source of revenue? Is it closer to the garbage because it was a flop or do people still consider it as a science fiction classic? Did it fail in the box office because it was a bad movie?

        • ASL is in the SL says:

          The only thing this comment does is perfectly shoot down everything you’ve ever said about EVE. Well done.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          I’ve said that in my opinion Eve is a Excel in space that I find too boring to play. How exactly did I shoot that opinion down? Maybe you’ll explain or maybe you’ll shut up as INT seems to be your dump stat.

          In my opinion, the game’s source of revenue does not effect whether it’s good or garbage. A crap game like Warhammer Online is (sorry, was, too bad it didn’t switch to f2p just for one day before closing down as then it would have been yet another f2p failure and it wouldn’t have smeared the golden subscription halo, right?) a crap game whether it’s subscription-based or free-to-suffer and a good game is a good game whether it’s f2p or ‘Subscribe all the accounts!’ like Eve — I’m just more likely to test and try and eventually play a game if it’s f2p as I find that a lot more convenient for myself.

          Or what do you think (I’m not asking specifically from you, really, let’s be honest here, I don’t expect to you to understand or even manage to read this far)? City of Heroes launched in 2004 and it was a subscription-based until 2011, then it switched to f2p. When it shut down 2012, did it shut down because it was a f2p garbage or did it shut down despite it being f2p?

          Do you think that if it had continued to be subscription-based it would still be around, because all subsciption-based games are as excellent and successful as Darkfall 2?

          Was it a perfect subscription-based mmo until 2011 and then it suddenly turned into garbage in one night when people could play it for free as well and because of that it had to close down?

          Could there have been some other reason why it closed down that had nothing to do with its revenue model? Think, McFly, think.

        • ASL is in the SL says:

          So many words, so little getting of the point.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          That was well argued and convincing and you managed to refute all my arguments. Your knowledge clearly knows no limits. Well done. Now, shut up baby while the adults talk.

        • ASL is in the SL says:

          “But I couldn’t piss you off there so what’s the point.”

          “Now, shut up baby while the adults talk.”

          Your conception of the relative role of adults and children is amusing and revealing.

  4. Asmiroth says:

    There are what, 10 subscription games out there? Near 100 F2P. You’re going to see more shut downs of the latter.

    It’s just not a logical argument to say F2P = crap when there have been plenty of examples of crap subscription games. Crappy games are crappy games. You just have a larger volume of F2P to contend with.

    • SynCaine says:

      I have examples of not-crap sub games, I’m still looking for an example of a non-crap F2P game. Last time I asked DDO was the F2P champion, and yea, that game is very firmly in the trash bin IMO.

  5. kalex716 says:

    The way you are saying this, would be like suggesting firemen have something to do with fires because everytime we show up to one, the firemen are there.

    • SynCaine says:

      No. The way I’m saying it is that when there is a fire, often you find a certain brand of electrical wiring that is known to be faulty.

      • kalex716 says:

        Right, a game is busted, its not worth a sub, its just not that fun, its on fire in a business sense.

        So dev fire fight teams are sent to the scene, and have to get smart about how they are monetizing. They implement a more flexible model that is an attempt to leverage what people do like about the game, and extract money in more targeted ways.

        A game in this state can be saved if its done to greater success. And the other ones? well, some building burn down regardless of how much water they try and dump on it.

        • SynCaine says:

          I agree with the above. Bad games might become salvageable thanks to F2P. Still doesn’t show that F2P leads to a great game. I don’t aim for mediocrity.

        • kalex716 says:

          We’ve had the discussion before, I feel like EVE is in fact the best F2P (and subscription) game out there in terms of monetization model.

          It does indeed have a hard barrier of entry up front after the 2 or 3 week free period (which most people feel invalidates the assertion). However, once you penetrate a couple months into it as an actual user, you need not spend a dollar if you don’t want to. People that actively play eve, get to do it for free, while those that selectively participate, tend to sponsor the more engaged.

          Its brilliant.

        • SynCaine says:

          Except EVE isn’t F2P since every single account is paid for. There are no free players beyond trial accounts, nor does CCP have to keep coming up with ‘creative’ ways to turn freeloaders into payers, or how to get a payer to become a whale + stay a whale.

        • kalex716 says:

          Every single account isn’t paid for like you said, theirs leagues and leagues of dead trials that never attach, and people even use trial accounts for all kinds of things to mule with, or gank/spy with no intention of converting just like some free players in traditional F2P.

          Surely you must understand that the average F2P game, does think of all their users as having monetary representation already. Its not fixed like CCP’s, but it is an actual line on the books. Every 10,000 accounts represents x dollars gross each month, if account registration is up, gross goes up too in a correlated sense…. In business, its the same thing.

          Whats the difference between a F2P game trying to increase the average expenditure of their users by leveraging holiday cheer in their annoying shops to drive new purchases, and CCP, running a promotion on that very same holiday for cheaper new accounts trying to up the percentage of multi account holding users?

          I don’t really believe you think every single F2P racket going right now is really only trying to make Whales either.

        • SynCaine says:

          Like I said, all non-trial accounts are paid for.

