Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

Op Ed

Polygon - Snobbery and fear drive criticisms of free-to-play games and ethics.
After seven years in the "traditional" industry, I've spent eight years building free-to-play projects, so I'm especially sensitive to and interested in these criticisms. The attacks and criticism of free-to-play mechanics are often unfair and selective, and leave questionable but traditional business practices alone.

This is snobbery; evidence that the old guard is scared of where the industry is headed.

View
31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 ] Older >

31. Re: Op Ed Apr 11, 2014, 11:58 Sepharo
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 11, 2014, 04:39:
Honestly, free to play can DIAF. Except for Path of Exile. Those guys rock. Totally.

Loadout is one of the best F2P I've played.
 
Avatar 17249
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
30. Re: Op Ed Apr 11, 2014, 04:39 jdreyer
 
Honestly, free to play can DIAF. Except for Path of Exile. Those guys rock. Totally.
 
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
29. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 22:46 Flatline
 
Cutter wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 10:44:
InBlack wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 10:38:
Have you guys even read the article? Im going to be the devil's advocat on this one but he makes a lot of fair and reasonable points.

Well, I supposed being nickled and dimed to death for a free game is fair enough, but it's fucking annoying. I'd rather pay one time for a complete product. It's like buying a car. Sure you can pay for all manner of addons, but if you decline to at least you still have a complete functioning car at the end of the day.

And no attacks F2P if it's good. It's just so few of it is because it's really P2W. And that deserves to be criticized. If that douche doesn't like it he can take his ball and go home.

Every time I have to make a purchase I evaluate "do I really want/need this?" Purchase decisions are not conductive to me wanting to play a game. Encountering that decision every 20 minutes or less makes me want to play the game less, because it's just not fun any more psychologically.

Traditional games I pay once and just get to play and enjoy. F2P, when they aren't pay to win (as they so often are), presents me with the hesitation "Is the value worth... this much? How about this much? How about now? Or now? or now?" Not to mention the purchases, being piecemeal, don't give a psychologically satisfying buyer's rush for me, since I don't *really* have much to show for my 2-3 bucks.

I admit I'm not F2P's audience. I don't engage in the kind of impulse buying that F2P relies on. But I don't think that's some how me living in denial, it's that I'm literally wired differently.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
28. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 20:44 DaHauns
 
Task wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 13:43:
Also here is a good video on the subject of F2P:

Extra Credit: Doing Free to Play Wrong - How Bad Monetization Harms F2P Games

Interesting video (as usual from EC), although IMO he misses the main point as well: The (unintended) money quote comes at ~0:55 - "Too many game companies conceptualize paying for a game and experiencing the game as two fundamentally different things."
Yes, duh. That's because in a wide range of scenarios, THEY ARE.
Making payment part of the gameplay experience is extremely prone to hampering the latter on a fundamental level.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
27. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 18:33 Beamer
 
Cyanotetyphas wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 18:31:
Free to play almost always means shallow or unrefined in my opinion. Even if you pay, you're still basically getting horse armor, one more chance, or +15% to something. How can anyone feel comfortable doing a run through of a skinner box designed to juice a few whales? I feel the developer's eyes running over my wallet and I don't like it.


When free to play solely offers horse armor, it's no big deal. If people want to pay $1.99 to look different, I don't care.

It's when you need to pay to play (e.g., "you're out of power, please wait 15 minutes or pay $3.99 for more power!") or when it's needed to advance (e.g., "this boss is extremely difficult unless you have the ice gun, buy it now for $4.99") that it's an issue.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
26. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 18:31 Cyanotetyphas
 
Free to play almost always means shallow or unrefined in my opinion. Even if you pay, you're still basically getting horse armor, one more chance, or +15% to something. How can anyone feel comfortable doing a run through of a skinner box designed to juice a few whales? I feel the developer's eyes running over my wallet and I don't like it.

 
Avatar 49609
 
Synthetic Error - Entertainment bloggin http://syntheticerror.wordpress.com/
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
25. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 17:24 ViRGE
 
Prez wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 15:42:
descender wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 15:00:
The problem I see with F2P games is really the people that complain when they have to eventually spend some money. What on earth did you think was going on here? Did you think they just built these games to waste time? They are very obviously always going to have a hook that requires some monetary investment. Every game can't be as popular as LoL/DOTA2 with installed player bases in the millions that no longer care about the average freeloader. They will always and forever be initially designed around generating a constant revenue stream.

When I buy a "traditional" game (using the author's definition of traditional) I know that I am done paying for it once I have bought it. What bugs me most about F2P is that it usually isn't clear what your financial outlay is going to be. The term "nickel and diming" comes to mind. That, and that F2P almost HAS to be multiplayer for it to be succesful from the developer standpoint. I don't like multiplayer games. Right now the only F2P game that remotely interests me is Path of Exile.
And that's an incredibly important point. There's no fixed cost version of these games. Only a version that costs you more forever.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
24. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 16:34 PropheT
 
Creston wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 11:05:
I'd say that if your industry is duping children to the tune of 2.4% of your total customer base (and let's be honest, that's what was reported, and likely nowhere near the entire total), that that is a SERIOUS FUCKING PROBLEM.

