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A Critical Summary of Warframe's Monetization Methods


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11 minutes ago, (PS4)Madurai-Prime said:

And how do you think warframe stays in business? Are you paying them 15 dollars a month?

lmfao, at 15$/mo they'd probably be making 200-300%+ as their profit margin

ITT: gamerz justifying and enabling their own exploitation :D

fact is, DE could probably make the sub cost 5$/mo and still make a profit off of its 50 mil registered losers xD

There's no valid justification for mod packs, credits, and #*!%ing NANO SPORES (3000/30 plat) being available for purchase.

Edited by Gwyndolin-chan
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1 minute ago, Gwyndolin-chan said:

lmfao, at 15$/mo they'd probably be making 200-300%+ as their profit margin

ITT: gamerz justifying and enabling their own exploitation :D

Did you know multiple games have 15/month subscriptions and still have worse monetization than warframe? 

What is your rebuttal to this knowledge? 

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3 minutes ago, (PS4)Madurai-Prime said:

Did you know multiple games have 15/month subscriptions and still have worse monetization than warframe? 

What is your rebuttal to this knowledge? 

fact is, DE could probably make the sub cost 5$/mo and still make a profit off of its 50 mil registered losers xD

There's no valid justification for mod packs, credits, and #*!%ing NANO SPORES (3000/30 plat) being available for purchase.

The presence of even worse products on the market does not justify letting Warframe slide. Otherwise you're justifying a race-to-the-bottom if all you're ever comparing are worse examples. Defending the indefensible. Garbage mentality.

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1 minute ago, Gwyndolin-chan said:

fact is, DE could probably make the sub cost 5$/mo and still make a profit off of its 50 mil registered losers xD

There's no valid justification for mod packs, credits, and #*!%ing NANO SPORES (3000/30 plat) being available for purchase.

The presence of even worse products on the market does not justify letting Warframe slide. Otherwise you're justifying a race-to-the-bottom if all you're ever comparing are worse examples. Defending the indefensible. Garbage mentality.

You can't protect even the dumbest of people. Yes, it's not right, but I'm not gonna start a protest outside DE studios over 3k nano spores....when I could simply tell a new player "Hey, don't buy anything on the market, there's some stuff I have to tell you."

Welcome to a capitalist society. Many things that you, yourself, have done throughout your life have contributed to another person's suffering. Congrats....you're just like everyone else. If you have an issue with it, research and vote in your local and state elections.

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19 hours ago, elmetnuter said:

Now, take any $60 to $100 games and add all of your points. EA is laughing in stock money. Monetization is what keeps the lights and salaries on at DE.

Yah but let's pretend that prime access packs aren't a giant ripoff compared to anything else. 150$? That's almost 3 AAA titles.

 

Just because it's a free to play doesn't mean some of their pricing is beyond rediculous. How many people do you know who bought plat, without a coupon? Plat's only really worthwhile if you have a 75% coupon.

 

I don't mind supporting the dev's but really? The prices are atrocious

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Yah but let's pretend that prime access packs aren't a giant ripoff compared to anything else. 150$? That's almost 3 AAA titles.

 

Just because it's a free to play doesn't mean some of their pricing is beyond rediculous. How many people do you know who bought plat, without a coupon? Plat's only really worthwhile if you have a 75% coupon.

 

I don't mind supporting the dev's but really? The prices are atrocious

  

12 minutes ago, (PS4)Madurai-Prime said:

Did you know multiple games have 15/month subscriptions and still have worse monetization than warframe? 

What is your rebuttal to this knowledge? 

Those games are often better, and the entertainment value justifies the price. If i pay a monthly sub for a game its because it's actually....continuously enjoyable for the cost. If warframe had a sub requirement as it stands now I wouldnt touch it with a 10ft pole.

 

The amount of gamebreaking bugs, unplayability, and lack of listening to its playerbase would make sure it S#&$ the bed on sub monetization

 

Edited by Tonin4ABonin
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1 minute ago, Tonin4ABonin said:

  

Those games are often better, and the entertainment value justifies the price. If i pay a monthly sub for a game its because it's actually....continuously enjoyable for the cost. If warframe had a sub requirement as it stands now I wouldnt touch it with a 10ft pole.

 

The amount of gamebreaking bugs, unplayability, and lack of listening to its playerbase would make sure it S#&$ the bed on sub monetization

 

*in your opinion

I don't like many AAA games. Stuff happens. I like online MMOs and this one appeals to me. 

"Misery loves company" and I'm not here to accompany you, sorry. 

I love Warframe 😘

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20 minutes ago, Tonin4ABonin said:

Yah but let's pretend that prime access packs aren't a giant ripoff compared to anything else. 150$? That's almost 3 AAA titles.

 

Just because it's a free to play doesn't mean some of their pricing is beyond rediculous. How many people do you know who bought plat, without a coupon? Plat's only really worthwhile if you have a 75% coupon.

 

I don't mind supporting the dev's but really? The prices are atrocious

  

Those games are often better, and the entertainment value justifies the price. If i pay a monthly sub for a game its because it's actually....continuously enjoyable for the cost. If warframe had a sub requirement as it stands now I wouldnt touch it with a 10ft pole.

 

The amount of gamebreaking bugs, unplayability, and lack of listening to its playerbase would make sure it S#&$ the bed on sub monetization

 

I think the other person above may be too immature for the conversation, but I wanted to come back and explain the notion of "Return on Investment" so you can further understand where I'm coming from: 

Disregarding that for some people, 150 dollars isn't a lot, but we're assuming it is. If you spend 150 dollars on a videogame, you would have to play that game for awhile to get that 150 dollars worth of gameplay. 

If you spend 150 dollars, and only play for 3 months, that was clearly a waste of money. But....if you play for 3 years....you basically got years of entertainment for 150 dollars. Any financial guru or accountant would tell you that's an amazing deal.

I've spent 150 dollars on shoes that didn't last that long. I've spent 150 dollars on alcohol that didn't last 3 years.

It's up to the consumer to make sure they like this game and are willing to play it long term before spending money on it. 

I tested the game out, and once I decided this is the game for me, I spent some money because I knew I was going to be here for awhile. 

If someone downloads the game and immediately drops 150 dollars, then decides they don't want to play, that was legitimately the consumers fault. 

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Just now, Tonin4ABonin said:

So in other words, you can't ever be wrong even objectively about how poorly Warframe is designed and other factors which matter not to your subjective opinion. Thanks, good to know i can ditch this conversation because your level of intellect is low.

The issue is you want people to jump on your hate train. You seem to be just now discovering the fact that businesses exist to make profits. 

It sucks but what would you like me to do about it? 

You're challenging my intellect, yet you're in General Discussion.....a place widely known as the place where the devs don't read things here.

Are you aware there's a feedback section? Or did that slip past your intellect?

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DE structured WF and the market economy, RNG, farming, building etc. around a model to make money in order to supplement their "free to play" game.

As the game is "free to play", players can advance more quickly (skipping the wait for the majority of items) via real cash, but also via trading (given there is trade-able plat flow in the economy) for plat

The game can be played entirely for free, but DE designed their game to be fun and addictive, thus creating more of a desire in the player to want to further their progress and in most cases more quickly, knowing that a good portion of players would be impatient and would spend money to skip the wait or RNG. 

There are structures within the game that keep both sides somewhat at a same pace, except for boosters. Some items are not trade-able, and only farm-able through actually playing the game. We have daily caps (but higher MR equals higher cap which means standing can be raised on a daily basis faster than a lower MR)

It's all free, it's just a matter of how quick you want to get somewhere, although everyone (who plays off the entirely F2P model) can eventually reach the end result (dependent on RNG and time) 

It's a race to nowhere at this point. A race with no finish line. We are basically just in continual training. 

Edited by (XB1)AMONGTHEWEAK
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46 minutes ago, (PS4)Madurai-Prime said:

I think the other person above may be too immature for the conversation, but I wanted to come back and explain the notion of "Return on Investment" so you can further understand where I'm coming from: 

Disregarding that for some people, 150 dollars isn't a lot, but we're assuming it is. If you spend 150 dollars on a videogame, you would have to play that game for awhile to get that 150 dollars worth of gameplay. 

