"Free" DC Universe Online Revenues Jump 700 Percent

"Free" DC Universe Online Revenues Jump 700 Percent

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Becoming "free" has added up to a serious boost in revenues for DC Universe Online.

"MMO ditches mandatory subscription fees, makes tons of money" is hardly news anymore, is it? But I've got space to fill and you've apparently got time on your hands, so let's check out DC Universe Online, which switched over to a free-to-play model in October. Unlike other MMOs, which generally take the plunge out of sheer desperation, Sony claimed that DCUO made the change simply because it's a better business model.

And that certainly does appear to be the case based on tweets coming from Sony Entertainment Online President John Smedley, who said he is "really happy with how DCUO is doing." Understandably so: the user base is growing at a rate of six percent per day, but more than 85 percent of daily log-ins are returning players. The most important measure of all - the money - is doing even more impressively; Smedley said the game has seen a 700 percent increase in daily revenues.

DCUO has also become a bit of a victim of its own success, as earlier this month Smedley acknowledged various stability and lag issues, and said Sony was working to increase the capacity of its game servers. "We are at a 900% concurrent increase since we launched f2p. We are working on getting subscribers to the front of the line," he tweeted. "Very bluntly this has been a wee bit more successful than we planned on. Sorry." The next day he revealed that DCUO was running at over 1000 percent of its pre-free-to-play concurrent user numbers.

via: Eurogamer

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But I've got space to fill and you've apparently got time on your hands.

How did he know!

Also what's the odds WoW will switch to this soon enough.

At any rate, this is pretty good news, for fans and developers alike.

Well good for them I guess but I personally found DCUO to be the worst of the three Superhero MMOs.

EDIT:

Sixcess:

Andy Chalk:
Unlike other MMOs, which generally take the plunge out of sheer desperation, Sony claimed that DCUO made the change simply because it's a better business model.

Ha.

They went F2P within 9 months of launch. Fallen Earth, an indie MMO with no big publisher backing, lasted 2 years before they made the transition to F2P. City of Heroes, the original superhero MMO, which has been running longer than WoW, went over 7 years before they switched.

Not desperation? Pull the other one, Sony.

That aside, I've tried it and thought it was terrible in pretty much every way from character animation to camera control to the ridiculously restrictive powers system.

City of Heroes is Free-to-Play? since when?

Andy Chalk:
Unlike other MMOs, which generally take the plunge out of sheer desperation, Sony claimed that DCUO made the change simply because it's a better business model.

Ha.

They went F2P within 9 months of launch. Fallen Earth, an indie MMO with no big publisher backing, lasted 2 years before they made the transition to F2P. City of Heroes, the original superhero MMO, which has been running longer than WoW, went over 7 years before they switched.

Not desperation? Pull the other one, Sony.

That aside, I've tried it and thought it was terrible in pretty much every way from character animation to camera control to the ridiculously restrictive powers system.

This kind of statistics is a clear indicator that SWToR will fail if they keep their monthly fee plan. Especially when you consider that Guild Wars 2 will be Free to play and it has a very high production value.

Hmmm, well I'm going to call BS here because these claims are really reeking of poo. :)

I was a DCUO player when it first started and within the first couple of months the game had pretty much died due to lack of content, I mean we're talking cases where it could be difficult to spot another player.

When they went FTP I decided to check it out again, especially seeing as I had a free subscription due to being subscribed to SWG until December 15th when it goes down. To be honest the game had a huge number of people checking it out, but the numbers are dropping drastically over the last few days as people quickly exhaust the content.

Their revenues largely being due to the simple fact that I think a lot of people wanted the "premium" model which came from spending $5 or more in their cash shop, so a lot of people bought something trivial. I also admit I bought some character and inventory slots in case I ever stop back by when my free subscription period ends, especially seeing as I had some station cash from somewhere... probably SWG overflow or free cash that came with another game or something.

At any rate, the point here is that the game was dying if not dead, they had the liscence paid up so probably intended to keep it on life support (unlike SWG where the liscence expired), a lot of people stopped by to check it out and wound up dropping $5, but honestly I don't think most of those people are staying or are likely to routinely keep feeding money into the cash shop.

In this paticular case I think the optimistic claims are meant to put on a show and get attention, they don't seem to match the realities of what I've seen.

