About the price and Frontier Policy

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Hi.

I searched through the forum but didn't seem to find any clue on this topic.
Seeing as there is a "weird" policy on price on the other studio game (Elite Dangerous), i wanted to know what is the commercial model intended for Planet Coaster. Is it one price for one game, and maybe DLC's, or is it a season pass, it is episodic (far fetched but hey...), is it in app purchases?

Since there's a gap of about 40€ between early access and the 26€ game, i wanted to know what we could have for what price, seeing as a lot of people are complaining about the way things were handled with Elite Dangerous.
 
Hi.

I searched through the forum but didn't seem to find any clue on this topic.
Seeing as there is a "weird" policy on price on the other studio game (Elite Dangerous), i wanted to know what is the commercial model intended for Planet Coaster. Is it one price for one game, and maybe DLC's, or is it a season pass, it is episodic (far fetched but hey...), is it in app purchases?
We don't know. I think it will be DLC, like RCT3. In app purchases will ruin the game. Episodic... I don't think so :p

Since there's a gap of about 40€ between early access and the 26€ game, i wanted to know what we could have for what price, seeing as a lot of people are complaining about the way things were handled with Elite Dangerous.
 

Brett C

Frontier
Hi.

I searched through the forum but didn't seem to find any clue on this topic.
Seeing as there is a "weird" policy on price on the other studio game (Elite Dangerous), i wanted to know what is the commercial model intended for Planet Coaster. Is it one price for one game, and maybe DLC's, or is it a season pass, it is episodic (far fetched but hey...), is it in app purchases?

Since there's a gap of about 40€ between early access and the 26€ game, i wanted to know what we could have for what price, seeing as a lot of people are complaining about the way things were handled with Elite Dangerous.

As it stands right now, the base game is 19.99GBP/29.99USD/26.99EUR. We have not announced our plans on how we will market/sell future Planet Coaster updates, any expansions, any DLC, what-so-be-it as of yet. [happy]

The sales of Coaster Head Access and Early Bird Access will change/be-removed closer to the release of Planet Coaster.

Early access is the pre-release versions of the game for Early Bird customers to play, which will also include the final game upon release of Planet Coaster. Which is why that tier has the uptick in cost.

The image that PSPfreaky post is still up-to-date (made by the community![up])
 
[...] We have not announced our plans on how we will market/sell future Planet Coaster updates, any expansions, any DLC, what-so-be-it as of yet. [happy] [...]
Yep ... So ... If you could, that would be great ! [up]

Because when I see how this has been managed on Elite:Dangerous, I'm dying of fear.

I mean, I really try to "read between the lines" with this kind of comment ...

RCT3 wasn't DLC back then, it was expansion packs. Said expansions packs were Wild and Soaked. Now a days, most of that in-store-box-selling has shifted to internet only sales, which simply is bundled together with RCT3. [happy]
... And I'm like "Yeahhh, they are talking about 'Expansion Packs' so they know, et they are not going to make any microtransactions DLC or season-pass, or other traps for fools" ... But this is not official, so I 'm still terrified.

I sincerely hope that the economic model is something you want to reveal soon
(As much as the way to create and import objects in the game library btw, since this depend on the chosen economic model)
Because yeah, we are not in the 90's anymore where people dont care about this issue, it's something that people want to know now (because of many scams performed very large multibillion studios, and smaller studios after, following the "movement").

These questions have been asked for a while now ... and I think many people want to be reassured (me the first).

Please [yesnod]

Thanks Brett C.
 

xyphic

Volunteer Moderator
Look, take off your idealist's hat and put on your pragmatist's. Frontier are a business. They have around 150 employees working on Planet Coaster with a two-year development timeframe, which puts its budget at somewhere in the region of £10m, possibly more. When Planet Coaster releases they aren't simply going to let those 150 people go, nor are they going to want to push them onto Elite where their expertise is wasted. *Some* will be cross-project resource but Frontier will want to keep the Planet Coaster franchise going for the long-term. That means they need to identify continual revenue sources. At a retail price of £20 less taxes and overheads let's say they make £10 on every copy. That's a million copies that they need to sell to break even on its development and 500k copies annually to keep the team ticking over. Obviously more if they want to make a profit.

