So I wasn’t going to do this because I don’t really care and I’m more just basking in TU9 hype at the moment, but I’ve been getting a little upset about how these F2P threads are handled by the community.
When I see a post that says “F2P won’t work, we debated and it’s been settled,” I find it insulting. If I have a well established background in sales and marketing and I can’t say with any level of certainty whether it will or will not work, then I doubt the issue to be so cut and dry in either direction.
I also see the argument that this has been debated extensively and all that can be said or should be said has been said. I find this to be insulting as well. Conversations can go on forever, new things are being added frequently to aid the argument for both sides, and on the eve of TU9 the conversation could not be more relevant and more dynamic than it has in the past.
The last real thread on the forums was from October. That’s before The Ultimate Edition, before the completion of T5 or the variants, before Thunderchild and the official mention of ‘long term plans for evolve,’ before the announcement of a new TRS IP and the implications it could have on Evolve moving forward, and more importantly, before TU9 was a twinkle in TRS’ eye. You can not tell me that everything that can be said has been said, and if you do, you’re wrong.
I am not insulting Evolve or saying that it should have been F2P from the onset. I was right there with you guys fighting for Evolve’s $60 price tag, and am personally responsible for six other people having paid $60 for this game. I love this game and will support it until I or it dies.
I am not saying that F2P is the only option, I am not saying that it is the best option, I am not saying that it is guaranteed to work. I can, however, guarantee that it is not guaranteed that it will not work. It pains me that people with talking power on the forums would say things like ‘F2P won’t work, let’s move on.’ I’m probably the leading voice for the F2P argument at this point and even I’m not speaking so certainly, so do everyone a favor and keep an open mind.
I’m the most civil mother fucker I know.
THE ACTUAL ARGUMENTS
I can buy Evolve for less than $20. All of Evolve. The ultimate edition, on amazon, for less than $20. Gamestop would be $34, but I’ve seen it cheaper. That is the asking price for all of Evolve’s paid DLC from the two largest retailers. The base game is practically free already, which is why I find it so bizarre that people would write off Evolve F2P when it seems like it’s been moving in that direction since November.
Now we can talk all day about feeding TRS employees, that Evolve doesn’t work F2P, that TRS needs steady income to maintain shop. Well, then make the game F2P.
36 million potential install base on PS4, 18 million potential install base on XB1, god knows how many on PC. If the game is free and open to the market, and I’m advocating to make the base game free by the way, not the first tier, all three tiers F2P, if the game is free and open to the market that is access to 50+ million on consoles alone. (I’m choosing not to factor in PS+, Xbox gold members, and people who already own evolve…sue me) Then we have the individual characters starting to sell. Nobody cares about hopping on amazon to get it all for cheap, they care about what they know and what they already have. Now some people are buying the ultimate edition, good for them, ok, that’s the best case scenario for not making the game F2P in the first place. Now skins are selling, boy oh boy. White whale consumers, bought lennox, bought jack, said fuck it bought the rest the most expensive way possible.
Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s that you’re increasing the playerbase, which is a certainty, and you’re opening up sales of either more expensive DLC, or they might buy what they already could have bought, but didn’t buy eight months ago.
Now let’s talk about advertisements. Maybe 2K dumps thousands of dollars into a marketing campaign, maybe a free weekend gets people talking again, maybe TU9 alone is enough…wouldn’t that be swell. OR…maybe you go the donald trump route. Spend little money in retooling the game to fit common F2P trends, and now people are advertising the game for you. Completely word of mouth. Let’s Plays start happening, readjustments of what was already popular opinion etc. etc. Word of mouth is LITERALLY marketing 101.
You show me how it wouldn’t work, and I’ll show you a negative nancy.
I’m not trying to start a flame war, and I will not respect hostility on either side of the aisle.
