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Thread: New Scott Hartsman interview

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default New Scott Hartsman interview

    Forbes has a new interview up with him and he says free to play is the future of mmos.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielta...re-of-mmorpgs/

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    Plane Touched
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorel View Post
    Forbes has a new interview up with him and he says free to play is the future of mmos.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielta...re-of-mmorpgs/
    Hmm, when it was announced he was leaving people were spouting "Hartsman is leaving! Rift is going F2P now!!!!!" I honestly didn't think there was any correlation between Rift's business model and Hartsman leaving...but it COULD be said that Hartsman wanted Rift to go F2P but Trion didn't, and THAT was the difference of opinion that made him leave?

    Again, don't think Rift's business model had ANYTHING to do with him leaving, but if we want to play the "ohh Rift's going to die, Hartsman saw it and left" then maybe it's actually the opposite of what people thought it was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smartazjb0y View Post
    Hmm, when it was announced he was leaving people were spouting "Hartsman is leaving! Rift is going F2P now!!!!!" I honestly didn't think there was any correlation between Rift's business model and Hartsman leaving...but it COULD be said that Hartsman wanted Rift to go F2P but Trion didn't, and THAT was the difference of opinion that made him leave?

    Again, don't think Rift's business model had ANYTHING to do with him leaving, but if we want to play the "ohh Rift's going to die, Hartsman saw it and left" then maybe it's actually the opposite of what people thought it was.
    I always thought Hartsman was well against free to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbs View Post
    I always thought Hartsman was well against free to play.
    Oops.

    I honestly wouldn't mind if RIFT had a free to play option. Or buy to play or whatever. As long as they kept the ability to have a subscription model without having to double dip into a cash shop to get things even your sub wont cover.
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    Ascendant Charlice's Avatar
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    Colour me shocked. Another thread full of speculation and cabbages.


    Den of Madness | Greybriar | Den of Badness | Derpwood

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    Plane Touched
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbs View Post
    I always thought Hartsman was well against free to play.
    That's what I, and everyone else, thought because he was very in favor of subs when Rift came out. But, the market HAS changed a bunch since 2011 so it's entirely possible (and that seems to be the case) that he changed his mind.

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    Champion Taxt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorel View Post
    Forbes has a new interview up with him and he says free to play is the future of mmos.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielta...re-of-mmorpgs/
    “With the first-generation MMORPGs players used these games to make friends. Now players are bringing all of their friends from game to game, and they all have different amounts that they’re willing to pay,” says Hartsman. “So players that have all the hours but don’t want to spend money they’ve got a spot, and the players that don’t play as much and just want to pay for perks, they have a spot too. It’s all about finding business models that serve larger numbers in a fair way.”
    Scott Hartsman

    Well what about the players that have all the hours and want to pay for all the content and not some pay to win crap?

    I really hope Rift isnt coming to F2P that will destroy this game in every way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smartazjb0y View Post
    Hmm, when it was announced he was leaving people were spouting "Hartsman is leaving! Rift is going F2P now!!!!!" I honestly didn't think there was any correlation between Rift's business model and Hartsman leaving...but it COULD be said that Hartsman wanted Rift to go F2P but Trion didn't, and THAT was the difference of opinion that made him leave?

    Again, don't think Rift's business model had ANYTHING to do with him leaving, but if we want to play the "ohh Rift's going to die, Hartsman saw it and left" then maybe it's actually the opposite of what people thought it was.
    You were obviously reading a different article. He wasn't even talking about Rift. And the issue of Free 2 Play is one that is well understood in gaming circles, but the guy just pointed out the reasoning for it. Whether he believed this to be a form that Rift should take is not discussed in the article. And why do you jump to a conclusion that from this he 'up'd' sticks and buggered off cus he thought the game was screwed. Or maybe that's in truth what you fear.

