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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How would you feel if your MMO increased it's sub fee?

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101 posts found
  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

10/18/12 1:52:06 PM#41
Originally posted by rhinok

This happened when EQ went from $9.89/mo to $14.95/mo, so there's a precedent.  Personally, I wouldn't mind as long as:

  • I still received what I thought was a fair entertainment value for my money.  That's obviously subjective. 
  • Price increases were rare occurences - if the price has gone up by a dollar three times in the last year then I would probably be irked.  If it's the first time the price has risen in several years then I wouldn't mind.

I remember that, and didn't really give it much thought at the time either, it was well worth it though.  Also competition was pretty scare for graphical MUD's so not subscribing would limit ones options for online gaming pretty significantly (compared to today).

 

With the current selection, I can't think of an MMO worth more than the rest, but maybe it will come .. oneday?

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  rygard49

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/11
Posts: 985

10/18/12 2:01:29 PM#42

Well here's the thing... You pay a sub fee for several reason:

  • Server costs/maintenance
  • Customer service
  • Future development
  • Company Profit
If my sub fee is going up, it would have to be shown that it wasn't just to pad a profit margin, and is actually caused by inflation in their production costs. Then I wouldn't mind.
 
 
  Zorgo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2210

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

10/18/12 2:05:46 PM#43
Originally posted by Roxtarr

This is not a Sub fee vs F2P discussion (there is another thread for that)

How would you feel if your MMO announced that the sub fee was going up $1 per month?

Why would this happen?  Well - tell me what's getting cheaper in this world? Utilities, staffing, health care, gas, office supplies - not to mention the changing value of currency.  

If your studio launched a game in 2008 with a $15.00 sub, and you maintain the same 500k subscribers - you are making less money! Why? Because that $15 isn't worth the same in 2012.  

You must make up for that lost revenue somehow?  Why not raise the sub fee to $16.00 per month?

Obviously, sudios won't do that because of the crap-storm that would follow.  Or would players understand?

Just some thoughts I was having and was curious about what people thought about it.

This is what I think happened - 15.00 is what the market would bear in 1999, it is still what the market will bear.

But you are right, the value of that 15 bucks is less.

But here are some other variables to consider about why it hasn't changed.

1. The profit margin in 1999 was insanely high. The profit margin in 2012 is still extremely high - it just isn't insanely high anymore. I.E. The companies are still making money hand over fist; the profit loss due to inflation is negligible when countered with the the profit loss due to subs going away because of raising fees.

2. In 1999 an mmo was lucky to have 100k population. Games now start at about 250k and go up into the millions. I highly doubt that the staff and overhead has grown at the same exponential rate. Therefore, the increase in subs puts their profits so high compared to 1999 - they can afford to keep the price as such.

3. Cash shops. I think this speaks for itself.

 

But this I do know. As soon as someone decides it is time to raise fees; that it is time that the market will bear a higher price; and someone releases a game for 29.95 a month and is successful - it will never be 15 bucks again.

  Zorgo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2210

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

10/18/12 2:09:46 PM#44
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by rhinok

This happened when EQ went from $9.89/mo to $14.95/mo, so there's a precedent.  Personally, I wouldn't mind as long as:

  • I still received what I thought was a fair entertainment value for my money.  That's obviously subjective. 
  • Price increases were rare occurences - if the price has gone up by a dollar three times in the last year then I would probably be irked.  If it's the first time the price has risen in several years then I wouldn't mind.

I remember that, and didn't really give it much thought at the time either, it was well worth it though.  Also competition was pretty scare for graphical MUD's so not subscribing would limit ones options for online gaming pretty significantly (compared to today).

 

With the current selection, I can't think of an MMO worth more than the rest, but maybe it will come .. oneday?

LOL I had forgotten that! (As you can see if you read my post above)

But my error speaks to my point:

EQ didn't have any idea what the market would bear as a sub fee. There first pricing was a 'guess'. Then they chose to raise it and found that the price raise didn't stop them from gaining subs.

Essentially, through trial and error, EQ figured out what the market would bear.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17116

10/18/12 2:12:11 PM#45

If I'm paying a sub fee then I think it's worth a sub fee. If they increase and I still think I'm getting good service for the money then I'll continue.

Considering when the 15 or 15.99 per month came about I'm actually surprised that they haven't raised it.

