Study rounds up top ten of average revenue per user in F2P games, WoT first, LoL last

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http://www.superdataresearch.com/blog/mmo-arpu/

Team Fortress 2 close second, AMERICA WINS AGAIN!

so what are your thoughts on this

personally ive spent probably over 20 bucks on TF2, plus the 10 dollars i paid for it before it became F2P, money well spent, not only because TF2 is a Multiplayer Masterpiece, but also because that game has paid itself several times over thanks to trading

HA not surprised to see PS2 on that list. That game is a very very cleverly disguised pay to win game.

Lictor Face:
HA not surprised to see PS2 on that list. That game is a very very cleverly disguised pay to win game.

not really

is not cleverly disguised at all, you know its pay 2 win within 1 hour of playing

WoT is an exploitatively monetised FPS mod of "a game"...far moreso that TF2...which is at least "more honest" and less "arm twisting" about it...

on refection however neither of the two of them should be near the top of that list given "what you get for your money" is just a multiplayer FPS mod.

when you get down to number 3 and below the majority of the games are serving up far more "meat and potatoes" in comparison.

in short multiplayer FPS mods do not...deserve...to be at the top of that list...and there's something wrong with the fact that they are...

Strangely enough I play 4 of the games on that list and have only dropped money on TF2. I like LoL, but consider the skins to be waaaaaaaaaaaaayy too expensive to buy, I'm not good enough at WoT to consider dropping money on it, and War Thunder is also prohibitively expensive. If they dropped the prices a little, I'd be more than happy to give them my money, I absolutely love War Thunder and the bonuses for a premium account would save me so much time. But it's just too damn expensive for me.

Great, looks like I'm way above average for #1 and 2 (I've spent 30$ on WoT, and more then I care to admit on TF2). But at least those two don't have the monetization really effect gameplay most of the time.

Sleekit:
WoT is an exploitatively monetised FPS mod of "a game"...far moreso that TF2...which is at least "more honest" and less "arm twisting" about it...

on refection however neither of the two of them should be near the top of that list given "what you get for your money" is just a multiplayer FPS mod.

when you get down to number 3 and below the majority of the games are serving up far more "meat and potatoes" in comparison.

in short multiplayer FPS mods do not...deserve...to be at the top of that list...and there's something wrong with the fact that they are...

TF2 deserves to be on the top list of everything good

Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

erttheking:
Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

LoL has a larger playerbase that spends less. This is a list of average spending per user, not overall gain.

LoL still makes more money. :P

OT:
I don't understand why I want to celebrate the revenue gained per individual person from games that tend to enjoy exploiting their users through shitty business practices. "Hooray, my playerbase spends, on average, more money in a F2P game! Such Free! Much Monetary Support! Very Corporate Growth! Wow!"

EDIT:
Disregard above bit. I don't even know why I was angry. What is wrong with me, I just ate icecream, everything is supposed to BE GOOD. NOTHING IS EVEN WRONG.

GOD DAMN IT.

erttheking:
Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

dont shove microtransactions down everybody's throat, develop a culture around cosmetics, get cash

also since LoL has more players i guess the amount of money spent gets dissolved

NuclearKangaroo:

erttheking:
Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

dont shove microtransactions down everybody's throat, develop a culture around cosmetics, get cash

also since LoL has more players i guess the amount of money spent gets dissolved

Plus, unlike most of those other games, they perma ban you if you act like a jerk enough or get paired up with enough jerked - this serves as a pretty good way to encourage me to not spend money, considering the un-clear specifications of what is and is not 'jerkdom'.

I want to know where they got the numbers for both the Valve games. Valve does not share revenue info and according to SuperData they get that data from the publishers and developers. How did they get Valve to give out that info or is it a guess? Unless Valve states they shared the numbers with SuperData I am going to call those numbers made up.

NuclearKangaroo:

erttheking:
Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

dont shove microtransactions down everybody's throat, develop a culture around cosmetics, get cash

also since LoL has more players i guess the amount of money spent gets dissolved

It's proven time and time again that paid in-game cosmetics as the only driver of cash for a game is incredibly flawed.

The only people who can make good gains off of this model are absolute powerhouses like TF2 (Valve) and LoL.

They have made a pitiful amount of money, per player, from LoL. It only stands on its two feet because it commands such a ridiculously large player base. Within this, there are people who drastically increase the average by pumping large quantities of money into it (they call these people 'whales'). These are the people that prop-up free to play games. Average spend of $1.32 is a good show case of this, because that wouldn't buy you anything in LoL. It's even too small amount of cash to even buy (as you have to buy Riot Points in order to spend cash and the lowest possible is more than 1.32). Because a very large number of people played and never spent anything at all on it, despite often a heavy investment of hours of play. Instead the average is inflated by the people buying skins at $4-$8 a pop.

