A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

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Smithy
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A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Smithy » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:49 pm

So i was reading this article at RPS about server "features/options" for RO2.. thought i would bring this up to others in the clan so maybe they could support a developer who cares about its base.. Big shout out to TWI! for not under cutting pc gamers.

BTW any one seen the Vietnam Mod for RO2 in development looks awesome
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by dox » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:13 pm

From the outside looking in it looks like it will be a fantastic product, but to be honest: most do. That said, TWI has not earned boos and hisses from previous flops (unlike almost all of their competition) and therefore, in my books, are most deserving of a pre-order. To already have mods in development is unbelievably exciting. I think our dedication to RO may well (again) be vindicated!

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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Enef » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:57 pm

The more important RPS article's from today...

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/20/dota-2-f2p/

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06 ... e-to-play/

:o

I'm hoping its Dota for free (with a pay-to-play model such as LoL) and not TF2.
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Holyman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:58 pm

it's pretty funny that something that used to be standard through out FPS games on PC is now looked at as an amazing thing...
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Smithy » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:34 pm

Holyman wrote:it's pretty funny that something that used to be standard through out FPS games on PC is now looked at as an amazing thing...

Exactly when i was writing the OP i originally had an argument about how it was sad that typical standard things that pc gamers have grown to expect were listed as "features"
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Smithy » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:39 pm

Enef wrote:The more important RPS article's from today...

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/20/dota-2-f2p/

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06 ... e-to-play/

:o

I'm hoping its Dota for free (with a pay-to-play model such as LoL) and not TF2.
Ugh free to play... The Cancer of Online Gaming if you ask me.. i hate the model so bad
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Enef » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:35 pm

The way LoL has done it works for me, the stuff you need to play the game can be unlocked by playing the game enough, the cosmetic items can be bought for real money. Honestly, i can live without cosmetic items in most games (except tf2) so its no biggie.

Honestly, i think you'll see a lot more games using the free to play model in the future. Especially looking at League of Legends success at dreamhack, for an 8 team finals championship tournament they had a massive amount of viewers all weekend, eclipsing both Sc2 and QuakeLive.
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by dox » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:59 pm

Here is a few reasons why I think "Freemium" is bad for gaming:
  • Customer support goes out the window, so does the responsibility to make things work for customers. Did you think PC games have been getting technically worse? Hold on to freemium and see how bad it can get!
  • Competition, in the long-term, dwindles down to the "big boys" [aka: less choice] (entering the market with a "freemium" model means you need a lot of money to begin with). Not many PC games coming out these days? Hold on to freemium and you'll see even less.
  • The free component plays second fiddle to the paid content (you have to do quality control on the pieces clients paid for). You might as well buy the game.
  • It's easy to introduce balance issues (how many paid games have balance issues, how many 'free2play'?). Keeping it to hats/clothes is fine'n'dandy, but otherwise you're setting up haves vs. havenots and freemium isn't so good anymore.
  • You're not a subscriber anymore, your rights are reduced (you can't claim "but I paid and you promised!").
  • Quantity is emphasized over quality (free2play has to make up for all those free users). Exclusivity is good -- look at the communities @ launch for COD (mass market) and TF (niche), huge difference.
I could go on, this was recently the subject of some words from Nintendo's CEO:
Satoru Iwata wrote: When we talk about the value of software, it could be a great $1 piece of content or a $50 piece of content," he added. "The point is: Does it maintain its value over time or is it such disposable content that the value quickly goes to zero?"
Satoru Iwata wrote: "If we are going to destroy the value of the game software - once we have done so, it's a difficult job to recover from that situation," he continued. "There are great examples of advertising and doing the microtransactions, and several companies who have come up with that kind of system. But on the other hand, if you ask me, is this the system that can be sustained for the long time? I don't know the answer. And, my point is that I'm not willing to go that direction, as well."
..point is, whether you agree or not: it's an important subject for the longevity of the industry and not to be taken too lightly. Just because you're getting free stuff that satisfies you now doesn't mean that you can count on that being the case in the future, nor for the opposite. Personally speaking, I think "freemium" is pretty bad for all of the reasons above..

