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DevBlog: Monetization, player happiness and economic viability

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Buying a game for 60 USD and paying 10-15 a month is really cheap for the experience of a true quality game.

 

It's unfortunate that there are people that can't afford to play, kids, the poorest of people. The truth? those kids should be studying. Now I know there are actual and true peoples out there too poor to afford to play a game and that raises a few points from me. Don't spend your limited money on a gaming PC, and if you are that poor you don't have time to waste on a game you need to educate yourself and do something to improve your life if you can.

 

Then there are poor families like the one I came from. "We can't afford to get you a cell phone!" "We can't afford 15 dollars a month on a game!"

When they turn around and eat McDonalds and Pizza Hut 6 Nights a week, have no problem paying for Pay Per View shows like WWE specials, or paying 10 dollars per ticket and 6 dollars per popcorn 5 dollars per drink at the movie theater for ONE show 60 to 84$ for 2 - 3 hours on garbage entertainment.

 

 

 

I think everyone has lost their minds in the recent era. If you want to wreck all the fun of in game crafters, go ahead and release a cosmetics cash shop.

Instead of working in game to get cool attire in the game, you can work harder in real life and get it instantly with the push of a magic button.

 

A Cash Shop of any kind is a plague. The company always has to come up with a no refunds policy, the customer service becomes very rude and hardline, it does not make more content it makes exclusive content.

 

EVE online gets by releasing new expansions and content with only the subscriptions. However NQ could launch the game, charge full price and give a free month sub as always, making the Effective game cost 45$ down from 60$, and then release a 40$ expansion every six months to a year and include a month sub with it making the effective price just 25$.

 

You don't need the cash shop to tell you what kind of cosmetics to be developing, that's probably the worst way I can think of doing it. Make something and try to sell it and see which ones sell... Just ask players what they want. I can tell you now, if were all going to be in space suits forever players are gonna want stuff that looks like Tali from Mass Effect.

 

If you wan't to break up the feeling in the community and pressure people into buying cosmetic's put in the cash shop. I guarantee it will create a break in the immersion and disrupt the camaraderie of players and there will be nothing you can do about it because you made this underlying monster

I'm with you on the annoyance of cash shops. And you forgot to mention people who pay $100 for football tickets every week and hundreds more getting wasted but it's absurd you spend $15 a month on games (got that a lot in college)

 

I have to say, while I don't mind an upfront cost (technically Eve cost $5) I am against expansions that you have to buy like WOW. You can't have it where some players are limited in what they can do in a persistent universe, everyone should be on equal footing. Saying you can't level beyond 60 without this expansion isnt much different than a P2W system. I like Eve's model, one consistent universe for all. You pay for the expansion with your subscription

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What about this: F2P and P2P
but F2P players have to click and explore a unfortunate amount of ads that fund the game before they can play the game? Imo, this would be great for desperate poor guys who can't afford the money but are willing to dedicate ad viewing time to be able to play the game.

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I am all in favor of P2P, it is the best system.

I'm kinda thinking the P2P trend is has somewhat ended. A few developers are trying to bring it back, but the success of this move is questionable at best. WoW, EVE, FFR and and few older titles remain p2p titles, but they have due to their dedicated long term playerbase.  The problem is there are so many crap f2p games out there for all the gamers with no dedication to one game, they won't even give a new unproven p2p title a chance. So with that said you either go p2p and remain niche, or f2p or b2p and gain a constant playerbase flow in and out of the game. It really depends on the type of community you are trying to build and how much revenue you seek to acquire from your service.

 

Look at SWTOR, it started as a b2p title, died within 6 months. They went f2p and the gained a huge amount of players.

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Believe it or not a lot of devs are moving away from F2P and trying to recreate P2P, I follow a lot of news in MMORPG.com and you can find there a trend of a lot of players asking for P2P instead of F2P.

 

A lot of the games that have go to F2P offer an alternative like SWTOR of an optional P2P, that looks more forced than optional, right now in SWTOR you cannot send money between your characters unless you are subscribed, your exp amount earned is also very limited if you are not subscribed etc etc.

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Believe it or not a lot of devs are moving away from F2P and trying to recreate P2P, I follow a lot of news in MMORPG.com and you can find there a trend of a lot of players asking for P2P instead of F2P.

