Business Model

bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
I was thinking about how you can bring the idea of this LAN-party experience revival together with the need to make money with your product. A big factor why mods were popular on LAN parties was because they were free and easy to copy to each pc.
From what I know of my LAN-parties is that the more effort you need to install a game on other PCs, the less likely that game is going to be played - some people dont want to bother with installing a new game and just keep playing CS/COD/whatever.

Therefor I think making Future Perfect free to play would work best. The problem is, how do you generate revenue?
I don't think cosmetic items like hats are a feasible way since each game you create on FP can look differently. I assume the creator of a game has the freedom to alter the player's avatars and I think it is possible to create games without any avatars at all (think RTS).

I don't really have a good solution for this, i just wanted to bring up the issue.

A few possible ways i could come up include:
-Hats (as mentioned above)
-FP is free, creating games is free, users have to pay for games (UWE takes a cut) -> defies the LAN-experience idea
-advertisments -> this never really worked out in games afaik

Just had another idea:
People have to buy the game if they want to host a game on their own but may join another server for free. I think this could actually work. This is the way Overkill Software handles DLC with their Payday franchise: Only people who buy a map can host it but everyone can join that game. This could work out well, Payday was one of the most successful indie games afaik.
Post edited by bERt0r on

Comments

  • BeigeAlertBeigeAlert TexasMembers, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-08-08 Member: 186657Posts: 2,829 admin
    edited December 2014
    The revenue comes from the initial sales of the game. Want to play with your friends too? Buy a copy. The fact that people would continue playing the same game for years to come isn't a bad thing at all... as long as it's your game. Starcraft and Warcraft III had extremely long lives post-release t hanks to solid design, and loads of user-made content. Blizzard seemed to be surviving just fine last time I had a look. ;) I suppose too if they develop a fiercely loyal fan base like NS2 has, they could always give the ole' reinforcement program another shot.
    cooliticSufferMyJoy
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    You see that is the issue I am talking about: These games had a big mod communitiy because the games themselfs were popular in the first place. The barrier to install a Warcraft 3 map on another pc that had WC3 was incredibly low so they were popular on LAN-parties. On the other hand, hardly anyone played mods for games not as popular.
    If UWE wants to sell Future Perfect as a normal game, its success will primarily depend on the mods that are available from the get go. If the base engine does not sell, nobody will bother making new mods for it.
  • AurOn2AurOn2 COOKIES! FREEDOM, AND BISCUITS! AustraliaMembers, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Forum staff Join Date: 2012-01-13 Member: 140224Posts: 2,130 mod
    Hats might not work out so well, considering it might not work in many of the games.
    Maybe if there was a pre-game runaround thingy, like the readyroom.... but that would be very minimal kind of thing.

    Badges though, badges could work.
    Send me a private message if you need me to kill someone "help" with anything.

    The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” - George Carlin.

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  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    I don't think people will pay money to have a virtual badge on their forum account or their scoreboard. Cosmetic items have to look cool to sell well.

    What do you think about my "other" idea? I think this could work out.
    You have to buy the game to create your own mod, then if you want to play it with your friends they can just download FP for free while you host the server. That way FP can spread like a wildfire.
    IIRC this is similar to the "Spawn Version" of Starcraft 1 that helped it's spread on LAN events. This is free PR for the game, low distribution barrier for mods and no pay to win. People will buy the game since not being able to start up a game on your own is making you dependent on others.
    As it seems (I just read another older official article) UWE is already planning to introduce hats. If it works out that is fine too.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    I think with an entry price of $10, you are immediately looking a a lot more purchasing customers than say will be for subnautica, just because of the price. Obviously, subnautica is a full-on single-player game, whereas this will be, I presume at least, a lot of simple, more casual games and user content. So drawing people in to the game itself may be harder.

    I do feel there needs to be a lot of good quality 'official' content for the less mod interested playerbase, but as long as your plans for moddability and user creation tools all come together, I think this will be a great success.
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  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    Imagine this: Dudey Dudeson finds out about Future Perfect and is totally hyped. He buys it and starts cracking on his own mod. After a few hours he has his very first mod. Proud of his work, he wants to brag about it to his friends Dudina and Dudarella.
    D.D.: "Hey gurls I made my own mod, wanna check it out?"
    D & D: "Sure, how can I play it?"
    D.D.: "Well, you just have to buy this Future Perfect game platform and then you can download my mod"
    D & D: "Uh we have to buy your mod?"

