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post #1 of 3 Old 08-02-2013, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Can someone explain to me the economics behind a F2P game on the PS3/PS4? How do the companies that put these type of games out make money? Are these the notorious micro-transaction type games we see pop up for the more mobile devises?

I am not a member of PS+ (yet) and have never downloaded a game off of PS's network. I just go into a BestBuy or Gamestop, fork over $20-$60 and play the game by popping in the disk. Its just how I like to have my games presented to me. There is a price and there is the game, nothing more, nothing less unless you include DLC which is sort goes by the same principle anyway.

I ask this because I am seeing games like Everquest Next and Planetside 2 that say they will be F2P, but what does that really mean? How will these companies be making money if not by some other method?
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-02-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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It varies. I tend to see F2P games as broken up into two (somewhat subjective) categories: Free to Win and Pay to win.

Pay to win means that punitive XP level grinds are common, necessary loot and characters are behind paywalls, and generally a game structure set up so that you will have to pay at some point or leave.

Free to win doesn’t have any of that, but while still a micro transaction game, it is balanced and relies more on users wanting to customize their experience or throw money back to the devs because of the rich experience they’re getting. Items that you can buy don’t imbalance a game for someone that didn’t buy them; but allow you access much, much quicker or pimp out your experience (think how home sells avatar clothing).

Planetside 2 sounds more like the latter, where customizing weapons\vehicles and getting XP gaining perks is the main focus of the paid items. Maybe someone who has played on PC can give a better overview.

As to how they make money? Some do some don’t, but ultimately it relies on making a kickass game. Due to the low barrier to entry (free to play) many, many, many more users will at the least download and try it. If they can get someone hooked with a great experience, they’ll probably drop some change into the game at some point. That they can reach so many more people, they make up in sheer numbers with low cost digital goods.

It’s somewhat the app microtransaction model, but more applied to a full game experience with the better ones not segregating the communities they build.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-02-2013, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

It varies. I tend to see F2P games as broken up into two (somewhat subjective) categories: Free to Win and Pay to win.

Pay to win means that punitive XP level grinds are common, necessary loot and characters are behind paywalls, and generally a game structure set up so that you will have to pay at some point or leave.

Free to win doesn’t have any of that, but while still a micro transaction game, it is balanced and relies more on users wanting to customize their experience or throw money back to the devs because of the rich experience they’re getting. Items that you can buy don’t imbalance a game for someone that didn’t buy them; but allow you access much, much quicker or pimp out your experience (think how home sells avatar clothing).

Planetside 2 sounds more like the latter, where customizing weapons\vehicles and getting XP gaining perks is the main focus of the paid items. Maybe someone who has played on PC can give a better overview.

As to how they make money? Some do some don’t, but ultimately it relies on making a kickass game. Due to the low barrier to entry (free to play) many, many, many more users will at the least download and try it. If they can get someone hooked with a great experience, they’ll probably drop some change into the game at some point. That they can reach so many more people, they make up in sheer numbers with low cost digital goods.

It’s somewhat the app microtransaction model, but more applied to a full game experience with the better ones not segregating the communities they build.
Thanks. The Pay 2 Win structure really bothers me. It really shouldn't being that I am willing to shell out nearly $60 a pop on most games; but it just annoys me that the stick seems to be so much larger than the carrot. I remember when Zanga came out with Mob Wars on my phone and I deleted the ap almost immediately. I like to progress because I worked for it not because I handed some company a few more bucks.

Its funny, I would probably play more of the micro-transaction games if they had a leveled spending threshold. Like, for $35 you get every item you want when it becomes available, for $5 you get a certain amount of items, for $2 we'll send you a nice email telling you to spend more money...Just let me know eventually how much I'll need to spend to know I am progressing. right now, I just feel like most of those games are black holes with very little payoff or I'll be playing with a gimped character so why play at all?
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