Square Enix Apparently Has No Economists On Staff, Can't Figure Out F2P

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor

Damion Schubert, Lead Designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic has a blog.

I didn't know that until yesterday, when someone on my Twitter feed pointed me toward a recent entry where Schubert analyzes last week's news regarding the subscription model announcements for The Elder Scrolls Online and WildStar.

The first point to take is the usual “These views are mine (meaning Schubert's) and not representative of BioWare or Electronic Arts.” With that in mind, he acknowledges WildStar's noble attempt to at least “try something different,” while being somewhat less kindly to ESO and Final Fantasy XIV, whose director Naoki Yoshida offers the following defense of subscriptions:

With free-to-play, because you’re selling these items, you’ll have months where you sell a bunch of stuff and you make a lot of money in that one month. But it’s all about what happens during that month. Next month, the person who maybe bought $100 worth of items in the last month could purchase nothing at all. You don’t know what you’re going to be getting, and because you don’t know what you’re going to be getting, you can’t plan ahead. You don’t know how much money is coming in. If you can’t plan ahead, then you can’t keep staff, because you don’t know if you’ll have enough money to pay the staff next month.

Schubert responds by agreeing that F2P is difficult to predict. His company is actually very conservative with its guesses and is pleasantly surprised when they routinely exceed those expectations. Commenter Eric “Dalmarus” Campbell adds:

Obviously I can’t give actual numbers, but I can definitely say that while I was at ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2 was also doing just fine. Like… really, really fine. I think the pure subscription model is dead, even if some companies aren’t willing to concede yet.

What Yoshida seems to be saying is, basically, “If we didn't have a subscription, like those pure F2P games like SWTOR or B2P games like Guild Wars 2, we would have no idea how much money we might bring in in a given month.”

Psst, Yoshida-san... there are these people who work for big, serious companies who create these things called “projections.” Some of them even work for F2P game companies and know the market you're in. You should look into hiring one or two.

Yoshida's logic also collapses under the most basic scrutiny. If you have, say, one million players paying your sub, you'll make $15 million that month. That's great. So, how do you predict how much you'll make next month? What if you have more players? Or fewer? How about when an expansion comes out? How many copies will you sell? How many more people will come back?

Really, does this head-in-the-sand mindset work anywhere else than in subscription-based services? This isn't even a “F2P is better than subs” argument, it's about basic logic and how poorly the man in charge of a multi-million dollar property understands economics.

Imagine you owned a restaurant. How are you supposed to predict how much money you'll make in a month? Better charge every customer $15, no matter what they order!

Running a business is hard. I don't dispute that. Forecasting revenue is one very hard aspect of that. I would like to think Square Enix has people who are capable of doing that kind of hard work. If Yoshida's words can be taken at face value, though, I guess they don't.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

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Discussion (113)

Mari 3 years ago
It has been what seven years? Guess what game, listed in this article is still going strong and which ones are dead/on life support...

Shiroux 10 years ago
"Imagine you owned a restaurant. How are you supposed to predict how much money you’ll make in a month? Better charge every customer $15, no matter what they order!"

Actually, you realize that the only thing they sell is the contract to play their game? Nothing else! And charging for a fixed amount is wrong?

While I respect your view, do NOT drag Square down this hole too. If you want F2P, then there are plenty already. I'm not going to say that all of them is bad, but I think a lot are. And the few I like and are ACTUALLY unique? Pretty much broken because of your favor F2P model.

But yeah, from a business standpoint, some F2P games make more profit than the the P2P, but the latter is unarguably the more stable. To each their own.

