EverQuesting: Can Daybreak make it through 2019?

    
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Those who’ve been long-time followers of Massively OP’s long-running EverQuesting column might have noticed a distinct lack of new year hopes and predictions articles for the EverQuest franchise along with their end-of year accounting pieces. That’s because there haven’t been any for a couple of years. The last year I did them — 2016 — was the year we lost EverQuest Next and got hit with the announcement for Landmark’s death. Daybreak also failed in communication and community interaction front. The optimism I had when 2016 started was pretty battered by the year’s end, and then 2017 and 2018 just beat the tar out of it. Who really wants to delve into negatives at the start of a year?

But who knows when I will have the chance again. Despite the loyal fanbases of EverQuest and EverQuest II and even the recent offering of lifetime All-Access memberships, I feel no assurance that the studio won’t implode this year. How could I? There have been too many closures, too many questionable moves, and too many layoffs to think otherwise; confidence in even the most hopeful fans has been seriously eroded.

However, I don’t feel that implosion is a sure thing either. It could go either way: No outcome is a forgone conclusion. This is a brand-new year, and no matter matter how Daybreak has messed up in the past, the EQ/EQII ship can be righted because there are still many players who love the games. Now we just need the developer to show it loves the games, too. Here are a few ways that can happen.

Don’t squander the lifetime membership cash influx

Daybreak certainly came by a short-term cash windfall with the lifetime All-Access memberships. Although I was tempted, the possibly abbreviated lifespan of the company didn’t give me enough confidence to spare that kind of money on my budget (and I just may come to really regret not getting it), but many did jump on the offer. At least 4,000 fans did. I don’t know how many of the extra 6,000 offers sold, but just the initial 4K gives the company an instant $1.2 million bucks to work with. So work with it wisely! This needs to not be squandered.

How could Daybreak squander it? The easy answer is to spend it irresponsibly. The big thing the studio really needs to do is not take that little windfall from the pockets of EQ and EQII players (we all know these had to be by far the majority of the purchases — does PlanetSide 2 even have that many players? — though DCUO fans who didn’t already have one might have snapped a number up as well) and funnel it all into only new projects like the PS2 arena. Sure, a new MMORPG in the EverQuest franchise would make many folks happy, but there needs to be immediate results showing in the current games they play. Show some monetary love to EQ and EQII. Squandering the influx by not shoring up your flagship games would be a double-edged sword: On one side is the loss of the money itself, then the other would be the loss of whatever faith and trust customers still have in the company.

And definitely, definitely don’t just line the pockets of suits in your parent company. Oh no no no. Administrators, executives, and corporate heads should not be getting this: Please earmark it for the devs in the trenches working on content. The key is to get content into the games! Content = customers. Customers = more cash.

Communication is a must

I’ll admit that I am almost hesitant to call for more communication — when I did that for EQN the communication we got was the cancellation! But silence is most certainly not golden in the realm of MMO development. I get that there will never be a return to the open development we saw with Landmark, and that is probably a good thing because it might have been a little too open. But just a little. Lately it feels like we get next to nothing but cash shop announcements. We do get plenty of those! Producer letters are pretty sparse. We didn’t even get a Frostfell announcement, the biggest holiday of the year, until long after it had started! And even then it seemed like the focus was on the Marketplace, not the festival.

News seriously seemed to be lacking, but was it? Let’s look at the breakdown of announcements on the official site. The archive shows only two entries for January 2018. One was for the progression server, and the other was a producer letter — a letter that was nothing more than a thank-you and a couple of pieces of artwork. Not the greatest of starts, but a start. February was better with five entries, though two were cash shop ads. March was the next producer letter as well as four in-game events. OK, maybe things are looking up. Continuing on, May and July felt meatier with GU106 and GU107 previews, respectively, while April and June were thin. August was full of summer event updates, and expansion tidbits filled out October nicely. But we didn’t see another producer letter until September. And that makes only three for the entire year!

Sure, Marketplace deals are nice. The event content announcements are also good to have, especially when said events have something new. But producer letters are a vital part of the communication line. They show players there is a focus on development, that folks in charge are actively invested in the continuation and building of the game. And not just on game development, but on the community as well. Producer letters feel like a conversation with the community (albeit a bit one-sided), whereas the ads leave you feeling like just a customer. Not having these letters makes it seem as if the game — and by extension, its community — is not a focus or even a care, just an afterthought if that.

