Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

[ALL] The Evolution of Free-To-Play: From Tanks And Beyond

World of Tanks creator Victor Kislyi (CEO and founder, Wargaming) gives his keynote speech at the 2013 D.I.C.E. SUMMIT. Titled "The Evolution of Free-To-Play: From Tanks And Beyond".


What do you think of F2P as distribution model? It's currently conquering not only PCs, but other platforms as well, starting with mobiles. Discuss!

67 comments:

  1. funny to see your chief of (like he said) 1400 ppl being quite nervous in the first few minutes.


    Quite informative speech... is it wise to "push" the competition out of the companys sight.. im not sure.


    btw. do you make (have you made) your balance sheet public?

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    1. Yeah, he was quite nervous at the very beginning. Prolly because of high society effect. :)

      No, I think we didn't. We are not a public company.

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  2. Best model IMO, when well balanced. You can test game for free, if you like it, you can pay as much as you think devs deserves. If you want to play less, you can stop paying, but still play from time to time, while in subscription model, you do not have such possibility. So IMO best model for casual players like me. I never tried WoW, cause I know that in general I will have to pay for every month.

    But it is necessary to avoid pay-to-win features, specialy when it is PvP game. F2P with super powerful weapons that you can buy for real money to crush poorer people are retarded idea. This is why I like WoT's premium tanks idea. They give you more credits, but on the battlefield you are a little weaker that non-paying players.

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  3. He raises a good point about consoles sticking to the beaten path, and I noticed that he used Playstation 3 and XBox 360 images. Something I feel is interesting here is that Nintendo, the other console manufacturer rather well known for breaking new ground in the console market, apparently has very F2P-friendly infastructure in place for the WiiU console, such as letting companies update their games as many times as they like for free and even including near field communication technology on the new console's controller, which might open up a streamlined F2P payment method for those who have devices with similar technology. Also interesting in Nintendo's case is that the company is interested enough in the F2P concept that they might use it themselves if, in developing a new intellectual property, they find that the gameplay style suits the payment model.

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    1. In a slight defense of MS, there is at least F2P game on XBOX - Happy Wars.

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  4. Have you ever considered the option for the premium accounts to be measured in battles not days? It would be really great if I could choose the premium account to last for like a hundred battles or a premium account for one day.

    Because I found myself buying a premium account for a month and then not being able to play for most of the month. A month of premium wasted. and if it was based on a number of battles played nothing would be wasted.

    So I just wondered did you consider it and how likely is it to be implemented?

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    1. I like that idea a lot, as someone who goes through times when it is not possibly for me to play WoT (i have to borrow my brother's laptop) this payment method would in my favour (as you said) as I do not waste precious Prem time, another idea would be to impliment a dual Prem system with both options for a time period, or a specific amount of battles. The later option benefiting the player who doesn't play regularly and the first option for those who have the ability to play regularly.

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    2. As of now, we are not planning to change prem account system. Do you consider purchasing short-term options (day, 3 days)?

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    3. @overlord well yes I do that now, but first it's much more expensive, second it's still an obligation to be playing that whole day so to not waste gold.
      I'm saying hat Cody said, a dual premium system where we can choose do we want a time based premium or number of battles based premium..

      anyway just consider the idea, I'm sure a lot of people would like the new option while it wouldn't hurt the people who like the current option. And I think that people would be much more likely to get premium account if there wasn't that obligation to play within a specified time limit so it wouldn't hurt WG either.

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    4. My position on this is the following: time-limited prem account incentivizes players to return to the game and play, because time is constantly ticking. In case of battle-limited prem account, there always can be reasoning like I don't wanna play right now, I can use my battles tomorrow or next week or whatever.

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    5. @overlord Per battle premium option would be great for people like me. Playing 1-2 battles every 2-3 days I will not spend my gold on time limited prem account. It's easy. Do you want take my many or not? ;)
      Setting battles amount below server's average will not harm current system.

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    6. I do! I do! :)

      What would say if it were prem for a cetain number of victories not battles?

