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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How can a MMO justify subscription ?

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172 posts found
  pauly6478

Novice Member

Joined: 8/18/05
Posts: 301

11/01/12 1:21:28 PM#61
I for one would take sub. over free to play anyday. Gotta love those who failed math class and don't realize how much money they shell out on "free to play" games.
  Ambros123

Novice Member

Joined: 12/04/11
Posts: 891

11/01/12 1:23:13 PM#62
Originally posted by Caldrin
Originally posted by Lobotomist

Here is a question for you -

How can a modern themepark MMO justify box price + ongoing 15$ subscription ?

Are we being ripped of ?

 

Lets analyse here :

1. Server cost : Today cloud servers are dime and dozen , its actually much much cheaper than even couple years ago. Asking players to chip in for server cost - false

MMOS dont run on small servers than can host 30 people... they tend to be very powerfull servers and usually more than one per MMO server. So no they are not cheap to run and maintain. You then have bandwidth costs on top of that for somthing like an MMO this can cost a bit as well.

Where is your data?  You saying that people are wrong that servers are cheap is maintin but provide no evidence.  F2P MMOs disprove this.  Numerous F2P MMOs have equivilent server performance as P2P MMO servers.  It has long been provided that servers are very cheaply run, at least a full fldge $15 is way overpay.

2. Engine development cost : Let assume that MMO engines are more complicated than your regular game engines. And so they cost more to develop. But today there are several licenced engines that are so good even the biggest companies use them - Players chipping in for engine cost - false

Well you still need to buy the rights to an engine if you want access to the source code so you can make big changes to the way the engine works. Without source code you basically have to stick with what you get and thatwould lead to a load of games playing very similar.. Getting a full license for the source code for some engines is very expensive.. Cryengine for example is rumored to be in the millions.

3. Game development cost : What makes MMO more expensive than single player RPG ? Amount of content ? Judging from todays trends I seen single player RPGs with same or more content than many MMO games at release. Yet they dont ask for subscription. And even if amount of content is a question. Why not make less content , and than charge for aditional content as DLC ? - Platyers chipping in for content - false

Wages tend to be higher today than they did years ago so development can cost a lot, all those 3d artists you need, world designers, game designers programmers and so on do not come cheap. Also buying in all the software and hardware for the people to make the game on is not cheap either.. Then a company usually have to think about pensions and other worker benefits, building running costs yadda yadda.. you get the point.

What the validility of these increased wages?  With the current economic hardship the States has been going through I highly doubt that wages have been going up.  Also there have been layoffs left and right so seems like long term wise there is not a retention and that maintaining should be gravy.

4. Constant updates : Yea. I heared that myth. Most of MMOs fire 80% of work force month after release. And all those "Monthly new content!" turns out to be just PR bull.. Even if new content comes after all , it happens once or twice - than it turns into payed mini expansions. So paying for developers developing something that we get to pay for again. - Players paying for constant updates - false

Develops need to get paid as well, most MMOPGS i have played have had small updates now and then with paid for exp packs or in Eves and darkfalls case free exp packs.

Which they need to earn that paycheck.  P2P MMO companies have a tendency to ignore what their player's want or are so out of touch with the player base or how the drastically fall short on their "promises" that they never really earned their paychecks.

 So what we are paying 15$ for ? 180$ yearly ? Plus 60$ on box price ... thats 240$ a year from each player.

Paying for all the above and of course the company is in existance to do one main thing.. yes thats right make money.

There is a difference between making money and outright greed.  Is it alright if a CEO can have a $250,000 bonus while all the underlings not in managment positions don't get squat?  I don't care if it's a B2P or a P2P MMO is they provide the quality of service that justifies the expense of a P2P which EVE is a good deal and how P2P companies should follow bit a box sale plus sub is a rip off, or at least free expansions.  I can understand paying for an account. 

Not bad. No wonder the market is full with MMO wannabies that planned to cash in on this golden goose !

I give credit to games like EVE that are sandbox , and PVP based. With amazing "all players on same server" technology and actual free updates all the time. Even they could live with B2P+F2P model - if there was no PVP balance to keep in mind.

But themepark PVE games ?

No excuse !

Discuss

Thats why i tend not to play themepark games and only play sandbox type games.. i dont liek themeparks MMORPGs anyway.

In the near future we'll see how P2P will turn out.  With GW2 putting out a premium MMO with a no sub costs along with games like Neverwinter and SWTOR also follwing a no sub format I think that the market will certainly change up a bit on who will pay for a P2P game vs. a non-P2P game.  I think they should get rid of the standard $15 for a sub and curtail the price to the quality of the game.  For instance DDO, VIP sub price should be $8 or something as the game no way justifies a full $15.

 

 

  obii

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/04
Posts: 781

11/01/12 1:28:05 PM#63

I think someone phrased it well with the ' We pay what we think it is worth to us'

Sadly developers don't react with better service, content, payment schedules, but just with the cash shop option.

Games charge what they think customers will pay and the company tries to maximise profit, which is often a tight line.

 

 

  eyelolled

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3086

I am more than some of my parts

11/01/12 1:34:01 PM#64
Originally posted by pauly6478
I for one would take sub. over free to play anyday. Gotta love those who failed math class and don't realize how much money they shell out on "free to play" games.

I for one would take F2P with cash shop any day. Gotta love those who failed math class and don't realize how much money they shell out on subscriptions.

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

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2393

World > Quest Progression

11/01/12 1:39:49 PM#65
Originally posted by obii

I think someone phrased it well with the ' We pay what we think it is worth to us'

Sadly developers don't react with better service, content, payment schedules, but just with the cash shop option.

Games charge what they think customers will pay and the company tries to maximise profit, which is often a tight line.

 

As a business it's their job to maximize profit, that's how it works.  As a gamer (consumer) we decide what we pay for and for how much.  If a company is being unfair about it's pricetag people won't buy it and they will need to rethink what is "fair" to it's customers.  There are enough options in the MMO space nowadays that there is simply no excuse for claiming to be a victim of pricing models.

 

If you don't agree with it, don't buy it.

  Kiljaedenas

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/29/11
Posts: 466

To err is human, but to really f*ck things up you need a computer.

11/01/12 1:47:54 PM#66
Originally posted by Phry
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by Lobotomist

Here is a question for you -

How can a modern themepark MMO justify box price + ongoing 15$ subscription ?

Are we being ripped of ?

 

Lets analyse here :

1. Server cost : Today cloud servers are dime and dozen , its actually much much cheaper than even couple years ago. Asking players to chip in for server cost - false

2. Engine development cost : Let assume that MMO engines are more complicated than your regular game engines. And so they cost more to develop. But today there are several licenced engines that are so good even the biggest companies use them - Players chipping in for engine cost - false

3. Game development cost : What makes MMO more expensive than single player RPG ? Amount of content ? Judging from todays trends I seen single player RPGs with same or more content than many MMO games at release. Yet they dont ask for subscription. And even if amount of content is a question. Why not make less content , and than charge for aditional content as DLC ? - Platyers chipping in for content - false

4. Constant updates : Yea. I heared that myth. Most of MMOs fire 80% of work force month after release. And all those "Monthly new content!" turns out to be just PR bull.. Even if new content comes after all , it happens once or twice - than it turns into payed mini expansions. So paying for developers developing something that we get to pay for again. - Players paying for constant updates - false

 

So what we are paying 15$ for ? 180$ yearly ? Plus 60$ on box price ... thats 240$ a year from each player.

Not bad. No wonder the market is full with MMO wannabies that planned to cash in on this golden goose !

 

I give credit to games like EVE that are sandbox , and PVP based. With amazing "all players on same server" technology and actual free updates all the time. Even they could live with B2P+F2P model - if there was no PVP balance to keep in mind.

 

But themepark PVE games ?

No excuse !

 

Discuss

 

 

It may be true that individual servers the game world(s) reside on can be brought up and taken down on an as needed basis with little cost because they are Virtual Machines. Those VMs still need to be hosted somewhere. And VM farms have to reside on robust hardware. Setting up this type of system isn't cheap, it's just cost effective. It allows the publishers to add and remove the game's servers a lot more efficiently, but what makes you think it costs little to maintain?

im still laughing about Eve, the guy seriously thinks that the only reason its not F2P is because of PVP balancing issues.. wut... obviously has no idea how much a server cluster costs, bearing in mind that CCP recently just upgraded their hardware, at no small expense but i can imagine it wasnt just a 'few quid' and when necessary, probably within the next year, will no doubt have to buy new servers etc yet again.. but thats okay, because their cheap right..  the guy seriously has no conception of what it takes to operate an MMO, even one with a 'relatively' small playerbase.. 