    And now Dudey has to explain why his friends have to pay to play his mod. His first mod, which might not be that impressive and they could feel let down by their purchase.
    If Dudina and Dudarella could join Dudey's game for free they may very likely help Dudey test and develop his mod. They might even check out some other mods that are hosted. Should they like a particular mod, they will buy the game sooner or later or they will only be able to play when they find an open slot when someone else hosts the mod they are looking for.

    No matter how much you charge for Future Perfect, it creates the situation where you would have to sell your mod to your friends, something at least I do not like. This doesn't fit with my LAN-party nostalgia and I don't think this would work out. Good luck convincing a friend to buy Warcraft 3 to test your newly created, buggy, imbalanced tower defense.

    It would also be possible to promote popular mods to premium mods which are only accesible for people who bought the game. Or go a step further and charge for the mod itself, depends on how much money UWE wants to make :D.
    AurOn2
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    The same could ultimately be said for any modder making any mod with any game that must be purchased, so the argument is kind of invalid. Modders will mod regardless, others will buy the game to play the mod, and a whole new generation of gamers and game devs is born.

    Do not panic too much about the price. F2P in and of itself is no magic bullet for a successful game. Personally, I tend to avoid F2P like the plague..
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  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    No you cannot say the same for any modder making any mod with any game. Mods get made for popular games. No one is going to bother modding a game nobody plays. The HL and WC3 modding scene was so successful because the games were incredibly popular. I fear this is going to severly limit Future Perfect's success, it will all be depending on the initial mods that get shipped with the game. If they don't appeal to a big audience, the modding scene for FP simply will not develop. Even if by chance some great mod gets created after launch, hardly anyone will take notice.
    Mods depend on word of mouth propagation and free availability. There are only a few mods that were successful enough for people to buy the game it is running on, Counter-Strike and DotA maybe you know more. Needless to say, even CS and DotA were buggy, unbalanced, ugly mods when they got released first and only became what they are today because of their popularity.

    I don't panic about the price, in fact I think they could charge more than 10$. Since you complain about F2P i suppose you didn't read my proposed Business Model:
    Only people who pay the 10$ can host a game of any mod and access the editor. People who don't pay can only join other people's games.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    Where did I say mods get made for unpopular games? I said for any modder making a mod on any game that must be purchased, meaning the cost of entry for potential players is always there. Where did I say modders will mod it if it doesn't sell well?
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    Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
    Knowledge is gained through listening, Understanding is gained through discussion.
  • BruteBrute Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2009-06-10 Member: 67778Posts: 138 Fully active user
    bERt0r, following your arguments GMod should have never become the success that it is today. For reference: GMod went standalone in 2006 and sold 6million copies ever since.
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    @Brute: Why is that? Garry's mod is backing my argument. It was free when it started, became popular and went retail. SourceSDK Base is free, you don't even have to own HL2 to play most mods for it.
    AurOn2
  • BruteBrute Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2009-06-10 Member: 67778Posts: 138 Fully active user
    Then we simply disagree on when exactly it became "popular".
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind youMembers Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    Gmod is a paid game just for mods.

    And it's incredibly popular.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


    AurOn2
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind youMembers Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    bERt0r wrote: »
    @Brute: Why is that? Garry's mod is backing my argument. It was free when it started, became popular and went retail. SourceSDK Base is free, you don't even have to own HL2 to play most mods for it.

    It was only free at first because it used to be just a mod.

    Became a paid game after becoming standalone.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    That's what I'm saying. Up to version 10 it was free. The same goes for Counter Strike up to version 1.0.

    There seems to be a misunderstanding: You compare gmod to Future Perfect itself, I compare it to a mod built on Future Perfect. In my train of thought, Future Perfect is the equivalent of the Source Engine. I'm don't know a lot about gmod and I never played it but I had the impression it is about building crazy stuff and interacting with it. I thought Future Perfect's aim was to play games you can easily make yourself. The editing is done alone, not together with other players. Moreover I had the impression that the plattform is designed for games with relativly small amounts of players per round/session/party whatever. Therefor my idea about requiring only the game host and everyone who wants to mod himself to buy the game.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    But you miss the point, if only the people who mod will buy the game, then less than 1% of FP's playerbase will have paid for the game.

    The game would have to be ridiculously successful for that approach to make any money.