When ads significantly outweigh conversation, you can’t help but feel like just a customer. And that’s not healthy for the games in my opinion. Community is what will keep these aging titles afloat and create value for the overall franchise; a valued community is more likely to spend than those who are seen only as wallets, or worse, expendable wallets.

Stop treating customers like second-class citizens

And speaking of customers: Daybreak’s definition of them involves some hefty segregation. There are the worthy customers who get all the special events and deals, and then there are those who don’t. I am not talking consumers of content here, either; I am talking paying customers. The haves are the All-Access members; the have-nots are all the folks who spend on expansions and Marketplace items but don’t subscribe. What really gets me is that there are players who actually spend significantly more than a monthly sub but who still cannot participate in members-only bonus XP and such events and sales. What makes these customers less worthy just because they choose not to pay for membership? Is their money somehow less spendable? I have seen these players get disgusted at their treatment and leave because they feel unvalued. Daybreak can’t afford that.

It also feels terribly deceptive to advertise “such-and-such bonus this week!” to draw people in but then have “All-Access members only” in the fine print. Perhaps don’t even lock these behind any membership at all! Do things like that for everyone. Drawing all players back with a bonus may even result in some purchases or memberships — if you don’t drive them away beforehand.

I’ve asked it before: Why can’t Daybreak put a system in place that accounts for how much an account spends overall to be included in membership deals? Would it cost something to develop? Sure. But hey, there’s this little chunk of change the studio just came into. I’ve paid for an All-Access membership for well over a decade (don’t add that up, the number is staggering), and I certainly wouldn’t feel slighted in the least if someone who chose to spend $100+ dollars at one time got the same perks and benefits as I.

In short, don’t gate all goodies behind monthly membership. Treat all your paying customers the same, as valued folks who are keeping you in business! Valued customers stay customers longer than those who aren’t. That doesn’t mean you should treat them only as customers – make sure you emphasize the community aspect too. And that will lead to a healthier year in 2019.

The EverQuest franchise is a vast realm, and sometimes MJ Guthrie gets lost in it all! Join her as she explores all the nooks and crannies from Antonica to Zek. Running biweekly on Thursdays, EverQuesting is your resource for all things EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Daybreak. And keep an eye out for MJ’s OPTV adventures!

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Ben Stone

Everquest 1 and 2 will always be dear to me, but I tried logging in and looking around the other day and they are beyond saving. They have been left to stagnate for far too long, and the remaining community are adamant that the clunky and unintuitive end game systems shouldn’t be pruned, which is very off putting to new players.

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JP Andrews

What really gets me is that there are players who actually spend significantly more than a monthly sub but who still cannot participate in members-only bonus XP and such events and sales. What makes these customers less worthy just because they choose not to pay for membership?

Honestly this is not hard. Group A pays for a benefit, Group B does not. It does not matter how much money Group B spends on other things, they CHOSE not to buy this benefit.

So, if you want the benefits of a sub, buy a freaking sub.

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Dean Greenhoe

My heart says no. My mind says, as long as there are fools with money, unfortunately yes.

Alyn
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Alyn

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Kevin McCaughey

I think this is nothing but a Russian money laundering scam at the moment. The more they have people buying virtual goods, the more money they can launder. It will keep going until they get legally shut down for the above. This is why Mr Nobody owns it and everything is cloak and dagger. He needs a new plane? Sell some all-access subs to get the cash.

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Denice J. Cook

Nah, it’s all just a fundraiser for Planetside: Arena development. Daybreak’s current stable of games is self-published; therefore, they must self-fund.

“Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul” is such an old phrase because that sort of behavior has been going on for decades, and Daybreak’s been doing it for years now too. ;)

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Suikoden

I agree 100%. This is exactly why I try to not give them any money. I used to frequent DCUO and Lotro, and I always used to drop some cash in those games when I’d pop in, but I had to consciously make an effort to abandon anything daybreak right now because I agree that it is just a corporate greed empire that focuses on delivering the absolute minimum needed to capture sales dollars. A pitiful example of most businesses these days unfortunately. If every dollar spent is a vote, my votes are going to ESO or FFXIV. (even though Bethesda can take Fallout 76 and go pound sand, Zenimax has turned that game into a solid MMO).

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Viktor Budusov

buying something in Lotro store you won’t give money to Daybreak. SSG fully owns Lotro Store. Though i’m not sure about Expansions like Mordor if you buy them in other places…

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Dankey Kang

Dunno what’s gonna happen but I’ll be playing PS2/PS:A until they pry the assault rifle from my cold dead hands!