It's like yes, Imagine you owned a restaurant. A buffet restaurant and you set the entry fee of $15. No, no, I'm not going to let you in without paying first. If you want otherwise, there are plenty of other restaurant out there. You can either go to boiling crab and spent hundreds like the rich kid you are, you eat all you can here for 15 bucks. Your choice.

jooegee 10 years ago
if games have a sub, i would say.. make it like 7.50 a month (or something reasonable) or so PLUS implement a cash shop, with items worth buying. companies that maintain the game servers need money to operate, so... say you are paying for a finished, non-multiplayer game: the developers have spent a certain amount of time on it and it is finished. the one-time fee is okay because the developers no longer have to spend any more time to maintain that game. however, in an mmo, you pay for the game (the finished product) plus its services afterwards, including fixing bugs, providing new content is a continual effort.

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Sighphi 10 years ago
Whoever wrote this article doesnt understand that the subscription model means. The Sub model are like tv ratings, you need a specific number of people for the show to go on. When the show is not liked you will see a decline that they can react to it. In the sub model people dont just up and leave by the masses and totally screw the profit model. That's completely unheard of and on top of all of that there payment methods where you buy months in advance so they have already got your money for several months play.

In the FP2 model you since there is no set ratings you are constantly, basically, working at a loss because you dont know how X thing will be received and Square Enix is a big enough company that they dont feel like working at a lost for something. I mean.... when did The Old Republic turn FP2? That' right.... when they reach the point of cancellation and they were working at a loss.

tolshortte 10 years ago
I wont even go into the article. Jason took a lighthearted jab at a P2P company while working for a F2P site. who would have guessed that could happen? really, its not a big deal. im sure it was done as a joke and not to be serious or malicious.

as far as the payment model statements go. both models have merits honestly. and like some have stated, a bad game is a bad game regardless of payment type.

I mentioned in the MMOBOMB forums that the P2P model would see a comeback of sorts. Mainly due to the F2P market being flooded with cash grabbing companies. And that if the games coming out using it were to do it right and make quality games then it would grow stronger. If not it would wither and die.

FFXIV:RR - I own it, I buy most mmos. I LIKE IT ALOT. it goes back to some old school foundations while introducing new school ideas and its beautiful to look at. if the rest of the P2P games coming out are close to equal then P2P gamers have something to be happy about.

Wildstar - From what I can tell from what ive read it will be designed for the more dedicated gamer. most of that group are willing to pay for their game and will do so if it turns out well. the ability to buy CREDD only strengthens its stance by allowing F2P gamers access if willing to put in the time and effort or are intelligent with their ingame resources.

TESO - I personally don't have high hopes for this game. I have said it from its inception that I cant see the ES world being MMO viable. But hopefully Im wrong and they deliver a great product for their fans. If they do it will be another victory for the P2P market.

as far as the F2P supporters go, expect more and demand more from your game developers. The door was almost shut on P2P games after the SWTOR debacle but this part of the genre has failed in so many way in so many games that the door is again opening. You really want your F2P style to survive? Then send emails to the devs of your fav games, have your friends and their friends do the same. Tell them what you want, what you DEMAND from their product otherwise this stigma attached to F2P games is here to stay.

MMOBOMBSUCKS 10 years ago
to MMO bomb form the 10k people who read the post one forms F u and your WEB site and we all think this article is a fishing tack tick

LOL 10 years ago
I see u already in SE forms hope u get Perma Banned all 3 of u Magicdoosh

MMObombwtf 10 years ago
DO SE a solid DO not play FF ARR or post it on the WEB ill do u assholes a solid and post this in the forms

MMObombWTF 10 years ago

NobleNerd 10 years ago
I for one agree with SE approach to stay p2p. FFXI has been p2p and has survived and prospered for about 11 years now. Just because the western world wants to have hand-outs, does not mean p2p won't work on a global scale.

I dislike having a popup window interfere with my game play!!!!
I have no problem paying SE monthly sub. to keep that out of my game.

Jakoul 10 years ago
When it comes down to it the people who support f2p over p2p are people that simply don't want to spend money. While it's true often players of those games do spend money, it's nowhere near the amount that even a bad p2p game makes in its first year or release.