    Setting $10 for everyone means that you don't need 60million people playing you game just to get $300,000 in income.
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    Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
    Knowledge is gained through listening, Understanding is gained through discussion.
    cooliticSufferMyJoy
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    That's not true. Everyone who wants to start up a game has to pay for Future Perfect. It depends on how many players can play on one host but the ratio would be something like 1:10. And that's when you assume everyone is a cheapskate and is fine with depending on others to host the specific mod they want to play right when they want to play.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    Hang on, so you want me to have a free to play game, that I cannot actually play unless someone is hosting the game server I want to play?

    So If I want to play, crude mod, but no-one is currently playing the game, I have to buy the game, so I can play it myself. That is not Free To Play. That is Pay-to-Play, and what you are doing is deceiving customers by selling them a big fat lie..

    Games:Subnautica Fan Game Mods: GorgeCraft & CTF & Proving Grounds Website: andysoulrider.uk
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    Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
    Knowledge is gained through listening, Understanding is gained through discussion.
    cooliticNordicAurOn2
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    I'm flabbergasted by the amount of hate you have against my idea. How am I selling anyone, anything? I'm not a member of UWE, I just wanted to have a discussion here about an idea I had which might work out great for the vision UWE proposed in their official posts: having a game to relive the LAN experience of the old days. I don't know if you still remember these times you know that many people didnt buy the games they played - it was easy to just copy HL1 from one PC to another and there was no unique CD-Key required for lan play.
    However, the games played on LAN were huge economic successes because people who enjoyed the games on lan also wanted to play them at home. My suggestion of this pay to host business model takes a similar approach.
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind youMembers Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    edited December 2014
    All that hate you talk about is all in your head.

    We are simply having a discussion and a rather polite one at that, especially compared to what a few other discussions on this forum have been like. (just a few)
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


    AurOn2SufferMyJoy
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    It just seems to me, that after 8 posts, you finally read/understood the OP, letting me explain while you post derailing "Where did I say" comments and accuse me of deceiving people. That offends me because I'm a pretty honest guy who brings up issues some people dont like to hear about.

    I think reading F2P trigged an automatic defense mechanism in your brains because there are so many games that say they are F2P but are P2W (pay2win) in fact. This has happened on these forums before when someone suggested this for NS2 (something I dont agree with).

    I'm not saying they should do this during the early access phase, in fact that would be detrimental I think. "Make a mod and show it to your friends" - I think this is what FP is all about.

    The thing is, not everyone wants to make their own mods. I don't know if everyone you play games with also likes to make them, it's not the case for me at least. When me and my gaming pals get togehter - online or via LAN - we don't talk about modding, we play. It is already a problem for everyone to have the game we want to play: usually someone gets hyped over a game, suggests it to the others and if the hype doesn't hold everyone is sad - especially the one who suggested it. I fear this could get even worse with FP if I encourage my friends to buy it, test my newly created and not so impressive mod with them and they tell me "Your mod sucks what did I pay 10 bucks for?"

    The price is not the issue here, it is the simple fact that you have to pay even one cent that creates a barrier which hurts new mods.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    @bERt0r‌ - Why are you taking it personally? We are just pointing out why, from a business perspective, your idea does not work. No one has attacked you, just pointed to the other side of your idea, that you don't seem to have considered.

    You may be an honest guy, but what you proposed in business terms would be very liable to get you in hot water. I don't know where you are from, or what your business experience is, but if you did what you are saying in the UK, you could be pulled up under the trades descriptions act for mis-selling a product.

    I know you are not UWE, I am merely talking about your idea as if it was being implemented, after all, you suggested it for the purpose that it may be implemented right? You didn't just say it because you were bored and wanted to write something.

    The thing is, Future Perfect is designed to be a game that all players mod while playing. So by that token, every player has to buy the game anyway. You know, in the middle of a game, you drop a jump pad, so you can get up the enemies walls, or you add a wall to block the other teams route.

    While it can be modded in a traditional sense, it is designed to be modded as you play. So in that case, we will have some people who have bought the game, dropping jump pads, spawning extra guns for themselves, making new rooms etc, while the remainder of the players can't do that, and try and start a vote-kick to get rid of the 'hackers'.

    Of course, the hackers are the only one's who have bought the game, so, according to your idea, they are also the only ones who can run a server, so the moment they get kicked by the free players, their server shuts down and they can't play.

    I have read every word of what you have written, and I fully understand what you are saying, however, you do not seem to have thought your proposals through to the end.

