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The MMO Freak

I used to have a blog but it got hacked and deleted on wordpress somehow so I figured I'll just start another one here. I have a lot of experience with MMO's in general. Realm Online was my first and have played EvE, WoW, EQ2, Maplestory, and others.

Author: doomrah

Open Subscription Model

Posted by doomrah Tuesday May 27 2008 at 3:47PM
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So I have a lot of subscriptions out there for MMO's.  The problem is I have time invested with all of them and it is hard to let go.  I have subscriptions to EvE, WoW, EQ2, AoC, LoTRO, Tabula Rasa, and MxO (even though I have the station pass, so that is one for multiple MMO's).

Anyway it hit me that we should be using some type of global subscription model on how often we play a game per month.  Some positive things that can come from this.

  1. It will make MMO developers more aware of what their users are playing month to month.
  2. It will make MMO developers provide better games with testing because they will be fighting for your business month to month.
  3. It will give the game developers what they deserve instead of what they ask for.
  4. MMO developers don't have to worry about subscriptions or payments.  They just receive checks from the OSM company.

Here is the model:

You pay $29.95/mo to an "OSM" (open subscription model) company.  That company releases an API that all the game developers can use to keep track of what people have bought and send data back to the OSM on how much playing time per month was done.  Then the OSM distributes the 29.95/mo to the appropriate game developers based on how long you played that game.

For instance:

  1. For the 1st month you play 28 hours of MMOs.  You play 10 hours of WoW, 10 hours of AoC, and 8 hours of EVE online.  So we take 29.95 divided by 28 hours and come up with $1.07.  Then we take the 10 hours of WoW and multiple by 1.07 which equals $10.70.  OSM sends WoW 10.70, same with AoC.  EvE online received only 8 hours of game play though and will be sent $8.56.
  2. This works for 2 hours of game play as well.  You still pay 29.95 but divide by 2 hours which equals $14.98.  You played 1 hour of WoW and 1 hour of EvE.  Each of them get $14.98.
  3. If you played 71 hours (hard-core) it will work.  You played 20 hours of WoW, 20 of EvE, 20 of AoC, and 11 of EQ2.  29.95 divided by 71 equals $0.42.  So WoW, EvE, AoC get $8.40 and EQ2 gets $4.62
  4. If you played 60 hours of just WoW, then WoW gets the entire $29.95.
  5. If you played 0 hours, then OSM will take the previous month and distribute out the $29.95 it did before.

So as you can see the developers will have to really make a great game to keep you playing or using your hours on their game instead of another MMO.  It would greatly increase competition and weed out a lot of hype and bad MMO's coming out.

The only flaws I see right now is if you play 4+ games then WoW and them are getting less then they are now.  But you know what?  If they want to keep you then they will have to work in keeping you playing their game that entire month to actually double their income (from 14.95 to 29.95).

Also you would still have to buy the games (retail) and the expansion packs.

What do you think?  Please don't tell me developers won't ever go for it.  It isn't an idea to make them do this, it is just a thought and a dream right now.  I also realize the OSM needs to make $ to keep services up, maybe a 5% cut on either each game payment or the total 29.95/mo.

Death1942 writes:

sorry but from a business point of view that is a crap system.  as a player i fully support it though :)

the main problem is the $30 a month and how long you play.  if you are a casual player and only play for say 4 hours a week,  you just spent $30 on 16 hours of gameplay...and to me that seems like a huge rip off.

maybe instead of this system a more controlled sub scheme.  a set price for games and some sort of a commission to watch over the industry on matters like prices, public relations and developers.

Tue May 27 2008 4:29PM Report
doomrah writes:

well there maybe can be tiers of gameplay.  < 10 hours = $9.95/mo, 11-20 = 14.95, 21-30 = 19.95, 31+ = 24.95

Tue May 27 2008 4:48PM Report
Sepulcher writes:

You are also forgetting to take into account the cost of running such a system.  You pay $30 a month, but a portion of that will go to the people in charge of the system to cover their operating costs.  Then, with a singular system in place, the gov can easily tax you for such a service and regulate it.  Then comes the insertion of fees and extra services.  So you original $30 idea ends up near $60 a month.  Add this to the fact that ISPs have been playing with the idea of charging you based on bandwidth usage and you end up with a market that basically grabs money out of gamers pockets and they have no alternative in which to escape it.

No thx.  I will continue to pay the companies who make the games I like.  If you don't like the price, don't play the game.

Tue May 27 2008 11:42PM Report

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