@Deity_Pharaoh i would be interested in hearing why you don’t think it’s feasible, more because of what I said in my post that it seems to be moving in that direction, many signs point towards it, and if not then the base game price would cap at $10 which is already low given the game is less than a year and a half old
I think Evolve CAN go F2P if done correctly. I think 17 months is plenty of time where you aren’t going to piss people off. Is it a little unorthodox to try? Sure! Titanfall just made the game stupid cheap and gave all the DLC away for practically nothing and it worked for them. That may not work for Evolve.
F2P for Evolve could be awesome, but you cannot just copy and paste a way to get it done right. If they take little bits and pieces from the way other games have done F2P or like BattleBorn/Halo/Overwatch/R6 and custom fit it for Evolve it could work. I think there are a couple of points that can be addressed in a way that would make this work.
Before people had a hard time justifying Evolves value. 12 Hunters and 3 Monsters would be tough to sell at $60. It would also be tough to do a LOL style rotation system since there weren’t may options to begin with. Now there are 20 Hunters and 5 Monsters PLUS Variants. Assuming they do that for all characters you are looking at 40 Hunters and 10 Monsters, much better numbers to work with if that’s how they want to handle it.
Another option is just straight up Grinding. Play to progress through the characters and unlock them all. Start with T1 and work your way up. They could possibly add micros to speed things up or do like BattleBorn have certain requirements to unlock certain characters.
A third option could be adding a currency system to the game. This would probably be the least likely since the game has gone this long without it and be perceived as potentially money grabbing, especially if you can do like R6 Siege and bypass it by paying money.
Handling the OG Backlash
You also have to consider how they would handle the OG’s that bought the game. Some people wouldn’t want F2P at all and most would want some kind of Compensation. What could they give us? Skins? Easy progression through the new system? A Star Sticker? These are all things they have to consider. There may be people who are pissed they spent $X.xx on a game when they could have played for free (or little cost). Personally I got my money’s worth but I know people like to complain.
And if they were to add a currency system like BattleBorn or R6 how would that play into things like the Skins they have for sale now? Would there be options? What if I bought a skin with money months ago I could have grinded for now?
Now games going F2P is nothing new, you see it a lot in MMOs, but to have a game like Evolve do it would be pretty unorthodox. Again, I don’t think it’s impossible, but it would be strange, especially on console. I know Elder Scrolls Online did it, but I don’t remember if it switched over to that model before the Console Release. I’m sure it would also require different thing on Sony and MS as well. I think it’d be easiest to pull off if the game was a PC exclusive.
Also such prestigious sites like Kotaku/Gamasutra/ect would accurately portray what’s going on, right? Nevermind the Steam Forums, the unholy place that it is! I’m only half serious there but still it’s something to consider. People might over-react.
I’m sure what I’m about to say may Rustle some Jimmies and leave some Booties Blasted, but personally I think going F2P wouldn’t be a bad idea. You have almost nothing to lose with the 17 month old game and if it succeeds people will play the game that we all enjoy new and improved. Are there hurdles? Absolutely, however I’m confident IF Evolve were to go F2P, now, next month or next year that if done correctly it would make the game skyrocket in popularity again.
At the end of the day, there are 90 people working on the game. Each of them needs money to you know, put food on the table.
If Evolve was to go free to play, there would need to be so many cosmetics and new hunters to the point that they can make an income.
Take TF2 for example. In 2013, TF2 made 139 million dollars just on cosmetics itself. Even Gabe said that they were swimming in cash.
So if we were to go F2P, we need a good 300 more cosmetics in order to keep everyone at TRS with money in their wallets. Perhaps open a workshop for people to put in their own cosmetics? Though that idea has been shot down many a time…
Not necessarily. They are working on a new IP so I don’t think they need to worry hopefully they keep the money coming in for that!. Plus the game has been out so long they can crank out skins (still work but not as intensive as new characters) and hopefully make good money back!
My piece is a little more unorthodox. Just make the game free. Don’t waste time on extraneous code, just lower the cost. People can be pessimistic, but the game is sure to attract a lot more positive publicity given the value and the variants. Food for thought.
also, @Parham I think that’s a fair point, and they definitely should add skins if they ever did go F2P, but at this point having a free game may open revenue opportunities given that the ultimate addition can be bought for so cheap. I think if they capitalize on skins and variants as cheap and easy DLC to add, then the sales of existing DLC characters could fund a T6, more skins, more variants, and we fall into a self sustaining cycle.
