Molyneux: Godus Is "Invest-To-Play," Not F2P

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Molyneux: Godus Is "Invest-To-Play," Not F2P

godus screenshot

Peter Molyneux's Godus can be played for free, but don't call it free-to-play: he finds that term a bit disingenuous.

The upcoming deity-simulator Godus will be downloadable for free. Once downloaded, you can play it, and you don't have to pay any money until later in the game experience. You might be understandably tempted to classify it as "free to play," then - but its creator Peter Molyneux would reject that label. According to him, in his trademark grandiose style, Godus will be monetized in a way "that hasn't existed before."

"There cannot be a term that is less true," Molyneux says of free-to-play. "What we need is a new term. And that term is more like 'invest-to-play.' What really are we doing? We are tempting people to invest some of their money into a game."

That might seem like the same thing, but the key difference to Molyneux is the way that F2P games are built around their payment models. "We're saying: 'Be patient or pay money,'" he says. "That's not a delightful mechanic. That's not going to get people to invest their money."

Transparent money-grubbing just soiled the reputation of Dungeon Keeper, a series that Molyneux created earlier in his career. "I wanted to play [Dungeon Keeper] and keep on playing and keep on playing," Molyneux says. "But I just kept getting beaten up for being an impatient gamer."

Godus, then, aims to avoid the pitfalls of over-eager monetization, despite nominally sharing a business model. For now, Molyneux is keeping quiet about how exactly his plan will be different.

Source: Pocket Gamer

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Just watch, this game will truly be free to play. Never trust what old Pete has to say.

He better trash the whole game now, then. The mobile version is exactly what he says he doesn't like, and has already been done in the game. Unless, of course, Totalbiscuit was lying in the video he did for the game. Besides, at least he is right about "invest to play", he got a bunch of people to invest in a F2P mobile game thanks to the fact he misled and only announced it well after the project's success.

And I believe he seriously needs to look into what "invests" means. And all this just after I said something nice about him too... godang Molyneux.

There's already a term "coined" (see what I did there?) for this, it's pay to win.

L34dP1LL:
There's already a term "coined" (see what I did there?) for this, it's pay to win.

I usually associate Pay-to-Win with games that offer you advantages for coughing up real-world money. Molyneux's term seems like it describes the F2P genre much more accurately than the term "Free-to-Play", since most games in the genre do not offer much "play" unless you pay money.

So instead of addressing the issues they just intend to come up with new unknown ways to describe it to keep the public from realizing what a trash heap they ended up funding... great.

My issue with this strategy is where you have to pay later in the game experience. That's just another way of getting the player invested in a game and shackling them to make them feel as though they have to pay to keep progressing, which is just not something I want in a game.

I've dealt with a game that was like that once. Perfect World was like that. The lower levels were fairly easy to deal with, but by the later game stages, you were shackled and unable to do anything unless you put in a disproportionate amount of effort in an economy that's trashed or to just buy money. It wasn't even the fact that it was Pay To Win. It was the fact that you just couldn't get anywhere without paying. It's one thing to offer unfair advantages to those who pay. It's another thing to make it so that you have to pay just to keep up with, not with the other players, but with the game itself.

And that's the sort of thing that scares me here.

This is going to suck.

Either make it free-to-play without any bullshit or just sell it like a real game without any bullshit.

And if you are going to comment on this shit Molyneux just come clean and actually explain what it is you are aiming for and how you plan to do so, so far all where hearing is bullshit.

This sounds like the old shareware method, give you a few levels for free then you have to buy the rest.

Molyneux would be a great guy to just hang out with; he has so many noble ideas with a strong imagination. Even with that Curiosity cube thingy I believe his intentions were always pure. Unfortunately I don't think his products have ever actually lived up to his reputation, which has now become his reputation in and of itself.

The "Invest-to-Play" model IS very solid though. Hearthstone is a game I haven't payed into at all, but just by playing a few games each day I've slowly collected a TON of cards (many of which are Epics and Legendaries). It's not punishing me by making me take some time as I still get plenty, but I have thought to myself on many occasions, "Man this is fun! I'd love to throw a few dollars their way for making a solid game and get more cards while I'm at it." The big difference between F2P and I2P is that F2P asks you to pay in order to have fun, while I2P says, "If you're having fun throw a few bucks our way to have even more."

