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TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month

The TERA Website has news that En Masse Entertainment's MMORPG is going free-to-play next month (thanks Massively). This FAQ has all the details, and here's a bit:

TERA will be free.

No level, time, or content restrictions.

Our philosophy is to add to what we already offer instead of restricting existing content. We've added an in-game shop where players can choose to buy costumes, mounts, and consumables, but the core of the game will be 100% free.

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19. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 10, 2013, 15:41 Jivaro
 
Zadig wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 03:24:
Slashman wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 19:32:
I'd like to know why they all use the same stupid price point. When is someone going to get creative and release a $5 or $10 subscription MMO with realistically decent content and some innovation?

I've wondered about that myself. Anarchy Online used to offer a $5 sub option for most of their paid content but nearly everything else just copies the WoW price and refuses to lower it until they're forced into free to play. My guess is that those games were only ever made to be WoWclones so changing the holy $14.95 is anathema to the idiot developers who thought they'd make billions on subscriptions.

I read some analyst's take on this subject a while back...I just tried finding the article and couldn't because I can't remember the publication or the name of the guy. The bottom line was that there is this concept that if they charge less then WoW they are admitting that it is less of a game then WoW. Basically, the same kind of logic that EA used as a defense for Origin sale pricing initially.

It seems obvious to me that this type of marketing logic is erroneous when applied to the gaming industry. To be honest, I am not sure what it applies to. I equate that kind of logic to Ford trying to sell a Focus for the same price that BMW wants for a 325. Obviously that wouldn't work despite the vehicles being of similar size. The only thing I can think of is that the gaming industry folks are convinced that their target audience is mainly made up of people who don't know any better.
 
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18. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 10, 2013, 03:24 Zadig
 
Slashman wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 19:32:
I'd like to know why they all use the same stupid price point. When is someone going to get creative and release a $5 or $10 subscription MMO with realistically decent content and some innovation?

I've wondered about that myself. Anarchy Online used to offer a $5 sub option for most of their paid content but nearly everything else just copies the WoW price and refuses to lower it until they're forced into free to play. My guess is that those games were only ever made to be WoWclones so changing the holy $14.95 is anathema to the idiot developers who thought they'd make billions on subscriptions.
 
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17. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 19:32 Slashman
 
I'd like to know why they all use the same stupid price point. When is someone going to get creative and release a $5 or $10 subscription MMO with realistically decent content and some innovation?

 
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16. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 18:19 Asmodai
 
Beelzebud wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 14:16:
I really don't think the the monthly fee model is dead. The problem is that no one has been approaching it intelligently.

Is your game going to be a "wow-killer"? If you're asking that question, you're in it for the wrong reasons. Don't shoot for WoW.

Shoot for "the game is fun, fills a niche, and remains profitable because we didn't sink tens of millions into development".

MMOs before WoW were successful with a fraction of the player base, because they were designed intelligently, and not looked at like the goose that laid the golden egg.

Fill a niche, don't try to take over the world.

Bingo.

Sub models are for unique games that, unlike WoW which is targeted for broadest popular appeal, appeal to a certain subset of players.

Eve is the gold standard in this regard. It is deliberate in it's uncaring attitude towards people who don't want the harsh learning curve or the complete chaos of a sandbox universe. And it is, within it's niche, wildly successful...

eg. Embers of Caerus, they are deliberately shooting for a niche. Not to be WoW killers but to appeal to people who want a bit more of a spartan/hardcore sandbox. They will never ever get wow numbers of course, but if they make enough money to be profitable, they've succeeded in their job...
 
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15. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 9, 2013, 18:08 PHJF
 
Sorry people, MMOs cannot succeed on the subscription model anymore. Those days are over, just like metered internet.

They absolutely can succeed. The only condition is that the developer not release the same exact fucking game that's been released a thousand times already. The only things separating TERA from MMORPGs #1-#464,231 are the BAM battles. The rest is just copy-pasted straight from the MMORPG Handbook for Dumbfucks.

And the BAM battles WERE fun. The ceaseless grind between them wasn't worth it.
 
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14. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 9, 2013, 17:58 HorrorScope
 
IMO you'll still see a number not going FTP to start. Why when you can get your $50 upfront and possibly a sub on top of that. When it wanes you kick in the FTP code you built in, because you were smart knowing you need that ahead of time. Then you get another influx of players and hope to nickle dime them.  
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13. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 17:55 KS
 
Comparing this with utter flops SW: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, and Star Trek Online, it did pretty well. It has fun classes and a huge world.

Its two main mistakes IMO:

1. The usual -- endgame grinding is even grindier than usual.
2. Leveling up, sharing quests is hopelessly wrecked, making soloing almosy a requirement, slaughtering some of the fun. No "yellow" quests in your level range should be unsharable, but they almost all are in practice since the vast majority are downstream from earlier quests that "unlock" them.
 
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12. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 17:50 Jivaro
 
LittleMe wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 16:19:
Bill Borre wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 14:58:
I'll try it out. ... so I've been spending time playing Secret World.

