Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

A Cash Shop is Being Considered

    • 2915 posts
    January 25, 2021 1:05 PM PST

    In addition to the above: while I can't say how it relates to non-mobile gaming, .15% of users account for 50%+ of the microtransactions/profit. I can't imagine whales are limited to mobile only or that the numbers are dramatically different for pc/console games. 


    This post was edited by Iksar at January 25, 2021 1:06 PM PST
    • 91 posts
    January 25, 2021 1:36 PM PST

    I would much prefer to pay a little bit more for my subscription vs having a cash shop in the game.  I'm actually surprised this is even being considered, as it runs counter, to what I thought was a core tenet of the 'vision' for Pantheon.

    • 101 posts
    January 26, 2021 3:09 AM PST

    BenD said:

    But if it came down to additional revenue or closing the doors, I think the choice is obvious.

    Yes. Close the doors and move on.    

    If VR ever find themselves in this position then you have have already failed in your mission, whether the game launches and whether VR remains open is irrelevant.  From YOUR perspective it may be nice to have the same job tomorrow that you have today, but from the perspective of folks that have backed a Cash Shop Free MMORPG, why do you think this is the "obvious" choice?   

    From MY perspective, why should I care if VR add another Cash Shop into the MMORPG space which already consists exclusively of Cash Shops? 

    As much as VR preach the "Pantheon difference" you seem to be missing the obvious.  Climbing, perception, and acclimation (especially what we've seen) are not unique or innovative or compelling.  Launching (and maintaining) an MMORPG without a Cash Shop in 202X would be unique, innovative, and compelling.  Name one MMORPG outside of Final Fantasy XI without a Cash Shop and I'll name 10 MMORPGs with climbing, perception, and acclimation systems. 

    It should be possible to create a sustainable business that doesn't rely on a Cash Shop.  I hope VR can pull it off, but these comments don't engender a lot of confidence that VR have a clear line of sight to creating that business model or that VR even have their priorities right in this regard.   

     

     

    • 1846 posts
    January 26, 2021 9:13 AM PST

    GoofyWarriorGuy said:

    Manouk said: "Is there any public information that can substantiate that places like Blizzard get 80% of their income from 2% of the player base? or whatever it is. Is there a place or is there verifiable published documentation from these companies where I can see such things expressed? like an annual report or something?"

    This isn't specific to Blizzard, but https://www.accrediteddebtrelief.com/blog/mmo-money-mmo-problems/

    For those who don't want to read this article, it basically says that 90% of their polled gamers said they have spent money on in-game purchases with the average being $229 total (ie their entire time playing that game). They do have a full breakdown of per game, per age, per gender, per genre, etc...

    Of course this was just a poll done by this site, and so it's a limited sample size and of course limited to those who felt they wanted to be part of the poll.

    You can also check out: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104745/video-gaming-dlc-spend-game/ which might be a little more accurate but I think you need to get a membership with the site to get full details of the report.

     

    Thanks Goofy, thats very interesting even for a "straw-poll" type of poll. And it seems more realistic than one or two "whales" dumping 100K a year into an MMO for the latest cosmetic Fortnite gear or emotes.

    Emotes may cost more to set up, the dot-suit, the cameras, but once that initial hardware is paid for thats it. then its hiring actors - of a specific size that can fit in the suit- to spend some time acting those emotes until you get the shot. Provided SAG doesnt get involved you can still keep it freelance and wont have to credit.

    Based on this SOLE example of real life numbers? 230 a year spent on extras in cash shop from 90pct of the players or those that bothered to answer. Lets assume no "whales" answered.

    So 230 / 12 = 19.16 a month. Sub cost average 15 a month. 15+19 = 35 a month sub- sounds about right. Heck round it up to 40.

    So as I see it: the question that is the confluence between the business and creative influence is: What will the game provide creatively to make up for Fulfill the players desire to spend that additional 20 bucks a month?  

    This brings up some aspects, the vicseral experience of shopping or buying. These days, many are getting used to shopping online instead of going to the store. However some like going to the store. What makes shopping online better? the reviews? the pinch of paying? ease of credit/debt?, sales?. Can these be accomplished in game? and within the lore of pantheon?

