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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » A true compromise on 30 day subscriptions.

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132 posts found
  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

 
OP  5/09/13 4:04:57 PM#21
Originally posted by Zeymere

At first I agree, this sounds like an awesome Idea.  But...

Most games are moving towards things happening while you are gone/not playing, like auctions, sending your people out while you are away, EVE lets you skill up in Real Time.  I am sure there are more issues like this.  Any thoughts on how those would be handled?

Z.

Auctions wouldn't be a problem as long as there's no time limit placed on the mail system ( so you'd lose no items/gold you obtained while away ).

For a game where you skill up over time, like EvE, it'd be tricky, as you could very easily exploit the system. You'd either have to pay a "normal" $15/30 day consecutive sub like now, or have some kind of "ala carte" deal for those on tokens to keep their skills going when not playing. I really can't see a way for that to work without it making those on tokens "second class citizens", so I don't think it would really work with that type of game mechanic unfortunately.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

 
OP  5/09/13 4:09:28 PM#22
Originally posted by Sulaa
Originally posted by monstermmo

Let me put it to you this way. I quit WoW after 6 years of loving it. I've returned a few times over a couple years to see new content and stuff but i don't want to play it enough to pay the subscription fee so i simply do not play it.

With this idea i actually would play the game. I may be able to use that time over a four month period if i wanted to, it would keep me playing and paying rather than not playing or paying a single cent which is what's happening now. They would not be losing money.

It's a really excellent idea and i would probably for the first time "subscribe" to multiple games under this kind of payment option.

Yes, but I don't think game companies care about that.  Unless market would very badly crash - I don't think companies would agree to sell 30x24h for 15$.   If they would think they need more flexible model then they would go f2p or freemium or other microtransaction model instead of OP proposal for price OP suggest.


I say that as a person that pferer P2P model myself.

They're selling you 30x24hours for $15 now in sub games. That's been the system for years. The only difference is you don't get to choose which 30 days you play.

And you could still have a hybrid "F2P" option like mmos do now ( EQ2, SWTor, ETC. ), so you'd still make money from those who want to play "free" but have to pay to get anywhere like now. My system is just to make the sub option more palatable.

Basically, when thinking this up, I looked for a haflway point between the old, old system back in the day of paying by the hour and the more standard system of $15 per month and ended up with this.

 

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5939

5/09/13 4:22:26 PM#23
No thanks.  I can afford the subscription, and often do subscribe to sub-free games that offer the option.  I have no plans on renting temporary access to my games anymore. 

Curse you AquaScum!

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

5/09/13 4:24:29 PM#24

The fundamental problem with ideas like this is that from a player's perspective, you think, "I'll pay less to get the same access, so I like it."  From a game publisher's perspective, you make less money off of the players who were going to subscribe anyway--and probably a lot less.  If it's an idea of how games could bring in less revenue, then it will be dismissed out of hand.

The only way this works is if you can make up that revenue and more from people who will pay for this, but would have refused to subscribe.  You'd need a lot of such players.  If you're hoping to pick up casuals who will only play for a few days per month anyway, then you need a whole lot of them to replace one normal subscription--and most likely, at least one of them would have paid a $15/month subscription if that was the only option, anyway.

Remember also that the subscription model gets a significant fraction of its revenue from people who have quit but haven't yet canceled.  This is why subscription games push so hard to get you to enter a credit card so that they can charge a recurring monthly fee until you cancel.  It's one of the ingenious things about a subscription model, as it lets you charge more money while all of your players think that it will only ever be paid by someone else.  So you'd have to replace this revenue, too, not just what you'd lose from $15 lasting players 40 or 50 days rather than 30.

-----

Another problem with this model is that it creates the likelihood of many small payment disputes.  What happens if someone logs in, then the server goes down for maintenance shortly after that?  They used up a token, but basically didn't get to play.  What happens if someone's account is stolen and tokens get used when they thought they weren't playing?  Players probably won't compare this to a $15/month subscription and think it's a good deal.  They'll compare it to not having wasted a token and think that the company robbed them of $0.50.  You'll get the same sort of resentment that item malls breed, but without the revenue from the whales.

There's also the issue that token management will be a pain.  What happens if a token expires while you're logged in?  If it kicks you out or brings up a menu asking you to use another token, it will be really annoying if that happens in the middle of combat.