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Denice J. Cook

Let us know how Planetside: Arena turns out.

kjempff
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kjempff

TheyBreak is that wierd construct that you keep thinking will die tomorrow, and yet still keeps going. So they didn’t get sold to columbus nova after all, which explains why it wasn’t simply dismantled and sold off in parts, as expected.
But who owns it now? And why is it kept alive? I mean they slaughtered the calf that was going to grow up and deliver milk in the future (EqNext) or even Landmark which sat right in genre that is going strong, and they don’t seem to be following the bandwagon of transitioning to mobile crap err games either.
So what the hell is going on? some niche we just don’t see or blind fumbling?

The lifetime subs smell so hard of a desperate attempt to make the sales numbers look good, but is that with a future sell in mind, some attempt to live yet another year or something completely different? It is kindda exciting and a bit sad at the same time.
Best scenario: “surprice, we didn’t cancel EqNext but cleaned out the stables and put fresh people on the project” .. or worst scenario: “eq and eq2 closes down permanently, but not sold off, and TheyBreak keeps running their other games”

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Neiloch Fyrestarter

Their current plans extend past 2019 so in the simplest sense I think they will be around. They will not be improving things, however.

Given rumors that have been confirmed thus far as well as other ‘inside’ info they are going to be spinning down the everquest games under the guise of “huge 20th anniversary events” that consist of massively recycled content and ‘evergreen’ items so what work they have to do later on is substantially lower. Like, only 1 or 2 developers working on each game lower.

They will survive 2019 but 2020 is much less likely and after that it gets intensely more likely they are going bye-bye. Its unfortunate anyone might think things at Daybreak are going to get better but with how much info is out their I can’t bring myself to feel sorry for them. The only way it could be more foolish is if Daybreak outright announced a sunset and players were entertaining some idea that if they keep playing they will reverse course.

Daybreak is a dead studio walking. Selling what organs it can while remaining alive for a quick buck before being executed.

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Denice J. Cook

Hi MJ! You are one of the few left covering EQ2, so as an EQ2 player myself I thank you and MassivelyOP for that.

However, you are assuming that locking more and more things behind a sub wall is a random decision instead of what it really is: a continual reaction to who pays and who does not.

Clearly, most new things like new expansion discounts, cash shop discounts and Time-Locked and event servers ignore the F2P servers completely and require gold subs because that’s where Daybreak’s main income is generated! Clearly, the majority of players on the F2P servers don’t pay anything, or Daybreak would be catering to them instead, or as well.

Without any real numbers to back it up, you are (I feel, quite wrongly) assuming that some magical majority that does not pay for the gold subscription instead pays lots of money in cash shop purchases. This is not “reporting,” it is “a guess.”

Daybreak, like any business, absolutely must keep the lights on. And Daybreak is obviously, like any business, already catering to the majority of their paying base so they can do that. Those who just show up and play free don’t help support their games.

If anything, those paying a sub are the very same people making the bulk of the cash shop purchases too– or else they wouldn’t bother offering a cash shop discount to keep their subscriber base paying. It looks to be more of a “you support them or you don’t” scenario.

I personally feel Daybreak’s grandfathered EQ2 Silver F2P is overly generous– way too generous! And I say that as someone who constantly runs my main account gold and my alt account silver. There is almost no nudge to subscribe before end-game, especially if you have someone (or another account) to sell on the broker for you.

Yet the servers and dev team need to run the whole time, not just for end-game. Daybreak also self-publishes, one of the few left that does. Even the new NantWorks deal excludes the current Daybreak stable; Daybreak doesn’t have a sugar Daddy to help them along. The player base has to keep the games going or the games won’t go anymore. Even CCP broke down and got an actual Overlord this year. :P

Clearly, the old Silver F2P is where most of the players on Antonia Bayle, Maj’Dul, Skyfire and Halls of Fate reside. Even many “returning players” that come and go were around for the original subscription years, and the transition to Silver and F2P. I really doubt EQ2 is pulling in many totally new players on the whole.

Even industry-wide, F2P versions of MMORPGs are very restricted. BDO, ESO, Destiny 1 & 2 and Guild Wars charge box fees right up front before you can even begin them. CCP’s Alpha version chokes everyone off but newbs, as does WoW’s free version and LoTRO’s and DDO’s free versions. They’re trials and nothing more. This supports the idea that even across MMORPGs in general, F2P players just don’t pay anything to support the games they show up in.