 

A lot of the games that have go to F2P offer an alternative like SWTOR of an optional P2P, that looks more forced than optional, right now in SWTOR you cannot send money between your characters unless you are subscribed, your exp amount earned is also very limited if you are not subscribed etc etc.

Yeah but a lot of those games are Indie niche games. Like Pantheon, not sure how successful that will be. Buy to play works best imho. Nothing like BDO but more like GW2; though people have dropped thousands on costumes in BDO like it's nothing.

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IMHO:

 

- B2P and cash shop

 

OR

 

- P2P and no shop whatsoever

 

You could also make it like this:

Buy to play with optional subscription.

Those who pay the subscription won't have any cash shop, those who only buy the game will have cosmetic cash shop...

But please, p2p + cash shop it's terrible

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IMHO:

 

- B2P and cash shop

 

OR

 

- P2P and no shop whatsoever

 

You could also make it like this:

Buy to play with optional subscription.

Those who pay the subscription won't have any cash shop, those who only buy the game will have cosmetic cash shop...

But please, p2p + cash shop it's terrible

 

I get the B2P with cashshop or P2P with no shop. But having both together makes no sense. 

 

You are saying those who only paid once for the game gets the option to buy cosmetic items, but those who are paying monthly dont get to buy those items, in the same game?

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I get the B2P with cashshop or P2P with no shop. But having both together makes no sense. 

 

You are saying those who only paid once for the game gets the option to buy cosmetic items, but those who are paying monthly dont get to buy those items, in the same game?

 

 

I think he means that they would get access to those items already or something like that

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What about all three? F2P being the most frustrating (watching ads very time some event happens and/or earning in game currency to earn play time), B2P (for the ones who do it all at once) and P2P? Does this sound good? Multiple ways are sure to attract all types of people 

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What about all three? F2P being the most frustrating (watching ads very time some event happens and/or earning in game currency to earn play time), B2P (for the ones who do it all at once) and P2P? Does this sound good? Multiple ways are sure to attract all types of people 

 

No idea how well that would work as the main downside of F2P games is that they tend to attract far more people who just want to watch the world burn though if it could be made to work . . .

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No idea how well that would work as the main downside of F2P games is that they tend to attract far more people who just want to watch the world burn though if it could be made to work . . .

P2P with an option to play for free turned out pretty well for eve online. 

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From what I have seen, developers of DU are pretty much inclined to use P2P + "PLEX" model and honestly that makes me very glad. This is great model and it works fine WHEN USED THE PROPER WAY. Now with the proper way... there start the complications. I know this system pretty well as I am active player of EvE Online since 2010 and I know how well it works. There are several myths that some people are trying to use in order to spook away those, who never been in that game and never seen the system from inside... "you'll need to mine asteroids all the month in order to get paid for the game time in order to mine asteroids the next month..." - anyone who played game really knows that it's not true - you can earn PLEX in EVE in two-three nights, playing 2-3 hours per night and doing it a fun way, in a group of other players and having fun (or even earn faster, just doing less fun and interesting things). And you can get necessary skills and ingame equipment to do that within ~ one month. Yes it takes time to read guides and you will most probably need good social skills to communicate with other players to get knowhow and to clear out a lot of questions - but isn't that the purpose of an MMO game after all?

 

So I know that this model works, I like how it works and I welcome the Idea to use it.

 

BUT I have seen how this model works well in EvE Online and I have seen how it FAILS in several other games that took the idea without the context it was used in.

 

