Why no monetization of LW episodes? — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Why no monetization of LW episodes?

Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭

This should be a very old discussion inside Arenanet but I often wonder why Living World episodes are completely free for those who log in and play them?

Why not charge a small fee (microtransaction) to purchase the episode before the next episode and increase it later? The fee could also be discounted but not eliminated with gems.

The same could be applied for competitive play seasons while giving a bump up for in-game rewards or a guaranteed skin unlock.

The "every little bit of content is free" business model was fine in the first few LW seasons but does it still make sense?

Share your thought here!

Comments

  • Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    Beacuse they likely have always generated enough through gemstore microtransactions which are pretty heavy to allow us free content. Personally I prefer this method of funding and I think making it both would damage the population of the game and be unsustainable because essentailly the game would be one step from being a sub based game if you had to buy every content that drops.

    It also encourages a loyal fanbase to login more often

    And yet there were layoffs...
    What players like is absolutely free new content and servers that do not lag. There is no such thing as a free lunch and the fact that lots of games require subscription or are pay-to-win should be enough evidence that revenue is kind of necessary.

    Arenanet probably borrows funding for expac development from NCSoft or lenders so paying it back with real money (not gems) from expac sales is important. Free cash flow is something they have to worry about constantly.

  • Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Adamixos.6785 said:

    What do you have against poor gamers, bro?

    Nothing, specifically, but if a player cannot afford, for example 1 USD + 100 gems to play a LW episode and farm a new map, there not many good excuses that I can think of.

  • Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    But the lay offs were not known to be connected to gw2s finances, they were connected to what appeared to be unviable side projects

    Those side projects lost their funding and the reason is understandably filtered but, if Arenanet was well-funded, the staff would have been moved to other priorities.

  • Pifil.5193Pifil.5193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Fueki.4753 said:
    GW2 is depending on the free access of current content to keep the player base something stable and keep the loss of players at a minimum.

    If they suddenly started charging for Living World episodes (or droplets, like with Champions), it's likely that many players will just leave or continue playing older content. Either way, the newest piece of living world, if requiring payment, would likely see considerably less players.

    Exactly, ArenaNet know the login numbers, they have the gem store data, they believe that bringing people back or keeping them playing and invested in the game is worth more than a dollar or two every two to four months.

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 3, 2020

    Because me and likely hundreds of thousands if not millions of players would never have played the game past the core world had they put a fee on living world episodes.

    A great deal of players who play Gw2 are extremely anti Subfee.. and became fans of Guildwars because of it's anti subfee model.
    That also extends to other nickle and dime tactics that lock off story content and progression behind paywalls.

    Paid expansions are fine and expected in games like this as are optional cosmetic and convenience cash shop items etc.

    But there's no way we'd pay for the small amounts of new living world content we get every few months.. no chance.
    Some of us even go so far as to criticise that new players have to pay for old living world content and that alone turns a number of players away from becoming full time players.

    I can speak personally for several good friends who have rejected playing or coming back to Gw2 because of how much money they'd have to pay for the living world to catch up.
    They don't mind paying for the expansions but they do mind paying for all the living world and no matter how many times i've tried to change their mind about it, it always comes back to not wanting to pay more for missed LW content and not wanting to skip ahead in the story and come back later.

    The more time passes the more living world releases and the larger that living world catch up price tag grows as well..
    This is a big turn off for some people who would otherwise love to be playing Gw2.

  • Healix.5819Healix.5819 Member ✭✭✭✭

    ArenaNet makes most of their money through gems. The living world is intended to keep you active and the after cost is simply there to encourage you to login. If they were actually trying to sell it, S4 would have easily been 1000 gems per episode.

    Moving forwards, if they were going to charge for it, they'd simply switch to yearly expansions.

    @Anchoku.8142 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    But the lay offs were not known to be connected to gw2s finances, they were connected to what appeared to be unviable side projects

    Those side projects lost their funding and the reason is understandably filtered but, if Arenanet was well-funded, the staff would have been moved to other priorities.

    They had just been hired in the years after PoF specifically for those side projects, which insiders said could have been GW3. Considering the layoffs came as a surprise to ArenaNet, the reason was likely simply down to NCSoft cutting costs after their mobile sales dived, plus NCSoft is a mobile games company now.