If you spend 150 dollars, and only play for 3 months, that was clearly a waste of money. But....if you play for 3 years....you basically got years of entertainment for 150 dollars. Any financial guru or accountant would tell you that's an amazing deal.

I've spent 150 dollars on shoes that didn't last that long. I've spent 150 dollars on alcohol that didn't last 3 years.

It's up to the consumer to make sure they like this game and are willing to play it long term before spending money on it. 

I tested the game out, and once I decided this is the game for me, I spent some money because I knew I was going to be here for awhile. 

If someone downloads the game and immediately drops 150 dollars, then decides they don't want to play, that was legitimately the consumers fault. 

Following your logic train, then loot crates and other forms of predatory sales should be acceptable as well, because in the end it's the consumer that has to pay for things(which has been banned and illegal in many places now). And I feel that's a horrible way to think about things. 150$ isn't a lot for me either. Even if you think about it from a business decision, would they sell more prime access packs if they were more appropriately priced? Or does their income rely on the number that buy them now? How are you going to counter their predatory mod packs and other sales items in the shop a newer player who may not know much about warframe could easily fall trap too. Is that okay because it's the consumers fault?

 

I'll say again, warframe thrives because it's F2P. If this was a sub model, you would see the numbers drastically drop. It being F2P makes all the issues more acceptable, because then you don't "have" to pay for anything. But someone is, in the end. 

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1 minute ago, Tonin4ABonin said:

Following your logic train, then loot crates and other forms of predatory sales should be acceptable as well, because in the end it's the consumer that has to pay for things(which has been banned and illegal in many places now). And I feel that's a horrible way to think about things. 150$ isn't a lot for me either. Even if you think about it from a business decision, would they sell more prime access packs if they were more appropriately priced? Or does their income rely on the number that buy them now? How are you going to counter their predatory mod packs and other sales items in the shop a newer player who may not know much about warframe could easily fall trap too. Is that okay because it's the consumers fault?

 

No, that's you assuming I think they're acceptable. I think a lot of things are unacceptable, but they still happen....welcome to life. Do you think it's acceptable for children and slaves to mine minerals used to make the electronic devices we're using right now? I imagine that's a no, yet you're still typing.....why haven't you thrown all of your electronics away? Why don't you dedicate your life to taking down Apple and FoxConn?

See how dumb that sounds? Sweet...moving on....

In another thread, it has been pointed out that Prime packs contain many items to justify their price. That's 2 prime frames, 2 weapons, cosmetics, as well as plat. Buying all of those things separately could possibly be more expensive. On PS4, 3,000 plat is 150 dollars I believe or close to it. It's your standard bundle that makes it cheap because buying everything separately is more expensive. Then, some people buy it because they (gasp) actually like the game and want to support the game.

As for the mod packs and players getting scammed? Just like with anything in life, the consumer has to do their research. This game is rated mature so I believe the standard 18 year old should at least have a developed enough brain to read first or ask a question or 2 to decide if buying mods in a looter shooter is a good idea...

I personally saw that mods and resources dropped from the first mission in the game....so paired with my prior experience of how games and businesses operate, I decided to have a modicum of patience and see what mods dropped during gameplay before immediately opening my wallet like an impatient child.

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2 hours ago, Lutesque said:

Really ?

How much do you think we should pay to experience things like Defection or Thermia Fractures ?

Oh sure these things seem good when they are free but if you were to put a Price on I doubt it would actually cost that much given that it's Quality is terrible compared to content you would have to pay for in a game you would have to pay for.

The biggest problem I think with The Free To Play model is the excuse that a game is allowed to be worse if you don't have to pay for it....

But Since Warframe can't actually afford to be Free To Play... Doesn't that mean we should hold it to the standard we would any other game we would have to pay for ?

I have no idea how much to pay per event and I'm not suggesting we pay per event. We're just trying to explain to you that if DE has zero ways of making money from Warframe at all, there would be no way at all for them to continue making and maintaining Warframe for us. Video games are not charities, they're entertainment/art, and starving artists will end up dead sooner or later.

