Death To Subscriptions

twimmo 121

On this week’s TWIMMO, it seems like almost everything is going F2P.

Gary Gannon, Hillary “Pokket” Nicole, and Jason Winter discuss games going F2P, the affect it’s having on the MMO market and the last few surviving subscription based games.  Also… There’s pretty trailers to look at.

GBTV General Manager
  • Dimitris Chatz

    It looks like you guys still can not understand that mmos that go free to play, actually failed as subscription based ones.In mmorpgs you invest your time in one game and try to be the best you can be.No one want to invest their time in a mediocre game, that has no value.A subscription also gives the customer power.I pay and so i demand.Do you expect customer support on par with blizzard’s customer support , in a free mmo? You insist on making shows about how great free to play is. I begin to feel that it looks like you are not considering facts as a serious gamer does, but as mere reporters.

    • Inkogni Alex

      please tell me about the support lack in GW1, LoL, SC2, TANKS, Smite, DOTA,  DUST 514 (upcoming) and my <3 to some extent EVE and GW2 and more that i cant be bothered to remember right now.
      while not all of them are MMO they all can be played without a sub (some have box prices) 

  • Gabe Lopez

    square-enix needs to realize that fancy cinematics worked wonders in the 90s… back in the days when they fooled everyone with FF7. 

    today? …. not so much.

    • saxophone15

      I don’t see how cinematics are a bad thing.

    • Nick Cattane

      Who got fooled? FF7 is one of the best stories, gameplay, etc of the series if not in the top 10 of all time RPG’s – the cinematics were just a nice tough.  Don’t get me wrong, my favorite is still Kefka & crew ;), but I lol @ people that try to discredit FF7 just because it is so popular.

  • SaksMan

    Gary, did Bioware refuse to sponsor your site, your hatred for SWTOR is bordering on comical.  The game is not nearly as bad as you say, I am not fanboy though I ahve been playing from launch.   Also your opinion is mute because you have not even played the game in months, and to have your show filled with GW2 fanboy Winter and well Pocket is good, at least she actually plays MMO’s.  

    Serious Payola!  This comment will never be shown due to the fear in ganons eyes.

    One last question, what is the rationale behind having a fan show, like the Republic, is your only purpose to cater to the internet trolls, I used to follow your shows because they were genuinely about the content, the game, the world, not this petty advertising BS.

    • Deadalon

      Belive you me… Pretty much every single website on the entire interrnet – including fansites is whole heartetly against how SWTOR F2P has been handeled.  At least Gamebreaker is talking about it… Many other big MMO sites just totally ignore the game now.  SImply dont talk about it as it doesn’t exist.  Reason ?  Cause Bioware has ignored every single player feedback about these changes.   You just have to compare GW2 vs the preferred status players to see how bad Bioware is treating their playerbase.  Even as prefered player -having spent 100s of Dollars on the game – you still dont get more than 2 quickbars, not allowed to hide headgear, 2 characters… and on and on and on….

      Now compare that to GW2.   And thats why GW2 has a good P2P model – while even the SWTOR P2P model (buy the game and no sub) still makes ppl feel they are cheated out of a game.   Disgrace.

      • Seventy One

         Yes Daedalon speaks the truth. If anyone wants proof it is easy to have it only by using google and search about SWTOR F2P reactions or something similar. It is not World vs Bioware it is simply World vs Greedy F2P Model.

    • Dularr

      Gary’s view of the SWTOR f2p is that of the returning player.  He follows the news and Bioware promotional videos and has the same reactions as many former players. 

      While Gary may troll a bit for entertainment value, he likes to see a show be overall positive about the MMO.  Gary seem genuinely unhappy that last weeks Republic show was so negative on SWTOR and sadly, I don’t think he will not see much improvement this week. 

    • Revanhavoc

      The Gannonator doesn’t censor comments just because they might says something negative. If you actually followed Gamebreaker, you would know that.

      I am basically challenging your credibility as the “non-fanboy true fan of the site” that you falsely represent.

      So if you are quite finished with your inconsequential, uninspiring little tirade, I would advise you to reply with some legitimate points supporting your opinions.

      Or maybe, someday, ”whens you is all grow’d up,” we can take this conversation from the current level of utter nonsense, to actual discourse.

  • sheduur

    The FFXIV trailer looks great, but its just that, a trailer. Garry, dont get your hopes up too much. They will bumrape you again and you will love it :) But theres always the next day when you wake up and realize it wasnt just a dream!

  • jayremy

    Talking about SWTOR I will say again, they should’ve made the gameplay, and I am talking the gameplay nothing else be like the Mass Effect series.

    They already had the code, the AI design and the entire gameplay logic behind it = saving production time and costs. Then keep the Star Wars title, story, classes and abilities- again learned similar to Mass Effect style.

    Mass Effect was a good RPG focus shooter which melee was/is easily a functioning part of the system.