First reason why PLEX system worked and still works fine in EvE is because game has essential ingame currency sinks and their ingame currency ISK is in constant demand. Players are constantly loosing big amounts of ISK (in several different ways) and they need more, therefore those who can afford to buy PLEX for IRL cash and sell it for the ISK, are quite eager to do that. The problem I have seen in ALL other games that tried to imitate this system was that they failed to create essential ingame currency sinks - there are huge amounts of ingame currencies that are floating around and generally just change the hands, but are never lost and disappear from the game, or if they do, then its just negligible percent of all the funds that are on players' hands. Thus there is no real demand for ingame cash, its almost useless and there is no reall market for those tokens - people don't sell them or if they do, then the price is so high (in order to make huge income of ingame currency which would allow to buy at least something really special in overinflated economy) that it almost does not make sense to pay it - that makes low demand for those overpriced tokens, sales become really stale, rare and thus people don't want to buy those tokens for IRL cash and wait for who knows how long to actually sell them for ingame currency... when EvE is totally opposite to that as literaly thousands of PLEX tokens are sold each day - sometimes they just change hands, as it's pretty good passive investment but quite often used for the ingame services: game time, vanity items (through aurum shop), character transfers, tickets for events and so on. So what makes PLEX in EvE really flourish is that there are plenty of ways to consume PLEX itself and there is a lot of way to consume and LOOSE FOR GOOD the ingame currency ISK as well. All that I seen in other games and I have seen quite a lot of them, who tried to implement the system of game time tokens, were not even close to the success of the PLEX in EvE.

 

I hope that developers of DU understand or will come to understanding of this aspect and won’t implement the bare token, but will create the system which would encourage demand for this token.

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the thing is, every game uses cash shop now. Players expect game to be cash shop free so it's balanced and/or everyone have same chances of winning, the problem is, servers are not free and unless you are milionaire there is no possible way of f2p model to exist. Nowdays, it doesn't matter if game is f2p, b2p or p2p, they all have cash shops. I am not saying they must provide general game content like items or ships to cash shop, but they can add cosmetics that are an option for some people but doesn't affect anyone else.

 

I am playing eve online for over 7 years now. I paid literally twice (2 month subscription) and never again. Some players will just subscribe instead me and that cash will be delivered to company after all (you cannot buy plex on marketplace if no one pays for it first). That is good for company but neither i or my friends are paying for this game anymore because we have it free. So this model seem way more appealing if you have friend in game that can pay for you with little effort.

 

and then there is currency problem again. as i mentioned before, using premium currency instead normal is already better because with normal money you can buy ships/modules/planets? and with premium you can not.

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P2P is more stable way to get income. And I personally prefer P2P system, no matter will I pay or buy sub for ingame currency.

 

But most important to have safe and easy system for this subscription option. So every player can easy to find other and be sure that this kind of trade is safe.

As example, I see something like auction house with lots of "bids/buy out". So real market (ofc some limits could be fine, like minimal price), easy access, safe system. If you don't want fully integrate sub option in game, it could be something like letter with code (bind/personal when opened).

 

Of course, everything depend on how easy to get something, how good ratio "Price to Game Quality".

 

Anyway, wish you good luck and really looking forward for your success with game.

 

Thanks

Archonious

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I get the B2P with cashshop or P2P with no shop. But having both together makes no sense. 

 

You are saying those who only paid once for the game gets the option to buy cosmetic items, but those who are paying monthly dont get to buy those items, in the same game?

I mean optional subscription. Who pays the subscription may buy everything in-game without spending any more real money, while those who only bought the game and are not paying a subscription will have the very same cosmetic shops paying real money. Both get the same things, obviously!

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Have you guys thought about what sort of restrictions you are going to be putting on trial accounts? 2-4 weeks is quite a long time for the unscrupulous to wreck havoc.

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I would personally like to see the following monetization plan.

 

1) 14 day trial

2) One time charge to own game

3) Subscription based XP boost (which decreases the time it takes to level up skills)

4) The cosmetic store with options to buy items with real or earned currency

 

5) Earn to play currency - If one token can be earned about every 6 hours of play, and these tokens last a certain number of days once they are activated, then the game won't feel like it is a necessary grind to earn these tokens.

 

 

My thoughts:

I understand that a company has to make money to keep the servers up and running as well as support continued development on the game.  I personally prefer single time purchases (such as buying a game from Steam) and the free to play model if it is done correctly.  Specifically, when I am playing a free to play game I don't want to see paying players with distinct advantages over non-paying players.  This is why I suggest XP boosts for subscription players.  As a non-subscription-paying player I would not know for certain whether or not any given player is paying a subscription.  As far as I would know they could have just played the game a lot more than I have in order to earn those skills.

