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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How long do you think the subscription model will last?

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130 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/17/08
Posts: 91

OP  12/27/12 1:21:42 PM#1

Just in the last few years, there have been several MMO's that have released as subscription based games (i.e SWTOR, LOTRO and various others). Most have reverted to the Free to Play model within a matter of months of releasing. Now this isn't to judge how good these games are and whether they are worth subscription or not. What I wanted to ask is, how long do you think current subscription games will last using this monthly fee model? There's the most obvious game (WoW) that still runs off subs. Maybe the reduced number of players is a sign that they will (not saying soon) at some point in the future go completely free to play?


I personally think MMO's should work the way Guild Wars 2 did. One time payment and that gives you access to the game.

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Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18389

12/27/12 1:25:40 PM#2
Originally posted by Renton81



I personally think MMO's should work the way Guild Wars 2 did. One time payment and that gives you access to the game.

you forgot to add "with cash shop"


Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 2030

12/27/12 1:30:43 PM#3
As far as I know only SWTOR, TOR and DCUO abandoned their sub model "within months."  This is a bit of hyperbole.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 8060

Logic be damned!

12/27/12 1:33:26 PM#4
Originally posted by niceguy3978
As far as I know only SWTOR, TSW and DCUO abandoned their sub model "within months."  This is a bit of hyperbole.


I think the subscription model will last for exactly as long as Blizzard chooses to continue to use the subscription model for WoW.

I've probably been lurking for way, way too long.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 1204

12/27/12 1:36:02 PM#5

I think it is pretty much dead as a mandatory thing, they will all do the Planetside 2 thing of having an optional subscription with Micro Transactions. There are so many MMOs now competing for everyones time and not only that but just so many games on offer now for the PC, especially with all the Steam Sales drawing so many people in to play more games than they ever have before. You cannot afford to add an extra barrier of entry with subscriptions any more unless you're Blizzard.


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 1069

12/27/12 1:41:37 PM#6

i think curent trend ll be atractive in future,F2p,b2p,p2w,cash shop, paying for content etc....

I prefer sub + full acces but seems it is past,it is sad, mmorpg's are more expensive  then with monthly sub.

only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW


Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/31/08
Posts: 542

12/27/12 1:46:32 PM#7
Wouldn't suprise me if wow goes freemium before next xpack, afaik mop did rather poorly compared to previous xpansions which means a loss in profit which means high up suits is going to demand them to do something about it, going "f2p" has increased most if not all games who switched revenues to my knowledge so why wouldn't they?

Novice Member

Joined: 3/09/12
Posts: 567

12/27/12 1:47:14 PM#8

Free to play = content updates for the cash shop. Buy to play = content updates for the cash shop.
Subscription = Actual content updates!


Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/10
Posts: 402

Real Animal lovers are ONLY the vegetarians

12/27/12 1:49:37 PM#9
Originally posted by VassagoMael

and ever


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/17/08
Posts: 91

OP  12/27/12 1:50:34 PM#10
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Renton81



I personally think MMO's should work the way Guild Wars 2 did. One time payment and that gives you access to the game.

you forgot to add "with cash shop"

Yes, with cash shop - but then nearly all games have cash shops now. I honestly don't mind cash shops as long as they don't sell game-breaking items. All they should offer is just skins and other superficial features. 

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 1658

12/27/12 1:50:49 PM#11
What about Titan Blizzard's next MMO ? It might have a sub.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 787

12/27/12 1:51:17 PM#12
Forever, there will always be different methods for getting the cash in. I prefer a sub based game most of the time, it's cheap and I get the moneys worth in the most cases (as long as I don't play a shitgame).

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/17/08
Posts: 91

OP  12/27/12 2:17:49 PM#13
Originally posted by Kuro1n
Forever, there will always be different methods for getting the cash in. I prefer a sub based game most of the time, it's cheap and I get the moneys worth in the most cases (as long as I don't play a shitgame).