The subscription model is the only one I support in any reliable way, and honestly while DCUO is fun to blow stuff up in once in a while, it's hardly worth a montly fee. Investing $20 in it for those without station cash might be wrothwhile if you buy slots, but I probably wouldn't spend anything more on it than that.

DCUO is pretty much a poster child for why content is king, all the fancy voicework in the world won't help you if there are only 30 levels to advance through and a veteran MMO player could probably do them all in a weekend if he really wanted to. A very limited endgame that hardly inspires grinding the "raids" out is really the final nail in the coffin.

This is simply my opinion based on my observations. I really wanted to like this game, but it's kind of a bomb, which is why it went FTP so quickly, and while I doubt it's going to die until the liscence expires, I don't think it's going to wind up with a massive, reliable community either. If they could have produced like three times as much content, and a robust endgame this could have rocked, right now it's a fun ride your first few times through, but once you get past the thrill of having a lot of veteran DC voice actors from the animated universe and such doing the character voices and beating up some classic (as opposed to generic) villains, it really does get old.

I hope that TOR will do the same after the initial burst wears off.

Sweet, thanks for the heads up Escapist. When/if I burn out on Skyrim, I will have to check this game out. It's a shock my computer should run it.

I want to to give DC Universe Online a go, but when I tried to download onto it through the PSN store, and it was a huge pain in the arse.

After having to delete 18 gigs worth of memory, when I actually started to download the thing it took half an hour to get to 1%.

I'll give it another shot in the future...

Well, this game was destined for F2P since the start. It was obvious the moment NDA got lifted and i really can't see why Sony even attempted to run the generic subscription model in the first place.

Sure it's nice looking MMO with a twitch, action-based combat system, but it simply lacks the world feeling to it with just 2 cities You can only teleport between. It's not really one of those MMOs that suck up 4-5 hours a day, it's more of a game You can play every now and then, in short bursts which is exactly what works best for Freemium business models.

Soviet Heavy:
I hope that TOR will do the same after the initial burst wears off.

Won't happen any time soon. Way too big investment, way too big name behind it and way too much people actually enjoying it if to trust the beta reports. TOR will stay subscription for at least 4-5 years, unless the MMO market changes in a drastic manner in near future, which i really don't see happening.

Not to mention 15$/month is pretty much best value for entertainment ratio You can find, especially compared to plenty of modern single player games that cost 50-60$ for merely 6-8 hours of game play if You squeeze them hard. All the time i used to play WoW saved me so much money on buying other video games it was well worth it, and i could still get them later on on discounts whenever i took break from the MMO.

Well, I got a free PS3 copy once the game was F2P. I've always been curious about it and this was the perfect chance to play it without any charges (Just in case I didn't like it). The idea sounds good in paper: pair up with your favorite heroes and become one yourself. Or villain(s).

But honestly, the game is...kinda boring. It doesn't have anything that makes me wanna keep playing. It starts off slow and it's kinda vague as in the relevance of whatever you're doing. And the worst part? The tiny font/chatlog. If you have a TV smaller than 40 in. and it's not HD, you're gonna have a hard time reading the chatlog. The user interface is not friendly at all and the commands are delayed.

I still don't get how to equip powerful items without changing my character's outfit. And if it meant to change my character's outfit, then why create a character's outfit at the beginning of the game anyway?

DCUO is very flawed. I was expecting more of it. I play it because it's for free, not because I like it that much. So DCUO, unless you plan on fixing that, people will leave either way. Enjoy your high numbers while they last.

CardinalPiggles:

But I've got space to fill and you've apparently got time on your hands.

How did he know!

Also what's the odds WoW will switch to this soon enough.

At any rate, this is pretty good news, for fans and developers alike.

Pretty small odds I would say, they seem happy having both microtransactions and subscriptions. Leeching their zombie playerbase for all they are worth.
Was one thing that pissed me off about Cryptic and Star Trek Online, have such a heavy microtransaction store and also making people pay subscription for their trouble. At least soon that will change, taking subscriptions out of the required portion. But with Blizzard? With what they are pulling with Diablo 3 and probably will change with Starcraft 2.2, I would expect them not to change what they are doing anytime in the foreseeable future.

Keava:
Well, this game was destined for F2P since the start. It was obvious the moment NDA got lifted and i really can't see why Sony even attempted to run the generic subscription model in the first place.

