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The Almighty Buck Games

Failed MMO APB To Be Resurrected As Free-To-Play Game 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the pennies-on-the-dollar dept.
Two months ago, we discussed news that Realtime Worlds' action MMO APB closed its doors only a few months after launch, when it became clear that player interest and subscriber numbers couldn't begin to recoup the massive development cost. A few days ago, a company called Reloaded Productions, owned by free-to-play publisher GamersFirst, acquired all the rights and assets to APB. The company plans to relaunch the game as APB: Reloaded in the first half of 2011, abandoning its unusual business model in favor of free-to-play accounts supplemented by microtransactions and premium services.
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Failed MMO APB To Be Resurrected As Free-To-Play Game

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  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:14PM (#34247932)

    So, the MMORPG bubble has officially popped?
    This is sounding very march of 2000ish.
    Business plans with lots of "..."
    "Don't worry we'll make it up on volume".
    "I know, we'll do the exact same thing everyone else is doing, what could go wrong!"
    Spending massive amounts on "development" of the same cookie cutter as everyone else.

    • It's not like this is the first free-to-play MMO, as I'm sure at least one of the linked articles will mention. D&D Online and Lord of the Rings Online have been making much more money since they became "free". DDO's Revenue is up 500%. [techdirt.com]
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:44PM (#34248462)

        Not every game is well set up for it. I can't see WoW working well as free to play. However others work great. DDO in particular is either. You can pay for a subscription and when you do, you get full access to all content to long as the subscription is active any new content released you have automatic access to. Or, instead, you can buy points and use those to buy access to content. Content bought that way stays accessible forever, no further money needed, but new content requires a new purchase.

        Now turns out they aren't stupid and their pricing is such that if you buy all the content, you end up paying about the same as you do if you just have a subscription. However it works well. Reason is twofold:

        1) Some people don't like monthly fees. Makes them feel like they have to play to get their money's worth. Silly perhaps but it is what it is. My coworker is like that. He likes to buy points in DDO, rather than pay a subscription. Makes him happier.

        2) Some people can't afford a full subscription, but can pay for parts. A yearly subscription to most games is about $180. Maybe someone can't spend that, but they can spend $40. If the game was just subscription, they probably wouldn't play it. No sense in playing 2 months out of the year. However in a "buy points" system they can buy some content and enjoy that year round.

        It certainly isn't the one and only model, but it can work really well.

        • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:11PM (#34248794)

          Some people don't like monthly fees. Makes them feel like they have to play to get their money's worth. Silly perhaps but it is what it is. My coworker is like that. He likes to buy points in DDO, rather than pay a subscription. Makes him happier.

          It's not really silly. Say, for instance, your friend would like to put the game down for a month or two (maybe try some other games, MMOs or otherwise). With a subscription fee, short of canceling the account, it's not very practical to do this, as you're essentially paying for a service you're not using.

          Subscription fees work well enough for people that play one MMO exclusively and regularly. For everyone else, a la carte offerings make more sense.

          • by Rolgar (556636)

            A better way to look at it is how long will you stick with the game.

            I don't know specifics, but obviously, there is one price for the points necessary to buy all the content. Divide that price buy the monthly subscription. That will tell you how many months until the a la carte option breaks even. For instance, if the content can be unlocked for $100, and the monthly subscription is $15, six months costs you $90, and 7 costs $105. If you are likely to play for half a year, you are better off buying a la car

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by hitmark (640295)

              There is also options open to points that are not to subscription. In a way, points makes official "gold trading", in that one can pay for items that will make it unlikely that some time consuming to gather and make item will break. Note, weapons and armor is not sold that can not be found as loot during ordinary play. All that is sold is stuff that remove time taken for grinding, or that make your character visually special (but give no in-game benefit compared to what one can get playing for free).

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            A shift in that would be leasing MMO to ISP's based, who can then included them in their offerings. The ISP wins by attracing customers and reducing their costs by keeping more traffic on their network, they can vene create premium offerings with free MMOs and basic without.

            It creates major savings in managing MMO's as billing and associated accounting costs are substantially reduced and game servers are simply file servers to download the latest updates to the ISPs to minimal ongoing costs apart from ga

        • I can't see WoW working well as free to play.

          I can.

          You could easily borrow a lot from the way LoTR:O. WoW is already broken up into vaguely level-appropriate zones. Sell each zone as a mini-expansion/quest pack.