  • firedragon.8953firedragon.8953 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 4, 2020

    The economic model, or rather psychological model, is likely the same as login rewards.

    If players get something for logging in, something free, they are more likely to log in. If they are more likely to log in, they are a bit more likely to play, or at least not forget about the game. They are also more likely to browse the gemstore.

    LW seasons are basically "customer loyalty rewards" which you can see in many other industries as well with point card programs, etc. It is also the same play on human psychology that many social media apps use (e.g., "You were tagged in a photo.") to make you open the app and use it.

  • Metzie.3012Metzie.3012 Member ✭✭
    edited December 4, 2020

    @Anchoku.8142 said:
    This should be a very old discussion inside Arenanet but I often wonder why Living World episodes are completely free for those who log in and play them?

    Why not charge a small fee (microtransaction) to purchase the episode before the next episode and increase it later? The fee could also be discounted but not eliminated with gems.

    ANet pursues a clear concept, which concerns the monetarization. Therefore also concerning the contents of the "living world". Everyone who logs in within a currently published "living world story" can play it freely - correctly. If the player has not been online before and wants to play through all the(se) previous stories, he or she has to buy them (see picture). So it is not completely free!



    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Living_World

    The same could be applied for competitive play seasons while giving a bump up for in-game rewards or a guaranteed skin unlock.

    For this Clown Fiesta, which you experience in PvP by now, ANet should rather pay its remaining players, so that they don't run away too. Therefore, according to the current state of PvP, I would not pay an additional cent. And no, PvP is not because of what it is, just because there is no (additional) monetization concept in that respect. Dont get me wrong. I like to pay, even more sometimes ... but for quality!

    The "every little bit of content is free" business model was fine in the first few LW seasons but does it still make sense?

    What do you think, would ANet have combined both expansions to purchase for one price more than a year ago, if they didn't know it would pay off? If this would have made no sense, would they have offered or changed it? And why do you write that it WAS fine? Are you aware of other circumstances? :)

    No offense, this post was also for free. :p

  • crepuscular.9047crepuscular.9047 Member ✭✭✭✭

    GW1 was my poor man's MMO, both financially and time, and loved it <3B)<3

    [RIP Fashion Wars 2005-2018]     [TTS] [KA] [SI]     [RIP Fashion Wars 2005-2018]
    Praise the Inevitable Eternal Transcendent King Palawa Ignacious Joko, the Beloved and Feared Undying Eternal Monarch of All !!!
    ... til Aurene ate him for dessert 😭
  • Aaralyna.3104Aaralyna.3104 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Free LW episodes when just out is a sort of loyalty program (you need to own the expansions to actually access them and you paid for said expansions). But if the LW episodes are paid from the start, would you actually buy it? I surely wouldn't like paying for our current disaster of an episode and even Icebrood saga as a whole would be debateable. Expansions I would pay for IF it looks promising (and a bad living world prior makes me less likely to actually purchase it directly if at all).

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭

    After a season they leave 1 or 2 episodes free to player "feel the taste" and buy the rest, thats way i bought ls2 lol.

    main pvp: Khel the Undead(power reaper).

  • kharmin.7683kharmin.7683 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Nothing is preventing the OP from buying gems with cash every time a LW episode is released. In fact, I encourage it.

    I am a very casual player.
    Very.
    Casual.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    As other people have said it's probably because this way players have an incentive to log in and play (or at least unlock) the new episodes as soon as they're released and that keeps the population up and increases the chances that people are in-game to see and choose to buy gem store stuff. Maybe also because when they're releasing something every month or two charging for episodes might seem like a de facto subscription.

    It still seems weird to me and I think charging for the content and then having fewer items sold seperately would make more sense, or at least it's what I'm used to as someone who has mainly played single-player (or small multi-player) offline games. But I have to admit this system has worked well for me because it means I don't need to spend money on the game to keep playing, even to keep playing the newest releases, which also means it's entirely up to me how much I spend and when. I've never tracked it precisely but I know that's pretty variable, sometimes I've spent £40 on gems in a matter of weeks, other times I've gone for months without buying any. It depends on what's on offer and what else is going on in my life.

