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Old 2011-08-08, 10:55 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
NlightN
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Making this work


Hey all, been lurking around here for a little while now and been keeping up with PS since well before release. I'm really hyped about this upcoming sequel much like the rest of you, or 'remake' as they're calling it.....but anyhow......


Let's say we're all working in the sales department for PS2. What do you guys think would be the best model for sustaining a playerbase high enough to maintain these thousand player battles the devs are aiming for and that we're all dreaming about. Being within reason and not just how you might want it personally, what do you think is one that would appeal to a high contingency of ppl, and at the same time provide the devs with the finances they need to maintain a quality grade, ever evolving, and cheat-free game.

I personally think the perfect financial model for PS2 would be the standard - buy the boxed copy (or digital download equivalent), then charge a very very reasonable sub fee, like $4.99 month (initiated after the first 30 days) which covers all expansions, together with a micro trans store for non gameplay affecting purchases only (armor decorations, outfit logos for vehicles, etc.)

My reason......with all the popular non-sub FPSs out there, and ones that will have come out by release time of PS2, the game needs to have a very reasonable subscription fee (which I think is necessary for a game of this magnitude and ambition) to keep players from drifting away to those other games and cutting off their subs. Then adding micros into the equation, it should make this model very feasible by allowing them to make up the difference to that of a standard AAA sub premium.

The business model for PS2 is most definitely going to be a major determing factor to the success of this game, and so what are other peoples ideas for a good model or what do you think about this one?
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:06 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
FIREk
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Re: Making this work


Free to play,
Premium account (monthly payment of $10-$15) giving 100% faster skill training, 50% more Battle Rank XP and maybe a discount on vanity items,
Microtransaction store with pretty or practical stuff that doesn't give a significant advantage (so anything from customization items to weapon scopes/silencers, normally unavailabla in the game).

I'm pretty sure this will be good enough, depending on how much customization will be realistically possible in PS2. At least it won't scare away the FPS gamers (not used to paying subscriptions).
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:16 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
Aractain
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Re: Making this work


Box cost, free-to-play with support for micros.
pay for content packs (new vehicles, guns etc new maps are awalys free to keep people playing together - not more powerful items though, never that!).

That box cost is a big recoup on buget but a sub of any kind is just dumb when it comes to energetic intesive shooters. People just can't put as much time into them as they can a more lesuierly game like WoW. Thus people have this state of mind they are wasting money if they only play on weekends etc - EVEN IF they would spend more money overall with free to play.

Guild Wars 2 is doing this perfectly - although we don't know what kind of other things they will sell yet.

Micro + Subs is the worst option. It feels like your being nickle and dimed as well as obligated to play as much as possible.
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Old 2011-08-08, 11:24 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
NlightN
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Re: Making this work


Originally Posted by FIREk View Post
Free to play,
Premium account (monthly payment of $10-$15) giving 100% faster skill training, 50% more Battle Rank XP and maybe a discount on vanity items,
Microtransaction store with pretty or practical stuff that doesn't give a significant advantage (so anything from customization items to weapon scopes/silencers, normally unavailabla in the game).

I'm pretty sure this will be good enough, depending on how much customization will be realistically possible in PS2. At least it won't scare away the FPS gamers (not used to paying subscriptions).

Do you really think a primarily free-to-play model would be able to suffice a game like PS2, sure it can work for a game like LoLs, but an MMO like PS2, in which they've stated they will have a dedicated hack watching team? I don't know if that model's been tested enough to want to test it on the success of PS2 personally. And with a premium sub like you're talking about next to it (which I bet only a small percentage of players would go for) ppl might just sub it for a few months to rush skills up, and then cut it off after reaching a comfortable level in a couple classes.
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Old 2011-08-08, 12:04 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
basti
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Re: Making this work


Once and for all: Box price as usual, common Sub per month, Micro transactiosn for cosmetic items.

Free 2 play or whatever = no game for me. Once you actually played enough F2P games, you know why.
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-08, 12:09 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
Malorn
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Re: Making this work


DDO is a great example of Free-to-play working.

That said, if PS2 is going to be on any consoles or on shelves then the game itself will sell for $60 bucks like any other mainstream console / PC game. This is good though...
a) It brings immediate revenue to SOE for the purchase
b) It deters hackers/griefers from permeating the game (which they would if it were 100% free, but when they need to pay $ for the account it raises the bar).
c) It is consistent with every other major shooter game released - pay once, play forever.

So on top of that build in the DDO lessons, which I believe is one of those most successful F2P models there is. DDO went from a dying game to having more paying subs than it had before it went F2P. It has more revenue now than when it was pure sub-based, so from a business perspective they're a very good model to take a look at. They can take conceptual model from DDO though the implementation will have to be drastically different since PS2 isn't a RPG with PvE content and all that typical stuff. Some things won't transition well (like content access), and others will manifest differently (like bank space).

