Friday, December 3, 2010

F2P Sale Hoarding Fail

Turbine has decided to remove the price tag from the Lone Lands, LOTRO's first paid zone.  This change got extremely limited fanfare - I only noticed it when I went to LOTRO's site to check out some sale announcements.  This change makes sense in terms of giving new players more time to get into the game before hitting a paywall - realistically, past sales have been so dramatic that Turbine probably isn't losing too much money by adding this zone to the free portion of the game.

That said, this also points out a lesson that I've slowly learned over eight months as a consumer of Turbine's hybrid F2P model; no matter how good the current sale, you're always running the risk that the item will go on sale for an even larger discount later.  Of course, prices could also increase - see DDO races for one example.  The point being that you're taking a gamble when you purchase something that you don't need right now on the theory that it's a "good price" on something that you're going to want for later.  If you don't end up using the thing you bought before a better deal comes along, you "lose". 

When the prices involved are as low as 50 TP (less than a dollar), you're not risking too much.  Even so, sometimes it's worth running the risk of paying more for the things that you're actually going to use if it means not spending money on "bargains" that you didn't really need. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is why you'll start to see the model of charging for content dry up. Time-limited or consumable purchases are less vulnerable to sales because they are needed constantly. You need a xp potion now, or need to renew your vanity clothes for the next month.

Content though can be delayed long enough, especially it if its optional.