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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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14 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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14. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 23, 2012, 01:46 Overon
 
I have not played Planetside 1 before, but I paid to get into the beta (alpha squad) after seeing lots of beta footage on Youtube. I have been pleasantly shocked by how forthright the developers have been with the community on their forums.

The President of Sony Online Entertainment states on the forums:
"1)We want this to be an awesome (and balanced) game.
2) We need to make money at it."
here

A developer made a long post on the forums about "pay to win":
here

Based on their willingness to communicate so clearly, I have high confidence in their ability to deliver a game that is not pay to win.
 
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13. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 22, 2012, 05:41 jdreyer
 
I think focusing on convenience and cosmetics is the way to go. People with no money will play the game for the gameplay, populate the servers, and earn their weaps by putting in time (thus populating the servers). Casual douchebags like myself who have jobs and kids will be drawn to the high number of players, but will also pay to look cool and pay for new weaps instead of earning them over time, since we had kids and jobs. It keeps the game popular and keeps the coffers filled without turning people off.

Not that I personally play multiplayer competitive games. But I think the logic is sound.
 
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12. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 22, 2012, 02:16 Veterator
 
You can't really comment on their prices or popularity of their F2P model until they've actually got all the weapons in, the costs of said weapons, and all the certs unlocked.

Right now I THINK you are limited to 100 certs and 25k Auraxium allowed to pool up maximum. And plenty of the certs already take 100 points to unlock the next level. And if you play enormous amounts you might get 30 certs a day, judging off what Im seeing.

So their system means you have to login often, and use your points and in-game money or waste your future efforts.


If they sell certs or boost cert gain by some noticeable amount, they've given you a huge reason.

And since A LOT of their weapons are 25K Auraxium, and it takes close to a week to get it...people are going to buy the weapons with real cash to get the leg up on people.



But so much is not working or added to the game as of now, it's pretty hard to judge. I find I really dislike their current resource system with Auraxium on top, and certs there to also keep you waiting. Battle Ranks right now seem to do nothing. Having to "buy" grenades you've unlocked at 150 resources a pop when you only have 750 total is stupid. And then you only seem to earn resources while logged in, it really makes it slow to actually use what you've bought.

Very unimpressed with the game for how much hype there's been around it...half a year or more of it and then fever pitch levels for a month or two and we slog on with little bitty changes waiting to see if they improve it or continue to screw it up. Having totally useless weapons categories is kinda laughable at this point when they have so few weapon choices. AA was pointless, lots of vehicle weapons don't do anything like what they claim...etc.

And how screwed up are MAX suits, some near insta-kill while others can barely hurt inf/vehicles. How can that go unbalanced.

 
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11. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 22, 2012, 01:46 Matshock
 
I put $40.00 total into Tribes Ascend, but enjoyed as much as any other game I spent that much money on.

It sounds like they're not going to sell certs. That being the case, the only thing you can buy that helps you win is the points booster and that so far is capped at 10%.

The P2 Beta seems a bit bland so far- I need to figure out how to use the VOIP comms better and the game certainly needs a lot of work.

The map design is masterful though- at least on the ground. The air game has a very low view distance and a very low altitude ceiling.

What P2 is going to need most are commanders- RTS style players directing the fighting. It sounds like they are moving in that direction but it's not real clear what the final solution is going to be right now.

3 months to go from now anyhow and I doubt the BETA is the sum total of development.

Waiting to see more...
 
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10. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 22, 2012, 01:19 RailWizard
 
[VG]Reagle wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 00:55:
Its got everything that COD and BF3 have but it also has a whole MMO thing going on. Just awesome.

Not even close. Feel free to list all the things PS2 has that those 2 games have....
 
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9. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 22, 2012, 00:55 [VG]Reagle
 
Planetside 2 has been amazing so far. The game is just fantastic for clans and outfits to play together.

Its got everything that COD and BF3 have but it also has a whole MMO thing going on. Just awesome.
 
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8. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 22, 2012, 00:23 bhcompy
 
RailWizard wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 21:13:
lol this whole 'f2p' thing is becoming painful to watch. It's like they figured out they can make MORE than the regular price of a game ($50-$60) and watching them trip over their own tongues to justify it just hurts.

Sell your fucking game for $20 if you really want to attract people, or just charge a regular price and take the risk(the risk that your game is actually worth playing and paying for...). OR JUST FUCK OFF ALREADY!

F2P has become the deception to the MMOification of the gaming world.

If a company is hosting the servers because of persistence, monetary input is required. The constant kind.
 
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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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6. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 21, 2012, 23:03 Jerykk
 
RailWizard wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 21:13:
lol this whole 'f2p' thing is becoming painful to watch. It's like they figured out they can make MORE than the regular price of a game ($50-$60) and watching them trip over their own tongues to justify it just hurts.

Sell your fucking game for $20 if you really want to attract people, or just charge a regular price and take the risk(the risk that your game is actually worth playing and paying for...). OR JUST FUCK OFF ALREADY!

F2P has become the deception to the MMOification of the gaming world.

Charging anything for a multiplayer-only game is a major risk these days unless the game is part of a popular franchise (like CS). There have been tons of $15-20 multiplayer-only games that never gained any traction because most people aren't willing to take that kind of risk. After all, multiplayer games are entirely dependent on the presence of other players so if you a buy a game and find out that nobody else did, you're pretty much screwed. F2P, however, has no barriers to entry so it's much easier to gain an audience and build a community. That's why so many developers are going F2P.

I'm actually concerned that Natural Selection 2 and Primal Carnage aren't going to really take off because of their entry fee. That would be a shame because both games look promising.
 
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5. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 21, 2012, 22:40 space captain
 
you people need to work on your game

shit doesnt even fucking work

unless you consider 10sec latency and rubber-banding "fun"
 
Go forth, and kill!
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4. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 21, 2012, 21:36 Cutter
 
DangerDog wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 21:16:
They should be more concerned about making a game that works and that's fun. So far PS2 isn't firing on all cylinders in either regard.

/beta beta beta

Yeah, long way to go IMO. I'm sure SOE will fuck it up though.
 
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3. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 21, 2012, 21:18 Rea1One
 
The game isn't really pay to win, anyone in the beta knows this.  
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2. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 21, 2012, 21:16 DangerDog
 
They should be more concerned about making a game that works and that's fun. So far PS2 isn't firing on all cylinders in either regard.

/beta beta beta
 
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1. Re: On PlanetSide 2's Business Model Sep 21, 2012, 21:13 RailWizard
 
lol this whole 'f2p' thing is becoming painful to watch. It's like they figured out they can make MORE than the regular price of a game ($50-$60) and watching them trip over their own tongues to justify it just hurts.

Sell your fucking game for $20 if you really want to attract people, or just charge a regular price and take the risk(the risk that your game is actually worth playing and paying for...). OR JUST FUCK OFF ALREADY!

F2P has become the deception to the MMOification of the gaming world.
 
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14 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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