That being said, I believe all p2p games should have some sort of trial so we know what we are getting ourselves into. I would probably have spent a lot more money over the years on p2p MMOs if I was able to try them beforehand, and I think that goes for a lot of people. Especially considering 'AAA title' MMOs are barely worth $10 a month, not even close to $15 a month nor buying it in the first place.

Hopefully publishers will realize this and give us the option to try their subscription games instead of us having to resort to ignoring it until it is dead.

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Anon 10 years ago
F2P is a diseased model tbh.

It's all about getting you hooked and then torturing your experience just enough to make you want to pay to have as much fun as possible.

I prefer P2P. I'd rather spend $12-15 a month to receive the whole game, rather than need to spend hundreds to get the full F2P game.

$12-15 is a pittance. It's an hour and a half at minimum wage, per month, to pay.

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Shapoopi 10 years ago
F2P only works if they game is good in the first place. Anyone can make a F2P game and it either can be great, or a complete craptastic one. I believe if the game is worth a sub it will be that way. If not, there are millions of others to play.

allacore69 10 years ago
If a game goes free to play, you get bots and gold farmers and every troll coming out of the wood work. A free to play game is just a finiky when it comes to revenue. In a P2P at least you get the 15$ a month guaranteed. What if a free to play game sells nothing for months because players come in and say, "We dont have to pay anything, it's free!". Oh no, now the company goes under because nobody pulled in any revenue. Have anybody here played a F2P game? They are pay to win and they force you to pay for shit that you really need, just to be on par with everybody else. B2P are weird too. I played the GW2 trial last weekend and every server I joined was dead. People in chat begged me to buy the game when I asked where is everybody.

BTW I think MMOBOMB is jealous about not getting to try and review this game because it is not free to play.

p.s. Why would you put words into somebodys mouth that they did not say or make assumptions : What Yoshida seems to be saying is, basically, “If we didn’t have a subscription, like those pure F2P games like SWTOR or B2P games like Guild Wars 2, we would have no idea how much money we might bring in in a given month.”

And then insult them about their own game and financial services :
Psst, Yoshida-san… there are these people who work for big, serious companies who create these things called “projections.” Some of them even work for F2P game companies and know the market you’re in. You should look into hiring one or two.

WTF is this : Imagine you owned a restaurant. How are you supposed to predict how much money you’ll make in a month? Better charge every customer $15, no matter what they order!

uuummmm heres a clue, Golden Corral makes you pay 11$ each visit, but you get the all you can eat buffet.

God you guys are stupid.

Also, why target just Final Fantasy?
Why not ESO and WildStar?

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Neocron 10 years ago
If FF14 went FTP id quit playing it like SWTOR.........PTP is a barrier for trolls and un-committed nubs
SWTOR went further down hill going from PTP to FTP

Before MMOs id pay 45$ + at a video store renting games....now i pay 15- and play all month.....If the game is worth PTP then people will pay...i have

Id rather pay 15$ and have quality content rather then having an a AD pop up telling me if i buy something with RL money id have an edge......that everyone else and there mom payed for as well


FFXIV Keep on, Keeping on!

no name required 10 years ago
wow, they weren't kidding when they said that the quality of writing in MMOBOMB took a huge plunge since the last time I've been here (which was 2012).

It seems that whoever wrote this article just pasted examples here and there without even knowing their financial schematics and took a piss directly at Yoshida and Co. for not making FFXIV ARR F2P

"This isn’t even a “F2P is better than subs” argument"

oh ? but the way things are written in this article, it sure is exactly that.

Quinten 10 years ago
F2P is the future, i mean more and more games are being made free and turning free, i personally think games like Secret World or GW2 had the right idea do a one time payment to buy it, and then have your in game market, that in my opinion is the best option, but sub is dying, people i think are finally getting tired of tossing money at a video game every single month, just to not play it one month, or to only play a couple hours that one month, or w.e lives are getting to busy and its not worth it, also there are f2p games that have CRAZY Player bases, and some like LOL that even passed WOW (last year i believe) so yea, and look at games like Runescape, its still alive, still has a large player base, and still earning money, making updates, and recently made Runescape 3! so yea i think its time to drop subs for good.

