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  1. Trump minus th money
    IGN: xparasite9
    Server: Windia
    Level: 212
    Job: I/L Archmage
    Guild: KoopaForce
    Alliance: KoopaEmpire

    Default The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    I have no idea where to post this, since apparently the sections I considered are "questions only".
    This was originally a reply to a post on the Nexon Forums, but as I typed it up I gradually made it less and less appropriate safe to actually submit there.
    So I'm putting it here.

    The problem here, though, is that the TS didn't know.
    What we have here is a very carefully constructed system of abstractions, layers of intermediary objects that displace the connection from the purchase and the gamble. The brain cannot accurately assess the situation.
    We have, somehow, recently reached the point where we are no longer the ones playing the game. Nexon is playing us. MapleStory has mostly stopped being a skill game (as evidenced through many gameplay changes, including the redesign of many maps away from their original "platformer" style, and the introduction of many mobility moves such as double-jumps to virtually every class) and has transformed into a multiplayer money game. At this point, players enter a sequence of competitively spending money, upping the ante. There is no skill in an ante game; it's an endurance match. Players buy the win, and fight over it by outspending each other.

    There's a diverse spread of outcomes regarding how the players react, but let's focus on the most simple. As the ante game progresses, and the cost increases, an increasing number of players decide they cannot afford to match, and drop out of the race: either just the money game, or the whole game entirely. Some players just never realize they are in an ante game, or are somehow mysteriously wealthily profligate enough to continue participating enjoyably. And lastly, there are the gamers who quickly or even immediately detect the money game and become non-participants.
    The success of this monetization tactic is entirely dependent on the target consumers being unaware of the money game. Since gamers who drop out do not just silently vanish, they become an additional, exponentially growing contributor to shattering the illusion, and their influence reaches not only those still are playing the money game, but also those who haven't yet started. Ergo, players are leaving and fewer and fewer players are replacing them. Eventually this comes to a toppling point, and it's all over from there.

    This is an exhaustive business model; consumers are harvested until they are destroyed; there is no renew-ability. There is no sustainability.

  2. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    What, are you still on this?

  3. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    What's the point of sharing this?

    EDIT: ahh, so it's the same guy. I hope this time he tells us what the point of his posts is.

  4. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    hi, your worst nightmare is back

  5. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    Simple flaw in your logic. As stated again and again, the game is freaking free to play. Is there a gun to your head forcing you to pay? No. Believe it or not buying NX is not the only freaking way to play this game. I have a number of friends who have never passed 140, they just play leisurely. Spending money in this game is pretty much entirely about getting damage. Guess what? Not everyone needs to hit in the millions. There are plenty of people who don't care about soloing empress, who don't care about rank 1 dojo gloves. Hell there are people who don't even know there's a legendary potential tier.

    But you're focusing on the ones who spend money. Fine lets argue that. First of all I have a close friend who has no spent a cent on this game in their entire life. They're quite wealthy in every respect and fairly well known. I feel I have to repeat that not a single cent. They merched hard, made the right connections, did surveys for their freaking shop permit. So no you're argument that there are only three types of people is flawed. Secondly you're assuming people are oblivious to the fact that high damage in this game costs money. If you care enough about damage I can guarantee they already know it's not cheap. Very few people ever spend money on this game and think "$30 is gonna make me so godly". Lastly it's in no way an exhaustive business model. You know what is? A ponzi scheme. Nexon doesn't rely on getting $20 out of some teen and throwing them to the curb. They rely of people buying again and again. I've spent a large amount of money on this game, why? Cuz it's freaking fun. Yes sometimes I get nothing for 60 cubes. Other times I get 3 legendary items in 11 cubes. The gambling is addicting, whether that's right is an argument in and of itself. But the point stands, you have no data to back up your assertion that "eventually this comes to a toppling point". In fact that argument has been made since Nexon started selling gachapon tickets. The "illusion" hasn't shattered yet and I see no reason it will in the future.

    Edit: So I take it this isn't the TS' first time arguing this.

  6. Trump minus th money
    IGN: xparasite9
    Server: Windia
    Level: 212
    Job: I/L Archmage
    Guild: KoopaForce
    Alliance: KoopaEmpire

    Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    I'm not wrong here. If you really need an example, just look at Lim Goon.
    The reason for the loss in revenues Nexon has seen for the Western market is not because of hackers. It's because they have mistakenly applied the same tactics they successfully use in the Asian market.
    The fact of the matter is that the western audience is far more intolerant to being manipulated.
    This kind of business model alienates and disenfranchises the consumer. It is not sustainable. As time goes on, and as more publishers use this business model, that intolerance only increases, and all the monetization schemes will become less effective, and this business model will be entirely unusable in the West. If things go this far, either a new business model will be adopted, or, as is regrettably more likely, investors will panic and flee, and the companies will be forced to shut down their western divisions. Because of the lower initial intolerance in the East, this business model will continue there for a while longer, but there will once again come the failure point.

