I just want to take a moment and actually make the case that the most important thing is that the creation is "A Good Game" and that as long as that is the result then the "Pricing Mechanisms" do not matter and to take it one step further I would like to make the case that TF1 should be the blueprint on the correct way it should be done. (NOTE: I am answering all questions for myself. I know some would disagree on some of the answers, but this is how I would answer them. Just want to make clear that I am not trying to speak for anyone else.) If it is "A Good Game": -Will you play it more than 120 hours? Yes -Will you have a desire to improve your skill level? Yes -Will you put in the time to improve your skill level? Yes -Will you be willing to pay for DLC if there is paid DLC? Yes -Will you be OK with it if there are lootboxes that give people advantages? Yes -Will the game actually save you money? Yes If it is NOT "A Good Game": -Will you play it more than 120 hours? No -Will you have a desire to improve your skill level? No -Will you put in the time to improve your skill level? No -Will you be willing to pay for DLC if there is paid DLC? No -Will you be OK with it if there are lootboxes that give people advantages? Yes -Will the game actually save you money? No What really prompted me to make this case is the last question, which I just spent a lot of time thinking about recently. I have always believed that "A Good Game" is most important, because without that who cares what the "Pricing Mechanisms" are, but if you focus on that last question it truly shows how important and actually valuable getting that right can be to an individual like myself. Just one more piece of background information before looking at why I believe TF1 should be the blueprint. Prior to TF1, I had never played an online game and had never played a Multiplayer game. I was pretty much buying at new game at full price, $60, about every 2 months. At 2 hours per day a game would give me about 120 hours (why I used this number in the question above) of play time if it was a good game that I actually wanted to play. So now let me do an analysis comparing the value of TF1 and TF2 to me: HOW MUCH DID I SPEND? TF1: $60 - release price $10 - DLC1 $10 - DLC2 $10 - DLC3 $30 - 3 additional copies after 1-year mark (including even though don't need to) === $120 - TOTAL TF1 OUTLAY TF2: $70 - release price === $70 - TOTAL TF2 OUTLAY WHAT DID I GET? TF1: -release version that had to be good enough to make me want to buy the DLC, which included 15 large, well designed and engineered maps and a very defined, detailed and rich Multiplayer environment that was full of life -quality DLC that made me want to buy it -24 large, well designed and engineered maps -Frontier Defense that could be played on all 24 maps that you could choose -A Challenges/Regen system and overall game that was so much fun that I was willing to buy 3 additional copies at $10 each to run through things again -3112 hours of entertainment as of today (about 2.5 hours per day) TF2: -release version that had an excellent Single Player Campaign, however it only takes about 10 hours and I've played it twice, so about 20 hours -release version that had a very thin, shallow and empty Multiplayer environment, which only include 9 small, choke-pointed maps with the promise of "free DLC" to come -not poor quality, but minimal and old content -only 1 more new small, choke pointed map and 6 TF1 retread maps -Frontier Defense that could only be played on some random maps -A Regen system that did not challenge you -153 hours of entertainment (20 of which was the SPC and other than that I hesitate to call it entertainment as it was mainly me forcing myself to keep trying to like it because I loved the first one so much) WHAT WOULD I HAVE BEEN WILLING TO SPEND? TF1: -every extra DLC package they could have put out -I would have been willing to even spend $60 every 2 months for new TF1 content -I still would be willing to pay that much for new TF1 content -If they had loot boxes that gave you advantages, I probably would not have used them, because I would prefer to earn the stuff, but I would not have minded that they were there. -If they put out a DLC for TF1 right now that only had 15 new TF1 quality maps, a rock solid matchmaking algorithm and a rock solid anticheat system, I would happily pay $1000 for it TF2: -if the DLC had not been free, I never would have paid for it -I wouldn't be willing to pay a dime for any new TF2 content -If they had loot boxes that gave you an advantage, I would not care, because I would not be playing anyway HOW MUCH HAVE I SAVED? TF1: $1320 - Would have spent (22 games at $60 per game, one every 2 months) FULL PRICE GAMES -$240 - (Shadows of Mordor,Arkham Knight,Borderlands Pre-Sequel,ElderScrolls) GAMES AT HALF PRICE -$120 - (Battleborn, Overwatch,Dishonored 2,RiseOfTombRaider) ABOUT $60 EACH DURING 2 STEAM SALES -$120 - (miscellaneous Steam sale games) -$70 - TF2 ====== $770 - TOTAL SAVINGS TF1 GAVE ME TF2: $16.50 - TOTAL SAVINGS TF2 GAVE ME (to be fair I'm giving it credit for the 33 hours I played over and above the 120 hours other games normally gave me) SUMMARY: TF1: $120 - TOTAL TF1 OUTLAY (4 copies of the game with all DLC in each one) 3112 - HOURS OF ENTERTAINMENT $770 - TOTAL SAVINGS TF1 GAVE ME TF2: $70 - TOTAL TF2 OUTLAY (1 copy of the game with all DLC in it) 153 - *HOURS OF ENTERTAINMENT (* cause forcing myself to try to like it) $16.50 - TOTAL SAVINGS TF2 GAVE ME BOTTOM LINE: If the game is good, the pricing mechanisms (DLC, lootboxes, etc.) do not matter and it may actually save you money in the long run, because it is preventing you from having the need to replace it with other things. The reason I feel TF1 should be the blueprint is that it met the bill as far as being "A Good Game" and even though I don't feel the pricing mechanisms are important to focus on, I do believe TF1 did that right as well. Paid DLC forced a quality release in order to keep people around to buy the DLC. Paid DLC forced quality DLC in order for people to be willing to pay for the DLC. After 1 year, they gave all DLC to everyone who had not already paid for it. Even though I had paid for the DLC, I did not mind this at all, because I had been able to enjoy it much earlier than those who waited. THE POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE: The focus should be on making a good game and not on whether pricing mechanisms are good or not, because that is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic if the game is not good.