    On the sub part, people often get confused that subscription based games ALSO mean a bx price. I think the heavy box price is a deterrent, I think having to put up credit card information before playing a game is a deterrent. GET PEOPLE IN the game first before trying to charge them a decent game will sell itself. The problem is I don’t think any of such sub-based games are that great currently.

    I think Gary was right, most people have a main game they like to stick to, most other games become secondary time slots to fill for some variation. Social networking of games makes multi-player games (hold) stronger.

    I think Gary’s Idea is workable, I thought of such too. More popular games get a greater share of the total pot of money the single sub pan brings in, but ultimately every game gets equal opportunity with less money needed in marketing and monetary gimmicks to attract people. IIt would be some tricky waters and having some people who competing on even ground isn’t attractive.

    Also the economy not hinder a gamer’s gaming habits, but it would influence their spending habits.

  • Ravenstorm

    Jason is the grey Wizard of Wittiness! Love it!

  • Kyle Eggers

    Free to Play isn’t a good business model for MMOs.  All the games that have gone the FTP route  currently only use it for a tool to try and get people to subscribe up there is no true FTP model in the US.  The closest thing is GW2′s Buy To Play model, which is better for MMOs as a business model and the why of the future.  SWTOR’s FTP will not bring any people back to the  game but push them away.  Funcom’s issue with FTP is more that they didn’t really know what they where selling with TSW.  Most games with a sub model are wroth paying for, like RIFT and the TSW (but now WoW).  If a games is going to go FTP they should look and base their model on Sony’s or LotRON. 
    GW2 BTP equals win.
    FFXIV if a fail games that come not, not fail now.  No matter how good a movie is that doesn’t equal a good game.   To much money has been spent on this game and will be spent with them remaking it, for it to turn a profit, which is one of the problems SWTOR has also.  FFXIV needs to die, no one will play a sub for the game, and Square needs to let it die.

  • Nipper

    Sub based MMOs feel bad because EVERY game besides those are YOURS.  When you buy the box for a game with a sub, you are renting their game.  That feels awful.  No matter how much money you throw at a sub, they still have their hand out demanding more.

    • Deadalon

      I still think sub is a better option then a F2P.   If a sub based MMO game doesn’t add content then everyone will unsub.   F2P games have zero obligation to add anything – other than ingame store items – So even tho you are able to connect to your character – there is no guaranty you will ever get new content for it to play.

      Just look at SWTOR atm – they can not say a single word about their future atm. Why ? Because they have no clue if they even have money to make more real content for the game. Subscription makes sure that the CUSTOMER has a say on the game. F2P means they have no say – other than buying additional ingame store items.

  • Timothy Eng

    Pokket:. “I spent 500 dollars on League, it’s ridiculous”

    It’s a reason why I’m hesistant to play F2P. While undoubtably League handles this better than some other games, I do feel like I’m compelled to pay to just get the most out of the game.
     I have typically been very quick to be bored with games like Bloodline Champions, League because I always run into a wall that needs to be overcome with money and I always go “I don’t like the game THAT much!” and I quit after 2 days.

    But it works for other people, so I guess the model works, but it just doesn’t work for me.

    • Steven Whiting

       Works in GW2 as there is no need to pay for anything.  There aren’t really brick walls that need money to get by, you can do everything as far as I’m aware.

  • Deadalon

    Pokket – I do not expect a game to be totally free.  What I do expect as a gamer that a game like SWTOR offers me same quality as  GW2  after I bought the original game + payed sub.

    As a prefered status player I am UNABLE to play the game in the way I played it before.  Not in terms of content – but in terms of using the abilites of my character.   Thats disgrace for any developer to offer their PAYING playerbase.   

  • Christer Lindqvist

    Spot on what Gary said there. As far as am concerned:) I still play WoW due to the community, and the friends I made through that game. Even thou I really dont enjoy the gameplay at all.
    Its kinda sad that I dont play as much gw2 as I would like due to the fact that am alone playing it, even thou I enjoy the gameplay a hundred times more in that game,
    How sad am  I :)

    But again, yes the ppl have a lot to say. Its a mmo after all. So well said Gary

  • tawnos42

    I have played 4 total online RPGs (2 MUDs then 2 MMOs) with only a few short breaks since 1994.  Given the nature of game progression and having limited time I feel its a waste of my gaming time to play a game I don’t intend to dedicate the time to for at least a few years.

  • theunwarshed

    Why do gamers expect every new sub-based mmo to eventually go f2p?  Because developers keep releasing crappy, bug-ridden, half-baked games.  I can accurately predict that any sub-based game that offers multi month sub options is a game that will not adequately support on-going development of the game.  I’ve seen it happen in far too many mmog.  It is the norm, not the exception to the rule. 

    The most honest model is the buy2play, sub-free, cash shop game (as long as it doesn’t sell power).  Make a good game with enough front-loaded content that can accurately be called a game, charge a fair market price for it and then add a mix of free (holiday and special one off events) and purchasable content (expansions) on a continuous basis as the game ages.  Games like this should cost (slightly) more than a single player rpg because they typically have more front-loaded content in them, so charge accordingly for them-but be transparent about it.  Gamers are cynical and distrustful of mmo developers because of all the typical mmo bullshite games devs play with them.   

