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Upcoming Changes to Monetization - And Why We Are Making Them

Yoshiro

In Soviet Russia, Yoshiro is a cake
Staff member
Oct 10, 2005
12,252
3,444
113
Hello Killing Floor Community,

After over 4+ years of content support for Killing Floor 2 since Early Access launch, it has been our pleasure to provide continuous features, weapons, maps, modes, zeds, and more at no cost to you. Along with that, we have provided numerous cosmetics, characters, weapons skins, emotes and FX packs through Zedconomy system that with your financial support has enabled us to continue supporting the game with free seasonal updates and hotfixes for these many years.

As we have looked at the life cycle of the game, we strived to look at new ways that will enable the game to live on and grow well into the future. With where we are with the project, we know there's a hungry desire for everything featured in Killing Floor 2. While the updates have all been free in terms of features, weapons, zeds, maps, etc, the cost of development has certainly been anything but. Ultimately, that status quo of our current strategy cannot sustain the current level of support that you have all grown accustomed to without a major shakeup. After multiple months of internal debate and investigation, we came to two paths forward:
  • Significantly reduce the amount we can provide each update to better match its projected return
  • Find new sources of revenue for the project that goes beyond the Zedconomy system will enable us to maintain our current level of update quantity and scope.

As huge fans of the game ourselves, the thought of scaling back what we could build, create, and offer would have disappointed us just as much as we felt it would have disappointed you. That left us with doing what we know will be more controversial but we feel in the long run will enable us to better service the game.

So what does that mean in practicality? This means starting with our next content update all-new weapons will be sold as DLC along with 5 Unique Weapon Skins custom made for the weapon at a price of $9.99 SRP. We know that this news is going to come with a lot of concerns so we would like to get out in front and address some of the obvious questions:
  • Will these weapons have any advantages over existing free weapons (i.e. Pay to Win)?
No, we have made a concerted effort to design of these weapons as we have with previous weapons to not be better than any weapon of similarly targeted tier in terms of raw stats. Instead, these weapons are designed to provide new gameplay experiences and fill new roles within the arsenal that are not already served.

Additionally, all Paid Weapons will work with the existing Shared Content system for Multiplayer Servers in which if one player owns a Paid Weapon on a server all other players will have access to that weapon within the match to prevent any possible gameplay discrepancies.

Finally, we will be committed to continuing to balance these weapons among others within subsequent updates and patches for the life of the game.
  • How will I be able to know if I like the weapon before I buy it?
With the Shared Content system, anytime you access a multiplayer match with someone who owns the DLC you'll have full access to try the weapon if you're on the fence about owning it.
  • Why weapons and that price?
Weapons are the lifeblood of the Killing Floor 2 and Tripwire as a whole. They are what we excel at as a studio and is what is most valuable to the player in the game because of the interesting gameplay they provide. Additionally, we initially developed the Shared Content system with weapons in mind as a means of trying to keep our multiplayer gameplay on an even playfield.

We feel we needed a price that is in line with our other cosmetic items such as outfits, characters, FX packs, and skin packs that also gives us the best opportunity to fill the needs to enable us to sustain long term support of the game. As an added value, each Weapon will come paired with 5 unique mint weapon skins that will let you visually differentiate them to your liking.
  • Does that mean if I don't buy these weapons, I'll never get a new weapon in Killing Floor 2 to play with?
Not true, while all-new weapons going forward will be Paid DLC, we have a new initiative that we will announce in the coming days that will add new weapon types to existing weapons that will provide fresh gameplay experiences. This new initiative will be free along with other non-cosmetic content.
  • Why not sell [X] and not weapons?
While we explored numerous different alternative ideas, ultimately none of them would have fit within the timeline, strategy, resources, and projected return that would have served the purpose of sustaining KF2 into the years ahead. Simply put anything in line with the status quo of our current strategy would not be enough. So while we understand this measure is far more controversial, it will benefit KF2 as a whole in the long run.
  • Does this mean you are getting rid of the Zedconomy System?
The team is evaluating potential future changes to the Zedconomy crate and key system, but no changes are happening with the Fall update. At this time, we are prioritizing work with our current resource availability on continued additions to the content of the game, but players will see more direct purchase bundles, such as the Clot Backpack Bundle and Dragon & Koi Weapon Skin bundles, in the future.
  • What does this mean for other future content (maps, modes, bosses, etc)?
There are no plans to make other future features and content paid DLC for Killing Floor 2. We would still be providing these elements from maps, modes, bosses, zeds, and quality of life updates free of charge to the player with our seasonal updates. When possible, we endeavor to not split the community through paywalls which is why even with this initiative we are making sure to have the Shared Content system in place so that multiplayer gameplay will be a consistent experience.
  • What does this mean for modding?
There are no plans to change our current strategy and support for modding. We will continue to support and add new hooks as we are able to throughout development to further the modding community for KF2. As a tangible example to our continued commitment, we will be adding a system so that mappers will be able to make their own Objective Mode maps that are recognized by the game, in addition, to addressing Mid-match dosh issues with custom weapons within our next major content update.

