Tagged: F2P Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • RedSwirl 9:52 pm on September 15, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    @angryjedi Finally read that piece about single player freemium games, and I have to admit they have a few points in there, a few. Plus they properly lay out the pitfalls as well.

    So far I’ve only actually played one freemium game. It was a singleplayer freemium game that I actually like – Jetpack Joyride. The only IAPs in that game as far as I know net you additional in-game money and cosmetic items. They just help you progress more quickly if you use them well. This might actually be a pretty good fit for RPGs, even single player ones which, as they described in that piece, are economical games. Tales of Vesperia on Xbox 360 already has “DLC” that literally just boosts you 10 levels for $10 (I think). So I’m gonna put that under “maybe” – if the game in question is very good with loot and progression.

    I also agree though that without those RPG elements (which seem to be appearing in every damn game these days) don’t work so well with freemium. Singular story-based games are finite properties which is why publishers like them less and less these days. I personally do like the idea of “first episode free” though. Basically every XBLA game already allows you to start the game through the trial for free, then buy the rest without losing any save data. I personally would love it if every game did this. I would definitely expose myself to a lot more games, and that’s what freemium is about – eliminating the financial barrier to entry.

  • unmanneddrone 10:32 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    @redswir1 A great day. ‘Twas a hard struggle amidst the Meat Boy era to sell the magnificence of the Super Crate Box experience, but at the click of a button and the familiarity of Steam, let many come to know thy face, sire of Vlambeer.

  • RedSwirl 10:19 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    On the subject, Super Crate Box is now free-to-play on Steam. Get it.

  • RedSwirl 6:23 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @angryjedi Honestly though, I do like Jetpack Joyride.

  • Pete Davison 4:50 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    Re: F2P titles — one game, known as CSR Racing, which is essentially the drag racing events from Need For Speed Underground with an energy system, earned $12 million in its first month. TWELVE. FUCKING. MILLION. They describe it as a “triple-A” mobile game and while the production values are good, it’s still shallow bullshit that expects you to cough up money for energy… sorry, “gas” every so often. The devs behind it (who include some “mainstream” industry talent) made a rather wishy-washy defense of it here in response to this article, which I agree 100% with.

    As Alex says, though, F2P isn’t universally the devil. F2P PC games are consistently pretty good now, and I can think of very few examples that I’d describe as “exploitative”. I’d consider the fact that you can play pretty much all of the base DC Universe Online experience without paying a penny to be pretty fucking generous, actually.

    Facebook and mobile games, though? Those ARE the devil. Every time I play an otherwise good puzzle game that offers to sell me solutions, or any game that invites me to “get more coins!” I die a little inside — especially when this system shows up in games that are otherwise brilliant like Hunters 2.

    One thing I’ve noticed in my current role is that mobile and social developers have no idea what the words “hardcore” and “strategy” mean. They seem to think that both mean “boring” and “poorly presented”, which means that their “core gamer” offerings are also among the worst games I have ever had the misfortune to play. I fail to understand why this is, given the quality of talent at some of these studios. I guess it’s easy to make something on the cheap then monetize it out the wazoo, though.

  • RedSwirl 10:55 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @bluesforbuddha I’ll be honest in saying that I haven’t really played much of this F2P stuff yet because almost every game I see using the format looks horrible cheap. That doesn’t mean I think it’s impossible for there to be F2P games that look like, y’know, GAMES.

    Crytek seems dead-set on convincing people they can do this, and if they succeed, then more power to them. The first Crysis convinced me that they know how to design a game. While I still know jack shit about DOTA 2 (I honestly don’t even know what you do in the game), I’m interested in it – it seems like something a lot of people really enjoy and don’t mind being F2P. Same with League of Legends or Path of Exile. Next year I’m probably going to play the shit out of Phantasy Star Online 2 which will also be F2P.

    I just think that the “conventional” game developers that we all respect here are behind on the F2P train, and I can only hope that when they decide to jump on it, that they’ll show the new kids how shit is done, man.