Having it spend another token automatically only changes the problem.  Some people will think, I used a token at 7 pm yesterday, so I need to log off by 7 pm today or I waste $0.50.  Some people will think that they did log off on time and the game improperly used a token anyway, and so you get payment disputes again.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19249

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

5/09/13 4:28:41 PM#25

Not a half bad idea, could still have the standard sub model for those who prefer it, but this would let people with less free time (and a strong desire to play multiple MMOs), well done OP.

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  WhiteLantern

Novice Member

Joined: 1/27/10
Posts: 2779

5/09/13 4:30:19 PM#26
Originally posted by Torvaldr
No thanks.  I can afford the subscription, and often do subscribe to sub-free games that offer the option.  I have no plans on renting temporary access to my games anymore. 

Isn't that what a sub is? Renting temporary access to your game on a month-to-month basis. Or do I not understand your post?

I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

 
OP  5/09/13 4:38:20 PM#27
Originally posted by Quizzical

-----

Another problem with this model is that it creates the likelihood of many small payment disputes.  What happens if someone logs in, then the server goes down for maintenance shortly after that?  They used up a token, but basically didn't get to play.  What happens if someone's account is stolen and tokens get used when they thought they weren't playing?  Players probably won't compare this to a $15/month subscription and think it's a good deal.  They'll compare it to not having wasted a token and think that the company robbed them of $0.50.  You'll get the same sort of resentment that item malls breed, but without the revenue from the whales.

What happens now when your account gets stolen/hacked? It'd be the same as now, with the only difference any tokens used while stolen/hacked would be refunded along with the usual items/gold. It wouldn't be any further drain on the system or any more of an inconvenience than it is currently.

There's also the issue that token management will be a pain.  What happens if a token expires while you're logged in?  If it kicks you out or brings up a menu asking you to use another token, it will be really annoying if that happens in the middle of combat.

Having it spend another token automatically only changes the problem.  Some people will think, I used a token at 7 pm yesterday, so I need to log off by 7 pm today or I waste $0.50.  Some people will think that they did log off on time and the game improperly used a token anyway, and so you get payment disputes again.

A simple timer placed out of the way in a corner of the UI with "time remaining".

 

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

 
OP  5/09/13 4:41:11 PM#28
Originally posted by WhiteLantern
Originally posted by Torvaldr
No thanks.  I can afford the subscription, and often do subscribe to sub-free games that offer the option.  I have no plans on renting temporary access to my games anymore. 

Isn't that what a sub is? Renting temporary access to your game on a month-to-month basis. Or do I not understand your post?

Not to mention even if you play most F2P games nowadays, instead of renting "access" to your account, you're instead renting dungeons, mounts, bag space, etc. through the cash shop.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  Sulaa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/13/11
Posts: 905

5/09/13 4:45:28 PM#29
Originally posted by OG_Zorvan
Originally posted by Sulaa
Originally posted by monstermmo

Let me put it to you this way. I quit WoW after 6 years of loving it. I've returned a few times over a couple years to see new content and stuff but i don't want to play it enough to pay the subscription fee so i simply do not play it.

With this idea i actually would play the game. I may be able to use that time over a four month period if i wanted to, it would keep me playing and paying rather than not playing or paying a single cent which is what's happening now. They would not be losing money.

It's a really excellent idea and i would probably for the first time "subscribe" to multiple games under this kind of payment option.

Yes, but I don't think game companies care about that.  Unless market would very badly crash - I don't think companies would agree to sell 30x24h for 15$.   If they would think they need more flexible model then they would go f2p or freemium or other microtransaction model instead of OP proposal for price OP suggest.


I say that as a person that pferer P2P model myself.

They're selling you 30x24hours for $15 now in sub games. That's been the system for years. The only difference is you don't get to choose which 30 days you play.

And you could still have a hybrid "F2P" option like mmos do now ( EQ2, SWTor, ETC. ), so you'd still make money from those who want to play "free" but have to pay to get anywhere like now. My system is just to make the sub option more palatable.

Basically, when thinking this up, I looked for a haflway point between the old, old system back in the day of paying by the hour and the more standard system of $15 per month and ended up with this.

 

Exactly. They don't choose. If they could choose then they would spend less money per month / quarter or annually. because they would not aplay every day in a month.   From company perspective - what you['re asking is decreasing price they  ask for their game.  You know that - why I have to even write that?

If you talk about freemium games with all kinds of microtranactions, cash shop, various tiers of subsciption, etc   Yeah it could work there and still have 15$ tag. Of course game companies would have to increase price of microtransactions or their amount or type - to make up for it.   Anyway - I personally don't talk and don't want to discuss this proposal in regards to freemium games - I am not interested in them as a player. Paying sub in game with cash shop, rmah, etc ideafeat purpsoe of sub in first place for me.

So coming back to P2P games.   From game company perspective what you propose is similar to asking them to decrease sub from 15$ to some lower amount, because that'll be it's effect.   I don't see game companies do it willingly. 

I would say most companies faced with that proposal would either:

a)reject it, 

b) agree to it under a "condition" that they will introduce or enlarge cash shop or other microtransaction or revenue source

c) agree to it under a "condition" they will ask significantly more than for 1x30 days sub

d) go freemium / f2p

Well unless online market market would crash and players leaving in droves and games closing and investors changing - then yes - agreeing to lower profitability would be theoretically possible ;p

  mrrshann618

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/25/12
Posts: 200

5/09/13 4:46:19 PM#30

This Idea is so utterly +1. I love it. I'm Work Full time on a variable schedule, Add in Coaching Soccer, Short Minnesota "projects" season, and a Girl Scouts Dad Volunteer.

I generally play f2p because There may be months where I can hardly play longer than an hour a week. In those cases my 15$ is way better spent on a variety of other projects. Other months I have plenty of free time (specifically winter) and have no problem with an actual sub. A "token" system would allow me to pay for time when I can to play later.

Company would get my money.

I'd feel like it was actually worth it.

In a system like this I would not have had several of my games go "Unsub" 16 months ago when I lost my job.

  eyelolled

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3096

I am more than some of my parts

5/09/13 4:57:10 PM#31

I don't like it.  My problem is that each and every time I run out of tokens I have nothing.  I have to pay a consistent upkeep or everything goes away.  And the longer I play, the more committed I am.  If I've paid $60 and now I have nothing, well that's bearable. If I have $240 invested and have nothing to show for it, then that feels worse. $420 with nothing to show for it is getting to be a bit much. After a few years its $600 that I throw away by moving on to something else.  

B2P means I can quit playing, and if for some reason I feel compelled to pick it up again I can, so I don't have a feeling of loss because I decide to quit.

All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  Calerxes

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 1660

5/09/13 4:58:51 PM#32

No company is going to have a system that effectively earns them less money than their previous system so this is big no go. Prices usually drop because costs drop not because the companies want to make less money, with this scheme you are effect spreading a sub over 30 random days instead of 30 consecutive days so the only way this would be a valid proposition is to put up the price considerably. 

 

Subs have been $14.99/£8.99 since November 2004 while nearly everything else has risen including the cost of making MMO's, but when you have the 800KG gorilla in the room who doesn't have to raise prices it forces other companies to think about how the charge for their games. Incomes F2P, Freemium and B2P + cash shop and games become more expensive, with the rate of inflation over the past few years subs should be $18.47 http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ but that doesn't take into account the rise in costs of the games themselves so it should be even higher. The era of cheap MMO's is over I'm afraid chaps. (blame you local friendly bankers )

This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  Sulaa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/13/11
Posts: 905

5/09/13 5:25:46 PM#33
Originally posted by Calerxes

No company is going to have a system that effectively earns them less money than their previous system so this is big no go. Prices usually drop because costs drop not because the companies want to make less money, with this scheme you are effect spreading a sub over 30 random days instead of 30 consecutive days so the only way this would be a valid proposition is to put up the price considerably. 

 

Subs have been $14.99/£8.99 since November 2004 while nearly everything else has risen including the cost of making MMO's, but when you have the 800KG gorilla in the room who doesn't have to raise prices it forces other companies to think about how the charge for their games. Incomes F2P, Freemium and B2P + cash shop and games become more expensive, with the rate of inflation over the past few years subs should be $18.47 http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ but that doesn't take into account the rise in costs of the games themselves so it should be even higher. The era of cheap MMO's is over I'm afraid chaps. (blame you local friendly bankers )

Agreed. You wrote it in two paragraphs nicely.

Most mmorpg's will go/stay purely or mainly microtransaction based and those few purely subsciption ones will be significantly more expensive than current 15$ standard, especially when you take into consideration they won't have playerbase size anywhere close WoW.  That'll propably mean they'll have to be more niche in design.

