Crytek CEO: All-F2P Future ‘Won’t Happen Tomorrow’

By Nathan Grayson on December 7th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

In the future, nothing will cost anything. Ever. Well, except when it costs something. Which will be sometimes, but not always. Or ever, unless you want it to. Those are the sorts of wonderful logical fallacies somewhat – shall we say – misleading phrases like “free-to-play” conjure up, but there’s no denying the business model’s effectiveness. Even so, there are plenty of kinks to work out, which is why life’s great big studio audience emitted a collective gasp when Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli announced that his company was closing up the non-F2P part of its shop as soon as possible. During a recent interview with RPS, however, he clarified that stance and noted, among other things, that it’s “too early to say” whether or not Crysis 4 will be F2P.

That’s not to say Yerli pulled out a nano-powered unicycle and backpedaled from his previous statement in the blink of an eye, but he espoused a slightly more measured approach this time around.

“It’s too early to say,” he replied when asked if the next Crysis will be F2P. “I don’t think F2P’s a mutually exclusive way of looking at things. I mean, the future is definitely free-to-play, but likewise, retail can co-exist with it. Premium games can be free-to-play. When I said free-to-play’s gonna be our future, I meant that and I hold to it. But I didn’t mean it for tomorrow. When I say there will inevitably be only free-to-play games, I mean that there might be ones where you can just download them with a free-to-play business model, or you can go to the store and buy it for $60. So that’s what I meant: there’s gonna be free-to-play available, which brings the entry level down to zero from a price perspective.”

“But if people like packages or they want to go to the store for a special edition with a nice statue or whatever, then they’re going to get that experience. Because that’s how games still are for at least another five years. But that amount is fading off every year. So fewer and fewer people are buying packaged goods, and at some point, it’ll just be people downloading games and streaming them.”

What about in the very near, non-supersuit-and-microtransaction-powered future, though? Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that Crysis – Crytek’s flagship series – hasn’t even dipped its toes into the rapidly expanding free-to-play ocean? Well, according to Yerli, that’s actually been part of the plan for quite some time. But plans change.

“We even considered a standalone free-to-play version for Crysis 2, to be honest,” he explained. “Launching the single-player as a packaged good and then making multiplayer free-to-play-only. For various reasons, it didn’t happen. We also considered that for Crysis 3, and it didn’t happen again. but there are definitely considerations like that.”

Is it something Yerli wants to do before too much longer, though? Oh, absolutely.

“My desire is that everybody can just play Crysis and don’t have to spend money from day one,” he enthused. “So people don’t have to think, ‘Oh, do I really want to pay $50 for that game?’ I don’t want that question to be asked. I just want them to be able to give it a try. And then they can make their choices about spending money. That’s honestly why I’m most excited about free-to-play – regardless of [how it'll impact] storytelling, single-player, multiplayer, and co-op experiences. I think there’s an answer to all of those problems.”

Check back soon for the full interview, in which we discuss everything from piracy, to the effect THQ’s ailing financial health is having on Homefront 2, to the slow fall of traditional publishers. And also – because I’d have regretted it for the rest of my life if I didn’t – I asked Yerli the most important question of all: Why call it Warface?

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71 Comments »

  1. Text_Fish says:

    To be honest, I preferred the days when I could just fork out £30 and know that I had the full experience. F2P might mean that I no long have to ask myself “do I really want to pay $50 for that game?” — instead I’ll be asking (or be asked) a zillion more questions about what “gamer plan” is best for me or which micro-transactions will offer the best improvements to the game for the least amount of money or whether I want to even bother getting emotionally invested in a product that’s just going to milk me on the sly for years to come. It’s not a shining new era of philanthropy, it’s just the same old capitalism with a big old layer of murkiness on top.

    Booooo.

    • enobayram says:

      Even when I don’t mind the money I pay, I always have this question in mind: How much do I have to pay, so that it is a fair experience, so that I can feel like I’ve achieved something when I win?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Totally agree. The last thing I want to be thinking about whilst I relax and play games is my bloody finances. I have never minded paying for a game up front as once you’ve done that, you never need give it a second thought. But with the increasing rise of DLC and now F2P payment models, I am constantly bombarded. Even just playing a base game I have to consider the money I might spend in the future on the title. Or if I am going to miss out of an important part of the game. With DLC there’s potentially no end to the future outlays.