Tagui 10 years ago
"What Yoshida seems to be saying is, basically, “If we didn’t have a subscription, like those pure F2P games like SWTOR or B2P games like Guild Wars 2, we would have no idea how much money we might bring in in a given month.”

seriously ? SWTOR is a pure F2P ? Did you even try to play it until the end ( lv max and trying to up your gear to the top ? ), SWTOR ends up with a big message in your mind : subscribe or give up. Stop jumping so quickly to conclusion....

And for your information sir, FF XI is still running with SUBSCRIPTION over many years.

Your review is so cliché, talking about F2P game on a dedicated F2P review website :)
Stop talking so badly it's your opinion, and i guess a lot a guys follow you, but there are gamers that are " smarter " and are ready to spend 12$ a month unlike hardcore F2P gamers who can throw more than 100$ each month for only one reason : Feel the pleasure to destroy everything and be above all.

Linus Forsberg 10 years ago
To be honest here. I'm fine giving up my money to a sub based game but only if they can provide me with more content and more fun stuff to do in this game. Most games that have sub based survives and if you put a pay to win model into an mmo it isn't great we all know that? To be a successfull f2p game you gotta be top noch take league for example. A simplified dota game in the begining with loads of deepth and fun for the most part so it appeals to a large audience and secoundly it dosn't have pay 2 win it has "skins" and some ppl buy a little boost now and then but the main reason is becouse its a successfull game and they keep expanding becouse of large almount of players but for Squares reason if they had lets say their new title Finalfantasy XIV free to play they wouldn't make much money of having free to play and that equals no more content and therefore worse then wow or not much better then any other free mmo. And if they made it free to play how would they get money? cash shop? THATS what makes free to play mmos SHIT. Extremly sry for my bad english if you read this far and please leave a comment on this let me hear your thoughts about free to play :)

wtf 10 years ago
Hahahahha you guyz get over it its not like the end of the world if it p2p or f2p its all the say ppl have there own idea how to survive in gaming buesnes u even notice that there making good games coming out lately if its going 2be p2p or f2p IDC ppl well spend money either way if they want to play it.. so STFU lolother ppl just trolling on every comment to keep it interesting n keep the conversation going n u guyz are gettting n to it... funny how kids act this days Trololololol

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waltjr 10 years ago
The only thing I've taken from this is that most companies that go f2p value the dollar over quality gaming. F2p games have obliterated the mmo genre for many of us that are tired of the nickle and dime approach.

They can justify it all they want but in reality they are digging a hole for the mmorpg genre. If you think otherwise then you're just delusional and part of the deconstruction of mmos.

LogicalFallacyHunter 10 years ago
The amount of utter nonsense people are spouting here is ridiculous.

Does F2P 100% mean that the game will be bad? No.
Does P2P 100% mean that the game will be good? No.

So yes, there do exist some F2P games which are good, and yes there are some P2P games which suck. The morons will argue until the cows come home about all the wrong factors, throwing in example game after example game to try to back up their fallacious crap. Simple fact is this, if a game *>IS BADIS A BAD<* game. The converse is also true, if it is a good game, what you pay (or don't pay) won't stop it being a good game.

With this in mind, I still do not favour the F2P model and would much prefer a subscription based game.

Why? A few simple reasons, which mainly centre around the community, after all MMOs are social gaming:

The community - Typically speaking (not across the board) the community on F2P is more negative. People don't fear being banned, as they don't lose anything in terms of costs, and it's free to start up. Added to this the anonymity of the internet and pretty much anyone can come in and troll people who are trying to enjoy it, and simply leave when bored.

