Scrolls May Go Free-to-Play

Scrolls May Go Free-to-Play

Scrolls title

Mojang co-founder Jakob Porser says Scrolls could become a free-to-play game if the number of players doesn't start to pick up.

A couple of years ago, Minecraft creator and Mojang co-founder Markus "Notch" Persson made it clear that he is not a fan of free-to-play games. "The reason anyone switches to 'free to play' is to make more money. You get your players hooked on your game, and then you try to monetize them," he wrote on his blog. "The idea is to find a model where there basically is no cap on how much the player can spend, then try to encourage players to spend more and more money. Various psyhological traps like abusing the sense of sunk costs get exploited, and eventually you end up with a game that's designed more like a slot machine than half-life 2."

Nonetheless, Mojang co-founder and Scrolls lead designer Jakob Porser said that game, which is currently available as a "paid beta," may take the free-to-play route if player numbers don't start to grow. Scrolls has put out roughly 110,000 copies at €15 ($20) each, but 100,000 of those sold within the first month of its early June release. That stalled user base has Porser considering a change in approach.

"We never want to make a game that sells lot of expensive things just because there are people who are willing to buy them," he told Swedish site IT24. "However, we do not close [the door] for making Scrolls a free game in the future if needed to attract more players."

Porser said that between three and four thousand people play Scrolls every day, which isn't quite enough to ensure that players will consistently be able to find opponents of appropriate skill. "We have absolutely no plans to become free2play in the near future, but we notice that it eventually becomes difficult to attract enough players so it can definitely happen," he said. "That is how most other collectible card game works today, it may have already become a standard that many expect that this is how it should be."

Porser added that Mojang is continuing to work on Scrolls' single-player mode but said that no target for completion has been set because, with all the Minecraft money coming in, the studio doesn't have to worry about deadlines.

Source: IT24 (Google translated)

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Free to play is a parasite, and it must be exterminated at any and all cost!

You may think that "free to play is good for both the consumer and the publisher" but you couldn't be more wrong. Games cost money to make, they cost money to distribute and unless they want to go out of business then they need to make some profit. Yeah go ahead and give me an example about the developer/publisher that only sells cosmetic stuff, I gurantee you that something in that shop has stuff that alters the gameplay in some way.

It's kind'a bad that I have no idea what Scrolls is actually about but I recently purchased another copy of Minecraft yesterday so my girlfriend and I can play together.

Just looked it up... another card game with multiplayer-only elements. Minecraft was a game that was true innovation. This is like... 5 degrees of non-innovation. The reason people don't buy scrolls is because there's Magic: The Gathering. It's the same reason why Minecraft clones don't get off the ground.

Sofus:
Free to play is a parasite, and it must be exterminated at any and all cost!

You may think that "free to play is good for both the consumer and the publisher" but you couldn't be more wrong. Games cost money to make, they cost money to distribute and unless they want to go out of business then they need to make some profit. Yeah go ahead and give me an example about the developer/publisher that only sells cosmetic stuff, I gurantee you that something in that shop has stuff that alters the gameplay in some way.

Sure I'll bite: Path of Exile

Anywho, yeah going f2p will probably do it some good. Card games are pretty suited for F2P.

gibboss28:

Sofus:
Free to play is a parasite, and it must be exterminated at any and all cost!

You may think that "free to play is good for both the consumer and the publisher" but you couldn't be more wrong. Games cost money to make, they cost money to distribute and unless they want to go out of business then they need to make some profit. Yeah go ahead and give me an example about the developer/publisher that only sells cosmetic stuff, I gurantee you that something in that shop has stuff that alters the gameplay in some way.

Sure I'll bite: Path of Exile

Anywho, yeah going f2p will probably do it some good. Card games are pretty suited for F2P.

Paying for private, invite-only leagues?

Porser added that Mojang is continuing to work on Scrolls' single-player mode but said that no target for completion has been set because, with all the Minecraft money coming in, the studio doesn't have to worry about deadlines.

Well, until there is a single player game completed I have no incentive to buy the game. And whilst it is nice to hear that they aren't going to rush it out, I'd still like to hear them at least putting something out there and maybe updating it episodic-style rather than in one big chunk. It's also unfortunate that they might put it out as a F2P game.

