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News & Features Discussion  » Elder Scrolls Online: Game On: ESP Edition #22 - Subscription Surrender?

18 posts found
  BillMurphy

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 1772

 
OP  8/26/13 8:20:05 PM#1

After a week off, the podcast returns, this time with Chris and a LIVE Dr. Klassi. This week we talk about Wildstar, The Elder Scrolls Online, and FFXIV going with the subscription business model. Are they dooming themselves already or is the subscription model on its return? Later in the show we talk about Blizzard’s interview retrospective on Mists of Pandaria and how the “Blizzard knows best” philosophy bit them yet again.

Click through the LINK to listen to the full thing! And don't forget to subscribe on iTunes!

  ropenice

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 585

8/26/13 8:26:18 PM#2
I don't see why you wouldn't start out with a sub-even if game isn't all that great you should get a lot of 1-3 month subbings and then if you need to go f2p after 6 months or 1 yr, you'll have made back a lot of dev costs (along with box sales). I never understood why a AAA budget mmo wouldn't have enough confidence in their product to go with sub, as it's been shown that you can go f2p after subs drop and still be profitable.
  User Deleted
8/26/13 8:53:39 PM#3
Subscription is if you want your game to last a while and secure employment for your team. If you want a quick cash grab, then you should launch f2p and fire all of your employees on day one.
  anjealous82

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 113

8/26/13 11:24:31 PM#4
It isn't confidence in their product they don't have. They don't have confidence or faith in the consumer. In this day and age players tend to move from mmo to mmo. Either from lack of in game or end game content. The play style is date or to stiff. Or either another mmo has come along and tickled their fancy. Either way going with subs would seem like a gamble and just be cause your the house don't mean your always going to win. If I was a Developer I would go hybrid and try to offer equal standing ground.
  Mirslp

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/11/10
Posts: 39

8/27/13 12:59:01 AM#5
The only reason I have jumped from game to game is that no title offered the gameplay I wanted. Simple. All the AAA have been ripoffs of eachother and completely lacking originality. The game that came closest was DF1. It just had too many hackers and cheaters.
  Otakun

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/28/07
Posts: 912

8/27/13 1:23:28 AM#6
ESO is just selling a name, not a game. That is why it's P2P instead of B2P. 
  Novusod

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 875

8/27/13 3:51:57 AM#7
Originally posted by ropenice
I don't see why you wouldn't start out with a sub-even if game isn't all that great you should get a lot of 1-3 month subbings and then if you need to go f2p after 6 months or 1 yr, you'll have made back a lot of dev costs (along with box sales). I never understood why a AAA budget mmo wouldn't have enough confidence in their product to go with sub, as it's been shown that you can go f2p after subs drop and still be profitable.

There is very important corollary to this. From the consumer perspective why buy a box + sub when you can get the same product for FREE 6 months down the road? There is no logical reason to pay a sub at this point because the expectation has already been set that new titles eventually go F2P.

 

The only demographic paying a sub when you don't have to appeals to are certain elitists who:

#1 - Don't want to be in the same game with freeloaders

#2 - Pay to get a head before the F2P rush comes

 

 

  dgarbini

Novice Member

Joined: 4/27/05
Posts: 186

8/27/13 5:27:02 AM#8
Originally posted by Novusod
Originally posted by ropenice
I don't see why you wouldn't start out with a sub-even if game isn't all that great you should get a lot of 1-3 month subbings and then if you need to go f2p after 6 months or 1 yr, you'll have made back a lot of dev costs (along with box sales). I never understood why a AAA budget mmo wouldn't have enough confidence in their product to go with sub, as it's been shown that you can go f2p after subs drop and still be profitable.

There is very important corollary to this. From the consumer perspective why buy a box + sub when you can get the same product for FREE 6 months down the road? There is no logical reason to pay a sub at this point because the expectation has already been set that new titles eventually go F2P.