Longevity - With no costs to play, you may be incentivised to pick it up and play, as it's free and you lose nothing by giving it a go. However, many people will simply try it and drop it quite soon. The lack of paying for it, means you are not incentivised to have some patience and stick with it (after all, you have paid for a month of play, why not use it etc.). This results in a much higher turnover of people, which doesn't add to the stability and longevity of the community.

Maturity: Young teenagers who don't need their parents credit cards, can pick up and put down F2Ps at will. Often this results in a very immature gamer base, where I personally prefer a more mature base. Again, this does not mean all teenage gamers are immature, or that all adults are mature. Still, there are more immature teens than there are immature adults, and F2P is often more densely populated by teens.

Net Costs: F2P is free to play, well duhhh... P2P is Pay to play, again obvious. However, the main difference is that P2P is capped at whatever the sub per month fees are - say you pay £10 pcm, that is a cap of £120 per annum. F2P games make their money by incentivising you to pay for premium products, armour/weapons/mounts/costume/potions/boosts etc etc etc. Yet their costs are not capped. It is quite easy, to spend £20/30/50 pcm and not realise it. What happens in many cases is P2P is net capped at £120 pa, but F2P can stealthily squeeze you for much more than this and you don't realise until long after the fact.

Overall, if you like a game you should support it, regardless of it's economic model. In this instance FFXIV is P2P, you should try it out, and if you enjoy it support it. The P2P model works, and it works well if the game is good enough so that people want to stick with it. FFXI still has a massive gaming base, and is bring in the money for SE. WOW still has a massive fan base, and so on. Will FFXIV survive as a P2P? I don't know, nobody does, but I hope it will (and my prediction is that it will).

The amateur writer of this article clearly has no idea of how statistics and economics work, he also doesn't realise that with such a massive fan base of the FF series, it is actually very easy to predict month to month incomes, given the subscription bonuses and multi-month sub fees - it is highly unlikely that 100% of your customer base will quit all in one month. I am very sure that a company as large as SE has many (far more intelligent people than the writer of this article) who work for them, and know how to forecast and predict things like this using statistical modelling and forecasting.

The simple fact is, that if you can't afford to subscribe, then you don't get to play it - a very tough love stance, but the realistic one. Furthermore, if you don't like P2P model, then again you don't have to play it. Quite simple really!

Bahahahaha 10 years ago
It's always a f*** laugh when someone with absolutely no qualifications or training/education makes a bold statement about another person's understanding of a subject matter because they disagree with it. I mean, for f**'s sake, your source material is a bunch of game developers. You couldn't even actually source a single economist talking about this. Then you've got the brass to claim that a person you've never met doesn't understand economics/hired people who don't understand economics because his opinion doesn't link up with other game developers, and here's the fun part, that have an interest in F2P being more successful. You know, because they work on those games.

I'm really stunned. Is this what passes for research and journalism in the gaming world? You should feel awful about writing this, and whoever edits for this site should feel awful about letting you put it up. It is completely lacking in substance and serves as nothing but a soapbox for the way you feel about the issue. Thanks for wasting my time. Feel free to argue back, but I really have no interest in engaging you or anyone else that thinks this article isn't pure sh*t.

Halo Falling 10 years ago
I think this article gave me cancer. It is very clear that you are not a business major. It is far easier to project future revenue with a subscription based model and I'm not sure how you can't understand that. I mean, that doesn't even require a college credit course to comprehend. That's something you can learn in high school economics.

The games that went F2P are games that could not stand on their own with a subscription model because, frankly, they weren't good enough for a subscription. That's the cold, hard truth of things. I have no doubt that subscriptions will be making a comeback as companies begin to put more effort and heart behind their games. If anyone has a problem with shelling out a meager $0.50 a day for these games, I suggest you stop relying on your parents' income to fund your gaming habits.

Holy Belle 10 years ago
So basically what you are saying in this article is the fact that because you cant afford 15 a month on a e-journalist the game should be f2p, better idea get a job that pays enough. I mean Im writing this from work and make more than enough to keep my WoW, FFXIV, FFXI, DDO, AoC, LOTRO and DCUO subs all active at one time. Looking forward to adding ESO and Wildstar to that list as well.

