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Which business model would you prefer?

I have absolutely no concerns with paying £15 for a game if the MTX are cosmetic. I would be hard pressed to enjoy/support a game I have purchased if I had to buy stash tabs or anything of the sort.

Making a character look awesome through cosmetics is fine and can be a fun process. Besides, we build the hero from scratch, I want it to look like the badass it’s built to be.

I like to buy outright, I’ll never purchase a loot box or cosmetics. Cool rare gear/looks should be earned not bought.

What about extra stash tabs? would you buy that?

Im prefering F2P model with microtransaction. This is the best way to catch lot of player.

Hi, just weighing in here: i think $14.99 is a great price point. I paid $19.99 for Wolcen (pre aplpha) and am still regretting it. I’ve enjoyed my time playing POE and never sunk a single cent into it. I believe that if you have a decent price point (with actual good looking gear) you can still have premium skins/effects to help with revenue without isolating ARPG lovers with lower budgets. Just a thought! :slight_smile:

Why are you regretting?

Yes please. Whatever it takes no “freemium” model, really gets the feel of the whole game by a 100%.

I think it really depends on what your long term goals are. All 3 proposed methods (F2P+MTX/B2P+MTX/B2P) have positives and negatives. I personally believe that something along PoE’s model is the best for the long term success of the game, but is also founded on your ability to sustain the company until you reach a sustainable revenue from MTX.

Going purely B2P with no MTX means you end up with a model where your only income source is through paid content releases. You’ll get the most money upfront to establish your company on the back of this game, but you put yourself under constant pressure. You have to release content expansions with a price tag frequently enough to sustain yourselves, but infrequently enough or inexpensive enough that people are willing to continually pay to play new content. The major upside to that is not having to constantly outdo yourself on MTX releases. It lets you focus on THE CONTENT itself more heavily.

Going B2P with a ~small entry fee and MTX gives you a model where you get some initial cashflow, but will have a considerably smaller potential playerbase than F2P. This method will HEAVILY rely upon marketing. First, you have to get people interested in even looking at the game through content creators and marketing (which you’ve already started to do, I’m here because of pohx :D). Then, you have to convince players in your demo that the game is going to be worth that 15 dollar investment. You also can’t really have amazing armor or effects in game like you want because it will limit the long term potential of your MTX revenue.

F2P is, in my mind, clearly the best long term model. PoE is so successful because it drew in a small number of players that saw the vision of the developers and were willing to invest much more than a nominal 15 dollar entry fee to help them achieve that goal. Those players were massively more likely to get their friends hyped for the game, drawing in more and more potential MTX buyers. No entry fee means any random bored-person on steam can stumble upon your game and download it on a whim. Simply put, the more players that can stumble upon your game by chance, the more potential whales you have to fund you through supporter packs.

All that being said, F2P also puts you in a bind as a new indie developer. You’ll probably have to go massively in debt initially while the community forms itself and your whales emerge, barring an insane kickstarter campaign. B2P with no MTX tends to produce the highest quality games, but the least sustainable games. If you don’t think you’ll be able to form enough of a community to hit sustainable revenue before you go under, F2P isn’t really an option.

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PoE started with pay for closed beta access which is how I got involved in 2012. It was $10. Besides what investors had put into the company that was enough to get the ball rolling. So they never needed a box price to get into the game when it was at the stage they wanted a larger base of players in it. Continue to hit up streamers and you tubers, charge $10 for alpha access and if you have a game people like, by the time beta rolls around, people will be happy to buy supporter packs. That being said, D2 was my all time fav game. PoE has now taken that over. You have very large shoes to fill if you wish to be in their universe.

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Excellent posts by gahddo and CANTILEVER. :slight_smile:

B2P

  • $15 up front to buy the whole game with all of the content and power available.

 

 

[quote quote=2635]PoE started with pay for closed beta access which is how I got involved in 2012. It was $10.[/quote]Actually, I don’t think they initially had it in their plans to sell keys. When I joined in 0.9.2 in Sept '11, it was key by invite. Then it was key by timer. By then, the word of mouth had spread that there seemed to be a critical mass of players that were pleading with GGG to be let in the door. Others of us who were already on the inside were begging for a way to fund their game so they could get it out the door faster.

It’s really hard to predict what may be a successful model in the current environment. Seven years ago looked very different that what we have now. The marketplace is saturated with various distribution models (humble/gog/steam/kickstarter/self-funded) and competition is fierce. As mentioned by others, it seems to me that it is critical that any game that desires financial success needs to get in front of the content creators and social influencers and build demand for the game first. Whatever the payment model will be is almost secondary to achieving a critical base of fanatical followers that will spread the gospel through the land.