Sure it's nice looking MMO with a twitch, action-based combat system, but it simply lacks the world feeling to it with just 2 cities You can only teleport between. It's not really one of those MMOs that suck up 4-5 hours a day, it's more of a game You can play every now and then, in short bursts which is exactly what works best for Freemium business models.

Soviet Heavy:
I hope that TOR will do the same after the initial burst wears off.

Won't happen any time soon. Way too big investment, way too big name behind it and way too much people actually enjoying it if to trust the beta reports. TOR will stay subscription for at least 4-5 years, unless the MMO market changes in a drastic manner in near future, which i really don't see happening.

Not to mention 15$/month is pretty much best value for entertainment ratio You can find, especially compared to plenty of modern single player games that cost 50-60$ for merely 6-8 hours of game play if You squeeze them hard. All the time i used to play WoW saved me so much money on buying other video games it was well worth it, and i could still get them later on on discounts whenever i took break from the MMO.

I have no problem with the subscription model, as long as it is the only substantial moneygrab for the MMO. But when you have companies like Blizzard and Cryptic tying in microtransactions and keeping subscription, then it just becomes a plain embezzlement scheme. At least Cryptic is choosing one over both of the two. Seeing as BioWare and Lucasarts are new to the MMO thing, we may see some hiccups along the line when they think to try to expand their income model, but it shouldn't be right away and by then, hopefully, they have more examples to learn from.

Beautiful End:
Well, I got a free PS3 copy once the game was F2P. I've always been curious about it and this was the perfect chance to play it without any charges (Just in case I didn't like it). The idea sounds good in paper: pair up with your favorite heroes and become one yourself. Or villain(s).

But honestly, the game is...kinda boring. It doesn't have anything that makes me wanna keep playing. It starts off slow and it's kinda vague as in the relevance of whatever you're doing. And the worst part? The tiny font/chatlog. If you have a TV smaller than 40 in. and it's not HD, you're gonna have a hard time reading the chatlog. The user interface is not friendly at all and the commands are delayed.

I still don't get how to equip powerful items without changing my character's outfit. And if it meant to change my character's outfit, then why create a character's outfit at the beginning of the game anyway?

DCUO is very flawed. I was expecting more of it. I play it because it's for free, not because I like it that much. So DCUO, unless you plan on fixing that, people will leave either way. Enjoy your high numbers while they last.

I would imagine you get more if you do put in some cash, but when you get something for free, I wouldn't expect a high value in return. Not like you can demand your money back for being disappointed in the content provided. All you have to do is turn off the game, switch to something else. The only thing lost is time.

I tried it out F2P and ended up with the same complaint I heard when it was first released...

Once I reached max level, I completely discouraged about the prospect of doing anything group related because it is completely unintuitive. Skill descriptions, stats, area descriptions, everything.

I'm not opposed to doing a bit of research for these things, but I pretty much felt the entire process of 1-30 hadn't taught me a single damn thing. Compared to vanilla WoW it was more obtuse, compared to WoW when I quit in Cataclysm it was in fucking Greek.

CardinalPiggles:

Also what's the odds WoW will switch to this soon enough.

Very low. Between the Annual Pass and Mists of Pandaria, WoW is likely going to remain subscription based for another two years at least. Free to play WoW just isn't at all a reasonable prediction based off of the information we currently have.

WoW's microtransction area will likely increase (we've seen a very noticeable gain in recent months, including the Winged Guardian Cub which is essentially paying Blizzard for gold), but going entirely F2P is not going to happen in the near future.

Now all I need to do is get some paper to call me an 'analyst' and I can get quoted on every single games journalist website for stating the obvious.

CardinalPiggles:

But I've got space to fill and you've apparently got time on your hands.

How did he know!

Also what's the odds WoW will switch to this soon enough.

At any rate, this is pretty good news, for fans and developers alike.

WoW isn't going anywhere.

Amnestic:

CardinalPiggles:

Also what's the odds WoW will switch to this soon enough.

Very low. Between the Annual Pass and Mists of Pandaria, WoW is likely going to remain subscription based for another two years at least. Free to play WoW just isn't at all a reasonable prediction based off of the information we currently have.