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    7. That's acceptable. You have my approval :)

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    8. @overlord - That's an interesting spin on that idea, I could see myself going for that, It would force me not just to play aimlessly (sometimes that happens when I'm a bit bored) but to play to win so I could get the most out of the premium victories (getting the most victories in the shortest amount of time)Who says that this method has to be priced the same as the current Premium for time? since battles/victories benefits the consumer more rather than the producer maybe it should be priced slightly higher than prem time, as prem time benefits the producer more than the consumer. Although I am not sure how well the community would appreciate a 2 tier pricing system.

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    9. Since we are all just sharing ideas and opinions here, I would like to chime in.
      In my humble opinion the current Premium Account method (buy it for a fixed amount of time) is very fair to the consumer and to the company. I believe that it is important to keep in mind that the company actually needs to make a profit with this game. Only a profitable product (WoT) will be kept alive, and will be further developed. This in turn also benefits us the players, as we will receive new maps, new tanks, regular updates, etc. If Wargaming Net does not make enough profit with this “product” it will shift its resources somewhere else. Subsequently the gaming experience will start to suffer due to a lack of updates, a.k.a. new stuff, maintenance, infrastructure.
      Right now we buy a Premium Account for let’s say a day. The company receives its money, and after the 24hr period we the players have to make the decision to buy another Premium account or not. It is a straight forward concept and not hinging on any conditions.
      If the Premium Account becomes a “condition hinged” account (so many battles, wining vs. loosing), it will take away from the straight forward approach and will start to feel more like a video arcade game (Game over – insert coin). In addition, if the concept was changed to a “Premium for 100 battles” concept, some people might not buy another premium option for quite a while, because they are casual gamers and only make 1 or 2 battles a day. In other words, the benefits of the Premium account will last much longer for them, and the company will have a decreased cash-flow, and make less profit.
      I would vote for keeping it simple and straight forward. Make your choice to buy a Premium Account based on your available time to play, and your financial abilities/willingness to spend.
      So far WoT is doing an overall good job not to “nickel-and-dime” their users too much, and I would argue that this is part of its appeal.

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    10. Here we are on the same page. In addition to the above, battle-based premium account doesn't incentivize returning to the game which means it's bad for player retention.

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    11. Makes enough sense, I actually enjoy that his is an actual conversation rather than just people complaining to have things changed, so much more gets done this way and things are explained way better :)

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    12. In the future I hope to purchase a laptop more suited for playing games, and then I will be able more fully consider buying prem. Until then I guess I'll just play when I get the opportunities

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    13. Just thinking, what about a 5x5 option?

      Users can buy a pack of 5 tickets, each worth 5h premium time. If the user doesn't activate at least one ticket in a week he will loose one ticket at the end of the week.

      or maybe 3x3, 500 gold or smth.
      or more expensive 12h tickets, with a minimum of 3 or 5 tickets per month

      What do you think about it?

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  5. Hi Overlord,

    I have to topics to ask you about:

    1. When do you plan to make your game engines (mostly WoT, as it is a publicly released game) to have multicore support? Currently the game uses only one core, no matter how many of them you got in your CPU, and that results in limited overall performance.

    2. When there will be new maps in WoT? I mean really new maps, that hasn't been introduced earlier. Because right now we all have the little feeling of boredom when you are put on same maps over and over again. In 8.4 patch you plan to give us 2 revamped 'old' maps (Komarin and Swamp) but at the same time you guys take from us two additional maps. So the overall amount of them stays the same. Would it be possible that you release some kind of a map editor publicly and call a contest for map designing for WoT? Best maps, after reviews and testing (i.e. on test servers), could then make to full game? That way we would have tons of maps that we could play on.

    Thanks for your answers :)

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  6. He says in the talk you still need to have a good community. As an EU player I feel your EU Community people is not that good. Information is often not provided or not complete. And CW is down for long periods of time with out any info at all, until the day before it comes back. And still no info on what have changed.

    I'm looking to other games my self since right now WoT does not have a working end game. The way WG EU is working now your going to lose players.

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    1. First of, community is diverse.

      I believe that in terms of community relations things are much better on RU side, since we have got much more experience here and in general we are a (mostly) Russian-speaking company, however I do feel like things are improving on other regions as well. What bothers you exactly?

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    2. The problem is that the EU community people do not get any info they can give on to the community like technical problems, answers to concerns or patch noted until the very last second or later than when the issues are happening.

      This is very weird since the US community team doesn't seem to have the same issue.

