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

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172 posts found
  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

11/01/12 4:21:41 PM#101
Originally posted by Trudge34

I actually welcome some type of F2P system with the subscription option. As much flak as it's gotten, I do like SOE's model. It's allowed me to try out, for an unlimited amount of time, a good chunk of their games to see if I want to continue playing. If I don't want to, it's allowed me to go back to my toons I spent so much time with on EQ1 and see what's changed and just explore a bit for nostalgic reasons as well as continue to play if I want. If it's incorporated into future games, it'll let people in on an extended trial before actually purchasing the game and unlocking it's full content, reducing the barrier of entry. Really much more than that I wouldn't really care for. I guess maybe I use the free option differently than others because if I enjoy the game and see the game as good enough to sub to I will. If I don't I'm mostly likely going to stick around for a week or 3 and not play again. Still haven't seen a F2P game that's really worth investing as much time as I'd like into it.

 

This is precisely the point of their model.  Its leniant enough to let you try the game and play almost all of its content, but its got enough restrictions to entice you to sub.  Its actually possible to work station cash days and play as a freemium member for pretty damn cheap so its hardly a ripoff, but its designed to get people to sub.

 

As to its response, both EQ and EQ2 have increased their development teams over the last year.  Its obviously worked to some extent.

 

 

  evolver1972

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

11/01/12 4:46:43 PM#102
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by krage
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

Here is what I think is a rip off. I'd rather pay my sub fee than subsidise your content.

I dislike freeloaders as well, but if I had to choose between paying a sub (WoW for example) as it stands and subsidizing other peoples content in GW2 for example...I would take GW2.

My reasoning is I would rather subsidize fellow gamers and reward developers who push out good content or fluff items instead of rewarding developers who take my sub charge me for expansions, charge me for name/race/server changes, and everything else under the sun...and then repay me for my sub with gear treadmills, and gateway grinds.

I really should have been clearer. I was trying to make a genreal statement. It's only considered a ripoff if the individual who sees it that way doesn't have to pay anything. But that point of view (The OP's in this case) depends on someone else paying. So the B2P model is not the same for everyone across the board. So it's a ripoff for some, but not the "freeloader". So as long as there is someone else to pick up the tab, it's not a ripoff. It just reeks of hypocrisy. It's great that some have found what they are looking for, but it's on the backs of others that they get it. And that is fine becasue all who play have agreed to this. But, they have no justification thumbing their noses at a developer who says, "No. The expense of this is going to be shared fairly by all who play."

 

TL;DR: You are getting your lunch paid for by someone else, so shut up and be happy.

How is someone a "freeloader" in a B2P game if they paid for the game and subsequent expansions?  Just because a CS is made available (and assuming it's not Pay2Win) doesn't mean those who choose not to use it are "freeloaders".  That's a ridiculous statement.  The developers offer a game that way certainly hoping they will attract people to the CS.  But, unless they're crazy, they would only assume the vast majority of their income would come from box sales.

 

By doing that, they would surely have to ensure they work within a particular budget.  Sure, they may assume that some money would come in from a CS, but I highly doubt they assume at least an average of $15/month out of it, especially over the long haul.

 

But hey, you guys keep telling yourselves that $15/month for a game is worth it.  It's your money, you can waste it however you want.

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  i_evil_i

Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/10
Posts: 13

11/01/12 4:53:11 PM#103
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by i_evil_i

I really should have been clearer. I was trying to make a genreal statement. It's only considered a ripoff if the individual who sees it that way doesn't have to pay anything. But that point of view (The OP's in this case) depends on someone else paying. So the B2P model is not the same for everyone across the board. So it's a ripoff for some, but not the "freeloader". So as long as there is someone else to pick up the tab, it's not a ripoff. It just reeks of hypocrisy. It's great that some have found what they are looking for, but it's on the backs of others that they get it. And that is fine becasue all who play have agreed to this. But, they have no justification thumbing their noses at a developer who says, "No. The expense of this is going to be shared fairly by all who play."

Once again, how can you fault the players!!!

It is the Game Developer who is giving them the option for hellz sake.

You need to ask yourself, why a Game Developer would even have a F2P option and offer a subscription. I would assume they want to make a profit. For some reason they see this model as a way to do it. They want to entice people to sample their product in the hopes that they might get a subscription or two.

I really think there has been a fundemental change in the way consumers view MMO subcriptions nowadays, and for damn good reason IMHO.