  • Pete Davison 10:52 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P, ,   

    @pepperized That’s a very respectable list there, CoD aside. (Kidding. Mostly. :D) I have a bunch of the same titles on my Pile of Shame also. Still haven’t finished Amnesia. I did get about halfway through at one point but never got around to actually beating it. Maybe I’ll save it for Halloween.

    Finished second playthrough of Nier tonight. I won’t spoil anything here ’cause I know @bluesforbuddha is planning on jumping aboard that ship again shortly, but suffice to say it’s an exceedingly clever way to get you to play through again and it be the same but different. I also respect a game that lets me do an entire New Game+ run in a single sitting. (How?! It took me nearly 40 hours to do my first playthrough!)

    Let’s get some nominations going for this potential future free-to-play Squadcast. Throw out a few titles you’d be interested in us investigating and whatever proves to be popular will be what we check out.

    For my money, I’d like to delve into Tribes: Ascend, Rusty Hearts and Spiral Knights. I’ve played the latter two a bit along with a couple of matches on the former.

  • RedSwirl 10:32 pm on May 2, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    A while ago here I said I’d stayed “free” of the F2P menace but recently I’ve become aware of more mature takes on the format. I still haven’t had any chance to actually try any of these games though. I guess the concept is sound – a virtual place you go to instead of a thing you own, and I understand the virtually nonexistent barrier to entry. I guess I’m just waiting for the right game.

    League of Legends interests me but I’ve heard of the high learning curve and will probably only start it with friends. DOTA2 also interests me in the same capacity. Also Hawken, coming later this year.

    Right now the only F2P game I have installed on any of my devices is Jetpack Joyride which I have only recently tried out. I’ll admit it’s pretty damn fun and has a smart business model but I still feel uneasy about buying into it. Without buying the money accumulation upgrades XP growth in JJ is pretty slow, so it kinda feels like I’m paying to make the game more fun. I just don’t know about that.

    One game that would definitely bring me over is Phantasy Star Online 2… if it get’s a fucking English version. If you haven’t heard, it’s going to be F2P and will be downloadable on PC, iOS, and PlayStation Vita. You’ll be able to bring your character between all three versions (iOS won’t be on the same servers though).

    What I’m also waiting for is F2P to come to consoles and for console developers to start showing what they can do with the model. Most of the best F2P games now are heavily PC-centered genres like strategy and western role-playing and such. If Gears 3 horde was available by itself as an F2P game with the leveled-up upgrades, skins, and characters as DLC I could’ve definitely gone for that. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown on PSN and XBLA is going to have 10,000 pieces of cosmetic DLC, but the game will still cost $20. Fighting games sound perfect for the F2P model.

  • Pete Davison 11:59 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    I’d like to get into Tribes: Ascend, I think, despite generally sucking at shooters. Is there any means of making a “group” or anything so we can easily find each other and play together? My player name is, inevitably, “AngryJedi” so feel free to add me.

    Polishing off Nier at the moment, but will definitely be investigating further at the next opportunity. Busy work week, though, so that might not be until the weekend.

  • unmanneddrone 11:03 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    @shingro It truly is a coming of age for the F2P market. When things like Hawken, Mechwarrior Online, Reign of Thunder, Mechwarrior Tactics etc. are released, I wonder what – at least in regards to the big action genres – publishers will do, because more and more people will be getting their fix elsewhere and for a fraction, if at all, of the cost.

    @bowlisimo I think what makes Tribes different from other team-based shooters is that bodycount is not really as important – unless that’s your role. I dunno, it’s the closest thing to a sport experience in the online shooter bracket that I know of. Running interference and intercepts, midfield plays, crazy midair passing, knowing skiing routes…that sort of thing. I quite like the Technician class – always gravitated towards support and defense classes – so just working in tandem with a heavy class to deflect or take out inbound flag-cappers (most coming in at 200kmph!) is great fun.