    If they did change it I wouldn't complain and I would be willing to buy episodes, but I might not do it right away, it would wait until I was ready both to play the new release and to pay for it. (A lot like my other MMO - Elder Scrolls Online. I'm still actively playing that but I haven't bought the new DLC yet, just because I haven't gotten to the point where I'm ready to start it and I've got other things to spend my money on right now.)

    Danielle Aurorel, Desolation EU. Mini Collector

    "Life's a journey, not a destination."

  • Fueki.4753Fueki.4753 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 7, 2020

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    It still seems weird to me and I think charging for the content and then having fewer items sold seperately would make more sense

    Even if Arenanet started charging for the current Living Story episodes, I strongly doubt it would reduce the amount of other fluff sold through the Gem Store.

  • anduriell.6280anduriell.6280 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 7, 2020

    @Anchoku.8142 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    Beacuse they likely have always generated enough through gemstore microtransactions which are pretty heavy to allow us free content. Personally I prefer this method of funding and I think making it both would damage the population of the game and be unsustainable because essentailly the game would be one step from being a sub based game if you had to buy every content that drops.

    It also encourages a loyal fanbase to login more often

    And yet there were layoffs...
    What players like is absolutely free new content and servers that do not lag. There is no such thing as a free lunch and the fact that lots of games require subscription or are pay-to-win should be enough evidence that revenue is kind of necessary.

    Arenanet probably borrows funding for expac development from NCSoft or lenders so paying it back with real money (not gems) from expac sales is important. Free cash flow is something they have to worry about constantly.

    Ok you seem pretty confused on how the business works.

    Layoffs are because the company suffered an oversizing due to parallel projects, and because they could not deliver in the projected dates NCSOFT decided to reduce all that people.
    Usually what the parent company does is to say how much cash they need to save and the executives decide whom is left go.

    Nothing to do with how much money they make which is enough to keep them afloat and then some by the way.

    LW episodes are free because that's how the "game as service" works. You keep the players coming back for the new free content so they are being exposed to the gemstore items. A player which does not actively interact with the game is a potential less consumer .

    So all the "free" content in this game in not actually free is how the game as service model product can sustain itself.

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 7, 2020

    @Fueki.4753 said:

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    It still seems weird to me and I think charging for the content and then having fewer items sold seperately would make more sense

    Even if Arenanet started charging for the current Living Story episodes, I strongly doubt it would reduce the amount of other fluff sold through the Gem Store.

    It wouldn't, Just take a good look at WoW for a great example of pure greed in this form.

    Gw2:
    2 random basic mount skins for 800 gems (10 euros) 1 basic mount from choice licence 1,200 gems (15 euros)
    1 premium mount skin for 2000 gems (25 euro)
    1 minipet average 350-400 gems (5 euros) occasionally several in a set for 600 gems.

    WoW:
    1 basic mount on cash shop (25 euros)
    1 premium mount on cash shop (30 euro)
    1 minipet on cash shop (10 euros)

    And then take into account that WoW:
    Until 2 years ago you had to actually buy the game to play it as well as every expansion to play those too, the game was 14 years old by this point.
    You are forced to pay a fee every month just to play the game.. and Blizzard takes away your access to the game if you don't despite all the money you've invested into it.
    They have a cash shop as well which is even more expensive and greedy than the one we have in Gw2.

    And of course there's the Free2play differences too, you get the entire Gw2 core game for free with pretty small account restrictions that are at best an inconvenience designed mostly to avoid abuse by bots and scammers.
    Wow however gives you a free trail to level 20 then locks you off from progressing any further, even limits the gold you can earn among many other very hard restrictions that are designed mostly to get you hooked on the game and make you cave in and give Blizzard money to keep playing.

    The two games are a night and day difference imo with Gw2 being monumentally more fair and consumer friendly to the people who support it.
    By comparison WoW is almost malicious in it's nickle and dime methods.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Fueki.4753 said:

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    It still seems weird to me and I think charging for the content and then having fewer items sold seperately would make more sense

    Even if Arenanet started charging for the current Living Story episodes, I strongly doubt it would reduce the amount of other fluff sold through the Gem Store.