CriticalMiss:

Porser added that Mojang is continuing to work on Scrolls' single-player mode but said that no target for completion has been set because, with all the Minecraft money coming in, the studio doesn't have to worry about deadlines.

Well, until there is a single player game completed I have no incentive to buy the game. And whilst it is nice to hear that they aren't going to rush it out, I'd still like to hear them at least putting something out there and maybe updating it episodic-style rather than in one big chunk. It's also unfortunate that they might put it out as a F2P game.

Actually, doesn't that contradict what they were saying? They don't need to hurry because Minecraft is still generating so much revenue... but they might need to change to F2P to increase the revenue of Scrolls preorders?

Bad deck building UI, bad balance at the start, and not so fun gameplay, this game needs a bit of tweaking (at least from what I remember)

Sorry man, but minecraft that is not. Also compared to minecraft it actually tries to fill an already existing market and lacks any sort of cute charm that minecraft has when presented to anyone regardless of age.

I will admit that I'm not a huge card player but even I'll admit that I am interested in trying out scrolls but the other barrier is the cost because of my own personal lack of funds. Going free to play though for Mojang as a business is really a double edge sword in what is quickly becoming a saturated market and that isn't even touching the point of how vicious the business model is when it comes to buying power and optimal decks.

I mean hell hearthstone is a great game to play and I'm in the closed beta but even the flaws of that game to KEEP me playing is obvious because aside from quests I'm not really getting anywhere in terms of progression when it comes to building a constructed deck. Not to mention the power balance is so out of whack from a person with just a basic deck compared to someone who dropped forty bucks. Only thing left is Arena and if you don't got the gold then you'd be dropping real money which I'm sorry I can't justify at all to play a game mode that is honestly where a person playing alone could get the most fun from.

What the game needs is a discount. 20 bucks so we can test another of mojangs 2 year betas? No thanks.

Either lower the price so people aren't paying out the ass to deal with your buggy poorly optimized cluster fuck or take it F2P and enjoy the class of people that brings and prove yourself a hypocrite.

I watched the lets plays of it, it looks ok....ish? It looks less interesting than Hearthstone(and I'm saying that while disliking blizzard and everything they've done since diablo 2) and I certainly don't think it looks like it's worth 20 bucks when there's bigger games that do similar things and will actually go on sale unlike Mojangs products.

captcha: for keeps
Always my friend.

Sofus:

gibboss28:

Sofus:
Free to play is a parasite, and it must be exterminated at any and all cost!

You may think that "free to play is good for both the consumer and the publisher" but you couldn't be more wrong. Games cost money to make, they cost money to distribute and unless they want to go out of business then they need to make some profit. Yeah go ahead and give me an example about the developer/publisher that only sells cosmetic stuff, I gurantee you that something in that shop has stuff that alters the gameplay in some way.

Sure I'll bite: Path of Exile

Anywho, yeah going f2p will probably do it some good. Card games are pretty suited for F2P.

Paying for private, invite-only leagues?

Eh...

The games going to be the same, just the general public can't join that server, and you can't use that character in that league on the main server.

Even if there were game modifiers like extra loot drops (not sure if thats what they intend to do though because as far as I know, the private leagues and such aren't out yet? dunno been a while since i've played it), thats not really going to have an actual effect on the gameplay because the people you're playing with will have the exact same advantage so on that private server its still a level playing field.

So yeah, it will alter the gameplay I'll give you that, but it won't be in anyway that gives people a clear advantage over other people.

Abomination:

CriticalMiss:

Porser added that Mojang is continuing to work on Scrolls' single-player mode but said that no target for completion has been set because, with all the Minecraft money coming in, the studio doesn't have to worry about deadlines.

Well, until there is a single player game completed I have no incentive to buy the game. And whilst it is nice to hear that they aren't going to rush it out, I'd still like to hear them at least putting something out there and maybe updating it episodic-style rather than in one big chunk. It's also unfortunate that they might put it out as a F2P game.

Actually, doesn't that contradict what they were saying? They don't need to hurry because Minecraft is still generating so much revenue... but they might need to change to F2P to increase the revenue of Scrolls preorders?

