Non-RPG General News - The "Live Service" Model is all played out

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Couchpotato spotted an opinion piece about live-service-models for games on Gamesindustry:

The "live service" model is all played out | Opinion

Players are voting with their wallets - like any other industry trend or fad, live service games have seen their moment pass; companies able to pivot away should do so fast

We all have a pretty intuitive understanding of the anatomy of a trend in game design. A very successful title is followed by a wave of games which copy key aspects of its design - some taking inspiration while innovating successfully on the formula, others rather more shamelessly seeking to cash in by copying anything that's not nailed down (or protected by intellectual copyright law).

[...]

That's what's happening right now with "live service" games, a slightly nebulous term that's come to be understood as encompassing a specific set of monetisation models (battle passes, cosmetic microtransactions, etc.) applied to a loosely defined set of online multiplayer games (either competitive or cooperative) with a match-based structure.

Loot shooters, extraction shooters, battle royale games: there are a variety of game design paradigms at play in the "live service" arena, but the monetisation design paradigm across them remains relatively consistent.

In the space of just a few years, that's a paradigm that's gone from being on top of the world - incredibly successful and broadly welcomed by players as a way to ensure ongoing support for their favourite titles, as well as being more transparent and player-friendly (in theory) than the "pay-to-win" style microtransactions that were public enemy number one at the time - to being for all intents and purposes an epithet.

In 2024, calling your game "live service" might as well be tantamount to telling players it's going to creep into their house at night and kill their dog. The online response to stylish, promising-looking game trailers at awards shows and announcement livestreams notably tanks at the point when players figure out that it's going to be a live service title. Tastes have shifted dramatically, and many publishers and developers have been caught on the hop.

[...]
More information.
 
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Perhaps the most obvious example – the one I suspect is going to end up as the case-study sidebar in this chapter of the industry's history – is Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which recently launched to a reception so dismal that most people are surely only counting down the weeks until Warner Bros issues a statement with a timeline for the game going offline.

It's weird, I see that the reception on Steam is very positive, and the only negative critics have nothing to do with it being a live service. Is the author maybe talking about another game? Seeing the price, it doesn't seem 'live service' is the main attribute of this title anyway (or they're insane).

 
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The first few reviews I see on Steam are killing the game. But I have the reviews set up where you have to have at least 10 hours played. Don't care because I would never play a game like this.
 
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If true (about the financial model), this is worth a small celebration. I wonder what former EA CEO John Riccitiello has to say on this topic?
 
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I bet he likes it.
 
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You can only hope this is true. But then again, I just don't play such stuff and don't really care.
 
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I don't play those games either, but if it's true that players are beginning to reject the concept, I'm glad we won't see it spread to all games. I'm not interested in new features being added nor, in general, in DLCs. And fixing bugs doesn't count as a service in my book since they shouldn't have been there in the first place.

More and more software tend to become a service too (programming IDEs, office tools, even operating systems), and they justify it by making the software more and more bloated. AI pushes this nonsense even further. No, unless there's a real service, I just disagree with the concept of subscription.
 
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I've never been ok with these models, the online variety, and never will capitulate. I get the mmo model and accepted it for what it is, and these days I've even pivoted from that. The single player realm is where I dwell.
 
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This model is about as bad as it gets for the way I game (single-player only). I've always disliked extending a game with DLC or add-ons as I get tired of playing the same game after having already played through the main story and side-quests, and something recent I've experienced is that if a game is longer than 100 hours I might get tired of it even before the ending, so to finish a game and then be expected to play it for months after that is just way out of bounds for me.
 
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I think what explains the relatively positive reviews for suicide squad are the number of refunds going on. All of the refunders cannot post reviews for the game so you are left with only true believers and those past the refund window.
 
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this is worth a small celebration. I wonder what former EA CEO John Riccitiello has to say on this topic?
He doesnt care. He is too busy implementing this model in Unity business.

I don't play those games either, but if it's true that players are beginning to reject the concept
What was the name of that recent hyped game...? Something like... Suicide Mission: Kill the Live Service ? :)
 
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I hate both the concept of live service games and how the implementation of it often results in "Seasons" where if you don't play you miss out on the content permanently. Content either being items/loot or actual quests etc.

If I buy a game I expect to be able to enjoy everything it has to often with no constraints of when/how I play it.
 