And even still, both these games have transactions that are not only cosmetic. Such as the buying of new champs on LoL or the buying of guns on TF2. Sure, often a lot less integral to the game, and normally have workarounds, but they are still existent.

These are not models that a regular game can exist on.

I'm fine with just buying my games and forgetting all about these free to play ones. Can we just return to that?

Ubiquitous Duck:

They have made a pitiful amount of money, per player, from LoL. It only stands on its two feet because it commands such a ridiculously large player base.

This seems an odd argument. Surely for a game that you're giving away free, the money per player is pretty much irrelevant, it's the total revenue that matters. The cost of developing the game is the same, obviously you have higher server costs for a game with more players but above a certain level that can't make that much difference.

So I don't see why it's 'pitiful' to have a 'ridiculously large player base', enough of whom love the game enough to put decent money into it and keep it going, and why that's a worse business model than having a smaller number of players who pay more money on average.

If anything, I think the first model is really the ideal model for F2P from the player perspective: a game that is completely free and fun to play, which commands a huge player base and so you can be sure to find people there to play against, without any pay-to-win element to make it frustrating for newcomers, which gently encourages you to support the game by occasionally purchasing some frippery. For me, that's what F2P was always supposed to be about.

JET1971:
I want to know where they got the numbers for both the Valve games. Valve does not share revenue info and according to SuperData they get that data from the publishers and developers. How did they get Valve to give out that info or is it a guess? Unless Valve states they shared the numbers with SuperData I am going to call those numbers made up.

They mention 'payment service providers' down in the same spiel just after publishers. That said, they don't mention what scale was applied to the survey, or even if the same number of users were used on each game to find the average, so the numbers are a bit dubious.

Flatfrog:

Ubiquitous Duck:

They have made a pitiful amount of money, per player, from LoL. It only stands on its two feet because it commands such a ridiculously large player base.

This seems an odd argument. Surely for a game that you're giving away free, the money per player is pretty much irrelevant, it's the total revenue that matters. The cost of developing the game is the same, obviously you have higher server costs for a game with more players but above a certain level that can't make that much difference.

So I don't see why it's 'pitiful' to have a 'ridiculously large player base', enough of whom love the game enough to put decent money into it and keep it going, and why that's a worse business model than having a smaller number of players who pay more money on average.

If anything, I think the first model is really the ideal model for F2P from the player perspective: a game that is completely free and fun to play, which commands a huge player base and so you can be sure to find people there to play against, without any pay-to-win element to make it frustrating for newcomers, which gently encourages you to support the game by occasionally purchasing some frippery. For me, that's what F2P was always supposed to be about.

It's just because, if you scale it down to a more reasonable expectation of a player base, $1.32 per gamer is not a sustainable model.

The model necessitates a massive player base, in order to make a return on your game. And for niche products or even games that just don't become a big success, they really will be seen by their business and sales analysts to of failed.

The point is that it is unreasonable to assume because LoL and TF2 can survive being F2P with almost entirely cosmetic purchases for in-game content, that it is a workable model for all developers to adopt.

Say you sold a game for $30. If you had 10,000 people buy it, you'd get 300,000. In order to make the same amount of money free to play (on an average of $1.32 spend per person), you'd need 227,272 people to get it. That's 217,272 more people or a 2,272% increase on sales/downloads.

It demands the game be a massive success or else it will be a massive failure.

It's too idealistic to assume all free to play games could be marketed with the only monetisation method as cosmetic items.

You should see what some folk have sunk into APB: Reloaded. I'll give you a clue: Lots.

NuclearKangaroo:
Money well spent, not only because TF2 is a Multiplayer Masterpiece, but also because that game has paid for itself several times over thanks to trading

This little fact is what most people overlook when they talk about good free to play games. In TF2 your digital items actually have worth and it was implemented in a way that didn't detriment the game like the shambles that was the real money auction house.

During the steam Christmas sale i used selling those trading cards/ TF2 item sales to actually get full games. It was great. STEAM has its problems right now but the trading marketplace isn't one of them. The left-over pennies i used to get a couple of cheap TF2 items. All without spending a single cent.

Ubiquitous Duck:

It's just because, if you scale it down to a more reasonable expectation of a player base, $1.32 per gamer is not a sustainable model.

The model necessitates a massive player base, in order to make a return on your game. And for niche products or even games that just don't become a big success, they really will be seen by their business and sales analysts to of failed.

