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How much would/do you pay for Free to Play?

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Having this debate with some friends over the weekend and I really got stumped by how much I'd pay on a free-to-play game before I questioned myself. 

 

For example, I've played a lot of Hearthstone and whereas forking out for individual card pack is not something I've done, I've paid at least 2 x £50 for the launch packs of different seasons. I've had my money worth sure, and don't feel too bad about it although now I'm playing less and less, I'd be more reluctant (and in turn, haven't) to spend the same amount on the next lot. The value of £50 seems more now I'm playing it less, and/or are less happy with how the game has changed over time.

 

My preference on 'free to play' is more on there being a level playing field, and paying for cosmetics. I've always been of this mindset I think, however while playing a lot of Brawlhalla over the last week (free to play Smash Bros style fighting game just launched for free on PSN) there is no pay-to-win mechanic, and all the purchases are either for Legends (characters which you can buy for in game gold, earned by playing matches) or for skins, colours, podiums to show your end game pose off, taunts - all for real world money. That's ok I figure, the game is for free and if it were chargeable, I'd pay £15-£20 for it so surely I can just spend that on skins etc. Yet, looking at the pricing, in-game coins are £5 for 140, and each skin is between 80-200 coins. Skins for weapons are 40-60, taunts can be as much as 120. Something about the value of a skin for £5 doesn't sit quite right. In essence, it's a small price to pay to contribute to enjoyment of playing the game, but the 'value' of it seems too high.

 

I felt the same about DOTA and Heroes of the Storm before that changed. I played a bit of DOTA, went to drop some coin on a mount (that cool panda one!!!!! :/ ) and it wasn't cheap (c. £7 iirc). It felt like too much, but I'm getting the ENTIRE game for free. And I didn't blink over spending £100 on Hearthstone.

 

With Fortnite Battle Royal being very popular, as this surely charges for cosmetics down the line I'm going to have the same debate. I wouldn't hesitate to spend £25 on the game based on the fun I've had from it, but a new hat for £10 would rub me up the wrong way.


What's your view/approach on the styles of free to play and how much value you'd put on items, and what you'd pay? This isn't even getting into the whole "pay for more turns/energy/fuel" debate which is probably a third stance (and a horrible one).

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I always base it on how much I’m playing said game. If I’m putting 100s of hours into a free to play game, and my gaming time is being taken up by said game therefore I’m not spending money on other console games I don’t see much of a problem in spending real money to play the game I’m enjoying when I’d have wasted it on gaming anyway.....

 

That’s the way I justify it to myself anyway. 

 

That said if you added together how much I’ve spent over the years on Evony, WOW, DragonSoul, Simpson’s Tapped Out, WWE Supercard and gave me a figure, considering I no longer play any of the above, I’d probably top myself.

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I bought a founders pack for Fortnite and feel I have got my money’s worth. Tempted my a founders pack on Brawhalla  if it holds my attention.

 

Yet I couldn’t bring myself to spend on Hearthstone it the like as I feel I’d need to spend more and more to even begin to compete. I have a obsessive behaviour so would end up down a rabbit hole I’d struggle to escape from. 

 

Same with any game that requires me to buy packs to compete I suppose. 

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Pokemon Go is the only ftp title I've put money into.

I've put maybe £30, but that was mainly Google play credit earned through their survey app. I also bought a Go Plus.

 

I know people that have put hundreds into pogo, and still continue to put more in. 

 

As for console free to play stuff, I haven't played many, but those that I have, I've never put money into.

 

I think I'd be comfortable putting in around the amount I would spend on a retail title, but I guess is it was something I was really enjoying, if put in more.

 

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I bought the first 2 solo adventures on Hearthstone, and love that game to death (maybe a little less these days) but have never bought any card packs.

 

I think if a game is Free to Play, I'm unlikely to sink any money into it, and accept the limitations that come with that decision. I'll never be a rank 5 or above on HS, but my decks are fun to play, I'll win more than I lose, and I like trying the new stuff when it comes out.

 

I think a game would really have to hit a lot of my buttons to get me to pay out if it could be Free to Play. If the model bends too much towards needing to pay to have fun, then I'll be out. Hearthstone seems to have avoided this, though there have been times when it veered close. Stuff like the fire and frost festivals where gold wins doubled helped to pay for Arena runs for new expansion decks, this worked fine for me.

 

But for most of these games, I'm not the target market. I'm single player, long game focused. But Hearthstone is the first thing fired up on the computer in the morning with a cup of coffee to do my daily quest and maybe an Arena run. I used to play WoW and had zero issues paying for collectors editions and the sub, so I guess if a game grabs me enough I would pay for it, but I've not come across that yet.

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Between Hearthstone, TF2 and Overwatch I wouldn't be suprised if I'd speant a grand. They all gradually got greedier as they went along and now I don't enjoy spending money on any of them.