It's all about whether the devs purposely block off core aspects of the game with a pay-wall.

If only Godus wasn't a terrible game right now. :\

I hope it gets better but I really regret backing it.

Worgen:
This sounds like the old shareware method, give you a few levels for free then you have to buy the rest.

If it's as good as Jazz Jackrabbit, I won't mind. I miss MegaEpic from the 90s.

I wish he would just shut the fuck up and stop making games. His games are terrible and he's one of the biggest liars in the industry these days. Nothing he says ever makes any sense. He'd make a good politician.

L34dP1LL:
There's already a term "coined" (see what I did there?) for this, it's pay to win.

Here I was going to post something similar to that. Don't know why people ever flocked to this guy, but then again I never did get into the Fable series at all.

/meh

These new styles of development feel weird to me. When designing a game, the question was usually, "This is the idea for the game we want to make. Now, how can we make money doing this?" while now it seems to be, "This is the way we want to charge people to play. Now, let's design a game around that pricing model.". I understand that these methods need to be considered when designing a game but it has never felt so core to the experience.

All the stuff I've heard people talk about this game suggests it's already got wait-to-play mechanics. And are we really going to believe this kind of thing from the guy who made Curiosity?

It's really typical Moleyneux to tell us that he's going to revolutionise payment methods without having any solid foundation for his words

soandnb:

L34dP1LL:
There's already a term "coined" (see what I did there?) for this, it's pay to win.

I usually associate Pay-to-Win with games that offer you advantages for coughing up real-world money. Molyneux's term seems like it describes the F2P genre much more accurately than the term "Free-to-Play", since most games in the genre do not offer much "play" unless you pay money.

No, his "definition" only really applies to IOS games if we're going to be honest here. And, despite what he wants to say, Godus is essentially an IOS game being ported to the PC, with all the annoying asinine tap mechanics to match. There is a massive divide between "IOS F2P" and the typical F2P we see with the multitude of MMOs out on PC.

And like soandnb said, most IOS games are "Pay to win", as most (if not all) of their mechanics are tied around forcing players to pay in order to succeed in any competitive fashion. That label doesn't exactly fit Godus though, but it is heavily "Pay to progress", as its design is focused around randomly finding chests that are hidden without any real logic behind them, and hoping that its random resource is the thing you need to progress, otherwise you're forced to pay for it with real money.

cursedseishi:
He better trash the whole game now, then. The mobile version is exactly what he says he doesn't like, and has already been done in the game. Unless, of course, Totalbiscuit was lying in the video he did for the game. Besides, at least he is right about "invest to play", he got a bunch of people to invest in a F2P mobile game thanks to the fact he misled and only announced it well after the project's success.

And I believe he seriously needs to look into what "invests" means. And all this just after I said something nice about him too... godang Molyneux.

Uh... He had nothing to do with the latest dungeon keeper besides the fact that he made dungeon keeper 1.

Ot: Peter is a man who manages to speak so much, but say absolutely nothing.

More like "pay or grind".

I'd rather buy a game and enjoy it, not have resources and time spent on mechanics to "encourage" you to pay with nickle and dime BS

Generally the mechanic of waiting realtime for something in game to happen is a bad one and should NEVER exist in a single player game.

And any game that has that mechanic for single player is pretty much guaranteed to be a bad game.

For multiplayer it can be part of the gameplay but allowing players to buy out of the wait in multiplayer is another sign of bad, greedy, design.

Imagine if starcraft let people build buildings or units instantly for x moneys. It would be completely unbalanced to the point of being unplayable.

Braedan:

cursedseishi:
He better trash the whole game now, then. The mobile version is exactly what he says he doesn't like, and has already been done in the game. Unless, of course, Totalbiscuit was lying in the video he did for the game. Besides, at least he is right about "invest to play", he got a bunch of people to invest in a F2P mobile game thanks to the fact he misled and only announced it well after the project's success.

And I believe he seriously needs to look into what "invests" means. And all this just after I said something nice about him too... godang Molyneux.

Uh... He had nothing to do with the latest dungeon keeper besides the fact that he made dungeon keeper 1.

Ot: Peter is a man who manages to speak so much, but say absolutely nothing.