I applaud companies like Anet, who are putting the spotlight on the subscription model.

As GN-003 said in his post, You can't just make an MMO and expect people to pay for it. I can see how it's becoming an easy scapegoat for developers who push out subpar products.

 

Not blaming the player for using this system. I'm saying those who are getting their game paid for buy someone else, have no justification for running around screaming "Subs are a ripoff"

But at the same time, a PoS game doesn't deserve a sub. It's not the revenue model that is the problem, it's the game. If the game is good, thena sub will be worth it. Because it delivers value.

Yes, I will agree with you about game quality. If a game is good, then people will want to sub or pay regardless of the sales model.

As per so called 'freeloading', I would ask for your opinion in my LOTRO example.

- I bought the orginal game (Shadows of Angmar) when it first came out

- I bought the first expansion (Mines of Moria) when it first came out

- I bought the 2nd expansion (Siege of Mirkwood) when it first came out.

- I have paid for at least 10months of subscription on top of all of the box prices

- However, I am not currently paying for a subscription...and I still play the game on the odd occasion.

- I have probably put about 200 euros into the game

So am I a LOTRO 'freeloade'r in your opinion?

Am I entitled to question Turbine's subscription model and complain that I don't have access to all of the content in the original game (Shadows of Angmar) even after I have paid the box price and 10months subscription? Am I wrong for feeling bitter or a bit ripped off?

I do think LOTRO has a much better game model than they did earlier (purely subscription / lifetime sub based). Earlier when my subscription ended I didn't have access to any content. Now at least I can play some of the content and I am very grateful for that.

I am also a GW1 and GW2 player. I have unlimited access to everthing I have paid for. I am not a freeloader here. I am just a player like everone else, with the same privledges.

Personally comparing these two MMOs and their sales models, I prefer the GW / Anet B2P version. That is just my opinion.

Is LOTRO a good game, I think it is OK, and that's why it is still installed on my PC.

In my opinion, Is Turbine justified in requiring a subscription to access content in addition to a cash shop and asking for box prices for expansions? In my opinion NO. But if I understand you correctly, my opinion doesn't even mean anything because I currently don't have a paying subscription in this game...and I am freeloading.

No worries, I am not angry at anyone, thanks for the discussion.

 

  mgilbrtsn

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/14/09
Posts: 1299

He who fights and runs away... misses out on the loot

11/01/12 4:56:35 PM#104
What, justify??  Their games, their pricing model.  A game is worth, what people are willing to pay.  Also, this isn't like a stand alone game where you aren't sucking up hardware resources that they own.  

They are coming for you!

  slicknslim88

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/11
Posts: 400

11/01/12 5:02:54 PM#105
Monthly subscription fees for MMO's only exist today because players are still willing to pay them.  It's a crossover from the old Everquest days back when monthly subscriptions were a must, and are still around because players keep forkin over the dough without thinking.
  cowhead

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/29/07
Posts: 72

11/01/12 5:10:14 PM#106
You're not paying to play a game. You are paying to use a service. Last time I checked most people want to be paid for providing a service. Wether it be subscription fees, cash shop, or a mix of both. No one offers a completely free service. So do I mind paying a small monthly fee to access something I enjoy? No. Most people pay for cell phones, internet, cable, netflix, etc. with no issue. Never understood the hatred about MMO subscription fees.
  evolver1972

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

11/01/12 5:15:15 PM#107
Originally posted by i_evil_i
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by i_evil_i

I really should have been clearer. I was trying to make a genreal statement. It's only considered a ripoff if the individual who sees it that way doesn't have to pay anything. But that point of view (The OP's in this case) depends on someone else paying. So the B2P model is not the same for everyone across the board. So it's a ripoff for some, but not the "freeloader". So as long as there is someone else to pick up the tab, it's not a ripoff. It just reeks of hypocrisy. It's great that some have found what they are looking for, but it's on the backs of others that they get it. And that is fine becasue all who play have agreed to this. But, they have no justification thumbing their noses at a developer who says, "No. The expense of this is going to be shared fairly by all who play."

Once again, how can you fault the players!!!

It is the Game Developer who is giving them the option for hellz sake.

You need to ask yourself, why a Game Developer would even have a F2P option and offer a subscription. I would assume they want to make a profit. For some reason they see this model as a way to do it. They want to entice people to sample their product in the hopes that they might get a subscription or two.

I really think there has been a fundemental change in the way consumers view MMO subcriptions nowadays, and for damn good reason IMHO.