          The approach is very different. CCP is seeking to get more paid accounts, and to keep those paid accounts happy. All paid accounts are even, and each new account is also even in their eyes.

          A F2P dev wants more players, sure, but a huge focus is put on whales. Countless “How F2P works” presentations from F2P companies have hammered this home; that IS the model.

          When 10% of your playerbase is 90% of your revenue, sorry, you focus on that 10%. Not to mention, the ‘focus’ for that 10% isn’t keeping them happy playing, its keeping them paying by the thousands by feeding their addiction, even at the expense of the freeloaders.

          Converting the freeloaders is also important, but again, is the focus on just keeping them happy month-to-month, or is it getting them over the pay barrier and into whale territory?

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          As an example, how does “When 10% of your playerbase is 90% of your revenue, sorry, you focus on that 10%.” show up for example, let’s say, in League of Legends, which is a f2p game? They only create new skins and other paid content and nothing else? I mean, it’s really successful f2p game so surely it must be doing only that, right?

          How does this focus on whales and only whales affect Planetside 2 development? What kind of content updates we’d see if they didn’t focus on whales instead of what we’ve seeing right now? I’m not sure but you seem to be an expert on this issue so I’m sure you’ll tell me, I can’t wait.

          “Converting the freeloaders is also important, but again, is the focus on just keeping them happy month-to-month, or is it getting them over the pay barrier and into whale territory?” I don’t know, how much ad spam to buy new skins do you get from Riot every day? Surely it must be a lot as converting freeloading lol players is so important? I guess it all ends up in my spam folder as I’ve never seen any, even though I constantly receive spam from Blizzard begging me to reopen my wow subscription. Why isn’t Riot doing the same if it’s so important to focus on converting my freeloading ass into paying customer?

        • SynCaine says:

          We are talking about MMOs, do try to keep up if you continue to insist on posting.

        • kalex716 says:

          But the approach isn’t different! CCP wants to convert trials to subscriptions, the same way that most AAA F2P game out right now do as well.

          Additionally, once hooked, CCP wants each user to spend more by buying additional accounts (or plexing additional ones in so far that someone else foots the $), the same way that a F2P game wants its converted players to entertain various cash shop offerings beyond the sub.

          Yes, CCP’s strategy is far more elegant, and yes, CCP’s brilliant design philosophy supports their strategy in a harmonious way. Its no where near as aggressive, or egregious, but its still my opinion, functioning like a F2P game wishes it could.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          “We are talking about MMOs, do try to keep up if you continue to insist on posting.”

          No, we were talking about revenue models, free-to-play versus subscriptions. You wrote: “I’m still looking for an example of a non-crap F2P game.” You didn’t mention anything about mmorpgs. Before that you wrote: “maybe its time to link garbage with F2P a little closer.” If that was true, then it should be true no matter what genre we’re talking about, surely. And by the way, Planetside is an mmo game, it’s mmofps, but I presume that by mmo, you try to mean mmorpg.

          Therefore, you seem admit that free-to-play is viable and valid revenue model as you don’t seem to have anything against free-to-play moba or mmofps games and there is nothing wrong with it as such, but it’s an absolute no-no and taboo and unacceptable as mmorpg source of revenue because of various reasons you’re too lazy or stupid to explain or defend.

          Or maybe because you cannot defend it.

          We are left to wonder.

          (Not really.)

        • SynCaine says:

          Since I know you read each blog, you know I fully support Riots use of F2P, because F2P works for some genres. Just not the MMO genre, of which neither LoL or PS are.

          Which aligns with what I keep asking for yet no one, include you, seems to be able to provide; an example of an MMO that is better for players thanks to F2P vs being a sub MMO.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          “Which aligns with what I keep asking for yet no one, include you, seems to be able to provide; an example of an MMO that is better for players thanks to F2P vs being a sub MMO.”

          Planetside 2. Well, first you have to explain to me why you think Planetside is not a mmo game, which it clearly is. I’m not saying that it’s mmorpg, but it’s absolutely an mmo, it’s a lot more massively than wow, or Warhammer or [insert any instanced dungeon based mmo here] have ever been, it almost demands multiplayer (yeah, try to solo it, and please share your experience in Twitch, it’ll be hilarious) and online? Of course it’s online. It even has levels and stats and guilds and character classes as well, why wouldn’t it be an mmo game? I really don’t understand.

          Planetside 1 was a subscription-based game, Planetside 2 is f2p. Planetside 2 has had more content updates and better quality upgrades already, even though it’s been online for just a fraction of the Planetside 1 whole software lifecycle — clearly f2p is better for SOE (yeah, boggles my mind, too, a SOE-produced quality title) and it’s clearly better for Planetside players as well. It would not be better as a subscription-based game, we’ve already been there and seen that. It didn’t work. f2p seems to be working and everyone is happy.

          The other point is that you are asking for… well, it’s like I’d ask for a decent science fiction based mmorpg game, which isn’t crap and then saying that in my opinion, Eve is crap so that’s not a valid answer. If I tell you that clearly Lotro and DDO and Swtor are better games now that they’re f2p than when they were sub games you won’t accept my answer for the same reason I wouldn’t accept Eve as an example of a good scifi mmorpg. Opinions are subjective so you can always weasel your way out of trouble if someone points a successful f2p mmo game to you.

