Last edited by Kadayi; 22-08-2012 at 01:55 PM.
If I remember correctly, it was the RIAA vs. LimeWire case that showed how completely ridiculous the pirated copy = lost sale argument is. The RIAA claimed damages for every traded song via LimeWire (which was just one of many p2p platforms) and ended up with a sum greater than the GDP of the entire world.
This isn't even anything to do with piracy = lost sale. It's piracy = wants to play the game for free = maybe a f2p model could squeeze some money out of those people. Clearly, if someone pirates a game, they are willing to play it for free. This is the very opposite argument of piracy = lost sale.
Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.
Yeah. F2P generally works on the same principle as DLC, except people are less likely to bitch about it.
Also, two of the F2Ps I've actually enjoyed (Blacklight and Tribes Ascend) basically have almost mandatory "starter packs" that even cover the initial purchase on the order of a "budget title".
It is safe to assume you will at least make money comparable to a retail title if you release an F2P. And, so long as you keep the initial development costs low enough (and companies like Ubi and EA and Activision can reuse code and even assets for that), you get a continuous stream of revenue. So if a title is really flopping, kill it and you don't have anywhere near as much lost earnings for the quarter.
Nah, I think that games like SW:TOR are going to be what leads to the "Singleplayer F2P Game". We used to call them "Episodic titles" but everyone except for Telltale kind of screwed the pooch on that. I blame Valve mostly.
For most people (myself included), we bought TOR because it seemed like a nice intro to MMOs (it is basically WoW with Mandalorians) but, more importantly, it was a Bioware game with a continuous stream of DLC. Bioware have always had two weaknesses: they use the same structure for every game, and they suck at endings (even if I LOVED Mass Effect 3, even before the DLC). So if you take out the "crappy endings", you get a near perfect game.
TOR flopped because it didn't appeal to the MMO demographic, but if they keep updating with new content (as they seem to be), the pseudo-F2P version should be a good step.
What I personally see happening is two categories of F2P SP games:
Open world titles where the free game (or even the "starter" game) is the first real region of the world with very basic quests. The extra content is stuff like factions and campaigns and, for "nominal" fees, new regions (tilesets) to explore. So imagine getting the land of Skyrim for free, and paying for each faction or class.
Mission based games where you, similarly, pay for quest lines, new toys, and even new tilesets. Using Mechwarrior for example: the core game might just be the first few planets of MW4 and Light or Medium Mechs (Probably Medium). You pay to unlock other weight classes and even mechs in those weight classes (with going up against them being the in-game advertising) as well as new planets to play on and even new strings of missions to play.
Obviously these will probably be tied to a multiplayer component (if only to justify Steam or some other always-on DRM), but there is definitely a market out there for them.
Also, if you want an F2P Mechwarrior; Go download the free re-release of Mechwarrior 4 Mercs. I preferred the Vengeance and Black Knight campaigns, but Mercs definitely had the best variety of mechs. And with the Mektek patch/pack integrated, you get even more toys.
In saying that neither side really has enough evidence to claim they are correct.
In regards to Single Player F2P, I agree with some previous comments that Episodic Content would work as a F2P model for single player. Something like MechWarrior can be rolled out as MP and using the assets in the game and the profits they make from selling skins/upgrades or whatever they could help fund episodic content for single players.
I don't understand the logic. If 95% of gamers refuse to buy Ubishit games then why do they assume that those same people will somehow magically be more willing to buy items and crap in f2p games?
With regard to the argument "X% piracy rate indicates that X/Y% of those are lost sales", that is really common sense and occam's razor, as Kadayi indicated. Like I said, what you consider the percentage of piracy to be lost sales will vary (a AAA title is probably well over 50% of those, a budget title or a bug fest well under 50%), but there is no denying that it is a sizable portion. The denials are mostly in an attempt to continue justifying "Companies bad!" and because the people denying it don't want to believe that other pirates have less admirable and respectable beliefs than them. I mean, everyone knows that ALL pirates are "try before you buy" or are so impoverished that they sold their hair to buy their top of the line GPU :p
I don't think it was TW2 that had a reported 90% rate, but let's pretend it was. They sold 1 million copies. So let's assume (thus making an ass out of you and me) that 10% of people pirated instead of purchased it. I understand that I have no concrete evidence for this, but it is a thought experiment. So shut your god damned gobs :p. That would mean 2 million sales. At 50 bucks a sale (and a large chunk of that being from GoG or another DD service that takes a small cut), that is along the order of 50 million dollars lost to piracy.
Obviously you have to take stuff like this with a grain of salt, but it is not unreasonable to assume a rate along those lines, seeing as how every single time somebody actually DOES show the math, it gets results in excess of 70% or so, and those are usually niche titles.
So if you don't want to believe 90% (I sure don't), fine. But it is very safe to assume it is in excess of 70 to 75 percent, and either way it is almost assuredly a "very large percentage".
It would completely kill the immersion and probably even the story "Sir, we've determined that an Atlas or similar tonnage mech would be appropriate for this mission, please insert $4.95 to play as an Atlas". =/
Well, the MW example could be easily worked in.
"Sir, we have reports of the Clan scum fielding multiple Daishi. Our analysts strongly recommend at least a Heavy mech, instead of your Bushwhacker. I believe there are a few heavies available on the Black Market"
Then you have the "Black Market" be the store.
So still sucking you dry for every penny, but at least integrated into the atmosphere.
Ubisoft's problem remains that they keep focussing on how to stop people who don't pay for their games from playing them, rather than how to get people who pay to enjoy them , or how to get people to want to buy them.
So much for his 'we have seen a clear reduction in piracy thanks to our DRM and we consider it a success' bullshit from a while ago.
As the op said:
-Don't make shit games.
-Don't do shit ports
-Don't try to sell games for a console premium price on pc.
-Don't shit on buyers with DRM, it is way easier to pirate any ubisoft game than play a bought copy.
When they go f2p they won't get it either.
Pay2win schemes and designing games to be as inconvenient as possible so you'd pay more.
Then their f2p games will fail, and then they'll come up with a new excuse.
And what are they going to do anyhow, stop making singleplayer games? Good luck with that.
No concept of what niche means obviously.
The only game they sold to me since the DRM bullshit started has been driver SF for 5 euros on steam, I own lots of ubisoft games from before that era, hell they were once ( a very long time ago) my favorite publisher. Do the math you flavor of the month suit.
Last edited by Finicky; 22-08-2012 at 03:00 PM.
Episodic content I think would work better as each episode would have an ending, just like on Tv or books or movies. It's not ideal either though because you could end up getting frustrated at having to wait another month or whatever for your next 2-3 hour experience.
It would probably only "break immersion" for a few times until it became a normal thing to do while playing video games.
Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.