hacking towards release
We've endured two delays to get here, but Watch_Dogs is finally within release sights, and ahead of that event we go hands-on with the latest build. Read on for our full thoughts!
inquisitive minds
AusGamers managed to catch-up with BioWare's Cameron Lee, an Aussie expat who serves as a producer on Dragon Age: Inquisition. Check out our full interview!
oracle of ages
Batman: Arkham Knight is set to be Rocksteady's final in the Arkham series, so it's fitting that it's just so damn big. And Batmobiles. Nuff said. Click for more!
to the moon, athena
We caught up with 2K Australia and Randy Pitchford to discuss Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and why Australia is making an impact on the moon. Click for more!
Post by Dan @ 12:42pm 11/02/13 | 19 Comments
Crytek, the German-based developer of the Crysis games and CryEngine technology is looking to free-to-play business models for their future games, according to a recent interview with founder and CEO Cevat Yerli at Venturebeat (via GI.Biz):
"We decided five or six years ago that we want to marry the quality of triple-A games with the business model of free-to-play," Yerli told GamesBeat. "And at that time, we decided some other games, in some of our other studios, would head in this direction. But we kept pushing the quality bar higher on our console business, which is the main dominating business for the Western world, but we are observing, plainly - and we see this already with Warface - that the free-to-play market is on the rise. I think over the next two to three years, free-to-play is going to rival retail with quality games like Warface."

Crytek's current efforts are in the PC market, but Yerli said that the company is looking to bring the same ethic to consoles.

"We're looking at free-to-play as a force that drives our growth and world-domination plans," said Yerli. "So we have quite a few console titles in our pipeline that are [traditional retail games] while we investigate free-to-play on consoles. But our primary goal is to make triple-A free-to-play games for the world market and transition entirely to that."
Crytek has been testing the free-to-play waters with Warface, which has already found success in Eastern Europe, and plans to build on the GFace technology and license it to third parties for use in their own free-to-play titles.
"As a company, [we will] transition from a developer to a service company, and we're going to offer a platform, with G-Face, to any other [developer that needs it]," he said. "If we could launch our games on a platform that already exists today, and we could get the same results, then we wouldn't build our own platform. But we're convinced that our platform does some particularly new things that makes our games behave better. That's why we plan to offer this service to third parties."

"This doesn't mean our main business will be driven by our platform business. We are just going to open it up and see how it works. We are always going to be a games-first company. We will always have our own development because we are all about making games. We provide technology, but technology is not our main driver. We make technology to make great games," added Yerli.
Crytek's Crysis 3 is due to launch on February 22nd for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, under the traditional pay-once publishing model via Electronic Arts.












Latest Comments
badfunkstripe
Posted 01:18pm 11/2/13
Honestly, I am always a bit confused when I see 'free to play.' What does this mean?

It clearly can't just be downloading a game for free and it's like Black Ops 2 but didn't cost me anything.

Is it a base game that's free, but you have to pay for unlocks and equipment? So essentially pay to win? As you'd only buy things if it'd make you do better in the game.

Is it ad supported?

Or what?

The only free to play games I play are generally ad supported ones on face book or my phone. They are worlds apart from a game which cost 10s millions to produce. Which are the ones i buy.


As a big PC FPS fan, I don't want this. I am fine buying games. I am unsure what this is, but I can't necessarily see how it'll be good. Especially in Australia. Even a lot of big FPS games don't last too long with hugely populated servers. However one thing that often keeps people coming back is the fact they bought the game, they're going to give the MP more than a once off shot.

If it's all free to play, when you jump on and a bunch of people have a bunch of paid for weapons and you're on an uneven playing field. Why would you come back to the game again? Didn't cost you anything, there's no attempt to get some value out of it.

In fact most games when you first jump on there's a learning curve. However having just paid 80 bucks for a game is a good motivator to give it a shot and push through that barrier. It'll be so easy to excuse not being good if you suspect or know it's possible those people killing you have paid for better weapons.

As I said above the whole notion that it's not pay to win completely removes any need to buy to unlock stuff. So it has to be that way, doesn't it?



Then the other big thing about free to play is where does it leave single player campaigns? We all know of the dreaded scenario happening where you're playing a game and then have to pay to finish it.

As I said, I find the whole thing vague and ambiguous as to what such free to play models actually are about.
carson
Posted 02:07pm 11/2/13
Maybe they'll go the route of Valve and make it support hats. Dota2 was the first F2P game that got it right for me. Having everything that makes the game competitive and fun free for everyone and just releasing the cosmetics as the pay 2 play stuff. When they first came out I didn't think I would ever fork out money, and now I've spent probably around $70-100 on various items in the game.