The point is that it is unreasonable to assume because LoL and TF2 can survive being F2P with almost entirely cosmetic purchases for in-game content, that it is a workable model for all developers to adopt.

Say you sold a game for $30. If you had 10,000 people buy it, you'd get 300,000. In order to make the same amount of money free to play (on an average of $1.32 spend per person), you'd need 227,272 people to get it. That's 217,272 more people or a 2,272% increase on sales/downloads.

It demands the game be a massive success or else it will be a massive failure.

It's too idealistic to assume all free to play games could be marketed with the only monetisation method as cosmetic items.

Jeah but there's an error in your thinking. If you scale down the playerbase the average spending will rise by a good chunk. There are millions of "freeloaders" in Lol which drag down the average, these are players that would never spend money anyway but LoL has such a big appeal that they play anyway. LoL has probably more non-paying costumers than most of those games on the list have as a total playerbase.
A second study that questions/checks the amount of money spend by only paying customers would be very interesting to see. Because the players i know, which are willing to spend money on LoL did so in quite a generous manner.

We once did a mini-survey in our national facebook group with maybe 100 people or so. And basically each and everyone in the group spent at least +100 bucks in the last 1-3 years (depending on their join date). I assume the "hardcore" playerbase is paying alot.

I haven't played World of Tanks, but I've seen it played, and it looks Pay-to-Win as fuck. As in you can't compete with people who have premium ammo. But I have played TF2, and it warms my heart to see it in second place, being one of the least annoying, least frustrating, least unbalanced and least mandatory F2P schemes I've seen. Angry Birds on the other hand has gone to shit, I updated it recently and they've got fucking buttons all over a quarter of the already inadequate screen, implemented a daily prize wheel and pester you every time you spend too long on a level to use a fucking powerup, which gets VERY annoying when you're trying to get 3 stars. Same with all the games of that ilk. The worst part is it was a good game originally, and has gained the symptoms of mobile gaming like so many cancerous growths.

Adeptus Aspartem:

Ubiquitous Duck:

It's just because, if you scale it down to a more reasonable expectation of a player base, $1.32 per gamer is not a sustainable model.

The model necessitates a massive player base, in order to make a return on your game. And for niche products or even games that just don't become a big success, they really will be seen by their business and sales analysts to of failed.

The point is that it is unreasonable to assume because LoL and TF2 can survive being F2P with almost entirely cosmetic purchases for in-game content, that it is a workable model for all developers to adopt.

Say you sold a game for $30. If you had 10,000 people buy it, you'd get 300,000. In order to make the same amount of money free to play (on an average of $1.32 spend per person), you'd need 227,272 people to get it. That's 217,272 more people or a 2,272% increase on sales/downloads.

It demands the game be a massive success or else it will be a massive failure.

It's too idealistic to assume all free to play games could be marketed with the only monetisation method as cosmetic items.

Jeah but there's an error in your thinking. If you scale down the playerbase the average spending will rise by a good chunk. There are millions of "freeloaders" in Lol which drag down the average, these are players that would never spend money anyway but LoL has such a big appeal that they play anyway. LoL has probably more non-paying costumers than most of those games on the list have as a total playerbase.
A second study that questions/checks the amount of money spend by only paying customers would be very interesting to see. Because the players i know, which are willing to spend money on LoL did so in quite a generous manner.

We once did a mini-survey in our national facebook group with maybe 100 people or so. And basically each and everyone in the group spent at least +100 bucks in the last 1-3 years (depending on their join date). I assume the "hardcore" playerbase is paying alot.

Why would the average spending go up when they are less players? There is no way to know if LoL had half the players that it's average spend would be the same, higher or lower. It would just be speculation.

The point is that LoL and TF2 are so popular and played by so many that investing money into a game you play so much, isn't really that much of a problem for many people. Not all games can have this draw and not all games can be this popular.

A very large number of people never pay any money and get away with "freeloading", it depends on the 'whales' to make its way on the cosmetic stuff.

It's really about assuming that because LoL and TF2 can survive on cosmetics, that we should take that to mean that all F2P games could work on this basis and would be fine. This is untrue. These games are enigmas, standouts, erroneous. It is like expecting every MMO to achieve the player base WoW has and therefore discerning that MMOs are cash cows. To be truthful, a vast number of MMOs fell flat on their face in comparison to WoW.

LoL is a success, there is no doubting that. But to say that it is a good model for others to follow, is naive and would doom the vast majority of competitors to failure. Unless you 'are' these big titles, you won't be making money.

You cannot sustain games by F2P and cosmetic purchasing alone.