Neosapience 10 years ago
How about this...

Make an MMO that I want to play and I'll give you some money! These petty attempts to swindle your customers are insulting and ultimately damaging to your company and IP. 'Pay to Win' needs to die in a fire, along with anyone that thinks such a model is beneficial to their customers. The WildStar devs are on the right track and I feel like they'll be the recipients of my hard earned cash this year.

Eviil 10 years ago
I'm sorry but I cannot accept this article because you have to account for the overhaul itself for FFXIV. His theory was probably affect by the re-development of FFXIV. He is looking at longevity rather than some quick cash as fast as possible, and as usually, when time passes the game will be absolutely addictive as quality content is placed in. Although other companies has been successful, that doesn't mean you shouldn't follow the same route, it is a gamble after all. He also states, he would rather close FFXIV rather than converting it into F2P, he has confidence in his work.

BruiserCruiser 10 years ago
Ummm, this article is a load of shit... If SE wants to be pay to play its their f*** right to because its their game! Im personally glad its not F2P and i hope it never will be. F*** pay to win and micro transactions. There is nothing wrong with a subscription fee if the game is good and i assure everyone here this is a gem of an MMO.

Neal 10 years ago
I've read the entire interview that you snipped that quote from, and you took it wildly out of context from the answer Yoshida gave. On top of that, you paint it as though he doesn't understand economics in your attempt to be snarky.

devilr 10 years ago
I have a exemple of bad company thinking only about money,Gpotato,my father play 3/4 years a this games (Rappelé),i think he pay 500/1000 € for this game and when he as been hack (he never told info about is account,never buy illégal money),he contact the support and the support really dont care, only cause the game are f2p,if the game was b2p the problèmes could have be fixed in 24 h,thats why b2p are better than f2p ,the support of f2p dont care about how money or time you spend in his game,the look only money they win .

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Bic Boi 10 years ago
"Damion Schubert, Lead Designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic has a blog."
Damion Schubert, Lead Designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic.."
"..Star wars : The Old Republic".

Yeah I'm gonna have to stop you right there..because I could go on forever on how frucked up their idea of F2P is, especially with their tactics concerning the cartel market. As it is controlled now by EA, at one point we were told (and I'll paraphrase here) that if people didn't buy the Cathar species that they'd not do any other species releases. Essentially they like to hold any new content hostage in a bid to force people to buy. That's backwards, even for a capitalist business.

So as far as I'm concerned Damion and anyone else working on SWTOR are completely irrelevant in the discussion of F2P and how it should be done. So long as they're under EA's thumb you know it's all PR talk.

Now on the topic of F2P, personally I despise it. Why? Because it never fails that they reduce the quality of life in a game in a way that makes it irritating and difficult--and thus less fun. You can say you enjoy it but deep down there isn't a single one of you F2P players that doesn't wish you didn't have these restrictions imposed. Those that won't buy stuff on an F2P game choose to suffer. Those that do pay quickly find out that the game itself is problematic because it was designed to eat your wallet.

You guys will complain about a $15 per month (that's $0.50 a day) subscription fee but have you ever watched how much you'll spend going out to the cinema for an evening? Going to a restaurant? Mini-putt? Bowling? I guarantee you will spend more than $15 a month for what equates to a few hours tops of entertainment. But you'll refuse to pay $15 for what amounts to as many hours of entertainment as you can squeeze into a month?

You guys ought to step back and examine the amount of cash you spend every day. Hell I bet some of you people out there spend more than $10 a day just in coffee and breakfast on the way to work!

F2P offers exactly ONE aspect; no commitment. That's all well and good. But how committed are you to a game that reduces the quality of life purposely in a bid to get access to your wallet?
I don't know about you but I'd prefer to pay $15 and not have worries than pay $0 but then want so desperately to level faster or have a mount that will cost you $10 or more. Honestly I don't understand the F2P mindset.