Uh... I'm not talking about the Dungeon Keeper IOS game. Uh... I'm talking about Godus here, if that wasn't painfully obvious by the fact I was referring to his statements in that entire post. Especially since Totalbiscuit hasn't done any videos specifically about the dungeon keeper IOS game.

And, oh yeah, the kickstarter where he had people "invest" to "play" a game, and waited til after the project succeeded before announcing it was going to be F2P. I didn't think my post needed THAT much of an explanation though.

Peter! Just make a game that is actually good. Make a good game, put it on Steam and I'll actually give you money for it.
No gimmicks. No false promises. No silly little marketing schemes. Just try and make a GOOD GAME! Remember those? You used to make good games until around the early 2000s.

Sounds like it will simply be an "honest" pay-to-win game then, doesn't it? Or will the "investments" be to unlock new content, more like DLCs for larger titles than to gain an advantage? We'll see, I guess.

I feel like he's game development's version of Jerry Springer; mindless fluff and bullshit that either you get a guilty pleasure watching or just ignore because it's too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Re-branding an old idea or nailing gimmicks to it doesn't make it new or exciting, especially when it's from his bullshitting mouth to our ears. This whole thing might have been better served by his silence.

Adam Jensen:
I wish he would just shut the fuck up and stop making games. His games are terrible

Just finished a "The Movies" binge and I'd like to disrespectfully disagree. His games all have two to four immense flaws, but I'll be damned if they aren't all fun as hell.

OT: Well, at least he's being honest about what he hopes for. Although really, it just sounds like a slightly protracted demo.

Say it with me now. Investment: the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value. Unless the game gives you real-world money or you have assurances (reasonable or not) that it will do so, you cannot in any sense be said to invest in that game.

I'm beginning to think 'investment' is the new 'ironic' in terms of wads of people so blatantly misusing the word that people eventually give up trying to correct them. Gotta stop that trend at the ground floor if possible.

Well. If it's a one-time payment then... maybe?
I like the idea of legally trying out a game before you buy it. It's not a new idea at all, but this way might be better than a simple demo.

However, This is Molyneux we're talking about, who refuses to explain what exactly he means, which usually results in failure.

I'm not sure I understand Godus though. Judging from Total Biscuits video, there doesn't seem to be much to it, other than a skinner box with a mobile phone gameplay design. I could certainly feel the tug of clicking endlessly to have everything fit perfectly, but that's not a game, it's a button you push repeatedly for no other reason than hearing a satisfying click. I have a bubble wrap electronic keychain for that exact purpose.

Simcity at least offers a challenge of balancing economy and other stats, but Godus seems mostly pointless to me.
If anyone can explain or offer some insight, I'd love to hear it.

Worgen:
This sounds like the old shareware method, give you a few levels for free then you have to buy the rest.

Couldn't be further from the truth. The old shareware concept was more of a "here's a demo, if you like the game you can buy the rest for XX dollars". F2P or Pete's new I2P (which I personally think is splitting hairs) works more on the auction phenomenon.
Auctions are a great way to sell things which have a hard to pin down value. It's because people have a tendency to get sticker shock. If I have a car that would normally sell for 50 to 100 thousand and I ask 75 for it even people that could easily afford the car would go "75,000 are you nuts?" But if I put the car in an auction I might only get 50 to 60 but I might get the full 100 or more, because each bid is only 5,000 and 2 or 3 people get caught up in the excitement of bidding and bid the car up.
These games take advantage of the same thing. You're playing along and enjoying yourself and the game in one way or another tells you, for only 99 cents you can have this game enhancing feature. Most people go, "WTF, it's only 99 cents" and they do it. Over and over again because they lose track of how many times they've done it. Next thing they know they've spent 70 bucks on a game that wouldn't of sold, under the old pay once model, for more than 20.
A even more insidious trick is one they've learned from casinos. There's a reason many casinos use chips for everything. While they represent money it's hard to view them in the same light so people will often be less cautious when betting with chips then with real cash. That's why many F2P games have an in game currency that you buy with cash instead of straight cash transactions. 5 or 10 bucks for a digital mount might sound out of line. But for 450 megastar jewels it creates less of a negative reaction even if you bought them in lots of 1000 for 30 bucks which would make the mount cost 13.50.