          And they're already selling premium stuff separately - like the cosmetic pets you can buy on the website, or the assorted goodies you can get from the CCG.

          Lock a few bag slots until you pay for them... Lock a few character slots until you pay for them... Sell the various zones separately... Throw in some random premium stuff... They'd eas

          • by subanark (937286)
            Part of WoW's fair play model is putting a level playing field for everybody. Once you pay for the expansions there is nothing (aside from trying to dual box) that you can use out of game money to boost your in game abilities, and conquencitly you know that you have an equal opportunity to advance as everyone else. They do sell collector's editions, and a few vanity items with real money. Trading in-game items for real money is against the ToS.

            Under their philosophy, You can't sell parts of the game, unless
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by fishbowl (7759)

              >Part of WoW's fair play model is putting a level playing field for everybody.

              You mean for everybody who can organize a team or who can tolerate being in a group of douchebags.

              A lot of people can't do either, quickly reach the end of what can be done in the solo game, and get completely frustrated with the difficulty of actually playing the group content.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by subanark (937286)
                Like most games, there is a limited amount of content. If you are at the end of solo content, you can do repeatable daily quests for rewards.

                The dungeon finder system allows players that have no friends or connections to do small 5 man dungeons with randomly chosen players. The dungeons are easy, as total party kills are rare (and when they occur you can continue where you left off). It rewards better gear than solo. Do it enough and you get points to buy good gear. Once per day you can get points to buy gr
                • by hitmark (640295)

                  Seems to me that the "once pr day" is as much a case of giving a "advantage" a anything else. So far i have not seen any game using a points buy system where there is loot that can only be gained for points. It will be quicker to get it by spending points yes, but in the end it becomes a trade-off between spending points and spending time. Basically rather then attempt to fight gold farming, its become part of the game.

                  • by subanark (937286)
                    I guess I wasn't clear on how the point system work:
                    There is a large number of gear items that will cover most of your gear slots available Justice points with quality of 1 level less than the latest released raid. You gain these points though doing level appropriate dungeons, or level appropriate raids that are not the most current. There is no limit to how often you can do these dungeons. These items can only be purchased with points, but similar items are in the dungeons and older raids, with varying lev
                  • by bckrispi (725257)
                    It is a balancing act. Blizzard has to balance the needs of the hardcore players with the casual players. If all items were gained through gold, the advantage would be with the players who could dedicate the most time to the game. Gold generation is a function of time spent playing. With the points/badge system, this problem is obviated. When Frost Badges were the end-game currency, there was a finite/em number of badges any player could get per week. The disparity between badges generated between cas
              • by bckrispi (725257)

                You mean for everybody who can organize a team or who can tolerate being in a group of douchebags.

                The "MM" in MMORPG implies you're going to be interacting with a large group of people. If you are a social misfit without rudimentary interpersonal skills, then this game is not for you. You don't need to be good at "organizing a team". But you do need to know how to be a "team player". If you want to avoid douchebags, simply find a guild with players who match the goals you have for the game. Be advised, however, that raiding, even casually, requires communication and teamwork. If you can't do this

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602)

          Some people don't like monthly fees. Makes them feel like they have to play to get their money's worth. Silly perhaps but it is what it is.

          Apparently the average gamer logs over 20 hrs per week.

          So yeah, if you are playing 20 hours a week, and think you need to spend your remaining free time to get your money's worth, than yeah, that's silly.

          I don't have a lot of free time. I'm lucky if I manage 20 hours of gaming a MONTH (in all games combined). Between work, wife, kids... time just flies by for me. When I

          • F2P is MORE expensive. You see, there is a small problem. MMO prices haven't gone up in two decades, but costs sure as hell have. So, with you 2 bucks a month how are they going to pay for the servers that are there wether you play or not? How about the support staff? 2 bucks a month vs your own 16 would mean they need 8 times the number of subscribers to get the same revenue. But the COSTS for those 8 subscribers are higher or do you think payment companies don't charge money per transaction? And what abou

            • by Wildclaw (15718)

              MMO prices haven't gone up in two decades

              1999: $9,89 (Source: http://everquest.allakhazam.com/history/patches-1999.html [allakhazam.com])
              2010: $14,99 (Source: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/faq/general.html [worldofwarcraft.com])

              Both of those numbers pretty much represent standard mmorpg pricing at their respective times. The Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI-U which was the first one I found figures for) gives inflation between 1999 and 2010 as 32%, so the price increase is not too different from average inflation.