I applaud companies like Anet, who are putting the spotlight on the subscription model.

As GN-003 said in his post, You can't just make an MMO and expect people to pay for it. I can see how it's becoming an easy scapegoat for developers who push out subpar products.

 

Not blaming the player for using this system. I'm saying those who are getting their game paid for buy someone else, have no justification for running around screaming "Subs are a ripoff"

But at the same time, a PoS game doesn't deserve a sub. It's not the revenue model that is the problem, it's the game. If the game is good, thena sub will be worth it. Because it delivers value.

Yes, I will agree with you about game quality. If a game is good, then people will want to sub or pay regardless of the sales model.

As per so called 'freeloading', I would ask for your opinion in my LOTRO example.

- I bought the orginal game (Shadows of Angmar) when it first came out

- I bought the first expansion (Mines of Moria) when it first came out

- I bought the 2nd expansion (Siege of Mirkwood) when it first came out.

- I have paid for at least 10months of subscription on top of all of the box prices

- However, I am not currently paying for a subscription...and I still play the game on the odd occasion.

- I have probably put about 200 euros into the game

So am I a LOTRO 'freeloade'r in your opinion?

Am I entitled to question Turbine's subscription model and complain that I don't have access to all of the content in the original game (Shadows of Angmar) even after I have paid the box price and 10months subscription? Am I wrong for feeling bitter or a bit ripped off?

I do think LOTRO has a much better game model than they did earlier (purely subscription / lifetime sub based). Earlier when my subscription ended I didn't have access to any content. Now at least I can play some of the content and I am very grateful for that.

I am also a GW1 and GW2 player. I have unlimited access to everthing I have paid for. I am not a freeloader here. I am just a player like everone else, with the same privledges.

Personally comparing these two MMOs and their sales models, I prefer the GW / Anet B2P version. That is just my opinion.

Is LOTRO a good game, I think it is OK, and that's why it is still installed on my PC.

In my opinion, Is Turbine justified in requiring a subscription to access content in addition to a cash shop and asking for box prices for expansions? In my opinion NO. But if I understand you correctly, my opinion doesn't even mean anything because I currently don't have a paying subscription in this game...and I am freeloading.

No worries, I am not angry at anyone, thanks for the discussion.

 

I'm an even worse LotRO freeloader than you.  I paid $50 to Turbine for the ROI expansion after playing the game for free for about 6 months.  With that, I got a deal on unlocking some things (through getting a bunch of TP with the purchase), and the rest of the stuff I unlocked by grinding some TP (I only unlocked what I wanted, not everything).  I played LotRO for about a year and a half.

 

Over six+ years on GW1, I spent a total of roughly $200 (games+expansion+2 CS items).  Am I a freeloader?

 

I've played GW2 since basically the first BWE.  So far I've only spent the $60 for the original download.  I may spend about $20 in the CS and then will most likely buy the expansions when they come out.  Does that also make me a freeloader?

 

I have also spent money on extra accounts for my family, but I'm talking strictly for myself as I'm the biggest gamer in my house.

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  User Deleted
11/01/12 5:21:55 PM#108

1.  Server hardware is much cheaper, yes.  But bandwidth gets much more expensive as your game gains popularity.  There is also a big difference between hosting a few non-clustered servers in an office, and requiring several datacenters worth of clustered servers and IT staff.

2.  I've never seen anyone claim players are paying to offset engine development costs, but OK.  At any rate, either you invest in building your own engine (rare), or you license out another and pay royalties which are commonly in the 15-30% range.

3.  Game development is expensive for any "AAA" title, even if they aren't all on the SWTOR-level of expensive.  Most of that expense is usually in staff.  It takes many many people to bring together a game title.  With MMO's, it's even worse because they tend to take 3-5 years to complete (mostly due to the much more complex nature of the game design).  That's 3-5 years worth of salary, capital, rent, etc..  If you want to know why so many game companies are getting bought out by major publishers these days, this is a big reason.  It's simply getting too expensive to develop a quality AAA title, much less think about marketing it.

4.  Promising regular updates is a fairly new strategy with companies that started, like most things MMO, with World of Warcraft.  Previously, content updates came in the form of an official expansion, usually ever 12 to 18 months.  The only updates that happened in the mean time were related to bug fixes, and even then only if they *really* impacted the game.

 

The main problem with the classic subscription model is that it doesn't leave much room for competition, in the event that one game dominates, like WoW.  It's a big reason why F2P has even taken off, because companies kind of assume that competing with Blizzard on their terms is pointless right now.

  evolver1972

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

11/01/12 5:24:15 PM#109
Originally posted by cowhead
You're not paying to play a game. You are paying to use a service. Last time I checked most people want to be paid for providing a service. Wether it be subscription fees, cash shop, or a mix of both. No one offers a completely free service. So do I mind paying a small monthly fee to access something I enjoy? No. Most people pay for cell phones, internet, cable, netflix, etc. with no issue. Never understood the hatred about MMO subscription fees.

All those services you mentioned offer much more than just one thing.  If there were a service like Netflix for gaming (you pay per month and can access any MMO you want, provided it's in the inventory), I wouldn't mind paying for it.  However, the return on investment for one game isn't enough to justify almost the same amount of money per month as I pay for Netflix.

 

And, yes, you are paying for a game.  It's not really a service, or at least not one that justifies the cost IMO.  There are plenty of B2P games out there that give you the game and at least some kind of service with them (periodic patches, Online options, etc.) that are proving you don't need a sub to make a good game that people will play over a period of time.

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  Ryukan

Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 711

11/01/12 5:27:15 PM#110
Sub fees for MMO's should not be more than $5 or $6. The idea of paying 25% of the retail cost of the game per month to keep playing it when much of the content becomes grinding the same crap repeatedly between occasional content upgrades is ridiculous and one major reason why I have stopped playing most MMO's.
  Robokapp

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4813

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

11/01/12 5:30:20 PM#111
how about 'phone support'. I guarnatee those guys get payed more than minimum wage. 

  User Deleted
11/01/12 5:35:39 PM#112
Originally posted by Ryukan
Sub fees for MMO's should not be more than $5 or $6. The idea of paying 25% of the retail cost of the game per month to keep playing it when much of the content becomes grinding the same crap repeatedly between occasional content upgrades is ridiculous and one major reason why I have stopped playing most MMO's.

After factoring in the costs of licensing an IP and engine tech, hiring a company to handle online payments (or building your own setup), paying support and development staff, leasing a datacenter or two, purchasing and upgrading hardware as needed, paying for high-availability/high-bandwidth network access, paying back stakeholders and other financial backers, and marketing the game at least a little, you wouldn't even break even on 5-6 dollars a month in sub fees.

People seriously underestimate just how expensive it is to build and operate an MMO.

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5192

11/01/12 5:36:20 PM#113
Originally posted by evolver1972
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by krage
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

Here is what I think is a rip off. I'd rather pay my sub fee than subsidise your content.

I dislike freeloaders as well, but if I had to choose between paying a sub (WoW for example) as it stands and subsidizing other peoples content in GW2 for example...I would take GW2.

My reasoning is I would rather subsidize fellow gamers and reward developers who push out good content or fluff items instead of rewarding developers who take my sub charge me for expansions, charge me for name/race/server changes, and everything else under the sun...and then repay me for my sub with gear treadmills, and gateway grinds.

I really should have been clearer. I was trying to make a genreal statement. It's only considered a ripoff if the individual who sees it that way doesn't have to pay anything. But that point of view (The OP's in this case) depends on someone else paying. So the B2P model is not the same for everyone across the board. So it's a ripoff for some, but not the "freeloader". So as long as there is someone else to pick up the tab, it's not a ripoff. It just reeks of hypocrisy. It's great that some have found what they are looking for, but it's on the backs of others that they get it. And that is fine becasue all who play have agreed to this. But, they have no justification thumbing their noses at a developer who says, "No. The expense of this is going to be shared fairly by all who play."

 

TL;DR: You are getting your lunch paid for by someone else, so shut up and be happy.

How is someone a "freeloader" in a B2P game if they paid for the game and subsequent expansions?  Just because a CS is made available (and assuming it's not Pay2Win) doesn't mean those who choose not to use it are "freeloaders".  That's a ridiculous statement.  The developers offer a game that way certainly hoping they will attract people to the CS.  But, unless they're crazy, they would only assume the vast majority of their income would come from box sales.

 

By doing that, they would surely have to ensure they work within a particular budget.  Sure, they may assume that some money would come in from a CS, but I highly doubt they assume at least an average of $15/month out of it, especially over the long haul.

 

But hey, you guys keep telling yourselves that $15/month for a game is worth it.  It's your money, you can waste it however you want.

