S397 and Funding rF2

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Depco, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Depco

    Depco Registered

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    TL; DR


    S397 needs to make purchasing rF2 content inexpensive and compelling enough for new drivers to join rF2 w/o spending massive amounts of money; all while funding new content development.


    Wall of Text


    Since the release of the phenomenally well done and critically acclaimed Laser scanned Sebring I have been putting quite a lot of thought into how Studio 397 will fund itself and rF2 into the future.

    Having been an iRacing subscriber in the distant past I recall paying a subscription fee and then having to pay for cars and tracks I wanted, or needed, to take part in a series ie. NASCAR and The Blancpain Sprint Series. While the series’ were popular and I had a great time being part of the contests, it left a bad taste in my mouth about the significant amount of money I had to spend to take part. Especially when I considered the verbal tirades I had to listen to during race sessions.

    Upon completion of the Blancpain Sprint Series I had achieved my A road license and wanted to continue to take part in the next series. I looked into it and discovered that I still needed to buy about half of the tracks as they had not been used in the previous series. Ultimately I decided that I didn't want to/couldn't afford to continue to pour money into their sim and I let my sub run out. Now not only could I not run iRacing offline, but I also could not use any of the content I had paid all that hard earned money for.

    When I see the direction rF2 is taking with the release of their DLC, I unfortunately see S397 moving in this direction, but without the subscription fee and locking up content with it. A new Driver can buy the base game and then pay for additional (and very well made) content.

    One of my league admins pointed out that rF2 is becoming expensive.

    Lets take for example our upcoming fall series. For a person to take part in the series they would have to purchase a number of things (all prices in US dollars):


    rFactor 2 - $31.99 https://store.steampowered.com/app/365960/rFactor_2/

    Endurance Pack - $17.40 https://store.steampowered.com/itemstore/365960/detail/1004/

    Sebring - $10.45 https://store.steampowered.com/itemstore/365960/detail/18/


    So that is $59.84 to ensure a new driver can run in all of our races of the series. Of course the driver can skip the Series Finale at Sebring but they still have to buy the endurance pack. As all of our current members already have rF2 that cost is only incurred by new drivers to rF2. So realistically our current membership only needs to pick up the Endurance pack to take part in the next series.

    When content is purchased over time it spreads out this cost and makes it more palatable, but for newcomers this initial outlay of cash can be daunting, especially without any real online structure, save for the Leagues that keep online activity alive.

    This then brought up another question in my mind. If Studio 397 were dedicated to pumping out content (and updates) could they license, scan, and develop enough tracks in rapid succession, or numerous tracks at the same time, to offer a “Track Pack”. The pack would be 4-5 tracks of similar style, or geographic location. A track pack would offer a savings across all tracks and help ease the sticker shock new members would experience. This was seen on the car side in the GT3 and Endurance pack and I think was wildly successful.

    It took S397 approximately 6 months to get from Laser scan to released track in the form of Sebring. If they had to build new track building tools to accomplish this feat then it stands to reason that they could reproduce the track building process in a shorter amount of time on the next few tracks, assuming they were able to refine and perfect their process. However, some people have pointed out that they still have tracks unfinished, such as Zandvoort and the library of ISI made tacks that have seen no continued development from S397.

    The news that Reiza and S397 have come to a deal where they will fold Reiza assets into rF2 is very welcome and hopefully will inject some more content into the sim. But they are bringing content which, as far as I know, is DX9 compatible and likely will not have the current technology. Suffice it to say they will need a fair bit of work to complete and bring up to the new rF2 standards. (One of our members had suggested that Reiza and S397 were merging, which I don’t believe is true at all)

    In the end I want rF2 to be the go to sim for all serious drivers. I also want it to be the go to sim for the semi-serious and beginners alike. I want people to look at rF2 as the pinnacle of racing simulations and flock to it in a way that offers us online racers a full grid and keeps new members from having to empty their wallet. Maybe S397 can reduce or drop the initial purchase price and concentrate on selling content.

    There is no denying that S397 has done a masterful job in bringing forth from the ashes a sim that really has no competition in many aspects. They have worked tirelessly and efficiently to salvage this sim and bring it into the modern era. Now lets make sure we can attract as many drivers as possible by making the content purchasing decisions less painful. Lets fund future development of rF2 without gouging the loyal users. Lets not turn this into iRacing.