    Yeah, that's the other issue with changing the system we have, it would probably result in an increased cost overall rather than just a change in what we pay for.

    Danielle Aurorel, Desolation EU. Mini Collector

    "Life's a journey, not a destination."

  • DoomNexus.5324DoomNexus.5324 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 7, 2020

    @Anchoku.8142 said:
    This should be a very old discussion inside Arenanet but I often wonder why Living World episodes are completely free for those who log in and play them?

    Why not charge a small fee (microtransaction) to purchase the episode before the next episode and increase it later? The fee could also be discounted but not eliminated with gems.

    The same could be applied for competitive play seasons while giving a bump up for in-game rewards or a guaranteed skin unlock.

    The "every little bit of content is free" business model was fine in the first few LW seasons but does it still make sense?

    Share your thought here!

    I'm wondering since LS1.. I HATE that my payments indirectly (or directly) support Anet making Living Stories. I'm not interested in the chapters at all and the only reason I may buy some would be if the map had an enjoyable farm.
    Also, why would you not monetize actual content?! By that logic they'd have to give away expansions for free as well imho.
    I mean.. if they earn enough money from the gem store then why lock bigger content updates behind paywalls and exclude the "poorer players" on the important stuff? And if they don't earn enough money then why give away dlc-like content updates for free?.. Pretty inconsistent if you ask me but on the other hand Anet has always been inconsistent af so nothing new I guess...

    Look at ESO for example, they pump out WAY more content without flooding their cash shop as much and I'm preeetty confident it's because they monetize their dlcs and Anet doesn't.
    Also.. More money doesn't hurt, at least I don't think NCSoft would complain if Anet had more profit.. So even IF they made enough from the gem shop there is still nothing wrong that they want to get paid for actual content they developed.. That would be as if McDonalds gave away burgers and drinks for free but sell a bag and straw for 10 and 15€.
    Players who don't own Living Stories also don't miss out on anything important anyway imo. Even having them for open world farming is not that important, it's just nice to have an alternative to Silverwastes (Because who the kitten cares about the story anyway, it's boring af..)

    Would highly appreciate a reasonable price tag on living story episodes ngl.

    But I think the reason why they don't monetize the LS episodes is because they know exactly that it's not worth a lot and by forcing every player to own them, fanbois can defend Anet by saying "we get free content updates regularly, why do you complain?!".

  • Linken.6345Linken.6345 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @DoomNexus.5324 said:

    @Anchoku.8142 said:
    This should be a very old discussion inside Arenanet but I often wonder why Living World episodes are completely free for those who log in and play them?

    Why not charge a small fee (microtransaction) to purchase the episode before the next episode and increase it later? The fee could also be discounted but not eliminated with gems.

    The same could be applied for competitive play seasons while giving a bump up for in-game rewards or a guaranteed skin unlock.

    The "every little bit of content is free" business model was fine in the first few LW seasons but does it still make sense?

    Share your thought here!

    I'm wondering since LS1.. I HATE that my payments indirectly (or directly) support Anet making Living Stories. I'm not interested in the chapters at all and the only reason I may buy some would be if the map had an enjoyable farm.
    Also, why would you not monetize actual content?! By that logic they'd have to give away expansions for free as well imho.
    I mean.. if they earn enough money from the gem store then why lock bigger content updates behind paywalls and exclude the "poorer players" on the important stuff? And if they don't earn enough money then why give away dlc-like content updates for free?.. Pretty inconsistent if you ask me but on the other hand Anet has always been inconsistent af so nothing new I guess...

    Look at ESO for example, they pump out WAY more content without flooding their cash shop as much and I'm preeetty confident it's because they monetize their dlcs and Anet doesn't.
    Also.. More money doesn't hurt, at least I don't think NCSoft would complain if Anet had more profit.. So even IF they made enough from the gem shop there is still nothing wrong that they want to get paid for actual content they developed.. That would be as if McDonalds gave away burgers and drinks for free but sell a bag and straw for 10 and 15€.
    Players who don't own Living Stories also don't miss out on anything important anyway imo. Even having them for open world farming is not that important, it's just nice to have an alternative to Silverwastes (Because who the kitten cares about the story anyway, it's boring af..)