    I want that spell but I dont have enough plat for spells / Mommy/Daddy I want that captain america skin for fornite, sorry kiddo, not today.

    Why is there a line of NPC's at that merchant? (right click on merchant, visual representation of old prices with a strikethrough and lower prices in red with a date)

    Did you hear the town crier in Amberfaet? because of all the adventurers slaying wolves, there is a sale on high end leather gear at the seamstress- also the bulletin board outside.

    Not enough plat for spells? you can get it on lay-away. mudflation solution? TLC rules apply to lay-away, too high? cant buy(level), no trade, no rent- have to mem it now before you camp. auto-deduct weekly?daily? monthy? from bank. no cash? spell greyed-out and cant use until you meet minimum or pay it off or borrow from another player.- remember they already have watchdogs on RMT for game currency so loan-sharks for profit will not be an issue, but loan sharks there will be.

    Will the game be so immersive  involved that  it will preclude the customer player from even thinking about a cash shop or needing a cash shop?

    Ho HO!  

    • 2915 posts
    January 26, 2021 10:47 AM PST

    Manouk said:

    Based on this SOLE example of real life numbers? 230 a year spent on extras in cash shop from 90pct of the players or those that bothered to answer. Lets assume no "whales" answered.

    So 230 / 12 = 19.16 a month. Sub cost average 15 a month. 15+19 = 35 a month sub- sounds about right. Heck round it up to 40.

    That is an averaging of all player spending being equal to $230 total/lifetime, not per year. And this doesn't account for how high exactly the over $1000 crowd actually goes.

     

    Of the report 66% of players have spent $250 or less total/lifetime on in-game/shop purchases. Taking away the $101-$250 spenders still leaves almost half (46.40%) having spent 100 or less in their lifetime, which would be about 7 months or less of sub time at $15/month. 

     

     


    This post was edited by Iksar at January 26, 2021 10:47 AM PST
    • 23 posts
    January 27, 2021 10:07 PM PST

    I would consider a cash shop only for in game gold and only after a certain time period has passed say 3 to 6 months. Also there should be limitations on the amount and how often 1 IP address could buy said gold like 1 to 3 times a year. I only suggest this as a way to stave off gold sellers. I would rather give my money to VR and know what I am getting than some 3rd party who I do not know and would be very hard to trust. 

    • 22 posts
    January 28, 2021 12:16 PM PST

    I would think that if the game will be full price retail ($50 or $60) plus a sub fee that a cash shop really wouldn't be necessary as long as a decent amount of people buy and keep subs. I mean, WoW has a cash shop and I believe so does FFXIV, but for the most parts its minimal. Some costumes here and there, some mounts here and there. When it comes to appearance, as long as there is a big distinction between a COSTUME and ARMOR then I think its ok. If you want to roleplay a vagabond type character and have your character wear rags that are only obtainable in the shop as a costume, then I don't see anything wrong with that. Or even a tux or wedding gown for an in-game wedding are fine IMO, items that are clearly for roleplay or glamor. BUT if there is any confusion on whether or not a character is wearing in-game armor or a cash-shop costume then thats when it becomes a big problem IMO. I also think that a costume should replace whatever armor you are wearing, so at higher levels you would die in one hit from almost anything if you are wearing a costume. It should never mask armor or give any stat boosts whatsoever


    This post was edited by drewber2814 at January 28, 2021 12:20 PM PST
    • 125 posts
    January 30, 2021 1:49 AM PST
    I think that if there is a cash shop is irrelevant. If the game isn't at its core what we are looking for it will fail the cash shop will keep the game afloat perhaps but if the core audience isn't pleased with game then it just won't work. Or more specifically if the core game isn't what you personally want out of it then just leave because if we the core audience ain't buying it then again it will fail.
    • 1012 posts
    January 30, 2021 3:58 AM PST
    @Marilee summarized my thoughts on the in-game issues caused by a cosmetic cash shop and I’ll add one more thought that I didn’t see discussed here that has been over on the MMORPG forums.