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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by ent » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:23 am

dox wrote:Here is a few reasons why I think "Freemium" is bad for gaming:
  • Customer support goes out the window, so does the responsibility to make things work for customers. Did you think PC games have been getting technically worse? Hold on to freemium and see how bad it can get!
Why would customer support get worse? Developers actually make more money off of freemium titles than they do with the standard model and they benefit financially by people continuing to play their title. With the standard retail model they could care less, they've already got your $50.
dox wrote:[*]Competition, in the long-term, dwindles down to the "big boys" [aka: less choice] (entering the market with a "freemium" model means you need a lot of money to begin with). Not many PC games coming out these days? Hold on to freemium and you'll see even less.
[*]The free component plays second fiddle to the paid content (you have to do quality control on the pieces clients paid for). You might as well buy the game.
[*]It's easy to introduce balance issues (how many paid games have balance issues, how many 'free2play'?). Keeping it to hats/clothes is fine'n'dandy, but otherwise you're setting up haves vs. havenots and freemium isn't so good anymore.
I haven't seen this becoming much of an issue with League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth.
dox wrote:[*]You're not a subscriber anymore, your rights are reduced (you can't claim "but I paid and you promised!").
Developers have just as much of a commitment to maintain quality with freemium games as they do standard retail games. If they don't, they'll get a bad reputation and people won't buy their stuff as much. Almost every retail developer outside of Valve and Blizzard cuts and runs after the game ships. In fact, you could argue that developers have more of a commitment to keep the game maintained and interesting with the freemium model as their profits are based off of the continued usage of their product by as many people as possible.
dox wrote:[*]Quantity is emphasized over quality (free2play has to make up for all those free users). Exclusivity is good -- look at the communities @ launch for COD (mass market) and TF (niche), huge difference.[/list]
False dichotomy. Look at the launch communities for the PC version of CoD vs. the Xbox, PC Left 4 Dead vs. Console, etc. etc.

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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Atomic » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:23 am

I'd argue against your comment about "competition" (i.e. that only people with lots of resources can afford to create a freemium game). The reason there is that if you look at it all the games that are going free-to-play right now are ones that were previously maintained by subscription fees (and for the most part an initial purchase by the user). It seems to me that once a game has been out for quite a long time and the number of subscribers begins to fall off that making the transition to micropayments instead of requiring a subscription can potentially revive a game by bringing back people who had previously quit.

The main problem with this approach is ensuring that the income generated by the micropayments is greater than the income you would have gained by subcriptions alone with a smaller player base, both from a profits perspective and also having to cope with increased demand on infrastructure (with all the old players coming back etc.)

Going straight in from day 1 with a free-to-play model is certainly a risky business and in that case I'd agree that only the big players in the industry could afford to fund such an effort, but right now that's not the approach we are seeing.

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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by dox » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:58 am

ent wrote:
dox wrote:Here is a few reasons why I think "Freemium" is bad for gaming:
  • Customer support goes out the window, so does the responsibility to make things work for customers. Did you think PC games have been getting technically worse? Hold on to freemium and see how bad it can get!
Why would customer support get worse? Developers actually make more money off of freemium titles than they do with the standard model and they benefit financially by people continuing to play their title. With the standard retail model they could care less, they've already got your $50.
I haven't seen anything that shows freemium making more money than "standard model". If it did, I highly doubt that all that revenue would be channeled toward more customer support; just think about scaling that out with a conversion rate of, what, 20%? As to "already got your $50"; that would entitle you to more support than $0 would, no? Now scale that. Though any accountant will preach the virtues of a recurring revenue stream you end up risking more and complicating matters by introducing second level CPAs and having to maintain operations/support indefinitely. People everywhere seek to downsize their support for a reason! I still see COD knocking out a cool billion, I don't think these freemium players are at that level (of course I could be wrong, have they made as much?)
ent wrote:
dox wrote:[*]Competition, in the long-term, dwindles down to the "big boys" [aka: less choice] (entering the market with a "freemium" model means you need a lot of money to begin with). Not many PC games coming out these days? Hold on to freemium and you'll see even less.
[*]The free component plays second fiddle to the paid content (you have to do quality control on the pieces clients paid for). You might as well buy the game.
[*]It's easy to introduce balance issues (how many paid games have balance issues, how many 'free2play'?). Keeping it to hats/clothes is fine'n'dandy, but otherwise you're setting up haves vs. havenots and freemium isn't so good anymore.
I haven't seen this becoming much of an issue with League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth.
Do you think there's any chance that another independently built mod like DOTA will have a chance of appearing with LOL, HON and DOTA2 on the market? Remember, that's how it originally came to be.
Even if LoL or HoN have no second fiddle / free content / balance issues (which I really, really doubt; I haven't played enough to know) that would only be part statement for the freemium model given readily available counter examples like Battlefield Heroes, a bunch of MMOs and certain amount of mobile games which end up more like being crippled demos than anything else.
ent wrote:
dox wrote:[*]You're not a subscriber anymore, your rights are reduced (you can't claim "but I paid and you promised!").
Developers have just as much of a commitment to maintain quality with freemium games as they do standard retail games. If they don't, they'll get a bad reputation and people won't buy their stuff as much. Almost every retail developer outside of Valve and Blizzard cuts and runs after the game ships. In fact, you could argue that developers have more of a commitment to keep the game maintained and interesting with the freemium model as their profits are based off of the continued usage of their product by as many people as possible.
Their profits are based off of the continued conversion of players in their already free game. That's a huge difference. If you're not subscribing then service agreements are not in place and the publisher/developer can change things on you at the drop of a hat. Again: look at Battlefield Heroes.
ent wrote:
dox wrote:[*]Quantity is emphasized over quality (free2play has to make up for all those free users). Exclusivity is good -- look at the communities @ launch for COD (mass market) and TF (niche), huge difference.[/list]
False dichotomy. Look at the launch communities for the PC version of CoD vs. the Xbox, PC Left 4 Dead vs. Console, etc. etc.
I'm looking but I don't see the difference. I hardly think it can be argued that, say, the PC CoD community has less smacktards per-capita than the Xbox version.
Atomic wrote:I'd argue against your comment about "competition" (i.e. that only people with lots of resources can afford to create a freemium game). The reason there is that if you look at it all the games that are going free-to-play right now are ones that were previously maintained by subscription fees (and for the most part an initial purchase by the user). It seems to me that once a game has been out for quite a long time and the number of subscribers begins to fall off that making the transition to micropayments instead of requiring a subscription can potentially revive a game by bringing back people who had previously quit.