      Things have slowly improved though but it is still way to often the EU community is left out in the dark.

      The fact that the main source of information for the EU community is this and a fan blog speak volumes.

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    3. That's unfortunate. This blog is meant to serve as a complimentary source of information.

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    4. What Nikolaj said is true.
      I read this blog for the Q&A on russian forums http://ftr-wot.blogspot.cz/2013/02/1222013.html

      For info on coming updates other fan blogs or US worldoftanks portal.
      For our own CW it's going in blind most of the time to updates since US got very diffrent CW. Or if we are lucky we get some info from fans that take it from russian CW.

      And when we had problems with the CW map going down every night around prime time we got "CW is in BETA" or no response at all. Not fun to play when you have to wait and see if you get a match and what map it is. And if you get a fight you have 15 min to fix it all instead of more then 1h. They just ignored every one for 2 weeks then said when they froze CW, we are getting new servers.

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    5. Aye, most likely there was some mess with tech and CW announcements.

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    6. It's a trend going back a long way. Specialy the info part, we have never had good info about things.

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    7. Today the test server opened for 8.4. There is NOTHING about it on the EU homepage.

      The US page had info hours before it opened, the EU will probably get a note in a day or two. :(

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    8. Too many languages to support, I guess

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    9. Well pause doing all the competitions and looking at forums and prioritize the front page. Patch notes is a high priority item, it is of importance to most players. The competitions and forums is for a smaller subset of players.

      Also translating to english can be done once for patch notes that is not region specific. If americans got them the english version is done and can be copy pasted to EU general. Do not diffrent regions cooperate at all?

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  7. Replies
    1. I have to agree here.
      But on the other hand i managed to buy tier9 IS4 only playing for free.
      It's true that once i ended up with some tank wracked and no credits at all and not anything to sell...which kinda ends the "Free" game.

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    2. We gave out some of prem tanks for free - an option to farm credits.

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    3. @Yarcod
      If you don't like prices, then do not buy. You can play that game for free as long as you wish. I know guy who made 3 x tier tanks without spending real money.

      @eXaRh
      Ends free game? How? Is it so hard to make credits with tier V tanks? And even if you had in garage only those IS4, then you still can make creds because tier I tanks are for 0 credits.

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    4. It was long time ago, but still u can't go and play all day tier1 just to repair a tier9 tank(and resupply ammo) which can be wrecked again in the very next battle, so what i'm saying is that u better go buy some premium stuff than torture yourself.
      Of course, a lot of users enjoy playing tier 1 due to the lack of experienced players, buy the key of WOT is the endless "grinding". Otherwise it'll be just another boring game.
      Imagine there are some players that have all the tanks in the game...what is interesting for those in this game?...they just can't wait for the next patch with content.

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    5. I don't have to imagine that. There are quite few of such players in-game, partially because we were constantly adding more and more content.

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    6. Playing all day with tier I? What for? Reasonable non-paying player use tier V and VI tanks to make credits. Their are funny to use and they make enough credits to finance tier X tank game with two battles if you are decent player.

      Rule is simple, you pay with your money or you pay with your time.

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    7. @you pay with your money or you pay with your time. @

      True that, no third option.

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  8. I think i would love some competition to world of tanks! ...ooooh yeeeeaaaaaah!!!
    Maybe this way wargaming will pay attention to player's wishes more than to "road of victor or mell gibson".
    By the way, i have updated war thunder and war of warplanes and had a battle in each... the controls from 1st one were joyful comparing to 2nd which are laggish and kinda slow, not joyful at all. Even WOT in heavy tanks is faster.

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  9. And please tell Victor not to make stupid slides. Otherwise he's a nice and a funny guy.

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  10. Yes , but this concept still have a serious disadvantage . that the payer always have better chance to win , which is not really seems to be fair .

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    1. Current impact of purchasable stuff on battle outcome is insignificant and there are options to reduce it even further.

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    2. You could avoid the issue of pay to win in the game (Such as some consumables which gives % to the overall performance.. ), But still cause the players to pay for another functions in the game f.ex Premium tanks . Or maybe map voting for payers only , and many other things . Playing the game in late times is less fun without paying gold , for example the most problematic gold issue is the Crew training\skills in the late tiers . Without paying some gold your crew will be !-25%! less effective than a payed crew .