    Personally I think the majority of the developers of this game are all at fault in not fulfilling their primary objective of maintaining persistent world events across all zones and levels. The blood rush of mass events just died after River of Souls and they never returned to it. And the formula of bashing 'nodes' in a map as a mechanism for generating world event currencies has just gotten so stale. And yet after two years we still have this nonsense. For anyone that knows how the game was first promoted and enjoyed the first few months you really do have to ask, who was it at Trion that crapped out first in respect of their original concepts ?

    And sadly I believe the game will have to go Free 2 Play. Otherwise the game is screwed. Sad really, there are a number of aspects of the game that really could have been very successful. But with the loss of the first 'M' it really isn't going to work for Trion, and SL did not invigorate the game sufficiently. They should have focussed on less map area and more quality and then added more zones as the population grew. Unfortuantely you now have two massive map areas devoid of players and the game consequently looks and feels very empty to new players and I guess they are not going to stay.

    And again... if they had managed to maintain their original concepts of cross zone true world events they could have bonded a community of players who would have enjoyed replaying all the levels just for the joy that mass invasions gave. Most coming to the game will never enjoy the spectacle of mass events as we did in those first few months. And sorry, but Trion have only themselves to blame and that includes SH.

  9. #9
    Champion of Telara Methadras's Avatar
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    I came into this thread looking for something meaningful and once again I'm left disappointed.

    /10char

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    Plane Walker Diarch's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, then.

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    Rift Master Salamol's Avatar
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    There is a big problem with MMOs that intend to give continued support and updates (specifically new "free" content) - It costs a lot of money. It's not fair to compare a game like Rift to LoL... while both could be seen as equally entertaining, Rift (and other MMOs) offers a large variety of things to do and looks fantastic at the same time. It's not a game you can create and give away for free, just in case it isn't a success.

    I think the B2P option is the safest and currently the best for MMOs of the future, with a non-invasive, non-P2W cash shop like GW2. The biggest thing for me regarding the cash shop in GW2 is that I can buy anything in there with in-game gold too... so as Scott mentions, those that have more time to play don't feel they have to spend real money, and those that have less time can put down a little extra money and not feel they're left out.

    After playing a few subscription based MMOs over the past 5 years, I was certain that no game without sub fees could match the pace of content that sub based games do. But games like GW2 ARE doing it... and growing ever more popular. Sub fees create a barrier to people returning, and in my eyes, creates a higher standard to which I expect the game to be over the free alternatives. The moment a free alternative overtakes a subscription game in terms of development, it's very easy to leave, but requires a financial commitment to return.

  12. #12
    Ascendant Galibier's Avatar
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    Saying Hartsman called f2p the future is a bit of a misunderstanding....

    Subscription models aren’t going away, but the fact is we’ve hit the cap on players looking to embrace the subscription model and free-to-play models have really opened up doors to a new audience.
    This is actually perfectly in line with what SH and Lars Buttler have been saying from the beginning. In various interviews both have said (summarized)

    "Different games work best with different financial models."

    So for that player who sees MMO's as a hobby, they enjoy the journey, the questing, the sense of achievement = progression = reward the subscription model works. For the player who is more console experienced based... start game, charge ahead , more instant gratification (a larger segment to be sure) f2p is the way to go. This is why End of nations and Defiance are f2p. The RTS and fps markets would not really do well with a subscription model. On the other hand a more progression based MMO works with it. Different game models involve different financial models.

    It's no different than my other hobby, cycling, and price points, when you look at it. Now you have the "family" cyclist. They go out in nice warm weather with the kids on weekends. Hybrid/comfort bikes you can get at a regular sporting goods store for a couple hundred dollars. This works and makes money. You then can work your way up the chain until you reach people like me who spend twice that amount on the helmet, spandex and shoes they put on and the bike cost as much as a 650cc motorcycle. My current bike if I broke it down to USA MSRP (I got some killer deals importing grey market from the EU...no VAT) would be ~7 grand. This works and makes money too. Simply because there are fewer spandex warriors like me than family weekend riders does not mean the spandex warrior market is going away.