Angelblaze:

NuclearKangaroo:

erttheking:
Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

dont shove microtransactions down everybody's throat, develop a culture around cosmetics, get cash

also since LoL has more players i guess the amount of money spent gets dissolved

Plus, unlike most of those other games, they perma ban you if you act like a jerk enough or get paired up with enough jerked - this serves as a pretty good way to encourage me to not spend money, considering the un-clear specifications of what is and is not 'jerkdom'.

If you don't behave like a jerk, i.e. don't flame, grieve, or troll A LOT, you have 0% risk of getting banned.

All this does is show that larger player bases lower the average per-person revenue in an already successful free-to-play space. This should not be surprising or shocking in any way, nor can it be used to judge relative quality. The proportion of big spenders, or "whales", to non-monetized players, or "freeloaders", is going to be relatively constant regardless of the game itself. This data can be used to further prove that, but is otherwise fairly meaningless.

Incidentally, the title and OP are unnecessarily controversial, for lack of a better term. They imply, erroneously, that World of Tanks is "the best game" and that League of Legends is a "bad game". That will only piss people off; any good that may have been done with this data or discussion that could be had from it gets buried under egotism and competitive bullshit, and it is entirely your fault. (Incidentally, simply being on the list implies that all ten titles are widely successful, considering how many thousands of free-to-play games currently exist.)

Ubiquitous Duck:

It's proven time and time again that paid in-game cosmetics as the only driver of cash for a game is incredibly flawed.

The only people who can make good gains off of this model are absolute powerhouses like TF2 (Valve) and LoL.

Last time I tried LoL the shop statistic showed they made vast majority of their money from champion sales.
On a totally unrelated note last 3 champions added while I was playing were blatantly overpowered and severely balanced a couple weeks in *rolls eyes*.

It does work for Valve though, surely not as well as some unreliable sources cite but it does work. They've got an unique gig running though, they earn a lot of money without inconveniencing the player base thanks to the marketplace AND they get a massive promotion for their platform which has rather poor penetration with players that play F2P games, which is probably the more important thing.

Zac Jovanovic:

Ubiquitous Duck:

It's proven time and time again that paid in-game cosmetics as the only driver of cash for a game is incredibly flawed.

The only people who can make good gains off of this model are absolute powerhouses like TF2 (Valve) and LoL.

Last time I tried LoL the shop statistic showed they made vast majority of their money from champion sales.
On a totally unrelated note last 3 champions added while I was playing were blatantly overpowered and severely balanced a couple weeks in *rolls eyes*.

It does work for Valve though, surely not as well as some unreliable sources cite but it does work. They've got an unique gig running though, they earn a lot of money without inconveniencing the player base thanks to the marketplace AND they get a massive promotion for their platform which has rather poor penetration with players that play F2P games, which is probably the more important thing.

Yes, that is one of those tactics employed by LoL.

Bring out a new champ, but only allow it to be bought with money for the beginning of its existence and make it possible to gain freely later, once it is not overpowered anymore.

Their sneaky way to weave a pay-to-win model in the middle of LoL.

I think pretty much all attempts to emulate TF2 would end in failure. TF2 didn't even begin on that model itself and was a success prior anyway. It has been a genius way to elongate out the lifespan of that moneymaker.

Ubiquitous Duck:
Why would the average spending go up when they are less players? There is no way to know if LoL had half the players that it's average spend would be the same, higher or lower. It would just be speculation.

The point is that LoL and TF2 are so popular and played by so many that investing money into a game you play so much, isn't really that much of a problem for many people. Not all games can have this draw and not all games can be this popular.

A very large number of people never pay any money and get away with "freeloading", it depends on the 'whales' to make its way on the cosmetic stuff.

It's really about assuming that because LoL and TF2 can survive on cosmetics, that we should take that to mean that all F2P games could work on this basis and would be fine. This is untrue. These games are enigmas, standouts, erroneous. It is like expecting every MMO to achieve the player base WoW has and therefore discerning that MMOs are cash cows. To be truthful, a vast number of MMOs fell flat on their face in comparison to WoW.

LoL is a success, there is no doubting that. But to say that it is a good model for others to follow, is naive and would doom the vast majority of competitors to failure. Unless you 'are' these big titles, you won't be making money.

You cannot sustain games by F2P and cosmetic purchasing alone.

1. The last ones to leave a game are your hardcore fanbase, also those are the most likley to pay. If LoL would shrink the strong buyers would stay. If we're just talking about the same model with a smaller playerbase, we're not talking about LoL. That would be a diffrent game in a diffrent situation. You just go and point at LoL and say: If only X% would play, they couldn't sustain it. -> Given that all other aspects stay the same. And ceteris paribus is bullshit in 99% of the cases outside of the most basic theories.