    With a cash shop, you are taking developer/artist time to create content specific for a cash shop that you want someone to buy iwith real money. Therefore, time is being dedicated and content is being created for specific players versus everyone. And, I’d also wager that more time would be spent on the cosmetic cash shop items versus standard subscription content because you want the $$$ from people buying unique, cool items that aren’t available in game.

    With that said, I do “get” the idea of keeping the lights on, but I can’t agree that a cosmetic only shop has no negative effects on either gameplay or development.
    • 191 posts
    January 30, 2021 10:25 AM PST

    MauvaisOeil said:

    I'm against it even for cosmetic only . Collection, look, should be an ingame hardwork and such.

     

    :/

     

    Well said... I agree, cash shops are the bane of today’s games and the door way to further issues...  Appearances use to mean something in games, when you put in the hard work to obtain a Wurmslayer in EQ and run around a zone people knew you actually had a Wurmslayer and it looked badass.... The original appearances of gear pre-Velious armor upgrades looked awesome... If a cash shop comes out it should be at least 2 years after the game has been released.

     


    This post was edited by Rint at April 8, 2021 2:00 PM PDT
    • 1716 posts
    January 31, 2021 8:26 AM PST

    Well, it’s looking like Pantheon won’t be that next great mmorpg we had originally signed up for (I will never, ever be in an mmorpg with implemented cash shops). Brad gave it one hell of a shot though. His Vision does still live on in Project1999, and that’s where I’ll be. Such an mmorpg is imperfect and never gets old; glad to be back with the community I remember. Project1999 will continue to suit many of us just fine. I’m happy with that. 

    Add: What Ben Dean/Perkins failed to see is paying for cosmetic appearance IS pay-to-win. Brad, myself and others believe that gear and appearances are meant to be worked for and earned, not ever bought via cash shop. Anyway, as for me: no way and no thx! 


    This post was edited by Syrif at February 1, 2021 5:36 AM PST
    • 117 posts
    January 31, 2021 9:14 AM PST

    I think it is a bit early to say one way or another.  No one has said there definitely would or definitely would not be a cash shop. Only that IF there is one, that it would be cosmetic only.

    • 289 posts
    January 31, 2021 1:19 PM PST

    Valheru said:

    I think it is a bit early to say one way or another.  No one has said there definitely would or definitely would not be a cash shop. Only that IF there is one, that it would be cosmetic only.

    This thread exists because the message from VR changed.  It used to be "no, absolutely not" and then changed to "IF we added a cash shop...".  That's a pretty important difference despite being subtle and I can fully understand why some in the community have reacted negatively.  The message in no way implies there will be a cash shop but it does leave the door open for "maybe".  That is unacceptable to many.

    Edit: Side note to expand on "many".  In the latest press release VR said there were "over 8000" who had signed up for Alpha.  That number really surprised me.  If there are that many for Alpha then there must be at least as many signed up for Beta, probably several times as many.  Given that many pledges and the small number of people who post on these forums regularly, we are apparently the vocal minority.  That's almost always the case in game forums but VR has to weigh the voices of a few against the silence of the many (and against their own plans).  It is not a foregone conclusion that we here are proportionately representative of the larger population.


    This post was edited by Akilae at January 31, 2021 1:39 PM PST
    • 1846 posts
    January 31, 2021 6:01 PM PST

    Iksar said:

    Manouk said:

    Based on this SOLE example of real life numbers? 230 a year spent on extras in cash shop from 90pct of the players or those that bothered to answer. Lets assume no "whales" answered.

    So 230 / 12 = 19.16 a month. Sub cost average 15 a month. 15+19 = 35 a month sub- sounds about right. Heck round it up to 40.

    That is an averaging of all player spending being equal to $230 total/lifetime, not per year. And this doesn't account for how high exactly the over $1000 crowd actually goes.

     

    Of the report 66% of players have spent $250 or less total/lifetime on in-game/shop purchases. Taking away the $101-$250 spenders still leaves almost half (46.40%) having spent 100 or less in their lifetime, which would be about 7 months or less of sub time at $15/month. 

     

     

     

    Ahh, thanks for the clarity, I didnt realize it was over their lifetime I thought it was over a year. That makes more sense.

     

    But still, Thar be no whales in those waters. So whoever is saying there are whales? hasn't been fishing.