    Highly recommended and quite rewarding. DO IT!

  • unmanneddrone 2:20 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Blacklight Retribution, F2P, ,   

    @angryjedi The little I had played of Blacklight Retribution (no server situations for Asia/Oceania as of yet, post-beta) makes me think folks like @impynickers and @cgrajko would enjoy it for being somewhat of a NeoTokyo successor…mixed with FEAR and a hint of GitS for flavour. Plus, it has mechs.

    But the crown jewel of F2P for me as of last week? Tribes: Ascend. I’ve played a fair whack of the F2P shooter market over the years, and until now (and Blacklight Retribution, actually), they’ve all quickly fallen into the same old Korean MMOFPS grind where weapon cost/limitations scream for real cash. Hell, I recall OPERATION7, which was mechanically one of the finest shooters in the F2P market, but the weapon maintenance costs were geared so that if real cash wasn’t plonked down, you were going to have gun jams every second squeeze of the trigger. That’s a bit heinous for anyone bar snipers.

    Tribes is not gimped, Tribes is not shackled to the old freemium concepts.

    Tribes is magic. Everything feels good. It feels like a sixty dollar title. Dedicated servers, acceptable unlock system, perks that don’t wreck everything…I haven’t been this intoxicated by a multiplayer shooter since Brink (and I’m fairly alone in that regard).

    @impynickers Rayman…what a joy to behold.

    I’ve actually been burning the midnight oil of late with a particular PSP game as a balance to Rayman Origins, but let me collect my thoughts and write it out when the witching hour isn’t bearing down on me.

  • Pete Davison 11:39 am on February 24, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @unmanneddrone Exactly. To dismiss F2P these days as exploitative is to miss out on some great games. The vast majority of smart F2P operators these days (Facebook games aside, which are still greed machines for the most part) know that players don’t like games that feature the ability to “buy power”, because it imbalances the game in favour of the paying players.

    Instead, offer additional benefits to those willing to pony up. Bigger inventories, More bank slots. Premium content. Additional customisation options that allow you to make your character distinctive.

    The key thing, though, is that the game should provide a satisfying, complete experience for all players, regardless of whether or not they’re paying anything. The titles I mentioned below achieve this admirably, and there are plenty of others out there now.

    @feenwager is right — Hero Academy is an excellent example of a F2P game done right. Plays well for free, offers more possibilities and fun if you like it enough to pay.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to review Zynga Bingo today. MY SOUL, IT BURNS

  • unmanneddrone 11:35 am on February 24, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    I suppose F2P did deserve its stigma earlier on, but now devs are moving towards being rather smart in their design processes and not creating player imbalance, we’re reaping fine rewards now. None of this pay-to-win business survives.

    Love this F2P mech renaissance we’re about to enter. Ho boy. Don’t beat me or anything, but I’ll take a real mech revival over a spacefighter revival any day of the week. (@bowlisimo Forgive me, brother! Oh, and I added you on PSN)

  • Pete Davison 11:25 am on February 24, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @redswir1 DOTA2 will be F2P.

    Have you not tried any of the F2P stuff on Steam? Rusty Hearts is good times — I know you like brawlers, and that game is essentially a cross between Castlevania and Streets of Rage. Kickass soundtrack, too.

    Spiral Knights is decent fun, also. Very Zelda Four Swords-ish.

  • RedSwirl 6:24 am on February 24, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @unmanneddrone I haven’t tried anything F2P yet, but only because I haven’t seen anything under the model that I’m actually interested in playing. If DOTA 2 or Diablo III end up being F2P I’ll probably try them out. I’ll also probably check out Hawken when that hits.

    It’ll be interesting to see the model eventually hit the genres we associated with consoles. I would definitely try out say, an F2P fighting game where I could buy stages and character skins. Actually, I just head that when Virtua Fighter 5 Final Shodown comes out on XBLA and PSN this year, it will actually have around 10,000 pieces of cosmetic DLC.