Yeah, I'm not sure what he was saying there. In the sentence before that he mentions that there's $6 billion in lifetime sales, and then in the next dismisses 2.4% of those sales being unauthorized purchases as being nothing to be concerned about. That's not exactly an insignificant amount of money.


In any case, the people who don't like free to play (myself included) generally are complaining because it's not a system designed to be better for the players, it's one designed to spread the cost out across the game in a way that means getting the same amount of content that you'd get for actually purchasing it would wind up costing even more money when bought as separate microtransactions. If you could buy the game OR get it piecemeal that would be one thing, but it's an all or nothing proposition with every game like this I know of; there's no consumer choice in how to buy, and any game designed as F2P is forced to push ways at having you keep pumping quarters into the machine.

Free to play can be just fine, but don't lie and tell me that it's done for my own good. Companies use the model because they can potentially make more money that way.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
23. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 16:32 Prez
 
I didn't buy BF4 for the same reason: no bots for offline or coop vs. bots with a few buddes, and no mods. These don't respect me as a gamer, so they don't get my money.

This. A thousand times THIS!
 
Avatar 17185
 
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
22. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 16:07 MindStalker3
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 14:44:
Here's the basic problem as I see it: the underlying structure of Free 2 Play itself ruins games. Take PvZ2. This is a fun game. I put in about 25 or so hours and got about 80% complete in the game. ...
And in all honestly Demo games that you have to pay to unlock the rest of the game have been around for a long time. If I got 50% of the way through a free game and it told me. Pay $5.00 for the complete game. I may cough up the $5. If it tells me pay $1 to go to the next level, I don't know what my full investment will be. Yeah, sure the levels I've seen are fun, but how much is this going to cost me in the long run? $5, $10, $500 ?? You want to market it as F2P, when its really a Demo, fine, but at least be upfront about the total cost when I hit that wall.
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
21. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 15:42 Prez
 
descender wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 15:00:
The problem I see with F2P games is really the people that complain when they have to eventually spend some money. What on earth did you think was going on here? Did you think they just built these games to waste time? They are very obviously always going to have a hook that requires some monetary investment. Every game can't be as popular as LoL/DOTA2 with installed player bases in the millions that no longer care about the average freeloader. They will always and forever be initially designed around generating a constant revenue stream.

When I buy a "traditional" game (using the author's definition of traditional) I know that I am done paying for it once I have bought it. What bugs me most about F2P is that it usually isn't clear what your financial outlay is going to be. The term "nickel and diming" comes to mind. That, and that F2P almost HAS to be multiplayer for it to be succesful from the developer standpoint. I don't like multiplayer games. Right now the only F2P game that remotely interests me is Path of Exile.
 
Avatar 17185
 
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
20. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 15:33 Verno
 
descender wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 15:00:
The problem I see with F2P games is really the people that complain when they have to eventually spend some money. What on earth did you think was going on here? Did you think they just built these games to waste time? They are very obviously always going to have a hook that requires some monetary investment. Every game can't be as popular as LoL/DOTA2 with installed player bases in the millions that no longer care about the average freeloader. They will always and forever be initially designed around generating a constant revenue stream.

It's not about paying money by itself, its about how much and how often. Some games do the F2P model better than others. Personally I am not a big fan of F2P games as the restrictions tend to be very arbitrary and profit driven. There's nothing "wrong" with that but as a consumer I prefer more complete experiences where I don't need to add the silly game to my monthly budget.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: South Park, Dark Souls 2
Watching: Enemy, Network, Wer
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
19. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 15:29 jdreyer
 
descender wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 15:17:
How you decide to play hammerwatch (an extremely well made indie game, not a great example of the industry at large) really has nothing to do with your expectation to beat a F2P game, as if you "being done with the game" is something the designer had in mind at any point of the process.

F2P games are more akin to casino games than they are video games, and attempting to play them as regular video games you can beat will only lead to frustration.

The reason I bring up Hammerwatch is because those options show respect for my time and play styles. Free to play models of gaming do not. I didn't buy BF4 for the same reason: no bots for offline or coop vs. bots with a few buddes, and no mods. These don't respect me as a gamer, so they don't get my money.

As for comparing F2P to casino games, that's not a defense of F2P but a condemnation. Casino games are renown to be addictive, thus they're banned from most states, and even in the places that do have them children are banned. I'd be fine applying the same laws and restrictions to F2P.
 
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
18. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 15:22 jdreyer
 
descender wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 15:00:
The problem I see with F2P games is really the people that complain when they have to eventually spend some money. What on earth did you think was going on here? Did you think they just built these games to waste time? They are very obviously always going to have a hook that requires some monetary investment. Every game can't be as popular as LoL/DOTA2 with installed player bases in the millions that no longer care about the average freeloader. They will always and forever be initially designed around generating a constant revenue stream.