    Thank you for your time and Attention.

    Chad Brown
    VRC Admin
     
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  2. DaVeX

    DaVeX Registered

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    Reiza content will be DX11 and full features packed...
     
  3. datboi

    datboi Registered

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    I don't think there is or will be a big initial outlay. People will buy the sim as they always have and if they like what they see, then some time later, they will buy the DLCs. I get that it's not ideal for leagues that you might run a race at the new Sebring and only get half a grid but S397 needs to pay their staffs wages. In my time in rf2, I've found that that the vast majority are happy to pay to race with good quality mods than race with poor mods. Unlike iRacing the vast majority of content is free and I think it'll stay that way. $10 for a track is definitely getting to my upper limit but I could choose to skip the round or you could choose to use a great free track and there's plenty of those around.
     
  4. Depco

    Depco Registered

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    Understand, I am not suggesting the DLC is too expensive or that S397 should not be selling DLC. It is for sure the future of funding. I was simply thinking about what happens in the future when they have 7 DLC packs for cars and 8-10 DLC tracks. How do they attract future users. S397 already has most of us who frequent this forums.
     
  5. GeraArg

    GeraArg Registered

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    Buddy, how much money spend in your hardware and how much money spend in the software?
    Is a cheap hobby this, a laser scanned track is more cheap than a ticker for see (and see, not race :p) a crappy series in a local track. ;)
     
  6. JimmyT

    JimmyT Registered

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    I hear what you say, however I agree with
    People will most likely buy the program first, see how it goes, then look into joining a league or buying more content. This would normally spread the cost over a period of time. At least that's what I'd do (and have done in the past with other titles):)
     
  7. D.Painter

    D.Painter Registered

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    Bottom line is paid DLC are necessary for any sim to continue being developed. The alternative is rFactor3 - 4- 5 - 6 and maybe a name change or two. Project Cars 1 - 2. Assettocorsa now coming ACC. A new game, a new cost.
    The rumor is ACC want be moddable like Rent a race. (iRacng) Payed for but never owned.
    ATM $60 for a game, Sim is cheap enough when you consider a new high profile game on steam or on disc at a store can go for $70 up to and over $100 whether it be for PC, Playstation or XBOX.

    AC DLC; They have for more cars in one DLC for a lesser cost. But far more DLC's available. And in my opinion far better made and implemented into their game format.
    rF2 GT3 and GTE cars show a great lack of professionalism implementing in game. rF2 is capable of far more. Example! The brake glow. Simple stuff that has been implemented for years and is all wrong in the GTE pack. Rear brake glow comes in and out way before the front. ??
    Dash lights that don't work. The list goes on.

    So lets face it, Paid DLC are fine and a necessary part to keep a sim alive and being developed but when we pay for things, we do expect it to be the best it can be. GT3 and GTE packs, far from it. rF2 is capable of far better graphic than we see with these. 3party content have proven that time and time again.
     
  8. Emery

    Emery Registered

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    AC DLC has series cars spread out over a bunch of the packs, so you're required to purchase all those packs to run a single series (e.g. GT3 series). Funny how no one ever mentions this in the cost argument.

    Also, everybody's quick to point out the problems of rF2 DLC (and the problems are there), but fail to mention problems with AC DLC (such as the GT3 cars having differential ratios not available in real-life GT3 trim; IMSA allows 3 ratios, with one specifically mandated for USA street tracks, one specifically mandated for fast tracks, and the other GT3 series only allow 2 ratios which are basically LeMans and all other tracks).
     
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  9. Emery

    Emery Registered

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    For a real comparison, do this same exercise with AC. You'll end up with a few more cars in the field for $20 less due to current discounted price, but that's about it...

    $39.88 (currently 50% off for Ultimate Edition, so full price was just shy of $80)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  10. Skan

    Skan Registered

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    Depco you inspired me to share my feelings on this. This is going to be a DLC therapy thread in no time. Here is another wall of text to contribute.