      It’s actually somewhat mentally exhausting for me since I get quite anxious about my financial situation as it stands, as I imagine a lot of people do in today’s economic climate. So being constantly reminded about it whilst I am trying to escape from that sort of thins is really quite intrusive.

      I really just want to buy a game and be confident that I have the full package.

    • thebluemonkey81 says:

      If something looks good, I’ll pay for it. If it doesn’t, I wont.

      If it’s free to play, I’ll avoid it, just because like you say, I like the “here’s the money, here’s the game” approach

      in all honesty, there are enough games around today that I could happily never by a new game again.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      This is it, F2P doesn’t so much add value, as add ambiguity to the final value, delivering the cost over time, as opposed to up front, which just seems far more disingenuous. It’s described as “pay what you want, for what access you want”, but in truth the final amount of content and cost associated with that is kept as an unknown, so it’s hard to assess beforehand how much full investment in a game will cost you. Psychologically it becomes much closer to the mentality of gambling than it does to informed consumer choice.

    • Shralla says:

      Oh god, it’s almost like… You have choices or something! Your whole post is literally just complaining that f2p is too much work for you.

      • Text_Fish says:

        F2P is a lot more work than the traditional model, yes. Strangely enough the idea of working harder for my fun doesn’t really appeal much.

        There’s also a secondary implied point in my post if you read between the lines — that this overabundance of “options” is just a smokescreen to disguise the fact that I might actually end up paying more and/or receiving less bang for my buck.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    The business model in all its various implementations can stay, but ‘free to play’ as an all-encompassing term must die. So much taint in those words. And I do hope it does not become the norm.

  3. Goodtwist says:

    So that’s the future like: publisher trying to “sell” such crap will never ever see my money.

  4. IshtarGate says:

    CRYFACE. FREE2CRY.

  5. Deathmaster says:

    Spoilers please: Why did they call it Warface?

  6. Didero says:

    I get the sneaking suspicion that he’s thinking of the word ‘demo’, where you can play the first level for free and buy the rest if you want.

    • frightlever says:

      We used to call that shareware and it worked fine for the likes of Doom. Though iD gave away about a third of the game for free.

    • Shivoa says:

      Yep, I’m getting the feeling the F2P term is being thrown around for the benefit of investors and is being so beaten into the shape of any possible business plan as to include demos (or shareware, an idea that obviously makes perfect sense in the internet/digital download age and has ended up being pushed into the F2P/episodic language by things like Fable on the 360).

      I think more games should consider shareware or at least a potentially integrated demo (ie provides opening chunk of game and savegame carries over; ideally uses some streaming tech to enable smaller downloads and even instant purchase by asking users to opt into downloading the first section of non-free content as the demo is played to ease purchases – some MMOs have been getting this right for years now) but we really need to split off the F2P language if that is what is being proposed.

      • The Random One says:

        Agreed. Isn’t it strange that shareware was ubiquitous at a time where sending over the net was often slower and less reliable than driving a floppy over, and nowadays when we live on a science fiction world in which petabytes are continuously broadcast youth through our bodies most devs don’t even deign to offer us a demo, let alone a good one.

  7. MattM says:

    I just don’t see how free-to-play with microtransactions can work for single player 8-10 hour games. Are there any single player games based on that model? We have demos and dlc, but those seem very different from buying energy in games like Spiral Knights.

    • Llewyn says:

      The types of transactions obviously have to be different, but that’s effectively what the episodic model does. Or would if the first episode were free. I wonder how much better or worse The Walking Dead would have done if they’d released the first episode free, for that matter.