What I do believe the payment model does is set player expectations, as well as perhaps give a general context/indication of the type of playerbase one would expect to attract to their game. Personally, I believe the b2p market continues to shrink. This is demonstrated in how tier 1 orgs like Actiblizzard and EA are actively experimenting with lootbox models and releasing catalog titles at heavily discounted prices and/or free during promotions. Their last bastion is console gaming, where people are still accustomed to paying up front for their discs. However, even that is changing with games as a service and streaming subscriptions.

Despite how large the audience may be, I think there is too much out there competing for limited screen time and tight-fisted dollars that it behooves any developer to strive to find zealots that will champion their cause before forging their flag on the battlefield…

I feel the having a price point of 15 bucks to get in would certainly help with potential bots and what not. But with paying initially, it really puts me off if I’d also have to buy extra stash tabs. Now, I also come from PoE, and have spent more than I care to admit on that game, so “just” another 15 bucks wouldn’t really matter to me personally, but, in my opinion, it comes off wrong if you have to pay for the game, and then pay more for conveniences.

I haven’t followed the whole thread but Ido think $15-20 is a reasonable amount for a game like this; even $30 if you can persuade your wider customer base to accept the price point. It seems like you are going for an entry fee plus MTX so the higher the amount the more people might scrutinise the mtx prices more so at that point I’d say releasing moderately priced supporter packs might be fairer rather than many individual items that quickly add up once people wish to acquire a sizeable amount of them.

If you end up going in a loot box direction with your mtx I’d urge you to be fair with the probabilities and remove the chance of duplicates or let us do something interesting with them. No one wants to end up with 5 pairs of the same boots or spend ludicrous amounts ‘gambling’ for shiny wings. It’s good for the company’s finances in the short term but I don’t think it’s a great feeling for the player, especially if there’s the situation where another must have status item is coming just around the corner and I think it can lead to burnout/disenfranchisement.

I think market saturation should be strongly considered when deciding the business model. ARPG-games cater to somewhat of a niche audience, as opposed to a MOBA or FPS (for example, first genres that came to mind). Currently, the ARPG-market is being dominated by 2/3 large games (PoE, Diablo 3 and Grim Dawn). This likely means that Last Epoch will have to get some of the players from those games to play it (and pay for it). Adding a base price to the game will always leave out a certain portion of your possible playerbase. As Last Epoch will have to fight an uphill battle (competing against already established games with far larger studio’s), I think a base price is a bad idea. It can be done, as was shown by Grim Dawn, but I feel it’s a very large risk. As long as the studio can function without the base price, that would by far be my preferred business model. If that doesn’t work, then a relatively low base price (15-20 dollar/euro) would probably be best.

As someone that comes from PoE, which by now everyone has made comments in regards to, the reason the model of extra stash tabs etc. works for that game is because of the fact it is completely free, I think if you were to go with the $15 up front fee/buy/purchase, then you would not want to have an MTX that was extra storage space etc. it would just leave a sour taste in peoples mouth because if you pay for the game itself you expect for all the conveniences to be included and the other MTX would solely be for cosmetic reasons, that is just how I feel though.

As many people here, I’m used to PoE’s f2p model and it’s what I would prefer.

I can’t afford full price games, but in PoE for example, I can wait for stash tab sales and buy those when they’re cheap. Over time, I paid more than what I would pay for a full price game.

Good luck with the project. C:

Interesting, hadnt thought that so many would suggest F2P.

I’m more old-school’ish, last Hack’n’Slays were Grim Dawn, Titan Quest, Diablo 2, Torchlight 1+2, … , i’d rather pay 60$ for the full game than have to live with any kind of microtransactions and that kind of stuff.

Greetings from Germany,

Dave

  • Depend of how well know this game will become.
  • Why? Simple, for what i see until now, seems like mtx is what what will the main source sustaining Last Epoch, so it depends of how much notoriety and publicity the game will have plus the team final decisions pertinent to the game main source of income. Without certain conditions a starting fee could be counter productive and diminish the total gains.
  • Will there be paid expansions, new eras, area and maps? This should be accounted.
  • So i would choose whatever brings more positive n productive publicity to Last Epoch. How confidant are the the team(developer's) in marketing?
  • One solution would be raising the stakes: make the game have a subscription fee while maintaining you principle pertinent to the cash shop, perhaps even a bimonthly/ semiannual or annual subscription.
  • Another solution: lower the stakes, make the game between 1-4 dollars as a starting fee of compromise with the game, this small number is probably not pretty to look at, but could end servicing better than the fee of 15 dollars.
  • Don't feel obligated to a f2p model; if the tides become favourable enough a subscription could do better for the game.
  • Right now i don't see much advantage in the "15" starting fee over going pure f2p, but this doesn't means b2p is a bad option.
 

Personally, I’d like to see a 14.99 entry fee and then add in cosmetic micro-transactions.

The only thing about that is I end up seeing a lot of games end up focusing on micro-transactions more than the rest of the game which can turn some people sour.

Though, a low entry fee plus a well thought out MTX system could do wonders. I agree about the spam on FTP games, it can get ridiculous.