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Greaterdivinity

The majority of players in any F2P game aren’t paying players, or spend very little on the game itself. That’s the way the model more or less is designed to work, and plenty of developers have figured out how to make it work and be financially successful for them without essentially punishing F2P players.

The model is designed to have a variety of funding (potentially steady streams via optional subs, spikes resulting from MTX sales, content release sales [expansions or DLC] etc.), but realistically only be “funded” by a small number of their total playerbase. What it allows them to do though, is to have populated, active servers for those paying players, because without all the F2P players many of these games would have long since become true ghost towns. They exist to populate the world and keep the overall populations at sustainable levels for community play, so while they’re not “paying” anything and are getting to play the game for free, they’re still providing quite a bit of value to these developers with their presence.

If it wasn’t something that worked, and that saved the bacon of more than a few subscription based games, developers wouldn’t be using these models and would continue to stick with sub-only or B2P models.

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Denice J. Cook

They aren’t “using the same Silver grandfathered-level of freedom as Daybreak made the mistake of using,” though. They’re way more restrictive than that across the boards.

Daybreak was one of the earliest to go F2P after Funcom’s Anarchy Online, and they paid the price by being too generous. Other MMO devs have learned from their mistakes and adjusted their models accordingly.

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Bruno Brito

and they paid the price by being too generous.

Lol.

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Denice J. Cook

You can adopt whatever attitude you want, but EQ2’s grandfathered Silver F2P is easily one of the most generous in the MMO industry.

Like I listed above, most other MMOs charge an up front box fee while in EQ2 you can play up to level 100 free. EQ2’s new cap is 110, and you would have to buy the newest expansion to get to the absolute end of the game, plus wear the top tier gear and have the absolute top-tier spells for the hardcore raids.

The other games’ F2P versions charge for every expansion and DLC besides the box fees, and/or choke you off so early and completely they’re little more than free trials.

*shrug* It is what it is.

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Bruno Brito

I never said EQ2 F2P isn’t generous. I just think this is a extremely common misconception. F2Players are NOT to blame for EQ2 failures.

It’s pretty simple. EQ2 didn’t fail because it was extremely generous or whatever. It did fail because of incompetence.

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Sarah Cushaway

I loved EQ2. Played it tons up until a few years ago. You want to know who has a far more generous system that allows players to play with little-no cash opt-in? ESO and GW2. ESO is b2p and you get all the base features. Hell, I can’t even use the broker in EQ2 without buying broker tokens or subbing. GW2 is even more generous–the entire base game is free. Both games are doing very well with these models.

Why is EQ2 doing so poorly, then? Because it’s a clunky, janky mess, and both SOE and Daybreak did NOTHING to fix that horrendous engine, streamline all the old systems (instead, they just keep piling old systems on top of new expac systems, so you get a HORRENDOUS ability and skill bloat), fix the combat animations, update the graphics (this WAS a plan years ago–each race was supposed to get new skeleton rigging and updated graphics back in, I want to say, 2007 or 08, but the plan was scrapped and we had to make due with the horrendous SOGA models instead), and promote the damned game.

They’ve done none of these things, so the game is dead in the water. It has nothing to do with “too generous of a F2P system”. It has everything to do with how they mismanaged the game itself by not fixing the damned thing and getting it out there for the world to see. And it’s a shame.

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Bruno Brito

I loved EQ2.

You have a good reason. It’s a fucking good game.

layed it tons up until a few years ago. You want to know who has a far more generous system that allows players to play with little-no cash opt-in? ESO and GW2. ESO is b2p and you get all the base features.

True.

GW2 is even more generous–the entire base game is free. Both games are doing very well with these models.

Indeed.

Why is EQ2 doing so poorly, then? Because it’s a clunky, janky mess, and both SOE and Daybreak did NOTHING to fix that horrendous engine, streamline all the old systems (instead, they just keep piling old systems on top of new expac systems, so you get a HORRENDOUS ability and skill bloat)

Completely correct. I’m playing EQ2 because of how huge the world is and i don’t need to target endgame to have fun, since i have decades to explore. But the skill bloat is disgusting. I should NOT have to rotate between more than 10 skills to dps anything.

fix the combat animations, update the graphics (this WAS a plan years ago–each race was supposed to get new skeleton rigging and updated graphics back in, I want to say, 2007 or 08, but the plan was scrapped and we had to make due with the horrendous SOGA models instead), and promote the damned game.