    Not buying Sebring has given me a "left out" type of feeling. Had a similar feeling with the karts. That "collect it all" feeling is irrational due to almost exclusive offline use, yet that feeling is still there for me. On the other hand I bought everything else and don't even use all of it. One could argue that was wasted money. Since I have no one to drive with due to a refusal to join a server that wants me to download anything or force me to change my transmission or drive the vehicles and tracks they want to drive (If they can have bs on the windshield in their server, traction control on any vehicle, abs, why cant I auto-shift in their server?) and rF2 not being as popular in California as console related driving one could argue that this hobby of mine is all for nothing unless I move to a better part of the world or learn another language while changing sleep schedules. Love to do both but can't do either.


    I am not at all judging or complaining about Studio 397 selling DLC. It keeps the riff raff out much like a nice restaurant. It can bring in quick money. Depending on the DLC, it might attract someone who was waiting for that specifically. It does also create an unneeded division but we have seen that happen before with having pay and free items within the same product. The problem I see with this is rF2 specific. Hardly anything is released as a final (written in stone) version. With multiple unfinished projects going, it could eventually get away from them. I also see this as super fueling the sub culture of track/car rippers. They will be looked at as even bigger heroes amongst their thieving peers for providing an alternative to what is soon going to become pricey.


    While I hate comparing different driving titles...

    I bought AC and all content. Only bought 2 items on sale, the rest were full price. I don't even drive it anymore

    Bought PCars3 and all DLC and stopped playing long ago.

    Have other titles but you get the point


    Here is my inner conflict....

    I should buy the tracks and cars because I'll be able to drive it whenever I want. I can't even make it to Sebring to watch a lap for that price, let alone drive one. That's when I think of everything I typed above.
     
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  11. marvelharvey

    marvelharvey Registered

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    I hate this cynical sales tactic. Instead of 'Road pack' 'Race pack' 'Supercar pack' 'Historic pack', a 'theme' is spread over 5 or 6 DLC. It's infuriating.
     
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  12. Tom Lebeuf

    Tom Lebeuf Registered

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    Depco's concern is more about fragmenting the already small community, not cost.
    I noticed a couple of you mentioning that people are willing to pay for content...and that's great... for the 300 player's who are active online, but Depco is referring to net new players. VERY unlikely a noob is going to buy more than the base game at first. At that point you hope they try out the good content and actually want to buy more, but if they happen to dl a terrible mod and judge the game on that, they'll likely ask for a refund. I'd rather see the base game go up in cost and include one of the GT packs.

    Kunos DLC is packaged poorly, i do agree. In their defence though, they didn't have all the licenses at the given time and their prices are ridiculously cheap compared to RF2.
     
  13. patchedupdemon

    patchedupdemon Registered

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    Without the high numbers of members like ac or pc has,cheap dlc won’t work for s397.

    They have priced it to cover what they need to cover,eg licensing,staff costs and future development,they can’t viably sell it cheaper and make a loss in the hopes of drawing in new members,business have to cover costs first and foremost.

    No matter how you look at this it is what it is,you want quality,well quality costs,iracing is a bitter pill to swollow due to the subscription as well as dlc.

    I think s397 have a winning formula here,no sub but dlc costs,laser scanned tracks,hopefully laser scanned cars in the future,best physics and tyre model.

    Nah let s397 charge what they need to, to ensure the future of rf2,those who can spend hundreds or thousands on equipment but not 10s on content,don’t need to buy the stuff,they can stick to mods.

    Don’t forget,s397 are already giving us free contents as well as paid.

    Happy days for everyone I say,and in time when the numbers have joined here,then they can review the costs and see if high numbers of regular sales allows a price drop in dlc,but we need the numbers first.

    Now this bit may offend some,but I don’t care,it my opinion,you’re free to agree or disagree,but if it offends you then,be mad at your parents of teachers for brainwashing you.

    I personally don’t want the arcade crowed to come here,I’d rather it stay niche with just “hardcore or serious” sim racers.

    Quality over quantity imho

    Pls s397 don’t turn this into a simcade in the quest for ££££

    Fragmenting the playerbase is inevitable,either through cost of contents or amount of contents imho

    It is what it is
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  14. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    Should the game come with the 2 latest cars and 2 latest tracks (numbers pulled out of my ar-... hat), so new players are in the loop with the latest content (probably also used for any competitions, plus leagues will tend to pick it up because it's fresh)?