Overall number of western mmorpg's will propably decrease as well - in favor of increased number of MOBAs, corpg's (GW1, DDO, NWN, etc) and lobby games.

  Quizzical

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5/09/13 7:12:51 PM#34
Originally posted by OG_Zorvan
Originally posted by Quizzical

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Another problem with this model is that it creates the likelihood of many small payment disputes.  What happens if someone logs in, then the server goes down for maintenance shortly after that?  They used up a token, but basically didn't get to play.  What happens if someone's account is stolen and tokens get used when they thought they weren't playing?  Players probably won't compare this to a $15/month subscription and think it's a good deal.  They'll compare it to not having wasted a token and think that the company robbed them of $0.50.  You'll get the same sort of resentment that item malls breed, but without the revenue from the whales.

What happens now when your account gets stolen/hacked? It'd be the same as now, with the only difference any tokens used while stolen/hacked would be refunded along with the usual items/gold. It wouldn't be any further drain on the system or any more of an inconvenience than it is currently.

There's also the issue that token management will be a pain.  What happens if a token expires while you're logged in?  If it kicks you out or brings up a menu asking you to use another token, it will be really annoying if that happens in the middle of combat.

Having it spend another token automatically only changes the problem.  Some people will think, I used a token at 7 pm yesterday, so I need to log off by 7 pm today or I waste $0.50.  Some people will think that they did log off on time and the game improperly used a token anyway, and so you get payment disputes again.

A simple timer placed out of the way in a corner of the UI with "time remaining".

 

You completely ignored the first part of my post, which is the killer problem.  Unless you have plausible hope that your model would bring in more revenue than an ordinary subscription model, anyone making the business model decision for any real game will--and should--dismiss your proposal out of hand as being obviously absurd.

Accounts getting stolen or hacked are infrequent events.  Minor payment disputes under your model would be vastly more common.

And the issue isn't about displaying the timer that says when a token expires.  The issue is what happens when that token expires.  If the problem is that your computer blue screens a fair bit, then having a timer that tells you when it will blue screen doesn't fix the problem.  You need a way for the timer expiring to not be a nuisance and not have unwanted side effects.

  Quizzical

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5/09/13 7:14:48 PM#35
Originally posted by Sulaa

So coming back to P2P games.   From game company perspective what you propose is similar to asking them to decrease sub from 15$ to some lower amount, because that'll be it's effect.   I don't see game companies do it willingly. 

I would say most companies faced with that proposal would either:

a)reject it, 

b) agree to it under a "condition" that they will introduce or enlarge cash shop or other microtransaction or revenue source

c) agree to it under a "condition" they will ask significantly more than for 1x30 days sub

d) go freemium / f2p

Well unless online market market would crash and players leaving in droves and games closing and investors changing - then yes - agreeing to lower profitability would be theoretically possible ;p

There's also the possibility that they'll simply charge more for tokens.  For example, make the tokens $1 each rather than $0.50 each, or make the tokens last 4 hours instead of 24.

  Zeus.CM

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5/09/13 7:20:20 PM#36
Or better yet, you pay $15 for 30 days, but playtime days = 720 hours of gameplay.
  User Deleted
5/09/13 7:22:30 PM#37
I think CCP (creators of EVE) was at one point toying with the idea of allowing players to split plex up either into 30 1 day mini-plexes or 4 1 week plexes. Donno what happened to that idea though (this was roughly a year back or so).
  redcapp

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Posts: 733

5/09/13 7:22:47 PM#38

If we did see that happen, they'd probably charge more per day.  No way they would want us to actually save money, lol.

 

Obviously applies to larger titles only.  Might be a brilliant plan for a smaller company. 

 

 

Also, didn't some MUDs do this in the 90s?  Pay per day, or even per hour?  And I seem to recall them being VERY expensive. 

  Homitu

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Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2044

5/09/13 7:30:17 PM#39
Originally posted by OG_Zorvan

Here's my idea.

You buy a 30 day sub.

You login.

You have 30 "tokens" on your login/character screen.

You click the tokens and one is used.

You now have 24 hours to play with that one token, logging in/out as many times as need throughout that 24 hours.

Can't play tomorrow? No prob, your remaining 29 days are waiting for whenever you want to use them.

At $15 per 30days of tokens, you are spending $.50 for each 24 hour block.

You get all the benefits of the subscription, without feeling you've "lost" your money by only playing a few hours a week.