While i think EQ2 graphics have charm, it’s undeniable that the engine is dumpster fucking fire. It’s badly optimized, and several stuff should be changed.

They’ve done none of these things, so the game is dead in the water. It has nothing to do with “too generous of a F2P system”. It has everything to do with how they mismanaged the game itself by not fixing the damned thing and getting it out there for the world to see. And it’s a shame.

So, you agree with me that it was purely incompetence?

Because that’s what i’m seeing here. Pure incompetence. EQ2 F2P model isn’t bad, but it isn’t overly generous anyway.

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Nathan Aldana

yep. In its heyday i loved a lot of EQ2’s ideas and systems. The problem is while maybe wow has streamlined too much , everquest is an example of streamlining nothing at all.

both makle a lot of issues.

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Greaterdivinity

…what? My memory is of the opposite – EQ1/2 had far stricter F2P models than most other F2P games, including heavy restrictions on everything from item rarity to spell ranks and IIRC even class/race combo’s that set it apart from most of the others, even when they were more restrictive as well.

Since launch EQ1/2 have loosened up their restrictions considerably, and I don’t believe those restrictions exist anymore at all.

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Denice J. Cook

PS/ When the majority of your players are F2P, there’s a lot of server load, lag, crashing and bad performance, with $0 from them to help keep the lights on and continual development happening.

If EQ2’s F2P version was more restrictive like it should be, it would lessen the load on the servers, but yet leave some of the more determined F2P players there to mingle with.

PPS/ Fallen Gate, the EQ2 sub-only Time Locked Progression server, has as many players around if not more than Maj’Dul, the overloaded, laggy, most-crashing, most-populated EQ2 F2P server. I know– I’m on all of them.

And incidentally, even when all four F2P servers and/or their login server crash and burn, Fallen Gate *and* Isle of Refuge (the other sub-only server) are still up and running. They don’t even lag. I suspect they’re hosted somewhere different and better than the rest; it seems that way.

IoR is pretty dead so I can see why there wouldn’t be lag there, but Fallen Gate has quite a boisterous population at all levels and it runs like a top, even during high-stress holidays like Frostfell.

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Greaterdivinity

That’s only if you’re paying for hardware that doesn’t support your playerbase, which would indicate a failing game. But again, locking down servers to sub only would likely still hit their reduced playerbase.

And as I posted above, it was more restrictive at launch. But IIRC that didn’t go well for them with the more restrictive model and they ended up loosening up the restrictions to get more players in. Restrictive models make the sub more attractive, but they also drive away free players which reduces playerbases (see: SWTOR)

Isn’t Fallen Gate the sub-only time locked server and Fallen Gate the “free trade” server? Because that would make sense for why they weren’t impacted by live server issues if it’s going through a different systems. Different versions of the game going through a different login system(s) that aren’t impacted by live server issues.

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Denice J. Cook

Fallen Gate is the TL, yes, currently locked at L90 Sentinel’s Fate. It’s really busy, but runs extremely well, from what I can see when I’m on anyway.

Isle of Refuge is the free-trade server, supposedly anyway, but a lot of the everyday drops when it launched were still Bind on Pickup. Maybe the raids had free-trade items but I don’t raid so I didn’t stay. Neither did much of anyone else from what I could see during the last couple weeks when I finally checked back in.

I understand the EQ1 free-trade server is truly free trade through and through, and is a lot more popular. I’m not sure why Daybreak didn’t do that for EQ2 as well, but they really need to either A.) run some exclusive events and maybe permanent double XP incentives there, B.) add additional perks, and C.) make it truly free trade, either that or shut it down. The last weekend of Frostfell, /who alls for the entire server were pulling up 33-36 people total. Ouch.

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Mark Mealman

I don’t think the F2P model has been working out too terribly well. Wildstar is down, Eve was sold off and most other F2P ones tend to have the stentch of death lingering around them.

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Greaterdivinity

F2P isn’t a miracle “cure-all” for everything, which is what you seem to be view it as. It’s another business model, and one that can help save some games struggle as subscription based titles. Does it work every time? Hell no, nothing is perfect and F2P models themselves can vary widely in how they’re implemented, not to mention the quality of the games themselves having a huge impact on the success or failure of a model transition.

WildStar? Yeah, that was tanking far harder when it was a subscription based game. F2P gave them a second lease on life, but they unfortunately weren’t able to capitalize on it, repeating many mistakes and making many missteps. It was also a game that, and I have to take my consumer hat off and put my business hat on for a second, was criminally under-monetized. It was far too generous with its F2P scheme and lacked a robust lineup of cosmetic (especially) and even convenience items that help prop up F2P games monetization.