So, after release Frontier won't be standing still. They'll be looking at ways to bring new players into the game, and ways to leverage cash from existing players. Their aim is to release a game that is compelling enough to keep the majority of its players hooked until such a time as they're ready to release more (paid) in the franchise. That new content should be enough to keep you going until the next release and so on.

Frontier have made some mistakes with Elite that I hope they don't repeat. Particularly, the idea of the seasonal pass hasn't been particularly well received in that you're expected to pay up-front for content that you haven't seen yet. I don't think that will fly on Planet Coaster. I *don't* think that the microtransaction store was a bad idea, but the prices are high enough that many are reluctant to pay out, and the variety is so limited that there's no compelling reason to buy anything anyway. Again, *if* Frontier were to launch microtransactions for Planet Coaster they would have to be numerous, high-quality and low-cost while not having a fundamental impact on the game's functionality (i.e. they would have to be entirely cosmetic).

Angelis, you talk about "traps for fools" and "scams" but you do so with your mind set on a particular goal. What you want is a single release game that is extensible, that you can play for years and that you don't have to spend money on if you don't want to. But can you not see that Frontier might not want that? They're no longer a consultancy for a big publisher; they aren't *like* a big publisher with low staff overheads and many franchises generating income. They're a company that needs to keep moving, and needs to keep finding ways to generate revenue, and your "traps for fools" and "scams" are not attempts to rob its customers, they're attempts to find ways to keep that revenue stream going while keeping their customers happy. After all, without happy customers, it doesn't matter what you release if nobody is willing to buy it. What we can *expect* from Frontier are plans for ways to get you and I to pay more over time. What we can *hope* is that they do so in a way that's sensitive to the diverse needs of its customer base.
 
If we were to head back to the old days. I wouldn't mind both Expansion backs and DLCs (As long as at least 1/3rd of those DLC's were free, or 1/4th or something along those lines.)

Expansion packs offer large additions to the games, while DLc's could be something like a new flat ride (Like for example, a windseeker type ride)

Then obviously, when the game is getting older, there can be Gold and Platinum versions of the game to which gives you the expansion packs with the official game for a higher price. (Like it typically is)
 
Very good graphics for actual prices.

Just to clarify, I didn't talk about the actual pricing for the game, but the pricing policy to come after release (for example: will it be DLC, expansion pack, seasonal pass, etc.)... It's about this that I would like to see more information.
 
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Frontier may be a business but then again, paying $150 for a game is not everyone would be willing to do.
So paying for expansions, at a reasonable price for reasonable content (or not so reasonable if i'm a fan, like with Cities Skyline), i'm willing to do. I am not however to pay $150 for a roller coaster game.

And not to be a party pooper, but asking 40€ just for an early access on a game that costs 26€ is kind of a weird strategy (i won't say move ;)) imo...

This is the tragedy of these situation, i'm willing to pay for the game, but you have to face it, the management of Elite is more than shady, and enough for some of us to like to have some guarantees of what we have for what price...

So yeah, if there's more info on what is intended in the end... That would be great.
 

xyphic

Volunteer Moderator
Frontier may be a business but then again, paying $150 for a game is not everyone would be willing to do.
Frontier aren't charging $150 for the game. They're charging $30 or $75 if you want early access.

So paying for expansions, at a reasonable price for reasonable content (or not so reasonable if i'm a fan, like with Cities Skyline), i'm willing to do. I am not however to pay $150 for a roller coaster game.
Nobody is asking you to. It wouldn't surprise me if, after (say) 5 years you might have spent $150 on the game, assuming a $30 expansion every year. To me $30 represents excellent value for a year's worth of entertainment.