- DDO does not sell power in their store. This is incredibly important, and Smed has also gone out of his way to confirm the same.

You have the "Premium account" - if you ever buy anything from the store at all, no matter what it is, you are forever a "premium" account. This is a good recognition, because once you buy one thing from a store, chances are very high you'll buy something else later. So they recognize that as a paying customer.

Premium accounts could get some small 'teaser' versions of some of the VIP perks, such as a small bonus to cert training speed, small bonus to xp gain, and small increase in maximum resource capacity (non-stacking with VIP of course).

Then you have a "VIP" - this is a subscription account and you get more perks and bigger bonuses on perks over the premium accounts. The VIP account has some notable perks, including more bank space, more content availability, etc. At the end of every month you get some credits toward the in-game store for purchasing vanity items and what not.

For PS2, VIP access could do a number of things that won't affect power of the game.
- Faster cert training speed...the obvious choice
- Faster xp gaining speed
- If there's a server queue they could go to the front of it
- Increased maximum resource pool (this is the rough equivalent to more bank space - it means nothing if your rate of resource gain and consumption is the same, but allows you to stockpile more if you wish).
- credits awarded at the end of the month to buy vanity items or what not.


PS2 could easily blend the typical FPS model with DDO's free-to-play model. Have the game in stores like any other game charging the usual amount, and then it goes into Free-to-play mode.

And if you are content with that great. If you dont' mind paying more money for the game and want some additional convenience perks you can do so.


DDO also had the ability to buy some of the VIP perks up to a certain extent a la carte. They seemed to make a small mistake here because those who did the math realized that after about a year if you had spent the same amount of money but had bought the bonuses a la carte over going VIP you would have evened out without paying the VIP sub price past 1 year. They addressed this by making some of the VIP bonus stack over purchased amount. Meaning even a VIP could purchase more bank slots over what a VIP normally got. It could work the same here to allow people to buy-in to some of the bonuses they really want but still have the VIP have the best possible.

I think that model could work well. My only concern with 100% free-to-play is the hacking/griefing potential of someone going out and fetching a new account and then going wild. To a lesser extent you could have empire hoppers/spies more easily if there's no cost per-account. Paying money per-account is a strong deterrent to those things as many players won't do it, though some still will and you can't stop that. Of course the cost on the account will cost some customers. One solution would be to not make the game 100% free but make it significantly cheaper than other games (like $19-29 or something in that range instead of the usual $59).
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Old 2011-08-08, 12:18 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
BorisBlade
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Re: Making this work


Originally Posted by basti View Post
Once and for all: Box price as usual, common Sub per month, Micro transactiosn for cosmetic items.

Free 2 play or whatever = no game for me. Once you actually played enough F2P games, you know why.
Agreed, everytime i see free to play, I get turned off and lose interest.

The free to play crap is total bs, cause its not really free. You get nickel and dimed to death, and its usually pay to win.

I'll take a dual model. Let em get the basic stuff for free, slow xp/training up or whatever, let em buy the micro vanity junk. But also give us a premium sub model. Let me have full speed xp/levelin and most things free, with some free cash per month to spend on the micro store for the non free items. However, honestly, if im payin full price for the game + monthly sub, you should just give me most everything for free. At 15 bux you are gettin as much money from a full price game every 3 months since retailers arent takin their cut from the game. Seems like a good deal. Dont try to make me pay subs/full game and then still expect more micro's.

I wont play completely f2p micro trans multiplayer games, seen quite a few games that looked great and i was goin to buy until i saw the micro crap, never gave em a second look after that.

Last edited by BorisBlade; 2011-08-08 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 2011-08-08, 12:32 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
CutterJohn
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Re: Making this work


Support for some method of being able to jump in and play the game, whether thats free to play or purchasable 'minutes' like a cell phone contract that carry over month to month. There comes a point in every mmo where you want to play a bit, but not $15 worth. Then you cancel, and rather than play a bit, you don't play at all.

Last edited by CutterJohn; 2011-08-08 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 2011-08-08, 12:35 PM   [Ignore Me] #9
Jennyboo
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Re: Making this work


Originally Posted by basti View Post
Once and for all: Box price as usual, common Sub per month, Micro transactiosn for cosmetic items.

Free 2 play or whatever = no game for me. Once you actually played enough F2P games, you know why.
I agree
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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2011-08-08, 12:50 PM   [Ignore Me] #10
Malorn
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Re: Making this work


Originally Posted by BorisBlade View Post
Agreed, everytime i see free to play, I get turned off and lose interest.

The free to play crap is total bs, cause its not really free. You get nickel and dimed to death, and its usually pay to win.
That's the fear most of us have, but that fear is only real if you can trade money for in-game power. There are many ways to make free to play work without selling power. If power isnt' being sold then what is being sold is vanity and convenience (time-savers).

