Community poll/survey - Releasing some or all old content for free?

I doubt that I will get anywhere near enough votes or comments to make this anywhere close to statistical relevance but here we go. Also: LONG post coming.

With the great reception of Chaos Wastes as well as an apparent ramp up in premium cosmetics and other premium stuff, the financial model of Vermintide 2 is something which can be discussed again to great lengths.
At the moment, it can be a bit confusing - especially for newer players - why some content is priced and why it is priced like that, while other stuff has been released seemingly for free. It is confusing and also not consistent. Ultimately, this is obviously a matter of economic viability (which we have to take into consideration by gut feeling). But there is also the point of public perception which is - at least for - of equal importance and interesting. Because considering this community Fatshark could do something awesome and still be bashed for it. Over the course of this OP several polls will appear. It may be recommanded to first read through everything before starting to vote although the polls only concern specific topics. To the main question:

Should Fatshark release all or some of the already existing DLC content for free?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

I mean this does sound like a good idea from a community perspective. But even if it is feasible there are a lot of pitfalls:

1. Total Inclusion versus Partial Exclusion
Most existing paid DLC’s consist of several elements like Bögenhafen has the maps and the cosmetics or Ubersreik has the maps and the weapons. Question here is everything should be given for free or only the most relevant content. In this regard, consistency and precedence have to be considered. I think maps are the most important content and most would agree if something should be free it should be the maps. But what about the rest? Precedence-wise most cosmetic stuff is regarded as Premium in some sense. Also all weapons which have been added are paid so far be it as part of old DLC’s, of Premium careers or as weapon pack. So some consistency could be targetted there while also keeping some stuff as potential revenue. But what about the odd items? Keeping Weaves paid in such a scenario would most likely be the final nail and if Fatshark has any further motivation for them, trying to breath some life back there with some changes could be accompanied with making them free. Cataclysm? Opinions diverge wildy there. And personally I think, Cataclysm should share the same fate as Beastmen: either should both be free or be paid as you would received otherwise “different” Cataclysm difficulties which is not a good thing (we have it at Legend and below already). Technically, Beastmen have been given out for free with CW anyway. Then again, some people hate them on a religious base in the same manner Beastmen hate all civilization. So giving them out for free could even lead to backlash. But at least the game would be homogenized for all players (and they can’t be deactivated any longer :P). Making Beastmen free also runs risk of precedence if we get new enemy races somewhere down the line. So there are at lot of potential options and their perception to be considered

Release should go for:

  • Total Inclusion (Everything free)
  • Partial Exclusion (Some free, some paid within consistency)

0 voters

2. Compensation versus Non-Compensation
Next topic covers the scenario of old stuff being released for free. Lots of people have already bought this stuff. And “some” may either react angry or entitled that they should receive compensation. One could argue that Fatshark doesn’t owe the players anything and we had access to paid content for the longest time. So if there is no compensation it will be perfectly acceptable. The problem would also arise less if some stuff like cosmetics and weapons stay paid. Compensation if done could be delivered in the form of the Premium Careers/Cosmetics. People who bought paid DLC’s could get a token (smal token/large token depending on the paid DLC) they could exchange for hats/skins once.

Prior sales should be:

  • Compensated
  • Uncompensated

0 voters

3. Conditioned versus Unconditioned
As said before, one of the main questions is feasibility. As such Fatshark could consider a scenario where they make the releases conditioned. They could just give out all the stuff for free, either at once or timewise to stay in discussion. They could also tie it to certain conditions, basically how much skins they sold. Think about something like a kickstarter where you see a progress bar and at certain stages old content will be released for free, like: 25 % Weaves, 50 % Bögenhafen, 75 % Ubersreik, 90 % Cataclysm. This would make it transparent for people when and why content will be remade into FLC. However, “people” could interpret it for begging or - as said - for a Kickstarter campaign for an already bought and released videogame. So again a question of public perception.

Releases should be:

  • Conditioned (in a publicly visible manner)
  • Unconditioned

0 voters

4. Old Content versus New Content
A last - probably rather easy - question concerns accompanied risk. Considering that Fatshark HAS to make money, should it better release old existing DLCs for free or keep the goodies for future stuff. It would leave old content kinda the dust and saying there is a phase of “exclusivety” could be argued somehow. New content on the other hand is the better draw in.

So if ressources are too limited should Fatshark focus on free releases for:

  • Old Content
  • New Content

0 voters

So here you have it. Lots of things which can be discussed and mostly based on opinion. So go on and vote and discuss. Do it. - Taking out shotgun while looking ready to shoot ignoring bypassers. -

1 Like

I like the current model of paid careers, weapons, and premium cosmetics with free maps and modes (and, if we ever get them, factions).