            • by vux984 (928602)

              F2P is MORE expensive.

              I don't disagree. Microtransactions are a scam.

              MMO prices haven't gone up in two decades, but costs sure as hell have.

              Odd, I remember paying 9.99 each for EQ1, and Asheron's Call back in the day. Current subscription MMOs are around 50% more than that...including EQ1

          • There are two huge problems with this kind of subscription system:
            1. How do would they charge you?
            - They could book the maximum possible amount ($15.95) up-front but that would result in constant booking on your CC
            - They could charge you every time you enter the next level in payment structure, but this would increase the payment overhead fivefold
            - They could charge after a period of playing but that would result in massive number of botters/farmers using fake CC details

            2. This is exactly the kind of
            • by bckrispi (725257)
              Imagine the additional cost in supporting this tiered model as well. I can see, every month, thousands of phone calls by angry customers saying "I only played 10 1/2 hours this month. Why am I being billed at the 11-20 hour tier?".
              • by vux984 (928602)

                Imagine the additional cost in supporting this tiered model as well

                These games all have a /played counter. Enhance that a bit, make it available on demand, and show it during log-in, log-out.

                I can see, every month, thousands of phone calls by angry customers saying "I only played 10 1/2 hours this month. Why am I being billed at the 11-20 hour tier?".

                I can see a few. I don't see thousands really bitching over a few bucks, especially if you give them a /played counter that shows the time played, and login hi

            • by vux984 (928602)

              There are two huge problems with this kind of subscription system:
              1. How do would they charge you?
              - They could book the maximum possible amount ($15.95) up-front but that would result in constant booking on your CC
              - They could charge you every time you enter the next level in payment structure, but this would increase the payment overhead fivefold
              - They could charge after a period of playing but that would result in massive number of botters/farmers using fake CC details

              They could do it the same as these au

      • by Nysul (1816168)

        Lord of the Rings Online is a good deal if you can find the boxed Mirkwood expansion in stores. You can essentially play the majority of the game for $20-30. It won't include the midrange level quests but those are discounted all the time and you can either buy those with points you get just for playing or grind mobs (all areas are accessible).

        The free to play model can work pretty well if done right. You can buy some stat increases, but those are not very significant (and can be earned in game). The rest o

      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        Technically, those are both hybrid games. Most players still spend money, many still subscribe regularly, many pay ala-carte, and many try to play purely for free.

        Not the same thing as other free to play games that are sort of cheezy, like maple story, wizard 101, etc.
    • So, the MMORPG bubble has officially popped?

      Well - MMORPG's are still in development and making their way to be games, perhaps the "Subscribe to play" MMORPG bubble has popped. I mean, DND online and LotR online and Warhammer all kind of adopted more "free to play" methodologies (even if only up to a certain level on some titles). And all the ones that were free to play from the start are still doing alright (Like Guild Wars). There's a few other subscription based ones besides WoW that are doing alright (Like Eve is steadily growing, I don't know ho

      • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:22PM (#34248900)

        And all the ones that were free to play from the start are still doing alright (Like Guild Wars).

        I've heard some people making a slight distinction for games like Guild Wars, calling it "Buy to Play", or B2P. The distinction is that ArenaNet is making its money primarily off box sales. They do have an in-game store, but they just sell extra storage, character slots, costumes, etc... all stuff that doesn't really affect gameplay.

        This is a bit different than the "Free to Play", or F2P, model where the game is given away, but you must pay money for substantial in-game items, advancement, or character classes, and it's expected you'll have to pay money to advance significantly in the game.

        I think it makes sense to distinguish between the two. For instance, you can buy Guild Wars and comfortably play the game without ever purchasing anything else, much as like a single player game. That's a wholly different experience than a "Free to Play" MMO.

        I'm not saying one is better than the other per se. The F2P model is nice because it essentially gives players a very deep demo of the game before spending any money. The GW B2P model means a one-time purchase covers what you *have* to pay for the lifetime of the game.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by east coast (590680)
      What else can you expect when probably 80-90% of all MMO gaming profits come from cookie cutter games that are simply more dumbed down than the last one to make money?

      Innovation is not well rewarded in this genre of gaming. It seems that this is true in most gaming genres.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sortius_nod (1080919)

        You're talking total bullshit. Some of the most innovative games are the best sellers.