  7. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    I never said that you were. What I expressed was that I'm surprised you're still hung up on this topic.

  8. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    -grabs popcorn and a comfy chair-

  9. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    HAHAHA oh man this speech is just delicious.

    Why should I, as a player, be stripped for content just because I didn't buy anything. You're essentially condoning the retardation that is pay to win. They reward those who do pay way more than they reward diligent work. There's no legitimate proportion, just, you either die poor, hack or pay a grand to experience the fun parts of the game. The top 5% aren't because they are disciplined, it's because they have either cheated, lucked out from a glitch or broke bank.

    Any player with characters pre 2008 can make this argument. Anything beyond is just laughed off the stage. You really think merchanting is still a viable make thousands of dollars of nx? Ya know, without the cheating aspect? That's hilarious. Your friend, or your example does not justify everyone is successful from hardwork, especially in todays meta game. Then you argue that this is all justified based on the simple fact they know what their investment is?

    Most players, in fact don't. It starts off with "hey, lets get a good amount of % gear" and spend roughly a part time jobs entire paycheck. Then it escalates out of envy and investing into a character that can be independent based on boss drops. If you notice, most of these players are high school to mid college student's because they aren't mature enough to fathom what they are investing into. It's not like these kids suddenly come out of the wood work willing to spend 3 grand (For context, you can buy a car for that much, down payment I mean).


    Your head is so far up your ass it's not even worth saving at this point. Their entire business model is to get as many players to spend as quickly as possible without them coming to this epiphany that there's not much at the top of the mountain. In context you threw away, what? 15k nx for 11 cubes or something? you say 60, that's $150, for how much of a % increase on your unnecessary damage? That's almost half way to a graphics card that can bump out enough graphical power to play a game that doesn't cost such unnecessary amounts of money. But that's your choice, you're having "fun". They hold players like you in because you love the constant growth, but other players throw $50 on heny clothes and run away. If they really did give two sh`its about the players as you claim, the ticketing system wouldn't be a nightmare, your account wouldn't always be at risk of being banned just for logging in, and god there's just too many to list.

    I don't care about your personal relationship with the game, but the reality is, they don't care. If you got hacked tomorrow, because of a database leak, they wouldn't tell you, they'd hold you accountable, and all of your investments would dissapear, with little to no compensation. The next boss you fight, who you have fought a million and one times before, could auto ban your ass, they could tell you that they find you guilty without providing any evidence. In fact they will unless it's a dozen of players complaining the same thing. That's the liability you not only sign up for, but you're clearly not aware of. Either that or, like how I assume every maplestory player is, you're just a general masochist.

    @xparasite9;

    I'll get to you in a sec

  10. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    Best thread 10/10

  11. Trump minus th money
    IGN: xparasite9
    Server: Windia
    Level: 212
    Job: I/L Archmage
    Guild: KoopaForce
    Alliance: KoopaEmpire

    Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    The fact that this game is "free to play" is of small relevance. This game cannot exist if everyone plays for free.
    Apparently you hadn't realized, but I wasn't complaining about people spending money in this game. In fact, if you paid better attention, you'd have known that what I am expressing concerns about is the fact that the amount of people spending money is decreasing.

    Did I say that there's only three types of people? I'm looking at what I wrote and I don't see the number three. I also don't see me saying that there's only those types of people. I did however say that they were the simplest groupings.

    And do you somehow think this isn't exactly what I was describing? Do you think this isn't an ante game?
    Clearly the illusion hasn't been shattered for you. That doesn't mean this isn't happening for other people.



    Precisely to the point, this demographic consists of consumers whose prefrontal cortex has not yet fully developed, and are unable to fully make the best decisions, but yet are old enough to be considered adults, and therefore don't have the legal protection given to minors for financial screwups.

  12. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    While this may (or may not) be true, you have to realize your talking about the future here. It is unlikely that they would fail so suddenly, there would most likely be signs. Of course, when those signs do appear, it would probably only worsen the problem as everyone jumps ship.