Warframe is free-to-play so I have no idea why you're saying it can't afford to be; that's literally what it is.

I'm also saying nothing about holding it to standards either way. My postulation is quite simple: if you don't want Warframe to get money via microtransactions for cosmetics and similar, and if you also don't suggest that it should become a one-time purchase game or a subscription-based game, how on Earth do you want DE to keep being able to give their employees salaries?

2 hours ago, Lutesque said:

It does ... Even with a Bottomless Wallet Warframe will still eat up alot of your time....

You can play Warframe less per day or per week or month or per year but unless you just Stop playing all together it's still going to eat up all your time....

Nobody Escapes the Grind....

Except no, because you can just play it less, nobody's forcing you to spend any amount of time on it at all...but...okay...?

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I'm mostly going to be responding to the OP's comments regarding TennoGen since there seems to be a lot of, 'misconstrued information', in my opinion.

On 2020-09-15 at 2:56 PM, Atkana said:

Paid Mods / Community content storefront
Selling of content created by the community.

Okay, first off. Why are you making a comparison of TennoGen to Paid Mods? Not only are these items accepted into the game by DE, but they are also officially added through updates of the games. A mod would mean having to manually download the item itself onto your own version of the game. The only reason I can see why it's being made is because at one point, Steam (with the approval of Bethesda) did allow for mod creators to put a price on their mods through the Steam Workshop at one point, and TennoGen uses the Steam Workshop system as well. But the comparison is very far from close to each other on the precedent of how these items are implemented. I get you're probably using a general-use term to describe these items, but that can twist how people perceive them in the vain of using it as a negative connotation. "I know that X is bad, so when Y is said to be X, it must also be bad!" It's similar to how you called void relics 'lootboxes' despite the very clear differences between the two.

Second, why exactly is this being listed in the same vain as lootboxes and time pressure deals? I get the entire list is meant to be a summary of the types of monetization practices, but since you are doing it from a 'critical' angle, it is definitely trying to act in a way of putting those things in a negative light (as previously described). But the thing is that community-created storefronts do not have to be inherently seen as bad, so I'm not exactly sure why it's being placed here. Of course, it is a method of monetization that DE uses, but again, putting side to side with other seemingly worse methods does not make this one look better.

On 2020-09-15 at 2:56 PM, Atkana said:

The Tennogen system allows members of the community to create and vote on new cosmetics to be added into the game.

Voting does not affect whether or not an item gets added into the game. It's primarily decided through DE's stylistic and technical standards (listed in their TennoGen Guide) that decide if an item does. (If you're now asking, "then why does the Steam Workshop says otherwise?" it's because that's how that particular workshop layout is setup by default. It's similar to other games like DOTA 2 and TF2. Can't really blame DE since they don't own the website.)

On 2020-09-15 at 2:56 PM, Atkana said:

If accepted, they are available to be sold in-game, with some of the money going to the cosmetic's creator, while the rest goes to Digital Extremes (and Valve presumably taking a cut).

Yes, it's a three way cut. The creators of the TennoGen item, DE, and Valve take a cut. Creators for obviously creating the item, DE for putting the item into their own game (with presumably also for marketing/promotion), and Valve for hosting the Steam Workshop and implementation system of the item.

It's a different story on consoles however since DE and the creators have to agree on a deal/contract so the items can be ported onto them, as creators can't get direct payment through those console storefronts due to how monetization works there.

On 2020-09-15 at 2:56 PM, Atkana said:

The cut that creators make is 30% of the sales. For some rough comparisons on similar-ish topics:

  • Cosmetic creators for Team Fortress 2 used to receive 25% of the sales of their items, though that is no longer true. Nowadays they make much less, ~7%.

I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong, but do you mind backing up this information? At least the TF2 part since, I am aware that nowadays with the Steam Market that creators have been losing more potential revenue, but am I not aware that apparently that have been cut down to a lower amount. I am aware that an item with multiple creators can each have a different share amount due to the type of contribution made towards it (for ex. the amount the concept artist takes vs the amount the model/texture artist makes).