Path of Exile is another game that's doing a similar thing with cosmetics. So we could see that happen. But these are multiplayer games where you can show off your swag to other players. I don't know how that would transfer to single player games, or if it even could.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 02:13pm 11/2/13
The commuity in general accepts Pay-to-Look and shuns pay-to-win. As a developer looking to make a quality free-to-play game you would be crazy to have form of pay-to-win. Paying for cosmetic items are the way to go.

Dota2 has indeed done an excellent job, I do hope they are profiting from their model.
glynd
Posted 02:15pm 11/2/13
badfunk, try Planetside 2, Tribes or Blacklight: Retribution. It can easily be done, it's just all down to getting that ratio right. The best model is for things like cosmetics. LoL also does it right. I've thrown money here and there just because I think they've earned my coin.

What crytek need to worry about is getting their MP down pat first.
skythra
Posted 02:17pm 11/2/13
What's wrong with quake live? It's f2p but with benefits for paying sums of money?

Hardly feels like pay to win.
Trauma
Posted 02:31pm 11/2/13
I swear they said this ages ago.
Eorl
Posted 03:12pm 11/2/13
From my experience when a developer is talking about the free-to-play genre, it's usually a game that offers the base version/access for free, with additional payments or premium choices to boot.

Take for example League of Legends, a game that is free-to-play with anyone able to make an account and start playing straight away. You are given access to I think seven free champions that are rotated weekly/bi-weekly with all champions on offer for additional unlock payments. These can be done via in-game points called IP, or Riot Points which are actual dollars spent to gain. The balance here is that everyone can eventually own all heroes just by playing the game, however a shortcut method is introduced for those with cash.

Then you have several other varying free-to-play niches, like the pay-to-win which offers substantially better items to those who fess up the cash. However the majority of the free-to-play genre offers the base game for free, with additional payments on offer that can enhance/speed up a process.

I can definitely see why Crytek are transitioning to this new payment method, namely the idea that your game will be accessible to anyone and hopefully draw in paying customers through various methods. It is also a nod to the change in the gaming industry with regards to subscription models. Really the only strong subscription model still going is World of Warcraft, and that might be purely due to the large playerbase.
demon
Posted 03:15pm 11/2/13
hook the suckers in with a free sample to get them hooked & then jack up the price!
same deal as drug dealers & cookie shops.
qmass
Posted 05:01pm 11/2/13
Crytek should be in the business of free2develop engines because you actually need a game lots of people play for a long time to make free2play work, as the developer.

Crytek have shown they can't make 'AAA' (dunno why anyone would be proud of making less engaging experiences for multiple times the money spent than many indie developers) multiplayer games. They struggle to make strong single player games - hitting and missing in equal amounts what their players actually like about their games.

So it sounds like they know they can make the technology to support free2play developers and farming the development out (and continuing to do what they do well - engineering) isn't a bad idea. It would be cool if they made the tools free and then acted as publisher for games made on their tech but I cant see that happening. Cutting out EA would be the best outcome from a move like this.

of course, they probably just want in on the kind of money some free2play games make and will continue to waste time making games instead of making technology.

LoL also does it right.
I disagree fundamentally with what they do but I cannot deny that they are extremely successful. They charge for champions which fractures the balance unless you are willing to buy all the champions, plus their RPG backend further screws with balance.
Eorl
Posted 05:06pm 11/2/13
Not necessarily qmass, I mean sure you can just buy the champions outright with Riot Points but it isn't needed. I'd highly suggest actually playing the game with the free champs and learning the game, while accumulating IP and buying them through that way. You can easily buy all champs and runes with the IP made from getting to level 30.

Though that is the thing, a free-to-play title needs that balance in order to succeed, else it is just a pure money grab.
skythra
Posted 05:13pm 11/2/13
The thing that i wonder about F2P games is there's got to be a saturation point. Once there are too many F2P games and players are spoiled for choice why would they invest in many of them? I buy many games a year but i probably only finish half of those. These in a F2P world would never see a dollar from me as I wouldn't buy skins or accessories or novelties. Instead i'd start the next F2P game to enjoy a new world.

I think that a few F2P games is good, especially in competitive settings where people lock into one game that they want to get good at, and people can come in to compete for free, opening the game to many players. But there's obviously other kinds of games like third person action/adventure style (story driven) games where I'm never going to spend a cent outside of playing as much of the story as im enjoying and then dropping it when i find something new and exciting.
ravn0s
Posted 05:13pm 11/2/13
Dota2 has indeed done an excellent job, I do hope they are profiting from their model.


if not, they're making plenty from tf2. gabe recently said that a community contributor has made $500k from getting their models in game. and that's after valve took their cut.
carson
Posted 06:14pm 11/2/13
Not necessarily qmass, I mean sure you can just buy the champions outright with Riot Points but it isn't needed. I'd highly suggest actually playing the game with the free champs and learning the game, while accumulating IP and buying them through that way. You can easily buy all champs and runes with the IP made from getting to level 30.