    I am reminded of Bill Burr's comedy routine on "Gold Digging hoe's" where he makes a comparison to an article in time magazine written by a woman regarding a rich mans temptation to infidelity, being like a man writing about the third trimester of a womans pregnancy. Neither can speak with any authority because they dont possess the hardware or the neurological wiring to be subject to the same temptation or the same travail.

    seems ta me, thar be no whales.

     


    This post was edited by Manouk at January 31, 2021 6:09 PM PST
    • 236 posts
    January 31, 2021 8:30 PM PST

    No, not ever, for any reason, PERIOD!

    • 1 posts
    February 1, 2021 6:53 AM PST

    In my opinion, f you're an MMO, and you:

    1. Do NOT have a cash shop
    2. Are NOT adding a new cosmetic for sale every week or so.

    You're doing it wrong.

    I am convinced games like SWtOR thrived as long as it did is because of selling cosmetics in their cash shop. I am eternally astonished that more MMO's don't do this. GW2 is my prime example - While they now have a pretty decent inventory, I logged in month-after-month (astonished) at how little they were churning out. All that wasted potential income! Eck. How can that not be a huge ROI? Assign perhaps just one (or two) dedicated graphics nerds to just pump out an item a week. People will snap that stuff up - for the life of the game! Keeping the cash coming in is (of course) part of the reality of this thing, and to my mind everyone benefits from a costmetic shop. Frankly, I love it. I love an MMO with tons of cool cosmetics to customize the look of my toon. I will spend hours and hourse tweaking every minute detail of my toons looks if I've got the items to do it with.

    On the other hand, anything that is "pay to win" is loathsome should never ever be done. Goes without sayin'.

     

    Tor

    • 1309 posts
    February 1, 2021 9:19 AM PST

    torgaard said:

    In my opinion, f you're an MMO, and you:

    1. Do NOT have a cash shop
    2. Are NOT adding a new cosmetic for sale every week or so.

    You're doing it wrong.

    I am convinced games like SWtOR thrived as long as it did is because of selling cosmetics in their cash shop. I am eternally astonished that more MMO's don't do this. GW2 is my prime example - While they now have a pretty decent inventory, I logged in month-after-month (astonished) at how little they were churning out. All that wasted potential income! Eck. How can that not be a huge ROI? Assign perhaps just one (or two) dedicated graphics nerds to just pump out an item a week. People will snap that stuff up - for the life of the game! Keeping the cash coming in is (of course) part of the reality of this thing, and to my mind everyone benefits from a costmetic shop. Frankly, I love it. I love an MMO with tons of cool cosmetics to customize the look of my toon. I will spend hours and hourse tweaking every minute detail of my toons looks if I've got the items to do it with.

    On the other hand, anything that is "pay to win" is loathsome should never ever be done. Goes without sayin'.

     

    Tor

    I'd like to note that you bring up increasing the developer's Return On Investment (ROI), and talk about that for a second.

    It's the position of many old school gamers (myself included) that the entry of the giant development houses with corporate boards and stocks on the NASDAQ began a dramatic decline in the quality of games. Game development wasnt all about the passion to create something great anymore. Now the priority shifted much more heavily toward making massive amounts of money.  It started becoming much more common that the people holding the purse strings were not gamers, couldn't care less about the content of the games, and cared only that the stupid kids continued to pay high prices for their pointless, childish passtime. They saw an avenue to make a ton of money and they've milked it hard for every cent they could get, not limited in the least by shadey and predatory practices. The worst of them actually hire psychologists with expertise in addictive behavior to purposefully build in mechanics to hook players, and dont even balk at using this same methodoogy in payment structures. These are the people who brought you the cash shop. 