On 2020-09-15 at 2:56 PM, Atkana said:

This point is up for debate, but one criticism of this system is that it allows companies to exploit cheaper labour rather than producing content themselves. Judging by how Tennogen skins generally make up half or more of the available cosmetics, one could argue this might be the case in Warframe.

Yeah... no. One thing that needs to be explicitly understood about TennoGen, is that there is no obligation for the artists and creators to actually make the items for DE. And I couldn't tell you the reason why some still do so besides "I want to" for the most part. Another is the fact that, the "cheaper labor" label can only be applied if DE solely relied on TennoGen artists for cosmetics. Which is clearly not the case when they regularly release Deluxes and other cosmetics. And finally, while yes, TennoGen artists may be able to make enough money from their sales to consider what they do a job, in theory making it 'labor', the thing is that most of them do it as a hobby due to the uncertainty of their items being accepted (which by the way, is not the same thing as not paying artists for creating items for your game, as the denied TennoGen items have not been added yet).

Honestly, I feel like the label of "cheap labor" is harmful for the perception of TennoGen not only as it might draw away from people supporting artists through their decided purchases (in order to not support 'scummy practices'), but also may discourage inspiring TennoGen artists who want to make their own items from the idea of their work eventually being exploited by DE. When in reality both parties benefit from the inclusion of the items, and I'm not just talking about money here, as not only do these TennoGen artists potentially become icons in the community, but DE is even able to show how much they have been able to benefit and share the talents of a wide variety of artists. I can get you're just bring this up as a point of discussion and may not actually believe this, but considering your similarly negative labeling of other types of systems and even stating "one could argue this might be the case in Warframe", it tells me otherwise. I'm sorry, but I do not accept that, and I'd imagine TennoGen artists would agree.

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On 2020-09-15 at 2:28 PM, (XB1)CaptainSeth5423 said:

Lol who buys void relic packs

Right now I'm switching from one syndicate group to another to get all the items, and as my rep goes down in levels I just grab some relic packs so it doesnt go all to waste.

Literally the only time I'd do that, though lol

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3 hours ago, (PS4)Madurai-Prime said:

No, that's you assuming I think they're acceptable. I think a lot of things are unacceptable, but they still happen....welcome to life. Do you think it's acceptable for children and slaves to mine minerals used to make the electronic devices we're using right now? I imagine that's a no, yet you're still typing.....why haven't you thrown all of your electronics away? Why don't you dedicate your life to taking down Apple and FoxConn?

F2Z73VY.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Gwyndolin-chan said:

F2Z73VY.jpg

Cool. I'm actually not intelligent, I'm just another idiot from a small town. I'm sharing my perspective that everyone knows businesses and games milk money from people, it's not that deep, I left a game that started heavily implementing loot boxes. I left. It's that simple. You're not gonna change much in General Discussion. Why don't you take it up with the people that make the game in feedback. 

I like the game and avoided being conned. I spent money when I decided to. It's a company providing a service, and if you no longer want to partake, then offer some parting words and find a game that has better business practices.

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On 2020-09-15 at 2:56 PM, Atkana said:

The market price for purchasing standard Warframes is often higher than purchasing their (objectively superior) Prime versions through trade from other players.

Got an issue with this one. See, that's not on DE, that's due to players being desperate for plat and willing to offer these items for lower values than their vanilla versions. If DE forced the players to do that, or kept adusting the market prices based on the trade value for the primes, then that would be on DE, but the market prices are fixed.

 

Some of the other stuff is totally valid, and some is a bit more subjective about the motivations behind the feature, but I can live with that.

 

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48 minutes ago, (PS4)Madurai-Prime said:

Cool. I'm actually not intelligent, I'm just another idiot from a small town. I'm sharing my perspective that everyone knows businesses and games milk money from people, it's not that deep, I left a game that started heavily implementing loot boxes. I left. It's that simple. You're not gonna change much in General Discussion. Why don't you take it up with the people that make the game in feedback. 

