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F2P is a misnomer!

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by FairyTailisBack, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. FairyTailisBack

    FairyTailisBack Cupcake-About-Town

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    A misapplied or inappropriate name or designation for what this model truly is.

    Some of you may have read the statement above with the idea that while we aren't required to pay a fee, we might be coerced into paying for something. Others might debate what constitutes a “full experience,” especially if there are items that can only be owned by a small subset of people or raids that can only be done by elite raiding parties. More to the point, “acquiring” the full experience of a game, whatever you might define the experience to be, is subject to the interpretation of acquisition (Do I “acquire” it through fun play, earn it through a grind, or maybe through random number generation and treating the game as a second job?).

    The mind plays tricks on the human understanding of this ideal, making the term “free-to-play” less of a tangible notion and more seemingly a metaphysical, Platonic form.

    This model isn't about playing games for free, if it was then it wouldn't exist within the business industry. The fact the game has no upfront cost is merely a marketing gimmick to encourage new players to come into the game. After attracting players to play, the game entices said players into purchasing digital items in said game. Usually the business model these games rely on is in actuality pay to win. Which in itself is really a bit of a misnomer, as it should more appropriately be called pay to gain an advantage. I guess ptgaa doesn't make a good acronym though. Anyways, this model enables you to purchase digital items that either save you time, and/or give you a boost over the competition. This in turn allows you progress further into the game at a higher skill level and/or rate than you would otherwise be capable of.

    What benefits does a unified stance against F2P misconceptions bring to the table? It allows consumers to be informed of what they're getting into when they play. It allows them to choose games not only on the game's merits, but also on their budget at the time. It allows people to try more than one game, come back to the games they like, and spend as much as they can afford or are willing to give to support developers. It's a responsible free market that respects consumers while giving the impression that Ragnar Tornquist implied a few weeks ago: that it's okay to try new things and enjoy play for what it's worth to the individual.

    More importantly, it destroys the idea of free-to-play in the current incarnations we see it in, which is a harmful and potentially deceitful means of drawing in consumers based on the idea that they don't have to pay anything to enjoy the full experience of the game. It may not reach the Platonic ideal, but it's something pretty idealistic that might benefit gamers and devs alike.
  2. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Well-Known Cupcake

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    Free-to-play games in the MMORPG genre are a huge joke. They lock you out of content and features that bar you from experiencing all the games have to offer.
  3. ruff_ethereal

    ruff_ethereal Well-Known Cupcake

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    It's the takeaway for removing the barrier of entry. When I went into F2Ps, I automatically assumed it was not going to be the entire lunch but the sampler, plus washing the dishes to get a taste of the first course.
  4. Convicted

    Convicted Super Cupcake

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    I do the same, I just play whatever I can play until I don't want to do it anymore. I'll get through as much as I can with whats available but I realize going in that they are feeding off your compulsions. I can understand even giving them the same amount you would if you bought the game, but so far I haven't even done that yet.
  5. Xlugon Pyro

    Xlugon Pyro Super Cupcake

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    I'll give you a good name for F2P/P2W games that's more accurate and also more concise: P4P or in other words, pay for power.
  6. HappinessFactory

    HappinessFactory Cupcake

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    Your post is eloquent and is very well structured. However, I feel that you've based your thesis on an assumption where MMO players don't see the marketing exploits of a F2P games.

    I disagree with that assumption because I gather most people don't believe money appears out of thin air. Following this, I don't think there are any misconceptions about F2P or P4P(as xlugon put it) games.

    But here's what gets me. MMOs that function on cash shops require players to stick around in order to buy more things from the shop. However, the free to play concept clearly caters to people who are willing to play casually and flip-flop in between games at their leisure. Something about the micro-transaction payment model doesn't make sense.
  7. Veckna

    Veckna Well-Known Cupcake

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    THIS:
    [​IMG]

    is a Miss Gnomer!

    @ the OP it's another of those areas that depends on a persons definition of the term. For me F2P is anything that allows play without having to fork over real money. I don't really muddy the waters for myself with methods of acquisition for in game content/items or ability to unlock/experience all content changing that definition. If I enjoy it I'll keep at it, if not I'll move on.
    Warframe is the latest f2p game that has sunk it's talons into me and has an excellent model. It's one of the few games I've decided to pay to support the developers despite not needing to in the slightest, simply because I felt such an approach worthy of support (nice change from the usual blatant cash grabs).
    ruff_ethereal and Extatica like this.
  8. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    Well, this game, based on the currently advertised model, is by no means, in any way a "F2P" game, and if they every advertise it as such then that would be false advertising and open them up to class action law suits. It is most definitely a P2P game that has an alternate option of buying your subscription, equivalent to becoming a gold farmer in WoW, selling that gold for cash, and using it to pay for your sub. They just cut out the middleman.

    As for F2P in a generic sense, there are some that exist and do just fine, and there are others that have a very predatory model and are evil. Do not try to claim that the predatory model is the only one available. There are plenty of F2P games in which you genuinely can play for free, and receive a very solid experience for that. Of course they also offer additional elements that cost money,and you can choose to pay for those, but so long as you don't have to buy those things to enjoy the bulk of the game's content, it's still free. Think of it like a mall, entering the mall is free, window shopping is free, but if you want to leave with anything, you'll have to pay. There's nothing inherently wrong with that.

    You can claim that it's trickery to advertise something as free, but then to have things that (omg!), you might actually want, and they dare to charge money for them, but that's bull####. At least with a F2P you are able to fully experience the game for yourself and try it out, and then decide whether you want to pick up some additional stuff, while with a B2P you can't even give the game a try without forking over $40-60, and then in the more archaic models you might even have to pay an additional $10-12 per month after that just to continue playing the game you bought! That's the real highway robbery.