  • Pete Davison 1:46 pm on June 25, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , F2P   

    @Shingro I’m looking forward to returning to CoH — besides WoW, it’s the only MMO I made a huge amount of headway with. The Mission Architect will be a service you can pay to access, apparently — if it’s a one-off fee for access I’m there, day-one. If I get back into it I may even consider reactivating my subscription.

  • Pete Davison 11:44 pm on June 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @beige I agree entirely, and the F2P model sticks to the multiplayer arena for a reason at this time, because those are necessarily less story-heavy experiences. I don’t think you have anything to fear — which is the attitude a lot of people seem to take towards F2P — because as you say, there is no easy way that you can split a properly-composed narrative up into easily-digestible microtransaction chunks — unless you’re writing the whole thing in an episodic fashion anyway.

    I believe I mentioned the iPhone games Cause of Death and Surviving High School a little while back. These are examples of single-player narrative-based free to play games that work well because they’ve been designed that way — as episodic dramas. At the same time, they’re split into 8-episode “seasons” with convincing beginning, middle and finale moments. Each week, a new episode “airs” for free, replacing the previous week’s, and players can catch up on (and keep) ones they missed by paying for them. Gameplay and presentation-wise, they’re simplistic so all the team has to do each week is write the text. But if the assets are built in advance there’s no reason why an L.A. Noire-style game (maybe without the open-world stuff) couldn’t work in that fashion — or indeed a Telltale game. Production overheads would be higher with things like motion capture and voice acting to take into account — but if a TV show can do it week after week, why not a game?

    The thing I sense from people when I talk about F2P is resistance. While the assumption that these games are crap money-grabbing exercises is certainly true in the Facebook space (God knows I’ve written about enough of them in the last two months) I don’t believe for one second that’s a fair assessment when you look at “proper” games that follow the F2P model, and I hope that, if you’re one of the “resistant” ones, that you at least give the concept a chance before writing it off entirely — you might be surprised with what you find.

    The reason I believe there’s a difference between Facebook games and “proper” games, though? Facebook game devs assume — probably quite rightly — that Facebook users are less computer savvy than other Internet denizens, and as such they’re more susceptible to virtual Skinner boxes (TIL, thank you, @Shingro) whereas those of us who are familiar with How Games Work won’t be willing to put up with people being able to “pay to win”, nor will we put up with a completely nerfed experience if we’ve been specifically told that we can play for free. As such, the current (and upcoming) crop of F2P titles are complete games in and of themselves which, believe it or not, are making plenty of money through people feeling it’s worth spending a few dollars on to buy a hat, potion pack, sparkly staff or ability to fly while shooting rainbows from one’s arse.

    Ian Marsh of NimbleBit had this to say when I contacted him about super-addictive F2P iPhone title Tiny Tower earlier today:

    “We’ve found that you can still be quite successful while being very generous to players. Our previous freemium game Pocket Frogs followed the same formula and has done quite well for us. When you keep players happy and enjoying the game for a longer time you increase the chance of someone becoming a paid player whether it is because they want to support the developers or because they’ve finally reached a point where they believe it is worth it. If a strategy gets more players excited about your game and it is still profitable, everyone is a winner.”

    I believe that attitude is a lot more widespread than 1) it used to be and 2) people think.

    On a related note, who would like to play a game of something this weekend?

  • Shingro 11:34 pm on June 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    Many games actually studiously avoid pockets = power models, LoL for example the only thing that you absolutely must buy with riot points only is character skins, everything else from rune pages to characters are purchasable with in game currency.

    Team fortress is perhaps a bit more odd, since getting things through gameplay involves random chance, and it’s difficult to acquire “sets” without serious trading or purchasing. And those actually give bonuses. Dunno.

    @beige I believe what you’re looking for is “Skinner Boxes”

  • Pete Davison 8:49 pm on June 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @beige We’re beyond the purely “upgrade mans with little hat” phase. Let’s take Champions Online as an example.

