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News & Features Discussion  » General: Story of the Week: Subscriptions Losing to RMT

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65 posts found
  Khrymson

Guide

Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 3124

9/17/11 11:51:33 AM#21
Originally posted by MMOrUS

Play Lotro with a sub and you get acess to the entire game, play Lotro free and you have to purchase access to content, add that content up and BAM you just ended up paying the equivalent of 3 months sub, yet you think your better off because your not tied to a monthly sub. It's a false saving and players are lulled into thinking they are saving money this way, add it up at the end of your playing life and I'l bet you've spent 50% more than you should have.


 

Although, when you look at this from a casual player's point of view, it may take us as many as 6 months or longer  to reach the cap, instead of only 1-3mo that a more regular player will make the trek in.

 

I'm basing this loosly on the lvl 1-60 trek over a 3-6mo period:

  • If you pay monthly, the cost depends on the sub you pay for.  3mo straight up is $30, or if you pay month to month that would be $45.  And thats it, you get 3 months of unrestricted access.  And after your time expires, if you choose to play as a free player, all your previous quest content is suddenly locked out.  You've already completed it all on your main char, but what if you want to start a new char?   You either have to subscribe again or pay for each quest pack.   Both of which could cost you another $30~$45+  So far we're up to $60~$90!  
 
  • If you pay for LOTRO entirely through the F2P/cash shop method, sure it'll probably add up to $45+ to unlock all the quest content as we play through it.  And over that period of 6+ months, we can come and go at anytime, without the thought of a clock ticking down until we can't play anymore without paying again.  And even if we take a break for a year, what we paid for is still unlocked, even if we start a new char.  
 
So ultimately a F2P player has only paid $45 at this point, where as the subscriber has paid as much as $60-$90.
  Aeolron

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/24/11
Posts: 664

Everyones a mmo vet these days :P

9/17/11 11:57:33 AM#22
People who say that they paid say 50-60 bucks for a mmo then believe they shouldn't have to pay $15 per month because for the sole purpose for owning the boxed game itself should look at , for example, subscribing to Internet services, cell phones , tv ect , it's a service and based on that service can and will be cut off if people don't pay the monthly sub. I can understand that $15 a month might seem alittle pricey for some folks, but for the rest of us who have been playing mmos for alittle over a decade and paying a sub fee, FTP with a item mall just doesn't cut it. When I see FTP I see a cheap product and Also makes me wonder how well their game is doing financially. Just my thoughts.
  Z3R01

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/08
Posts: 2459

MMO gamer since 1997

9/17/11 12:02:40 PM#23
Originally posted by Lasterba
@Z3R01

Mass effect also doesn't have constant content updates, bug fixes, in game support, server maintenance...

You are not "renting" an MMO you are simply buying more game every month. The other part of this is game access of course. They have to charge bandwidth and server fees (monthly sub) and if you don't pay you don't play.

It is renting though. Can i go back and click on my old warhammer online Icon and start playing the game i paid 50 bucks for? Not unless I pay again right? 

Also charging a monthly fee for bandwidth? Why is it ok for mmos to do it? other games that offer online features host games and pay for bandwidth without charging us. 

As for content and bug fixes/balancing? I can count the amoutn of mmos on one hand that offer updates monthly, hell the majority of them only give content on 3-6 month cycles. 

 

IMO mmo devs should charge for the client, then develop good sized DLC or expansions if they want more money. 

We should always have access to a game we already paid for. 

Playing: None

Waiting on: None

  User Deleted
9/17/11 12:18:54 PM#24
Originally posted by Z3R01

 

Anyone ever really think about the subscription model?

We pay $40+ for a box/client.

Then pay $15 monthly just to access the game we already paid for!

When I play Mass Effect bioware doesnt suddenly pull my plug after 30 days forcing my to pay another 15 bucks to continue to play. THe fact that we let these devs get away with this revenue model truly sickens me.

 

Games shouldnt feel like rentals and that's what the mmorpg p2p genre feels like. I buy the game for full price yet have to continue paying just to play the stuff i purchased already. never truly owning the damn game.

 

 

Single player games don't have constant content additions, servers to maintain, and a support staff (GMs, etc) to pay for.

MMORPGs cost money to operate. Thus the sub fee.....which boils down to FIFTY CENTS per day.

I've never understood anyone complaining about paying FIFTY CENTS per day for a game that can entertain them for months or years.

If I play single player games instead of MMORPGs, I end up paying hundreds per month, since I beat a game and replay it once in the course of a week.

MMORPGs are FAR less expensive, even with a sub fee.

But I will tell you now.....if RMT becomes the MMO standard, I will be done with MMOs.

 

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

9/17/11 12:21:55 PM#25

 



Subscriptions aren't going anywhere, though subscription *only* games are going to continue to get more and more rare.  The real future isn't F2P though, it's Freemium.  A lot of games actually see their overall number of paying subscribers go up when they make the switch to Freemium, already making more money than the pure sub model before you even factor in the microtransaction income from the Free players.



Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  User Deleted
9/17/11 12:32:39 PM#26

Originally posted by Khrymson


Originally posted by MMOrUS




Play Lotro with a sub and you get acess to the entire game, play Lotro free and you have to purchase access to content, add that content up and BAM you just ended up paying the equivalent of 3 months sub, yet you think your better off because your not tied to a monthly sub. It's a false saving and players are lulled into thinking they are saving money this way, add it up at the end of your playing life and I'l bet you've spent 50% more than you should have.




 



Although, when you look at this from a casual player's point of view, it may take us as many as 6 months or longer  to reach the cap, instead of only 1-3mo that a more regular player will make the trek in.


 


I'm basing this loosly on the lvl 1-60 trek over a 3-6mo period:




  • If you pay monthly, the cost depends on the sub you pay for.  3mo straight up is $30, or if you pay month to month that would be $45.  And thats it, you get 3 months of unrestricted access.  And after your time expires, if you choose to play as a free player, all your previous quest content is suddenly locked out.  You've already completed it all on your main char, but what if you want to start a new char?   You either have to subscribe again or pay for each quest pack.   Both of which could cost you another $30~$45+  So far we're up to $60~$90!  



 



  • If you pay for LOTRO entirely through the F2P/cash shop method, sure it'll probably add up to $45+ to unlock all the quest content as we play through it.  And over that period of 6+ months, we can come and go at anytime, without the thought of a clock ticking down until we can't play anymore without paying again.  And even if we take a break for a year, what we paid for is still unlocked, even if we start a new char.  



 


So ultimately a F2P player has only paid $45 at this point, where as the subscriber has paid as much as $60-$90.


 




Well put, and your reasoning is very sound.


I would actually put myself in that casual player bracket, it takes me forever to lvl any character, but for 1 simple reason, I don't restrict myself to a single MMO, it keeps my game time fresh.


However these days lvling a character to max isn't such a terrible ardous task as it used to be, and at some point you hit that cap, once you do then what happens? the subscription option won't increase, but the F2P option suddenly shows it's true colours and restricts your gameplay immensly, your left with a few choices.


Leave the game to play another F2P.


Create another character and relive your adventures with a different "Free" class/race


Hand over more cash to buy further quests/content on a more frequent basis due to high lvl content being more controlled by the cash shop.


I would strongly agree that your early gaming experience will be mostly free and unfettered, but the real bucks are made at the high end of the game when your truly hooked, then the hard choices have to be made, give up or splash the cash.


I will always remain a subscriber to a few MMO's, I find this form of payment to be the easiest way for me to enjoy an uninterupted game, without having to worry that I need to purchase extra bag space, or that the dungeon my grp just entered in is free or a cash shop extra.


The only real positive I have found with so many cash shops funding MMO's is that so many of my old favourites are now available to me without having to fork out a months fee to see how they have improved =).


 


 


  User Deleted
9/17/11 12:58:15 PM#27
Originally posted by BillMurphy

This week's Story of the Week highlights a recent analysis from iHS and Screen Digest that details a dip in subscription revenue in favor of microtransactions. Does this herald the end of the monthly subscription?

If you take into effect that several companies in the past year or so have dropped the subscription model in a last ditch effort to save their games, this can probably explain the 5% drop in subscription revenue the report details.  Meanwhile microtransaction totals have increased significantly (in the face of these changes), but what’s more interesting to note is that the cash-shop revenue has apparently increased the total revenue of the market.  This means more people are buying things from these item malls, and it’s enough to increase the overall market by nearly half a billion dollars.

