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Community Spotlight: Subscription Fees? Bah! Humbug!

Posted by MikeB Thursday November 19 2009 at 5:00PM
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This weeks Community Spotlight focuses on a thread started by user MMOnsterkill entitled, “FFS Stop Complaining About Subscription Fees”. In the original post, MMOnsterkill makes his case against the many people out there who scoff at the industry standard $15.00 monthly subscription fee attached to most AAA MMOG’s:
 

“$15.00
That is pretty much the industry standard monthly subscription fee to play an MMO nowadays. That being said, there are a lot of people that don't seem to understand why this fee is necessary -- and they swear on their lives that it's because the publishers / developers are trying to be greedy. Did you ever wonder who was working on all those lovely content updates that you bitch for? ACTUAL PEOPLE who have families, bills to pay, and taxes. Game developers don't make a whole lot of money, but it does take a bit to pay a team of 50 engineers, artists, and designers. Not to mention just running a company and an online service(s) has a lot of upkeep cost as well. “
 

While the original post is a little more abrasive than I’d normally choose to highlight, the discussion that follows, and the subject matter itself are considerably important.
 

User BlueSkunk used to be one of those very scoffers, but he has since seen the light, apparently:
 

“I used to not like paying subs, but then I realised that $15/month is extremely cheap.
 

Movie ticket with popcorn and drink $20+ for 1.5 to 3 hours entertainment.
 

A day at a theme park $50 - $100+ (extremely fun tho).
 

Ticket for a sporting event of your choice $10++.”
 

I have to agree, and I’ll be honest; this is one of my pet peeves. There are tons of people who won’t try a MMOG on the principle of having to pay monthly. I seriously doubt the $15.00 figure is the problem. It seems to be, at least for many, the principle of it more than anything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard friends scoff at paying monthly for a game, or having watched trailers for upcoming MMOG’s for either work or pleasure and read users comments to the tune of: “Looks awesome! But if this is one of those games where you have to pay monthly, no deal!”
 

To use BlueSkunks example, I recently went out with my girlfriend and spent about $70 that night on dinner and a movie. Three to four hours of entertainment and I’m almost out $100! I immediately thought of all the people who scoff at MMOG subscription fees and shook my head.

If you find a game that is of sufficient quality and interesting enough to you, the $15 shouldn’t get in your way of playing it. There are many much more expensive hobbies out there. A friend of mine is a chef, and dabbles in all sorts of things, including photography. You want to talk expensive? That is an expensive hobby! $400 for a camera lens is the norm. He received a $1000 lighting set from his boss as an early xmas present recently, which prompted me to have this very discussion with him as well.
 

User Johnmatthais brings some interesting figures to the discussion, citing the original incarnation of Neverwinter Nights' subscription rates:
 

“My only input:
 

"The game originally cost standard AOL hourly rates to play. Depending on the user's rate plan, this could be USD$6.00 per hour for a flat rate plan, or $8.00 per hour during premium (daytime) hours or $4.00 during off hours."
 

"Near the end of its run in 1997 the game had 115,000 players and typically hosted 2,000 adventurers during prime evening hours, a 4000% increase over 1991."
 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_Nights_(AOL_game)
 

Seriously, Stop complaining. The game had a few thousand players when it started. Another source I cannot find at the moment stated that it was not uncommon for people to spend in the hundreds per month to play the game.
 

And you guys are complaining about $15/month? Tisk tisk.
 

NOTE: I purposely didn't include the part about it becoming a free part of an AOL subscription at the end of it's run. That's not what I was referencing.”
 

Boy, do I remember those days! Anyone out there ever play Gemstone? Gemstone is essentially a MUD with subscription fees, and still runs to this day! As several other posters have pointed out, fully text based games have demanded subscription fees in the past (Gemstone IV still does!) and yet many of us scoff at $15 for a high-production value AAA MMOG.  For the record, Gemstone IV will run you $25/month for Premium memberships, and $49/month for Platinum memberships. Ouch! Standard membership is $14.95 a month.
 

When I was younger, I had to play Gemstone on an older friends account because I could not make the case to my completely internet/computer illiterate mother that shelling out for that kind of dough every month was a good or even sane idea. Which brings me to another point that several other users have raised: Perhaps most of the people complaining are younger folks who must make the case to their parents? Of course, this is pure speculation, but it is certainly plausible.
 