EVE? I can’t say for sure how the F2P transition went, but it’s not just that change that may have contributed (which we legitimately don’t know how it worked for them). Dust 514 tanking and the Dust reboot taking longer and longer, eating up more money? Not great. CCP’s seemingly heavy investment in VR? Didn’t pan out at all. And I think they had a few other misses as well that could have absolutely contributed towards a financial situation, even if EVE F2P was doing well, where acquisition by a larger company was an attractive offer.

Beyond that sure, there are plenty of F2P games with the stench of death on them. The ex-Trion games sure don’t look like they’re super healthy, Champions Online has been limping along for years with only the odd update here and there, titles like Devilian launch and live very short lives. But there are also plenty of F2P titles doing just fine – GW2 (sorta, expansions are paid) is chugging along nicely, Warframe continues to deliver kickass content, PoE is stellar and keeps getting better and better, even games like STO see good support even if some of their updates aren’t too good, same goes for TERA (small but steady update calendar every few months) or Aion (which is small, but still gets updates from the Korean releases).

It’s not something specific to the F2P model, which is also used in some of the most profitable games on the market right now like Fortnite.

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Denice J. Cook

Fortnite is pay to win though. Oh how I wish phone game monetization and F2P Korean grinders had never made their way to this side of the pond. ;)

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Greaterdivinity

Is it? Never played so I’m unaware, what kind of power can you buy in it?

And phone monetization was pushed on “this side of the pond”, dude. Mobile monetization models are built directly from Facebook game monetization models, which were primarily developed initially by western developers like Zynga, which is itself a branch of of the monetization for many old browser games which were similarly developed by western developers. Asia isn’t some nexus of all MMO evil, dude.

As for Korean grinders…well, there are scant few left on the market nowadays, even far fewer of any note or with much awareness. And realistically, it’s always been an issue with presentation for the most part rather than anything else.

Long mob grinds? Sup rep grinds in games like WoW or what essentially amounted to a series of “Kill X” quests that were mechanically identical, just broken up a bit.

RNG upgrades? RNG drops, as many of those games had ways to farm or easily create base items that were upgraded so the big hurdle was the RNG in upgrades. Now we’ve got WoW, where you have RNG in terms of whether or not the item you want drops, a secondary layer in terms of whether or not it will have the correct tertiary stats or whatever (that’s still a thing, right?) and then a third layer of thunderforging or whatever it’s called.

Western MMO’s have done a better job about making the grind less bad and, more importantly, figuring out how to pace it and present it so it’s less obvious and more enjoyable. But much of the cores of both when it comes to grinding are similar.

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Mark Mealman

Yeah, I don’t completely disagree with what you’re saying, but I just don’t think the F2P model has been the savior for the MMO market we’d all hope it would be. Even F2P MMOs seem to be very very dead, population-wise. I mean, I don’t really see them pulling in the newbies at a constant rate just because the game client is free to download and try out.

I kind of get the feeling that F2P creates an initial cash hit that drowns out quickly and starves out the companies and they end up spiraling down into a cycle of cutting devs to stay afloat, crapping over the game to push cash shop items for money, and then having a game that’s toxic and underdeveloped that no one wants to touch.

On the flip side for EQ I have 3 accounts subbed because they became friendly with multi-boxing and I find the game content compelling. Eve I used to sub 2 accounts for the same reason. I know quite a few people that sub 6 accounts on EQ so they can box full groups.

I just think there’s probably some better way to tap into the “fan, will spend cash” market that’ll keep your game afloat without polluting the game itself so badly no one wants to download it.

For bringing in fresh newbies on a constant basis, I don’t think F2P really works long term. You need fresh content and game systems that will keep them around, or bring them back in once your next fresh content(expansion pack) hits. I think POE does so well because they add fresh content a lot.

Take a game like LOTRO or SWTOR, there’s just no reason to go back to those games. I’ve tried multiple times, but the low end content is always dead and never changes. It really doesn’t matter if they’d charge or not for an expansion that would have no interest for me: “Oh hey, 10 more levels for a game you don’t want to do level 1-30 in”.

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Armsman

I don’t think they’ll squander the LTS cash influx because said influx was probably already spent (to keep the company a float) BEFORE the sale. (IE Ceditors were knocking at the door with past due bills; and they did this sale to get quick cash to pay them off to a degree.)