But then again, that might be part  of the reason we are getting more cash shops.

  Zadawn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/04/10
Posts: 672

10/18/12 2:12:38 PM#46
i would quit

  Zadawn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/04/10
Posts: 672

10/18/12 2:15:16 PM#47
Originally posted by Roxtarr

This is not a Sub fee vs F2P discussion (there is another thread for that)

How would you feel if your MMO announced that the sub fee was going up $1 per month?

Why would this happen?  Well - tell me what's getting cheaper in this world? Utilities, staffing, health care, gas, office supplies - not to mention the changing value of currency.  

If your studio launched a game in 2008 with a $15.00 sub, and you maintain the same 500k subscribers - you are making less money! Why? Because that $15 isn't worth the same in 2012.  

You must make up for that lost revenue somehow?  Why not raise the sub fee to $16.00 per month?

Obviously, sudios won't do that because of the crap-storm that would follow.  Or would players understand?

Just some thoughts I was having and was curious about what people thought about it.

Yes but the product is old now and it isn't worth more money by that logic.Do computer hardware from 2008 cost as much as newly released ones?

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

10/18/12 2:18:41 PM#48
      The way the genre is heading they had better consider decreasing not increasing.....ALot of us have moved away from the $15 a month p2p and have found less expensive options.....To me the sub games arent any better than the f2p games but then again I dont have to have that brand new shiny toy taht just came out either.
  coretex666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/03/12
Posts: 1816

"I shall take your position into consideration"

10/18/12 2:22:07 PM#49

For me, it would depend on the quality of the MMO. It is normal that prices of products fluctuate, it just isnt so usual with MMO subs I think.

To respond to the question...I would feel pissed off, but if the game was good, I would keep paying the sub...

Currently playing: L2 Chronicle 4

  DaezAster

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/12
Posts: 789

10/18/12 2:30:36 PM#50

imo they need to bring down the monthly fee. People have less disposable income these days. A sub fee for a game is one of the first things I would do without when times are tough. I think many games would be doing much better if it cost less to play, also considering some don't have as much time to play therefor paying for mostly downtime. Sometimes I don't play games for a week or two, sometimes I crack out on games for a week or two straight. I think if they made subs a few bucks a month way more people would pay, play, and not really think about it.

Now if a company comes along with the next gen game that is so amazing and new that it takes the whole game by storm, maybe. Most mmos are still kind of dated game mechanics and far behind the depth of gameplay available in single player games while for the most part only really outdoing those games in amount of content. When an mmo comes along that can out due skyrim while still being massive then we can talk....

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12113

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

10/18/12 2:31:53 PM#51
Originally posted by Roxtarr

How would you feel if your MMO announced that the sub fee was going up $1 per month?

UO raised it in 2003 and I didn't have a problem with it. I think DAoC also raised the price while I was playing a couple years later. I had not problem there either. Both were reasonable increases.

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  Kilrane

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/16/09
Posts: 224

10/18/12 2:52:03 PM#52

Well that can really depend on the circumstances. I haven’t had a steady MMO in several years, past a few months that is. My current game of choice is GW2 but I’ve been playing it very casually and I’m not entirely sure if I will last for more than a few months, regardless of the lack of monthly sub. 

 

There are multiple factors for my lack of subbing to a game. Most of this is due to the fact that I haven’t care for any MMO’s currently out there enough to justify paying 15 bucks a month when I logged in maybe a few times a month. That doesn’t mean that if an MMO really captured me that I still wouldn’t part with my monthly sub money.

 

I would even consider a sub above the normal $15 fare.  I also feel that if I’m paying more than 15 a month (lets say 18 to 20) there better not be a cash shop of any sort.

 

No fluff items, no boost items, these should all be obtainable as drops if your game is going to even include them in the first place, for that increased subscription price.  I don’t even want to see something like name changes or server transfers if you’re going even attempt to hit me up past the “normal” 15 dollars a month.  But that’s just me.

 

Basically if the game interests me and the devs make it worth my while I have no issues with paying out more than the normal sub fee as it stands.

  Acidon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/09/05
Posts: 697

Permafried

10/18/12 3:08:33 PM#53
Originally posted by fivoroth

I would be ok with it. To be honest I am surprised that no MMO has ever raised their sub fee. $15 in 2004 is clearly not worth as much in 2012. Maybe companies are afraid to raise subs because of the F2P competition nowadays. Most MMos are switching to F2P and pulling in more and more customers. A sub fee increase would make P2P even less competitive.

Although I can see how WoW would be able to pull this off. It is after all one of the very few (the only one?) successful P2P MMO.

 

This isn't personal, but there seems to be a common misonception that MMOs have always been $15 per month.  I clearly remember something like $9.95 (I think, fuzzy on this one), then $12.95, then the current $15 per month.  This is based on EQ, granted early EQ.

Imo, the only reason we haven't seen a more reasent rise in the sub fee (besides the 400 lb gorilla), is the whole F2P scene right now.  There seem to be a great number of people who seem to think that they should be able to play MMOs with no money invested at all.  It's caused a sort of cancer, among the others caused by other things, in the industry.

To answer the OP, I would not be surprised at all, nor would I care.

 

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  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18993

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

10/18/12 3:10:35 PM#54

Good question.  I currently pay for 3 EVE subs, not sure I'd really want to see them go up, I'd at least expect something of extra value, like you know, lag free fleet fights or something like that. (or a once a day automatic I win button)

But certainly not just to pay for the development of additional titles such as Dust514.  (though some money tossed to WOD would be OK)

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
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  Burntvet

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2745

10/18/12 3:11:08 PM#55

If anything, sub prices should have gone down between 1999 and 2012.

While it is true that the cost of making MMOs has gone up since the early days, the cost of actually running one has gone down, way down. Several devs of various games have commented on this, on several sites, that the cost of bandwidth and game hardware is about 10% of what it was in the UO/EQ days.

The $15/mo number was centered around that: development costs were mostly covered by the box price, and new content by charging for new expansions.

But as time went on, the "upkeep" costs for running MMOs plummeted. But the big (or formerly big) companies, Bliz, SOE, and the others saw no reason to change the price to reflect that, because the market accepted the $15/mo price.

The fact that "F2P" and B2P games exist at all, is largely a function of the "almost free" nature of bandwidth and server hardware, in terms of running an MMO. If the expenses for servers and bandwidth were the same as the old day, there would be no F2P games at all: they could not afford to keep a game running on a small slice of the player base paying.

 

So, while it is true that $15 in 2012 is worth a good deal less than in 1999, the costs that drove that as a basis for the price of an MMO sub are much, much lower. And thus, the $15/mo is a lot more profitable for the producers (if they only could make a game good enough for people to keep playing).

 

  User Deleted
10/18/12 3:30:20 PM#56

Well few things. First, it's already been shown by multiple companies that the subscription fees aren't really used much for the process of maintaining the servers, power or utilities of buildings, the medical side of things is pretty much taken care of, insurance costs for companies is going to go down in 2014 to help workers get insurance. Second, the very small percentage of the sub money goes towards support, then to developers, the rest of the hefty bulk of it goes to the execs. And finally, the dollar hasn't changed that dramatically to require a huge increase in subscription costs, come back and talk to be in 20 yrs not 4 every economic model in a credit based economy will tell you that it can't change that quickly without a full on second great depression, we haven't had one of those, it's a dip not a depression. So I ask you, do you really think that if they started asking for more money from the subscribers that it would be due to utilities or medical insurance costs? sorry...not buying it.

 

Oh and HOLY RUSTED METAL batman! this website is taking forever to load today. sheesh!

 

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4745

10/18/12 3:58:07 PM#57
Originally posted by Roxtarr

This is not a Sub fee vs F2P discussion (there is another thread for that)

How would you feel if your MMO announced that the sub fee was going up $1 per month?

Why would this happen?  Well - tell me what's getting cheaper in this world? Utilities, staffing, health care, gas, office supplies - not to mention the changing value of currency.  

If your studio launched a game in 2008 with a $15.00 sub, and you maintain the same 500k subscribers - you are making less money! Why? Because that $15 isn't worth the same in 2012.  

You must make up for that lost revenue somehow?  Why not raise the sub fee to $16.00 per month?

Obviously, sudios won't do that because of the crap-storm that would follow.  Or would players understand?

Just some thoughts I was having and was curious about what people thought about it.

You make some good points. If games are going to keep going the subscription route, Logically inflation would have to kick in at some point and the prices would have to go up.