From the Player's Perspective

This is interesting because, practically, it is equally or more efficient than any current subscription in terms of the time/dollar ratio; but psychologically, I believe this will feel less attractive to many players.  I'll explain.  

Obviously, players will almost certainly get more bang for their buck.  The absolute worst case scenario is they log in every day for 30 days for a little bit and get 30 days of casual play out of the game - no less than they would out of a subscription game.  On the other hand, players who don't usually log in daily may extend a single $15 purchase well beyond 30 days.  A player who can only play on weekends, for example, could milk a single purchase for several months.  

However, the psychological dynamic of this model is very different - and that matters.  It works in two ways: 

Once a player activates a 24 hour token, that player may suddenly feel more obligated than usual to play as much as possible within the window.  I think on beta weekend events, where I've called off real life plans to log on and participate.  Obviously it wouldn't be anything near as exclusive as a limited time only beta event, but you can see the slight pressure that's there.  This is stress.  Minor, but it's there.  It won't phase everyone, but I can definitely seeing it having an effect on many people.  

The other psychological issue is the exact opposite scenario.  Framing the log in process as "spending a 24 hour token" may deter players from logging on entirely if they don't feel like they'd be able to play enough within that window to justify spending the token.  For example, a player may wish to casually log on for 15 minutes just to check the auction house or chat in guild chat, but because he'd have to spend a whole 24 hour token to do so, he may hold off entirely.  This can be a negative psychological experience for the player who suddenly doesn't feel quite as free to just play whenever he wants.  

From the Developer's Perspective

Right off the bat we see that, with a fixed constant number of players, this model cannot generate more revenue than a standard sub model.  Absolute best case scenario is that 100% of players log on during every single 24 hour period on the dot and, therefore, have to make another purchase every 30 days.  This won't happen.  

Thus, in order for this model to become more attractive in the developer's eyes, they would need to calculate expected monthly losses and then try to determine how many more players this model would attract than a standard sub would have.  If the added income of the increased player base exceeds the losses from the essentially decreased sub fee, then it would be worth it.  Then talks of long term sustainability would ensue., not to mention comparisons to b2p or f2p models.  

This basically goes against everything a business typically tries to get out of its players, which is to get them to commit to the longest contract possible.  This can be seen as purchasing little mini daily subscriptions.  (That's what activating a token will feel like.  Even though you've already paid for it, the token becomes a new currency that you will have an interest in conserving.)  The contrast between these daily subscriptions and a monthly sub isn't that different than that of a monthly sub to a year sub.  Year subs generally come at a decent discount.  Why do developers allow them then?  Are they just cutting loyal players a break?  Nope.  It's guaranteed money in their pockets, as opposed to potential money in their pockets.  There's no way to be sure players who bought year subs would have stuck around and bought monthly subs for the whole year.  In fact, I suspect developers are quite aware of MMO players' on again/off again tendencies.  Over the course of a year, the average player most definitely does not play for the entire year.  If they can lock them into a year's contract, however, they can get their money guaranteed, regardless of how often players actually play.  

  Sulaa

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Joined: 7/13/11
Posts: 905

5/10/13 2:43:44 AM#40
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Sulaa

So coming back to P2P games.   From game company perspective what you propose is similar to asking them to decrease sub from 15$ to some lower amount, because that'll be it's effect.   I don't see game companies do it willingly. 

I would say most companies faced with that proposal would either:

a)reject it, 

b) agree to it under a "condition" that they will introduce or enlarge cash shop or other microtransaction or revenue source

c) agree to it under a "condition" they will ask significantly more than for 1x30 days sub

d) go freemium / f2p

Well unless online market market would crash and players leaving in droves and games closing and investors changing - then yes - agreeing to lower profitability would be theoretically possible ;p

There's also the possibility that they'll simply charge more for tokens.  For example, make the tokens $1 each rather than $0.50 each, or make the tokens last 4 hours instead of 24.

Yes. I said that in one of my previous posts.  In example - if playerbase would agree to premium price of said 30x24h tokens, in example twice as big as ordinary susbcription then game company may start to consider it maybe.   Who knows maybe even consider a system in which game company would sell both 1x30 days and 30x24h options. Of course 30x24h would be much more expensive. (I guess twice as much at least).

Whole problem is that OP want to get this for mere standard 15$ - which is well ridiculous. Assuming we talk about pure P2P game.

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