Are you an adult with an income reading this, yet still vehemently opposed to subscription fees?
 

For those of you who are opposed to subscription fees, are you also opposed to the microtransaction supported model as an alternative?
 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

SnarlingWolf writes:

I commented on the original thread but I also think it silly that people act like $15 is breaking the bank.

 

There is nothing you can do for that long for cheaper. Going out to a movie, club or bar ONCE is always more expensive. Yet this is something you can do for as long as you want in an entire month for that one price.

 

The wanting everything to be free is getting out of control and it's the reason this country is in the mess it's in (US). People wanted everything cheaper so all the jobs went over-seas and then there was no work and then everyone needed to buy cheaper things so more stuff went over-seas and then......

 

Just pay the tiny fee and enjoy your game.

Thu Nov 19 2009 5:16PM Report
masc writes:

Ok, i see your point (maybe) for someone who's playing on a regular basis.

If you play on or off, a monthly fee is a no go.

Microtransactions are on  play to pay basis. fine

But I still like f2p games like rappelz.

It`s the players (most of the time) that count and daw you back.

CaC

 

Thu Nov 19 2009 6:03PM Report
Athcear writes:

15 dollars a month makes MMOs astoundingly cheap hobbies.  One night at a bar can run more than that, and the MMO is available all month.  Sub fees put you in the mindset of investing, though.  I won't pay a monthly fee on a game unless I expect to be playing it for multiple months.

Thu Nov 19 2009 7:28PM Report
franksalbe writes:

I can confirm the AOL subs for Neverwinters night. My average bill was $150 a month. I had to have a partime job to keep that going. and that is on top of the $20 fee for AOL service.  I never want to go back to any type of hourly or micro transaction fee based service. $15 is more then enough for me it was pratically god sent!

Thu Nov 19 2009 7:39PM Report
hogscraper writes:

 I put aside a certain amount every month for entertainment and usually make $30 available for games. If there's nothing worth playing in the single player game section that I would normally save up a couple weeks for I'll put that money towards a second account in whatever MMO I'm playing. I love when one of my friends complains about 15 bucks a month when they have over a grand invested in their car stereo systems...

Thu Nov 19 2009 7:48PM Report
Skooma2 writes:

I am willing to bet that the employed people who are opposed to P2P games, have subscriptions to HBO, Cinemax, etc.

Thu Nov 19 2009 8:33PM Report
erictlewis writes:

15 bucks a month dont bother me. Thats 2 folks eating wendies.

I would rather pay like a 6 month sub or a year sub at a discount.

Thu Nov 19 2009 9:20PM Report
MMOnsterkill writes:

I'm famous

Thu Nov 19 2009 9:33PM Report
Cendharia writes:

One wonders how so called "f2p" are less expensive.  Ever played one? They usually have item malls...and usually how it works is you CAN'T get decent equipment, potions, weapons for your character UNLESS you pay real cash for those pixels.

Wise up folks.  lol

Longtime online player here, and yes I remember the hourly charges for both ISP..and muds....

Fifteen bucks a month is the cheapest entertainment you'll find anywhere these days......and nothing in this world is free...nothing.  Well except the air you breathe and I am sure some day "THEY" will find a way to tax that too.

 

 

Thu Nov 19 2009 9:47PM Report
Light888 writes:

I think the case in point most times is this: "If you find a game that is of sufficient quality and interesting enough to you".

A lot of games out there require you to spend before you try it out. In the day in age when there are tons to choose from, having to 'pay to test' or 'pay to play a buggy mess' when things come out seems insane.

Anyway, to clarify, I'm not opposed to subs, I'm opposed to forced subs before you can even see if you like the game or not. (gimped demos fall under this heading as well)

Thu Nov 19 2009 9:51PM Report
ZeddOverkill writes:

@ MMonsterkill: Yes. Yes you are. ^_^
And I have no problem with P2P or F2P games. And most subscription-based games give you a month free to start, so you can see if it's worth the fee. The only way I'd not try a game with a monthly fee is if they didn't give you that first month. Because if turns out that the game isn't quite your style of sandwich, you;re out $15. However, I've yet to see that sort of thing happen.

Thu Nov 19 2009 9:55PM Report
Malanjor writes:

My only problem with games that have a subscription fee is that the parents have a problem with it, apparently sense there is no physical manifestation to indicate that you have made a purchase means that it is not worth purchasing at all.   Honestly 15 dollars a month for good entertainment is nothing when compared to how much you could easily spend in a night.  With movie, drinks, and maybe dinner you could have easily used the funds required for several months of playing time on a MMOG.  Its almost seems like there is this stigma against monthly fees.  They would rather I spend three times the amount on a games that comes in a neat packaging than just spending less on just one game over a period of time.  Its frustrating to say the least and I can't wait until I get my own income so I can finally play a high quality MMOG.  Can anyone give any insight on why it is that older folks seem to feel this way when they don't even think twice about paying monthly for Tv or something like it?

Thu Nov 19 2009 10:00PM Report
Cendharia writes:

Well the way I would explain that 15 buck fee is....rental of space on a server...for the internet and computer illiterate parents out there.  Besides ..kids once old enough can earn their own cash..mowing lawns or newspaper routes..my nieces and nephews do that.   Of course their spending is monitored, by the parents as would be normal. 

At least there are no surprise charges ..you know what the cost is up front, unlike item mall or f2p games where you can end up spending MUCH more than that 15 bucks.   And with ability to buy game cards, the parents don't have to worry about credit cards being run up.

Thu Nov 19 2009 10:16PM Report
si1foo writes:

hmmm well  $15 isn't much  really  but the problem is that anyone under the age of 16  will have to ask mummy and daddy for it most likely  and trying to sell 15 a month that is 180 a year too them is really hard

but with that being said there are alot off  reasons why they need the extra money comming in new content mainternece FIXING bugs  all of it takes time and costs  money

Thu Nov 19 2009 10:24PM Report
johnmatthais writes:

 Hey, I got quoted. Cool. ^_^

Yeah, I couldn't find the source, and I never would have gone so far, but some cited $500/month bills on NWN.

I really like the feature, btw. It puts the big points in one coherent place. =D

Thu Nov 19 2009 10:52PM Report
squalleitor writes:

Im an adult WITHOUT income, so i do bitch around for the $15, i can play only one game at the time (and no i dont have other entertaiment nor hoby, i do agree this is cheap, i just dont have the regular income to be at ease), and have to endure the painful  F2P, which as we know, most of them are trash.

Thu Nov 19 2009 10:55PM Report
Bael13 writes:

Yeah depends where you live these games go world wide and arent $15 everywhere more like $20-27 a month and if movies cost you that much i wouldn't go anymore. How can you compare a theme park to a MMO? yeah i'll stick to F2P tyvm never use a damn ripoff P2P sub game again.

Americans always assume everyone pays what they pay.

And just as many losers in P2P as F2P so each to there own

Thu Nov 19 2009 11:24PM Report
Blazz writes:

squalleitor: How much do you pay for your internet bill each month? Just wondering...

Also, in Australia, it's about $21 dollars a month for WoW, with game-time cards (~$42 at your general retail store for 60 days)

Honestly, though, last night I spent about $16 on dinner, and about the same the night before - both times I ate out... it was late though, and I was tired.

Regardless, I've spent about as much on food for a few days as I have on a video game for two months - the food was good, but it only lasted so many hours of filling goodness.

Older people just know that one day you'll get bored of the game (search your feelings, you know it to be true) - and they don't want to pay money just to satiate your boredom for a month or two.
...which seems a bit skimpy to me. *shrugs*

Fri Nov 20 2009 12:13AM Report
Aignur writes:

An interesting fact about this debate is how new it is. This debate wasn't here 5 years ago. No one in Ultima Online or earlier games ever complained about subscription fees. Not even with EverQuest did we see the massive horde of 13-year-olds who have no concept of money or paying your own way.

This debate didn't arise until the launch of World of Warcraft, when so many casual single-player gamers made their first move into MMO territory that regular MMO gamers were outnumbered 10 to 1 within a month or two.

It's no wonder that all these new players never learnt how this genre of gaming works. Vastly outnumbering the old MMO players, they would have no one to bring them into the existing MMO community and debate, and would thus naturally start a new debate at some completely arbitrary point.