      In overall , Players who pays at-least 2500 gold a month gets fine conditions , Such as crew training and better equipment management or even premium account status if needed .

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    3. The fact that a paying customer gets into a more comfortable situation is totally acceptable and normal. Otherwise what he is paying for in the first place. The main idea is not to provide any significant in-game advantage, which WoT successfully manages to do.
      As for secondary or even tertiary effects, like having more credits on average, they are insignificant from a global standpoint.

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    4. @ David Diamond

      1. I think that those consumables are used in battles very rare, and their effect is very low.
      2. You can train crew playing with tank and in the end your crew will also have 100 prc main skill. Paying player will just have it faster, but non paying one can also have 100 prc.
      3. Pay-2-win elements are atm very few in WoT and their effect on battle performence is very low. I had premium account last time many months ago and still I use as much premium ammo as I wish, and both my premium tanks gather dust in garage, cause I do not need to use them. Still I can play VK3601 with konisch premium ammo (2k per shell), I have some premium shells in almost every my tank and I use them as many times as I need.

      But to be honest I also do not play IX and X tier tanks since summer, mainly due to arty partys.

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    5. Yeah i agree with you Dead_Skin_Mask , But this time until crew gets 100% is very critical for statistics .
      You need sometimes play 200 battles to get crew to 100% from 50% in low tiers .

      Overlord , Crew skill % is not comfort , It is tanks' actual performance .

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    6. OK i agree :) WoT is not very Pay to win , But there are some place that gold really affects critical performance .

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    7. David Diamond,

      you can spend some of your time and grind crew exp.

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    8. No prem feature affects your performance drastically in WoT.

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    9. To say that not training your crew with gold will affect your preformance.. hmmm Have you tried to play a tier 9-10 tank with a 50 or 75% crew Overlord? And even having a tier 10 tank without 2+ skills will give you an disadvantage if you play clanwars. You will newer manage to get a tier 10 tank with more than 1 skill if you grind directly up to tier 10 (moving your crew up as you go) without using gold to retrain crews.

      So in the endgame using gold for crewtraining will give you a advantage.

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    10. This saves you time but doesn't bring advantage. You can achieve the same result without investing a single penny - that's why it is fair.

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    12. es, time will get you the same, but with no premium and no gold crew training it will take you thousands of hours not hundres. And the premium+gold crew will give you more than the 50% advantage of premium, which can be deemed as pay to win/achieve.

      Me personaly has spendt a lot of gold on crew training, i have done it by free will, and has no regrets in that way, but i might have feelt i got more value for my money if my gold trained crew didn't become senile when i trained them for a new tank.

      (This is one feature i realy like in wt crew consept, even if i see the problemes you would have to implement it this late in wot.)

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    13. [quote]But to be honest I also do not play IX and X tier tanks since summer, mainly due to arty partys.[/quote]

      Did you read that Overlord? :-)

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    14. Well, I do play them. Even on my T95, can't say I suffer a lot from arty. Tho a few days ago I was one-shotted by GW-Tiger on El Halluf after destroying two E-100s in a row. Very painful.

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  12. I really need to outline here the quality of premium content, and i'll give u the best example.
    The LOWE tank is earning less credits than type59, t34, sometimes even than SP.
    I understand comparing lowe with t34 as they are at same price, but how in the hell can a 25eur tank earn more than a 43eur one? ...
    Please arrange an internal meeting and sort out the issue of premium tier 8 tanks.
    The old price of 7k gold seems to me much fair for lowe, since you have really turned it into a mess.
    Why not "historical price" if the historical size has been done already? :)

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    1. All of those 4 are within 5-6%, T59 spoils things a bit, it appeared to be too decent for a prem tank and enjoys higher w/r and consequently higher revenue.

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  13. All of our CEOs watch a lot of movies :)

    Nice Presentation - no money + comupter + global network = Loads of money , This i,age will reamain in many of our heads for long ...

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    1. I don't watch that many movies - prolly will never be a CEO then )

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    2. We want you to continue on the "creative side" anyway. Let someone else "crunch the numbers please.

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    3. Ignore that CEO position. They're looking for a new pope! ;)

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    4. I'm definitely too young for that, but thanks for the idea anyway )

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