However, I don't think the issue is as much w/ the price, as it is what you get for that price. In short I think the trend set by subscriptions is just not a sustainable one. It reinforces the need to push out more content than the last guy, which isn't possible to do every time. This is how we get rushed, half-finished content that feels 'lackluster'.

Maybe in another 10years I'd be okay with paying an extra dollar or two (if I'm still playing MMOs), but right now, I'm having a hard time justifying paying a sub at all. So the answer would be no, I wouldn't pay a more expensive sub.

What I'd like to see MMOs start doing, would actually be launching with less features, but much more polished. A really solid core gameplay, and then expanding upon that. Once games start doing that I'd probably be more open to revisiting a sub-fee, if it's clear that the money is going towards expanding on the existing content at a decent pace.

  AG-Vuk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/26/04
Posts: 817

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
Oh, I see it's too late to help you.

10/18/12 4:22:43 PM#58
Originally posted by Roxtarr

This is not a Sub fee vs F2P discussion (there is another thread for that)

How would you feel if your MMO announced that the sub fee was going up $1 per month?

Why would this happen?  Well - tell me what's getting cheaper in this world? Utilities, staffing, health care, gas, office supplies - not to mention the changing value of currency.  

If your studio launched a game in 2008 with a $15.00 sub, and you maintain the same 500k subscribers - you are making less money! Why? Because that $15 isn't worth the same in 2012.  

You must make up for that lost revenue somehow?  Why not raise the sub fee to $16.00 per month?

Obviously, sudios won't do that because of the crap-storm that would follow.  Or would players understand?

Just some thoughts I was having and was curious about what people thought about it.

 Someone has convinced the studio's that raising sub rpices would be the kiss of death and that's precisely the problem . I don't think it would be. Studios use to be able to make money on lower pop numbers and still deliver a product and updates. Inflation has not hit sub prices and hence studio's need larger pops to sustain games. There in lies the problem . Larger numbers means more diverse tastes and opinions and basically problems. If you tailor a game to hardcore fans , ex: EvE and raise prices and still deliver a quality product the playerbase will be much more tolerant. This drive for large pops is killing games ,because devs are attempting to get games to make a big splash ( at least in MMO's ) . The truth is not every game is for everyone taste. If a company can make a game and sustain subs a 250000 at  $25/mo , that's a nice chunk of change. Off of something like that , especially in MMO's you can build momentum and a game . Currently what happens , a game is released and within 3 mo it's being announced that F2P is in the offing. Why ? Cash flow is the simple answer and financial sustainablity. Games and titles will have hardcore fans , the idea that devs need to embrace is that they can be the people you cater to , make a profit and use as a base to expand and improve your product into the future.

An upside would be that poeple would be more discerning about where they spend their money forcing devs to actually release a better product. The system as it currently functions is a dumbing down games to maximize profites off of an expectant  increasing population sizes too meet profitiblity. The game collapse when it's not met. An MMO should be thought of as a business. You find your market, you cater to your market , you expand and grow based on your market success, but you need to price so that profits can be realized and markets will bear. You start as a mom and pop , and grow to a GM, Walmart , Home Depot etc... No MMO has ever start as the big boy on the block. Devs have forgotten this and lost sight of that principle.

  Goll25

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/19/10
Posts: 187

10/18/12 4:24:13 PM#59
I'd be okay with it, as long as I continued to enjoy the game. Though I would be hoping for quicker release of more solid content. 
  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5670

10/18/12 4:37:49 PM#60

Burntvet and itgrowls both described how I see the situation.  Hardware is much cheaper as is bandwidth.

I prefer a true subscription model but I dont' think any of those exist anymore.  Every place that charges a sub also either has some form of microtransaction (even if it's just expacs) or sells gold.  They all supplement their income.  If I'm going to pay a subscription going forward then it better cover everything.

So not only would I not be okay with a price increase, I'm not okay with the current fee schedule.   Most sub games are around $150 to $200 per year.  At $10/mo with an expac cost averaging about $40 per year you hit $160/year.  If the game cost $16/mo (up from $15) it would come in at a minimum of $232/year, if not more.  I mean if they're going to up the monthly fee why not the xpac fee too?  No game out at the moment is worth that per year.  From my perspective, none of them deliver the goods for that price.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

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