Fri Nov 20 2009 12:32AM Report
thamighty213 writes:

Movie Ticket - £6 Popcorn £3 2 hours

3 Pints at my local £9.30 90 minutes

Dvd Rental and a Pizza £9.50 2 hours

Killing sunsucking emo elyos for £8.99 a month PRICELESS

 

 

Fri Nov 20 2009 4:09AM Report
Sneaky_Andy writes:

$15 is a a expensive and unnecessary Bill on top of other bills one might have to pay. I mean Mortgage, Phone, Internet, Car Insurance, House Insurance, Credit Cards, Health Insurance, Food, Childcare, Cable, Gas, Taxes, Loans, Student loans and other bills.  it all adds up,  if you had the chance to have an extra $180 at the end of the year i would take it as theres other Free forms of entertainment, Playstation Network is free, so is Wii. Age of empires has online and so do lots of other games but you dont have to pay to play.

Fri Nov 20 2009 4:13AM Report
Rhayadder writes:

See that long list of bills you just referred to Sneaky_Andy?  Well the folk who work at <insert name of P2P company> have to pay all those as well.  Folk these days seem to "Want it ALL and want to NOW!"  And with Credit Cards, why bother to save up to buy something?  Who needs old expressions like "Cutting one's suit according to one's cloth"?  I agreed that $15 is an unnecessary Bill.  You choose not to pay it so don't grumble about your choice.  The world doesn't owe freeloaders entertainmant.  There is no such thing as a free lunch; somebody somewhere has to pay the price, even if it is only some insignificant peon labouring away in a sweatshop for a pitance to pay their long list of bills.  That doesn't mater so long as the rest of us can buy cheaper items or get them 'for free'.  Don't expect anything for Free and Life will hold fewer disappointments for you.

Fri Nov 20 2009 4:52AM Report
Protoman1 writes:

I used to scoff at paying monthly, but then I realized that the $50 - $60 dollar single player game I bought only lasted me maybe a month. Maybe for people like Sneaky Andy his games last him until his Wii or PS3 burns out. But you really need to ask yourself how often do you buy or rent your games for your system.

Fri Nov 20 2009 7:19AM Report
Lakytus writes:

The problem isn't the $15 a month.  The problem is the $50 the game costs, then you can't even play it unless you pay more money.  I can get a regular game for that price and play it whenever I want.  If I get bored or it or finish it I can sell it or trade it.  I can come back in few months and try it again.

Internet is already $40 a month, so if you don't use internet for much else, that's $55 a month to play the game.  Plus the fee keeps most people from trying more then one mmo at once, it just gets too expensive.

Stop using the excuse a movie costs $40, $50, or $60.  It doesn't.  A movie costs maybe $10 but that's a small price to pay to see a $200 million budget movie on a 5 story screen with 20 channel surround sound.

Fri Nov 20 2009 9:20AM Report
just1opinion writes:

Sneaky Andy says:

$15 is a a expensive and unnecessary Bill on top of other bills one might have to pay. I mean Mortgage, Phone, Internet, Car Insurance, House Insurance, Credit Cards, Health Insurance, Food, Childcare, Cable, Gas, Taxes, Loans, Student loans and other bills. it all adds up, if you had the chance to have an extra $180 at the end of the year i would take it as theres other Free forms of entertainment, Playstation Network is free, so is Wii. Age of empires has online and so do lots of other games but you dont have to pay to play.

And to THAT I say: 

HAHAHAHAH say WHAT?!!!  Are you buying games for that Playstation or Wii, or just enjoying looking at the box? Also...I have most of those bills you mentioned myself, and 15 bucks is CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. I can't do ANYTHING else, entertainment-wise, for that price. Nothing. And the free to play game you mentioned is a shitty RTS, and I loathe strategy games.

I've played lots of f2p games, and they pretty much suck AND aren't "free," either. I do not understand how ANY adult with an income can call 15 dollars "expensive." Where are you living that you can compare that to the price of ANYTHING else and call it expensive for the amount of time you can "use" it? Honestly, we MMO gamers have the deal of the century, as far as cost goes, for a hobby.

Honestly, if you think 15 dollars is expensive...you're absolutely right, you shouldn't play games, whether on console OR PC, because you probably should fill your free time with another job. Truly.

 

Fri Nov 20 2009 10:44AM Report
CleverLegion writes:

 This is so obvious, it really does not even need to be said.  Why is time being wasted talking about this?  Go play games!

Fri Nov 20 2009 12:44PM Report
AliceKaye writes:

I spend more money on a small meal then on a month's worth of entertainment. You'll hear no complaints from me!