 

The only demographic paying a sub when you don't have to appeals to are certain elitists who:

#1 - Don't want to be in the same game with freeloaders

#2 - Pay to get a head before the F2P rush comes

 

 

Both of these groups though a minority in numbers, tend to be cash cows for spending.  Both of these groups also tend to be shortsighted in their expectations and wants, as well have been shown to not really learn lessons of the recent past.

 

Why would consumers buy a new phone when it comes out, when they could wait and get it for much less.  I'd say pride in general, and it happens all the time, even though it is not the most financially logical move for the consumer.

 

So when companies do this p2p -> f2p change they really get to please both parties.  They get their elitist or head starters large initial investment money and lifetime subs, then they get to betray them and turn around and say hey f2p crowd, you were right we are your friends, come on in.  The p2p crowd either stays because they have invested so much money and time with complaints or they leave but have already spent their initial money.  It may be slightly immoral and turn off some people but the people turned off when it goes f2p would not have been their customers anyways if they had launched f2p, so their loss of them is unimportant.  They were just basically exploited for short term financial gain.

 

I believe that is the business plan, and in general consumers tend to think when a company chooses their side of the debate that they are on 'your side' and affirm your beliefs.  That is why people keep falling for the same tricks again and again.  That is also why the companies get defended so strongly, because your beliefs on a subject and the company have become intertwined, so defending them is defending your beliefs.  When all reality the company believes in nothing, and is on no ones side but their own.

  Lanfea

Elite Member

Joined: 10/19/04
Posts: 218

8/27/13 5:34:06 AM#9

 

175 million $ ... thats to be rumored TESOs development cost without marketing budget. after launch you need addional money for support, admistration, server and of course development for fast and further content updates every month. anyone with a lil clue on actual ARPPU numbers from F2P high quality games can tell you, that with F2P you can't even think about getting this initial money back within the first year. and with every month passing by the revenue will get smaller. P2P or B2P with a cashshop is a necessity to refinance the game in a proper time. sure, when sub-numbers will drop after 12 months - and TESO doesn't seams to have any content or features for casual gamers to stay longer with it than 3 months - they will go F2P to make another cashgrab. but at this time the game is refinanced.

 

some people, even mmorpg staff, talked about 'the return of P2P'. it was never gone! between the launch of star wars TOR and the release of TESO or wildstar next spring is there any high budget MMOG? neverwinter, you say? low budget game, only 35 million in development. archeage? was launched as P2P and went F2P but what you need to know about archeage is, that xlgames closely refinanced the developmentcost of 150 million $ before the official release with selling the publishing rights to china, japan, russia and eu/na (trion). from the publisher in china they got 50 million and with this number you can easily go F2P (freemium in this case) in such a big market.

 

every high budget mmog (over 100 million developmentcost) has to choose between P2P or B2P for release, everything else would be finiancial suicide. everquest next will be F2P, you say? indeed and it is a high budget mmog. but wait for the cashshop. if SOE continues its F2P politics you have to pay 30 $ for this content pack, 40 $ for that feature and 50 $ to implement your own house/castle. all of them not included in the monthly fee if you choose to be a premium member.

  Vorch

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/11
Posts: 809

8/27/13 6:22:44 AM#10

It's silly, imo. Especially knowing that other big MMOs are coming out with a subscription around you.

I truly hope that they are successful, but honestly they will all probably go F2P (or hopefully B2P) in the first year.

It comes down to 3 things:

1. Can the consumer justify paying 15 dollars when cheaper entertainment options exist?

2. Can the consumer justify paying 15 dollars when cheaper MMO options exist?

3. Can the consumer justify paying 15 dollars when there are other subscriptions MMOs competing for that Sub?

------------------------------------

1. The biggest thing? You...need...to...justify...the...subscription. Do you offer a better experience (AT LAUNCH) worth almost 2x the value of Netflix, 3x the value of PS+, or 3x the value of gamefly?

 

2. And I hate to bring up GW2 (I LOVE the game), but even if you hate it, can a company really ask you to pay 15 bucks a month when a B2P offers updates every 2 damn weeks with no necessary charge?