    You have the position that a cash shop is fine, so long as its only for cosmetics. It increases profits. It might even be the difference that allows a small game to survive. The way I see it is that the existence of the cash shop influences the game's core design and play in a fairly catastrophic way, even if its just cosmetics. If you assume the shop exists for cosmetics then you inherently focus less on crafting, for instance. Why would I give the players all the tools as part of their sub fees that allows them to create all existing cool looking gear in the game? Why would I allow them to customize appearences of everything, even hairstyles or tattoos in new kinds of tradeskills, if doing so just means there will be fewer customers of my cash shop on which I'm trying to increase profits? So the gameplay systems get diluted. Then the exclusivity of the cash shop defiles core principles and worthy game designs in favor of funneling people to profit making schemes for the company. The game design itself starts becoming secondary to the money. And the game inevitably becomes a hollowed out shell. 

    It's also my position that in the absence of a cash shop a developer can increase the quality of the game itself by adding mechanisms and tools for the players to use in the game to get anything a cash shop allows for, but in a way that makes the gameplay exceedingly better. And the net result there might not be the immediate reward to that developer of item sales growing on their monthly reports that are easily digestable to the corporate board. But it does increase the word of mouth sales of the game itself and the longevity of the players paying their subs, because the game itself is fundamentally more healthy.

    It's like the difference between the disciplined diet of a healthy adult, and the short term high from eating sugary crap that's going to make you feel like sh** later. 

    None of this is to say that I am an anticapitalist. Quite the contrary, actually. I fully believe in earning a dollar for a quality product. And if your product is good and you're able to become a billionaire selling it, more power to you. In the game world for instance, I was not at all negative of Blizzard when they showed how lucrative an MMO could actually be. I actually liked WoW early on, to a degree. No one could say it was a crappy, gimmicky game. It was solid. And they profited hugely from it as a result. Good on em. But then the corporation got its meat hooks in, and its decline was inevitable. Today it's a laughing stock to old school gamers. Its riddled with gimmicky crap, and the game design is heavily influenced by methods to squeeze out extra easy profits. Like cash shops. No one can argue that WoW is more profitable today with their cash schemes than it was in their absence. They might have seen a period in which that was true. But the decline in health of the game because of them eventually led to their decline in players paying subs. Where once Blizzard was a standard bearer of excelence they are now mocked for being sellouts, to include abuses of the game dev staff themselves.

    And yes, I'm fully concious of the fact that Sony was a corporate giant, and that they were neck deep in the deployment of Everquest. But at the time games were a niche thing where money could be made, and they didn't focus on them to the degree that they were trying to squeeze out every extra red cent that might exist. WoW proved that its possible to roll out a behemoth without cash shops. And now the corporations want every single title to have every single hook possible to absolutely maximize income. And they never learned to just love the game. They also don't recognize that they are trying to skate past their sugar high crash by eating more sugar and keeping the high. Eventually they and their customers who've never known any better are going to be diagnosed with diabetes. They'll look around and realize that everything on the market is nothing but really pretty pastries filled with sh** that's killing them. 

    You can quantifiably map the decline in product quality in both WoW and EQ to cash shops and similar sugary systems. And you can do it across the industry in a variety of genres. You can also see that some of the highest rated games (though admitedly lower profit) are from very small indie development houses who are just making a great game and keeping out of the instant financial gratification practices. 

    • 2915 posts
    February 1, 2021 11:07 AM PST

    Feyshtey said:

    Also (as far as I can tell) the vast majority of gamers are tired of cash shops/microtransactions, there is notable disgust surrounding them. I imagine there would be quite a lot of good will or at least willingness to try a quality game that comes out based on passion not maximizing profits and as such does not have a cash shop. Where one can earn everything in game. 

    torgaard said:

    love an MMO with tons of cool cosmetics to customize the look of my toon. I will spend hours and hourse tweaking every minute detail of my toons looks if I've got the items to do it with.

    And if you have to seek out and earn such gear in-game is it a turn off? Not only spending hours tweaking your character but many more hours earning the looks you speak of, hunting them out where/when possible.

    I'd say that is much better for a game, especially so for an RPG. It opens all sorts of doors for goals/gameplay for each individual, a personal horizontal progression.

    • 289 posts
    February 1, 2021 3:48 PM PST

    Iksar said:

    And if you have to seek out and earn such gear in-game is it a turn off? Not only spending hours tweaking your character but many more hours earning the looks you speak of, hunting them out where/when possible.

    I'd say that is much better for a game, especially so for an RPG. It opens all sorts of doors for goals/gameplay for each individual, a personal horizontal progression.

