CCP: Designing sub-based games “a flawed strategy” against F2P

Friday, 21st October 2011 10:43 GMT By Johnny Cullen

CCP has admitted that designing a game that’s revolving around a subscription is more or less “flawed” when going up against F2P.

EVE Online lead designer Kristoffer Touborg admitted to GameSpot he “definitely” saw a shift away from sub-based games in future.

“It’s definitely going away, and we’re seeing big titles, like Modern Warfare 3 and others, looking like they will be heavily microtransaction-based,” said Touborg at GDC Online.

“I would say it’s the way of the future, but these kinds of things also tend to come and go. It’s a current trend, and it will be for a while. I think designing a new subscription-based game is a flawed strategy, because you are basically competing with free.”

He went on to add that a switch to F2P from subs-based for EVE Online, currently at 400,000 subs, isn’t needed anytime soon, saying there wasn’t quite a need to “turn that bucket upside down.”

CCP’s working on free-to-play, transaction-based shooter Dust 514 for a 2012 release on PS3.



  1. viralshag

    I consider micro transaction shooters to be the worst kind of my MT games around. In fact, pretty much anything that isn’t an mmo is a rip off. As much as I love gears 3, the fact I have to pay for half the weapon skins really fucks me off.

    I think sub-based games are only flawed as long as people aren’t willing to pay and I don’t think we are quite at that stage yet. If the game is good, I’m willing to pay.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. GrimRita

    EA tried and failed with Bad Company 1 to bring MTs to shooters. Anything that creates an environment of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in a shooter is a HUGE mistake – especially given todays economy.

    Adding MTs to customise items isnt bad as it wont have a direct impact on game play.

    I have to feel for CCP. They have really had a shit few months by biting off more than they can chew.

    One of the reasons why I play games like League of Legends is because its free to play and I do purchase Riot Points to improve my experience. But charging a monthly fee AND adding MTs is only something that Blizzard can get away with, but even they arent that stupid to allow it to impact game play.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DarkElfa

    When I played Champions, I had no problems paying for extra crap every now and then. I only stopped playing because the game was a one trick pony.

    They have a great MT system though.

    My feeling on MT in MMO’s is that there will always be room for both F2P and sub MMO’s. I’m not sure I’d be as interested in TOR if it was F2P.

    It always seems that when a game is F2P, they crap out on the story and go into mega drive on the MT items. Unless of course, they can sell you the Stories as well but then of course they want to sell them as piece meal as possible to maximize profit potential.

    Mark these words folks, F2P, will kill gaming. Not because the model doesn’t work, but because corporate greed will screw it up.

    The key phrase to the failure: MAXIMIZING PROFIT POTENTIAL.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Deacon

    Personally, I hate the idea of MT’s in-game.

    Industry analysts may have their own take, and they may well have the facts to back it up, but I detest the idea of only being able to acquire decent items / weapons / mounts by making a shitty in-game purchase.

    Like ViralShag said, if the game is good, people will pay a sub. I know I will.

    Don’t blame the business model if you’re not getting the subs you need to sustain your product. Simply make a better product.

    F2P has its place, and for casuals it’s great. I would never get involved in a game where it had the potential to suck a lot of my money from me down the line. I pay for the game, I get the game. All of it.
    (expansions aside of course)

    That’s just me !

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DarkElfa

    A well worked F2P game would allow you to get everything that MT’s offer through hard in-game work, with MT’s only offering a player the ability to skip some steps with cash.

    #5 3 years ago

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