    People need to stop applying the strict lines players are falling on and be a businessman because that is what Hartsman and Buttler are. All Hartsman is saying is "The subscription model is a good model that will make money but f2p coming into it's own has opened up a NEW market to ALSO make money on."

    For some reason though players need one to be "right" and one to be "wrong." For them as a player this may be true but that is where the concept stops.
    Last edited by Galibier; 03-05-2013 at 03:39 PM.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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    Rift Master Salamol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galibier View Post
    Saying Hartsman called f2p the future is a bit of a misunderstanding....



    This is actually perfectly in line with what SH and Lars Buttler have been saying from the beginning. In various interviews both have said (summarized)

    "Different games work best with different financial models."

    So for that player who sees MMO's as a hobby, they enjoy the journey, the questing, the sense of achievement = progression = reward the subscription model works. For the player who is more console experienced based... start game, charge ahead , more instant gratification (a larger segment to be sure) f2p is the way to go. This is why End of nations and Defiance are f2p. The RTS and fps markets would not really do well with a subscription model. On the other hand a more progression based MMO works with it. Different game models involve different financial models.

    It's no different than my other hobby, cycling, and price points, when you look at it. Now you have the "family" cyclist. They go out in nice warm weather with the kids on weekends. Hybrid/comfort bikes you can get at a regular sporting goods store for a couple hundred dollars. This works and makes money. You then can work your way up the chain until you reach people like me who spend twice that amount on the helmet, spandex and shoes they put on and the bike cost as much as a 650cc motorcycle. My current bike if I broke it down to USA MSRP (I got some killer deals importing grey market from the EU...no VAT) would be ~7 grand. This works and makes money too. Simply because there are fewer spandex warriors like me than family weekend riders does not mean the spandex warrior market is going away.

    People need to stop applying the strict lines players are falling on and be a businessman because that is what Hartsman and Buttler are. All Hartsman is saying is "The subscription model is a good model that will make money but f2p coming into it's own has opened up a NEW market to ALSO make money on."

    For some reason though players need one to be "right" and one to be "wrong." For them as a player this may be true but that is where the concept stops.
    I see what you are saying... but, to use your analogy, your bike factories are not getting more expensive. If there are a finite number of spandex warriors, and top quality bikes DID cost more to make, they have to pass that cost on to the customer OR make lower quality bikes.

  14. #14
    Ascendant Galibier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salamol View Post
    I see what you are saying... but, to use your analogy, your bike factories are not getting more expensive. If there are a finite number of spandex warriors, and top quality bikes DID cost more to make, they have to pass that cost on to the customer OR make lower quality bikes.
    Actually they are getting more expensive. Each time you redesign a carbon fiber bike means hundreds of thousands at least in new molds. If you are upgrading the modulous of CF u use another increase.

    What many of the companies do is simply diversify. Trek is a perfect example. They make the high end pro race bikes of their Madone and Domane lines BUT also make the bikes for the lower levels as well. The margins at times are lower on the high end stuff BUT you do it because without that AAA product splash in the media your lower production cost gets lost in the shuffle.

    Heck I spoke with one of their R&D peeps the other day about their new Downhill MTB. He specifically stated they would NEVER makr back the R&D investment on the bike and that the cost was spread out over the rest of their lines. This was a planned in advanced at a loss project.

    When you deal with a company that makes multiple products it is not always as simple as saying each individual product needs to make it's own way out of the gate. You spread the costs around, for various reasons. Now with subscription based games you have to also remember a different dynamic. A subscription based game typically brings in a steadier income AND a higher income per person (do some digging on the f2p 89/10/1 rule). So as Scott said the f2p market is now a more than viable market there is no reason whatsoever to suspect subscription based games are going anywhere. The Sub based game will simply become seen more openly as what it always was... a true enthusiasts game and the f2p will be for the more casual gamer.


    This actually isn't new btw. Its even been covered in the main stream business media for the last 4-5 years.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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