Now you've made me curious...how much does Eve's server cluster or something akin to it cost? Or, at least, a server cluster for an MMO close to release where they expect at least 200k users?

Where's the any key?

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 4630

11/01/12 1:48:38 PM#67
Originally posted by Phry
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by Zylaxx

Plus its been statistically proven that unless you are WoW, subsciptions are a deterrent to increasing players.  An Triple A MMO that has 300K subscrptions has potential to  garner twice that many players if the game was F2P.  The issue is game studios who invest millions of dollars want guareteed return on their investment (subscriptions) even at the expense of profitablity that comes with a more lucrative but non specific payment model (F2P). 

 

Until studios are willing to forgo the paradigms of old, subscription services will remain the defacto payment model.

I have yet to see a quality game wthout a sub option..  GW2 is too new to tell if their model has long term viability.  Everything else either has a sub option or is of poor quality.  I do not think this is coincidence.

 

While Arenanets B2P model is admirable, it remains to be see if its viable, when the game has been running for a year, then we'll get a far better idea of how well its working out for them, a measure of which will probably be what items appear in the cash shop, how much they cost, and when they appear in the cash shop.

I think that once we see GW2 start to mature and in game currencies are no longer an issue with players, the viability is going to be tested. Character slots and bank slots are one time account purchases. Gem sales will begine to drop off as players accumulate more gold. What will be left?

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  Torik

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2324

11/01/12 1:49:07 PM#68
On a related note:  how can my local grocery store justify charging me $1/lb of apples?
  Jaedor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 876

11/01/12 1:49:43 PM#69

I remember a friend telling me he'd added up all the money spent in EQ for his and his wife's toons over the years and it was something like $7K (!) because of the cash shop. I added up all the money I'd spent in WoW over 4 years for games, xpacs, server transfers, sub fees and a sparkle pony and it was $600. I like subs.

  Quirhid

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5515

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

11/01/12 1:53:48 PM#70
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by Phry
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by Zylaxx

Plus its been statistically proven that unless you are WoW, subsciptions are a deterrent to increasing players.  An Triple A MMO that has 300K subscrptions has potential to  garner twice that many players if the game was F2P.  The issue is game studios who invest millions of dollars want guareteed return on their investment (subscriptions) even at the expense of profitablity that comes with a more lucrative but non specific payment model (F2P). 

 

Until studios are willing to forgo the paradigms of old, subscription services will remain the defacto payment model.

I have yet to see a quality game wthout a sub option..  GW2 is too new to tell if their model has long term viability.  Everything else either has a sub option or is of poor quality.  I do not think this is coincidence.

 

While Arenanets B2P model is admirable, it remains to be see if its viable, when the game has been running for a year, then we'll get a far better idea of how well its working out for them, a measure of which will probably be what items appear in the cash shop, how much they cost, and when they appear in the cash shop.

I think that once we see GW2 start to mature and in game currencies are no longer an issue with players, the viability is going to be tested. Character slots and bank slots are one time account purchases. Gem sales will begine to drop off as players accumulate more gold. What will be left?

It was tested with GW1. 3  independent campaigns and an expansion. Sold over 7 million copies. They even included a handful of free content updates. Made enough money to develop GW2. What more do you want?

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Kiljaedenas

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/29/11
Posts: 466

To err is human, but to really f*ck things up you need a computer.

11/01/12 1:56:12 PM#71
Originally posted by Lobotomist

You asked about server cost, here it is :

I work in internet company - we have around 180 million users log in daily. Yet we have moved all our servers to Amazon cloud.

Plus we have a inhouse server cluster for content updates and main system (hardened)

This costs around 16 thousand dollars a month.

 

Lot of money ? For 180 million users - which is over 100 times more than WOW had in its hay day ?

 

 

Second. I never said development tools do not cost money. But its a same cost single player games have. Yet they are B2P.

How come ?

 

We are being milked.

 

And as for claim that B2P games do not invest in user  because they gat their money up front ? P2P games get all the money upfront too !

Ok, so why not have only subscription without box price ? Fair is fair ?

 

No they want Box price + sub (19$ for TSW) + cash shop !!!

Some nerve...

 

You forgot to mention a very key factor here: what are those users doing with the bandwidth? Browsing a few webpages, discussion forums or transferring the odd datafile or two  is extremely different than playing a modern MMO with 3D graphics, physics engines and perhaps twitch mechanics. If all your company is providing is a host for webpages and forums that statement of its cost and that it had more users than WoW is 100% invalid for a cost discussion on MMO server clusters.

Where's the any key?

  User Deleted
11/01/12 1:59:03 PM#72

Personally, no box fee + sub would be my preference. I'll decide on a monthly basis if your game deserves my continued support. This up-front fee we are playing for P2P and B2P games is just a scam, IMO.

I guess I'm still bitter from being ripped-off by ArenaNet.

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 4630

11/01/12 2:03:42 PM#73
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by Phry
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by Zylaxx

Plus its been statistically proven that unless you are WoW, subsciptions are a deterrent to increasing players.  An Triple A MMO that has 300K subscrptions has potential to  garner twice that many players if the game was F2P.  The issue is game studios who invest millions of dollars want guareteed return on their investment (subscriptions) even at the expense of profitablity that comes with a more lucrative but non specific payment model (F2P). 

 

Until studios are willing to forgo the paradigms of old, subscription services will remain the defacto payment model.

I have yet to see a quality game wthout a sub option..  GW2 is too new to tell if their model has long term viability.  Everything else either has a sub option or is of poor quality.  I do not think this is coincidence.

 

While Arenanets B2P model is admirable, it remains to be see if its viable, when the game has been running for a year, then we'll get a far better idea of how well its working out for them, a measure of which will probably be what items appear in the cash shop, how much they cost, and when they appear in the cash shop.

I think that once we see GW2 start to mature and in game currencies are no longer an issue with players, the viability is going to be tested. Character slots and bank slots are one time account purchases. Gem sales will begine to drop off as players accumulate more gold. What will be left?

It was tested with GW1. 3  independent campaigns and an expansion. Sold over 7 million copies. They even included a handful of free content updates. Made enough money to develop GW2. What more do you want?

I dont think it was.. GW1 didn't need to base its profits off the sale of Gems. GW2 does. They may both be considered B2P, but they are different models with different expectations from the publisher.  GW2 is amking money off gems right now. I suspect the sale of gems will slow. The caveat to this will be new content, if they can keep an agressive release schedule, then there will be new reasons for gem sales. Again, we will see.

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  Timzilla

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/11/04
Posts: 419

11/01/12 2:03:44 PM#74

I don't believe any MMO are non-profit, so there's no precedense for needing a justification for subscriptions. The product is either worth paying for or not.

  Lobotomist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/07
Posts: 4810

I got so much trouble on my mind Refuse to lose.

 
OP  11/01/12 2:05:24 PM#75
Originally posted by Kiljaedenas
Originally posted by Lobotomist

You asked about server cost, here it is :

I work in internet company - we have around 180 million users log in daily. Yet we have moved all our servers to Amazon cloud.

Plus we have a inhouse server cluster for content updates and main system (hardened)

This costs around 16 thousand dollars a month.

 

Lot of money ? For 180 million users - which is over 100 times more than WOW had in its hay day ?

 

 

Second. I never said development tools do not cost money. But its a same cost single player games have. Yet they are B2P.

How come ?

 

We are being milked.

 

And as for claim that B2P games do not invest in user  because they gat their money up front ? P2P games get all the money upfront too !

Ok, so why not have only subscription without box price ? Fair is fair ?

 

No they want Box price + sub (19$ for TSW) + cash shop !!!

Some nerve...

 

You forgot to mention a very key factor here: what are those users doing with the bandwidth? Browsing a few webpages, discussion forums or transferring the odd datafile or two  is extremely different than playing a modern MMO with 3D graphics, physics engines and perhaps twitch mechanics. If all your company is providing is a host for webpages and forums that statement of its cost and that it had more users than WoW is 100% invalid for a cost discussion on MMO server clusters.

 

Chatting and sharing files ( pictures ... not gigabyte large files ). Multiply this by 180 million - or 100X something WOW user base. I guess it equals (and largely surpasses) anything 500.000 players MMO uses in terms of bandwith.