Because majority of the forum community are sick and tired of seeing them pop up. Since people get sick of these topics, they get very salty.
It’s not a black-or-white decision. The fact of the matter is that the cons outweigh the pros. You’re in marketing, right? Do marketing schemes go for the biggest and brightest ideas for advertisements? No, 98% of them no not. Look at Sports Authority. I live in Colorado where a football stadium name was bough by Sports Authority. They decided to pay to put their name on that field and now a few years later, they are going out of business.
And the F2P conversation should end. Just because a point that was brought up in the past does not make it any less relevant to the discussion, unless proven false. I have yet to see anyone disprove the points made against F2P.
No no no no. I have come across many threads talking about how Evolve should go F2P.
You completely missed why people said F2P is bad. NOT because everyone loves the game, but because the F2P market decision will not work on all games. Why hasn’t the whole game industry converted to F2P? Because it does not work like people thing it does.
Yeah, in your opinion. I have solid facts on why it’s not the best option. Everyone who preeches F2P has yet to provide any facts other than “LoL and Smite do it.”
Am I suppose to care?
I can buy cars for under $5000. The thing is that the seller provides the price point, not the buyers. Sure, the overall rarity of the car and factors like maintenance go into the price, but buyers cannot demand to lower the price by a large margin.
TRS needs food = selling Evolve
TRS needs food =/= making the game become F2P.
HAHAHAHA… Where are you getting these numbers from? Pulling them out of air it seems?
But it’s whether or not the “36 million potential install base on PS4, 18 million potential install base on XB1, god knows how many on PC” as you put it will actually want to stay on the game. PC playerbase peaks under 300 players now, do you really thing 30 or so million PC copies sold would end up at 300 current players at least on PC?
TRS/2K has made some for TU9. Enough said but…
Heh, no. If you are a person in marketing do you really think that ads and marketing costs $1000? You’re looking at:
Paying people to make the ads
Make sure they are legal
Advertise on selected platforms.
No $1000 will cover that.
Just wait till the bottom of my post…
By you bringing up F2P you are bringing in the hostility whether or not you want it.
Now lets get into the good stuff.
TRS is a business with many employees. Here is a complete picture of the staff:
It’s late and I don’t want to count all of the people, so lets say there are 40 people at TRS (40 is a very generous number).
These people need to pay bills, rent, food, blah blah blah. Lets say their salary is $60,000.
Lets say 90,000 players bought Evolve across all platforms.
Lets make T1 Free, and all the others are now DLC, exception to the variants who come in their respective DLC packs (So T1 variants are also free, but T2 variants come in T2 DLC).
So now we have the DLC facts: T1 = Free
T2 = DLC
T3 = DLC
T4 = DLC
T5 = DLC
Alrighty, so now we have to give out decent prices to those DLC: T1 = Free
T2 = $20
T3 = $20
T4 = $30
T5 = #30
T4 & 5 are $30 because they came after the game’s release.
Now that DLC prices are covered, it’s time to distribute the 90,000 players who bought Evolve. Lets say 1/3 of the playerbase decided to stay and become dedicated to the game. Now you have 30,000 players still playing the game. Now not all of those players will by the DLC content, so lets cut that in 1/3rds again, so now we have 10,000 players who bought DLC. Lets distribute those 10,000 players among the DLC:
T1 = Free
T2 = 3,000 players bought this pack (Laz can resurrect dead players so the appeal will be high)
T3 = 2,000 players bought this pack (Wraith is broken, or at least most people think so)
T4 = 2,500 players bought this pack (The unbalanced persona around the hunters makes people desire the OP characters by launch standards)
T5 = 2,500 players bought this pack (The slow release of the characters frustrated some people, but the characters are overall good and unique)
SO by simple math, TRS would have raised:
T1 = $0
T2 = $60,000
T3 = $40,000
T4 = $75,000
T5 = $75,000
Total = $250,000
NOW Evolve also has skins that can be purchased. Lets say there are 60 skins and packs of skins to be sold. Each tier gets 12 skins, 2 for each hunter and 4 for monster in a pack.