      And yes, my first snarky thought in response to your question was Lord of the Rings Online ;-)

      • MattM says:

        First segment free then a flat price for additional chapters doesn’t seem so awful because I would still be buying a assembled game rather that buying bits and pieces of game mechanics. Still I think single player is best in big chunks like game+1-2 expansions or just full on sequels.
        It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the Walking Dead eps was made available for free soon, TellTail did that with the Sam and Max series.

        • Shuck says:

          Episodic content does lend itself nicely to the free-to-play model. Other single-player experiences, not so much. There are certainly lots of different game types that can’t be converted to “F2P” or can’t be converted without seriously damaging gameplay.

    • longbeast says:

      This is my only complaint about free to play. I’ve never liked multiplayer gaming much, but that’s where the free plus shop model works best. It’s going to be drawing time and resources away from singplayer.

      I’ve seen a lot of games this year that I would buy in an instant if they were singleplayer (ones involving big stompy robots for instance).

      I know that a big story based singplayer campaign with actors, coherent world, non-stupid enemy AI, and so on is going to be more expensive than multiplayer, but I can live without that. I’d be happy with a few dozen loosely linked singplayer missions even.

  8. Grinterloper says:

    “Everything will be F2P” is one of the most fantastically naive stances in my opinion.

    Many more thing will experiment with F2P and we’ll see more hybrids emerge like the ME3 multiplayer I’m sure but it isn’t suited to everything.

    More linear games will always favour a one off payment model as they are a quantifiable slice of entertainment, you can more accurately gauge it’s worth where as the F2P model favours more open ended games, be that in the form of a sandbox or multiplayer centric.

    The other problem you have is that F2P models need a very specific set of mechanics to make them work, if every minor facet of the game could potentially make money then every minor facet of the game has to be designed with that in mind, effectively you are less free to work on mechanics purely for the sake of making the game fun but are instead forced to work within the additional constraints of ubiquitous profitability, to make it fun and profitable. And because people like Zynga already came a long and made billions what this often translates as is make each facet of the game more like what they already did and you really are under a lot of pressure to do just that, F2P isn’t an instant win, it can be a long hard slog with no promise of returns.

    This may sound like I hate F2P, I don’t, I actually make F2P games for a living and I think it is a growing field in which there is a lot still to discover but every time I hear someone like Nick Lovell claiming that every game will go F2P in the future I can’t help but face palm a little.

    • frightlever says:

      Oh I generally agree, but there’s more than one way to make a F2P game. The micro-transaction based games are all MMO. But you could have a linear single player game, like an RPG or adventure that features product placement, or sponsorship. Wasn’t there a story about an Old Spice game on RPS during the week?

      • Shuck says:

        I’ve worked on a game that had attempted in-game ads (that were part of the environments). Even with the game-side systems in place to allow it to happen, the costs of setting up advertisers and the poor revenue it would have generated meant it wasn’t worth it. When it comes to product placement, the relevant companies are more likely to expect game makers to pay them to have their products in the game. Cheap games built entirely to be advertisements are one thing, but the money just isn’t there to fund (or even substantially contribute to the budget for) a real game through sponsorship or in-game ads/product placement. It’s rather too bad in a way, as a modern/near-future set game with real products and ads would add nice verisimilitude and potentially provide a non-intrusive, design-friendly way of funding a free-to-play game (or subsidizing a pay game).

  9. mrmalodor says:

    I only pay for premium single or multiplayer content. A F2P game will NEVER get money from me.

  10. Arithon says:

    I weep for the time when a £15 game ran on your PC, had LAN and MOD support, came in a box with a manual and a few extras (poster, figurine etc.)

    Now games are broken at launch (0 day patch anyone?), come with nothing (no box, manual) unless you spend 10 times the normal cost for a “limited edition”, rely on constant internet access, are linked to an on-line shop that the distributor can deactivate, have no LAN support, deny mod support in order to make you buy the other 30% of the game content for the full price over again as “DLC”.

    Any questioning of this policy and all blame is attributed to “piracy”. A total myth.

    The root cause is that the major developers swallowed all the small (original) developers, so these bloated behemoths use huge development teams to create content at eye-watering expense.
    The resulting development costs can almost never be recouped from a single platform, so they become “jack of all platforms, master of none”. Giving the PC sloppy console ports with severely limited features and strung out with DLC.
    Every opportunity to milk gamers for money is taken.