 

  Lobotomist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/07
Posts: 4810

I got so much trouble on my mind Refuse to lose.

 
OP  11/01/12 2:07:56 PM#76
Originally posted by Jaedor

I remember a friend telling me he'd added up all the money spent in EQ for his and his wife's toons over the years and it was something like $7K (!) because of the cash shop. I added up all the money I'd spent in WoW over 4 years for games, xpacs, server transfers, sub fees and a sparkle pony and it was $600. I like subs.

Here is the difference

In sub game you are forced to pay at least 15$ every month. In F2P game you are not forced to pay anything.

Just because your friends are compulsive gamblers (for lack of better word) doesnt mean every player would spend so much money.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5671

11/01/12 2:08:17 PM#77
Originally posted by Kiljaedena

You forgot to mention a very key factor here: what are those users doing with the bandwidth? Browsing a few webpages, discussion forums or transferring the odd datafile or two  is extremely different than playing a modern MMO with 3D graphics, physics engines and perhaps twitch mechanics. If all your company is providing is a host for webpages and forums that statement of its cost and that it had more users than WoW is 100% invalid for a cost discussion on MMO server clusters.

Except we know that in game bandwidth usage is minimal.  I have a little 10Mbps DSL connection and can stream Netflix while my wife, son, daughter, and myself are gaming online in one form or another.

The major bandwidth costs are more likely associated with the client and asset downloads.  Some mmos use download services or some form of peer to peer.

It is very likely that a media heavy website could have a heavier bandwidth cost compared to the trickle that most mmos use.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  Quirhid

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5515

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

11/01/12 2:08:52 PM#78
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by Quirhid
 

It was tested with GW1. 3  independent campaigns and an expansion. Sold over 7 million copies. They even included a handful of free content updates. Made enough money to develop GW2. What more do you want?

I dont think it was.. GW1 didn't need to base its profits off the sale of Gems. GW2 does. They may both be considered B2P, but they are different models with different expectations from the publisher.  GW2 is amking money off gems right now. I suspect the sale of gems will slow. The caveat to this will be new content, if they can keep an agressive release schedule, then there will be new reasons for gem sales. Again, we will see.

Where do you get this? How do you know they need to base their profits on gem sales?

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  i_evil_i

Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/10
Posts: 13

11/01/12 2:09:58 PM#79
Originally posted by krage

As for B2P it has done fairly well with GW1, and so far GW2 is doing well...the biggest hope from B2P for us as the consumer is that it rewards responsible devs who have to create content faster with good quality in order to sell and sustain itself...like MMO ala carte you only pay for things you want and not just generalized garbage made for a broad audience.

Agree with you fully about GW1 already proving their B2P sales model is profitable.

GW1 also had paid expansions that helped prolong their cash flow. I am hoping they will continue in the same line with GW2 to bring in much larger chunks of new content.

Personally I think there should be a B2P standard with enhanced subcription options. B2P with cash shop gateways to content that rewards players and subscription players who get access to the content at a stable and discounted price. One size never fits all :D

I don't agree with you on this one.

In a B2P model, I have nothing against paying for expansions, however adding a subscription option, is once again heading in the wrong direction for the customer.

You start to create player 'social classes'. The 'poor' basic players and the 'rich' subscription players.

Thus making it much easier for an MMO gaming company to become overly greedy...i.e. leading the company to neglect or disregard their so called poor or 'basic' players who aren't bringing them any steady income. The company then concentrates almost entirely on bringing content to the subscription paying players...causing the basic player to get tired of the 'second class' content and sub par treatment...causing him to either leave the game or start a subscripton (subscribing for a while at least but then ultimately leaving for another game because he doesn't want to pay a subscription to multiple games). 

*Presto* you have the same tired subscription model seen already in too many MMOs.

@ Welcome again to MMO subscription Hell my friend.  @

 

 

 

  bestiacorpus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/05/03
Posts: 117

11/01/12 2:10:36 PM#80

Better question:  Did we overpay?

Example:

WoW subscription fee

2004 = $14.99

2012 = $14.99

All the prices went up in the last 8 years, except for mmo subscription fees.  Employee transportation costs increase alone surely can affect wages.

It still is much cheaper than going to the movies for a 2hour roll-of-the-dice entertainment.

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