2. You say many players pay for LoL, because they spend alot of time and in the next paragraph you say they don't. I'm confused. I agree that a small portion of the playerbase carries the community, but that would contradict your 2nd paragraph.

3. Yes, you can sustain F2p on cosmetics. We currently have LoL, DotA, TF2 and GW2 do it. And i don't know how many F2P MMO's the asian market has that do just fine with that kind of model.
Being sustainable doesn't mean you've do make billions of money and be a huge AAA super mega company.
Can everyone do it? Of course not, every market has a certain limit and sooner or later it is saturated. Then you've to either improve the concept or wait for someone to die out to take his place.
LoL could go the route from the start because they knew how big their playerbase was beforehand.

4. Why most MMO's fail is because they're shit. It's why most games fail in general. Those F2P titles are huge cash cows but they're not fast money grabs. Companies that usualy try to imitate the big ones like LoL or WoW fail to understand WHY those games work. Just look at TESO as a prime example of how not to do it.

Also to your other posts:
It's not true that you can buy new champions only for money in LoL. Champs can always be bought by IP. There's no pay to win. Also your statement about "overpowered" new champs shows you actually don't know a lot about LoL. As an example from the latest 5 champs since back in 06/13, 1 was over the top. 3 were fine. 1 was/is underwhelming.

Angelblaze:

NuclearKangaroo:

erttheking:
Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

dont shove microtransactions down everybody's throat, develop a culture around cosmetics, get cash

also since LoL has more players i guess the amount of money spent gets dissolved

Plus, unlike most of those other games, they perma ban you if you act like a jerk enough or get paired up with enough jerked - this serves as a pretty good way to encourage me to not spend money, considering the un-clear specifications of what is and is not 'jerkdom'.

That's the problem with league, people can't even comprehend that they're jerks.

Ubiquitous Duck:

NuclearKangaroo:

erttheking:
Kind of weird considering that I've heard a lot of people say they prefer DOTA 2 to LoL because of DOTA 2 being cheaper and not requiring you to buy champions, but the average DOTA 2 player spends more money than the average LoL player? I feel like I'm missing a key variable here.

dont shove microtransactions down everybody's throat, develop a culture around cosmetics, get cash

also since LoL has more players i guess the amount of money spent gets dissolved

It's proven time and time again that paid in-game cosmetics as the only driver of cash for a game is incredibly flawed.

The only people who can make good gains off of this model are absolute powerhouses like TF2 (Valve) and LoL.

They have made a pitiful amount of money, per player, from LoL. It only stands on its two feet because it commands such a ridiculously large player base. Within this, there are people who drastically increase the average by pumping large quantities of money into it (they call these people 'whales'). These are the people that prop-up free to play games. Average spend of $1.32 is a good show case of this, because that wouldn't buy you anything in LoL. It's even too small amount of cash to even buy (as you have to buy Riot Points in order to spend cash and the lowest possible is more than 1.32). Because a very large number of people played and never spent anything at all on it, despite often a heavy investment of hours of play. Instead the average is inflated by the people buying skins at $4-$8 a pop.

And even still, both these games have transactions that are not only cosmetic. Such as the buying of new champs on LoL or the buying of guns on TF2. Sure, often a lot less integral to the game, and normally have workarounds, but they are still existent.

These are not models that a regular game can exist on.

I'm fine with just buying my games and forgetting all about these free to play ones. Can we just return to that?

what proof do you have this model doesnt work? what proof do you have that exploitive models work?

why cant we have both free to play games and retail releases? some people dont have the cash to get new games every time

NuclearKangaroo:

Ubiquitous Duck:

NuclearKangaroo:

dont shove microtransactions down everybody's throat, develop a culture around cosmetics, get cash

also since LoL has more players i guess the amount of money spent gets dissolved

It's proven time and time again that paid in-game cosmetics as the only driver of cash for a game is incredibly flawed.

The only people who can make good gains off of this model are absolute powerhouses like TF2 (Valve) and LoL.

They have made a pitiful amount of money, per player, from LoL. It only stands on its two feet because it commands such a ridiculously large player base. Within this, there are people who drastically increase the average by pumping large quantities of money into it (they call these people 'whales'). These are the people that prop-up free to play games. Average spend of $1.32 is a good show case of this, because that wouldn't buy you anything in LoL. It's even too small amount of cash to even buy (as you have to buy Riot Points in order to spend cash and the lowest possible is more than 1.32). Because a very large number of people played and never spent anything at all on it, despite often a heavy investment of hours of play. Instead the average is inflated by the people buying skins at $4-$8 a pop.