And how many hours do you need to play in order to unlock all the heroes? Given that it's a competitive game, they should be unlocked from the get go.
Rdizz
Posted 08:14pm 11/2/13
It clearly can't just be downloading a game for free and it's like Black Ops 2 but didn't cost me anything. Is it a base game that's free, but you have to pay for unlocks and equipment? So essentially pay to win? As you'd only buy things if it'd make you do better in the game. Is it ad supported?


Its bizzare how well it just works. I started playing Planetside 2 a month or 2 ago and its a great game (even though it has its bugs) but its not a pay to win game even though you can pay for in game weapons and items. They just have balanced everything so well so people that donĀ“t pay anything still do well, the main influence micro-transactions in the game make is the amount of time you have to wait to unlock something you want.

It also helps that the player can choose how much they want to spend, for example from $8 to $100
Its the only game in YEARS ive spent money on other than TF2 and Bf3 when they came out.

According to Sony Online Entertainment Planetside 2 has been their best revenue raising game they have ever released.
qmass
Posted 09:21pm 11/2/13
Online shooters are no where near as hard to balance as dotes, a slightly stronger gun someone bought doesn't have the impact of restricting which heroes you can play and its easy to level up and unlock useful stuff anyway. LOL gets away with charging for champions because they do not have the same balance in the game. (not saying its unbalanced, just that balancing is different compared to dota2)

Counter-picking isn't as important and most roles can be filled by multiple different champs because you can carry with virtually everyone - you still shop items to boost AP right? so support isn't really a role defined by hero as much as it is in dota, where casters become less powerful as the game goes on because they don't have items that boost their dmg beyond a few debuffing active items)

tl;dr dota2 would be a nightmare if you had to purchase heroes but it seems to work ok in LoL - which just means that as long as you understand how your game works there are multiple free2play models that could be applied but probably one which is best.
Lithium
Posted 12:05am 12/2/13
There is something about F2P that just puts me off games completely. Dota 2 ONLY does it well because its the rare type of game that works with it. Its the one map etc

Shooters for example don't work with it because there is only so much cosmetic shit you can do with it before ruining the game. Letting people buy weapons/vehicles/upgrades with real money defeats the purpose of any note worthy competitive shooter regardless of whether they can be earned in game.

F2P also allows for cheaters to simply recreate accounts - As per TF2. I loved that game before they brought all that useless shit out and made it Free 2 play. Its horrible now. FUck you valve... But I still love you.
trog
Posted 10:17am 12/2/13
I would like to thank all the weirdos who buy items in f2p games that let me continue enjoying them completely for free without ever spending a dollar.
Online shooters are no where near as hard to balance as dotes
I have been wondering if you can EVER really properly balance a game like Dota, except for the really obvious cases where there is one character or item who is massively OP in all circumstances. There are so many counters/attacks/classes that are all combined in different ways that I think balancing problems would not manifest themselves in really obvious ways. Maybe looking at really long term stats you can see patterns and perform minor tweaks but overall I am sorta enjoying the game in the sense that it is wildly different each time because of the massive massive amount of randomness.
qmass
Posted 10:33am 12/2/13
F2P also allows for cheaters to simply recreate accounts - As per TF2. I loved that game before they brought all that useless shit out and made it Free 2 play. Its horrible now. FUck you valve... But I still love you.
ARGH GOD! This is so fucked up in dota2. Watching anyone try to get into the game as a new player is really unfair now because there are so many smurfing accounts. Should not be allowed IMO. (though it would be virtually impossible to police so not much point in worrying about it)
skythra
Posted 11:27am 12/2/13
if you had to purchase heroes but it seems to work ok in LoL - which just means that as long as you understand how your game works there are multiple free2play models that could be applied but probably one which is best.

You don't *Have* to buy heroes in LoL there's a short period where only RP's can buy them but if you've saved IP (earned from normal, free, game play) then you'd be able to buy it the instant it's released.

Skins etc are paid though, and you can pay some money to earn IP faster but it's not really imbalanced that someone who buys IP is going to get more characters faster than someone else, when most of the characters are balanced well enough anyway.

Cheating could be done in all the old model games and shouldn't be felt like it's unique to F2P. Cheating players might at worst get IP Banned off a server, but then wander to another. Besides it's hardly like cheaters don't exist in places like blizzard games which require paid bnet logins that get banned. It could be a bit bigger in F2P games, but often with systems like PSR etc you can't come up against a cheater if you're high enough up. Simply because a cheater who gets high PSR will be quickly banned and will have to start again.
Commenting has been locked for this item.
19 Comments
Show
 
Log In
User:  
Pass:  

Advertise with Us | Download Media Kit | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
© Copyright 2001-2014 AusGamers™ Pty Ltd. ACN 093 772 242.
A Mammoth Media web development / Australian VPS Hosting by Mammoth Networks