After all neither model is better and success is possible everywhere. You write as if it is a bad thing that we are a free2play company and that it has to be avoided, but the market trend shows that the free2play segment is actually one of the fastest growing business models in gaming. So if we look at it from a business perspective we are positioned rather well. Of course there are other more modern free2play monetization mechanics that should be explored at some point, as I agreed that ours are quite old by now. But still we have other options to test them in the future without throwing them into a live product.
It is true that F2P style is the fastest growing business model in gaming, however there's a catch here, all F2P games that arised from nothing and that now are beasts are not only F2P but they actively avoided P2W, which is the reason this whole thread was created, F2P is not a problem, P2W is.
When thinking of F2P PC games, the following come to my mind, League of Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Rocket League(F2P since 23rd September 2020 some time after Epic Games bought it [first time the game reaching 1M actively playing the game at the same time]), Dota 2, World of Tanks, Apex Legends, Hearthstone, Guild Wars 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive(after costing like 5$ for many years).
Let's take some F2P Mobile examples too so it won't be so biased by those huge names in the game industry: Call of Duty Mobile, Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans, PUBG Mobile, Fortnite Mobile, Pokemon GO.
Any way, you get the idea, now, let's compare them and their model to S1914 or Bytro's games in general:
- Bytro's Games:
- Buying premium currency affects gameplay.
- In long run games such as 500p maps, if someone is rich as fuck and wants to spend thousands in the game, it actively affects other players experience and therefore ruining months of hard-work and progress.
- Removed all sense of competitive environment
- Removal of customization features
- No such thing as Season Pass
- Premium Suscription to get extra features (P2W)
- Business model does exhaust player base
- League of Legends, Clash of Clans, Brawl Stars, etc:
- Buying premium currency DOESN'T affect gameplay
- In long run games such as Clash of Clans, if someone is rich as fuck and wants to spend thousands in the game, it doesn't actively affect the other players experience and therefore it DOESN'T ruin months if not years of progress.
- Building more and more to a sense of competitive environment
- Hard focus on profile and customization
- Season Pass (kinda new but still a way to make money)
- No Premium Suscription to get extra features
- Business model doesn't exhaust player base
Now I'd like to do a swift change, what do you think it would happen if in this big F2P games, they would apply P2W models too, let's say:
Example 1: League of Legends, you can only play 10 champions by free, if you want to play the rest, there is no way for the F2P user to get them, only to spend money to get the other 140 champions, also you can only get to build half of the items, the other half is locked for premium members(5$ suscription fee/month), do you really think people would keep playing?
Example 2: Brawl Stars, let's get the starter brawler who has a shotgun and say that if you are willing to pay 10€ we will give you a double-damage shotgun, and if you are willing to pay 20€ we will give you a triple-damage shotgun, also there is no way for F2P users to get all brawlers, you can only get 5 for free, the rest you need to pay 5€ for each brawler, do you think people would still want to play it?
Example 3: Fortnite, now you can only build walls and stairs if you are a premium member, also if you are willing to pay 5€ we will give you a legendary assault rifle as head-start in all games, would people still play it?
Example 4: Clash of Clans, now Premium members are able to extract all the resources when attacking a city, by doing so they would also completely destroy the city, meaning it would be game over for the other player. Would people who spent 2 years building their city risk to just get a game over because some whole was bored in his house? I don't think so.
I'll repeat what I said in the beggining, the problem is not about being FREE TO PLAY, is about being PAY TO WIN.
Let's not forget this is a MMORTS, for those not familiar with the term, Massively multiplayer online real time strategy and just to be clear, Massively multiplayer online(MMO) means you need to have a big active player base for the game to keep it success, however I haven't seen a game with +15 active users since 2014, with the exception of 500p where in the last years the 500p wouldn't even get full.
Your actual business model drains the players, and let me tell you, that is not good, in the long run, this business model will kill itself meanwhile League of Legends, Fortnite and all big and successful F2P MMO's won't get killed by their own business model but rather by their competition which sadly you don't have.
I don't see the risk in changing the business model if you are straight up running towards your own death.
You designed S1, the new game, where if morale rises production time gets lower, the idea and the concept are awesome however because of the game being P2W, having it done like that benefits more the P2W user than the F2P user because while I'm sleeping my, let's say, 8 hours I'm only producing 1 unit, meanwhile the premium member is producing 5 units, in terms of balance between a P2W and a F2P, the only thing standing between them was the time required to do things, like building 1 artillery within 24 hours, however in the new game I might get to build 2 artilleries in 24 hours(1 login every 12 hours) while the premium member might get to build 10 artilleries(1 login every 12 hours but has production queue(+4) because premium), so basically you made it worse.
Bytro's model is perfect for Candy Crush, but this ain't no Candy Crush.
PS: I remember like a year ago or so that I told you, Freezy, to look into this mobile game which is a MMORTS called Rise of Kingdoms which is also Free to Play and Pay to Win and has the SAME model, however they did the opposite that you did in terms of keeping the player base alive even if they have WHALES and I'm talking about big WHALES like easily spending thousands by the day, and there are no +1000% bonus, and with a vast majority of adult players that also spends lots of money, I myself spent more there in 1 year than here in 8 years. I won't go into further details but if you haven't checked it yet in order to see what's different between your games and that game I think you are making a mistake.