And not to be a party pooper, but asking 40€ just for an early access on a game that costs 26€ is kind of a weird strategy (i won't say move ;)) imo...
It depends whether you see value in it. For me the value is in being able to play the game for ~8 months prior to release, bugfinding (yes, I'm a bit weird) and most importantly being able to feed back to the developers what I like or don't like about the game while there's still time for it to be changed. That's not for everyone though, and I *do* think that the early access price is a bit high. I think that £40 or $60 (i.e. twice the preorder price) would have been the sweet spot. For Frontier having a high price to entry lowers the volume of feedback to something manageable, and will encourage mainly those who are serious about the game to take part.

This is the tragedy of these situation, i'm willing to pay for the game, but you have to face it, the management of Elite is more than shady, and enough for some of us to like to have some guarantees of what we have for what price...
I disagree that the management of Elite has been shady. Somewhat naive, yes, but Frontier have always been open about their plans to monetise the game. Even in the Kickstarter they stated that planetary landings, walking around, etc. would be part of full-price expansions. They originally planned to sell credits for real money but changed their plans based on community feedback. They were naive to think that everyone would be happy to pay full price up-front for seasonal content that wasn't yet defined. I think they'll learn from that.

I'm not convinced that you'll get the guarantee you're after other than to say that if you buy the early bird edition, you'll get a game that's available to play most of the time, regular updates as they add features and fix bugs, then full access to the release version of the game. If you buy the preorder edition you'll get a fully developed game, probably with ongoing support (bugfixes and feature additions) for a ridiculously good price. What you *won't* get with either is access to everything that Frontier ever release from then on, because that would frankly be a ridiculous thing to expect.
 
RCT3 wasn't DLC back then, it was expansion packs. Said expansions packs were Wild and Soaked. Now a days, most of that in-store-box-selling has shifted to internet only sales, which simply is bundled together with RCT3. [happy]
You're right but for me is it +/- the same. The official name is expansion packs but we said DLC most of the time.
 
I do not understand why you insist on defending aggressive practices ... Seriously, I dont get it [weird]

I mean, let's talk about the price of the Early Access, I know that for you it's worth the price (btw, for me too, but it's not the question) it's still overpriced for an Early Access. It's a fact, based on the price of Early Access around the world.

Same with the cash-shop in a paid game like Elite:Dangerous (Even if for you it's okay, I dont care, it's not about you, but people in general).
If you need to pay for a game, you dont put a cash-shop inside, or you are a dishonest greedy company, period ! It's not both, it's one, or the other. You dont pay for the game "League Of Legend", but just for the skin. And by the way this economic model is more profitable than the classical model (selling a game)

You dont have to pay to have the right to pay ...

... But anyway :

[...]Nobody is asking you to. It wouldn't surprise me if, after (say) 5 years you might have spent $150 on the game, assuming a $30 expansion every year. To me $30 represents excellent value for a year's worth of entertainment. [...]
[...] Somewhat naive, yes, but Frontier have always been open about their plans to monetise the game [...]
Cool, because this is just what we ask !

Informations about their economic model !!!


  • Paid game + Expansions ? Paid game + Cash Shop/DLC's ? Paid game + Expansions + Cash Shop/DLC's ?
  • If Expansions ? What about Season-pass ?
  • If "official content/DLC's" in a cash shop, is "custom content" will be blocked ?

In fact, I just want to know if they want to make a fair business (like Rockstar/TakeTwo with GTA, or CD Projekt with Witcher3, that is to say "Game + Free updates + Expansions") or if they want to make a greedy business.

In fact, some quite legitimate questions since we are the main concerned ...

I dont think it's asking too much to know with which sauce we will be eaten.

You're right but for me is it +/- the same. The official name is expansion packs but we said DLC most of the time.
Not really PSPfreaky.

Check this post : https://forums.planetcoaster.com/showthread.php/379-ONLINE-Become-a-guest-in-someones-park/page3?p=13928&viewfull=1#post13928
 
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Read the first 2 words of the first sentence and the first 6 words of the second sentence ;) I don't talk about you. You say Expansion pack, other people say DLC. Not everyone will say the same ;)
 

xyphic

Volunteer Moderator
I do not understand why you insist on defending aggressive practices ... Seriously, I dont get it [weird]
If that's aimed at me, I'm not defending aggressive practices, because Frontier's practices aren't aggressive IMO. MMO pricing structures (such as EVE or WoW) where you pay continually, and if you stop paying you lose access to the game are aggressive. F2P structures where you pay to progress, they're aggressive. Including paid DLC with a released game is aggressive.

I mean, let's talk about the price of the Early Access, I know that for you it's worth the price (btw, for me too, but it's not the question) it's still overpriced for an Early Access. It's a fact, based on the price of Early Access around the world.
I agree that it's overpriced, but not for the same reason as you. Frontier aren't interested in providing the same early access model as others. Other developers don't necessarily have the resources for the traditional retail release, so opt to go early access. The more people they get buying into the game early on, the better it is for them as they derisk their development with continual cashflow; for those developers, releasing at a low price makes sense even though they'll suffer some negativity for it, and will have an overwhelming amount of feedback to cope with. Some of the bigger publishers do it because they realise they can make money on a game and by calling it 'early access' can get away with it being a buggy mess.

Same with the cash-shop in a paid game like Elite:Dangerous (Even if for you it's okay, I dont care, it's not about you, but people in general).
If you need to pay for a game, you dont put a cash-shop inside, or you are a dishonest greedy company, period ! It's not both, it's one, or the other. You dont pay for the game "League Of Legend", but just for the skin. And by the way this economic model is more profitable than the classical model (selling a game)
I honestly don't see the problem with the way Frontier implemented their cash shop. The items you buy are entirely cosmetic; none of them confer an in-game advantage. They're a way for consumers to support the developer after release. You aren't forced to buy anything from the shop. There's no interface to the shop from within the game. The criticism I have of the Frontier shop is that the price is too high and the content too limited, so they're missing out on further revenue.

Cool, because this is just what we ask !

Informations about their economic model !!!


  • Paid game + Expansions ? Paid game + Cash Shop/DLC's ? Paid game + Expansions + Cash Shop/DLC's ?
  • If Expansions ? What about Season-pass ?
  • If "official content/DLC's" in a cash shop, is "custom content" will be blocked ?
And it's fine to want to know. I'm just trying to temper your expectations by explaining why Frontier need a strategy to monetise the game after release.

In fact, I just want to know if they want to make a fair business (like Rockstar/TakeTwo with GTA, or CD Projekt with Witcher3, that is to say "Game + Free updates + Expansions") or if they want to make a greedy business.
It's not as simple as "fair business" or "greedy business". I think it would be entirely fair for Frontier to release the game at a price point of £20 then not release any free content updates. Given what they've done on Elite, I don't think that'll happen. Elite was released in December 2014, and over the course of the following year they released countless bugfixes, and had four major feature releases where they expanded on the game. I don't think it'll happen exactly like that in Planet Coaster, but I do think they'll continue to update the game and add content at least until the first expansion is released. I hope they don't go down the same seasonal route as Elite as I think it alienates customers.
 
xyphic what you see is pretty reasonable and argumented, no denying that.
I just thing that we would like to know upfront what we're going into.

And i must quote my ergonomist there "if there's an incomprehension, it's the fault of the one who's talking", so yeah, if there were so many complaints in the end, there was a miscommunication, and it couldn't have been as "opened" as you're saying otherwise people would not complain (i know we are all moron more often than not but in the end let's say most of us are reasonable).

Anyway, I like where the game is going, I think i'll just wait to see where this is going, the early access price being a little steep even if I can totally get why you would want to enroll only people committed to helping you as a game developer.
 
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