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News & Features Discussion  » General: The Best MMO Business Models

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148 posts found
  verenov

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/26/08
Posts: 52

8/05/12 10:42:41 PM#141
Originally posted by Master10K

I don't like the subscription model much because I feel like I'm forced to play more then usual, just to get the most out of that £9 a month and after that month, I feel somewhat burnt out. It's why I could only play Rift, 1 month out of every 3, constantly subscribing and unsubscribing between.

 

F2P and B2P are more my forte but only when done well and I like not feeling obligated to play a game. League of Legends is what I consider the best F2P game so far, but it's a MOBA so it doesn't really count in this case. Here's hoping that Planetside 2's F2P model will work. Already pre-purchased my copy of GW2 and all I'd have to worry about spending my extra money on, is on character slots & expansions, because the Item Shop in that game is currently very fair. Those that say it's Pay 2 Win have no idea what Pay 2 Win means.

Nice post. I agree. I also pre-purchased GW2, played a couple betas, and can honestly say that this is the BEST damn game I've played. Already logged over 30 hours and have a countdown timer widget counting down the days to this release. I like ANet's cash shop. I like Turbine's Cash Shop in LotRO. These two companies, for me, have done excellent jobs in their paying models, with GW2 being my favorite. Friend and I have agreed that we'll periodically buy stuff from GW2 cash shop just to support the company that we both enjoy playing for so much.

"I am handicapped...I'm psychotic."

  heartless

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/04
Posts: 5057

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. -Carl Sagan

8/05/12 11:15:55 PM#142

Subscription model is outdated and as it currently priced is a bit of a rip off. When MMOs first became popular, a subscription fee was justified because of the server and bandwith costs, which were pretty high at that time. Now, these costs are so little that most companies bunch them up with the misc. expenses on their financial reports and very rarely list them as a separate line.

They aren't even justified for content patches, which we typically get every 3-4 months. And what's in the usual content update? A few quests and an instance or a raid. Consider than in the span of 4 months, you paid about $60, which is a cost of a brand new game but instead of a new game all you got a new instance and some quests.

Then on top of a subscription fee and of course the box price, most MMOs have cash shops. Which is ridiculous, if you ask me.

The thing is that we expect to be charged a subscription fee for these games and the publishers glady oblige. I mean, who's going to say no to free money, right?

I think that a B2P model is the future for these games. Hopefully GW2 is going to make a lot of players reconsider the worthiness of a subscription fee, which will make publishers and developers reconsider their pricing plans.

  Drakxii

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/08
Posts: 599

8/05/12 11:24:23 PM#143

Ooo.. magic chart, with no mention of profit, number of games, revenue/profit per person, number of players, life span of games, etc...  

 

Also anyone that says that subs were just for server costs, is an idiot and they don't get sub costs are there to pay for quick bug fixing, content patches, community devs, CSRs, and in game events. 

 

Also IMO all forms of cash shops are EVIL.  I liked grinding for that special mount, or working with crafters to get that outfit I wanted, I don't want to have to buy clothes/looks from a cash shop.

I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  tomato_kwan

Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/08
Posts: 45

8/06/12 9:44:39 AM#144
Even if it means you recieve minimized support?
Subscription based or hybrid games means more contents, a richer game instead games you can abandon within 3 months.
MMORPG is never meant for  "initial purchase for complete game".
 
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

I'd like my initial purchase (box price) to give me the *complete* game, like it used to. I like the subscription model if updates occur regularly, maybe every other month with an expansion pack maybe once or twice a year. My $15/month ($180/year) should be quite enough to pay for this and then some. This, of course, only works in games that want to be around awhile.

Most games now I don't think plan on having much longevity. This model won't work for the flash-in-the-pan type games we see today. The leveling goes much too fast, with many players reaching max level in a matter of weeks. There is not a lot of depth or abundance of other activities to keep a player occupied today.

In a business sense, I, too, would grab all the cash I can by starting out with buy + sub + cash shop and go to a F2P model once subs drop off. How can anyone fault publishers for doing so? So in a business sense, F2P would be the way to go. I would not be surprised if many games come out F2P right off the bat very soon. I think that most players game jump now, so retention is a lost cause, even though many players seek a "home" to stay in awhile.

I miss the days of buying the game. The whole game. Not worrying what else I need to buy in the cash shop to enjoy the game I already bought.

 

  MoonDevil

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/12
Posts: 1

8/07/12 10:32:28 AM#145

To me, Hybrid is the best model...simply because it does not have to adhere to any specific model, not even what so many seem to define what a Hybrid model is or is not. There is no actual Hybrid, only model types used ...some more than others, which seems to define it most times. A game like Star Trek Online is Hybrid with a good model...can pay for a sub, F2P, or use cash shop...is your choice if or any version. They also combine an in game currency hybrid...where you can buy Zen, to buy ingame items at the shop or put the Zen you bought up for sale to be bought with ingame acquired Dilithium, used for most high value items in game. All you have to do is grind to get huge stockpiles of Dilithium, and trade for real money currency. And there are many who play Stock market with it primarily. 

DCUO is another Hybrid....pay for a sub, F2P, or buy individual content and items via the shop...with n P2Win items. And once you contribute more than $5 to the game...say buy an item in the store, youkeep it for life, plus get a bonus to your ingame utilities structure ( I.e. Bank, slots for items, etc) oer what a F2P gets. Buy any DLC, typically $9-10 and you keep it for life...a couple that contain newPower Attributes along with content, and if you sub for a month and create a character with that Power set but decide to go back to F2P- that Charcter retains that Power set for life. Can create 16 sub characters total, but can only have 6 via F2P...deactivate all but 6, decide to sub again, they all exist again. Staying F2P, but have over 16 and can't decide....play a while, then deactivate one...reacivate another. 

Hybrid isn't just cash shop....it is a combo of several models in one, and doesn't have to be exactly th same as another game using a Hybrid (using IT'S model)  can be of its own design. Typically it benfits both player and Dev. Dev gets money streams of a variety of ways. Players get choices in a vriety of ways...is up to them.  Just depends on the type of Hybrid incorporated. But just as with any mdel, some are better than others in how they incorporate them. 

  Ambros123

Novice Member

Joined: 12/04/11
Posts: 891

8/07/12 10:48:01 AM#146
Originally posted by verenov
Originally posted by Master10K

I don't like the subscription model much because I feel like I'm forced to play more then usual, just to get the most out of that £9 a month and after that month, I feel somewhat burnt out. It's why I could only play Rift, 1 month out of every 3, constantly subscribing and unsubscribing between.

 

F2P and B2P are more my forte but only when done well and I like not feeling obligated to play a game. League of Legends is what I consider the best F2P game so far, but it's a MOBA so it doesn't really count in this case. Here's hoping that Planetside 2's F2P model will work. Already pre-purchased my copy of GW2 and all I'd have to worry about spending my extra money on, is on character slots & expansions, because the Item Shop in that game is currently very fair. Those that say it's Pay 2 Win have no idea what Pay 2 Win means.

Nice post. I agree. I also pre-purchased GW2, played a couple betas, and can honestly say that this is the BEST damn game I've played. Already logged over 30 hours and have a countdown timer widget counting down the days to this release. I like ANet's cash shop. I like Turbine's Cash Shop in LotRO. These two companies, for me, have done excellent jobs in their paying models, with GW2 being my favorite. Friend and I have agreed that we'll periodically buy stuff from GW2 cash shop just to support the company that we both enjoy playing for so much.

Same here, P2P limits me to one MMO and I try to get the most for my buck.

I hate Turbine's model as it nickel and dimes the player for content not to mention all the other stuff like tomes and classes and races.  You end up spending an aweful amount of money to get access to content through their adventure packs.  While you can earn TP for em you still have to do a god aweful amount of farming from months which sucks the enjoyment out of the game.  So I play a game to grind repetitive content so I can purchase more content?  Not fun at all.  Maybe LotRO did a better job but DDO has an autrocious system.  And the VIP option is a complete rip off where in other games you get so much higher quality that it's ridiculous.  Now if the VIP was like 5 or 8 bucks sure, but 15 bucks... thats just plain highway robbery for the quality of the game you get in return.  Which brings up that P2P MMOs need to adjust their price sub suitable to the game.  Like DDO for VIP should be 5 bucks, SWTOR 8 bucks, only those that provide a very high quality experience should be charging 15 bucks.

B2P is my preferred method.  Let me make a one time payment for the available content at that time so I can enjoy it at my leisure which is the least stressful method for the player.

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

8/07/12 11:01:57 AM#147
Great article. Island Forge (I'm the sole developer) uses a traditional subscription, but I'm making a Kickstarter campaign right now (to be announced at islandforge.com soon) with a goal of supporting a free-play option for players. Once the community comes together, I would love to be able to sustain a free-play mode, and the concepts in this article are a great rundown of the possibilities.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  thinktank001

Elite Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1884

8/07/12 11:03:43 AM#148
Originally posted by xpiher

 

proving you havent looked at gw2 cash shop. There isn't anything on there that gives a player more power. In fact spvp let's you create a character that can instantly create max items and has skills unlocked

 

We will just ignore the fact that golems cost in game currency, and the experience upgrades that players can buy.   What will do you in 6 months when they had potion buffs or weapon/armor enchancements?   Every P2W game doesn't had them right away.   They slowly add them so players can get accustomed to them.

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