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Have spent around 80 euros on Warframe (PS4) since the PS4 launch and don't regret it. The game is fun (seriously, it's PSO on fast forward) and I've gotten more than my fair share of game time out of it. Will probably spend more on it in the future. Especially with Plains of Eidolon around the corner.

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I don't think I've ever really played a free to play game for any length of time, I find the whole market a bit overwhelming. There's all these games but I have no idea what they're worth or if the way they're structured is fair or cosmetic or pay to win bullshit and I always have tonnes of stuff to play so I just end up playing "traditional" games. I think if I enjoyed one I wouldn't mind putting a bit of cash into it, I've paid out £5 and £10 here and there to get my kids stuff in the free to play games they like, but I've no idea of the value there. I think regardless of how much I was enjoying it, if I was going to put money into something I'd want something it return that seemed worth it, and the OP example of £5 for a single skin sounds like exploitative bullshit, which I don't think I'd support.

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Loads on Marvel Puzzle Quest on my phone, but most has been through the Google Play rewards. Every few months I'll spend £15 IF I need to buy slots for new characters, but it's not often.

 

Other than that, probably £15 on Pokemon Go, and a couple of quid each on Knights of Valour, Battle Ages and Gems of War on my PS4.

 

Either way, I see it as if you get an hour for every £1 you spend on a game, that's decent value for money and as I play MPQ, Kov & GoW daily, I don't mind the odd outlay. 

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SWTOR has the worst F2P model out there has even been voted the worst

http://massivelyop.com/2016/12/16/massively-ops-best-of-2016-awards-worst-mmo-business-model-2016/

 

Saying that since Keith Kenneg took over though he's improving the F2P experience, he just added 3 expansions to the F2P part of the game.

 

 

The shit EA try to get away with in SWTOR is appalling for example you can pay £5 for an RNG box or pay £60 for the direct item, none of it is play to win all mostly cosmetic but when you pay a £9 sub a month you don't then expect a cash shop on top offering the coolest stuff ingame for hard cash. 

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Nothing.

ive been playing final fantasy brave exvious everyday for over a year now, and haven't spent a penny. I did consider spending a couple of quid once, as I have got a massive amount out of the game. But then you see people spending thousands and realise they don't really need my help. They're already making a fortune out of whales.

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€604.45 on CS:GO (gambling)

€106,90 on Warframe (potatoes)

€22 on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online (skins)

€12 on Duelyst (gambling)

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Probably around 40 quid on Warframe in the last couple of years. Grinded most of the things I've needed but bought the odd thing. It's shooty stabby crack. 

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I don't think it's ever been much over a fiver (and only that much on two or three games). I'll often spend two or three quid just as a token of appreciation if I'm enjoying the game - what I would have paid for a mobile game if they just charged from the off - but the stuff on offer rarely looks like good value for money, which is a big reason I don't spend much more. I.e., A decent item in the store is 500 diamonds which would cost me £40? I'll continue saving up my 10 free diamonds per day thanks!

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Nothing. The only F2P game I play gives out plenty of premium currency, and the “rewards” for spending it in the gambling box are generally shit, so I’ve never felt the need.

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Around £70 on Warframe between PS4 and PC,  most of that was Platinum picked up in sales for inventory space and boosters. More than happy with that as I really enjoy the game, it's my second most played game on Steam at 210hrs and PS4 is my main account. By some distance it's my most played PS4 game, so compared to a £40 new release which I'm happy to buy it's crazy value. Also it's a game that's gone through constant development and growth since I started, the next update is the biggest yet, so that money has gone towards improving the experience.

 

About £40 on Marvel Heroes, which is my most played game on Steam at 266hrs, so again pretty good value. I spent that money when they had discounts on the currency and a buy one get one free character sale, so I got a lot of content for my money. Doubt I'll need or want to spend any more on it, have plenty of characters to level now.

 

Recently bought my first gems for Guild Wars 2, £28 worth to pick up some of the story content I missed, character slots and some more inventory space in the recent sale. That's 3-4 months sub fees for an MMO I've played on and off since release in 2012,  which seems fair to me. It's given me character slots for all classes which was the main thing I've been wanting to buy. Probably a while before I spend any more on GW2, I often want to but find the prices are just too high especially when some things are per character.

 

I guess one key thing is these are all MMO like games and the purchases are usually things that add to the account rather than cosmetic items, which I've never really been interested in. Inventory space in Warframe means I can collect weapons and if I suddenly feel like using a gun that I've not touched in a while it's ready and waiting. Those GW2 character slots give me more options in the future.

 

I only really spend money in the sales, even if it's a game I'm getting many hours out of the value for a normal price purchase often doesn't seem worth it. I've never felt I needed to spend any money on these games, I'd racked up high playtimes before my first purchases.

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I’ve never bought any credits or packs on free to play games, in part out of principle though admittedly misguided as it’s no different from expansion packs which I’ll happily buy for paid games, part because it just felt like cheating and part because if I’m paying for something then I want the full price upfront and unlimited access.