F2P is a very insidious marketing method that takes advantage of our human weaknesses. What's worse is a lot of publishers (like EA)are becoming really brasen with their calculated methods to separate a person from their cash. What's worse is there's enough people that still fall for it, even when it's really obvious what they're doing, that it's still sadly worth the effort and any bad PR it might bring.

GrinningCat:
My issue with this strategy is where you have to pay later in the game experience. That's just another way of getting the player invested in a game and shackling them to make them feel as though they have to pay to keep progressing, which is just not something I want in a game.

Its not perfect but it works. This is a deal with World of tanks. the economy is set in such a way that at low levels even being a complete idiot you will still earn money every battle, however at high tier battles even doing 4 times more than you need to win if everyone done the same will not even give you a net possitive because your repair and ammo costs are that high. Which brings in two options: 1. farm money with low tier tanks. 2. but a premium tank that farms money very fast. At the end of the day, i did buy a premium tank, because after all a game that has already gave me over 500 hours of fun (674 to be exact) is worth getting his 60 dollars for it. And i never paid for anything else (there are plenty of other stuff to buy) because avoiding this economy pitfall was all i needed. i could win agaisnt people with golden ammo even with my regular one often so that wasnt an issue.

The benefit of such system that i see is that new players can test the game for many hours to see whether they like it or not without paying anything and then decide if they want to "buy" the game. Sort of like a free trial, except instead of time limit its progress limit.

I found LOTRO to be the closest thing to invest to play. It does not really limit you until you get to a certain point but by the time I got to that point I actually wanted to spend money. I never felt cheated by the game it just got me interested. I think it might be the only f2p game I have ever spent money on.

Strazdas:
Snip.

I'm not convinced to support the system, whether it's pay to progress or any of the other freemium variants. Whether it's now or later, if you're going to limit me in any way I'm not going to play your game. It's why I quit Perfect World, it's why I won't play World of Tanks, it's why I won't play any other freemium game, and it's why I'm going to be avoiding Godus like the plague unless Molyneux can deliver on his 'revolutionary' talk - which I highly doubt.

ill never understand the hate for good old pete

then again i dont listen to even a 10th of the stuff he says, maybe thats the secret

Robert Marrs:
I found LOTRO to be the closest thing to invest to play. It does not really limit you until you get to a certain point but by the time I got to that point I actually wanted to spend money. I never felt cheated by the game it just got me interested. I think it might be the only f2p game I have ever spent money on.

indeed, that game offered a very substantial amount of free content, MMOs arent my thing, but i enjoyed my time with that game

GrinningCat:

Strazdas:
Snip.

I'm not convinced to support the system, whether it's pay to progress or any of the other freemium variants. Whether it's now or later, if you're going to limit me in any way I'm not going to play your game. It's why I quit Perfect World, it's why I won't play World of Tanks, it's why I won't play any other freemium game, and it's why I'm going to be avoiding Godus like the plague unless Molyneux can deliver on his 'revolutionary' talk - which I highly doubt.

I look at it this way: they allwoed me to have hundreds of hours of fun for free - they deserve some of my money. They dont limit you. You can play the game without ever paying a cent. you just wont progress as fast due to need to play with more profitable tanks once in a while. The developers called the system: "Grinding for cash, and you choose whether you grind in game or in real life".

Strazdas:
Snip.

"You can play the game without ever paying a cent" is always a red flag for me. Always. I've heard it so many times, over and over again, word for word. And I suppose you're right. Technically, you don't have to, but being technically correct is not the best kind of correct, despite what Bureaucrat 1.0 says. On paper, sure, in practice... no. Because at the end of the day, you've got to pay if you want to keep up. And the developer's words prove it - that's exactly how I'd describe most freemium models: Grinding. And grinding isn't fun.

It's always when it's straight out of the horse's mouth that I know best when to avoid a game. As the case with the example you gave and Peter Molyneux.

I like Peter Molyneux, but Godus is just a huge letdown. I actually bought that piece of junk. Granted, I had some fun with it, but overall it's far from what was promised and far from the quality of his previous games. Really turned me off of the whole Early-Access thing. I wasn't a huge fan of it before, but slightly optimistic. Seeing as Godus hasn't received an update since October, I honestly feel slightly cheated.

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