And even still, both these games have transactions that are not only cosmetic. Such as the buying of new champs on LoL or the buying of guns on TF2. Sure, often a lot less integral to the game, and normally have workarounds, but they are still existent.

These are not models that a regular game can exist on.

I'm fine with just buying my games and forgetting all about these free to play ones. Can we just return to that?

what proof do you have this model doesnt work? what proof do you have that exploitive models work?

why cant we have both free to play games and retail releases? some people dont have the cash to get new games every time

I never said exploitative models were better. I just said that it is too idealistic to assume the industry would work better if all games adopted a F2P model, where the only monetisation was through cosmetic purchases. This would only allow the greatest and best games to survive and make money and the rest would be left on the wheyside. Small developers would be crushed out of the market.

As for proof that the cosmetic model doesn't work - look at LoLs conversion rate of money, as I've laid out in my previous posts. They make terrible money. The only reason they survive is due to the sheer number of people who play their game. A terrible monetisation of players, but survives due to gross popularity.

This is not a reasonable expectation of small developers or even medium developers. It necessitates a massive reception of your game.

It is just too naive to assume that all games could survive and make a good return on F2P with cosmetic purchases only.

Scrumpmonkey:

NuclearKangaroo:
Money well spent, not only because TF2 is a Multiplayer Masterpiece, but also because that game has paid for itself several times over thanks to trading

This little fact is what most people overlook when they talk about good free to play games. In TF2 your digital items actually have worth and it was implemented in a way that didn't detriment the game like the shambles that was the real money auction house.

During the steam Christmas sale i used selling those trading cards/ TF2 item sales to actually get full games. It was great. STEAM has its problems right now but the trading marketplace isn't one of them. The left-over pennies i used to get a couple of cheap TF2 items. All without spending a single cent.

indeed, those things are a godsend for budget gamers like me, plus dose cosmetics looks great, just check my sexy medic loadout

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=247583429

you want to be healed by this guy

Ubiquitous Duck:

NuclearKangaroo:

Ubiquitous Duck:

It's proven time and time again that paid in-game cosmetics as the only driver of cash for a game is incredibly flawed.

The only people who can make good gains off of this model are absolute powerhouses like TF2 (Valve) and LoL.

They have made a pitiful amount of money, per player, from LoL. It only stands on its two feet because it commands such a ridiculously large player base. Within this, there are people who drastically increase the average by pumping large quantities of money into it (they call these people 'whales'). These are the people that prop-up free to play games. Average spend of $1.32 is a good show case of this, because that wouldn't buy you anything in LoL. It's even too small amount of cash to even buy (as you have to buy Riot Points in order to spend cash and the lowest possible is more than 1.32). Because a very large number of people played and never spent anything at all on it, despite often a heavy investment of hours of play. Instead the average is inflated by the people buying skins at $4-$8 a pop.

And even still, both these games have transactions that are not only cosmetic. Such as the buying of new champs on LoL or the buying of guns on TF2. Sure, often a lot less integral to the game, and normally have workarounds, but they are still existent.

These are not models that a regular game can exist on.

I'm fine with just buying my games and forgetting all about these free to play ones. Can we just return to that?

what proof do you have this model doesnt work? what proof do you have that exploitive models work?

why cant we have both free to play games and retail releases? some people dont have the cash to get new games every time

I never said exploitative models were better. I just said that it is too idealistic to assume the industry would work better if all games adopted a F2P model, where the only monetisation was through cosmetic purchases. This would only allow the greatest and best games to survive and make money and the rest would be left on the wheyside. Small developers would be crushed out of the market.

As for proof that the cosmetic model doesn't work - look at LoLs conversion rate of money, as I've laid out in my previous posts. They make terrible money. The only reason they survive is due to the sheer number of people who play their game. A terrible monetisation of players, but survives due to gross popularity.

This is not a reasonable expectation of small developers or even medium developers. It necessitates a massive reception of your game.

It is just too naive to assume that all games could survive and make a good return on F2P with cosmetic purchases only.

and why are you ignoring TF2? a game with a model even more lenient than LoL's and has a much bigger conversion rate

the advantages of a cosmetic driven model is that customers dont perceive it as exploitive, if customers perceive a model as exploitive they are likely to simply stop playing the game altogether, i think its more beneficial for a F2P game to have more people playing, even if they dont play, than having a small playerbase that pays, because a small playerbase is more likely to die out in a relatively short amount of time

maybe a cosmetic driven model isnt the solution for everthing, but any other model must make sure its not exploitive for the good of all parties involved

either way you didnt prove anything

Adeptus Aspartem:

Ubiquitous Duck:
Why would the average spending go up when they are less players? There is no way to know if LoL had half the players that it's average spend would be the same, higher or lower. It would just be speculation.