    Pokket-perhaps there are those gamers who just want handouts, but I suspect that most of us just want a good game worthy of whatever pay model it has.  We just aren’t getting that and haven’t been for quite a long while.  Even decent/good games that have been made haven’t been supported well enough by the studios that made them.  It’s unfortunate because many of these games deserve a better fate if only their live teams had been as passionate/motivated as the teams that made the games.  Of course it’s more complicated than that-live teams often inherit a laundry list of fixes needed and resources that should’ve gone to further development are cannibalized to fix shite that should’ve been tested better in beta to begin with.  The vicious cycle continues ad nauseum. 

    As for me, I’ll never buy a sub-based game again.  I’m a firm believer that when I buy something I own it for its lifetime.  Cutting me off from content that I’ve already purchased is the biggest ripoff the mmog industry has pulled over on gamers in the history of gaming.  I’m wary of mmo devs these days, they all seem to me to be looking for a quick cash grab, aren’t prepared to wait for a return on their investment over the life of the games they make and hence will need to prove to me that they will follow through with promises of long term support. 

    • Revanhavoc

      Well thought out, if a bit lengthy.

      One thing I agree with Pokket on and perhaps disagree a bit with you, is that the generation of gamers I belong to unfortunately pirate, steal, and generally want entertainment for free.

      In response to this I think developers that release their products in a F2P model lower barriers to entry, and allow the players to spend as they would in a normal economy.

      It’s kind of like allowing someone to enter and shop for free knowing they will end up spending money at the store.  

      • theunwarshed

        I like that analogy.  An owner of a store like that shows confidence/pride in his product.  You should be wary of the guy that tries to get a membership out of you before letting you see the goods.

        • Revanhavoc

          Now THAT was well said…

  • Stradus Woods

    So I checked swotr to see if I was going to bother playing through the story lines. I had to laugh at the restrictions. EA thinks there game is worth more then it is. Guild Wars 2 is lovely its my new love.

  • Roger Means

    ill happly pay for my game too many people are lil freebooters who expect these game devs work to be free i also hate the crown f2p brings in i love tor loves the community now its gone to hell since f2p.

  • Brandon Evans

    I would buy storm legion today if I could level to 49 for free and only have to sub when I get to the current expansion/end game.  SL looks great but it would take me at least a month to even get to the new content.  Just sayin. 

    • Marco Antelope

      Not really. I had left Rift for 18 months and recently returned for Storm Legion. Take it from me, it now only days a a few days at most, of CASUAL play, to hit 50 in Rift….IF you chose to play that way and level via IA’s and what not. You can still do it the “slow” way via questing, crafting and what not, but the alternative exisits just for players like you.

      Trion understands that former players that might be returning, like myself, or honest to goodness new to Rift players do not want to be at a disadvantage, or feel like they are behind when they come to the game. That know what we dont like, and what suck in games and they take steps to remove these things the best they can, and still be business like about it.

      Give it a try, you wont be dissapointed.

  • protrolly

    Buy the box free to play its fair and do a fair cash shop and its a win for player and the game

  • Justin

    Oh stop your nonsense already Gamebreaker, almost every show now is you chanting the “p2p is dying” mantra, yet in all the f2p games i play i continue to spend money and subscription fees to get advantages over other players and to feel like im geting my monies worth out of a game, call it f2p all you want but the reality is it only survives because of the people who continue to pay $15 a month or more even during “f2p” status. Its not good at all that games are just becoming unbalanced shoddy products that turn the free crowd into 2nd class hated citizens, and thats the only legitimate way to do f2p mmos

    And no, LoL is still not a MMO

  • DoctorOverlord

    Another prediction by Gary!  The music industry had Apple and their iPhones/iPods hardware to help push recording companies into their current model.   I wonder if there could be anything force like that in the MMO industry?   

    Personally I’m not sorry to see the sub model dying out but if there are people still willing to pay and companies can find way to appeal to those players, then that will just be more options for the market which could be a good thing.  

    It was very telling when Gary mentioned how it was logging on with his friends that made bad MMOs playable.  I think that was the real foundation of the genre when it began.   Old school MMOs didn’t survive because they had good designers making them.   They survived because of the community that managed to grow from those buggy, tedious games.  Which is why I’m always amazed companies still hire those old-school developers thinking they can make good games or that there are still people who want to see the industry return to those mechanics best left abandoned. 

    It will be very interesting to see how FF does with the re-launch.   I just read the article how the Square exec said that if it fails then that could end the company.   That might not be far off.  

    And I am now following Darth Giggles as well.    

  • Aisar

    All this talk about f2p being dominant is starting to worry me.  I guess I don’t completely understand the thinking behind it because I still believe sub based MMOs should (and do) provide superior content, and are just higher quality in general.

    Perhaps I just have not found that f2p game that can come close to WoW, Rift or EQ2 in terms of their straight 14.99 sub model.