Actually they said nothing about increasing revenues from pre-orders. Their concern is increasing the number of players so that the current players can find quick matches. If there are not enough people playing then ALL players suffer. If having extra players also results in increased revenue then that's just a big bonus.

In other words, considering they've already made ~1/2 Billion $ on Minecraft they could not make a dime off Scrolls and not worry in the least. I really do think they're more worried about the reputation hit a failed game would be rather than any financial hit. They really do need to show the world that they're not a one-hit-wonder.

Hearthstone has has pretty much wielded the scythe on this one.

People were already dropping off before Hearthstone though. The game itself is quite fun and complex, but due to its significantly slower pacing, games can drag on forever. I'd actually love to keep playing, but it is probably one of the biggest time vampires I've ever seen.

You could finish 3 Hearthstone games in the time in takes to finish one scrolls game (assuming opponents of roughly equal skill)

Kuala BangoDango:
They really do need to show the world that they're not a one-hit-wonder.

I just can't see how a card game is the way to do that.

Next we'll find out they're releasing a tower defense MOBA.

Abomination:

Kuala BangoDango:
They really do need to show the world that they're not a one-hit-wonder.

I just can't see how a card game is the way to do that.

Next we'll find out they're releasing a tower defense MOBA.

But it's not a card game, it's a scroll game!

Abomination:
Actually, doesn't that contradict what they were saying? They don't need to hurry because Minecraft is still generating so much revenue... but they might need to change to F2P to increase the revenue of Scrolls preorders?

And as Kuala BangoDango said, I think they are more concerned with getting more players in to the game so that there are more people to do PvP with so matchmaking/whatever is more fun for players. I'm not sure why they don't just make the game really cheap for a while and hope that gets some more people interested or have some kind of million dollar tournament esports type thing. And I have to agree that Mojang are probably worried about having their second game be seen as a failure after the first was so monstrously successful. It's weird that they cancelled that space thing that was so different and instead focused on this.

Andy Chalk:
game, which is currently available as a "paid beta,"

Maybe that's the problem right there. Asking someone to pay you to beta test for you?

Maybe you'll get people interested when you finish making the game.

Wait... I thought this was already F2P... Oh wait, sure, paid "beta".

CriticalMiss:

Abomination:

Kuala BangoDango:
They really do need to show the world that they're not a one-hit-wonder.

I just can't see how a card game is the way to do that.

Next we'll find out they're releasing a tower defense MOBA.

But it's not a card game, it's a scroll game!

My mistake.

But are they... ELDER Scrolls?

Yeah, I know, they had that big kerfuffle with Bethesda over daring to call their game "Scrolls". Similar to how you can't put the word "Dragon" in a game without approval from EA.

Sadly the game just isn't that good. Tactical mechanics can work but at least when I played there wasn't enough ways to take advantage of the positioning, also the long cooldowns make the the game BORING. Let me cast and attack the same turn then have 3 turns until the next attack that works fine, but cast then 3 turns until the first attack is just lame.

For a much tighter "tactical" cardgame model see Duel of Champions.

Sofus:
Free to play is a parasite, and it must be exterminated at any and all cost!

You may think that "free to play is good for both the consumer and the publisher" but you couldn't be more wrong. Games cost money to make, they cost money to distribute and unless they want to go out of business then they need to make some profit. Yeah go ahead and give me an example about the developer/publisher that only sells cosmetic stuff, I gurantee you that something in that shop has stuff that alters the gameplay in some way.

curious as to how many F2P games you've played to make that comment.

catchpa; snow shovel

yeah, -.- got the feeling i'm a need one...

The moment it goes free-to-play or gets released (not as a "paid beta") is the moment I pick the game up. Until then...Nah.

Sofus:
Free to play is a parasite, and it must be exterminated at any and all cost!

You may think that "free to play is good for both the consumer and the publisher" but you couldn't be more wrong. Games cost money to make, they cost money to distribute and unless they want to go out of business then they need to make some profit. Yeah go ahead and give me an example about the developer/publisher that only sells cosmetic stuff, I gurantee you that something in that shop has stuff that alters the gameplay in some way.