The point is that LoL and TF2 are so popular and played by so many that investing money into a game you play so much, isn't really that much of a problem for many people. Not all games can have this draw and not all games can be this popular.

A very large number of people never pay any money and get away with "freeloading", it depends on the 'whales' to make its way on the cosmetic stuff.

It's really about assuming that because LoL and TF2 can survive on cosmetics, that we should take that to mean that all F2P games could work on this basis and would be fine. This is untrue. These games are enigmas, standouts, erroneous. It is like expecting every MMO to achieve the player base WoW has and therefore discerning that MMOs are cash cows. To be truthful, a vast number of MMOs fell flat on their face in comparison to WoW.

LoL is a success, there is no doubting that. But to say that it is a good model for others to follow, is naive and would doom the vast majority of competitors to failure. Unless you 'are' these big titles, you won't be making money.

You cannot sustain games by F2P and cosmetic purchasing alone.

1. The last ones to leave a game are your hardcore fanbase, also those are the most likley to pay. If LoL would shrink the strong buyers would stay. If we're just talking about the same model with a smaller playerbase, we're not talking about LoL. That would be a diffrent game in a diffrent situation. You just go and point at LoL and say: If only X% would play, they couldn't sustain it. -> Given that all other aspects stay the same. And ceteris paribus is bullshit in 99% of the cases outside of the most basic theories.

2. You say many players pay for LoL, because they spend alot of time and in the next paragraph you say they don't. I'm confused. I agree that a small portion of the playerbase carries the community, but that would contradict your 2nd paragraph.

3. Yes, you can sustain F2p on cosmetics. We currently have LoL, DotA, TF2 and GW2 do it. And i don't know how many F2P MMO's the asian market has that do just fine with that kind of model.
Being sustainable doesn't mean you've do make billions of money and be a huge AAA super mega company.
Can everyone do it? Of course not, every market has a certain limit and sooner or later it is saturated. Then you've to either improve the concept or wait for someone to die out to take his place.
LoL could go the route from the start because they knew how big their playerbase was beforehand.

4. Why most MMO's fail is because they're shit. It's why most games fail in general. Those F2P titles are huge cash cows but they're not fast money grabs. Companies that usualy try to imitate the big ones like LoL or WoW fail to understand WHY those games work. Just look at TESO as a prime example of how not to do it.

Also to your other posts:
It's not true that you can buy new champions only for money in LoL. Champs can always be bought by IP. There's no pay to win. Also your statement about "overpowered" new champs shows you actually don't know a lot about LoL. As an example from the latest 5 champs since back in 06/13, 1 was over the top. 3 were fine. 1 was/is underwhelming.

Another reply on this thread, joy. OK here we go:

1. I don't get what your point is here. All I would say is that you cannot assume that as the player base shrinks, the sales continue at the same rate as time goes on, with your most prolific purchasers. Everyone has to stop at some point.

2. Yes, many to mean 'there are many people who pay for LoL', not many to mean 'a high average/percentage of people who play LoL, make purchases'. In terms of figures, LoL has a lot of people who pay for it, but as an average, this obviously showcases how low that is in a percentage of its player base.

3. Genuine question: What are you referring to by 'GW2'? Because if you mean Guild Wars 2, that isn't a F2P game. You have to buy the game, the fact it has no subscription does not make it free to play, because you have to buy the game. Whether or not they charge you a subscription is their choice. Other than that, you have named 3 games. Yes, these games are incredibly successful, but they are the standalones. As I have already said, the people at the very top survive on this model and choke out the rest of the industry. It's poisonous to the gaming industry at large to make only the enigmas create successful companies. You'd bankrupt everyone else at their expense.

4. Most games fail because they are shit? What a positive look at the gaming industry. Not all games can be incredible, even great studios make games that are mediocre. Does that mean I resent giving them 30 for a game that was only 6/7 out of 10? No. It just misfired a bit that time. But if you had the choice whether to throw 0 or 30... are enough people going to throw cash at games that are quite good, or will they put it to one side, give that studio nothing and go back to the game they LOVE? Sorry, but again, that would cause a toxic industry that just wouldn't survive, bombs would bomb too hard and businesses would crumble.