    Existing players will need to buy stuff to stay 'up to date', but it's comparable to, or cheaper than, buying a new version of a game each year which actually makes no more progress...
     
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  15. fsuarez79

    fsuarez79 Registered

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    Specifically for newcomers, I'd do a Black Friday sale (meaning once a year) of base game plus all DLC for a reduced price but that probably wouldn't work out too well since as some said, people will want to take it slowly....buy the base game first and eventually buy DLC one at a time.

    Apart from that, I agree completely with @patchedupdemon. This is no Mario Kart. As of lately we've been able to enjoy some high quality content and quality costs money.

    Kind of as a joke but also kinda serious, I'd change the demo to Sebring and the Porsche RSR. If someone doesn't feel like buying the game after trying that combo, there's something wrong with them :D
     
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  16. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    RF2 is not expensive, I've had it for years, never spent a dime on it, as there was no way to spend money on content. Then DLC has come , I bought KARTS, FE, GT3 pack, and Sebring. Some of them were bought to support RF2, some of them to have fun with. I've not bought endurance pack because I don't feel is my can of worms, (well, in all honesty, I don't like GT3 as a concept, but they are actually one of the most enjoiable mods for quick races without too much fuss with setup the car and having to tweak the IA). So maybe I should try endurance too...
    In the future, as more DLC content will pour I will simple be more and more selective as there will be less and less purpose in buying content that I don't plan to use, because from a simple statistical standpoint, more DLC mean more incomes for developers.
     
  17. Filip

    Filip Registered

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    This.
    Even if you charge something 1 EUR you are automatically loosing potential players. There are many people that will not buy at any price.
    Of course there are people that would buy if it were cheaper but I doubt if significantly more players will buy a track at let's say 1 EUR vs 8.99 EUR.
     
  18. Skan

    Skan Registered

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    @patchedupdemon The days of rF2 being the elite sim for hardcore drivers ended the second this was available on steam. Since that day there are an influx of people who cannot get a gt car (the easiest of all modern race vehicles) around a track without a spin or a crash let alone anything of speed. They blame everything but themselves right in this forum. Going to steam also opened the door to those who are accustomed to games (not simulations) that can run on a console, phone, browser and all other "I do not have to know anything about my own hardware or software" forms of entertainment. Just like this forum, Steam talks. The nonsense said in steam discussions about rF2 is usually negative (because the person in the chair knows nothing) or misinformation due to parroting inaccuracies. You know the type, they say "I heard" or "I read somewhere" and follow that with opinionated garbage instead of fact. Had I been one of those sheep that need to get reassurance or an opinion before making my own decision, I would have never touched rF2.

    To those that think DLC is needed to sustain an company...
    DLC is a gamble. If you think that's how they are planning on meeting their bottom line, you are mistaken. They have things covered financially without the DLC otherwise they would not gamble. Studio 397 are not stupid.

    I was going to type more but I think it is just time to do one last lap and move on or move out of the way depending on how you look at it. Really it was evident that it was time to leave with the recent forum behavior that's been on full public display by some of you. Everyone can see that unlike locked forums of other titles. Nice job. It's been fun guys. I wish you all the best.
     
  19. patchedupdemon

    patchedupdemon Registered

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    The key word in my comments about dlc funding development,was the word FUTURE.
    Of course s397 have a plan and budget they set when they first joined,how long that was for I don’t know,but I know one thing,it’s not an endless supply of money.

    Do you think they have a endless budget,or that the cost of the game will cover all future staff payments and licensing etc ???

    It’s like some folks think that every penny a game dev makes is 100% profit.

    It don’t work that way,neither are they pricing stuff to rip people off.

    And forum behaviour,pls do elaborate on what forum behaviour has caused you to walk away from rf2.
     
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  20. Schumi

    Schumi Registered

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    I consider the existing version of content delivery as the only true. I racing rFactor 2 only in offline mode and for me it would be foolish to pay a monthly subscription. But, I purchased all DLC except Kart sim. As long as this scheme operates, I will stay with rF2.
     

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