    F2P is a way of selling a MP demo as an advertising platform, pimping gamers to advertisers.

    I for one, see Kickstarter as the future of gaming, not F2P.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      It’s a little bit of an Angry Internet Man stance but in all honesty I do tend to agree. I don’t think there’s any great conspiracy I just think that most publishers don’t really give a toss about games and their sole interest in in how much money they can make. Consequently, they’ll try every trick they can to convince or force the consumer to pay the maximum amount of money. It makes logical sense but as a consumer I find it morally questionable and manipulative.

      Kickstarter, on the other hand, does give power back to those developers who genuinely care about putting the best game they can out there. There will still be those out there trying to play people for profit but it gives the devs who care some breathing space, if they make the cut. I’m pretty excited about that and considering the success of kickstarter, so are a lot of others.

      • Arithon says:

        This is why I pledged to the Kickstarter for Carmageddon: Reincarnation, whereas if it had been a Free2Play, I would never play it.

        Look at BattleField 3 – nerfed for console, missing a wealth of features from its predecessors and costs twice what it should (having to get Premimum to avoid paying yet more for map packs) it STILL has a larger player-base than BattleField F2P or BF: Heroes.

        Big developers market the competition out of existence. Look at iTunes. Even though the Apple App Store has over 700,000 apps and thousands of developers, most of the revenues goes to just 25 of them. EA being the biggest.

  11. AmateurScience says:

    Och I was going to write a long treatise on my opinions on F2P, but basically as long as it doesn’t come across as pushy/exploitative/poor value, and it doesn’t damage or otherwise compromise the experience of playing, then I don’t mind it.

  12. Revisor says:

    F2P is a nebulous term.

    Let’s start discriminating between these three models:

    From ok to unethical:
    Free to try
    Start playing for free, purchase the whole game if you like it.
    Just a variation of the demo.

    Pay to grind
    Have access to the whole game but pay a reasonable sum to gain in-game currency (XP, Gold) faster.
    Tribes Ascend – an ok model.

    Pay to win
    Pay to overcome arbitrary and unnecessary energy and time limits stopping you from playing.
    Farmville etc. An unethical model abusing its players.

    • derbefrier says:

      True Free to Play does exist though.

      Path of Exile is an excellent example of this(at least that’s the plan we will see if they stick to their promise. I happen top believe they will though) Only cosmetics for sale that have no impact on gameplay, no boosters of any kind, absolutely non of the content is locked to non paying players its all just crap you really don’t need (character slots, stash tabs, vanity items etc..) DOTA 2 and TF2 are good examples of true F2P games too.

      We will see what happens. There are going to be a lot more growing pains when it comes to the F2P model as developers try to figure things out but I do believe a good balance is possible to obtain.

      • Prime says:

        True Free to Play does exist though

        Back in the old days we used to call that plain old ‘Free’.

        • The Random One says:

          A free game is a game that someone posts for free on the web because they want everyone to play it. See: Porpentine’s column (and also games). A free to play game makes it very clear that it is free to play, but it’s going to charge you for something because its main goal is profit.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Good point, we need to fight against that “F2P” acronym, it doesn’t mean anything.

      ps: I think you meant Pay or Grind, regarding the Tribes: Ascend model.

  13. Totally heterosexual says:

    YOU CANNOT STOP THE FUTURE

    …unless you try really hard.

  14. Sacarathe says:

    Have these developers not heard of a demo, there is no rule that says the demo has to be 3 levels, just make it clear when people download the demo, that it will stop abruptly at 40-50% through the game or something.

    • El_Emmental says:

      The demo was designed and provided to entice you to purchase the full, one-price-for-everything, game.

      => They will try to prove you the full game is worth your money, as you could see in the demo. They will show their skill there and deliver the best gameplay they can provide.

      Meanwhile…

      “F2P” games will be designed and provided to entice you to purchase micro-elements of the game (micro-transaction, DLC, “chapters”, etc).

      => They will try to prove you that the full “experience” (= the premium package, and/or the micro-transactions for items) will turn a “good but perfectible” experience into a better one. They will show the *potential* fun you could have and deliver a nerfed/crippled gameplay, that a few dollars could greatly enhance.

  15. Cinek says:

    F2P games have two problems.

    1) F2P label is used as an excuse for releasing games that otherwise would never go past alpha/beta testing. And then, still in so-called “open beta” or “invitation-only” beta they add up micro-transactions and eat people’s money. In worst case – they sell stuff like Gold Ammo or unique units with more extensive customization options then any others (eg. Ilya Muromets in MWO (worth nearly 25$) – is only Mech capable of using 3 Gauss Rifles ) which leads to totally ridiculous situations where you need to PAY for certain win-win configurations in a game that’s not even close to being completed.

    2) F2P games are designed is a way that’s not really acceptable for other games in their own genres, but somehow they pass by unnoticed as long as game has “F2P” label. It’s: Grind. These games are usually designed in a way where to get even a single stupid thing (eg. unlock one hero or one Mech or one weapon) you need to play several if not dozens of hours. Even in stupid LoL – if you want to unlock any hero that doesn’t sux you need to spent something like 10+ hours grinding through the game. In MWO: it’s over 40 matches (over 5 hours). For decent Assault-class Mech it’s roughly 19 hours of gameplay. For a single unit. Imagine you play like… Need For Speed, or Mechwarrior 4 and grind 19 hours for average unit or piece of equipment that doesn’t really stand out on a battlefield, cause to stand out you need to grind through additional XX hours. *facepalm*

    F2P brought more evil to the gaming world then good things.

    • DiamondDog says:

      If you view the simple act of playing the game as a grind then maybe you shouldn’t be playing? I enjoy playing League of Legends, so I just play it until I have enough for a champion I like and then sort of, you know, carry on playing. It’s a pretty simple process of gaining game currency for playing a match of a game I like, and spending it when I have enough.

      If I was sat there cursing the game for being a horrible grind as I forced myself through one more annoying match then yeah, I’d probably just stop playing and move onto something I enjoyed.

      This is the part I don’t understand about the grind complaints. Do you or do you not enjoy playing the game? If you do, then it shouldn’t be a grind to just play it, enjoy it, and earn whatever it is you earn for shooting/stabbing/kicking/licking people. If you are sat counting the hours through gritted teeth as you wait for an unlock then you might want to question your motives.

  16. Crosmando says:

    I will never play a F2P game because they less games than they are monetization strategies. The very idea of an “in-game shop” leaves a sour taste in my mouth, and it should leave that taste in the mouth of any reasonable PC gamer. It shows that the developers and companies behind it are not serious about making good games for gamers, but only in making money. I’m not naive, people need money to survive, but creating nasty nickle and dime scams attached to games is not the way to do it. Those type of games do not attract real dedicated gamers, they attract those of low intelligence stupid enough to waste their money in such schemes. Make good games, intelligent complex games, and fans will reward you.

    • Cinek says:

      “Those type of games do not attract real dedicated gamers” – do I know? Most F2P games I seen have very dedicated gamers, some even have whole e-sports competitions going on, others have enormous, wide communities grouping into multiple clans/units/guilds and organizing various events for themselves.
      Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, World of Tanks, DoTA (2), Tribes A, Planetside 2, Everquest II, all of them have thriving communities, even if they are build as a monetization strategies.

    • BAshment says:

      I’m pretty sure a real dedicated gamer is anyone who plays a lot of any kind of game. Calling yourself a real gamer is quite absurd, i would like to see how it benefits someone to be a fake gamer. In this world of pale imitations of the hardcore no scope elite one must be weary of who one calls a dude bro.

  17. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Few gamers want F2P as its a stealthly Pay To Win business model. Publishers & Developers are pushing this as its way less risk to them but I do not see any future in it & and companies which gamble on this deserve to lose everything.

    How about turning the clock back 10 years & making lengthy/decent looking SP only games which fully utilise high end PC only hardware (cut down all you like for the consoles LATER not before releasing on PC as they will buy anything & I mean anything as long as its similar to the previous game they do not care as their poxy little consoles are built for the same old game in a different skin anyway). Most recent games have tacked on MP/Co-Op which is not even required so why waste the money developing them in the first place then holding back content as DLC to extract more money (as well as the absolute piss!) from the gamers who were good enough to pay full price & take a chance on the game as it appealed to them in the first place!

    Crytek are only sounding this idea out as despite high piracy (their own fault for not using a stronger DRM) Crysis, Warhead & Crysis2 all sold well enough on PC to generate profits so Crytek have become scared about investing too much money into PC gaming & want F2P to remove some of the risk.

    How about put up & shut up make an actual game (Crysis2 is terrible as a gaming experience) that PC gamers want to play to go with your decent looking Cry Engine 3 although I think Hard Reset looks pretty good & you do not see those Polish devs moaning about piracy they just get on with it & even drop free DLC via Steam!

  18. strangeloup says:

    A lot of hate for F2P here. Some of it’s justified, but there’s some standout games that do it really well. Team Fortress 2 is a shining example — it’s seen more content updates in the 18 months or so since it went F2P than in the previous 3-4 years of its existence.

    There’s nothing that can’t be obtained by normal gameplay or in-game trading, but I never feel bad about buying hats I particularly fancy or whatever on the cash shop, purely because it feels far more like a way to pay back their generosity in constantly updating an awesome game for free than being nickel and dimed.

    • El_Emmental says:

      You’re talking about the game that lost its visual, artistic and gameplay identity ? I see…

      “it’s seen more content updates in the 18 months or so since it went F2P than in the previous 3-4 years of its existence.” – Quantity doesn’t mean quality, in fact it’s often the contrary.

      In TF2 the torrent of various content changed the game in a “Team-based FFA” where everyone pick its favourite items and hats and go “have fun” for an hour or two, regardless of their team, the map or the enemies.

      Anything related team balances, classes balances (= having at least 1 Medic, etc), working together on the current objectives and properly dealing with the enemy team (like having the Sniper focus on enemy Medics+Heavy couple, or the Spy harassing the Engy), was thrown out by the window by that content (the removal of the paywall helped too).

      Don’t get me wrong, TF2 is a good F2P, but a poor Team Fortress (2).

      • zeroskill says:

        You know there is this thing called community servers. Dedicated servers, fully customizable. Anything and everything can be disabled. Anybody I know plays on community servers, and there are quite a few that still play the game as they always have.

        The magic of a community driven game. If you are foolish enough to use the “play now” button it’s your own damn fault.

        There are even competitive communties that offer servers with competitive rule sets, imagine that! Yes, the magic of dedicated servers and active communties, who would have guessed! No more random crits, ban all the offensive artstyle braking hats, and no more Direct Hits or Fans! All this power at your fingertips! Magic surely.

        But seriously now, most people enjoy wearing silly hats while they shoot men on the internet in the face. This actually dates back to the olden times of Quake 3, even back then olden men shooting other olden men in the face with silly skins was quite popular.

        Oh no but you are ruining my immersive online cartoon fantasy world experience with you filthy, untastful hat wearing!

        Seriously, come on now.

        • El_Emmental says:

          I didn’t expect such rage, I mean, come on, I’m just stating what everyone acknowledged with the Demopan 2 years ago.

          “The magic of a community driven game. If you are foolish enough to use the “play now” button it’s your own damn fault.”
          > Dat baseless assumption. I started playing MP games when you had to type the IP address directly, as such things like masterserver, let alone server browser, didn’t existed yet (at least on all titles), so quit the “lol nub L2Serverbrowser” please.

          Now, regarding “You know there is this thing called community servers. Dedicated servers, fully customizable”. I won’t talk about your smugness again, I just thought that someone talking about how TF2 evolved since its release might know a thing or two about server-based multiplayer games.

          Regarding the game itself, the customization, you do know… No I won’t plain the disdain game, not today. So, there is customization.

          How many servers are actually using such customization ? Very few. What kind of customization they’re doing ? inst-respawn, no crit, and maybe one or two weapon blacklisting. Are there servers blocking all cosmetic items, most unlocks, in my region (ping below 150) ? As far as I know, nope.

          bonus question: Is there a way to find such servers easily in the server browser ? nope, to use the “filters” you need to know the tags beforehand.

          Once again, you take the fact that you can customize, and use it to dismiss any comments regarding the actual state of the game.

          With that in mind, you could also say “Why don’t you make your own game with the Source SDK/UDR/CryEngine/Unity then, uh ?”, and dismiss all comments and opinions on any video game, ever.

          • zeroskill says:

            Considering the tone of your post, there is only one person being ragey here.

            I’m just tierd that people that obviously don’t care enough about Team Fortress 2 to even get organized and create simple vanilla servers (a thing that many other Team Fortress 2 players have been doing for years creating all kinds of free Team Fortress 2 community content, ranging from skins, to maps, to server side mods, running community servers to their liking) bitch about the old “omg how dare Valve actually integrate the skin making community into the actual game”. It’s so insulting to the people who have been involved in creating communty content (for free) for this amazing game I almost feel sorry for them.

            I just can’t hear it anymore. There are so many people that invest their free time to create stuff in this game, and these whiny artstyle complainers haven’t even got what it takes to set up some simple server rules. To me those people have no arguemnt whatsoever if they don’t even care enough about the game to get a bunch of people together that want to play the game in a certain way and set up a server.

            All they do is compalin on the internet about it. Get real. Do something. Valve will never listen to you if all you do is bitch and whine about it on the internet. If there are really people who just want to play it vanilla, you have all the tools to make it so and if you get enough people together Valve will take notice.

            But you don’t want that. you just want to bitch. You can flame me all you want, it won’t change anything and I don’t care. Doing something about it maybe will. Who is Valve going to listen to, some whiny crybabies on the internet or people who actually DO something? An easy question to answer.

            For your consideration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WHptG35EWU

          • El_Emmental says:

            Geez, relax man.

            Please avoid falling into the “booh you’re all just a bunch of whiny baby” tirade, we’re on RPS we’re supposed to take a step back before clicking on “Opinion, away !”.

            I know people spent their free time creating content. Back in the days I did some minor work for modders (nothing regarding coding, sadly, never got around learning it), played and promoted tons of mods, I know how difficult it is to create content and make sure people at least try it.

            Regarding Valve, I’m not mad at them, in my opinion (= not the universal truth, bloody of course), they turned a great, aging Team Fortress game, into a great, new F2P Team-based fun shooter. It’s their game, bazilions of people around the world enjoy it, some content creators are getting some money out of it, I really like all of that.

            When I was no longer interested in the gameplay experience provided by TF2, I just stopped playing it and played other games (some Source mods, Tribes Ascend, RO2, now NS2 – plenty of fish in the sea :P). Sure, I had a few days of nostalgia, being an avid player of TF and TFC, but in the end my now-defunct enjoyment of the game was vastly compensated by the enjoyment of it by thousands of other players, so it’s ok.

            It’s just that I wanted to remind people reading the comments that going F2P is *not* without consequences, and that TF2, while being a very good example of going-F2P, is not a “solid proof” that F2P is necessarily the way to go for all games, that there is downsides aswell.

            Also, I think you played enough online MP games to know the difficulty in setting up a server, especially a custom server, and making it running.

            a) You need a minimum amount of expertise to set up, maintain, repair the server when it crashes/lag.

            b) You also need a team of admins so the server is supervised at least 4 hours a day, especially during rush hours.

            c) Then you need to either be rich/with a good job or set up donations, with all the issues you’ll run into (people paying want power, then they abuse it, etc – and you’ll have to vote for each decisions, with a pro and anti sides for everything).

            d) Then you also need to advertise your server on as much gaming platforms (such as gaming forums) to make sure there is enough players on it to keep it alive.

            This requires several hours of organization per week, mental stress and a steady financial cost. That’s why these vanilla/partially-vanilla servers are very rare, and that’s why you can’t just say “you technically can, therefore there is no reason to criticize”.

            Thinking about it now, maybe Valve could make it a new filter option in the serverbrowser menu (vanilla/no cosmetic items/normal), but then it would kinda interfere with the Mann Co store.

            But again, relax, it’s just a game, a great game that had the time to be enjoyed by every kind of player over the years, there’s no need to be mad at anyone.

            ps: the MvM mode is quite fun with good teammates :D

      • The Random One says:

        Gasp! People having FUN? In a GAME? The nerve of some people! BAN THIS SLICK FIST

        • El_Emmental says:

          Bonus point for not reading my post ! :D

          • The Random One says:

            You are correct, I apologize for my error.

            Gasp! People having FUN in a GAME in a way you personally don’t find fun? The nerve of some people! BAN THIS FLEETING SILK

          • El_Emmental says:

            You’re on a combo spree of bad faith, keep at it ! :V

      • darkChozo says:

        Um, pubbing in TF2 has always been like that. While you can certainly say that the game lost its aesthetic integrity due to HATZ, stuff like 32 player instarespawn 2Fort servers have been in the game from the start, and players have always, on the whole, been pretty stupid. It’s not like there weren’t games where half your team went Sniper/Spy four years ago, after all. Item balance is fine enough, most of the competitive leagues allow a majority of non-vanilla items, barring some bad apples.

        And it’s not like TF2 going F2P was such a huge stretch; it’d already been repeatedly obtainable at $2.50 for months, if not years before it actually went free, and at that point it’s less of a paywall and more of a credit card ownership test. And even that would’ve been broken by this point, considering that there are cash-purchasable Steam cards nowadays.

  19. Groove says:

    If I’d paid £0 for Crysis 2 I might have felt less disapointed about it.

    I’d still have been disapointed, obviously, but a lot less.

  20. InternetBatman says:

    I don’t think free to play will work for that many single-player games. One of the major forces driving the f2p model is conspicuous consumption. You could say that you could offer a small base game for free and then sell episodes or DLC, but I fail to see how that is much different from a demo. Finally, one of the strengths of free to play is that they don’t give you a game; they let you play for free on their servers. This means that it will be hard to have a single-player f2p game that isn’t burdened with cumbersome DRM.

    I enjoy f2p games like DDO, LoL, and Dota2 a lot, but I think the model is best in limited situations. Personally, I think the market will increasingly move towards small indie games that will lack the ability or resources to set up elaborate f2p structures.

  21. LTK says:

    Oh god no. If F2P multiplayer is going to be the norm along packaged single player, that means even MORE trite, derivative multiplayer modes that draw money away from the single-player experience, because publishers are going to learn how to turn F2P multiplayer into a drip-feed of money long after the single-player sales have died down. Single-player is going to suffer as a result.

    • Feferuco says:

      Or maybe there’ll be more space for unique single player games that don’t try to compete with an awesome free to play shooter.

  22. Marik Bentusi says:

    Sounds like what the man wants is a demo.

  23. Feferuco says:

    I think this is great. Specially when it comes from large developers, they should all move to F2P. Take with them the audience that’s into mindless action (hey I’m part of this audience too).

    A good SP traditional action game will lose to a free version that’s just as fun. Still, people will want single player experiences but developers will have to try something different. If the focus of the industry continues to be mindless killfests video games will forever be limited. If F2P takes over I see it as more space for different approaches.

    Besides, it is even better for mindless killfests because devs won’t bother tacking a story to the game, they’ll focus on what’s important.

  24. aepervius says:

    I like the free to play model when it is “free to try then you can subscribe if you wish” for MMO. For example despite the cash shop I went subscriber onto DDO. But other game I tried as F2P, I quickly saw they did not interrest me and dropped them.

    Now F2P in single player game ? I refuse categorically.

  25. Calabi says:

    And just as they get going with free to play it’ll probably start declining. These people are idiots.

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