Read the rest of our Story of the Week: Subscriptions Losing to RMT.

That sums it up very nice " A last ditch effort to save their games" Lets face it. Former MMO's that recently went to F2P were popular games all ready and if it was not for the recent economy taking a nose dive I am sure that games like lotro and Cox would still be P2P that is why even WoW had to offer some kind of F2P zone if you will along with lotro and Cox after all you still have the option of subbing if you so choose to continue your gaming experience.

That brings me to another point all of these EASTERN games coming out by the truck load are just looking for a quick buck and do not care if the game last or not. I would not spend my valuable time or money in buying virtual armor from the games shop in some half ass MMO that is advertise on the Cartoon Network.

Conclusion is that Real gamers will not mind spending money on a game that is well devolved and gives them a MMO experience that they not only get hooked on but drool at night dreaming about.

  Otakun

Novice Member

Joined: 12/28/07
Posts: 905

9/17/11 1:05:18 PM#28
Originally posted by Aeolron
People who say that they paid say 50-60 bucks for a mmo then believe they shouldn't have to pay $15 per month because for the sole purpose for owning the boxed game itself should look at , for example, subscribing to Internet services, cell phones , tv ect , it's a service and based on that service can and will be cut off if people don't pay the monthly sub. I can understand that $15 a month might seem alittle pricey for some folks, but for the rest of us who have been playing mmos for alittle over a decade and paying a sub fee, FTP with a item mall just doesn't cut it. When I see FTP I see a cheap product and Also makes me wonder how well their game is doing financially. Just my thoughts.

Internet and cellphones do mutliple functions and give a lot more entertainment then just 1 MMO.

Also, any decent F2P makes more money then a P2P. This has been known for quite sometime, just look at Nexon. People will say that Maplestory and Vindictus sucks but they are still running and make a lot more money then any post WoW P2P.  F2P doesn't always mean cheap product, but at least you can try the game for free unlike a P2P MMO where you have to pay 50+ box fee just to play it unless your friend lets you play which is technically against the EULA.

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15693

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

9/17/11 1:12:30 PM#29

If people think it's more expensive to play F2p now, just wait until it beats out the sub model completely. Right now people have other options, if that were to change, prices would sky rocket, as the F2p no longer would have sub models to contend with. WHich IMO means an even bigger push for sales, and need to buy items.

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  Aeolron

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/24/11
Posts: 664

Everyones a mmo vet these days :P

9/17/11 1:26:46 PM#30
Internet and phone offer only 1 service either it be phone or Internet. My ISP provides me with Internet nothing more, where as a mmo , PTP is offering a service of playing that game. I don't know what kind of Internet or phone service you have, but mine just provides 1 service each.
  User Deleted
9/17/11 1:29:56 PM#31
Originally posted by Distopia

If people think it's more expensive to play F2p now, just wait until it beats out the sub model completely. Right now people have other options, if that were to change, prices would sky rocket, as the F2p no longer woul have sub models to contend with. WHich IMO means an even bigger push for sales, and need to buy items.

I don't think we will not see the end of Sub games for awhile. With that in mind I only hope that Up coming Sub games like TOR will not only cut a chunk out of the MMO pie but hold on to it for a long time to come.

  Azoth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 531

9/17/11 1:35:20 PM#32

Anyone crying over a 15$ sub for what can easily be a 40hours+ of entertainement per month loose all credibility in my book. Sure the latest p2p game were crap, but they were still worth 15$. What is 15$ to you ?


I always end up paying a lot more money for f2p game and usually get tired of em faster. What we need is a true gem and constant update. Then the sub would be better accepted.  


  ElGormo

Novice Member

Joined: 9/17/11
Posts: 1

9/17/11 1:55:36 PM#33

Online casinos have been exposed for allowing money laundering through their systems, I do wonder if something similar is going on here with Cash Shops in FTP titles.


I wish the industry would buck their ideas up, I would happily pay £25-30 a month to pay a game which I can be truly submersed in, but as others hve mentioned the games out there now just don't warrant this level of investment from the playerbase.


The subscription model is failing because the games being released are simply not worth subscribing to, and the developers know that.