While we recognize as a team this news is bound to come with many strong emotions, we hope you now understand the rationale of this decision for the future of Killing Floor 2 and that you'll continue to support us and the game. The support and continued commitment to the game from the community is an essential part of its success and what drives us to keep making new awesome gameplay and content for you to enjoy.

See you all on the Killing Floor.

David Amata
Product Lead of Killing Floor 2
 

s5yn3t

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 20, 2015
2,240
226
63
Do these weapons fall into the same category of refunds as cosmetics? Aka to have 48 hours to refund the item if it ends up being worse than expected?
 

Yoshiro

In Soviet Russia, Yoshiro is a cake
Staff member
Oct 10, 2005
12,252
3,444
113
They will follow all existing Steam, Xbox, PlayStation store policies.
 

simplecat

Active member
Apr 27, 2015
874
131
43
Russian Federation
docs.google.com
Got a question. Do you consider putting these weapons in steam store as DLC or they will be exclusive to in-game shop? I'm concerned about regional pricing: in RU base game costs 899 rub, 20 usd for 2 new weapons will cost me 1290 rub.
 

Yoshiro

In Soviet Russia, Yoshiro is a cake
Staff member
Oct 10, 2005
12,252
3,444
113
simplecat;n2333843 said:
Got a question. Do you consider putting these weapons in steam store as DLC or they will be exclusive to in-game shop? I'm concerned about regional pricing: in RU base game costs 899 rub, 20 usd for 2 new weapons will cost me 1290 rub.
I don't know the answer to this one as of yet. Asking and will get back to you.
 

Aleflippy

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 18, 2012
2,324
113
63
Belgium
As many others, I'm a bit wary about the shape of those DLCs... 20 bucks for two guns sounds like an awful lot. Even more so when we used to get four weapons per pack in KF1. I totally get that they are way more polished (with more animations and stuff). But still, more than half the price of the game is a bit... rough.

I guess a slight price change would make the news a bit easier to digest. Maybe something like 25-33% less? After all... We're more inclined to purchase MORE if each DLCs is less expensive, right?

That, or maybe allow "packs" or "season passes". I'd rather purchase everything at once to be honest... If possible, with a slight reduction as well.


OR BOTTOM LINE : could it be possible to allow us to test the guns during beta-testing? I mean, that's kind of the purpose of a play-test after all... And we would still need to purchase them once the update goes live. Except we would have a clear idea of HOW the new weapons feel like. Because you see, as a mostly solo player... It's kinda annoying to have to wait for someone else to try them.
 

Yoshiro

In Soviet Russia, Yoshiro is a cake
Staff member
Oct 10, 2005
12,252
3,444
113
Pricing is always a tricky subject and hard to get "right".

From a consumer point of view, the higher the price the more you are unlikely to purchase something (unless you feel that somehow there is value in higher option A over option B).
From a company perspective, at least when it comes to games in this case, the price is more than just "the dlc item". The value is in everything else as well.

And pricing itself has a few major direct impacts as well. The lower the price, the more sales you will get, but probably not the most return. At some point you've under valued the product. On the flip side, the higher the price you are making more money on each sale, but obviously far less sales, and once again less money overall. Finding the right value is never an easy thing to do, and if you undervalue it, you can't correct it. Everybody knows it has been offered for less so they won't buy it for more.
 

Yoshiro

In Soviet Russia, Yoshiro is a cake
Staff member
Oct 10, 2005
12,252
3,444
113
As to the testing of the weapons, we are restarting a private community test group to help us test the upcoming weapons and make sure that they are balanced.
 

Yoshiro

In Soviet Russia, Yoshiro is a cake
Staff member
Oct 10, 2005
12,252
3,444
113
We are reaching out to long time community members with many hours of play and lots of valuable feedback to us. We are starting small initially, but will likely grow it over time.
 

nukemdukem3d

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 30, 2015
24
3
0
One of the reason I bought KF2 is because it didn't locked weapons behind paid dlc, like KF1. I understand your decision though, Zedconomy is a total mess, so this is your only choice to squeeze some dosh. IMO you messed up, should have paid characters and skin packs from the start, and not try to copy TF2/CSGO business model.
 