        The reason APB failed is because it was buggy, easy to exploit and the devs refused to fix the problems when they were brought up in beta.

        It was far from a "cookie cutter", the concept wasn't bad, just poorly implemented. I doubt you've even played APB (I was involved in the beta, but refused to buy it due to bugs not being fixed), so calling it a "cookie cutter game" is just a cop out.

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by east coast (590680)
          Never said anything about APB so why don't you stop being a troll and read what I wrote instead of making crap up?

          The fact of the matter is that the majority of your profitable MMO games are Everquest clones. That's all I was saying. Anything else you got beyond that you read into yourself.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by vux984 (928602)


            The fact of the matter is that the majority of your profitable MMO games are Everquest clones. That's all I was saying. Anything else you got beyond that you read into yourself.

            I -wish- they were everquest clones. Everquest was hard. Everquest rewarded team work. Everquest had its share of flaws (although some of what were considered its flaws I consider strengths)... but when you accomplished something in everquest it felt like an accomplishment.

            • by Raenex (947668)

              You speak of Everquest in past tense. It's still ongoing, isn't it?

              • by vux984 (928602)

                You speak of Everquest in past tense. It's still ongoing, isn't it?

                Its not the same game it once was, and hasn't been for years. Some of the changes have been much needed improvements. Others... have cost it its soul.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770)

          Yep, innovation or lack thereof isn't a real problem with games. It is being good games. People will happily buy games that are not very innovative, just new versions of classic games. They'll also happily buy games that are brand new properties not yet tried. However what they get tired of and won't buy, or at least will cancel their subscriptions in the case of MMOs are BAD GAMES. When the gamplay just sucks, when there are lots of bugs, when it isn't fun, people will jump ship to something that is becaus

    • by FileNotFound (85933) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:45PM (#34248464) Homepage Journal

      Not one of the things you listed was why APB failed. As someone who did play APB I can tell you that it failed due to these issues:

      Massive cheating. At least 1/3rd of the players used bots. This is actually a low estimate. The number grew to the point where nearly everyone was botting in the end. RTW was unable to catch or ban cheaters. There was no plan to handle cheaters at release, PunkBusters was implemented late almost right before release and could not be turned on without causing massive game breaking server wide lag spikes. In short, everyone who could, cheated, everyone else quit.

      Repetitive game play, few maps, few weapons. There are only two maps, both are fairly poor quality with lots of exploitable areas, as in places where you have a tremendous advantage over anyone trying to kill you. The game play was highly repetitive and all the missions could be broken down to several simple objectives unless players on both teams were evenly balanced and could make things a little exciting - but this almost never happened because of cheating and...

      Massive balance issues. The game would pair team vs team, and it would try to do so based on the performance of the team on other missions, so if you won 10 missions in a row, you were considered a high threat player and would be teamed against someone else high threat. If someone else high threat was not available, you would be teamed against a larger number of lower threat players. On paper, this may have worked. Unfortunately because as a player you are able to turn down a match, the low threat players almost always turned down the high threat player match. End result, 2 high threat players get matched against 4 low threat players, 2 of the low threat players turn down the match, the other 2 accept and get destroyed by the 2 high threat players who outrank them.

      Horribly broken economy. During the first few weeks of release, you could make 112k APB$ by standing in front of a customization kiosk for 10 hours. Everyone did this. As a result all money was worthless. When the kiosks were fixed, there were still plenty AFK exploits and witnessing exploits. The AFK exploit being the worst of the two as it involved a macroed player sitting in an active zone accepting every single mission. So now not only were you matched against cheaters but one of your teammates was a macro.

      Poor combat dynamics. Guns did not feel right, this is hard to explain but everyone who played the game will agree. All guns had hardcoded maximum range and as a result some guns were made 'situational' to the point of being useless. In short everyone used a medium range gun, and the botters used SMGs as with a bot you had 100% accuracy anyway...

      Driving lag. Personally I am on a 50/50 FIOS connection so I thought the driving was ok - until I played the game on a regular 1.5m cable line. The driving on a slow connection was unmanagble with up to a 2 second delay in car response. This paired with the fact that some of the car physics was simply broken, as in some cars had almost no weight and were unable to get any traction, made driving impossible for many if not most. I pretty much always had to be the driver as the one with the best connection. (Of course when punkbusters was turned on, the 3-5 seconds of lag still resulted in me plowing into the wall at full speed, catching the car on fire, and the lag disappearing just in time for us to blow up.)

