Das Tal is considering a buy-to-play model

After a careful consideration of the pros and cons of various business models, including those of Crowfall, Guild Wars 2 and ArcheAge, the Das Tal team says that it is leaning toward a buy-to-play model with a cosmetic cash shop. One additional revenue path that the studio is considering is to allow players to pay to launch specific ruleset servers.

“Buy once is still the standard for almost all single player games, as there is rarely any substantial development of the game after release,” the team posted. “It has also become apparent that a buy-once model can be utilised by games with ongoing development by meshing together different aspects of other payment models.”

Whatever the team ends up deciding for its revenue plan, it doesn’t want to hurt the game because of it: “We don’t want to compromise the quality of the game, or our community’s enjoyment of it, because of the model we choose.”

[Source: Dev blog]
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20 Comments on "Das Tal is considering a buy-to-play model"

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DrowNoble
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DrowNoble

spacetail Sure F2P relies on players buying stuff in the cash shop.  Your assertion that “too much on a few players” is not really valid.  They know that every player will pop in and occasionally buy $5 worth of something, giving you a small flow of cash.  Yet, others will make a big one-time purchase when something Big N Shiney comes out.
In SWTOR, when a cartel pack is released they also release a discounted 24-quantity pack so some players then buy that to get a surge of ingame goodies.

STO has ship packs where they give you multiple ships, that you can claim forever, that the more of the type you own the more in game bonuses you get.  So their Delta Rising expansion was free, but with it’s release was a $130 Delta Pack.  Just buying that would be like paying for 9 months of a subscription.

I think it comes down to choice.   In a sub model I HAVE To pay X per month, whether or not I’m playing.  So this puts pressure to play every day since “well I already paid for it”.  F2P I can play when I want, without pressure and buy something, of any value, when I choose to do so.

Syntho
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Syntho

PizzaDoh Evade2015 all the new sets added to gw2 are only available on the shop.

spacetail
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spacetail

No business model works as a one size fits all, different games and approaches can make them fail or succeed.
A problem with F2P games is you are as a developer essentially paying for free players to serve as content for paying players, since without them they wouldn’t play your game in the first place.
That being said many F2P games rely too much on a few players paying a large chunk of money as opposed to aiming for many players to spend a little money. This is where you start stumbling onto overpriced cash shops and questionable business practices.
Subscription models are more risky on mmos because you are directly tying your population (something mmos die or live on) to your revenue. If you have a huge population, this means huge profits, but if you have a niche game with smaller numbers it may very well be a death sentence for the game. This is why only a handful of subscription only games have been successful in the long term, simply put, only a few games have had millions of players in the first place, and that in itself is a requirement for the sub model to work.
With this in mind, its a no brainer few games are a good fit for the model.

Jacobin
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Jacobin

Good, B2P is the most honest model.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Damonvile sorry, I wasn’t reading it as clearly as I should’ve.

DrowNoble
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DrowNoble

BKone DrowNoble Biggest revenue?  That is hard to determine exactly since many companies don’t release exact numbers.  LoL has the highest concurrent users, EVE had the highest users online at once, Runescape has the highest number of accounts made and City of Heroes had the highest subscriber retention rate.  Yes, I’m aware WoW is high in subs, but with so few mmos being sub-only they are basically saying “we are the #1 sub-only mmo out of a few”.

This all started when DDO went F2P and more that tripled it’s revenue, enough to save it from sunsetting.  Then Turbine took LOTRO, which was not in any danger of shutting down, and coverted it to F2P and their revenue jumped again.  Then other companies went “heyyyyy F2P isn’t just something failing or asian games do, it actually makes money!”

Hence where the MMO industry is now.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

Craywulf Damonvile and….. that was what I said ?

BKone
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BKone

DrowNoble Because no? If I were you, I would take a look at which MMO has the biggest revenue and try to copy it.
Anyways, F2P is fine. B2P is fine and sub+box+cash-shop is fine if the dev can pull it.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Damonvile Let’s be clear …buy to play is not the same as free to play. The latter which is vastly more susceptible to “shenanigans”.

DrowNoble
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DrowNoble

Subscription only business models are dying the slow death.  Remember when ESO would “have” to be sub-only because of ALL the updates *required* monthly fees?  Yeah, Zenimax found out how well that went.

What I just don’t understand is that F2P and B2P consistently draw more revenue than sub-only models, yet certain companies are clinging to it more aggressively than Gollum and the One Ring.