    Rather than accusing us of putting up a defence mechanism against F2P, why don't you stop putting up a defence mechanism against us because we don't agree with your idea? We are not attacking, we are explaining.

    Of course, if you would like us to attack you, it could be arranged ;) haha
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    Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
    Knowledge is gained through listening, Understanding is gained through discussion.
    cooliticSufferMyJoy
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited December 2014
    You cannot be sued for misselling a product you do not sell. Free to play means you dont pay. How do you sue someone for letting you play a game partially for free?

    I doubt the vision of FP is to mod the game while you are playing. Because your jumppad remark is quite ridiculous and borderline cheating. Yeah, i mod myself invulnerable, that will be so fun for everyone!

    How can you say you understood everything when you only realised in your last post what I was talking about. Before, you thought I was asking UWE to give away the game for free for anyone who doesn't want to mod. I clearly stated in the OP "People have to buy the game if they want to host a game on their own but may join another server for free." I even made it bold. Maybe I didn't express myself clearly enough - I'm not a native speaker - but you didn't ask me to clarify my statement. First, you said UWE won't make any money that way, then you said it is deceiving customers.
    Post edited by bERt0r on
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    haha, @bERt0r‌ - If you read the news posts of FP you will see that is EXACTLY designed to be modded while playing. That is a specific design goal of FP, written about by UWE. I can't find the post where someone specificly mentions modding in game, but there is this section of the dev update 2 that talks at least about multi-player hot-loading. So you see, a game can be edited and changed, while it is running.

    From Future Perfect Update 2 News:
    Multiplayer Hot Loading

    One of the really nice features of Future Perfect is that all assets “hot load”; this means if they are changed on disk, the game detects that and reloads it. This is especially nice with script files since it allows you to try new things while the game is running. Now we’ve taken it a step further and if a file is updated in a multi-player session it will hot load on all of the connected machines.

    This mechanism also means that you can now connect to a friend that’s making something new even if they haven’t uploaded to the Workshop yet. During the connection, all of the new files will be sent to you directly from their computer.

    I was taking your suggestion and showing why it wouldn't work, I gradually added more and more to make you realise how many issues there were with your post. I didn't expect you to absolutely blindly refuse to acknowledge the fact that your idea has many pitfalls.
    bERt0r wrote:
    First, you said UWE won't make any money that way, then you said it is deceiving customers.

    All my comments are stackable. I have not changed any opinions or points, merely elaborated on them. To make it clearer to you why this does not work. I will summarise my points...

    UWE won't make any money from your method of sale
    UWE would very likely be in trouble under the Trades Descriptions act in the UK for mis-selling a product.
    This is not NS2, or any other full game, it is a framework which enables all sorts of crazy things to be done by players, and ultimately makes every player a modder.
    You say only modders and server hosts should buy the game, yet you don't realise this game is designed to be modded and changed while being played. Meaning EVERYONE is a modder of the game.

    If you haven't already done so, fire up FP and start playing then press F5. There is the editor, smack bang in the middle of the game. Sure your avatar is unprotected, but that's the price you pay to change the level during gameplay.

    I am not going to comment anymore on this subject. I am getting tired of giving you a million different reasons and angles as to why your idea cannot and will not work with FP and it's goals. You still think this is personal against you, or something specific against F2P. It is neither, it is a simple showing you how unworkable the idea is.

    I have now spent as much energy as I care to give on the topic. If you do not wish to learn from the advice and experience of others, then fine, that is your choice.
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    Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
    Knowledge is gained through listening, Understanding is gained through discussion.
    coolitic
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    The fact that FP supports multiplayer modding does not mean that is everything you can do in FP. When someone spends a decent amount of time to create a good mod, he will not want other people messing around with his work without his consent.

    If every player can modify the current game at any time, FP is just going to be another garrys mod.

    The pitfalls you describe are only in your head:
    How do you know UWE wont make any money from this? I even gave you an example of a very successful indie company that uses precisly this business model for their DLCs.

    UWE is not an UK company. Even if the law would apply to UWE, who says they have to mislable the game so they get in trouble? This argument is so fake.

    I think we have a different understanding about what FP can be. Yes, everyone can be a modder but I think if people create a good mod, others should enjoy it too without needing to know how to mod themself.
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind youMembers Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    Let's just end this discussion.

    It isn't going anywhere.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


    SufferMyJoy
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    Nobody forces you to take part in this discussion, however you do not have the authority to end it.
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