      In short, this game was just not done. Had it been done well, I'd still play it.

      • Honestly, of all those reasons it was the first that got me to stop playing. You'd have crews that were cheating and they'd use the missions as farming opportunities. With no way to leave a mission, users who weren't cheating would get stuck in a fucked up treadmill.

        Of course, the reason this was so frustrating is because the game did have potential. It was fun...in spurts. But it had a long way to go.

      • What you describe is not so much "bugs" but a complete and utter failure to grasp the totally loathsome nature of the MMO player. This vile beast will go to any lengths NOT to have fun but to ruin it for everyone including themselves in order to... to... I don't know but some twisted need to do whatever because everyone else is doing it or would so I do it first anyway.

        It is the bane of anonymous multi-player. In real life we can have plenty of multi-player events because those that misbehave are either be

        • by camazotz (1242344)
          Substitute "PvP player" for MMO Player and I would agree; most MMO players are not so much loathesome as simply self-absorbed and lacking in social graces. Most PvP players, however, are vitriolic racists asshats to the finest degree. I'd like to say that the worst of the MMO and PvP players I've all met are 13 year olds with personality disorders....but alas such is not the case....too many of them are adults who act like such, giving the 13 year olds a bad rep.
      • by Comen (321331)

        I loved this game, and I think people baked these numbers of people cheating, I never once used a bot and constantly got called a cheater from evey person I killed.
        There were some people cheating, but almost every person I played with and we played really well together using a vent server etc, we all got called cheaters all the time, as if we were all running around boting seeing threw walls, when its more like they sucked, were really predictable, and we convered places well and used our heads and communic

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      what are you talking about?

      there's huge amounts of success to be made by making games free to play. granted it's all in the execution and there *is* no cookie cutter way to just make free to play work, but there are lots of ways to explore that may be unique to each game, company, etc.

    • Remember "Burn the money on marketing now, reap the profits later."? And how pre-IPOs were so proud of their burn rates...
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      It isn't a generic fantasy-mmo game like everyone else, rather a modern day cops and robbers game.

      APB was something I was really looking forwards to.

  • This was the way to do it in the first place.

  • I'll be sure to avoid trying this out, just in case it's a good game. I try to stay away from any game without an end condition, it keeps me productive...
  • The question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mark72005 (1233572) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:17PM (#34247986)
    Would anyone play it for free? Got some bad reviews IIRC
    • by dave562 (969951)

      I just might. I had been looking forward to it for the last couple of years. All of the bad reviews scared me off. Now that it is free I will probably check it out.

    • Of course people would play it for free.

      The important question is if they'll pay for the services.

  • Honestly, I think an MMORPG remake of an 80's arcade game [arcade-museum.com] was doomed from the start! Although, now that I think of it Frogger MMORPG would be pretty cool.

    • by Dunega (901960)
      You mean I get to be a slow moving car that can only drive in a straight line? WHERE DO I SIGN UP!! :)
      • by Gizzmonic (412910)

        Actually, it's an MMORPG so there are hundreds of other people driving their slow cars in a straight line as well!

        And they've changed the name from 'APB.' It will now be known as 'Commute.'

    • Re:APB had its day (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:30PM (#34248212)

      Honestly, I think an MMORPG remake of an 80's arcade game [arcade-museum.com] was doomed from the start! Although, now that I think of it Frogger MMORPG would be pretty cool.

      I played EVE Online for about a month back in '05. I believe that was a remake of Asteroids. Here I am, grinding big asteroids into little asteroids as quickly as possible, again...

  • It was decent (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jonxor (1841382)
    I played the game before it shut down. Imagine GTA Multiplayer, (much better than MTA). The only problems with it were the massive amounts of hackers and a broken Matchmaking system (which was easily fixable, it matched players up by "threat level" which could be manipulated by actions, rather than a players "rating" which determined progress in the game (unlocked vehicles, weapons, clothes, etc). The gameplay was extremely fun when you weren't matched up against a hacker, or somebody 10 times your rating.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I *almost* bought APB and I'm glad I didn't.

      I *did* buy Global Agenda, which never got to the $x/month part of the game. They eventually converted to free-to-play.

