I haven't wrote a blog in a while or commented on others blog. To be honest, most seemed way to focused on a single game or on being a shameless plug. Either do not really interest me, so I kept away for a while. Not just here, mind you, other places too, these trends seem to happen everywhere at the same time. I think maybe because they are the same people with different names and really, the internet might have only 100 people. But it's only the first paragraph and I already digress.
The actual subject is mmo subscriptions. It's an annoying subject to touch and I touch it because I read in a certain alpha forum, which NDA forbids me to disclosure, that the trend nowadays is for a player to get to max level as fast as possible and quit the game. Now, I'm sure that wasn't a factual statement and probably was based on vodka, but it's not far from a certain reality that is; We have, or rather, are forced to pay for these things monthly. I realize, as anyone would, that there are costs for running MMOs. Server costs, personal costs, development costs, anything you can imagine costs, and hopefully some profit. Sometimes way more profit than you think it would be possible. Does that matter to the customer? No. It doesn't.
From my point of view and perhaps of others, a brand new game costs anywhere from $30 to $50 dollars. When you buy a MMO, you pay those $30 to $50 bucks and get a free month to play. Considering how games are extremely crappy nowdays, you're lucky if they last a month in your computer. But here we have a game that is social, you're not playing alone and the argument I constantly hear is that people stay because of others. They make friends, or they bring online friends.
I think that is, forgive me the word, bullshit.
I don't know about you, but I rarely have any friends from a MMO to cross over to, lets say, another game, or MSN, AIM, YIM, you name it. Most of my online friends actually come from forums and we talk more about random subjects and diverse games than we spend time playing them together. So, from my perspective, I ruled out that argument. The way I see it and I hope the way a few smart people see it, is that paying $15 to $19 bucks monthly means you will be paying for a brand new game every 2 to 3 months.
It's not a fancy statement, it's just a plain comparison of price and product. 50 dollars equals brand new game. Three MMO months equals, roughly, 50 dollars that should in turn equal to a brand new, or should I say, renewed game.
We don't get that significant change in 3 months. Worst yet, when we have a significant change, we are forced, despise paying all these months, to pay extra for it. Another 50 bucks for a renewed game.
I think I will just buy wine, make a nice pizza with expensive cheese, and call my girlfriend over instead.
@pile of poop:
I know people who are gay. Doesn't mean I have to agree with what they do or consider it the norm. I don't think the content is the issue, like I compared them with the generaly crappy nowadays games. We pay the same price and usually play less then a month. It's feasible, depending on the grind content to go to the end of a mmo in less than a month as well.
I also can't bear myself to consider a pile of text to be content, I for one never read quest text and if I want to read, I buy another book or reread the ones I consider good.
If you feel the monthly fee is worth the content, then that's good. You don't feel you're wasting money.
I just hope msn wont start costing 15 bucks a month to use. But to answer your comment, I have played most of the mmos listed in this site and quite a few others not listed here. I'm being really generic in this case. From WoW to EVE, form newbies like WAR to oldies like UO, even The Realm.
But if you have friends cross over from MMOs to other mediums then good. You find more friendly people then I do. If you mean social by the simple fact it is -online- then I don't consider 15 bucks a good price. It could be considerably lower and still maintain quality and updates.
I think you got closer to my point than the other people who commented. Like I said, I know there are costs and I'm sorry but I have to argument againts your 50 bucks isn't enough bit. Non-subscription games receive updates and bugfixes even years after launch and they don't have to charge extra. Of course, most games studios aren't a -single game- studio but nor are most MMOs.
I'm not against profit or monthly fees, I even like they have that profit. I just don't think we see enough results from it in most games.
I'm sorry, but you sir missed the point. And perhaps you are an employee instead of an employer in life. In my line of work, I tend to make 400% profit over most things I do. I also know the monetary figures bound to MMO products. I also wrote online games once upon a time.
But lets take EVE for example. I estimate their running costs are around 2.5mil a year. That's considering a bulky link, still paying for investments, and about 30 way too well paid designers/programmers/etc. Now lets say I'm still wrong about the figure and lets double it. Last I checked they make about 10mil a year. That, if you ask me, is a fair profit and not what I'm actually complaining about. What I'm complaining is that there aren't, compared to'what we pay' and 'what we get', enough changes to justify our expenses.
It wasn't a whine about paying for mmos monthly, as I am subscribed to 3 of them,, it was a simple comparison of price and product. On the customer side, we're seriously losing and if you want to keep on losing, that's your problem.