I like the game and avoided being conned. I spent money when I decided to. It's a company providing a service, and if you no longer want to partake, then offer some parting words and find a game that has better business practices.

what i don't understand is why you recognize this but at the same time still defend DE

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7 hours ago, Tonin4ABonin said:

Yah but let's pretend that prime access packs aren't a giant ripoff compared to anything else. 150$? That's almost 3 AAA titles.

 

Just because it's a free to play doesn't mean some of their pricing is beyond rediculous. How many people do you know who bought plat, without a coupon? Plat's only really worthwhile if you have a 75% coupon.

 

I don't mind supporting the dev's but really? The prices are atrocious

  

Those games are often better, and the entertainment value justifies the price. If i pay a monthly sub for a game its because it's actually....continuously enjoyable for the cost. If warframe had a sub requirement as it stands now I wouldnt touch it with a 10ft pole.

 

The amount of gamebreaking bugs, unplayability, and lack of listening to its playerbase would make sure it S#&$ the bed on sub monetization

 

Hold up..... You gotta answer something for me real quick..... Why are you still here? 

I mean really, if it's all bad as far as you are concerned, why stick around? Legit question. 

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The OP does a thorough and arguably pretty fair job of summarizing Warframe's monetization. My assessment is that there are three types of monetization in Warframe:

  1. Monetization that I'd say is both fair and profitable to the game, i.e. paid cosmetics in a game that gives plenty of good cosmetic options to the player for free.
  2. Monetization that is likely profitable, but also abusive by nature, e.g. pay-to-skip via the Foundry, purchaseable power bonuses with Forma, potatoes, etc., or the artificial scarcity of the Prime Vault. These are the kinds of strategies that I think pit the developers against the players, because these strategies tend to rely on degrading the game's quality, such as by adding excessive amounts of grinding to incentivize players to skip it via paid options.
  3. Monetization that is an outright trap, i.e. foundry rush fees exceeding the purchase cost of an item. These are the bits that come across as either particularly inept or dishonest, because one can flat-out demonstrate that players would waste their money by purchasing those paid options.

In an ideal world, I'd like type 1 monetization to be the only kind in the game, and perhaps with the added improvement of unrestricted color selection (palettes feel dated and restrictive when one could just freely have a full RGB selection). More realistically, though, I think DE should do a cost-benefit analysis for their type 2 monetization schemes and only keep those that truly sell, because many I feel aren't really worth their implementation, especially with players expecting a higher standard of quality from the game overall since its launch. Type 3 monetization I think should disappear completely, because that's just the ugly kind that makes for bad PR and customer ill will.

Overall, I have to agree that the monetization, along with the grind, are the two main obstacles to me recommending Warframe to other players: as much as I love this game, I'm well aware it comes with many caveats, and doesn't always have the player's best interests in mind. I can't recommend this game to anyone vulnerable to Skinner boxes, because it could legitimately derail their life, nor can I even truly recommend it to someone who expects games to be straightforward and honest with them, because they're liable to spend their starting plat on something useless, then drop the game entirely when they realize they'd been tricked. The game is arguably a lot less predatory than many AAA games out there, but that is only faint praise given the industry's current state, and it can certainly do a lot better.

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2 hours ago, Gwyndolin-chan said:

what i don't understand is why you recognize this but at the same time still defend DE

Why do people recognize anything yet still defend it? We know fast food is bad, yet still eat it, and bunch of other stuff I'm not gonna get into.

An actual casino can be fun: go there with some friends and do a few slots and have some drinks for example. Another guy can completely lose his child's college money in a couple hours. 

Are people just supposed to stop everything and quit all videogames? Like I said before: I don't have data, but I have a hunch most people really aren't dumb enough to actually buy plat, then buy 500 plat worth of nano spores on the market. 

Most people are probably selling stuff, buying plat outright then just making it last, or buying plat for boosters and farming resources like crazy. Some people are just grinding to sell stuff to buy something cool they like like a Tennogen. I recently found out some of our Tennogen money actually goes back to the artists that create it....I think that's cool because I wanna support an artist.

 

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