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On PlanetSide 2's Business Model

A post to the PlanetSide 2 Forums from earlier this week discusses how SOE will monetize PlanetSide 2, their upcoming free-to-play MMOFPS sequel (thanks Shacknews). The post, by Matt Higby, includes a frank discussion of the concerns that F2P often means "pay to win," and discusses the implications of offering paying customers advantages in such games and what benefits they have planned for members. Here is his outline of their philosophy:

Okay, so “access to stuff” is out as paid benefit. So too is “more powerful stuff”. So what do we do to keep the team employed in these jobs we love creating games that hopefully you guys love too? There are two things that we are considering selling in the game: Cosmetics and Convenience. That’s it. Seriously.

Cosmetics are pretty self-explanatory, I think everyone “gets it” with cosmetics and won’t be too upset at buying camo patterns or decals for real money.

What about Convenience, what does that mean exactly?


For us, convenience is purely the act of unlocking something faster, whether that means through buying a side-grade weapon directly with a StationCash microtransaction or earning certification points faster due to a boost or membership. That leads us to the real topic of the thread (which will probably end up being shorter than this “aside”, go figure).

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7. Better come up with something quick... Sep 22, 2012, 00:17 JohnBirshire
 
I loved Planetside, was a lot of fun, so I am really looking forward to Planetside 2. I've also played MMO's the last 15+ years, even back in the old school days when you had to pay by the hour to play. I've never had a problem paying a subscription fee, as long as the game was worth playing. To me, it seems like most of the F2P games aren't worth paying for...hence F2P. That all being said, I really don't understand how they are going to market Planetside 2 as a F2P game. Cosmetics? I just don't see enough people paying that much money for tank decals and different colored sets of armor. Sure they'll have income, but certainly not enough to bankroll their entire operation. Convenience? Sounds like the only way to really make money off of convenience is to make NOT paying inconvenient, such as a long boring grind that will turn a lot of people off. So far their economics aren't making much sense, they better come up with something tangible quickly, or their F2P decision is going to go nowhere fast.  
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