    For me, hell no.  I've spent ridiculous amounts of time hunting down rare-spawn traders in dangerous places well above my level just for the chance they might offer a specific cosmetic piece this time.  Not only am I OCD about reaching max potential for my characters but also in tailoring their appearance (and completing all the things... it's a sickness).  But I'm not above paying cash for an outfit in the shop either.

    There ought to be cosmetic gear acquirable in the world but if there is also some available in the cash shop, who cares?  Who is it hurting?  It's certainly going to help VR's bottom line and possibly keep the game online longer than it might have without the shop.  At $15-20/mo subscription and a niche market they're going to need to do something to keep the cash flowing.

    • 125 posts
    February 2, 2021 2:00 AM PST
    Most of us are coming from the mindset of more old school gamers. There is a whole different generation being raised with the idea of cash shops being normal. Some of these younger gamers will grow to love cash shops just as some them will grow to hate it. That being said pantheons core doesn't want cash shops staff included i believe. If pantheon has a shop it will be a different pantheon one that most of dont want to participate in.
    • 1309 posts
    February 2, 2021 9:08 AM PST

    stonetothebone85 said: Most of us are coming from the mindset of more old school gamers. There is a whole different generation being raised with the idea of cash shops being normal. Some of these younger gamers will grow to love cash shops just as some them will grow to hate it. That being said pantheons core doesn't want cash shops staff included i believe. If pantheon has a shop it will be a different pantheon one that most of dont want to participate in.

    The problem is that in a recent stream VR did say that they might be open to a cash shop for cosmetics. 

    • 1238 posts
    February 2, 2021 3:15 PM PST

    Feyshtey said:

    The problem is that in a recent stream VR did say that they might be open to a cash shop for cosmetics. 

    Did you read the posts from Kilsin and Ben in this thread? I ask because they offered clarification of the statement in the stream, so a more accurate report might read:

    "VR has said that they won't say "never" about a cash shop because they might one day face the decision of raising income thru a cash shop or else closing down the game"

    Also, they have acknowledged that as far back as 2016. vjek posted a link to it on page 1 of this thread. So it's hardly a 'recent decision'.

    • 195 posts
    February 2, 2021 3:41 PM PST

    Jothany said:

    Did you read the posts from Kilsin and Ben in this thread?

    If people actually read Dev posts, and paid attention to what they say in the official streams and producer's letters, the General forums would be woefully void of content.

    That being said, I think a Dev Post tracker, in the vein of what Blizzard does with their Blue Tracker, would be a huge asset to these forums.

    • 1238 posts
    February 2, 2021 5:45 PM PST

    eunichron said:

    If people actually read Dev posts, and paid attention to what they say in the official streams and producer's letters, the General forums would be woefully void of content.

    That being said, I think a Dev Post tracker, in the vein of what Blizzard does with their Blue Tracker, would be a huge asset to these forums.

    Quite true and an excellent suggestion. I think you should add it to this thread:  Main Web Pages - What would you like to see?

     

    • 10 posts
    February 2, 2021 11:53 PM PST

    Not often I bother posting on forums , but I find myself being drawn into this discussion. I personally do not like or support cash shops , that being said , my lovely lady , who loves cosmetics , will quite happily drop a few hundred of my dollars for that new eso house , and of course the furniture kit , and a mount of course.

    I in no way see that as pay to win , and do not begrudge her the joy this gives her.  I have personally bought bags and bank space , defy most of you to say you have not , and this I do see as PTW , but if such options are not released into the store until 6 months after release , they really hinderno-ones achievements as its a nothing by then.

    Point I am trying to make is its all perspective. Pantheon to me is the very first game that I threw a thousand bucks at { I am aussie and exchange rates sucked } and my justification was I wanted to play it , it was Brad and eq and the chance to recapture that magic , the magic that came from being hard and having to earn and the deep sense of satisfaction , pride , and sharing of your achievments. My investment was in Brad and the team , sadly Brad is gone , but I have seen no evidence to suggest the team will dissapoint me. I would prefer none {cash shop } but have enough faith that what will be will be and I will be there.

     

    Pape