On the final point: It is true I haven't played LoL in a while. I'm not interested in it anymore. I only picked up that point on the barred from IP purchase from another poster and it seemed to match with my memory of when champs are new on the scene. That they had some sort of grace period where you had to buy them with RP or else wait a month or so to buy with IP. If that's no longer true or was never true, I accept that point. However it is not very important, the importance lies in how much money people spend on the game and what they are buying for it. The assumption when buying champs with RP, is that you are purchasing content with real money. A new champ isn't a cosmetic, it's content you otherwise would've had to work your way towards. So not all LoL purchases are purely cosmetic.

NuclearKangaroo:

Ubiquitous Duck:

NuclearKangaroo:

what proof do you have this model doesnt work? what proof do you have that exploitive models work?

why cant we have both free to play games and retail releases? some people dont have the cash to get new games every time

I never said exploitative models were better. I just said that it is too idealistic to assume the industry would work better if all games adopted a F2P model, where the only monetisation was through cosmetic purchases. This would only allow the greatest and best games to survive and make money and the rest would be left on the wheyside. Small developers would be crushed out of the market.

As for proof that the cosmetic model doesn't work - look at LoLs conversion rate of money, as I've laid out in my previous posts. They make terrible money. The only reason they survive is due to the sheer number of people who play their game. A terrible monetisation of players, but survives due to gross popularity.

This is not a reasonable expectation of small developers or even medium developers. It necessitates a massive reception of your game.

It is just too naive to assume that all games could survive and make a good return on F2P with cosmetic purchases only.

and why are you ignoring TF2? a game with a model even more lenient than LoL's and has a much bigger conversion rate

the advantages of a cosmetic driven model is that customers dont perceive it as exploitive, if customers perceive a model as exploitive they are likely to simply stop playing the game altogether, i think its more beneficial for a F2P game to have more people playing, even if they dont play, than having a small playerbase that pays, because a small playerbase is more likely to die out in a relatively short amount of time

maybe a cosmetic driven model isnt the solution for everthing, but any other model must make sure its not exploitive for the good of all parties involved

either way you didnt prove anything

Ok, again on we sludge.

As I've already said, TF2, LoL, these games are enigmas. They are too big, too massive, too much of a rarity to consider as fair examples for other games to follow. Do you really think that all games could go F2P with cosmetics and be supported by this model?

You may appear to be a more 'nice' and 'friendly' gaming studio to put out these cosmetic only F2P games and sure it would be good PR, but a gaming business needs more than that to survive.

I think I actually may have 'proven anything', because your stance has changed from 'develop a culture around cosmetics' to 'maybe a cosmetic driven model isnt the solution for everything'.

Which is my whole point. The gaming industry can't turn into a F2P only, cosmetic-purchase-monetisation-only industry, because it means the strongest survive and everyone else dies. Rather than now, when others struggle but maintain, they'd just die. Because a game with a small player base, even if loyal fans, is not providing enough cash to keep a business afloat on cosmetic-only purchases.

While this data might be useful for the companies to benchmark their competition in terms of how much money one can reasonably expect to pull from players, it is utterly arbitrary and unhelpful as a metric for a company's success. They didn't even bother listing the actual revenues of the companies!

In fact, one has to wonder what kind of backwater "industry analysis" firm would even bother publishing this sort of "study." It's a simple matter of dividing revenue (publicly available in the company 10-K) by published user numbers and listing them in order. I could have replicated all the "findings" and the write-up in one hour's work.

2xDouble:

Incidentally, the title and OP are unnecessarily controversial, for lack of a better term. They imply, erroneously, that World of Tanks is "the best game" and that League of Legends is a "bad game". That will only piss people off; any good that may have been done with this data or discussion that could be had from it gets buried under egotism and competitive bullshit, and it is entirely your fault. (Incidentally, simply being on the list implies that all ten titles are widely successful, considering how many thousands of free-to-play games currently exist.)

This, though, as the actual "journalists" of this site utilize similar tactics all the time, I cannot direct too much ire towards the OP specifically.

MeChaNiZ3D:
I haven't played World of Tanks, but I've seen it played, and it looks Pay-to-Win as fuck. As in you can't compete with people who have premium ammo. But I have played TF2, and it warms my heart to see it in second place, being one of the least annoying, least frustrating, least unbalanced and least mandatory F2P schemes I've seen. Angry Birds on the other hand has gone to shit, I updated it recently and they've got fucking buttons all over a quarter of the already inadequate screen, implemented a daily prize wheel and pester you every time you spend too long on a level to use a fucking powerup, which gets VERY annoying when you're trying to get 3 stars. Same with all the games of that ilk. The worst part is it was a good game originally, and has gained the symptoms of mobile gaming like so many cancerous growths.

premium ammo can be bought with normal credits in wot and it is Bullshit to say that you can't compete without premium ammo.

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