Fri Nov 20 2009 2:35PM Report
SnarlingWolf writes:

If your excuse is that $15 a month is expensive because you're an adult without a job. Well you have much greater things to worry about, like no playing games and spending that time on finding a job.

Fri Nov 20 2009 2:52PM Report
asciirider writes:

As someone who's spent plenty of money. here's my take on this.

Let's use WoW as an example as it's the largest subscription based game

They claim over 10 million subscribers at $15 each that's 150 million per MONTH. Add to that the cost of the original game, then expansion packs etc.. etc.  Blizzard's profit so far this year is 15 million from their own Q3 report.

Also like stated before, if you're someone who's a casual gamer and not playing every free moment, or like me, played multiple games, it's not really cost effective, unless you like Sony games and get a Station Pass that lets you play them all for a huge discount.

Fri Nov 20 2009 5:31PM Report
Aitana writes:

No problem paying for it, as others have pointed out: much cheaper than other entertainment options. I also have no problem paying for a separate account for my child.

Fri Nov 20 2009 5:35PM Report
Mythgar writes:

$15 is a good deal for a game that has good content and is well designed to make it worth the value of your money.  While $15/month for one game isn't bad if you play often, it's the casual users who don't play often where it starts to lose value.  Also, as another poster mentioned, it's the multiple subs of different games that begin to cause problems.  Which *I* think is the real problem to Aigners post about why this debate is here now and not before - we have so many more choices now than before.  I also think is why a lot of the MMO's are failing today as well.

Something I've often wondered which could alleviate a lot of the problems I've mentioned here, and that others have posted is, why don't game companies charge a scaling fee?

Play 0 hours in a month, your charge is $0.

Play 1-5 hours in a month, your charge is $5.

Play 6-10 hours a month, your charge is $10.

Play 10-15 hours a month, your charge is $15.

Play 16+ hours a month, your charge is $20.

This way, the casual gamers are getting value for their money, the hardcore players are still getting value for their money (because while they're paying more than now, their hourly fees are still less than others because they're putting more time into the game) and the game companies would probably work out about the same revenue wise because the people who are playing the most are footing the bill for expenses.  This also let's players jump in and out of different games as they choose and pay less or more depending on how they play.

P.S. And for people thinking, "he's just a casual player whining" I play roughly 20 hours a week on average, so I'm proposing raising my own costs.  But, there are times when I just don't play much and it would be nice to know that instead of having to pay the full $15 that month, even though I only played 5 hours, under the scaling idea, I'd only pay $5.

Fri Nov 20 2009 8:25PM Report
Eindrachen writes:

$15/month is cheap.  Two movie tickets run that much.  Two fast food meals run that much.  Cheapest date you can go on probably runs you about $30, and that's just one night.

Should I go on?

A new console game runs about $60; if you don't get at least four months of entertainment from it, you aren't getting a good deal.

Let's break it down to raw amount of free time.

Assuming only 2-3 hours per day of console time with the above game, you still have to play it at least 4 months before it becomes an equal or superior investment to an MMO monthly subscription at $15/month.

You can get pretty cheap DVDs (or blu ray discs, if that's your thing), if you wait several months for them to go on discount, and get 2-3 hours of entertainment for $10-$20.  You're only likely to watch that movie once every couple of months or so.

Tabletop RPGs have hefty startup costs, far more than $50 per copy of a game.  Print books run almost that much now, and many times you are forced to buy player books, GM books, monster books, setting books, etc.  Conservatively, you're looking at some RPGs costing upwards of $120 in books just to start playing.  Nevermind stationary such as character sheets, pencils, graph paper, etc.  Dedicated gamers can easily run up $15 in costs each month.

 

Those of you who think $15/month is still too much for a game, start running a budget of your life.  Seriously.  It's an eye-opener, for sure.  You'd be amazed at the "frivilous" expenses we make for things.

My bottom line here is that no, $15/month isn't too expensive.  If you can't pay that, you certainly do not need to be playing video games.  Find cheaper thrills.

Hey, for $15, you can get a pretty good deal of booze.  Which can definitely lead to all kinds of... interesting (in the Chinese sense of the term) possibilities.

Sat Nov 21 2009 7:21AM Report
Fazh writes:

Most who complain are kids with no income or job

Sat Nov 21 2009 3:16PM Report
GozerTC writes:

@Mythgar OOh I like that scaling thing.  My wife and I play MMO's but sometimes Daughter/Work/School gets in the way and we drop down to that zero level.  It'd be nice not having to cancel and restart our subs all the time.  Count me as a strong second for someone doing that!  :D 

----

Personally I don't mind F2P or P2P either way.  There are good things on both sides, it all depends on what you're looking for.  There's large single purchases (box purchase), subscription only (already launched MMO's), smaller single purchase (arcade games), Free Flash Games, and F2P MMO's with item malls.  Each has a place and all work well.  I don't know why folks complain about ones that they don't play.

For instance I don't give a darn about item malls since I don't play any games that really uses them.  I have nothing good or bad to say about them.  They're just there.  Like Hair Salons, I don't use them so why comment on them? 

Sat Nov 21 2009 7:58PM Report
bamdorf writes:

Fifteen bucks is very cheap.   Perhaps not for parents when their kids want them to spend $180 bucks a year...but my strange idea is that kids don't need to play online games.    Go outside and shoot some hoops, play touch football, etc, etc.

I wish I was a kid and couldn't afford $15 a month!  I am there in one second.

Mon Nov 23 2009 6:16PM Report
jinx13 writes:

Sneaky_Andy writes:

$15 is a a expensive and unnecessary Bill on top of other bills one might have to pay. I mean Mortgage, Phone, Internet, Car Insurance, House Insurance, Credit Cards, Health Insurance, Food, Childcare, Cable, Gas, Taxes, Loans, Student loans and other bills. it all adds up, if you had the chance to have an extra $180 at the end of the year i would take it as theres other Free forms of entertainment, Playstation Network is free, so is Wii. Age of empires has online and so do lots of other games but you dont have to pay to play.

So how much did you pay for the Consoles for Wii and/ or Playstation???( guessing $300- $400) How much do you pay for each boxed game title for those consoles???( guessing $40- $60 each) I see on your profile you play Guild Wars. So did you buy each Chapter/ Campaign and the expansion Eye Of The North at release or wit til they were already outdated to buy for reduced price? At release they were $50 each then there are the extras... The Bonus Mission Pack the skill unlock packs, extra character slots and Storage Tabs/ boxes and the most recent additions of Makeover pack, Character Name change, and Pet Unlock Pack. So now you have free access but until just recently how much new content had been added since the Eye of the North went live??? I play GW also. I have all 3 Campaigns as well as the Bonus mission pack and Eye of the north expasion. But now I primarily play a different game that has a monthly fee or lifetime membership can be purchased. I do still log into GW maybe once or twice per week to do the Nick The Traveler but thats it. The first 3- 3.5 yrs GW was live/ active yeah I played it almost daily( racked up about 5000 hrs on the account lol) but the last 2 yrs I've hardly touched it. In the first 3 yrs I spent almost as much buying the new campaigns and expansions/ bonus mission pack as I would have spent on a $10- $15 monthly subscription. The difference I would have had more frequent and probably better upgrades/ New Content other than 'Skill Balancing' that usually screwed me. So yeah I'd rather pay a little monthly fee/ subscription and have a better game to play when I want to play it.
The game I have moved on to from Guild Wars like I said before has a monthly fee or a lifetime membership available. I did the lifetime membership which compared to their monthly fee I have had 6+ months free. They did release an expansion which cost $20 if I remember correctly. So since I started playing the new game about 2 yrs ago even with the expansion I have spent less than I spent on Guild wars in approximately the same length of time.
I do see alot of possibilities with the scaled rate Mythgar suggests also.
lol Sorry everyone, didn't intend to ramble on so much. YMMV
~~Jinx

Wed Nov 25 2009 7:47PM Report
tanek writes:

The $15/month is only a factor in one thing for me.  How many games I will play "at a time".  I am not likely to have more than one subscription active at a time.  I will, however, switch between that subscription game and something like GW or DDO where I may spend a little to get a new adventure pack.

While the $15 fee is quite inexpensive when compared to other entertainment, I still don't want to "waste" it.  And, rational or not, I usually feel I can't give more than one subscription the time that I'd need to justify the monthly expense.  (Someone mentioned cable television...I recently determined that I no longer watch enough tv to justify that expense, so *poof* bye-bye cable.  It is not just gaming where I apply my "logic"  ;) .)

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