 

Previously I would still play but just accept the limited time or score on each, maybe have a couple on the go to flick between, but as they’ve become monetized to the point that they’re next to impossible to play or you hit a point where you can’t progress any further I’ve almost entirely abandoned them for paid for games on iOS.

 

Farmville was a really good example of where you could play the game with or without packs, and Godus of game that you literally cannot get off the first island without doing so and which I would have bought a full version of if it was available but it wasn’t.

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13 hours ago, CovisGod said:

I always base it on how much I’m playing said game. If I’m putting 100s of hours into a free to play game, and my gaming time is being taken up by said game therefore I’m not spending money on other console games I don’t see much of a problem in spending real money to play the game I’m enjoying when I’d have wasted it on gaming anyway.....

 

That’s the way I justify it to myself anyway. 

 

That said if you added together how much I’ve spent over the years on Evony, WOW, DragonSoul, Simpson’s Tapped Out, WWE Supercard and gave me a figure, considering I no longer play any of the above, I’d probably top myself.

Good post.

 

In terms of the second statement though. You don't presumably feel so strongly about pints of beer you can no longer drink, fairground rides you have been on or traditional games you own or have owned and no longer play? 

 

I mean, spending money on entertainment is what it is. Unless you grossly overspent and didn't get enjoyment (which we have ALL done on trad video games and bad films), why is it a waste? 

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In answer to the OP: not much at all. I see @CovisGod's point about it staving off the need to buy full price console games, but I prefer my gaming when there is an end in sight, and story also plays a big part for me. So paying to continue indefinitely - no matter how good it is, really - doesn't appeal to me. I'd rather just pay my £20 (I'm wayyyy behind current releases, only just started Uncharted 4) and know that's that.

 

I've never been big on online multiplayer (bar PSO and a bit of Rocket League and FIFA) either which probably helps.

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I never have. I almost did on Titanfall Assault, but then then they started selling items that make your units more powerful and items that make your enemies units slower. I've started to get matched up against people using them more and more, and it's definitely turning into pay to win.

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I've bought some bits of Rocket League DLC to support the developers (I've played it for hundreds of hours and got it for free on PS+, so I feel I owe them something), but haven't bought any of their 'keys' since they introduced that system, as I fear it would be a slippery slope. I'll happily buy the Switch version even if I don't play it much, again to support the developers. At least I know I get something tangible for that.

 

I have a strong objection to full price games turning into 'pay to win' games. Loot boxes tied to this system are fucking awful, particularly when you can see how the game design is skewed with the P2W mechanics in mind. I was excited about Star Wars Battlefront 2, but the way the loot box system appears to work really puts me off it. Now I might not even buy the game. That was a guaranteed £50 for EA... I'm sure they'll earn way more off the whales than they would have from me, but even so, putting off your potential customers isn't a good move. Doubly so when you have to deliberately make your game worse to earn money another way.

 

I have no problem with full price games offering cosmetic items as DLC. If publishers have to do this to justify the budgets of AAA games, then fine, although I have to say that I question this calculation, as there are plenty of ways to reduce costs by more efficient planning, even before you start thinking about reducing the scope of certain bloated games or coming up with more effective means of marketing than blowing a blunt $100 million on advertising.

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Four figures easily on Puzzle & Dragons, but it's one of my favourite games of all time and I otherwise spend about £20 a year on games, so it's all good.

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11 hours ago, MrPogo said:

A decent item in the store is 500 diamonds which would cost me £40? I'll continue saving up my 10 free diamonds per day thanks!

 

Actually, if I’m playing a game and notice that kind of thing and it makes a massive difference I usually just stop playing. Even moreso if timers are involved too. I would rather pay for a game with none of that.

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1 hour ago, Nate Dogg III said:

Four figures easily on Puzzle & Dragons, but it's one of my favourite games of all time and I otherwise spend about £20 a year on games, so it's all good.

 

I'm not familiar with Puzzle & Dragons: what do you spend money on?

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5 minutes ago, Soi said:

 

I'm not familiar with Puzzle & Dragons: what do you spend money on?

 

A premium currency that you spend on the things you'd expect to spend it on – continues, stamina refreshes, inventory expansion etc – as well as an infuriating slot machine thing where you get new monsters from.

 

You absolutely don't have to spend money on it – it's the game footle's talking about upthread, that he's never spent a penny on – but I choose to because I love it so much and want it to keep going. It's over five years old and I've played it pretty much every day since it came out in the UK four or so years ago.

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Warframe is the one that comes to mind. Bought Frost Prime bundle years ago for 70 euro to show my support. Grand game.

Ow, how can I forget Fortnite. Went for the basic Early Access version for I believe 35 euro. Got my money's worth.

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I dropped £4.99 on Boom Beach as I'd played it every day for a year. Now I've dropped another fiver of my hard earned cash (the rest was Google Opinion Rewards cash) this year to maintain my push towards the UK top 50!

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