Now skins in Evolve aren’t rare and hold no value like CS:GO skins do, so they aren’t desirable. Lets say a good 6,000 players wanted to buy skins for their characters that they recently bought (DLC characters).
T1 = 2,000 players bought this pack (Since T1 is free, the skins are worth buying instead of DLC packs + skins for them)
T2 = 1,000 players bought this pack
T3 = 1,000 players bought this pack
T4 = 1,000 players bought this pack
T5 = 1,000 players bought this pack
Now more math:
T1 = $30,000
T2 = $15,000
T3 = $15,000
T4 = $15,000
T5 = $15,000
Total = $90,000
SO NOW in the overall bank of TRS. There is the $250,000 from DLC characters + $90,000 from skins, so you now have a total of $340,000. Oh, and since the game didn’t start out F2P, lets say all 90,000 players bought Evolve for the $60 AAA price tag, so TRS made $5,400,000 just off selling the game alone. Now add in the $340,000 to get $5,740,000 as the grand total of everything combined.
Now lets start paying those hard TRS workers. 40 of them are said to be in the picture, according to my guess.
40 people at $60,000 salaries equates to $2,400,000 total salary.
$5,740,000 - $2,400,000 = $3,340,000 left after the game has been released for 1 year. Now lets say Evolve has been in development for a year before that (Evolve has been a multi-year project and by no means does 1 year of development represent the game) so now we subtract another year’s salary from the total budget.
$3,340,000 - $2,400,000 = $940,000 left. Now TRS has to rent an office space, pay bills, pay for the ads for the game, and the equipment used for making Evolve. Allocate that last $940,000 for that last bit.
Now Evolve is F2P and is on it’s second year since release. The $60 tag has dropped off, and TRS is just making money off DLC and skins. Lets double the amount of skins sold, so now TRS has made $680,000 of selling T2-T5 characters and T1-T5 skins. Now lets say They added 2 more tiers of characters and doubled the amount of skins. The T6 and 7 characters sell for #35 each. 4,000 players buy those 2 DLC packs, so $140,000 has been made off those. Now add 2 skins for each hunter and 4 skins for each monster and keep the price at $15. Lets say those 4,000 players buy those skins to go along with their new tiers of DLC. $60,000 was made off those skins, so now lets add everything up.
Well since Evolve is on it’s 2nd year after release, those 40 people need to be paid, but TRS only earned $880,000 that year. That means only 14 people can get completely paid, and the leftover money needs to go to office rent, taxes, bills, equipment.
If TRS can’t live off the DLC and skins for 1 year just for 40 people, what will it look like with 90 people? What happens if they don’t regularly pump out new buyable skins?
By no means should my example be taken as how TRS actually works, but it shows that TRS can’t live off selling DLC.
Evolve should not be compared to other F2P games because of how diverse Evolve is from any other game. Just because F2P works on other games, does not mean Evolve can suddenly switch to F2P.
Even if Evolve did switch to F2P, those players won’t stay because of toxic mechanics that can cause frustration and will lead to then quitting. Other F2P games have hooks that keep players interested in the game. Evolve cannot keep a steady playerbase, and making it F2P will not solve that problem. Sure, it will constantly bring in new players, but they won’t stay and buy DLC and invest in the game.
I’m tired now, and it’s 2 am where I am, I’m going to bed…
F2P is bad because TRS cannot pay staff off DLC alone with how complex it is to create said DLC. They also have to pay a lot of employees, pay back publisher fees, etc.
F2P works on simple games like LoL, but Evolve is much too complex for F2P.
If F2P is a golden idea, then why hasn’t the gaming industry used it as it’s primary marketing tactic? Because it’s bad for most AAA titles, and Evolve was a AAA title.
I also think this post is the longest post I’ve seen.