League of Legends. The only thing you can buy is name changes and skins. You can buy champs too, but it doesn't really change gameplay as you can get them for free just as fast.

in reply about F2P games: Star Trek Online anyone? you can get anything in the game for free if your willing to put in the time and effort....

I once watched a Let's Look At of Scrolls video on youtube. I had absolutely no idea wtf I was watching, but it was really boring and fairly complicated looking.

It didn't look like anything I would like to play, so for me at least the cost is a nonfactor.

Wow, that's a classy way to screw over the people who actually bought it. Don't bother updating the game to make it any better just introduce the same parasitic fun sucking free to play bullshit that makes every other online card game unplayable.

yeah great, I bought this and I did enjoyed it. but the game is just not fun for newer players. One game takes easily more than half a hour and if you lose, you just have wasted that time, because the gold you get from doing that is almost non. I really liked the game, but it takes so long to make a good deck, and because I was one of the later players, I have to try and win from people who have finished their decks. that is the big flaw in that game.

At this moment I can't wait until I can play Heartstone.

Well I understand the dismay of people who already payed, but we also keep warning you about paying for early access.
And I absolutely understand why Mojang is going F2P, multiplayer games are nothing without someone to play with and by the looks of things their game is not standing out in the crowd so their user base will not last for long, CCG is a tightly filled market place with very refined games you don't just come in and get a spot to stay, especially now that super casual entries from Blizz are made that will overshadow many other games, trying to elbow through behemoths like that is no joke.

With F2P however no one is put off be the initial investment so they don't mind trying your game and keeping the existing players busy, it's no guarantee but it usually boosts user count by several factors.

Rack:
Wow, that's a classy way to screw over the people who actually bought it. Don't bother updating the game to make it any better just introduce the same parasitic fun sucking free to play bullshit that makes every other online card game unplayable.

I have a bit of the same feeling, on the other hand more players are badly needed and will improve things. It's a bit of a tricky situation for Mojang I imagine.

They do update it regularly. Latest feature is an interesting looking draft mode. and they add new cards regularly.

It does have some issues. The UI could do with some improvements, but I think the biggest problem is how games drag out. To me it feels like there are too many units on the field, making it more complex than it needs to be, and hard to manage with a 90 second turn timer.

At this point I don't care anymore if it goes free to play.

I am very content with Hearthstone at the moment and that is my CCG of choice that I play in my free time when there is no other games that get released.

Bostur:

Rack:
Wow, that's a classy way to screw over the people who actually bought it. Don't bother updating the game to make it any better just introduce the same parasitic fun sucking free to play bullshit that makes every other online card game unplayable.

I have a bit of the same feeling, on the other hand more players are badly needed and will improve things. It's a bit of a tricky situation for Mojang I imagine.

They do update it regularly. Latest feature is an interesting looking draft mode. and they add new cards regularly.

It does have some issues. The UI could do with some improvements, but I think the biggest problem is how games drag out. To me it feels like there are too many units on the field, making it more complex than it needs to be, and hard to manage with a 90 second turn timer.

That's nice in theory but the draft mode is a paid feature. If they were interested in expanding the player base a freely available draft mode would have been a major usp. Instead Mojang seem more interested in strip mining their player base.

When it comes down to it Card Hunter is a better and more generous game than Scrolls even for free so I don't mind overly, but it paints a very bad picture on how Mojang behave when they aren't making $10,000,000 a minute with one of their games.

I'm seeing the complaints about the free-to-play model above, and I couldn't agree more.

I hate when the game developers literally (not figuratively) hold a gun to my head, and force me to purchase their multi-colored cosmetic hat with my hard-earned money! I can't stand the fact that I have no self-control, and thus can't play the game without trying out that optional mount! I especially hate how lazy I've become and would rather pay $10 than grind for 10 extra hours! It's all the game developers fault, not mine!

I understand the genuine criticisms with the model, like paying for those final ten levels, or being able to purchase the +10 Weapon of PvP, but notice how those games don't last that long? Meanwhile, games like CSR Racing (and the new CSR Classics) are doing very well for themselves because of the impulsive behavior I've mocked above.

But at the end of the day, you have to remember that you always have the option of not paying or not playing.

 

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