    As a free player, you can create up to two characters — you can also purchase extra character slots. Both of these characters will be fixed archetypes, meaning that their powers are planned out in advance, with one or two “branching points” where you can choose between two complementary skills, and regular opportunities to apply “stat boosts”. Because I’m learning the game, I’m quite happy with this and don’t feel the need to purchase any other archetypes (which you can do) or upgrade to a Gold subscription, which allows you to make a completely freeform hero (and theoretically completely bork your build if you don’t think it through.)

    Alongside this, yes, you can buy costume pieces, alternative weapons and powers if you like, but they’re complementary to the free stuff, not better. You can also purchase “adventure packs” for added content if the existing stuff bores you — not that there isn’t a lot of it already, but the “adventure packs” are more story-focused and good for co-op play.

    In summary, you can play the game from start to finish without paying a penny. You’ll have more options if you spend money, but it’s not required. Even in PvP, paying players simply have more things to choose from when constructing their character build rather than necessarily being “better”.

    Spiral Knights is slightly different, operating something a little closer to the “pay to play” model that Facebook games use. Each day, you have 100 energy provided for free. It costs 10 energy to go down a floor in the dungeon. It also costs energy to craft things and open certain optional gates with TEH TREASUREZ behind them. It also costs energy to revive each time you die — first 2, then 4, then 8, then etc. etc. Assuming you don’t die repeatedly, this 100 energy lasts for a pretty lengthy play session. If you want more, you can either purchase it with real money, wait for it to recharge or exchange your in-game currency for it using the game’s dynamic economy/exchange rate thingummy, a bit like EVE Online, only with weird spinny bird things.

    Judging by the number of news stories I’ve written this week that include the words “free to play”, the concept is going to be a big deal this year. Personally, I’m less averse to being “nickel and dimed” if I didn’t pay anything for the game in the first place — particularly if I know that I can make progress in the game without having to pay a penny unless I really want to.

  • bowlisimo 8:32 pm on June 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    I don’t like competitive F2P games where the person with the deepest pockets has the biggest advantage. I haven’t played it since the Demo/Soldier war, but I suppose TF2 does a good job of avoiding that with their “sidegrades” and loot drop system. Battlefield Heroes on the other hand… that left a lingering bad taste.

    @redswirl I agree with that sentiment mostly, although if you’re frugal I bet you could get a lot out of an MMO for a smaller amount than you’d usually pay for the subscription based kind, especially over a long time. Then again, there’s usual PVP which just takes me back to my first paragraph.

  • RedSwirl 7:53 pm on June 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @angryjedi I just don’t like microtransactions. If it’s a choice between free or a straight flat rate that’s fine if it’s like an MMO or something (which I don’t play anyway). If it’s a choice between a trial or making a single purchase that’s fine too. I just don’t like the idea of being nickle-and-dimed to a sum of like $120 on a single game or something.

  • Pete Davison 10:33 am on June 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    @redswir1 @unmanneddrone The scenario you describe, Red, with the F2P model being used as a non time limited trial, is actually starting to happen, particularly with titles that used to be full price. Both Champions Online and APB, among others, allow you to play the whole game from start to finish without having to pay a penny. What you get if you pay, though, is either extra content or more customisation of your character.

    For example, in Champions Online, if you’re a free player, you’re restricted to using preset character classes with very little choice over what powers you unlock as you level, but still enough choice to keep things interesting. That will be absolutely fine for some people, but MMO veterans would doubtless prefer to build their own “freeform” character — for which they’d need to pony up for a subscription.

    APB, on the other hand, allows its “VIP” members to have full access to the character and car customisation utilities — a limited subset of which free players can access, just enough to make their character distinctive, but not enough to do something truly outrageous (like Jem). They also sell weapons and cars via microtransaction. These weapons aren’t necessarily “better” as such, but they allow people to set themselves apart from the crowd.

