PS3 News: Sony Supports F2P, Says It Gives Players "Voting Power" - PS3 News

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Sony Supports F2P, Says It Gives Players "Voting Power"

Don't like free-to-play? Sony says you really should.

According to Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley, the controversial business model utilized by so many developers is a "powerful form of democracy."

In speaking to GameSpot, Smedley said it's the best model available because if players don't like what they're playing, they can just walk away without having to spend a dime:

"We believe very strongly in this idea that if you open it up so that anybody can play it, it is the most powerful form of democracy in gaming that there is. Because they can vote with their feet and they don't have to pay us a dime. So it really keeps you on top of your game."

As for the idea that F2P will eventually take over traditional business models, Smedley isn't backing that theory just yet. The reason being is because "you're seeing games evolve very strongly into games as a service model." He's referring to the modern phenomenon that has seen games become more like services, as each experience can be built upon with future content. DLC has become common and ongoing experiences may be the wave of the future (ala Bungie's Destiny).

As for Sony, they'll be utilizing the F2P business model for the upcoming open-world zombie game, H1Z1. So, do you agree with Smedley's comments?

Tags: free to play, freemium, sony, free to play business model

5/9/2014 9:48:18 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (12 posts)

Athrin
Friday, May 09, 2014 @ 10:07:33 PM
Reply

The problem with F2P is a tendency for games to go from F2P to P2W(pay to win)which in turn ruins the game.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ignitus
Friday, May 09, 2014 @ 10:49:09 PM

That's the business model. Very low barrier of entry then nickel and dime the gamer to progress.

Imagine if in Devil May Cry instead of getting the red, yellow, etc orbs, you had to actually buy them with real money. Want a new ability? Want to upgrade a weapon? Want a healing potion? Sure! Its just a credit card charge away.

And that example was just on a single player game. Imagine how it would be in an online competitive game.

Definetly not interested at all.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Friday, May 09, 2014 @ 10:53:50 PM

Ignitus, that's exactly what F2P shouldn't be. It should give you access to those orbs and items through regular gameplay, with the option to buy more if the player feels as though they can't earn enough just by playing. It should be a complement to traditional gameplay mechanics and ideals, rather than a replacement. Like I wrote below, however, the issues arise from the conscious design of developers, rather than from the model itself.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Friday, May 09, 2014 @ 10:09:50 PM
Reply

I both agree and disagree. I agree because he's right in saying that it is a democratic process. What is accessible for free can be considered a demo for the "full game", and it thus gives players a chance to experience what the game is about at its core, without forcing them into any payment obligations. If they don't like it, they haven't paid anything, so they have no right to feel ripped off, as it was their choice to spend time in the game. And they can just walk away.

My main problem with the F2P is the way that it is abused in such a fashion as to make payment an absolute necessity by limiting (through time constraints, or secondary currencies) what players are able to do without paying. And this is where I disagree, because it's all too often that we see these games attempting to niggle any cent out of consumers through artificial barriers. The thing to remember is that that isn't the result of the model, but of game design.

I think that Epic is taking the right path with the new Unreal Tournament in that it's going to be completely free and apparently supported by a model similar to Project CARS's "World of Mass Development". The payment is supposed to come later, as the team are going to release the dev tools to the community, and it will become possible for content creators to set their own prices and share their content, with the profits being split between those creators and Epic. It's brilliant!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ignitus
Friday, May 09, 2014 @ 10:41:31 PM
Reply

Yeah right. In free to play, better known as Pay to win, the only ones really enjoying it are its publishers.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

SASSYGIRL82
Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 12:02:47 AM
Reply

F2P can be OK but it can lead to greed but in no game should a player created item or level cost money let alone part of it going to the player or game developer either

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 12:42:59 AM
Reply

The business model is only half the problem, I don't even care about the greedy nickel and diming stuff. That's their business so let em try it.

It's the final product that ends up suffering because as a framework to be patched onto (IF it's moderately successful) it can never be more than mediocre. No company will drop 75 million on a single player campaign then give it away free, so it can never be anywhere near the level of depth and quality that Dragon Age will be. As something free it is literally without value.

I'll be using my democratic vote to never touch the crap.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 4:42:50 AM
Reply

F2P is the future of the industry its as simple as that!
budgets getting higher and higher, development costs getting higher and higher, the simple fact is games need a massive sales base to break just even, forget a profit, just to make their money back!
and charging people 100+ bucks for every game is not going to get them that!
we need to get rid of this ridiculous ancient crap payment model, its about time we evolved the payment methods to todays players!
and thats where F2P and MCs come in, have every game technically free to play the first level or so, than people can say yes i like this i want to go further, they can choose what they want to unlock.
if they want to just unlock 1 more level because their unsure, fine you can do that.
if you want to unlock just the MP, fine you can do that.
if you want to unlock just the SP, fine you can do that.
or you can unlock the whole game and access everything just as you would now.
remove buyers remorse, and imagine how many more people developers would get buying their games.
oh and that will help lower piracy as well.
its win freaking win!

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Harerazer
Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 10:43:46 AM
Reply

Do I agree? Yes and no. My thought mimic Lawless mostly but it's not the model to blame, it's the purchasers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a company offering everything from the opening theme to the end credits for a cost. If no one buys it, it doesn't impact the game. The model suffers (and degenerates into P2W) because as of now developers simply cannot create compelling content within the framework of F2P. For example, let's say Nintendo made a Pokemon F2P game (as I dream everyday but I digress...), they could simply charge give you 6 Pokemon and charge for the rest (as an example). You want them, buy them. You don't, don't buy them. Also, an F2P game has to be an ongoing game. It cannot have a concrete ending or else you either get the end for free or you don't get the full game. The model will evolve into something viable eventually (when real companies buy into it) but for now, it's a feeding frenzy and it's not surprising that integrity didn't get invited to the table.

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SASSYGIRL82
Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 11:03:19 AM
Reply

The reason games r costing more n more to produce is a u got bosses getting multimillion dollar bonuses instead of it going back into the next game and u get developers n publishers that r huge claiming rights to certain methods of making a game n if u want to use it a either u gotta basically give ur company to them or b I gotta have millions to fork over

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 10:03:30 PM
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I can vote with my money in P2P models, too.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 11:47:34 PM
Reply

i will say this do i agree yes and no it still depends on how the micro transactions business is built into the game.

happy gaming =)

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