John Smedley, as much flack as he gets for SWG, seems to be doing a lot of good lately over at SOE. Today the man released a statement that not only addresses current changes to Sony Online's Planetside 2 station cash and the like, but also reveals a new subscription model for all SOE games. There's even more up to date info here, on this Reddit Thread.
From Smed's original post:
"We are considering (and are likely going to move forward with) a plan that means if you subscribe to one of our games you are a subscriber to all our games (this applies to PC titles only btw).. all for the current $14.99 a month. That's a benefit most companies simply can't offer because they don't have our portfolio of games. The goal would be to let you pick an item in each game you play. Some of you might say "well who cares..I only play Planetside 2. How is that a benefit to me?" My answer is simple - we've got a great lineup of games, some of which aren't announced yet that cater to a lot of players. We have EQN and EQNL coming along with other..... games... that PS2 players might just like :)"
Now, clever readers will remember something called the Station Pass, now the "All Access" pass. How is this new model Smed's describing different from the current? Well, it's basically a $5 reduction on the All Access pass. For the price of a standard MMO subscription, you'll get subscription status to all of SOE's games, across consoles and PC (the consoles are not a done deal, but should be), as well as added benefits every month in their completely free games without a subscription option.
Now toss in the fact that EverQuest Next: Landmark is launching this year, and EverQuest Next might even see a beta this year (I'm just guessing), plus other games that Smed's hinting at which are yet to be announced... all of these you'll get access and special offers in for the cost of one game's subscription.
As a game hopper by profession, I'm all over this. Something about the $19.99 has always kept me away, but knowing that for $15 I could get all the goodies across all the games would be just the right spot to get me to jump on the wagon. I could see myself playing enough of those games enough times throughout the year to actually make a continual renewal worthwhile, and I'm sure SOE knows that most players of their games have dabbled or do toy around in their other titles.
I also see this move as something that could potentially revitalize the subscription in a way. Industry insiders and analysts keep saying the sub fee is dying, but really... it's just that few games offer enough reason to subscribe for the long term. With the catalog of games SOE has in its grasp, this is a deal few MMO gamers would likely pass up (unless they're just not fans of SOE games, of course).
They're changing the currency of DCUO from Station Cash to Loyalty Points on the PC, and letting them stack up on your account, thus making the rewards the same across the PS3 and PS4 as well. You'll still get your 500sc (see above-linked Reddit post), and additional discounts as well. Plus the All Access pass is being reduced to $14.99. It's a win-win-win. It's all with the goal of making these rewards for subscribing universal across all SOE products. With EQ Next and Landmark on the horizon, I'm 100% behind this change.
How about you?