    Even League of Legends takes this approach. You can have a complete game experience without paying a penny. Spending money, though, allows you to customise your experience much more by purchasing alternative hero characters and certain (non balance-breaking) special abilities.

    I believe the impending (and great-looking) Ghost Recon Online and Blacklight 2 are taking this approach, too.

    Also, if you wanted any further proof as to the legitimacy of F2P, Team Fortress 2 is now free.

    I’d be firmly behind the idea of a Squad Game Night on League of Legends. Is there a team of 5 of us here who are around at the weekend and willing to take on a team of AIs? (If you’re willing but you’ve never played before, I recommend going through the training scenario first.)

  • unmanneddrone 10:47 pm on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    @RedSwirl You seem somewhat hostile to the notion, Red. Granted, balance and progression being affected by the freemium model has been a bugbear of the subset for a while, but maybe this’ll be the year for you.

    Actually, here’s a little pimpage – another underdog of 2010? SC2. Yeah, the other SC2. Supreme Commander 2 can be had on Steam at a permanent price point of 15 smackeroos and by the heavens, was this title unfairly maligned. Runs smooth as silk, does away with the freefall economy threat of the original and the expansion, has great co-op/comp-stomp and while you’d never buy it for the campaign, there’s a lot of deep, glorious fun to be had. Great for vets and newbies alike.

  • RedSwirl 10:28 pm on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P   

    I have thus far resisted the F2P menace, despite close friends telling me that Leage of Legends is “just the game for you.”

    Really though I just don’t have time for it. Maybe if one day they figured out how to turn F2P into some form of demo for commercial multiplayer games, like if I could see if I would enjoy MW3 or BF3 mulit before actually buying the game. Whatever.

  • scribl 6:16 pm on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P, ,   

    @angryjedi I’ve been thinking about giving LoL a try. One of my best friends from high school is all about Heroes of Newerth, but I hear LoL is more accessible and the community is a little nicer. Plus, it’s free, whereas I think you pay $30 for HoN.

    The great thing about these F2P MMOs is that there’s no price barrier to entry, so yeah, I’d be up for trying out Spiral Knights some time.Why not?

    I played Champions Online when it was in beta, and it didn’t really turn me on. Tried the F2P version a few days ago, and I quit before finishing the tutorial. It’s not for me.

    But yeah, let me know if you guys want to hop on Vindictus some time. My only character is a Lann, dual-wield sword guy, called Utivich (yeah, I just saw Inglorious Basterds :).

  • Pete Davison 2:44 pm on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P, ,   

    @scribl @unmanneddrone Vindictus looks impressive. Am downloading now — 2.5GB. If anyone else decides to play, give me a shout.

    I also tried League of Legends last night. That looks like fun, though @unmanneddrone says that the community is notoriously dickish. I haven’t played another real person yet so I can’t comment, but similarly, if anyone wants to try their hand at that sometime, hit me up.

  • Pete Davison 12:07 pm on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , F2P,   

    This year is going to be Free to Play’s year, I believe. Having seen a TV ad for Battlestar Galactica Online this morning, I am in absolutely no doubt — especially with Steam embracing the business model wholeheartedly and high-profile titles like City of Heroes adopting it. Now if they’d just hurry up and do it for Star Trek Online…

    @scribl If you’re looking for a F2P title that doesn’t overwhelm you with that extensive MMO “getting to know you” period you describe, Spiral Knights is definitely worth a look. It’s simple but fun in co-op — I can imagine it’d be more fun with friends than just random pick-up groups, though. That said, the game does an exemplary job with its jump-in, jump-out co-op play. For those who worry about playing “too much” as well, playing for free effectively limits how much you can play per day in a similar manner to Facebook games, though not as unreasonably limited. You can easily get through at least a whole “tier” of dungeon-crawling with the energy you’re given for free each day and have some left over for crafting. So long as you don’t die, of course — each time you die it costs double the amount of energy to resurrect that it did last time, assuming someone else doesn’t come and get you up first.

