My survey for my school project

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by XILEDWhiteMage, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. XILEDWhiteMage New Member

  2. Sanjo Mr. No Fucks Given

  3. Philoctetes Crowfall Leadership

    I filled it out but I think the questions could use some work.

    I would have liked to see something about monthly subs vs cash shop as I feel people would answer differently given those two choices.

    For example:

    I would prefer a monthly sub with no cash shop at all.

    If there were a cash shop no items or services that give any sort of competitive advantage. Most companies break this promise.
  4. Cedwyn Banned


    I am guessing this survey is in regards to a free-to-play (no initial cost) with a cashshop game.

    1) All games cost money to operate. Free-to-play with cashshop has been shown to make more money than initial cost variants. Look at NCSoft's quarterly numbers for example of different business models/games (it shows costs vs. revenue for each game):

    2) If your argument is that "free to play games need a cash shop to pay the expenses" - the argument is flawed. If a game is "free to play", it is to attract a specific type of money spending customer, known generally as "whales" - those who spend a lot of money to gain an advantage (time, power, etc). Thus it is a type of business model. These type of games (Hearthstone, LoL, some MMOs) want to attract both 'free' and 'paying' players to make their game 'active'. The 'free' players may spend money, but the game is designed to make money from those who want to gain advantage by spending lots of money ($50+ month). These types of games can stay alive from a few customers alone.

    3) Mobile free-to-play / cashshop games are the epitome of this type of greed. Specifically designing games to make people want to spend money to gain power/advantage. Ask yourself how a game like "Candycrush" can get TV commercials during prime tv slots, or how a game about birds has its' own movie. They make a ton of money off these cashshops.

    4) Monthly sub games have a huge mark-up. For a 100k+ subscriber game, the cost per player per month isn't for "maintenance" but to try and make a profit over and above the development costs. Lots of articles on the internet about this. These games tend to claim the month fee is for ongoing development, but you won't see this development until the 3/6/9/12month mark when pre-paid plans are about to run out and they want you to resub. Or they consider releasing bug-fixes and balance patches as "content".

    5) Initial sale models are usually enough to cover the dev costs + future dev/operating costs. See Guild Wars.

    6) IMO, the business model shows the type of game you are playing. Free to play with cashshop will always be a disadvantage to non-paying (or low paying) players. Initial purchase + cashshop usually also rewards cashshop players, but some games are unique (like Guild Wars 2 / LoL, which is primarily aesthetic). Initial + monthly sub is usually just a money grab (see SWTOR). Initial + monthly + cashshop = all about the investors / parent company.

    7) "Fair" games are possible with cash shops, but companies tend to see more profit by selling advantage. It is a slippery slope and we've seen many companies succumb to the greed. Global Agenda comes to mind - "free to play" with optional "one-time purchase" (lifts restrictions of 'free players') and a cash shop that started out as "aesthetic only", then they added a "optional monthly fee" to give you more experience/loot, then a "optional premium fee" for more experience/loot/options. They made it so all weapons/items were drops but some could be gained by leveling, but a free/one-time player would take 200+ hours to reach level cap, where-as a premium player could reach cap in under 40 hours. So matches were fairly lopsided depending on how many premium players were on your team. Ruined the whole game for me. Started out as a fun "everyone is equal" type game, but the power creep introduced by the cash shop / monthly sub made it impossible to stay competitive without spending $20+ a month.

    8) IMO, a game is "fair" with an initial cost + limited monthly sub + limited cash shop. Limited sub = "premium membership to gain permanent monthly bonuses that would otherwise be purchased from the cash shop" (very small advantage overall). Limited cash shop / bonuses = "faster leveling, more bag space, more auction hall slots, etc." (very small advantage overall) but nothing that gives an advantage like "10% more gold looted, or +1% higher chance to loot rare items", ideally purely aesthetic shop items like pets/colours/effects (ie. see GW2 for cool looking crap).

    I liked GW2's "gem shop" / Wildstar's sub thing - allowing people to trade real money for virtual money without screwing up the economy, and for GW2, it allowed you to buy "cash shop" items by grinding gold and buying gems from people who used real money to buy gems.

    BUT not designing the game to force players to buy all this stuff on top of the sub+initial fee. Ie. "Pay $60 for the digital edition, then $15 a month, then $10 to expand your bag slots from 10 to 60, then another $10 for a mount or you have to walk everywhere" where clearly the game was designed to have 60 bag slots and a mount, but they decided they can get people to fork over another $20 for these features in addition to the $60 initial cost.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
    Piikaa likes this.

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