WoW's microtransction area will likely increase (we've seen a very noticeable gain in recent months, including the Winged Guardian Cub which is essentially paying Blizzard for gold), but going entirely F2P is not going to happen in the near future.

Now all I need to do is get some paper to call me an 'analyst' and I can get quoted on every single games journalist website for stating the obvious.

"WoW will not be following the trend into free to play" says noted Video game Analyst Amnestic

He also stated that while Microtransactions may increase in the short term overall the future of WoW is secure with its fee paying model.

Michael Pachter meanwhile took time out from predicting high sales figures for the next call of Duty and GTA5 to reveal that the Nintendo Wii will remain popular with families.

Beautiful End:
I still don't get how to equip powerful items without changing my character's outfit. And if it meant to change my character's outfit, then why create a character's outfit at the beginning of the game anyway?

Inventory -> Style -> Lock All. If you want your original look back, you'll have to go through all the subsections and change them. One nice thing is that you don't need to keep the item to retain the option to use its look. Character customisation in DCUO is one of the most robust I've seen once you figure it all out.

I downloaded this about a week ago. Once I beat the initial Gotham mission of beating Scarecrow, I couldn't find a single other mission. No one there is willing to help and the online support is no help. I enjoyed it up until there was nothing to do. If anyone out there can help I'd keep playing but I think I may delete it within a month or so.

Adam Jensen:
This kind of statistics is a clear indicator that SWToR will fail if they keep their monthly fee plan. Especially when you consider that Guild Wars 2 will be Free to play and it has a very high production value.

as someone who is in the SWTOR Beta, i would just pay an extra 15$ to play this game.

Also its Star Wars, There is no way its going to fail for a while.

Its not going kick WoW off its Throne only WoW can kick itself off.

don't say its going to fail if you haven't played it, if its not your cup of tea just don't play it.

samsonguy920:

I have no problem with the subscription model, as long as it is the only substantial moneygrab for the MMO. But when you have companies like Blizzard and Cryptic tying in microtransactions and keeping subscription, then it just becomes a plain embezzlement scheme. At least Cryptic is choosing one over both of the two. Seeing as BioWare and Lucasarts are new to the MMO thing, we may see some hiccups along the line when they think to try to expand their income model, but it shouldn't be right away and by then, hopefully, they have more examples to learn from.

Problem is, people allowed Blizzard to do the micro transactions on subscription based MMO, and when some people pointed out it will only get worse, trying to rally the community against it, we got shushed "it's just a re-skinned horse", "don't want it, don't buy it", "it doesn't change the game".
These days, aside form vanity stuff Blizzard not only sells loads of services like character transfer, gender/faction changes, etc. which all should be included in subscription-fee as they are fully automated, but also sells gold, indirectly, through the vanity pet that can be sold through in game auction house.

If Blizzard can do it, why other companies wouldn't try to do the same? A fancy looking vanity clothing, mini pets or any other sort of bling is fair play. Majority of players apparently have no problem with it. It is, pretty much, free money for the studio.

Adam Jensen:
This kind of statistics is a clear indicator that SWToR will fail if they keep their monthly fee plan. Especially when you consider that Guild Wars 2 will be Free to play and it has a very high production value.

GW2 is still a niche title. It's not a traditional MMO even after all the changes ArenNet did to it. Sure it will pull plenty of players from all other games, but since it's Buy2Play it may as well become a secondary game along with the subscription ones.
With all my love towards GW2 i don't believe it will make that big of an impact on how MMO market works as some people would like to see it do.

I enjoy this game, but yeah, I don't see myself playing it long-term like I did with WoW.
I really like the missions, and the game I find fun to play, but yeah... I'm not lv 30 yet.

The UI and default control scheme could do with some work, to make it a lot easier to navigate the menus. There's quite a few bits of the UI I only learned about by reading all the way through the keybindings list :/. The standard / commands are there, but I'm not sure if there's anything that points you to their existence - with WoW you could get to some stuff through menus, and screwing up a command would end up spamming the help at you.

Another thing that annoys me is you can only seemingly use 6 "spells" whilst fighting, and the game gives you tons more you can put points in, so I'll probably end up with spells I never use and a bunch of points that aren't really that usable.

I think the game is well worth checking out for free, but don't expect it to be a longterm MMO. I suspect their profit will take a nosedive again soon enough tbh, unless there's something to really engage the lv 30's for awhile.