 

I am also a person who does not want to ever pay a subscription, but I am willing to make a one time purchase for a game in order to own it forever.  The 14 day trial allows me to explore the game world and make sure that I like the game before I make the purchase.  The one time charge ensures that I have something to lose if I were to have ill intent for the game.

 

I believe that all items should be available for in game currency but I also don't mind if cosmetic items are also sold for real world money.  I would expect most cosmetic items to cost quite a bit of game currency in comparison to other items which would be on the market with fluctuating prices.

 

I'm very uncertain about earn to play currency (PLEX).  From what I've heard about it from EVE online players is that it is next to impossible to earn it at a rate that would allow someone to play EVE online for free for any length of time.  If the tokens (PLEX) were earned about once every 'normal play session' (which I assume is about 6 hours) and when activated lasted a substantial amount of time longer than the time it took to earn them, then they may be a fair alternative to the one time charge.  My main concern with this token system is that it may become a grind for free players.  If I'm going to be a free player, I want to enjoy the game as it is without having to worry about whether or not I have a Token to last me the next 24 hours of play.

 

I do have a question though, in the PLEX system if my time expires am I forced to buy a subscription, or do I have a certain amount of time to go and retrieve a unused token on my character.

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I'm very uncertain about earn to play currency (PLEX).  From what I've heard about it from EVE online players is that it is next to impossible to earn it at a rate that would allow someone to play EVE online for free for any length of time.  If the tokens (PLEX) were earned about once every 'normal play session' (which I assume is about 6 hours) and when activated lasted a substantial amount of time longer than the time it took to earn them, then they may be a fair alternative to the one time charge.  My main concern with this token system is that it may become a grind for free players.  If I'm going to be a free player, I want to enjoy the game as it is without having to worry about whether or not I have a Token to last me the next 24 hours of play.

 

 

You are either badly missinformed or are trying to distribute false information about PLEX system in EvE as all you have written is totally wrong. There are lot of people in EvE who subscribe to EvE using PLEXes bought for the ingame curency and never pay cash for it at all. One PLEX in EvE gives one month of game time. It costs bit more than ordinary game subsribtion therefore it's quite useful for Game developers to have subscribers who consume PLEXes. Never the less it's relatively easy to earn amount of ingame currency equal to the ingame price of the PLEX - it takes me about 5 to 10 hours of gameplay in a fun and easy form, spending time with other players and doing things that I actually enjoy and don't feel like grinding at all. I have used real money to subscribe there when I did not have time to earn ingame currency, but I have used PLEXes for subscription as well. And you can always see within ingame market how many PLEXes are on sale, and even see how many of them have been sold each day - the numbers are hudge. But all this is possible because the game promotes usage of ingame currency and there are variuos ways to loose this currency and you'll need more again which makes it easy to trade PLEXes at a decent price.

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There is no need to be hostile.  As I stated in my post, I am uncertain about how quickly PLEX can be earned in EVE.  If what you say is true, that I could play EVE online for 5 to 10 hours to earn a PLEX which gives me a month of game time, then I really should go ahead and download and play EVE. 

 

Also, you failed to answer my last question about the PLEX system.  What happens if my time expires?  Is there a way I can reactivate my account without paying real money?  Assume I play EVE's 14 day trial and have accumulated 5 PLEX in that time (possibly more if what you say is true).  If I were to walk away from the game for a month what happens?  Can I reactivate my account with the PLEX I have earned or do I have to pay money?

 

Let's stay civil.

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There is no need to be hostile.  As I stated in my post, I am uncertain about how quickly PLEX can be earned in EVE.  If what you say is true, that I could play EVE online for 5 to 10 hours to earn a PLEX which gives me a month of game time, then I really should go ahead and download and play EVE. 

 

Also, you failed to answer my last question about the PLEX system.  What happens if my time expires?  Is there a way I can reactivate my account without paying real money?  Assume I play EVE's 14 day trial and have accumulated 5 PLEX in that time (possibly more if what you say is true).  If I were to walk away from the game for a month what happens?  Can I reactivate my account with the PLEX I have earned or do I have to pay money?

 

Let's stay civil.

I wasn't and I am not hostile, you can be absolutely sure of that :)  - I just stated that your information was wrong (totally).