+1 Secret world, despite it's flaws, is a good mmo! I'd say it's geared towards a more hardcore crowd.


+2 I like it as well, flaws and all.
 
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11. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 16:37 Kobalt
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 13:03:

Sorry people, MMOs cannot succeed on the subscription model anymore. Those days are over, just like metered internet.

I wonder if anything ever has not been declared dead on the internet.
 
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10. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 16:19 LittleMe
 
Bill Borre wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 14:58:
I'll try it out. ... so I've been spending time playing Secret World.

+1 Secret world, despite it's flaws, is a good mmo! I'd say it's geared towards a more hardcore crowd.

 
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9. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 16:00 PropheT
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 13:03:
Sorry people, MMOs cannot succeed on the subscription model anymore.

Sure they can, if they put them out with real expectations and weight them according to what you're getting for your subscription. TERA wanted the same price you pay for other premium MMO's, charged as much as Blizzard for store items that they put out on a regular basis, and had far less content mixed in with a Korean-level grind game.

It's not that a subscription wouldn't work for TERA, it's a question of why you would put your game on the same cost level as WoW when it can't compete with it at the same level. A Korean-style game is never going to have a huge user base here, nobody but Blizzard is going to get away with charging what they do for services and items for any amount of time, and as a cost per content basis on sub fees... there isn't any competition there at all.

The same mistake is repeated over and over again by companies who have put out competing products looking for either WoW's players or people who want something similar that's not WoW. The problem over the last eight years hasn't been the subscriptions, it's been the games; not one of them has held up past a big release month or progressed to the same level as what you can get somewhere else for $15 a month.

Free to play is still only successful as long as people are willing to put out a similar amount of money to the people running the game as they would if it were drawing subscriptions anyway. To me, it's like if Netflix decided to drop subscriptions altogether and just charge you for each movie you watched; on the surface it might seem great, even cheaper, but if once I'd start using it like I did when you paid a sub fee it suddenly starts to seem like less of a good deal.
 
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8. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 14:58 Bill Borre
 
I'll try it out. I liked some of the things Rift was doing, but I just never got into it so I've been spending time playing Secret World.  
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7. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 14:45 Marvin T. Martian
 
Still want 14.95 a month for elite status with stuff the others won't get---the fine print is the 'core' of the game will be free.  
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6. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 14:41 Lesaonar
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 13:03:
Like nobody saw this coming since beta. ;P

FTFY.
 
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5. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 14:16 Beelzebud
 
I really don't think the the monthly fee model is dead. The problem is that no one has been approaching it intelligently.

Is your game going to be a "wow-killer"? If you're asking that question, you're in it for the wrong reasons. Don't shoot for WoW.

Shoot for "the game is fun, fills a niche, and remains profitable because we didn't sink tens of millions into development".

MMOs before WoW were successful with a fraction of the player base, because they were designed intelligently, and not looked at like the goose that laid the golden egg.

Fill a niche, don't try to take over the world.
 
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4. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 13:43 SimplyMonk
 
sauron wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 13:32:
Hell, even LOTRO went F2P, even though it does have the IP advantage.

Although the LOTR IP is a very valuable resource, I think it lacks the power that WoW and FFXI have in the video game space. I'm hard pressed to even think of any Non-MUD LOTR games that existed before the movies got made.

I'm going to guess that the reason LOTR didn't do as well in terms of pure IP is that the IP didn't originate in the video game space and its main creator is dead so expansion of that IP is a daunting challenge.
 
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3. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 13:32 sauron
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 13:03:
Like nobody saw this coming since release.

Sorry people, MMOs cannot succeed on the subscription model anymore. Those days are over, just like metered internet. Sure, there are some dinosaurs hanging on, and a couple of newer games hanging on by threads (Rift) but everyone was looking for WoW levels of success, not realizing that WoW was a massive outlier. The most successful MMO before WoW had a tiny fraction of the subs that WoW did, and most games can't even pull that.

I'm not sure this is completely true in all cases but it definitely applies here. I think what allows WoW and some smaller games (eg FFXI) to remain subscription based many years after release is the fact that their intellectual property is hugely popular worldwide, which greatly increases subscriber loyalty.

Tera doesn't have that advantage, so F2P is really a no-brainer. Hell, even LOTRO went F2P, even though it does have the IP advantage.
 
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2. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 13:03 Agent.X7
 
Like nobody saw this coming since release.

Sorry people, MMOs cannot succeed on the subscription model anymore. Those days are over, just like metered internet. Sure, there are some dinosaurs hanging on, and a couple of newer games hanging on by threads (Rift) but everyone was looking for WoW levels of success, not realizing that WoW was a massive outlier. The most successful MMO before WoW had a tiny fraction of the subs that WoW did, and most games can't even pull that.
 
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1. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 12:45 Jivaro
 
Obviously just an opinion, but if they had released this way they would still be a relevant title with a player population high enough to make endgame and instances fun, despite some of the flaws.  
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