Btw, if anyone's on EUPC PvE, quote me with your character name, and I can add you to my friends list. Not currently in a league atm, and kinda been skipping the group instances and the PvP arenas lol.

Don't know why people discredit the F2P model. It's a good model. You get players in the door with free content and then more then a few will be willing to pay to get more. Lower barrier of entry, more potential profit.

Twilight_guy:
more then a few will be willing to pay to get more. Lower barrier of entry, more potential profit.

This is why people are wary of it - some games end up really expensive to play at a decent level, and you end up wasting your time levelling on a game you can't afford to do well in. The good f2p games make it so you can play well enough for free, but there's a decent enough incentive to pay for things.

Pipotchi:

Amnestic:

CardinalPiggles:

Also what's the odds WoW will switch to this soon enough.

Very low. Between the Annual Pass and Mists of Pandaria, WoW is likely going to remain subscription based for another two years at least. Free to play WoW just isn't at all a reasonable prediction based off of the information we currently have.

WoW's microtransction area will likely increase (we've seen a very noticeable gain in recent months, including the Winged Guardian Cub which is essentially paying Blizzard for gold), but going entirely F2P is not going to happen in the near future.

Now all I need to do is get some paper to call me an 'analyst' and I can get quoted on every single games journalist website for stating the obvious.

"WoW will not be following the trend into free to play" says noted Video game Analyst Amnestic

He also stated that while Microtransactions may increase in the short term overall the future of WoW is secure with its fee paying model.

Michael Pachter meanwhile took time out from predicting high sales figures for the next call of Duty and GTA5 to reveal that the Nintendo Wii will remain popular with families.

Heheh. Precisely.

Keava:

Problem is, people allowed Blizzard to do the micro transactions on subscription based MMO, and when some people pointed out it will only get worse, trying to rally the community against it, we got shushed "it's just a re-skinned horse", "don't want it, don't buy it", "it doesn't change the game".
These days, aside form vanity stuff Blizzard not only sells loads of services like character transfer, gender/faction changes, etc. which all should be included in subscription-fee as they are fully automated, but also sells gold, indirectly, through the vanity pet that can be sold through in game auction house.

Blizzard have still skirted around selling power to players though. This latest Winged Guardian Cub pet (which is essentially buying gold) gets close, but it's really more buying convenience, in the same way that buying a temporary bonus to EXP would be. I expect when they start selling power directly, that's going to be when players really decide to object.

I agree that the services like name changes, faction changes, guild name changes etc. should really not cost anything, since once the system gets implimented it's all automated. I know I've never paid for any of those services, and I never will. Sadly, my voting-with-my-wallet will be lost in the sea of all the people who vote the other way.

tharglet:

Twilight_guy:
more then a few will be willing to pay to get more. Lower barrier of entry, more potential profit.

This is why people are wary of it - some games end up really expensive to play at a decent level, and you end up wasting your time levelling on a game you can't afford to do well in. The good f2p games make it so you can play well enough for free, but there's a decent enough incentive to pay for things.

Well yeah if it's model is poorly designed and stupid, but by the same token even a subscription game can have a poorly designed and stupid system too. The core notion of a f2p system doesn't necessarily mean that its going to wind up with an idiot pay to win scheme though yet it seems to be a system demonized too often as that or as some scum of earth dieing ploy for money and casual gaming or something.

04whim:

Beautiful End:
I still don't get how to equip powerful items without changing my character's outfit. And if it meant to change my character's outfit, then why create a character's outfit at the beginning of the game anyway?

Inventory -> Style -> Lock All. If you want your original look back, you'll have to go through all the subsections and change them. One nice thing is that you don't need to keep the item to retain the option to use its look. Character customisation in DCUO is one of the most robust I've seen once you figure it all out.

Dang. I would still like to keep my original outfit at all times, even if I'm offered a powerful armor or something (RPG term, sorry). See, with something like Dragon Age, they don't ask you to develop your clothing or anything because it will definately change as the game progresses. But with DCUO, if my outfit is gonna change, then I don't see the point, even if I can ultimately get my original look back.
And it doesn't help that I still can't read that tiny font. I have to get super close to the screen or push stuff randomly to see what happens.

But I digress.

 

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