Is it because you guys feel that your money isn't worth it if you have to resub monthly? How many hours are you going to get out of it? Is 80 hours a month not worth the $15? Most retail console games nowadays only last 20 hours, sometimes less and are worth four to five times the cost of a monthly mmo subscription! Why do people then buy those but balk at the cost of a subscription? If a game holds no value for you unless it has no upfront price tag that's a problem, people!

Hopefully square will stick with Pay-to-play! There is no reason to harm the quality of their product and the quality of life in their game in a bid to nickle-and-dime.

Hacchan 10 years ago
A big thing people forget is that SE isn't looking for people who casually or randomly play MMO.
since FFXI (which still running with still lot of people on their server), SE aim toward loyal player base that will play not only for 3 month but for very long period.

Most player are original from FFXIV or FFXI which mean person that are used to the style of the game being new and oldish by the same way. They will play and keep playing the game till they stop releasing extension and that can be long !
Look at FFXI up to.. last year if im right? they released the latest extension of it !
Quite impressive for such an old game to still have lot and lot of people and not only japanese. The game got lot of EU and NA. And the content is quite serious and very long to finish, myself only managed to get 2 extension done before and it took me long time of work and training.

Yes F2P look like to be the future of mmo lately but when i see lot of company such as Sony, using this as pretext to turn an interesting game into p2w or highly restrictive, there'll be problem..
F2P was well made by few company such as Perfect World, who's i think, quite leading the f2p market, followed now by GameForge who did an excellent job with Tera, even if there's problem can't argue with the fact they give a full game with no limit.

I quite prefer pay for FFXIV or repay for FFXI, a game i know will develop for a long time with more and more stuff to do than playing a F2P that will either highly limit my experience of the game or promote pay 2 win.

GamerJesus 10 years ago
I have no problem with p2p games charging a flat $15 a month and giving you access to all the areas of the game. As some of you know most f2p games have cash shops and,although not all are p2w,most people are required to pump in $25-$100 a month. Now this seems illogical in my eyes as you could easily pay for a subscription and the only thing separating you from other players is the amount of time and knowledge that you have. Competitive players TEND to migrate towards p2p because it is all fair game. Your six digit income won't have any adverse effects in pvp or pve and the only thing it might buy you is gold from gold sellers. Even with that gold the items you can purchase can be easily obtained by getting together with a group and doing raids and dungeons when needed. Not to mention the fact that you will get caught.It is just a matter of time. So again it is illogical to purchase gold. That is not to say that f2p is viable but the cash shop should be balanced to the point that if I were to put in time and effort it would not take me months to be on par with a person who swiped their credit card...and that is rarely done.

zakena 10 years ago
its the negative mind set and i know everything attitude that dosent allow people to think out of the box. dont judge people their ways of thinking just because its different from whats in the current market.
this is the reason why i say think once if its a matter of a general market think twice when pointing at someone else s market.
well you have to give everyone a chance you cant just judge em like this.
Not in favor of this article at all ....

Dzonatan 10 years ago
I see a lot of piss on a japanese man with a japanese buisness perspective because his perspective is different from a western perspective.

I think the author of this article should learn how does the MMO market look on the other side to know whether his subscription belief is biased or simply logical conclusion from where he comes? Who knows, maybe in Japan P2P subscription model works much better than it does here in the west. Is there any Japanese-localized MMO savvy player here who would care to elaborate on my thoughts?

lolreally 10 years ago
ff14 shittest combat system worse then ro2

anyone who thinks it is fun should shoot them self.

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-=WolverinE=- 10 years ago
Japanese think a lot differently than western countries and in particular, they plan way ahead instead of a short term (look at PS3 and XBOX360 for example). If the game is good people will pay monthly subscriptions for it. What Yoshida is saying is that if they have a steady income, they can plan patches and expansions and follow a specific timeline/schedule. If that means a better game, than that's how it should be.

