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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why developers should make all mmos subscription based.

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71 posts found

Elite Member

Joined: 3/28/06
Posts: 1370

8/18/14 6:04:37 PM#61

"xpowderx" I believe that game developers should at least charge for a game. Make it not F2P. As well as make the game subscription based. You see, through the years I have watched mmo companies survive by makinga horrible or mediocre games f2p with cash shop options.

Your opening statement indicates that you do not truly understand how the process works. The people that work on making a product, are generally not the same people that market and sell the product. This applies to almost all products, real or virtual. It is very common for companies to have people who are really good at one thing, but not as good at another. This is why they have people/teams who do marketing, and sales strategies and other people who do game design and/or the actual coding.

"xpowderx" As long as we the player have f2p mmos. The chances of us ever seeing that ultimate mmo is very slim.

Why cant there be multiple types? Why are they exclusive. Even if your ultimate mmo is not F2P, why does the fact that they exist prevent if from happening?

"xpowderx" It is my belief that game developers and companies should die out or go away if they cannot make a good mmo. Rather than hang on and try to make that good game by suckering players into the ftp cash shop venue. That way those developers which are truly talented can offer us the player a more substantive, outstanding, mmorpg to play. The point is simple. If you cannot make a good mmo now, what makes you think any of your derived conclusions to a new mmo to work towards will be any better?

Just as in the stock market. The mmo companies should follow the make or break ideology. Rather than the socialistic substandard gaming that many developers offer now.

Right now the gaming industry is in the midst of the largest amount of mergers and aquisitions every. This means that more companies are being bought out or merging than in the past. This is what happens when companies are not doing well, but dont totally fail. The crash of 1983 is an example of when a huge amounf of gaming companies just fall of the face of the earth (totally fail).

"iridescence" You're assuming that the majority of companies are even motivated to make good games as opposed to just making as much money as possible.

It is generally assumed that a good product will make more money than a poor product (if all else remains the same).

"Loktofeit" I think all developers should use a business model that generates positive revenue and that fits with how their consumer wants to spend their money.

Products that offer options to their consumers are generally more financially successful than products that limit the options. In retail, this is offering cash, credit card, debit cards, etc. In mmo's this is offering direct purchase, monthly sub, and in game purchase. The 'best' option may vary both by product, and by consumer... so the more options available, the more likely you are to make a sale.

"Tara_Windwalker" The best example of a game that was funded by subscription only, with no micro-transactions is Lego Universe. Whatever was needed in the game was earned, traded, gifted from another player, or given through codes from Lego. Everyone had an equal ability to advance in the game. Unfortunately, it did not receive the publicity it needed to survive.

When Lego Universe made the change from promotional product, to comercial product, it was found to not be commercially viable. It was a great game to promote Lego's... but a terrible game to make a profit.

"k61977" I wish game companies were forced to release information on exactly were subs revenue was spent, since it is a contract with the customer. If at least half didn't go into future development the game should be shut down.

Most of the money generated for the first few years of a game go towards recoving the money spent on initial development. Most games try to pay off this investment with 2 years of operation. Atthat time they then assess the lifespan of the game.

"Muntz" I don't not believe the payment model has any real tangible effect on quality of product. Not sure why socialism is always equated to f2p. I blame the current popular boogie man use of the word. Neither the government nor any other group owns a f2p MMO as far as I know. They appear to me to be highly capitalistic. The current MMO climate has boat loads of competition making it healthy capitalism.

It is true that all games must be tailored to the payment model. However, these changes come at the end of the development, and are generally superficial.

As for socialist/capitolist... well P2P is socialist. Everyone pays one price, and gets the same thing. F2P is capitolist. People pay as much/little as they want, and get varied return.

"Jemcrystal" It would be nice to know what the average overhead is to run an mmo.

An 'average' cost would be 20k per server, per month (server holds up to 3k concurrent users) for a no frills operation. If you start adding service, support, and actual development, the cost easily goes up to 50-100k (or more if you dont have scale).

The bottom line is this. MMO's are a form of entertainment.There is no one right way to monetize entertainment. Let me use television as an example.

F2P is like cable. There is a large variety of content, but it generally doesnt get the depth of content upfront. P2P is like premium channels.You get 'premium' content, but you have to pay for it upfront.

The issue today is that there are no premium channels, only premium shows. Imaging having to pay an extra fee just to watch Game of Thrones. It would not have been the hit it is today, if it stood alone. However, because it was part of a larget premium network, it got wide endought viewing to takeoff.

Today you are starting to see the formation of these premium channels. SOE is bundling all of its games under one sub. Trion, Nexon, Perfect World and others are in the position to do the same, and are watching to see how it works for SOE. This is the change that will allow these companies to compete with WoW and to operate in a manner similar to other entertainment medium (as shown with my tv example).


Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 1492

8/18/14 7:42:29 PM#62
Originally posted by Superman0X


It is generally assumed that a good product will make more money than a poor product (if all else remains the same).


Would be nice if that were true but when FarmVille makes millions while Vanguard shuts down it seems overly optimistic to assume that quality and ambition always win out and some companies definitely are out just to make a quick buck duping people into buying poor quality games.



Elite Member

Joined: 9/05/10
Posts: 1354

Logic, reason and fact do not supersede human nature. Ignorance reigns without justice.