    I think you misunderstand how the model works. The theory behind it isn't that all, or even most of the people who play will be paying any significant amount. The theory behind F2P games works on four tiers.

    Tier 0: Players who never pay for anything. These people are A-Ok. They play, they pay nothing, but they're part of the model. They might come and go, they might be as committed to the game as the top tier payers, but they've figured out how to enjoy their time with the game without ever paying. What do they bring to the table? Warm bodies. The play the game, providing other players to group with, players to mine resources to grease the economy, players that convince their friends to play, and maybe their friends are more loose with their money, at the bare minimum they provide more people running around the common spaces, and who knows, maybe they'll rank up to Tier 1. Tier 0 players make MMOs less of a ghost town than they would be otherwise.

    Tier 1: These players only dabble in paying for the game. A standard sub game would have you spending $240 within the first year on the box and subs. A Tier 1 player doesn't even come close. They might spend as little as $5 over that period, or maybe as much as $100 or so, but really not a lot. What do they bring to the table? Volume. There are a ton more people who would play a game infinitely for free, but might shell out a few bucks here or there, than there players that would commit to paying $15 per month, and being entirely unable to play the game again if they decided to stop doing that. Ten players averaging $2 per month are well worth one player paying $15 per month in sub fees.

    Tier 1 players don't have to stick around either. They can hop in, enjoy the game for a couple of months but spend a few bucks along the way, and then leave. They're quickly enough replaced by new people. F2P games have much more turnover than sub games, because the barrier to entry is so much lower. Tier 1 players also have all the Tier 0 fringe-benefits.

    Tier 3: These are essentially sub players. If there is an optional sub system, these guys are in, if not then they are just the sort that end up spending $15 or so per month anyways on various things. There would typically be at least as many of these around as if the game were subscription-only.

    Tier 4: These are the "whales." They see your subscription fee, and raise you wagon-load of cash. Whatever is in the store, they will buy it, because they have the money to burn and just don't care. selling mini-pets? Gotta catch'em all. Selling progress boosters? We're blitzing to level cap. Selling clothing items? One ticket to Milan please! Selling random goodie-bags? Hit me! They might end up spending $50-100 per month, well more than the average sub player, and this really goes a long way towards funding the game.

    You don't have to be a Tier 1+ player if you don't want to, in most games. The better ones provide a perfectly solid T0 experience, and at least an excellent T1 existence. Only the worst games require you to reach the T2+ levels to "really" play the game.
  9. FairyTailisBack

    FairyTailisBack Cupcake-About-Town

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    As another poster said these definitions are not set in stone, and as such I don't think there is any way a company could ever get sued for what many would consider mislabeling their product. In fact, I think a lot of companies blatantly misrepresent their products, because they know they won't be sued.


    For instance, I am a huge total war fan, and last month I bought Rome2 Total War.
    CA released all these amazing videos of how great the game was including:

    Great AI
    Great diplomacy and political system
    Amazing graphics
    Superb optimization

    I buy the game on release night, installed it on my system, and I see

    Horrible AI - Not only buggy, but generally bad.
    Diplomacy and political system is gutted to the core.
    I can't get the graphics to even remotely compare to those they showed in a supposedly pre-alpha state, in which they were supposed to vastly improve.
    The optimization of this game is the worst I have ever seen! The game literally doesn't run well for anyone, regardless of how good your PC is. In fact, people with older computers generally have less issues! Some people with the best video cards see worse performance than people with integrated graphics. For me personally, the game runs equally poor regardless of what settings I choose, and the game crashes nearly every time I do a siege battle. And this is after over a month of patching the game!

    Long story short, basically everything they said in the promo videos was a flat out lie.

    The funniest, or at least most ironic, thing about the whole story is that their lead on the project recently did an interview in which he admitted that they made the game specifically for metacritic reviewers. Anything, even if it was complete or near complete, that they felt couldn't get a 9/10 metacritic score was removed. This was their design philosophy for the entire game, and it really shows.

    Oddly enough they failed, and only got a 8/10, but to be honest they only deserved a 6 at best. Which really elaborates another issue in the industry. The critics of the games, and the game development industry are in bed together. Look at just about any supposedly top critic game site, and you will see exorbitant scores for any game.


    This industry acts like it's the new untouchables! And you know what, they are right. They can obviously do whatever they want, and get away with it, because they already have.
  10. Scarzi

    Scarzi Cupcake-About-Town

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    f2p = everything funnels you to cash shop = cost more then P2P = money usually doesn't get pumped back into game because its technically "f2p" = no content with acceptable time frames = player base leaves = poor business plan if they want the game to succeed.
    Varked likes this.
  11. atom

    atom Cupcake-About-Town

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    Why are we talking about F2P in a game forum that has already released its pricing model? Seems pointless.
  12. Xlugon Pyro

    Xlugon Pyro Super Cupcake

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    Because people like to talk about pointless things.
  13. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    Yup, and as proof check this guy's posts :p (JK sorry Xlugon couldn't resist)

    But on a more serious note, why is it pointless? It's to vent out the frustration one got with companies calling their games ''F2P''. Venting such a thing has benefits on the long terms (don't hold it all in).

    So there is a point! = not pointless.

    Even your post about it seeming pointless isn't pointless and neither is this one :D
  14. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    This is inaccurate.
  15. Varked

    Varked New Cupcake

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    Free To Play is not whats best for business.
  16. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    Aside from the fact that every single MMO that has gone from P2P to F2P has seen a significant increase in profits, as well as player numbers, and no game launched within the past half-decade has managed to succeed as a P2P title.

    But yeah, aside from reality, F2P might not be the best for business.
    teh_ninjaneer likes this.

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