KilikGaia 10 years ago
Buy to play is awesome too. If they wanted money that bad box sales plus a reasonable cash like The Secret World's where they only sell Vanity and convince items with a optional Sub. Is it that hard to do something like that.

coldasice 10 years ago
Square Enix actually respects its consumers. And the players nowadays are being increasingly cheated by Free2Play market. People do not stop to think about the economy. Pay2play in a game, you spend $ 180 per year (with the regular price of 15 dolare monthly) and you have all the rights and access to the game than any other player. Now, in Free2Play game you only get stronger if you purchase items, I know people who already spent 2000 $ 3000 amounts on a character to become strong, supreme, as a God, it is unfair to those who do not want to spend $ 2000 in a game ... and worse ... these people who spent all that money, stopped playing after one year or less because they have become so strong that the game was boring ... then, explain to me, how "Free2Play" can be better than "pay2play"? I'd rather pay $ 180 a year in a game that I'll be strong from my dedication and have the same challenge as all other players, than paying a fortune in a game that anyone who does not pay is not strong and where the company cares about both players (cash players and "free" players), that six months later she is releasing another game, thus stopping to pay attention and support the old game and its players...

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Lithkul 10 years ago
One of the best models I have seen ever for this arguement is Wizard 101, if you choose to you can be a sub, have the arena fully open, not pay to own each zone you go to. However, if you choose to you can buy each individual zone, play on your own time, they even have sales for money only users. The fan base for Wizard 101 is quite big, big enough to make a second game. I think the best way is to allow for players to choose which way they go. For the developer to be intrested in pleasing the base audience with new content and new purchasables. For Wizard 101 you can play for a few hours as a demo before you have to put down any money at all. I understand that developers need money, to keep developing the games I like, but I should not be forced to buy a game several times over.

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Zombie 10 years ago
Should ANYONE really take advise, or even bother reading stuff, from a person who's game (SWTOR) charges money for more than two action bars...

SWTOR is the absolute WORST EXAMPLE of a Free to Play model.

Get me the Developer of Rift now that its Free to Play. I see his input on the F2P market being a LOT more viable than the guy who helped think up "More than 2 action bars should cost them money"

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wangchun 10 years ago
Only WOW and Eve can get away with a sub now. Eve appeals to a niche group and WOW is slowly dying.
F2P, buy to play like gw2 and in game stores are the future of MMO.

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TheTrue 10 years ago
to much words and at the end whats the "new"?

cw 10 years ago
Terrible article. Just look at Neverwinter. They charge you an arm and a leg just to do basic stuff. This is a pathetic article.

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Gunblazer42 10 years ago
I would have expected the tone of this article to come from Kotaku. I thought MMOBomb was better than this, but I guess not.

In any case, it's likely a decision from the Squeenix heads, and not Yoshida, to ultimately not allow FF14 to be F2P. FF11 still makes a hell of a lot of money, so I hear, so I doubt Squeenix is even considering F2P as a model.

Stemar 10 years ago
This kind of discusion will last forever. In my humble opnion, the company should take a payment model that fits better the game market the game will affect, afterall, some games are more for casual player and other ones are more for hardcore players. By the way, there are ways to fit both player styles, and still make mountains of money.

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zsharp 10 years ago
F2P doesn't work for everything... namely games that are truly worth a shit. Also, keep dreaming, Yoshida will close it down before it goes F2P. This game is solid, and it doesn't need the grubby hands of gamers that believe they are entitled to everything, ruining it for those willing to pay for a high quality game. >> bring your rage and tears... my body is ready.

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Brandon Losch 10 years ago
I enjoyed this very much Jason, However I think its a bit one sided towards who you are pointing it towards .. Waiting for the FF fan boys 2 come saying ur bashing on Yoshida.

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Tudor 10 years ago
F2p is the future and the sooner they get this the better :-)

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