8/18/14 7:54:06 PM#63


Trying to make all MMOs going forward have nothing but Subscription is the best way to crash the MMO market.  The few remaining MMO gamers willing to pay a subscription will be spread thin and in combative stances for their game versus other ones; they will be compared to the best B2P or F2P has to offer in addition to WoW, and those who aren't absolutely 100% perfect will collapse to past games and or the one that does stand out.  It just isn't a smart business move for the industry as a whole and should be avoided like the plague.


The market needs diversity and options to grow -- this includes P2P and other payment types, as well as new ones that haven't been established as of yet.

When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

8/18/14 7:56:01 PM#64
Originally posted by iridescence
Originally posted by Superman0X


It is generally assumed that a good product will make more money than a poor product (if all else remains the same).


Would be nice if that were true but when FarmVille makes millions while Vanguard shuts down it seems overly optimistic to assume that quality and ambition always win out and some companies definitely are out just to make a quick buck duping people into buying poor quality games.


Why do you assume everyone would like an mmo over a little time waster at lunch ?  It wasn't a poor quality game if all you wanted it for was 5 or 10 minutes of simple entertainment instead of a substitute for your real life.

no I never played it. It's not in the genre of games I even look at.


Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 4324

8/18/14 8:00:58 PM#65
wow, subbed, no new content in 12 months or so. Enough said.

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/19/08
Posts: 2011

8/18/14 8:35:13 PM#66
Agree fully. I see F2P as killer of good gaming. Should be banned by law. Mainly because it is NEVER actually free. If you wan't to play decently such games, you spend a lot of money. Company that is unable to create game that would make money from subs should switch to another area.

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/25/06
Posts: 32

8/18/14 9:04:34 PM#67
Originally posted by Yaevindusk


Trying to make all MMOs going forward have nothing but Subscription is the best way to crash the MMO market.  The few remaining MMO gamers willing to pay a subscription will be spread thin and in combative stances for their game versus other ones; they will be compared to the best B2P or F2P has to offer in addition to WoW, and those who aren't absolutely 100% perfect will collapse to past games and or the one that does stand out.  It just isn't a smart business move for the industry as a whole and should be avoided like the plague.


The market needs diversity and options to grow -- this includes P2P and other payment types, as well as new ones that haven't been established as of yet.

This assumes of course that the MMO market needs to grow.  Personally, I feel the 'MMO' market needs to shrink before there will be any meaningful progress.

Getting back to grass-roots, bringing back the 'RPG', losing the jocks/hipsters/soccer mums/cool kids would go a long way to rehabilitating the genre.  Then I would just blatantly say right on the box... "IF YOU CAN'T PLAY AT LEAST 3 HOURS AT A TIME DO NOT BUY THIS'.

Then once you have your audience that actually wants deep, engaging gameplay, you can really determine whether charging them monthly fee for access or selling them bits and pieces at a time brings in more revenue.


Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 7152

8/18/14 9:20:16 PM#68

P2P is not the universal answer - it works for some games, certainly not for all games.

Same with B2P and F2P - all business models have their place.

Putting all eggs into one basket = disaster.



Advanced Member

Joined: 8/16/14
Posts: 68

8/18/14 9:49:43 PM#69

The thing I've noticed is when there is a convergence of sub/f2p (eg swtor) it tends to create a tier of 'second class citizens' within the player community. As soon as someone says they cannot participate in xyz activity or wear xyz gear because of f2p limitations they will often be derided as f2p trash. I'm not saying this is fair but it happens.

Having games as sub only or f2p only is tempting, and would certainly stop the incessant crying is see in Archeage forums about the inequity of the f2p model compared to subs.

My favorite payment model was GW1 btw


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3757

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

8/18/14 11:43:44 PM#70

Originally posted by Muntz

Originally posted by maji
I just think that it's depressing that people are not equal in MMORPGs anymore, since subscription MMORPGs died out.

When there were still non-cash shop MMORPGs, people were equal. It didn't matter whether you were a rich kid in real life or a student scrounging up some coins each day, people in the game were the same. Not anymore. The guy next to you has a mount that looks better than yours? Buy one in the cash shop. You are gaining XP not quickly enough? Buy XP boosts. You keep dying in PvP? Buy equipment with stats.

It was never equal though was it, if you had more time you could be more powerful. I would argue that because of that there has always been people looking for ways to even the playing field.  Gold selling, exploiting, and hacks far pre-date F2P. Because they see the need and they could never stop it companies have come up with a way to make money off it now.

But it is. No one has more than 24 hours in a given day. If a player has more free time, that is due to choices made and priorities set.

If Player A gets to max level in 90 days, that affects Player B in no manner. Player B still can make it to max level, in their own time. If a player falls behind their friends, there are more players to make friends with as they level more slowly.

Cash shops divide players by the money the earn. Not everyone can make the same amount of money, or have the opportunity to do so.

Time is a finite number for everyone, equally. Money is not.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/12
Posts: 361

8/18/14 11:56:38 PM#71
I actually don't mind cash shops or pay for perks, as long as they're not thrown in my face the instant I start playing. Theres way too many MMOs where you're getting ads for BUY THIS SWORD ITS ON SALE LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!! like right out of the freaking gate. Wait till I'm like almost max level before you start throwing ads at me. When I'm invested in the game, thats when I'll think about making cash shop purchases, not 20 seconds after I've rolled a freaking character.

Currently playing: Achaea

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