Go back and read, the term I used "freeloaders" was in quotes as it was the person I was responding to's term he used. 2nd You totally missed the point that someone who is getting the cost for ongoing content paid for by someone else, has no right to be running around screaming "Ripoff" at Blizzard, Trion, CCP and any other sub based game publisher.

 

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.

  Trudge34

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/08/12
Posts: 389

11/01/12 5:51:31 PM#114

I just want to address the question presented in the title of this topic.

How can an MMO justify a subscription?

By offering what no other genre can offer in a game via a living, breathing, intricately woven social and explorative world experience...like they used to.

Played: EQ1 (10 Years), Guild Wars, Rift, TERA
Tried: EQ2, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Runes of Magic and countless others...
Currently Playing: GW2

Nytlok Sylas
80 Sylvari Ranger

  rygard49

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/11
Posts: 988

11/01/12 5:53:30 PM#115

Who the heck do you people think you are saying that subs are a ripoff? That's entitled thinking right there. Gaming is a pastime, not a required daily activity. You'd be ripped off if you were forced to pay a gouging sum for something that you need. This is entertainment, and the cost for enjoying entertainment varies based on what value YOU place upon it.

Someone already brought up movies. If you love action movies, then maybe spending $13 for 2 hours of Bruce Willis kicking alien ass as entertainment is valuable to you. If you hate action movies,  you'd be an idiot to sit in front of the theatre screaming that spending that $13 on the same movie is a ripoff.

Simple concept, guys: Pay for the shit that you want to play, and don't pay for the shit you see no value in. And stop acting like you're entitled to free or less expensive entertainment because you disagree with how much it costs them to provide.

  User Deleted
11/01/12 5:59:14 PM#116
Originally posted by rygard49

Gaming is a passtime, not a required daily activity. 

 

Pastime.  Also, not to be confused with "past time."

  Azoth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 584

11/01/12 5:59:34 PM#117

While the price of gas, bread and steak went up 300% in the last 15 years.

The price of my mmo raised by only 40% ... I would say that means it cost you less than it did 15 years ago.

  mgilbrtsn

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/14/09
Posts: 1299

He who fights and runs away... misses out on the loot

11/01/12 6:01:29 PM#118
Originally posted by cowhead
You're not paying to play a game. You are paying to use a service. Last time I checked most people want to be paid for providing a service. Wether it be subscription fees, cash shop, or a mix of both. No one offers a completely free service. So do I mind paying a small monthly fee to access something I enjoy? No. Most people pay for cell phones, internet, cable, netflix, etc. with no issue. Never understood the hatred about MMO subscription fees.

Inclined to agree with this.

They are coming for you!

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5192

11/01/12 6:03:45 PM#119
Originally posted by rygard49

Who the heck do you people think you are saying that subs are a ripoff? That's entitled thinking right there. Gaming is a passtime, not a required daily activity. You'd be ripped off if you were forced to pay a gouging sum for something that you need. This is entertainment, and the cost for enjoying entertainment varies based on what value YOU place upon it.

Someone already brought up movies. If you love action movies, then maybe spending $13 for 2 hours of Bruce Willis kicking alien ass as entertainment is valuable to you. If you hate action movies,  you'd be an idiot to sit in front of the theatre screaming that spending that $13 on the same movie is a ripoff.

Simple concept, guys: Pay for the shit that you want to play, and don't pay for the shit you see no value in. And stop acting like you're entitled to free or less expensive entertainment because you disagree with how much it costs them to provide.

I like the term "entitled" you used. I was trying to come up with that for the point I was trying to make and couldn't get the right word. It's that same sentiment that you said here that ties into what I was trying to say .

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.

  bbethel

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/04/05
Posts: 186

11/01/12 6:11:03 PM#120

I would love to pay $15 a month if MMos started to give enouph content so I dont beat the mmo in less then a month.

There were alot of older mmos that you could play for months or longer and never came close to beating there mmo. For me I cant seem to justify $15 a month if im stuck doing the same few missions for months till they give a new mission or till they put out a new expansion. I feel like mmos are just xbox or ps3 games with mutli player added on them.

I Cant wait for a MMo that goes back to the big mmos.

MASSIVE (game)

MULTIPLAYER(a ton of people)

ONLINE(playing online)

If MMos go back to huge games with a ton of content to keep playes busy for months. Then I will have no problem paying $15

A few Examples of games I played for months to years and never complained about the monthly fee.

EQ1

SWG

DAOC

VANGUARD

WOW

EQ2 

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