The problem isn't spending the money, but ruining the gameplay to force people to spend the money. My kids grew up on Netflix. They aren't used to commercials (we don't have cable). So when I watch the Superbowl, and there are commercials, they get extremely annoyed. They hate them. It's visceral. The flow of the program is interrupted for monetary reasons, just like Free to Play games.
 
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
17. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 15:17 descender
 
How you decide to play hammerwatch (an extremely well made indie game, not a great example of the industry at large) really has nothing to do with your expectation to beat a F2P game, as if you "being done with the game" is something the designer had in mind at any point of the process.

F2P games are more akin to casino games than they are video games, and attempting to play them as regular video games you can beat will only lead to frustration.
 
Avatar 56185
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
16. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 15:11 jdreyer
 
descender wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 15:00:
The expectation to steadily progress through a game and complete it, regardless of effort or difficulty is baffling to me. That's been catered to on so many levels over the last decade, and it's ruined games overall far more than F2P models have.

Not sure what you mean exactly. Can you give some examples?

Let me take a stab. I'm playing Hammerwatch. It's a tough game out of the box: the enemies do lots of damage, you have limited lives, and there's precious little health to be found. It's much to hard to play with my kids. However, there are settings where I can set the game to unlimited lives and play through with them. We have a lot of fun. The focus goes from managing your health and lives to exploration and puzzle solving. Both are valid gameplay styles. When I play alone I do so on default. With the kids, it's infinite lives. Giving the player options on how to play is a feature, not a detractor.
 
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
15. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 15:00 descender
 
The expectation to steadily progress through a F2P game and complete it, regardless of effort or difficulty is baffling to me. Designing AAA titles for the lowest common denominator has already dumbed down games for the last decade... now you want to play and beat the "last level" of a slot machine?

The problem I see with F2P games is really the people that complain when they have to eventually spend some money. What on earth did you think was going on here? Did you think they just built these games to waste time? They are very obviously always going to have a hook that requires some monetary investment. Every game can't be as popular as LoL/DOTA2 with installed player bases in the millions that no longer care about the average freeloader. They will always and forever be initially designed around generating a constant revenue stream.

This comment was edited on Apr 10, 2014, 15:10.
 
Avatar 56185
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
14. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 14:44 jdreyer
 
Here's the basic problem as I see it: the underlying structure of Free 2 Play itself ruins games. Take PvZ2. This is a fun game. I put in about 25 or so hours and got about 80% complete in the game. Despite the original producer departing the project (what IS George Fan doing these days?) eventually the game got too difficult in order to force people to the store to purchase powerups to get through the level. I'm held hostage by the game: cough up the dough or your progression gets it! It's the technique drug dealers use to hook users. And I view that as one of the better implementations of Free 2 Play. They really waited as long as they could before you started running into roadblocks. The thing is I would have gladly paid for a complete game, but I'm not going to pay for powerups each time I want to complete a level because it was intentionally made too hard to force me to buy powerups. They ruined the game to force the revenue model. That's the crime in my eyes.  
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
13. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 14:33 jdreyer
 
Jerykk wrote on Apr 10, 2014, 12:32:
In general, there is nothing inherently worse about F2P versus the "normal" gaming environment, and it does come with a huge bonus in that you can literally try it before you buy anything.

The inherent problem with F2P is that it requires developers to design their games around monetization. If a game doesn't support microtransactions, it can't be F2P, which means a lot of games simply wouldn't exist if F2P were the only option. Games like Amnesia, Bioshock, Skyrim, XCOM, Splinter Cell, Hitman, Deus Ex, GTA, Saint's Row, etc, wouldn't exist because their designs don't support infinite microtransactions.

F2P certainly has its place but to claim that it's the future of the industry rings hollow.

Can you imagine? At the crossroad in Skyrim:

"This is the road to Whiterun! It will take 60 real time minutes to travel their on foot. Or travel their instantly via moongate for 10 Travelgems (TM)(Travelgems available for purchase in Bethesda's Skyrimstore (TM) )."
 
Avatar 22024
 
"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
12. Re: Op Ed Apr 10, 2014, 13:43 Task
 
MWO is an example of a poor F2P. The lead designer for that game is to blame that introduced paygrind walls and terrible balancing mechanics for a Mech Warrior title - by far the worst balancing and system mechanics compared to any previous MW title.

F2P monetization has the potential to ruin beloved franchises, especially when a company comes along with 0 experience making games in a particular franchise. Remember that well when investing.

Also here is a good video on the subject of F2P:

Extra Credit: Doing Free to Play Wrong - How Bad Monetization Harms F2P Games

This comment was edited on Apr 10, 2014, 14:06.
 
Avatar 37119
 
Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
< Newer [ 1 2 ] Older >


footer

Blue's News logo