    On that note, I have a free weekend for once, so would any of you be up for exploring either Champions Online or Spiral Knights with me?

  • unmanneddrone 6:43 am on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    @scribl I’ve heard lots of good things about Vindictus. Sadly, never been able to check it out as there aren’t any servers that are supported in Japan or back home. In regards to F2P, could 2011/2012 be the years where the F2P market really comes into its own and shucks off that borked freemium model that has plagued titles with balance issues ever since their inception? We’ve got some great shooters coming in…Ghost Recon Online, Blacklight 2…plus some great successes thus far with LotR Online. Should be interesting to see what happens with the subset. @angryjedi is musing over a F2P-centric Squadcast down the line. I’d love to hear such a thing.

  • scribl 2:57 am on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: F2P,   

    Been thinking about free-to-play (F2P) games a lot for work, and I kept hearing good things about Vindictus. Played it for about an hour tonight, and it’s actually pretty cool! It’s action-game combat in a Guild Wars-style MMO (not really open world, just public towns with instanced missions). Check it out on YouTube, and you’ll see what I mean.

    I don’t have as much patience for the MMO “getting to know you” phase as I used to, but I could see myself sticking with this. Especially since it’s free. I can just play it in short spurts whenever I feel like it, without the guilt of “well, I’m paying for this monthly, I really should play…”

  • unmanneddrone 4:56 am on March 25, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , F2P   

    @shingro The patching process and constant updating is what I hope would be dodged in console releases OR, in the case of Steamworks coming to PS3, infrastructure used to bypass certification processes. Either way, the model itself is a far more interesting what-if/what-could than the means.

    I suppose we’ve been enjoying our instanced MMO since PSO, and for my money, I think that type of experience would be a better fit for console. Guild Wars, APB, CrimeCraft etc., it just makes more sense to not have a sprawling lag-fest and streamline things. Hell, do away with the hubs and simply have smaller lobbies. I dunno. I’m not at all an MMO player, but they’re an interesting part of the medium.

    And let’s also pay tribute to the way Japan has been pumping out the squad-centric raiding action-RPGs, because they’re the closest things to viable console MMOs we’ve experienced. Oh, on that note, I wish more people had given Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce a go. Fantastic game, either on PSP or PS3. Hard as hell, too.

    Maybe in lieu of constant updates, do the Guild Wars thing and present a competent base package, then roll out meaty DLC packs in, say, three month increments. Anyway, I’m just curious to see how these freemium MMOs go when they hit the consoles.

    Of late, I see DCUO as the N64 FPS equivalent. A good start, cherished by many…but we need a Bungie to step in and set the bar. Which is what they might do, if things are to be believed! Instanced, large-scale “something”? Or, even CCP’s “Dust 514″…if that ever happens.

  • unmanneddrone 12:41 am on March 25, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , F2P   

    Just an interesting tidbit…seems like both the big home consoles are getting their F2P MMOs on, now that XBLA is receiving Dungeon Fighter (online Guardian Heroes, anyone?) and PSN with SOE’s Free Realms game (and The Agency down the line). It poses an interesting future, and for my money, seems to assure a greater level of quality control when transferred from the anything-goes PC market to the consoles. But not only traditional MMOs, but other F2P titles. With the FPS Blacklight 2 going F2P with a prospective (though, at this time, unannounced) audience on console, it could be a massive success that no one saw coming – especially given that the devs are striving to make it an equal-opportunity experience for both microtransaction purchasers and non-purchasers.

    I’d be interested to hear @angryjedi’s opinion on this one, considering he spent a fair whack of time with DCUO. Is there a solid future for the console MMO? Moreoever, we’ve had solid online infrastructure for a generation now…and processing power notwithstanding, what’s been the hold-up for tapping in what seems like an obvious cashcow? Subscription model atop Live costs? F2P stigma or relative infancy? Simply different markets?

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