The main problem with this approach is ensuring that the income generated by the micropayments is greater than the income you would have gained by subcriptions alone with a smaller player base, both from a profits perspective and also having to cope with increased demand on infrastructure (with all the old players coming back etc.)

Going straight in from day 1 with a free-to-play model is certainly a risky business and in that case I'd agree that only the big players in the industry could afford to fund such an effort, but right now that's not the approach we are seeing.
I think you're actually arguing for my point: granted that a few of the titles you've seen went subscription->freemium and have kept the game going longer but the investment required to build them in the first place (non-freemium) is typically far above the reach of other developers. Independent studios can't do it. Individuals can barely do it. First time studios of any size likely can't do it.

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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Holyman » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:03 am

ent wrote:
dox wrote:
dox wrote:[*]Competition, in the long-term, dwindles down to the "big boys" [aka: less choice] (entering the market with a "freemium" model means you need a lot of money to begin with). Not many PC games coming out these days? Hold on to freemium and you'll see even less.
[*]The free component plays second fiddle to the paid content (you have to do quality control on the pieces clients paid for). You might as well buy the game.
[*]It's easy to introduce balance issues (how many paid games have balance issues, how many 'free2play'?). Keeping it to hats/clothes is fine'n'dandy, but otherwise you're setting up haves vs. havenots and freemium isn't so good anymore.
I haven't seen this becoming much of an issue with League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth.
Balance issues are a pretty big deal in LoL as they churn out heroes for people to buy without properly testing them first
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Enef » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:58 pm

But you don't HAVE to buy that hero to get them. You can use your in game currency (earned really quickly and easily by playing games) to buy them. Meaning they are free (except for you spending your time).
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Smithy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:57 pm

Enef wrote:But you don't HAVE to buy that hero to get them. You can use your in game currency (earned really quickly and easily by playing games) to buy them. Meaning they are free (except for you spending your time).

its still not balanced enef.. Why should i have to spend X amount of hours to unlock this hero what if i dont have that much time how am i going to be competative if the op hero is needed to win? or it could be like BF2 for free were u unlock the gun for X amount of hours and then you have to spend in-game credits to get it again. of course that time limit goes away if you buy it!! cheese.

Better yet let me give the developer 50$ and you give every one the same tools to master the game.
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Re: A gem in a sad state of "pc" game development

Post by Holyman » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:16 am

Enef wrote:But you don't HAVE to buy that hero to get them. You can use your in game currency (earned really quickly and easily by playing games) to buy them. Meaning they are free (except for you spending your time).
that wasn't my argument?
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