Everyone can currently play all maps, even if they don’t own the DLC; so, making them free for all players to host doesn’t really change much.

Weaves are pretty much DOA, so whether they are free or not is irrelevant.

Cataclysm should absolutely be made free to everyone. It would just give long time players more people to play with.

Beastmen should be free. All enemies should be.

I think the Bogenhafen cosmetics, the BtU weapons, WoM weapons…etc should be sold in separate DLC packs…similar to the Relics pack. The collector’s addition should remain as is, perhaps with a discount.

Players that previously bought the full DLC packs should not be compensated. I bought the base game for full price. Should I get a partial refund when it goes on sale?

1 Like

Well, this seems pretty much like streamlining and getting in some consistency. So your stance would be all weapons as separate pack, premium careers and cosmetics as well and the rest for free.

That would make sense because right now it can be irritating. Only point I would note is:

It is not quite the same because the game stops being on sale as well :stuck_out_tongue: While once going free it will stay free for the most part. But yea, it is a relatable position. Other people would be more greedy.

DLC maps? No; that’s a metric ton of work they deserve to still be making money on (and are still generously available via someone in your lobby owning it; good deal!).

Purple skins? Already in the Emporium; done.

WoM? Ehhhhh…debatable. Keep beastmen/weapons/weaves paid. Make Cata free (I don’t agree with paygated difficulty).

Premium skins/hats/etc. Keep them paid since they do not affect gameplay.

Bundles though… FS should sell bundles at a discounted price than it would be buying those things individually. I feel that’s the sweeter spot than making older content free.

Rationale: I want to point out here that FS, at least if you look at their job postings, is rapidly growing and posting about 1 new job per week. That means more costs in order to pay their employees. I’d rather support someone’s (hopefully) living wage than get free content.

4 Likes

To explain my votes, I just think Cata should be released for free. Everything else it is good and fine if they are paid, and prices are reasonable, though if you take Cata out of WoM then its current price admittedly looks… Very bad but also how many copies of WoM are they gonna sell from this point forward? Take Cata out of WoM and slightly reduce the WoM price. It will likely pay itself off through increased player retention for future DLC careers, as well as potentially pull some of the old vets back who were turned off around the WoM era.

Again though, everything else previous DLC wise should remain paid. I’m not entirely convinced FS is gonna make enough money from premium cosmetics to pay off the free content they’ve already given us, so they probably shouldn’t gamble on it further by removing the possibility of further sales of previous DLC.

1 Like

I think it’s better to lower the prices of older dlcs, which is what Fatshark is currently doing. Base game is insanely cheap on sale for the contents it offers, and I bet Fatshark is mostly making money out of dlcs which people buy after they get fond of the base game experience. I’m afraid making them given for free would be problematic for their revenue model.

Chaos wastes will be a (admittedly large) flash in the pan. There will now be another huge gap between anything being released and new careers or new premium skins being absolutely months and months away.

There’ll be no change to their income stream methods either. WoM might appear on sale with a bigger discount and maybe there’ll be the usual offering of a single premium hat in three months but it will continue to be free weekends and double xp that tempts new people.

So to answer the gist of the OP, to get any benefit from giving things free and attracting new people there needs to be a large means of getting money via the premium cosmetics and there just isn’t. There needs to be a massive splurge and push on cosmetics and collections appearing in the shop.

Interesting. For most part there seems to be clear tendency. I am open for both scenarios. But I just want to iterate again the one point where I am adamant about.

  • No matter the scenario (free, paid, exclusion / splitting, etc.): Beastmen and Cataclysm have to stay together. It has to be impossible to get one without getting the other.

Careers and high-quality cosmetics should be premium because that kind of content is what sells in other online games and there is a huge market for them. New weapons should be free but high-quality weapon cosmetics should be premium, again the market is already there.

Maps, difficulties, and new modes should always be free.

Just my opinion. I’ve played a lot of online games and the way I have outlined it above is what sells.

One last thing though, FS should do more stuff for free that isn’t a portrait frame. Event cosmetics (special event weapon skins, full armor skins) could be free for the event and then later sold as premium for those that missed the event. They really need to stop relying on portrait frames.

I was going to write almost exactly this: the cata is the only element that really has to be released for free.

In addition, I have always liked how VT1 worked with DLC vs non-DLC owners. I don’t know how many people abused it by looking for games not to get the DLC, but I’m sure there could be a more VT1-like compromise in place (e.g. allow starting the level - not the game mode - if the host has it, but do not allow joining, neither by QP nor by lobby search).

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu