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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Will subscription models exist in ten years?

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  Z3R01

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/09/08
Posts: 2459

MMO gamer since 1997

 
OP  2/24/12 9:45:11 AM#1

Seems like everything is either going full or partially free to play or Buy to play these days.

With the surge in popularity of subscription less models in both mmorpg genre and others like MOBA (LoL, HoN) & FPS (Tribes) will pay to play subscription models die out?

 

 

Playing: None

Waiting on: None

  jondifool

Novice Member

Joined: 6/04/07
Posts: 1122

2/24/12 9:54:20 AM#2

nope subscription will not die out , but the model will have to deliver alot more to keep players. And i think we will see smaller subscriptions fees aswell

 

read how to create a succesfull mmo before posting about GW2. And read tao of ArenaNet before talking about innovation in GW2

  TruthXHurts

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I am here to chew bubblegum and to kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum!

2/24/12 9:56:15 AM#3

I used to go to the arcade when I was a kid. $.50 a day to play an online game is NOTHING compared to what I used to spend as a youth. This cash shop F2P is a fad and will pass. Subscriptions are hear to stay. You subscribe to the newspaper, the Cable company, phone company. Why are you so against subscribing to somethign you really get some enjoyment out of?

"I am not in a server with Gankers...THEY ARE IN A SERVER WITH ME!!!"

  User Deleted
2/24/12 9:59:55 AM#4

I truly hope it will, so consumers can have the control of buying what they want to play and not what the company forces them to play.

WoW is a good example. First you need to pay for the game, then a subscription fee for bug fixes, development etc, then you have to pay for an expansion (I thought that's what you paid for with the subscription) cause the level cap and gear improvement and who wants to be behind that?

  Pivotelite

Novice Member

Joined: 1/19/12
Posts: 2193

2/24/12 10:02:21 AM#5
Originally posted by TruthXHurts

I used to go to the arcade when I was a kid. $.50 a day to play an online game is NOTHING compared to what I used to spend as a youth. This cash shop F2P is a fad and will pass. Subscriptions are hear to stay. You subscribe to the newspaper, the Cable company, phone company. Why are you so against subscribing to somethign you really get some enjoyment out of?

 Well said, besides the fact the subcription fee is nothing insane, it is $15, one days lunch. Big deal, if I enjoy the game I want to pay the company for the enjoyment I get out of it, especially considering I can play an MMO 6+ hours a day if I really like it.

 

When you do the math I am paying something like $0.08 dollars, 8 fucking cents, 8 pennies, for an hour of gameplay, at an arcade $.50 gets me five minutes.

  LowFlyingHam

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/11
Posts: 98

2/24/12 10:06:27 AM#6

It's tough to say but I think it's likely that subscription models will die out unless there's a very good reason why it's there.  I could see a subscription model in an MMORPG where story-driven content is added on a monthly basis that expands and furthers the overarching story of the game.  Think of it like a TV show with a new episode airing every week... you tune in each week to see the next episode and the continuation of the plot.

Subscription models in the way that WoW employs it I think will die off eventually.  The quality of free to play games has risen considerably.  It used to be that only garbage imports were free to play.  Decent imports even had subscription models like Ragnarok Online and Priston Tale.  Now we're seeing games like EverQuest 2, Lineage 2 and Aion go free to play just a few years after this.  A subscription model simply cannot compete against a free to play model in terms of raw player count if the quality of the two games are equal.

I think APB was a very good example of how subscription models can crash and burn.  You can apply free to play to almost anything, you can't do the same thing with subscription models.

To be honest I prefer the a la carte style of payment.  If you don't like the game, you don't have to pay for anything.  The other end of the spectrum is a shot in the dark and you find out after payment that you don't like something.  What I don't enjoy from the a la carte system is where developers/publishers blatantly try and sap money from your wallets by bombarding you with sales and deals and new things to buy with balancing issues to the point where paying is an absolute necessity, and the amount you're paying is higher than a regular subscription cost. 

League of Legends I think employs the a la carte style perfectly.  Yes you can blow through money and buy every champion and skin and go nuts but it's never a necessity, and champions can all be purchased with in-game currency.  You can easily never buy a single champion or skin or whatever and be exactly on the same level as everyone else.  I would've never bought LoL if it were sold retail at full price.  I tried it because it was free and I liked it so much that I've probably already covered the cost of a retail game in purchases, and I think that's the heart of the difference between subscription/retail and free to play.

Now Playing: Mission Against Terror, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Dark Souls, League of Legends, Minecraft, and the piano. =3

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  cinos

Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/05
Posts: 975

2/24/12 10:12:48 AM#7

A lot can happen in ten years but if I were to guess I'd say that the subscription model is on it's last legs. I would be surprised if it lasts another 10 years in it's current encarnation.

F2P is proving itself to be a higher earner, by providing people with a low barrier for entry. Of course most companies atm abuse this to push a pay to win model. Which is not good.

Then of course you have games like GW2 which is hopefully going to create a trend of similarly modelled games (B2P). Hopefully these will have a better shop though.

Finally you have the ever decreasing server costs/maintenance to which these current subscriptions suposedly maintain. That excuse just isn't flying for most anymore. Don't give me that rubbish about sub fees paying for content patches either. With the exception of maybe Rift, you are really not getting your money's worth in additional content every month to warrant the cost. For the most part you're being entertained by the boxed content, which you have already paid for but still need to pay monthly to access. (lol that one became a bit of a rant :p)

Most likely the sub fee will encompass a hell of a lot more than what is currently offered (e.g. Season pass to all dlc/games etc), but for the most part I think the days of solely subscription based MMO's are coming to an end.

  LowFlyingHam

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/11
Posts: 98

2/24/12 10:18:28 AM#8
Originally posted by Pivotelite
Originally posted by TruthXHurts

I used to go to the arcade when I was a kid. $.50 a day to play an online game is NOTHING compared to what I used to spend as a youth. This cash shop F2P is a fad and will pass. Subscriptions are hear to stay. You subscribe to the newspaper, the Cable company, phone company. Why are you so against subscribing to somethign you really get some enjoyment out of?

 Well said, besides the fact the subcription fee is nothing insane, it is $15, one days lunch. Big deal, if I enjoy the game I want to pay the company for the enjoyment I get out of it, especially considering I can play an MMO 6+ hours a day if I really like it.

 

When you do the math I am paying something like $0.08 dollars, 8 fucking cents, 8 pennies, for an hour of gameplay, at an arcade $.50 gets me five minutes.

But this is the inherent problem with subscription models, there are only so many gamers to go around.  I agree that paying $15 a month for your favorite MMORPG isn't a lot to ask for.  I don't know about you, but for me, that automatically means that no other subscription based game is going to get my money.  I will not subscribe to 2 games at once.  This is why games that used to be subscription-based are choked out of the market and are forced to go free to play.

Until subscription costs in general are lowered, I think only a handful of games at one time can ever really find the subscription-based model to be a viable one.

Now Playing: Mission Against Terror, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Dark Souls, League of Legends, Minecraft, and the piano. =3

Visit my fail Youtube channel(don't leave me nasty messages!): http://www.youtube.com/user/Mirii471

  cinos

Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/05
Posts: 975

2/24/12 10:20:58 AM#9
Originally posted by TruthXHurts

I used to go to the arcade when I was a kid. $.50 a day to play an online game is NOTHING compared to what I used to spend as a youth. This cash shop F2P is a fad and will pass. Subscriptions are hear to stay. You subscribe to the newspaper, the Cable company, phone company. Why are you so against subscribing to somethign you really get some enjoyment out of?

The cash shop F2P thing is not a fad as it has been shown to actually earn a company more money than a plain standard sub fee.

Do not underestimate a companies willingness to follow the green trail to fatten their wallets.

  User Deleted
2/24/12 10:21:57 AM#10

The following is just my view... my opinion.

 

The short answer is: yes.

 

My view.. aka the longer version.

 

I've always viewed F2P as a flawed model that will always fail.   Why?   Well what type of games  use F2P?   games that failed as a subscriber game... or would have failed if they launched as a subscriber game.

 

So my game flops and I go F2P... why?   Well obviously I hope to lure people in that didn't want to pay.   Then I hope they lose all logical pattern of thought and pay more than they would have for a subscription.   Its that simple...  My game used to cost 14.99 a month and now its free.   For every 1 person who pays 0... I need another person to pay $30 a month in my cash shop... to retain the same income as when my game was P2P.

 

If my game was not worth 14.99 a month... why would anyone pay 30?   Well obviously they get caught up in things and don't really think... after a couple of months they realize they were spending over 100$ a month in my cash shop for a game they wouldn't pay 14.99 before it went F2P and they leave.

 

That is exactly how I view the F2P craze... its all about deception.   Which might only include self deception but that's the idea.   While a game being F2P can mean it has a larger user base... that has absolutely nothing to do with income generated.   Which goes right back to... if my game is not worth paying 14.99 a month for...

 

So I think we'll see a few years (maybe up to an entire decade) of the F2P/Freemium movement cash grab.   Then most likely we'll go back to an MMO market based on subscriptions... likely with fewer developers.

 

The main issue with the MMO market is not the subscription fee.   There are millions of people willing to pay one... the issue is lack of MMO's worth paying for.   Telling me your game is "free" and hoping I'll buy stuff at your cash shop... is not fixing any relevant issue ... you are still hoping I will pay... and if your game was worth paying anything for... I'd be paying a subscription.

 

Quality game + sub fee = guaranteed income

 

Standard crap game + cash shop = possible income but no guarantees

 

Of course the theme with the MMO market is people are so desperate for a good game... they have accepted paying for crap out of boredom.   Which ties directly into the entire F2P model.

 

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3493

2/24/12 10:28:05 AM#11

I don't expect the monthly fee payment model to disappear completely. I'm just glad that the 'lets slap a 15$ monthly fee on this including a cashshop because everyone does this' crap is going away. I rather see more competition in pricing and Im glad that a lot of people finally woke up and realised that companies have to earn you as customer.

I do understand the mentality from the MMO companies though. They are after all commercial companies who try to earn as much money as possible. Thats just business. It is then also the customer's responsibility to demand quality for that money. This is the only way to make those companies compete by releasing quality (and finished) MMO's. It forces them to look around more and check reality to see if their product is actually competitive enough for a full 15$ sub.

  VikingGamer

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/08/10
Posts: 1254

The strong are sometimes wrong but the weak are never free.

2/24/12 10:38:39 AM#12

Subscriptions will not go away but I keep hoping that these silly threads bringing up this same tired topic every week will.

All die, so die well.
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  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12255

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

2/24/12 10:40:51 AM#13

I think we'll still see subs as an option among others for some games, but I don't think we'll see them as the sole option for any one game.  Personally, I'm surprised it's taking this long to move toward more diversity in options within a single MMO.

For those intersted, here's a timeline of the transition so far.

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  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19075

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

2/24/12 10:42:08 AM#14

Heh, I'm old enough to wonder if I'll still exist in 10 years.

But yeah, I think there will always be room for a subscription model, some folks don't mind paying for premium level content.

Maybe in the future paying a sub fee will actually result in some sort of real premium?

Arrogant, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
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  ZombieKen

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

2/24/12 10:43:57 AM#15

Box + expansions + subscriptions+ cash shop + unlimited free trial or free to play.

 

Zero to level cap in 8 hours or less.

Instant access streaming download.

Reachable from desktop, laptop, portables, consoles, phones, tablets, and smart TVs.

Video chat or facial recognition driven animation replaces voice.

Design your own avatar with custom skins and b**b physics, for the low fee of only $495.

5,000 games on the market, but only 3 that are really popular (2 easy mode and 1 battleground pvp).

 

... and last but not least, people still wondering why Warlocks are so damned over-powered in WoW.

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  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19753

2/24/12 10:45:50 AM#16
Originally posted by TruthXHurts

I used to go to the arcade when I was a kid. $.50 a day to play an online game is NOTHING compared to what I used to spend as a youth. This cash shop F2P is a fad and will pass. Subscriptions are hear to stay. You subscribe to the newspaper, the Cable company, phone company. Why are you so against subscribing to somethign you really get some enjoyment out of?

When there are MORE F2P MMOs than P2P ones, and more jumping into F2P, it is wishful thinking to say that it is a fad.

And really people are not "against" subs. It is just that FREE is a pretty difficult price to compete with. You really have to deliver more to attract players.

Market supply & demand, you know, econ 101.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19753

2/24/12 10:46:53 AM#17
Originally posted by Kyleran

Heh, I'm old enough to wonder if I'll still exist in 10 years.

But yeah, I think there will always be room for a subscription model, some folks don't mind paying for premium level content.

Maybe in the future paying a sub fee will actually result in some sort of real premium?

Arguably it is already here. If you pay for a sub in DDO, you get a lot more (i.e. "premium") than the F2P players.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12255

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

2/24/12 10:47:21 AM#18
Originally posted by ActionMMORPG

Box + expansions + subscriptions+ cash shop + unlimited free trial or free to play.

 

Zero to level cap in 8 hours or less.

Instant access streaming download.

Reachable from desktop, laptop, portables, consoles, phones, tablets, and smart TVs.

Video chat or facial recognition driven animation replaces voice.

Design your own avatar with custom skins and b**b physics, for the low fee of only $495.

5,000 games on the market, but only 3 that are really popular (2 easy mode and 1 battleground pvp).

 

... and last but not least, people still wondering why Warlocks are so damned over-powered in WoW.

Copy that post to your site so that you can find it a couple years from now. In many ways, I think you're spot on... even the very last part. :)

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19753

2/24/12 10:47:46 AM#19
Originally posted by VikingGamer

Subscriptions will not go away but I keep hoping that these silly threads bringing up this same tired topic every week will.

Well Rift is F2P now. STO is F2P now. Aion is going F2P. Anyone can see a trend unless you are blind.

  PKJackCrow

Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/11
Posts: 232

2/24/12 10:50:21 AM#20

I do see subs staying in 10 years and hopefully by then it will games that deserve it and probably be a few games thinking they think they ahve earned it

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