CS:GO reboots F2P business model, tucking far more behind the paywall

    
16

Valve set off a dramabomb last night with its announcement that CounterStrike: Global Offensive would be dramatically changing its business model. The company essentially walked back the free-to-play model it’s run in CSGO for the last three years, saying that “bad actors” have abused the free-play content to “hurt the experience of both new and existing players.” Going forward, players will need to pay to access drops, expies, skill groups, annual medals, and ranked play, and there’s no more free-player track to Prime status. You’re gonna need to pay your $15 or you’ll stay an unranked scrub forever.

“New players can still play every game mode, play on community servers, and play workshop maps. However, they will no longer receive XP, Ranks, drops, or Skill Groups; those features are now exclusively available to Prime Status players. New players can still upgrade to Prime by purchasing the Prime Status Upgrade from the Steam store, however there is no longer a free path to Prime. And if you purchase the upgrade in the next two weeks, your current Skill Group and XP progress will carry over.”

Response to the changes has been all over the map, with some gamers praising Valve’s move to thwart cheaters and saying their match quality has already improved. Others are pointing out that making free-to-play accounts suck just makes it harder to attract new players or players who don’t have the cash to pay and will just wander away to play something like Valorant.

Advertisement

No posts to display

16
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
agemyth 😩
Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
agemyth 😩

They get the whole dang game outside of ranked matches. Sounds like a great deal.

Reader
Dankey Kang

I’m gonna go ahead and call this a good thing. As an OG TF2 player, I recall that the moment the game went free to play – the gameplay experience took a nosedive; it basically went from a ‘gentlemans club’ to kindergarten overnight. F2P tends to attract younger players; the kind of player that is more childish, has less patience and is just generally less enjoyable to interact with. Cheating also skyrocketed to no ones surprise.

I think this is a pretty good approach. F2P players are a necessary evil because they sometimes become paying customers; but by having a distinction between the two, it should do wonders for the games community, and minimalise the impact of cheaters.

Reader
Bruno Brito

I’m an OG too and i’ll be honest with you, outside of the occasional scriptkiddie, i didn’t see much of a difference. TF2 was pretty popular on it’s hayday and there were complete idiots from day one.

Honestly, this doesn’t solve much except the scriptkiddies. Valve is terrible at sustaining their shooters and TF2 has like cheaters from almost a decade ago still profiting from the game. And i mean SERIOUS cheaters, not scriptkiddies.

Reader
Dankey Kang

I guess it depends what servers you played on, but I 100% noticed a difference in gameplay quality on the ones I used to frequent. I seem to remember about half the players having my little pony avatars around the time I lost interest, but this was a decade ago so things have likely changed.

Reader
Bruno Brito

I don’t play servers. I play the casual matchmaking because that’s the only way to find good plays nowadays.

I say “play” in the loose sense, i didn’t play TF2 in almost an year. I actually met very little hackers, what i met mostly were spamtraders and bots. And i met those throughout TF2 lifespan, even before the conversion to F2P. F2P just made it harder to keep them out, but it’s not like VAC was worth shit at any moment.

LoL is F2P and has almost no hacks or cheats in it. Valve is really incompetent, and i wanna drive home this point: Any change they do is half-assed until they actively go back to developing their games and improving them.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

I wouldn’t mind if TF2 found a way to focus less on itself being f2p as well, so many bots.

Reader
Bruno Brito

That would require Valve to stop neglecting it.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

A lad can dream.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Please, do. I’m with you there.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Wonder how much, if any of this, is tied up to the drama with gambling and shutting down gambling sites, which dries up MTX revenue on their marketplace.

I don’t have huge issues with this, “Prime Status” is just functionally the box purchase which is $15, and IIRC still goes on sale frequently. Free players can still get a fine experience to dick around with, but if they want to seriously play then it’s a small asking price. Not the most elegant way to deal with bad actors, but it’s an effective wall.

But maybe since I’ve got that status from having the game pre-F2P, and that I barely play/only really play respawn servers.

Reader
Vanquesse V

CS:GO also has a pretty bad problem with cheating and locking ranked behind a 15$ purchase will hopefully help that issue at least a little.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Yeah, I have no clue how bad it is now but it’s been a problem since my old like 1.3 days a few decades ago. Again, it’s not a “solution” that should hopefully provide a bit higher of a barrier for entrance to deter cheating, but still lame for the free folks. But hey, they’ve still got a solid shooter to play for free, and if they want to get more serious about it it’s got a low bar for entry. Especially with how often the game has gone on sale.

Reader
Bruno Brito

They’ll just play Valorant.

Say what you want about Riot, they don’t point fingers at their gamers, they dump a lot of Tencent money on anticheat and good coding to impede cheaters from prevailing on their games.

Reader
Bruno Brito

It’ll ease the issue of scriptkiddies for sure, but for people who actually cause damage, prime is not an deterrent. Cheat engines are not cheap, and most “professional” cheaters are just buying prime, doing what they need and selling all their shit for profit.

I’m thorn on this. On one hand, as a F2Player in most games, i know games can be good without screwing free players and forcing them to sub. On the other hand, i know how disruptive a completely “free-to-operate” playerbase is.

What i DON’T like and i’m not thorn about is Valve’s gave an excuse like this: “saying that “bad actors” have abused the free-play content to “hurt the experience of both new and existing players.””

No, they didn’t abuse the F2P. They abused the fact that Valve is largely a incompetent company with a dogshit cheat prevention engine. TF2 had the same problem from before it became F2P.

What do i expect from a company that doesn’t create anything anymore and is just a storefront for profits from other developers? This isn’t new. Valve was always bad at managing their games.

Reader
Vanquesse V

This will deter “casual cheaters” and nothing more, you’re right about that.
Valve needs to take cheating much, much more seriously in CS:GO, and soon, because if they don’t then anyone who cares about a fair fight will go play Valorant instead.
You can criticize Riot for certain things, but they take both e-sports and cheating very seriously.
You can never rely on anything managed by Valve to be consistently updated or maintained due to how they are structured and they really don’t get enough shit for abandoning things with no warning.

Reader
_a4

This.