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I don't even know what a live service is. SOMETHING about providing additional content in some way for some time after the game releases, but that's all I've been able to parse out. Do 4X games that expand the games playable races and rules via DLC count? Any game where they offer pre-orders for DLC (i.e. 'season passes')? I keep seeing different answers. It seems to have gone from a term companies throw at investors to make them believe the game will have steady income past the initial rush into a term that "influencers" throw around to trash a game they want to hate on without bothering to pick up much meaning along the way.
All of the refunders cannot post reviews for the game so you are left with only true believers and those past the refund window.
I refunded Fire Pro Wrestling about 5 years back. Steam just let me write a review for it, though it has marked it as 'refunded.' No clue if it counts in any of the game's stats or who can see it.
 
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I don't even know what a live service is. SOMETHING about providing additional content in some way for some time after the game releases, but that's all I've been able to parse out.
My understanding is that it covers everything from MMO's that constantly release new maps/quests etc that you have to pay for to games that have "Seasons" that you either pay for or pay to have some advantage. Additionally, any online game with a subscription would be included. To be counted the game has to have some kind of online aspect and constantly updated. I think an online game that is no longer being updated would cease to be called Live Service unless it is a subscription game.

Some current examples would be Diablo 4, Forza Horizon 5, Destiny 2, ESO, DDO and World of Warcraft.

This is my understanding at least.
 
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I don't even know what a live service is. SOMETHING about providing additional content in some way for some time after the game releases, but that's all I've been able to parse out. Do 4X games that expand the games playable races and rules via DLC count? Any game where they offer pre-orders for DLC (i.e. 'season passes')? I keep seeing different answers. It seems to have gone from a term companies throw at investors to make them believe the game will have steady income past the initial rush into a term that "influencers" throw around to trash a game they want to hate on without bothering to pick up much meaning along the way.

I refunded Fire Pro Wrestling about 5 years back. Steam just let me write a review for it, though it has marked it as 'refunded.' No clue if it counts in any of the game's stats or who can see it.
Yeah I'm not sure how its calculated. I've tried to find info on it but not sure basically.

This thread is what I based my assertion on but I'm not sure if its still the case.
View: https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/5zs6mk/reviews_get_downgraded_to_a_key_status_if_you/
 
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I filtered by just negative steam reviews and not that many of them are by people who actually refunded the game so I don't think refunds are the reason it is sitting at "Very Positive". I think it is just that a fair chunk of people are enjoying the game.

edit:
I am pretty sure the reviewer is talking about Metacritic user reviews. It is siting at the abysmal score of 1.6 which is one of the lowest I have seen. The negative reviews are mostly about live service, micro-transactions, the woke agenda and a certain character dying. Given Metacritic can easily be manipulated I wouldn't put much faith in it.
 
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On Steam, the 24-hour peak for Suicide Squad is 5K players, and the alltime peak is 13.5K. That alltime peak is roughly the same as that of Forspoken, which is considered a hilariously big flop and got its studio immediately shutdown. But Suicide Squad was 8 years in development and had a budget around $200-300M, multiple times what Forspoken's was. Must be one of the biggest game flops of all-time.

vginsights.com estimates it's made $6.9M of revenue on Steam: https://vginsights.com/game/315210
That recoups 2% or so of the dev budget, hope it's doing well on consoles. :LOL:
 
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On Steam, the 24-hour peak for Suicide Squad is 5K players, and the alltime peak is 13.5K. That alltime peak is roughly the same as that of Forspoken, which is considered a hilariously big flop and got its studio immediately shutdown. But Suicide Squad was 8 years in development and had a budget around $200-300M, multiple times what Forspoken's was. Must be one of the biggest game flops of all-time.

vginsights.com estimates it's made $6.9M of revenue on Steam: https://vginsights.com/game/315210
That recoups 2% or so of the dev budget, hope it's doing well on consoles. :LOL:
That sounds really bad indeed. Like you said consoles are their only hope. I had actually never even heard of the game before it released so I suspect their marketing wasn't very good as well.

I suspect that if it ends up being as a big flop that will be the end of these games. I enjoyed the first 2 for what they were but didn't even play the last two despite owning them. I got AK for free on Epic and AO I got as part of a bundle.
 
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I hate both the concept of live service games and how the implementation of it often results in "Seasons" where if you don't play you miss out on the content permanently. Content either being items/loot or actual quests etc.
I don't like it as well. I never understood the reason of "seasons" at all.
Genshin has this as world events, they are usually funny, though.
I still hate, though, that one is bound to miss content through that when not participating (real life issues or being on vacation or whatever). Even worse, Genshin sometimes tells important in-game lore through these world events, which can never be found elsewhere (except from mere in-game texts).

Which creates a bad feeling. But - and I guess that this would be Zynga's invention - this is speculated upon. "One event to bind them all (through the bad feeling of missing something) ..." Since the "socvial media" generation is already trained to constantly "follow" something because of that bad feeling / fear to miss something, it can be - and very likely is - exploited.
 
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