        • ASL is in the SL says:

          “If I tell you that clearly Lotro and DDO and Swtor are better games now that they’re f2p than when they were sub games you won’t accept my answer for the same reason I wouldn’t accept Eve as an example of a good scifi mmorpg.”

          So start your own blog, where people who are willing to discuss games based on your initial definitions can have a fun and exciting conversation; and as a bonus for you, depriving us of your company.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          “So start your own blog” But I couldn’t piss you off there so what’s the point.

  6. Pasduil says:

    Some of us enjoy some F2P games. Why does it bother you that much? Go play the games you like and leave us to play the ones we like.

    Or is the “game” you’re really addicted to actually the game of proving yourself better than other people who happen to like different stuff than you do?

    That one is an ancient game, very popular worldwide. It’s also F2P, and not going out of business anytime soon.

  7. Fidjit says:

    As someone else said, more MMOs are F2P so there’s a larger pool to draw from. Most of the F2P MMOs Massively posts about shutting down are cheap asian knockoffs that no one has ever heard of, which are a dime a dozen.

    If you looked at percentages over the past 10 years I’d bet than a much higher percentage of subscription MMOs shut down or went F2P than F2P games shut down.

  8. Hotrod says:

    I used to be confused why people debate over payment models that are sure to work themselves out over the next five years. What’s actually going on is a debate between people who believe that everyone should have to pay a flat fair share to access a game and those who want the whales to pay for them/only want pay for as much as they play. It’s ultimately a morality argument along with the social issues stemming from letting the masses flood the game vs a select group of dedicated people.

    • Its not a morality argument…people fail to see the big picture. If people insist on eating free shit, because they are free, we will not ever see a quality MMO in the future…no company will invest in quality when the sub model is in decline and more and more free shit are offered everywhere.
      people who play f2p games now and find them good(swtor, lotro, rift, tera, aion) need to think that all these games have been planed and designed with sub in mind and thats why they have that bit of quality on them. If the games will start launching as f2p, the games you will have will be runescape and vindictus…
      this will probably be the last year of MMOs to launch that planned to be for sub(ESO and Wildstar) because they started building the games 5 years ago and is too late to turn back. After that, you will beg for sub games again…

    • Anti-Stupidity League says:

      “all these games have been planed and designed with sub in mind and thats why they have that bit of quality on them.” Oh, that is rich. Oh yeah, it’s the subscription model that adds quality to any game. If only Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 included some of that special subscription magic they’d be oh-so-special and Valve would be rolling in money, but alas, they’re free to play which means crap so Valve is going down the drain. If you’re not a business consultant already, there’s a job for you. Free advice.

      There are a lot of f2p games — or buy-to-play, I hope you still remember this business model as well, I know, they’re not as magically special as a monthly sub games are but it seems that a lot of games in Steam, Origin and Uplay seem to still use that model for some reason, even though they could inject some decent quality with magical monthly subs in them — which have been developed as f2p games, have had a bigger development budgets and production values than some subscription-based highlights such as Darkfail 2 (or I dunno, it’s developed in Greece by Greeks so who bloody knows how many euros they wasted on that piece of crap) and which are more profitable, have more active players and thus, are objectively more fun. And because of that, there will be many more.

      • Kana says:

        Syncaine asked for examples of F2P MMORPG “which are more profitable, have more active players and thus, are objectively more fun. And because of that, there will be many more.” since forever.
        So maybe you give him the name of these wonderful creation already?

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          Okay, list, say, five successful subscription-based mmorps that are under 5 years old, i.e. current-gen games. After you’ve done that, I can list twice as many f2p games that are more profitable and have more active players than games that you’ve listed. How’s that?

          I’ll tell you what, because I’m such a nice person, I’m going to help you and start your list.

          1. Final Fantasy XIV

          Maybe you can finish it?

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          How’s your list coming along? Do you still need some more time with it? That’s okay, I can understand — because I was right and you were wrong.

        • Kana says:

          What “my list”? You wailing about hundreds mega quality, and super pupolar F2P MMO in comments to every post, and never manage to remember their names. So either name them aready or just shut up.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          I already told you, I will name twice as many f2p games that are more profitable and more active than current gen subscription-only games, but rather than answering my question you decided to dodge it once more.

          And we all know why.

          Thanks for proving me right and you wrong.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          Still no updates to the list, I even provided some help for you to get started? Come on, let’s do this together now, what should be our second title on the current-gen, successful subscription-based mmorpg list? Let’s hurry, before Final Fantasy goes F2P.

        • Anti-Stupidity League says:

          C’mon all members of the monthly subscription religion, one of you please help Kana here to come up with another successful current-gen subscription game! I’m sure we can find one if we all pool our resources together and look hard enough. There has to be at least two, surely?

  9. Charli says:

    Hi, the whole thing is going well here and ofcourse every one is
    sharing facts, that’s actually fine, keep up writing.

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