Well, there are free to play games that are good too. The thing with monthly sub games like WoW is, sometimes I may take a break playing due to me having a lot of work to do. Then one night when I have free time I decide to play. Then I'm obligated to pay and play for the whole month, just because I felt like playing that one evening.

That's happened to me before too. I'd hesitate thinking, then just sub for the month just because I wanted to play with my mates. Then any other spare time that I have, I feel the urge to use up that time I paid for.


I honestly like 1 time payment games.

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Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/12
Posts: 392

12/27/12 2:40:45 PM#14
It will last. Once we get a game that's worthy of a sub fee people will mostly forget about these debates. I'd rather pay a sub than be forced to be nickled and dimed out of money for small content upgrades. Plus having a moderate (and i use moderate very losely seeing how tight many seem with their gaming dollars) barrier to entry is not always a bad thing. Keeps some control of the game in the Dev's hands at least. People getting suspended or banned can't just fire up a new account and get right back to what they're doing with little time lost.

Played: EQ1 (10 Years), Guild Wars, Rift, TERA
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Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18389

12/27/12 2:50:16 PM#15

The subscription model has issues because developers didn't keep up content, didn't supply features, fixes, events, and anything one could want in an mmo, fast enough or even good enough in some cases.

So of course, time goes by, people have exhausted what is there, not enough events to keep things interesting and then people ask 'what is it I'm getting for my money other than access?"

People pay for good value or things that they find merit their money. Remember, cable used to be "pay cable bill and get access to everything". Then it moved to "pay for access and then pay for your HBO or Cinemax, or "choose your channel". Now there are special movie events or sport events that one pays for on top of your other fees.

But people still pay it. it's because, even though they might not like it, they still find it of value to them.

If a sub game came along and offered great game play, events, reasons for people to just "have to" log on, then people would pay the sub.

However, cash shops offer a fix for population and in certian cases for income. There will always be people who are willing to slog through a game and not pay a thing and there will always be a group of people who are more than willing to pay for whatever the game company offers as far as pets, outfits, buffs, increased experience, etc.

However, as we have seen with Aion, it's not guaranteed to make a profit and if it continues you will either see games adding everything but the kitchen sink i hopes that they will "sell, sell, sell" or they will tweak the model yet again.



Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 2194

12/27/12 2:51:45 PM#16

I don't think sub-only games will be normal. There's too much money to be made by offering add-ons.

WoW's box + sub + cash shop is also a hard sell these days. I think box + freemium and F2P variations are how things will work.

Why charge $15 a month which restricts your potential playerbase (in a new game without a following), when you can charge $10 for "premium monthly membership" and also sell tons of stuff through a cash shop? Sure there will be people who will buy a box and play for free as much as they can, but good games tend to get paid.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 338

12/27/12 2:52:24 PM#17
It will last as long as we have quality MMOS like WOW and Rift which makes your 15 bucks a month worth it.

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

12/27/12 3:02:13 PM#18
Originally posted by Zalmon
It will last as long as we have quality MMOS like WOW and Rift which makes your 15 bucks a month worth it.


It's not a shift from sub to F2P/B2P it's the inability or unwillingness  of most developers to make a game that enough people consider worth a regular sub fee.I for one have no problems paying $15 a month but of late have not found one worth subbing to more than a couple months before they run dry.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

12/27/12 3:06:33 PM#19

Aye, as others said, when games are worth the extra money, it's worth it.


When shills start trying to convince everyone that your 15 bucks a month is your priveledge to log onto a game, and does not include content updates .. well it's time to re-evaluate whether that particular game is worth a subscription.


Some games can justify a subscription .. many others simply cannot, so they go freemium, or in the rare case, truly F2P.

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Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/07
Posts: 1614

12/27/12 3:10:22 PM#20

This is a piece of string question.  A new game DF UW is sub only and they stick to that, the new ncsoft blade n soul is subscription only.

I believe the subscription will continue to exsist while players are prepared to pay it for a quality product.

As soon as the subscription looses its value for money aspect then it will fade.  Developers need to develop harder faster and better with a subscription though imo.  F2P is for content lite games that drip feed its consumers.

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