 
3.   Now for the people still willing to pay a subscription, you get to compete with WoW, EVE,  and 2 other MMOs releasing with a subscription. Do you offer an experience that is comparable (or better) than the OTHER subscription games? IMO, if RIFT went F2P with the amount of content released, you're going to have to do some soul searching.
 

"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  Vorch

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/11
Posts: 809

8/27/13 6:36:04 AM#11

 

3.   Now for the people still willing to pay a subscription, you get to compete with WoW, EVE,  and 2 other MMOs releasing with a subscription. Do you offer an experience that is comparable (or better) than the OTHER subscription games? IMO, if RIFT went F2P with the amount of content released, you're going to have to do some soul searching.

"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  User Deleted
8/27/13 7:19:14 AM#12
Reading through the comments, like Lanfea's, it leaves a consumer feeling pretty demoralized. It's why I just choose not to even participate. I had asked for these companies to commit to p2p or a true b2p, they wont have it though, so neither will I. Committing to p2p can be a bit tricky over time, but buy to play should not be.
Cash shops and microtransactions of any kind have turned me away from gaming.
  Sarei

Novice Member

Joined: 4/27/12
Posts: 11

8/27/13 7:30:56 AM#13
Saw the game ( Teso ) at Gamescom and its not worth a p2p. Same old gameplay and graphics. Maybe the Story or anything else is ok, but wasnt able to see this in the short time.
 
  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1302

8/27/13 8:23:08 AM#14
Originally posted by Rockniss
Subscription is if you want your game to last a while and secure employment for your team. If you want a quick cash grab, then you should launch f2p and fire all of your employees on day one.

No way. What they are going to do is maximize box sales the first 2 months...before the game turns into a ghost town. Then they release FTP and start all of that stuff.

For people who purchased the game, they will compensate with a little bit of in-game cash shop money or some stupid "founder title".

 

This is the way it is.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 5342

8/27/13 8:45:09 AM#15
Originally posted by Mirslp
The only reason I have jumped from game to game is that no title offered the gameplay I wanted. Simple. All the AAA have been ripoffs of eachother and completely lacking originality. The game that came closest was DF1. It just had too many hackers and cheaters.

THIS!

If the game is good, then I happily pay a monthly sub.

Just like how I am going to pay a monthly sub for FFXIV - A Realm Reborn.

It has become an awesome game and I am enjoying it. So I happily pay a sub for it.

Better than all the F2P crap out there that try to nickle and dime you at every corner in the game, shoving the Cash Shop constantly in Your face!

  Tekaelon

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/09/08
Posts: 493

8/27/13 9:03:55 AM#16
After my experience with GW2 it seems that a cash shape changes the dynamic of how game content is produced. The company spends more time coaxing players to buy items there rather than expanding the world . I will pay a monthly sub if the publisher is solely focused on creating and expanding a deep and rich world. That is what I want from an online game, not more virtual garbage.
  JasonJ

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/19/13
Posts: 414

8/27/13 11:29:10 AM#17
Originally posted by Tekaelon
After my experience with GW2 it seems that a cash shape changes the dynamic of how game content is produced. The company spends more time coaxing players to buy items there rather than expanding the world . I will pay a monthly sub if the publisher is solely focused on creating and expanding a deep and rich world. That is what I want from an online game, not more virtual garbage.

 That is a lie, name me one single MMORPG released in the last 7 years that has given more free content than GW2 has...there isn't one. In fact you would have to go back to Asherons Call to find another game that gave continual free monthly content.

As for the Article, TESO is going to be SWTOR 2, its completely missing its core audience and is going to rely on trying to trick a decent amount of TES fans by hoping they don't realize what they are buying.

The graphics are outdated looking and from what beta testers are saying, the animations are horrible and the combat is limited. Many are even saying the story is not written very well and is not engaging like TES games. The subscription model is just a money grab much like Wildstar which is why they are double dipping with a cash shop, just having it ready for the F2P move.

  rodingo

Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 1847

8/27/13 4:36:24 PM#18
I guess this will be the first TES game that I won't play at or near launch.  I'll just have to wait 6-8 months when they change their sub model to something else.

"If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor