Should Elite Dangerous move towards a free to play model?


So we have just had the announcement of the new frontier points and ways to earn them. It seems as if Frontier are trying to increase the amount of players buying cosmetic items and also making the paintpack store less clunkier and glitchy when viewing it. These are just some short term updates.

In addition, frontier are spending considerable resources this year in trying to increase retention of new players. For example we have seen the new tutorials announced and earlier this year we had the new anti gank starter systems introduced.

In summer 2020 we are expecting a big new DLC, the size of which we have not seen since Horizons. Possible space legs and base building if the rumours are correct. Therefore we can probably expect frontier to sell this for £20-30, which is essentially the price of a new game.

My argument is therefore that Elite Dangerous should shift to a Free to play model, with Horizons and DLC 2020 being £20 and £30 respectively. With the new ease of use when it comes to the new paintpack shop I think it would be more of a higher revenue raising venture if elite does go free to download. For example, let me try to explain.

Somebody considers buying elite dangerous, sees the price tag and also sees that the steam reviews are only "mixed". I would say that they only have a low chance of buying the game in that example unless they were confident in the game. Even if they decide to purchase in this example, the max investment from that player would be the minimal amount.

My proposed example is this(in 2020): steam user sees elite dangerous is free to play. So they think "hell why not" and download the game for free, playing through all the new fancy voiced tutorials frontier have introduced. Then, they spawn in one of the safe haven noob zones and dont experience any negative gameplay such as ganking or hacking so they are having a great time! After around 10-20 hours of game time, perhaps this new player is considering purchasing the dlc such as horizons or 2020 DLC. Or maybe even a paintpack for their new ship. And just think that this "new player" might not have even bought the base game, but now is investing £50 on DLC and £15 on paintpacks.

These are my thoughts. I strongly believe that elite dangerous should follow in the footsteps of Eve online by going free to play. I seriously think it would be the most sensible marketing decision based on current player numbers, the paintpack store rework and the new DLC package due for release in 2020.
No way!

1, I already paid for my game.

2, I don't want PvP to be competition of the wallets. Because I'd lose. Lol

3, I don't want to have severely gimped income for credits and materials to push me towards paying real money for them.

If this happened, I'd probably quit playing entirely.

Free trial, maybe. But not free to play.
The trial could be 1-2 hours, with full access, except for Solo only play (no open or private play so you can't troll/cheat other CMDRs on free accounts). And anything you do doesn't contribute to the BGS or PowerPlay at all. Resetting your save doesn't reset the trial.
If it gets more people into the game then sure why not.

More players will increase the longevity of the game and thats a good thing right?

This is a quality vs quantity thing.

More players in a free model could risk unbalancing many aspects of the game and upsetting a large portion of current players. Sure might make more sales but many might come in simply to grief. So would it actually increase the games life or turn it into a dumpster fire on life support...? I think the latter
No. Lower the price of Elite and Horizons, and sell the new DLC at normal price. It's enough to keep the game going.
Also, Eve Online opted for the free-to-play because they were loosing the community. But their free-to-play is a facade with many micro-transactions behind it.
No. Lower the price of Elite and Horizons, and sell the new DLC at normal price. It's enough to keep the game going.
Also, Eve Online opted for the free-to-play because they were loosing the community. But their free-to-play is a facade with many micro-transactions behind it.

That's a better idea!

Imo a demo is the way to go. Even a generous 48 hour demo, somehow lockable to something such as Xbox/psn gamer tag, or a PC hardware ID or something, to prevent spamming and intentional abuse of it
No. Frontier would actually have to make content to sustain a free to play model. From their literal output over the last 3-4 years i read they would be uncomfortable meeting industry expectations.

Best consider elite a well maintained single player game. Like the x games etc.
It already is free to play and you can generally buy the base game for next to nothing - it's always going on sale (£5.99 on the Steam store right now)...
So, no, I can't see free to download players are going to last any longer than someone willing to put a fiver down to try it.
It absolutely is not. You must buy the game, and subsequent DLC (unless you pay a lump sum for access to all future content) still paid...
You can buy it right now for less than 7.5 € to enjoy the grind content, progress bar and timer based gameplay.

Cant get closer to the freetoplay model IMO.
Setting aside my existing opinions on the quality of F2P games... I think ED is just not suited to that model.

This game is like Marmite, people love it or hate it. As it is, anyone who gets past the steep learning curve and apparently acquired-taste gameplay loop is probably here for the long haul - people who don't likely wouldn't have spent anything on microtransactions even if they downloaded the thing for free. Keeping those people long enough to offset sale prices would mean dumbing things down so much it would drive currently loyal people away.

So, no. In fact, <bleep> no.
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