    Would highly appreciate a reasonable price tag on living story episodes ngl.

    But I think the reason why they don't monetize the LS episodes is because they know exactly that it's not worth a lot and by forcing every player to own them, fanbois can defend Anet by saying "we get free content updates regularly, why do you complain?!".

    Because players demand paid expansions that feel meaty instead of trickle of content over months.

  • Fueki.4753Fueki.4753 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @DoomNexus.5324 said:
    Also.. More money doesn't hurt, at least I don't think NCSoft would complain if Anet had more profit.. So even IF they made enough from the gem shop there is still nothing wrong that they want to get paid for actual content they developed.

    Would that actually lead to more profits, or would it just drive players away, who might buy something in the future?
    I can't see how they would get more profits, when players, who occasionally buy things from the Gem Store, start to leave the game because
    between-expansions content is no longer free.
    After all, free content between expansions is one of the stronger points for GW2.

    I certainly wouldn't want to pay for Living World of the abysmal scale that Season 5 (and especially Episode 5) delivers.

  • DoomNexus.5324DoomNexus.5324 Member ✭✭✭

    @Fueki.4753 said:

    @DoomNexus.5324 said:
    Also.. More money doesn't hurt, at least I don't think NCSoft would complain if Anet had more profit.. So even IF they made enough from the gem shop there is still nothing wrong that they want to get paid for actual content they developed.

    Would that actually lead to more profits, or would it just drive players away, who might buy something in the future?
    I can't see how they would get more profits, when players, who occasionally buy things from the Gem Store, start to leave the game because
    between-expansions content is no longer free.
    After all, free content between expansions is one of the stronger points for GW2.

    I certainly wouldn't want to pay for Living World of the abysmal scale that Season 5 (and especially Episode 5) delivers.

    Exactly, that's my point. It would either get paid by the people who are actually interested or wouldn't make enough money so Anet has to switch their content delivery.. Or just kitten all and continue and let people pay for stuff they don't want.
    Also I don't think it's one of the stronger points for GW2.. The content we get is almost all the time pretty abysmal, short lived and the only positive side of any Living Story (for me anyway) was some good farmable maps. Ditching the (mediocre at best) story would also speed up the development cycle.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    But the lay offs were not known to be connected to gw2s finances, they were connected to what appeared to be unviable side projects

    The problem with saying this might have prevented lay offs is that funding a game like gw2 - which isn’t a major AAA title - with compulsory paid dlc and expacs and micro transactions is that you squeeze your population too far and reduce it likely to levels which could have risked those lay offs coming earlier.

    I’m not always a critical fan of LS, but I’m confident in believing it would have been a disaster to charge fully for it. They took a chance with free LS for loyal players and it paid off massively

    Clearly the gw2 finances didnt allow them to expand their studio and list of games not to say that gw2 itself is in a pretty low point overall.

    Other mmos have managed to find big success with charging for content because alot of ppl would rather fund the content outright and not buy or gamble on cosmetics for that.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Fueki.4753 said:

    @DoomNexus.5324 said:
    Also.. More money doesn't hurt, at least I don't think NCSoft would complain if Anet had more profit.. So even IF they made enough from the gem shop there is still nothing wrong that they want to get paid for actual content they developed.

    Would that actually lead to more profits, or would it just drive players away, who might buy something in the future?
    I can't see how they would get more profits, when players, who occasionally buy things from the Gem Store, start to leave the game because
    between-expansions content is no longer free.
    After all, free content between expansions is one of the stronger points for GW2.

    I certainly wouldn't want to pay for Living World of the abysmal scale that Season 5 (and especially Episode 5) delivers.

    It works for other mmos so certainly if theres good content that worth paying for theres a playerbase thats willing to buy that. (just look at the ppl that were asking for an expansion for years since pof even after ibs was announced.

  • If, as was suggested above, Living World Episodes were either discounted by 50% (100 Gems) or offered at 50 Gems, I doubt that would garner much income, as many would just exchange Gold for Gems (around 30 Gold or 15 Gold, respectively).
    (The same reason stated for the prices on Mount Skins.)

  • Ben K.6238Ben K.6238 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @DoomNexus.5324 said:
    I'm wondering since LS1.. I HATE that my payments indirectly (or directly) support Anet making Living Stories. I'm not interested in the chapters at all and the only reason I may buy some would be if the map had an enjoyable farm.
    Also, why would you not monetize actual content?! By that logic they'd have to give away expansions for free as well imho.
    I mean.. if they earn enough money from the gem store then why lock bigger content updates behind paywalls and exclude the "poorer players" on the important stuff? And if they don't earn enough money then why give away dlc-like content updates for free?.. Pretty inconsistent if you ask me but on the other hand Anet has always been inconsistent af so nothing new I guess...

    Look at ESO for example, they pump out WAY more content without flooding their cash shop as much and I'm preeetty confident it's because they monetize their dlcs and Anet doesn't.
    Also.. More money doesn't hurt, at least I don't think NCSoft would complain if Anet had more profit.. So even IF they made enough from the gem shop there is still nothing wrong that they want to get paid for actual content they developed.. That would be as if McDonalds gave away burgers and drinks for free but sell a bag and straw for 10 and 15€.
    Players who don't own Living Stories also don't miss out on anything important anyway imo. Even having them for open world farming is not that important, it's just nice to have an alternative to Silverwastes (Because who the kitten cares about the story anyway, it's boring af..)

    Would highly appreciate a reasonable price tag on living story episodes ngl.

    But I think the reason why they don't monetize the LS episodes is because they know exactly that it's not worth a lot and by forcing every player to own them, fanbois can defend Anet by saying "we get free content updates regularly, why do you complain?!".

    There are many games that do not monetize the core gameplay - free-to-play games have been a thing for a while now. By removing the barrier to entry, the potential is there to increase the number of active players, who may then make discretionary purchases that they wouldn't make if they weren't playing. Some go P2W to make money, others don't. But for GW2 there'll be something similar going on: it's better for ANet's bottom line to get a lot of players into each new episode than a smaller number who are paying for each release.

    I'd bet it's somewhat related to the ESO thing, in that their episodes aren't really worth buying every 2-3 months, whereas the ESO ones are - sort of. ESO's release cadence means if you're interested in story content but not dungeons, you only get two updates you might be interested in per year. It means you don't have to pay for content that frequently, but it also comes at a high risk of dropping out of the game entirely - I certainly did, given I'm not interested in their Skyrim chapters and I've been finding their "expansions" disappointingly small in geographical scale lately.

    GW2 gets a free pass from me for all that, because they don't charge for whatever content they put out. I'm likely to continue playing, and thus contribute to a more active world for everyone else, even if the latest episode is not the sort of thing I'd pay a cent for. They probably make more money out of me for outfit and mount skins than they ever could off LS episodes anyway.

  • BadHealer.3608BadHealer.3608 Member ✭✭✭

    @Anchoku.8142 said:
    Why not charge a small fee (microtransaction) to purchase the episode before the next episode and increase it later? The fee could also be discounted but not eliminated with gems.

    Yeah, that is really a great idea to make sure that less people are coming back to the game and play the LS. What else can we do so that less people are playing the game?

    Do you really think that player x will stop playing game x and say "Cool I can get back into Guild Wars 2 and as a reward I can buy a new story with my money! That is so great!" Instead of "Cool I can get back into Guild Wars 2 and as a reward I get for free a new story, but I must rush or I have to pay that with my money! That is so great!"

  • Anchoku.8142Anchoku.8142 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @kharmin.7683 said:
    Nothing is preventing the OP from buying gems with cash every time a LW episode is released. In fact, I encourage it.

    And the OP (me) does make a point of buying gems with real money periodically to support continued game development. ;-)

    The sad reality is that free cash flow matters a lot. If Arenanet has to change the rules to get it, I expect they will or slow/halt development, cut staff and move into a smaller office.

    Some of you might think, "Well, if retail gem sales slow down, they just cut working hours or don't make as much," but that is not going to work.

    If you love the game, pay a little real money once in a while and play the game a lot. Thank you all for reading and participating in this discussion. It shows you care about GW2 and it's future.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 8, 2020

    @DoomNexus.5324 said:

    @Anchoku.8142 said:
    This should be a very old discussion inside Arenanet but I often wonder why Living World episodes are completely free for those who log in and play them?

    Why not charge a small fee (microtransaction) to purchase the episode before the next episode and increase it later? The fee could also be discounted but not eliminated with gems.

    The same could be applied for competitive play seasons while giving a bump up for in-game rewards or a guaranteed skin unlock.

    The "every little bit of content is free" business model was fine in the first few LW seasons but does it still make sense?

    Share your thought here!

    I'm wondering since LS1.. I HATE that my payments indirectly (or directly) support Anet making Living Stories. I'm not interested in the chapters at all and the only reason I may buy some would be if the map had an enjoyable farm.
    Also, why would you not monetize actual content?! By that logic they'd have to give away expansions for free as well imho.
    I mean.. if they earn enough money from the gem store then why lock bigger content updates behind paywalls and exclude the "poorer players" on the important stuff? And if they don't earn enough money then why give away dlc-like content updates for free?.. Pretty inconsistent if you ask me but on the other hand Anet has always been inconsistent af so nothing new I guess...

    Look at ESO for example, they pump out WAY more content without flooding their cash shop as much and I'm preeetty confident it's because they monetize their dlcs and Anet doesn't.
    Also.. More money doesn't hurt, at least I don't think NCSoft would complain if Anet had more profit.. So even IF they made enough from the gem shop there is still nothing wrong that they want to get paid for actual content they developed.. That would be as if McDonalds gave away burgers and drinks for free but sell a bag and straw for 10 and 15€.
    Players who don't own Living Stories also don't miss out on anything important anyway imo. Even having them for open world farming is not that important, it's just nice to have an alternative to Silverwastes (Because who the kitten cares about the story anyway, it's boring af..)

    Would highly appreciate a reasonable price tag on living story episodes ngl.

    But I think the reason why they don't monetize the LS episodes is because they know exactly that it's not worth a lot and by forcing every player to own them, fanbois can defend Anet by saying "we get free content updates regularly, why do you complain?!".

    I'm pretty sure they started making paid expansions only because players (and by extension the gaming media) kept going on and on about how the game didn't have expansions and therefore had no "real" development. So they stopped releasing living story updates for 9 months, bundled them together under the name Heart of Thorns and sold it as an expansion instead of a series of free updates. They recently tried to revert back to the purely free update model with Icebrood Saga, but again got a massive backlash about how no paid expansions means no real development, so they gutted IBS down to the bare minimum we're seeing now to focus on making a paid expansion marketed on the nostalgia fan-service of setting it in Cantha instead.

    Also I disagree completely that ESO gets more content. Half their releases each year consist of nothing but a couple of dungeon paths. If you aren't in the minority of players who feel pressured to grind them endlessly hoping for the right drops it doesn't take long at all to complete 2 dungeon paths. Even the chapters and story DLC recently have been pretty minimal compared to what we used to get. Although I haven't played Markath, precisely because I don't currently feel like there's any incentive for me to get it yet. Maybe when it's inevitably discounted in a few months but as it is that up-front cost is definitely a barrier to entry to me. I can afford it, but I need to be convinced it's worth spending my money on it first.

    Also the only reason they don't "flood their cash shop" is because the majority of new items these days go into crown crates instead. At least when black lion chests get updated in GW2 there's usually only 2-3 new items and maybe a new weapon set, not a full set of mount skins and 20+ other items. (I should have mixed feelings on this, because it has made ESO much cheaper for me now they add so few things directly to the crown store, but mostly I'm annoyed that a lot of stuff I would buy is instead locked behind gambling mechanics I refuse to engage with.)

    I like both games but if the choice is between GW2's current system or going down to just 2 new maps/story releases (one sold as an expansion, one a paid living world release) and 4 dungeon paths released each yet I'll stick with the system we have.

    Danielle Aurorel, Desolation EU. Mini Collector

    "Life's a journey, not a destination."

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Tbf lw rn doesnt really warrant money, thats certainky rude to the developers but i dont think anyone would justify paying for the content we get rn.

    But thats the issue, the are making free content so the scope of the update is already kitten poor compaired to paid updates in other mmos.