HeatSurge

Member
May 20, 2009
581
16
18
That's going to be $10 PER weapon? I thought it's $10 for both which is still pretty steep.

$10 per weapon is too much for me. I'm pretty sure I won't bother and will wait for possible sales, but maybe that's just me. I would buy on release day at $2.50 per weapon to support development. $10 is just too much IMO for what you get. I know it's not really "all you get" and it supports other work on KF2, but still.

If that's really what it takes as far as development time to make new weapons, I'd almost rather KF2 be put in "complete" status and "maintenance only" - perhaps with some small updates to make really good community maps official... And move on to KF3 or something.

Non-cosmetic-only DLC is kind of bad.

Kudos to making it "shared" with the server at least, it would've been way worse otherwise.

This still kind of existed before though, with the road redemption bat and the chivalry sword - but it was acceptable to me since it was just two weapons. Now that it's going to be EVERY new weapon, it's way more concerning.
 
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flashn00b

Active member
Feb 1, 2011
694
38
28
IMHO, i still think $40 for a remaster of KF2 would be preferable to $10 per gun

Reason I say this is that Unreal Engine 3 hasn't aged well at all and Killing Floor 2 definitely shows the engine's age. Sure, the game looks nice back in 2016 when the game launched with the Survivalist perk, though now that we're in 2019 with almost 3 years worth of content bloat, we're at a point where the game actually running at all is an accomplishment.

Re-releasing the game in Unreal Engine 4 would be even better if new guns are in consideration because then the guns that'd otherwise be in-app purchases would be in the base game and we'd have a version of KF2 with much better performance than what we have now. Instead, we get worse performance than before except now you have to pay $20 in a vain attempt to justify that performance loss.
 

Aleflippy

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 18, 2012
2,324
113
63
Belgium
flashn00b;n2333868 said:
IMHO, i still think $40 for a remaster of KF2 would be preferable to $10 per gun

Reason I say this is that Unreal Engine 3 hasn't aged well at all and Killing Floor 2 definitely shows the engine's age. Sure, the game looks nice back in 2016 when the game launched with the Survivalist perk, though now that we're in 2019 with almost 3 years worth of content bloat, we're at a point where the game actually running at all is an accomplishment.

Re-releasing the game in Unreal Engine 4 would be even better if new guns are in consideration because then the guns that'd otherwise be in-app purchases would be in the base game and we'd have a version of KF2 with much better performance than what we have now. Instead, we get worse performance than before except now you have to pay $20 in a vain attempt to justify that performance loss.
Well, if I'm not mistaken, Mortal Kombat 11 is actually running on Unreal Engine 3... But pushed to its very boundaries. It certainly paid off : the game looks gorgeous. It's probably the best-looking "realistic" fighting game so far.

I don't think UE3 is done yet. And I doubt it would even be viable to re-release a four years old game. The nostalgia isn't quite there yet, but the game is already "too old" to truly attract newcomers...

Honestly at that point, I might say that it would be smart to think about KF3... If it's ever going to happen. And no, I don't even know what a sequel could bring that KF2 couldn't...Besides quality-of-life additions like better graphics, animations and stuff.
 

nukemdukem3d

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 30, 2015
24
3
0
No offence flashn00b but looks like you have zero knowledge about game game development. Porting game to newer engine is a lot of work (read about duke nukem forever development) and the whole idea is pointless anyway (new engine doesn't make game magically look better). It would be 100 times smarter to just make KF3 with a lot of paid good looking cosmetics from the start.
 

missing_trigger

Active member
Dec 23, 2011
383
27
28
26
Kyiv Ukraine
steamcommunity.com
I personally don't care about weapon prices. As much as I don't like devs - I still like the game(too bad I'm alone at that, when 12(!) of my friends stopped playing it long time ago). The problem is - I don't wanna pay for ANOTHER revolver and 1000 degree knife meme, and 5 skins that I'm not gonna use - same way I never bought any of headshot fx packs.
 

Aleflippy

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 18, 2012
2,324
113
63
Belgium
Yoshiro;n2333855 said:
As to the testing of the weapons, we are restarting a private community test group to help us test the upcoming weapons and make sure that they are balanced.
I get everything else you said, and I hope for the best regarding the dev team. I consider myself lucky we even got free content for so long.

About that test though... I have to say I'm a bit more skeptical about your goodwill. Sure, not everyone is very great at giving feedback. But I believe EVERYONE should be able to know about what they're going to buy. Honestly, a quick "try it before you buy it" would work wonders for your DLC plans...

And by "try it", I really don't mean abusing the **** out of it. Even something like a week tryout would be more than enough. That or a set amount of playthroughs.