  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5932

9/17/11 3:04:31 PM#34
Originally posted by Khrymson
Originally posted by MMOrUS

Play Lotro with a sub and you get acess to the entire game, play Lotro free and you have to purchase access to content, add that content up and BAM you just ended up paying the equivalent of 3 months sub, yet you think your better off because your not tied to a monthly sub. It's a false saving and players are lulled into thinking they are saving money this way, add it up at the end of your playing life and I'l bet you've spent 50% more than you should have.


 

Although, when you look at this from a casual player's point of view, it may take us as many as 6 months or longer  to reach the cap, instead of only 1-3mo that a more regular player will make the trek in.

 

I'm basing this loosly on the lvl 1-60 trek over a 3-6mo period:

  • If you pay monthly, the cost depends on the sub you pay for.  3mo straight up is $30, or if you pay month to month that would be $45.  And thats it, you get 3 months of unrestricted access.  And after your time expires, if you choose to play as a free player, all your previous quest content is suddenly locked out.  You've already completed it all on your main char, but what if you want to start a new char?   You either have to subscribe again or pay for each quest pack.   Both of which could cost you another $30~$45+  So far we're up to $60~$90!  
 
  • If you pay for LOTRO entirely through the F2P/cash shop method, sure it'll probably add up to $45+ to unlock all the quest content as we play through it.  And over that period of 6+ months, we can come and go at anytime, without the thought of a clock ticking down until we can't play anymore without paying again.  And even if we take a break for a year, what we paid for is still unlocked, even if we start a new char.  
 
So ultimately a F2P player has only paid $45 at this point, where as the subscriber has paid as much as $60-$90.

 

It's not that black and white.  If you subscribe for 3 months (a $30 package) you get a stipend of 1500TP total to spend which could be put towards quest packs once you drop back down to Premium.

In addition to that there are a lot of features that can be unlocked for a character or account while subscribed that remain unlocked when dropping down to Premium (riding skills, crafting guild reputation, fast travel destinations, and more).  These would all cost a Premium player a lot of TP, especially on multiple characters.

There is a strategy to playing that game to maximize feature access without wasting money.  Playing Premium with the occasional VIP subscription stint makes a lot of sense which brings me to my main point.

The game play experience in LotRO is nowhere near the quality of a P2P game, such as RIFT, now.  The entire game is developed around purchasing items in the store.  The best potions are store exclusives, LI relic removal is a store exclusive, in combat run speed buffs - exclusive, multiple map destinations, cooldown reductions, and much more - all store exclusives.  Yeah you can earn them through Turbine's "fun" transitive gaming property by grinding out TP.  But the bottom line is that LotRO players have asked for those features to be included in the game, and they were -- in the store after F2P.  Contrast that with RIFT where features are added to the game and I earn access to them via game play.  It is like night to day.

On the other hand, I agree with Z3RO1:  P2P is just renting the game you buy and it doesn't always feel good.  It's not like you can drop one day, stop paying, and a week later play for a few days and pay, then drop again.  Feeling like I'm renting a game leaves a poor taste in my mouth and gives that pushy feeling like I have to play to get my money's worth even when I don't actually feel like playing.

I'm very much hoping that Arena Net's B2P model with some micro-transactions takes hold.  For me it has the potential to be the least inconvenient and the lesser gouge to my wallet.  On one hand I don't want to feel locked into playing because the money clock is constantly ticking (P2P) but on the other hand I don't want to be nickled and dimed for a store-centric gameplay experience (F2P).  B2P seems to be a reasonable middle ground to these two extremes.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Dracondis

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 165

9/17/11 4:11:06 PM#35

Originally posted by Khrymson



If more developers would follow what is said in this video from Extra Credits: Microtransactions, I believe it would be more widely accepted as being fair instead of how most perceive it as gouging the consumers for every nickle and dime we have...



If more game companies followed the advice given by Extra Credits in general, the overall market would be vastly improved.


  crazynanny

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/03/10
Posts: 175

9/17/11 5:40:31 PM#36

The whole freemium MMOs aren't that fine and dandy like many people say. LOTRO is perfect example of game where Turbine double dips(sub + cash shop) most loyal players. So yeah You get worse of two worlds this way.

Free players just have cash shop and if You are smart it can be okay in longer run. But in short term, after completing free parts(akin to WoW free trial) of the game You have to fork up quite some cash or suffer the grind taken from worst korean MMOs.

In the end sad reality is the best game experience in LOTRO You'll obtain by paying sub AND using cash shop. Which leads to another problem aka designing content to promote cash shop purchases. And I wish this cash shop had only fluff like WoW one...

So yeah in theory freemium model is perfect as You either pay as You go(via cash shop) or pay sub and don't care. In reality it's just a way to put cash shop in sub based game. As long as You don't sub it's okay, but when You do, You get the worst deal.

  User Deleted
9/17/11 8:10:57 PM#37

They make enough money either way, I don't care. You either make your game accessible or get fat starving by eating all the wrong foods.

  zaxxon23

Novice Member

Joined: 12/06/06
Posts: 1285

9/18/11 1:37:07 AM#38

Games that are actually worth a subscription will get the customers.  I don't think it's long until we have game with a subscription and a real money auction house / currency exchange. 


  SpottyGekko

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2956

9/18/11 5:43:37 AM#39

I believe that ingame cash shops will become "standard features" in all MMO's. Heck, they will even become part of single-player games (via an online connection). The introduction of DLC-packs is just the start.

The lure of increased revenue is simply too attractive for any game company to pass up. Subscription-based games have been unable to break through the "$15 per month" glass ceiling. No company wants to be the first to raise their monthly sub, because players will revolt and they would lose subs/players to other competitors still charging the "standard fee".

Cash shops bypass this artificial barrier nicely. I strongly doubt that the average player keeps a detailed record of their ingame purchases. This means that its quite likely that players will end up spending more in a game over the period of a year than they would have spent on a subscription model, especially as the cash shop purchases are often small amounts spread over a long period of time.

As time passes, people will become "de-sensitized" to cash shops, because no amount of forum-wailing will make them go away. Once that happens (a year or 2 from now), game companies will become more "creative" in their use of cash shops. Many will go too far, too fast, and will crash and burn, but the overall trend will increase, of that I've no doubt.

The F2P model may well be cheaper than subscription IF you only ever have 1 character in the game, and resist the temptation to use too many consumables (potions, XP-boosts, etc.) from the shop.

However, as a serial-altaholic, subscription play offers me the best value for money by far. I generally have 3 to 4 characters in any game I play, and it would cost me a heap of money to run those characters in most F2P games. I also tend to pay my subs in 6 or 12 month blocs, which almost always reduces the per month cost. I've NEVER paid $15 per month to play an MMO.

  Unlight

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 2586

9/18/11 6:20:45 AM#40
Originally posted by SpottyGekko
<snip>

However, as a serial-altaholic, subscription play offers me the best value for money by far. I generally have 3 to 4 characters in any game I play, and it would cost me a heap of money to run those characters in most F2P games. I also tend to pay my subs in 6 or 12 month blocs, which almost always reduces the per month cost. I've NEVER paid $15 per month to play an MMO.

You should be ashamed to call yourself a serial altaholic with only three or four characters in your games.  Come back when you find it's necessary to be in the double digits. :P

There's only really two free-ish games that I'm familiar with, DDO and Guild Wars.  DDO starts you off with 2 slots for completely free accounts, and gives you four if you become a premium member, which only requires buying a point package in the store at any time.  The Premium designation is permanent after that.  But two isn't that far off from three or four, and the cost of those two slots can be obtained pretty easily just from playing.

GW gives you four for the base game (Prophesies), and another two for each of the additional campaigns (Factions and Nightfall) for a possible total of eight.  Pretty decent, even for altaholics.  Incidentally, I still needed another three.

So anyway, I'll assume that not all F2P games are as generous.  But that just tells me that most shops aren't ones that I want to use.  If people stop playing games with lousy shops and stick to those that they can at least tolerate, it will change the model for RMT for the entire genre in time.  They are here to stay, but we as gamers should try to control how they are implemented by being selective in the games we choose to play.

Personally, I'm still open to paying for a subscription for the right game.  But it would have to be something pretty damned stellar.  I no longer believe that the monthly charge is needed to keep a game going.  I'm more convinced than ever that they are only doing it because they can.  And when I decide which games I will play in the future, there is one new factor I'm considering in my decision and that's the payment model.  It was never something I looked at before because they were pretty much all the same, but choice exists now and I intend to exercise my ability make one.  And I doubt I'm the only one who feels that way.

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