F2P in general is very good because it brings in a lot more players and if the paying/subscription model offers enough value some of those will switch over and pay. We the players get a larger player base and thus a thriving game while SOE gets more money in the long run due to the thriving game. DDO is a great example of this.

Smed has clearly stated that they will not sell power. Taking him at his word, the F2P model could work very well.

Remember Fodderside? When they did that program allowing players to play up to like BR 6 or something like that for free and try out the game? It brought in a huge influx of players and revitalized Planetside. Those were all people who were hesitant on paying for a game but were willing to try it out. If we had that refined, got the hacking concerns sorted, and allowed players to go much higher than BR6 (but it might take them longer than a paying customer), then we'd likely retain such players and keep the game thriving.

Most FPS games out on the market are also buy-once, play forever, so PS is in an odd position of straddling two different genres with very different expectations.

As long as they don't sell power it could work out very well. Lot of people are willing to trade money for time or so they can be a unique slowflake.
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Old 2011-08-08, 01:18 PM   [Ignore Me] #11
CutterJohn
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Re: Making this work


Free to play: If you pay, you are more powerful. If you don't pay, you are not, but still get to play.

Subscription: If you pay, you are infinitely more powerful because not paying means you cannot play at all.

So whats the problem? Why is that a fear? Thats a good deal. People who don't want to pay don't have to and still get to play, even if those that do pay have an advantage. The argument makes no sense at all.


Name one game that you've played, not heard about playing, not seen on a banner ad, but a game you've played where your personal experience was ruined because you felt like playing for free.

Last edited by CutterJohn; 2011-08-08 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 2011-08-08, 01:49 PM   [Ignore Me] #12
NlightN
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Re: Making this work


Originally Posted by Aractain View Post
Micro + Subs is the worst option. It feels like your being nickle and dimed as well as obligated to play as much as possible.

It's not micro + subs.....with that model the majority of the players would be paying just $4.99/mo (ppl spend more than that a month for the Sunday paper here in the US) which would be just a sub. BUT, those who have more funds than they know what to do with, and want to deck out their characters or outfits with "non-gameplay" affecting options only like I said would add a supplementary source of income for PS2. Ahead of this, I say they should have maybe a one-week free trial to let players experience the massive warfare and char advancement in PS2, and then they'll see how much game they're getting for a measley 5 bucks a month. Like others have said, I don't think a primarily F2P model would create the ideal playerbase nor atmosphere that we want to see in this game.



The thing about Planetside is that you'll want to draw in more cashflow than the standard instanced based FPSs, but much less than the WoWish behemoth RPG MMOs so such a minute subscription fee seems to be well within reason.
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Old 2011-08-08, 05:06 PM   [Ignore Me] #13
Raymac
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Re: Making this work


Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Remember Fodderside? When they did that program allowing players to play up to like BR 6 or something like that for free and try out the game? It brought in a huge influx of players and revitalized Planetside. Those were all people who were hesitant on paying for a game but were willing to try it out. If we had that refined, got the hacking concerns sorted, and allowed players to go much higher than BR6 (but it might take them longer than a paying customer), then we'd likely retain such players and keep the game thriving.

Most FPS games out on the market are also buy-once, play forever, so PS is in an odd position of straddling two different genres with very different expectations.

As long as they don't sell power it could work out very well. Lot of people are willing to trade money for time or so they can be a unique slowflake.
^This
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Old 2011-08-08, 05:13 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
Huma
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Re: Making this work


Box cost and sub here. You shouldn't have to pay money for perks you should already have. Besides you get what you pay for and I've played enough to know the difference.
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Old 2011-08-08, 05:16 PM   [Ignore Me] #15
MasterChief096
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Re: Making this work


I think the game should $40-$60 dollars right off the bat.

After that you have three options for playing:

1. Free-to-play, but instituted like reserves in PlanetSide 1. You can get to BR6 but no further and can train those skills offline etc like everyone else, but no going past BR6 till you upgrade.

2. Monthly sub, $5-$10 monthly subscription. $15 is a bit high for an FPS, and I think it would deter people. Once you subscribe, you can pass BR6. If you unsubscribe past BR6 you can't play that character, you have to play another BR6 you have.

3. Hour purchase. APB did this in the beginning and I think its a good model. You can purchase say 40 hours of in-game play time for like $15 or something. Before you get all critical, this sounds like a low amount of time for us hard core PS players that spent well over 40 hours a month playing the game, however as previously stated, not everyone plays enough in one month to justify a monthly fee. Therefore these types of people can purchase a set of hours for some money and play whenever they get time. A lot of guys only log on during the weekends or for an hour or so every night. This would cater to them. Of course price per hour could be discussed.

That concludes the options for playing PlanetSide, and of course include the micro-transaction shop for cosmetic/convenience stuff for additional income.
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