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Ivo
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Re: F2P, or "I can't love you if I don't trust you"

by Ivo Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:08 am

irixith wrote:
J T wrote:That may be, but this is StarCraft II! The game sold 1.5 million copies in the first 48 hours of its release. It is the fastest selling realtime strategy game of ALL TIME. Surely, by most metrics, StarCraft II is still a huge success. I get the business logic Activision is using, I just find it incredibly sad that one of the top selling (and well crafted) games of our time is not even considered a success under the new business model that finds that trickling out content through a pay-as-you-go system is so much better for making money.

It's also sad that while game designers may strive to become the next Will Wright, Shigeru Miaymoto, John Carmack, Hideo Kojima, or Warren Spector, all of those dreams won't matter much in the new market if they can't help their corporate leaders become the next Zynga.


I hear you, I really do.

The problem is that there are successful sales metrics, and a successful bottom line. While selling one million copies of any game is a laudable achievement, it's less so if it's not providing an acceptable profit margin. It sucks that we're in an era where it costs so much to make top-tier games that even selling a million copies does not provide an acceptable (if at all) ROI!

If you compare games to say, the movie industry, they have multiple streams to recoup their investment. From the initial run in theatres, to consumer media sales, to streaming licensing deals, to hotels, to rentals, to television syndication, the list goes on! One product has multiple reaches. A game company can invest a similar amount of time and money in the creation of their product, and they've got retail sales and digital downloads. In that context, the importance of DLC, microtransactions, F2P becomes that much more apparent.

It seems to me that we need to figure out a way to roll with the industry changing. Freemium is going to be king for a while. What is it that we can do to ensure freemium doesn't become all there is?


I find this peculiar. Before Blizzard became part of Activision, they were certainly making enough money with their strategy to be able to support themselves despite following their business model - unfortunately it is hard to say that after WoW as that in itself means they would be profitable (and be an attractive purchase for Activision) regardless.

Anyway, they had server costs for Battle.net and they were pouring balance tweaks for *years* for Diablo 2 and SC. I believe that those tweaks have diminishing costs because just as the players become more and more familiar with the game, the (small?) team assigned to those tweaks has to be pretty experienced at it after several years of focusing on that.

But they also gott advertising money from running ads on their Battle.net servers. Surely that is an alternative business model to "freemium" at least for games with an online component?

One thing to note is that Blizzard games - because of those perks they provide, no doubt - also have shelf lives of years, unlike basically everything else out there (except maybe stuff from Valve, who I guess also tweak Team Fortress or whatever it is). I don't think there is much doubt right now that SC2 will continue to sell for years, and I think people may be neglecting that.

Ivo.
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Zing
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Re: F2P, or "I can't love you if I don't trust you"

by Zing Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:50 am

I'd argue that the continuous development of Starcraft is what led to the high sales in the first place. If Starcraft wasn't tweaked for years after its release, it may have not become so popular. In othe words, the is inherent value in after-purchase customer support.
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Ivo
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Re: F2P, or "I can't love you if I don't trust you"

by Ivo Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:35 pm

Zing wrote:I'd argue that the continuous development of Starcraft is what led to the high sales in the first place. If Starcraft wasn't tweaked for years after its release, it may have not become so popular. In othe words, the is inherent value in after-purchase customer support.


Also, the continuous development of Starcraft 1 (and Diablo, and D2, and the expansions) probably contributed significantly to the high sales of Starcraft 2 as well. If they change their approach and don't support SC2 to that extent, I would expect a potential games from Blizzard to not sell as well as they have.

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Blurz
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Re: F2P, or "I can't love you if I don't trust you"

by Blurz Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:21 pm

I'm not sure why people haven't mentioned Team Fortress 2 yet. It is one of the more balanced shooters available, where you get free weekly updates, can get every weapon while being F2P, and only have to pay $5 once to have the full version where you can trade, get certain drops, and have access to an expanded backpack. I know some people dismiss it because this game has lots of hats available, but as I said before, you don't have to pay for it and it doesn't affect gameplay it is basically very customizable character skins that you don't have to pay for like in almost every othe game.
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Pulsar_t
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Re: F2P, or "I can't love you if I don't trust you"

by Pulsar_t Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:07 am

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