Summarizing F2P

“There might be a first rush, and then the contributions wind down.”

Starting monetization schemes has been exceedingly profitable, such as the money that flooded into Team Fortress 2 when its item shop opened, LotRO’s huge surge when it went F2P (even subscriptions went up),or many sites, games, and causes that make an initial appeal for money. If this is your first time being given the opportunity to pay for something you like and support, many people will. If it is no longer an “opportunity” but an attempt to build on ongoing revenue stream, that pent up demand reaches a much lower level quickly.

: Zubon

2 thoughts on “Summarizing F2P”

  1. In the past I have referred to that first rush as “the happy time.” The conversion is in, revenues are up, the decision to move to F2P has been confirmed as the right one. But then things settle down. Maybe revenue doesn’t drop all the way back to the pre-conversion level, but it doesn’t stay anywhere near its peak.

    Unless, of course, the company stays diligent. I would like to see the numbers from DDO. It “feels” like it is still doing well post-conversion, at least more so than LOTRO. But then, it was in such a miserable state pre-conversion, maybe that isn’t a good comparison.

  2. Considering that most F2P games have other things wrong with them when the publishers take over and the development is managed by the shareholders rather than the development team this is a common problem not because the F2P model is flawed but because there are other factors that are causing the games to have a much smaller community after the conversion. LOTRO to continue your comparison, suffers from the 2004 Syndrome, where the leveling in it is stuck in 2004 and until they fix that as well as fixing the ability of players of different levels ability to jump in and experience the content together without restriction, it will continue to suffer.

    Then there are those who do not have the subscription model, who have a pay to progress model, like NWO, in which they might as well be their own gold farmer firm in China. Their economy including the shop is so terribly written that even when you purchase things from the store like companions or mounts you must instantly and immediatley buy more currency to upgrade those items to make them useful. Enchants are stuck in the Korean RNG model where all enchants in game fail without enchant safety nets that you must buy with real money only. The list goes on.

    There are at least 5 other titles out that ties progression directly to in game currency conversion and as we’ve seen with Diablo III pre-console release, RMTAH is never the answer yet these companies keep using it like it’s the end all be all of any development completely ignoring the successful billing models like Rift. These other games range from B2P to Freemium, but they all share the Pay to Progress model. Players don’t take kindly to that sort of thing. There’s been discussion recently about what NWO is going to have to do because Console players don’t put up with that so they might have to completely revamp their billing model if they want to be successful on consoles.

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