 

Regarding your question about reactivation of subscription after absence from game there are different ways: first of course you can reactivate your account for real money and continue from where you have left it (by the way, the skills in game continue to train for about 4 days even after your account is frozen). Second option which I think will sound most interesting for you is that you can activate service called "hours for PLEX" which means that you will get 4 hours of free game enough to activate PLEX which you had reserved from earlier subscription period, or buy PLEX on the ingame market and then activate if you have enough ingame money, but forgot to buy it. And the last option is that any friend in game can donate PLEX for you and reactivate your account as a gift. So it's easy to restart game after some time of inactivity.

 

Other thing regarding earning ingame currency and buying PLEX for it - don't get overexcited over it. Although it is possible to earn PLEX during the trial time and never pay real cash for the game (I know players who did it), most probably you won't be able to have "14 day trial and have accumulated 5 PLEX" as you wrote. First because trial account is limited in which skills you can train (and you don't have many skills anyway), what types of ships you can fly and so on and it won't be easy for you as a newbro to start earning big money right on trial account. Still it's possible if you'll have some veteran player to assist you with know-how and if you'll do some homework and study information about the game (there's a lot of it :blink: ). By the way, you can get special trial of 21 days if you'll get invited by veteran player. And if you'll find someone, who will be really kind, you can even get first PLEX for free as the person who have invited you to the game and you used him as referral to create a trial account will get one month of free game time once you pay first time for the game (either by cash or by PLEX). That's how I started my carrier in EvE - I got 21+30 days of free game time at the start.

 

Once again, I am not hostile and more than willing to give correct information about EvE. Fell free to ask if you want something else either in this thread or by private messages. I hope we'll be able to become friends and be able to enjoy together either EvE in the meanwhile or DU when it becomes available.

 

07 (that's how we great co-players in EvE ;) )

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Hi, (sorry my english is rly bad)

 

Do you see the Elite Dangerous options ?

 

it's a B2P(50€) + skins, the community is good cause the game is not a AAA Hype gamers.

 

For me thinks, P2p on Dual universe is too much ambitous for a Space engineers Next gen.

I'm not telling the game is bad ! But, Dual universe need a lot of people, and you are not Blizzard or other. people won't follow you on p2p.

 

Maybe the p2p can work ... 25% or less chance it work ? :s

So you can do like Elite dangerous b2p and build your community (safe solution)

Or p2p if you get already a good community ( luck solution)

 

Anyway it's just what I'm thinking. I hope you can made all your dreams with this game :)

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I do fully understand the opinion of those that are wanting the p2p subscription model.  I was a World of Warcraft player for many years and happily payed for the subscription and very rarely did I go without having an active subscription. 

 

But here in is a situation that I fall into now.  I am an older generation of player and I am someone who loves to game. I have limited time as I am busy in my career and my family but I am also a IT person working in a middle income tax bracket with work to do, and house hold bills and mortgage payments.

 

I do no like the idea or f2p as this is as people have said been the harbinger of doom for many games with people of no respect either flooding the community to scam or sell currency or just be royal "owner operators".  Being able to roll a new account when ever they please.

 

But I also don'd believe in the p2p subscription model anymore as what was said in the OP about two types of players skips my type out completely. I have limited time and limited money. This is the reason I have not played EVE past the initial purchase pack and time it had included.  I would not have a family to come home to if I needed to play enough to make enough PLEX to continue to play each month.

 

So this leaves me with only two options. play a f2p game that is likely to not be enjoyable because of the anonymity of as many accounts as you choose to make or to go with a B2P model and B2P expansions. I can put a sum of money down at the beginning and buy cool cosmetic items (non game changing!) some times when I have extra funds between bills and then can pay for expansions, I have been doing that with elite dangerous and they have made fair coin from me.

 

So in Summary

I would love to play this game as what potential it has looks amazing, however if subscription based I will look else where to find my entertainment, if f2p I will play and if community managed well (almost impossible task) then will continue to play and support through cosmetic shop, if B2P (my preference) I will likely be a dedicated supporter of the game and help the community flourish.

 

I hope to be able to join you in game and crew with the best, but if subscription based is the way you go, I guess I will see you where I have brought an experience with star citizen rather then renting a snapshot of Dual Universe.

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