      Competitive multiplayer in every respect was broken, and a single group of about 30 people dominated the entire game - literally. They didn't even have the sense to introduce tiers in what was essentially a ladder system.

      I went back for an update for a bit, but it lagged my medium-range computer to hell, and I put the game on the shelf (so to spea

  • Is this version based on the Atari Arcade game from '87?

    http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=apb-all-points-bulletin&page=detail&id=86 [arcade-history.com]

  • Maybe I'll actually play it.....NOT!
  • I thought the summary was just wrong. No game would be called "APB", it's clearly an acronym. But no, it's right. That's the real name of the game, which has the sub-title of "all points bulletin".
    • by Miseph (979059)

      You might be saddened to learn that many sports and racing titles also use acronyms for titles, and have been doing so for decades. There are even many shooters and action games (SOCOM, comes to mind) which do so... it's actually a pretty widespread practice.

      So sorry to burst your bubble.

    • If you've ever heard Police Radio or any TV-show featuring Police Radio dispatch, then, APB is a pretty well-known acronym for many people (in North America at least).
  • Coincidence that this is posted today. I've been in their former offices all afternoon carrying off auctioned loot. It was kind of sad to see really.

  • by crossmr (957846) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @09:53PM (#34250768) Journal

    I've been in Korea now for 2.5 years, and getting into a lot of different Korean games for awhile now. One thing I've continued to notice is that it doesn't seem that any Korean games charge "premium" content as would be described in North America. Korea games are generally free from start to finish. Some people have mentioned that when you hit a certain point in DDO or LOTR:O you have to start paying or you basically can't play. Korean games don't do that. You can play all the way along. Their micro transactions tend to cover aesthetics and time compression or if they do include items, they don't include items which are "better" than the ones you can get in game, so in reality it's just more aesthetics. A lot of major game companies just had higher than expected profits as well. They don't feel the need to claim a game is free, then block off half the game behind a pay wall.

    North American companies still haven't gotten that. They seem more concerned with finding a way to "force" people to end up paying them money. Heck, I've never bought a single pay item from a shop here in Korea. I've browsed the store and looked at various things, but never done it, yet I continue to enjoy games 2 years in. Korean companies are of the mind that if you build a quality product and the money will come. Doesn't always work out, but most games have good longevity and they're constantly making new games.

    I'd just caught another story about a publisher who wanted to sell half a game, then charge for the other half of the game as DLC to cut second hand sales. No need to worry about second hand sales if you're giving the way game away for free, nor do you have to worry about piracy. I guess then publishers would have to shoulder all the blame when the game fails.

    Maybe they understand the model the just fine.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The really, really big elephant in the middle of the room that they are missing is that those people who are 'getting away' with playing the game for free are also making the game more popular.

      Who wants to play a game where much of the content is no fun because there are not enough other people playing?

      People who come and play your game for free are important components of your game. People who pay you money will always be a percentage of them. Here's the model to dominate the free-to-play mmo market (as

  • The best free to play system i have seen is from puzzle pirates. Most items are more expensive than the other servers and cost dubloons to purchase. The best part is these can be purchased with in game currency so if you grind alot you can purchase them and still pay nothing for the game. On the other hand you can purchase them with cash and have them alot sooner.
    • by neminem (561346)
      Nifty. I honestly believed Kingdom of Loathing was the only MMO that understood the concept; cool to hear there's another (I've heard of Puzzle Pirates, but haven't ever actually played it). KoL definitely does do the same thing - 10 bucks gets you the current Item of the Month, which is generally extremely powerful, and which you can then either use, or sell in the in-game mall to someone who wants to buy it with in-game currency. (Some of the IotMs are bound to you once you've used it, some can be used an
  • I think APB had a pretty decent idea but had a terrible follow up. The game was really innovative with the whole design "anything" idea and allowed for some really cool and creative things, but it didn't have an intensive to keep paying and keep playing. Like most MMO's that require a fee (or even ones that are free-to-play) they have new content released, hundreds of different items, classes, spells, etc... But APB didn't really have anything to keep the player constantly playing. The gameplay was super
  • by mestar (121800)

    With such a catchy name, how could it fail???

    Anybody for a round of MMO APB?

  • It may do good as a free offering. I have found among my friends that those who starting off playing free offerings are very satisfied with them. However, I find that friends that started off with paid services seem less happy with the free offerings once they try them. StandAloneApps.com [standaloneapps.com]

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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