  13. Trump minus th money
    IGN: xparasite9
    Server: Windia
    Level: 212
    Job: I/L Archmage
    Guild: KoopaForce
    Alliance: KoopaEmpire

    Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    The problem is that Nexon is pretty terrible at recognizing such signs, as they have repeatedly demonstrated.
    Also I wouldn't say that the failure would be sudden, considering it's pretty much already happening, based on peak concurrent user data and the quarterly reports.

  14. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    I don't understand why you believe now is when this occurred. This has been argued to death since 2011, even 2010. Ever since miracle cubes came out this has been a problem. At first it added some "Potential", unintentional pun, to customize your character to specific traits you wanted. But instead, they added something as ridiculous as a 9% potential stat increase. By the time it was released, players could easily break 80 to even 110% on their main stat. That's 1.1x stronger than any player by default. Super cubes just killed it off, with a whopping 12%, and nearly 8 additional slots, you were easily looking at a 300% stat increase.

    Now in terms of "skill", I don't even think there was any in maplestory to begin with. But now all the classes are clones of eachother really, where the newly released class is 10x stronger with somehow, more mobility and sh`it like that. This formula has been around, god, 2009? When nearly every class got a variety of flash jump? I mean at this point, you're just repeating what I and other players have said for years, we even took action to change it and it just was flat out ignored.

    We already reached the tipping point, the population that actually actively plays maplestory is merely a small portion what was. Most players either outgrew it, found out hacking was the way to go, got hacked themselves/unfairly banned, or lastly, as you said, couldn't keep up. Then you have the generation jump's, where some players will jump in randomly when new gear is coming out, and just invest and invest. They play for about 1-3 years, then the next gear jump happens, then you have a new generation.

    The problem with maplestory is you don't actually ever stop upgrading, you could max scroll whatever gear, but the next generation, is nearly as strong at just base stats. That encourages players to go and invest into that gear. The problem with nexon is, I honestly don't think they understand the long term cost of investing into a weapon. It costs hundreds, sometimes thousands to get a perfect piece of gear. The problem they have is they see the money coming in, but these projects take months because certain scrolls are only released a limited time. So they never actually see the bigger picture.

    Solution? Quit. Honestly, that's just what the game has become. You can sit here and discuss it, but you're 4 years too late, you can petition for it, but I can guarantee itll be ignored. The changes you and I want, aren't really determined by the NA branch, but the korean branch, so it's a fruitless endeavor. It didn't become this overnight, it gradually reached this nightmare point, and it's only going to get worse. If you have the patience/toleration to know that you may not be able to do everything, or not only are other players willing to cut your throat, but nexon is willing to abandon you at any moment, then that's your choice. But I feel as though players who choose that decision don't have a right to complain. This is common knowledge, it isn't some legendary treasure trove of information.

  15. Trump minus th money
    IGN: xparasite9
    Server: Windia
    Level: 212
    Job: I/L Archmage
    Guild: KoopaForce
    Alliance: KoopaEmpire

    Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    Sorry that I made it seem that way. That in fact is not what I believe. ("Recently" was probably a poor word choice. It's sort of difficult to for me to immediately fathom how long this has been going on, and how long I've been playing this game, but in light of the age of the game, the adoption of the business model is relatively somewhat recent.)

    What is recent, however, is my personal realization of the trend. Also what has been recent is the noticeable negative consequences popping up in the form of playership and revenue.

    I already financially dropped out of the game in mid-2010. I've already reached the point where I am about to quit the game whole. I already know that my words won't reach Nexon's ears.

    I don't quite understand this statement.

  16. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    Arguing the morality of it just seems counter productive to me, because they aren't technically doing anything illegal. A lot of players have quit, no where near enough players have started to compensate the losses. Especially when you have quest rewards with such small windows, yet have the highest stats given in that type of item. They reward those who play a long time, but at the same time, reward those who just started.

    I like to think it like this, they welcome them with a lot of free stuff, a lot of bonus' to catch them up, all up to this door. They ask you, if you want to play this, put a credit card, if you say no, they point you through a boot camp training course. 6 months of your life are dedicated to be gone, at the very least, and you come out barely on top of anything, just where the starting point of those who chose yes are.

    Your free to try anything in the game, but it never says your free to be successful at everything either. So if you want to argue about the corruption of this specific company, you're really better off down at wall street.

  17. Trump minus th money
    IGN: xparasite9
    Server: Windia
    Level: 212
    Job: I/L Archmage
    Guild: KoopaForce
    Alliance: KoopaEmpire

    Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    I didn't think I was making any arguments with respect to morality. The negative consequences I was referring to was a noticeably large decrease in playership, and shrinking revenues in the western markets.

    Also I'm not entirely arguing about the corruption of Nexon, but rather, through the lens of Nexon, the very unstable nature of this kind of business model, and that, while enticing to publishers, it is not a viable long term strategy. It's disconcerting that more publishers are adopting this business model, and the very terminal nature of it means that there's going to be a lot of games that will crash and burn once this little bubble bursts.
    Furthermore, when investors (who aren't gamers) see this happen, they won't understand that this is because of just one flawed business model, and will fear the entire gaming industry as too risky, and then things will really suck.

  18. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    Okay lets play. What content did they strip from you? Last I checked no one charged me money to fight a boss or do a quest. I'm not a fan of pay to win but I'm not too blind to think there's a viable alternative. They damn well should reward those who pay more than they reward diligent work, the paying ones are their entire business. Like it or not someone has to shell out money and if everything in this game could be had easily Nexon would have no money fast. The top 5% may have broke the bank but what does that prove? That being the best was worth the money for them (ignoring hackers/glitch abusers).


    I know merchanting is still a viable way to make thousands of dollars of NX. I also know it's doable without the cheating aspect. It's stupid to assume just because almost everyone pays their way to the top that it's the only way. There are other legitimate ways, they're neither easy nor viable for everyone. But you can make thousands of dollars in NX if you honestly put effort into it. Believe me or not it's been done in today's meta.

    I'll admit self control isn't a strong point of most teenagers/young adults. But on that point these players aren't exactly thrift shopping. Those who are willing to drop 3 grand on this game are willing to do the same drinking with friends or buying consoles. They're going to make bad monetary decisions, that's how it's going to be whether or not Maplestory existed.


    Never claimed they cared about their player base. I'm pretty sure they don't. Girasol did, but she's gone now. Yes the ticketing system is a nightmare. Yes they're not very good with customer service. I'm sure if I ever get hacked I'll be frustrated with it too. I'm not saying Nexon's perfect, far from it, but I'm saying their business model isn't broken. Just because you feel that money spent on this game isn't worth it doesn't mean everyone feels that way. The ones who are discontent are always the loudest and this is no exception. If every business changed their entire business model just because a vocal minority didn't like it there wouldn't be any businesses left. Like it or not you are a vocal minority. If this model really did lose as much money as those who are discontent claim then Nexon would have closed the game or changed the model ages ago. Anyone who's been here long enough knows Nexon's improved significantly in the past year and a half. They're actually giving compensation, they're better at communicating with the community, we even had a Nexon GM here for a couple of months. I get that you don't like Nexon, a lot of people don't. But this isn't about that, this is about spending money. All that matters is Nexon still makes money, we all cry and yell at them for being greedy but people still pay them. All that tells me is regardless of popular opinion here the product they offer is worth the money people are willing to spend.

    Also note I wrote all that without trying to discredit you via insults, I suggest you try the same, it's amazing what you miss while you swear.

  19. Trump minus th money
    IGN: xparasite9
    Server: Windia
    Level: 212
    Job: I/L Archmage
    Guild: KoopaForce
    Alliance: KoopaEmpire

    Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    The Terminus set, undeniably.
    And, because it's impossible to defeat chaos RA bosses without like 400% potential, the Fafnir set.

    which ultimately results in a ban for violating the terms of use.

    July 2009: 69,000 concurrent users.
    December 2010: 136,000 concurrent users
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2010/12/...urrent-players

    and September 1, 2013, despite there being a 2X EXP and Drop event, less than 18,000 concurrent users.
    http://www.craftnet.nl/generate_tota...=1378248384164

    also nexon continues to lose revenue in the north america division

  20. Default Re: The fatal flaw with the current business model.


    All those items are obtainable with sufficient mesos. Also fun thing I noticed. Krexel gives 7.5 mil a day, assuming you do this for 280 days you get 2.1b. That's not a whole lot for work for a decent amount of mesos.

    How does what I said result in a ban for violating the terms of service? Last I checked buying and selling items for mesos was perfectly legitimate.

    Congratulations you discovered that fewer people play as school begins. Peaks in the summer are around 15000 to 25000 depending on the day. That's less than 136000 players but everyone and their grandmother came back for Big Bang. It's only to be expected that once the hype dies people leave. WoW lost 600 000 subscribers in 3 months, is WoW going to fail now too?

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