Free to play or subscription?

Obviously, for attracting a large crowd very quickly, free to play is ideal, and developers can make a lot of money from microtransactions. The problem with this is making the game fair for non paying players as well. This could be balanced with adding unique and interesting mechanics into Battlescape that are only accessible by paying players. Paying players have a context in which to feel special, because they are paying and the majority are free to play. I think free to play suits these kinds of multiplayer games, most are already doing it. Pay to play suits other types of games.
Should there be a sort of premium subscription where normally inaccessible items would be accessible with normal currency, (subscription players alongside free to play) or would there be no premium accounts but just a premium currency that you can buy things with? (microtransaction)

Battlescape will be a buy-to-play game.

The Infinity MMO has been planned to be subscription-based for years.

By the time the MMO is launched all other MMOs will be free to play or have a significant amount of content for free, even the elder scrolls online is going free to play eventually.

So, balancing micro-“pay to win”-transactions with subscriber perks is supposed to make things fair for non-paying players? I’m not sure I follow.

What are these “other types of games”, and how do they differ from “these kinds”?

People have been beating this drum for a long time. Pay to play, free to play… It doesn’t seem to matter. If you build a game that needs WoW level populations to work, no amount of freeness is going to achieve that, and that’s exactly what the mid-decade MMO boom did: It built a ton of games that needed a multi-million player base to work properly, and they’ve all fizzled out. Free to play doesn’t actually prop that up because the market is basically saturated.

WoW was an anomoly, and games attempting to out-WoW WoW ran into major problems. This has been especially ironic since WoW doesn’t actually need its huge subscriber base to actually work properly, but “bigger is better” is a mantra that people will never stop attempting to make true.

There has always been some expectation that Infinity will be a niche game. It’s biggest hurdle was never going to be the technology to make it work, but the social infrastructure. Cajoling a player base maybe 10,000 strong to actually stick around in common areas and play together, rather than zip out to the middle of nowhere and play 10,000 different single player games in a common universe. Building a community that people want to stick with for the long term, rather than just a game that’s shiny right now. The funding model is meaningless if 90% of the player base is transient, and free-to-play players are notorious for being fad hopping transients.

No, not subscriber perks. maybe just cosmetic stuff on your ships. Not pay to win gold premium ammo like in world of tanks. Another thing people could do with money is warp to locations farther than a free to player could. Usually to avoid pay to win, developers add cosmetic or time saving features.

By other types of games I mean more linear games that focus more on singleplayer campaigns and storylines. By these kinds, I mean multiplayer arena shooters and more open mmos like planetside 2.

But it is true. All of the biggest MMOs are free to play, Isn’t more players on any game a good thing? bigger battles, and beating out competition. Also, World of Warcraft is not truly free. If you want to enjoy the game more, you have to pay. It is not a true F2P. I think it’s more of a trial where you stop at a certain level, unlike games where you can progress to the top using a free account. And yes it’s true that not paying will make you less invested in a game. Infinity will cater to a very large crowd, like spacesim, mmo, flight simulator and vehicular combat fans. Also explorers. Infinity the MMO is even bigger than Star Citizen. Look what crowd that managed to attract. A PC space sim? nobody’s going to play that now… right?

We are concentrating on I:B at the moment, which is neither a subscription or a f2p game. I:B will have a price point with possible DLC, MOD tools & marketplace all depending on the level of crowd funding raised.

Everything but no subscription!

Ok, and I suppose the mmo will be subscription.

That would be my choice, yes. However, we’re many steps away from making that decision.

Hello everyone,

Throwing my two cents : making a game f2p doesn’t always give developpers “a lot of money”, lolsparta. You have to consider the economic model you’re going for, and everything that it implies.

Let me give you some examples (speaking here only of MMO or long-term evolving games) :

  • You have the classic “subscription and one-time payment (sometimes not applied)”. WoW falls in that category. Through that economy, you only have to worry about your game being good enough to attract people. Rather easy to predict next month’s minimum revenue since subscription fees go on one month minimum, and you can always offer year subscription or what-nots. Micro-transactions are not very present and rather “trivial”.
  • The less common “one-time payment”. Guild Wars 2 falls in that category. In that case, micro-transactions are a must : you cannot expect new game buyers every months (what happens when all Earth have bought the game ? :smile: ). You have to worry about both the game and the micro-transactions : how do they interfer in the game (both mechanics and skins) ? How do we make them appealing enough for people to buy them ?
  • The very common “free to play”. This economic model becomes tricky IMHO : it’s easy to hop in, easy to hop off. Besides, the revenues are not guaranteed at all and this can be problematic if you plan investments. Problematics on mirco-transactions are same as before, on a bigger scale : you have to make them very appealing for players. the advantages must carefully be weighted as they can quickly be seen as “unfair” and therefore a “pay-to-win”. On side note, some regions consider “pay-to-win” options quite normal. Russia and most Asian countries fall in that line. Europeans and Americans gamers are less receptive. The targeted games, though always studied, must be even more well-defined in that case.

Basically, choosing a f2p model over a subscription is no trivial matter. For Infinity, having a subscription fee would certainly not discourage me from playing the game as long as the game is updated regularly and often.

As for why other “wow-killer” games have fallen, trying to be bigger than WoW is only half of the reason. When WoW came out, it came with revoluytionnary ideas (experencing through quests rather than farming, scripts, …) and was the first of its field. When other games came out, they had (most of them) the same main ideas and the same starting bugs ; but it was long after WoW fixed its own bugs, so most players went back to what was working and more “advanced” in developpement.

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Ok. I agree that a one time payment for an mmo is not very good (microtransactions on top of game price) and free to play can be tricky, yes. But a demo can be good. For a good demo, it cannot be too limited, that will drive people away, obviously. If it is too expansive and too good, people will not pay for the full version because they have had enough. There needs to be a demo that leaves players crying for more.

I’m not stating that one-time payment plus micro-transactions are bad. Actually, I did spend some money in GW2 (buying the game and some bonuses in-game).
What I’m saying is that introducing micro-transactions necessarly affect more heavly the game than having none (or trivial ones like “name-changing”). Besides, micro-transactions should only be present in the full-released game, or for tests in Beta (my point of view, some company would not have that much morality).

Of course, if the game starts in Alpha (or even Beta), there should be no subscription fee asked, same for a demo. And I totaly agree with you about the objective of a demo.

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