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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Sub Standard

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33 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 12991

 
OP  9/12/13 6:26:08 PM#1

The talk about subscription-based games has been ongoing for the past several weeks since several major titles announced their intentions to utilize subs. In our latest Devil's Advocate, we revisit the topic with a few additional thoughts about the revenue model. Read on and then leave your reactions in the comments.

I'm revisiting the topic of subscriptions now because I kind of changed my mind. While I still think subscriptions are great, I have to qualify that a bit. Subscriptions are great, so long as a game can justify having a subscription. MODIFICATIONS to the subscription model are also great, so long as people are happy to buy into the model and price points you're offering. That said, I'm hesitant to put a seal of approval on WildStar's announced money-making model because there doesn't seem to be any justification for introducing the CREDD model of subscription at this point in time.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Sub Standard.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  beej1986

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/11/07
Posts: 75

9/13/13 10:41:13 AM#2
I prefer to pay a subscription and get everything in the game with no CS at all like FFFR. I dislike even the GW2 (great game though) CS where I don't have access to everything simply through GP. (I realize this is a debated point of view, but I guess that's what I'm doing. I want to pay for access and get the whole show, not be Nickle and dimed along the way.

CENTER][/CENTER]

  joedank

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/13
Posts: 7

9/13/13 11:20:36 AM#3
Totally agree with you. As long a a game has a steady flow of new quality challenging content. Only thing I don't get about subs is why $15 is still the standard. It was the standard in the late 90's and on. With modern technology wouldn't something like $6 make more sence and be more appealing to a bigger audience of people
  Beelzebobbie

Elite Member

Joined: 1/03/09
Posts: 348

If DaoC was so fun why don't you just play it?

9/13/13 11:39:06 AM#4
Originally posted by joedank
Totally agree with you. As long a a game has a steady flow of new quality challenging content. Only thing I don't get about subs is why $15 is still the standard. It was the standard in the late 90's and on. With modern technology wouldn't something like $6 make more sence and be more appealing to a bigger audience of people

Sure a lower sub would be better for me. In my family we have one income and 4 hardcore gamers and for all of us playing a game like WOW is so expensive for us that we could never afford it but with a lower sub we could also try upcoming games but the rate is so high that we won't.

We love GW2 and we will continue to play this game for many years because its good.

I don't get why a sub has to be so high??? Is there really someone out there who belives that Blizzard is just breaking even insteed of making billions of dollars in profit??

Gw2 is making profit probably a bigone aswell and they don't have any sub, they don't have a cash shop either were you can buy everything out there of forcing you to pay after a while.

So why do everyone else need subs?

So they can make a filthy loads of money, thats why. 

Sure I understand that they all wants to be millionairs, who doesn't? what I don't get is why ppl are defending these high subs?

games like wow gives you nothing for your money, all ppl say the same thing, "the game runs smoothly" so does Guild wars 2.

I don't run into any lag at all same with secret world and they make money so why can't final fantasy and wow do the same?

Sure I get it WOW has 100s of servers and they cost but they still have millions of players and they have bought the game.

I can understand a small sub but not like it is today.

Think of all the money you have payed for a game like WOW, subs for years and years, every expansion and the game itself. Cash shop, server changes and still there expansions never work good when there released, all the lagg you have been exposed to and all the bugs and still you think that they deserve a sub??

WOWs graphics are so old that they could have a mobilphone as a server today. 

I played WOW on a private server with less lagg problems and all there servers were full, how is this possible with all the funding blizzard have??

 

  Ginaz

Elite Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1690

9/13/13 12:34:59 PM#5
Most subs have been $15 for around 10 years now. If you factor in inflation, the price of subs has actually gone down since they haven't kept up with inflation. Besides, if you can't set aside $15 a month, then you have bigger problems than paying for an MMO.

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  Novusod

Novice Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 860

9/13/13 12:50:27 PM#6

The biggest problem with subscriptions is they don't stay a subscription for very long. Just once I would like to see a company make a promise to stay subscription based for 5 years and if they do decide to F2P then they should refund all the player's money who got ripped off buying subs. The worst thing is when a game starts Pay 2 Play and charges people all this money and just ends up going F2P 6 months down the road. It is a fools game and I wasn't born Yesterday. If companies can't make that promise then that just shows how weak the subscription model really is. It has been my conclusion that subscription model has been dead for quite some time. None of these recent games have any intention of remaining subscription. They are just cashing in on initial hype while secretly planning to F2P like every other recent release.

 

How many times are people going to allow themselves to be fooled. That is the real question.

  9ineven

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/09
Posts: 156

9/13/13 1:34:50 PM#7
Originally posted by Ginaz
Most subs have been $15 for around 10 years now. If you factor in inflation, the price of subs has actually gone down since they haven't kept up with inflation. Besides, if you can't set aside $15 a month, then you have bigger problems than paying for an MMO.

 

Bandwidth, servers cost, etc are way cheaper then 10 years ago...

 

And I'm tired of people like you always coming with the "if you can't afford to pay $15 a month".

 

Everybody can afford that, the thing here is that most people who don't like subs is because they feel the game is not worth that much...

  JaggaSpikes

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/21/06
Posts: 406

9/13/13 3:01:12 PM#8
regarding EVE: ETC were legally tradeable even before PLEX; ETC were basically "use on purchase". PLEX made it easier to trade between players, but it also allowed hoarding and price manipulation
  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3117

Veni, Vidi, Converti

9/13/13 3:07:18 PM#9

Companies are realizing:

If enough players put enough real money into these bottomless pits (CodeName: MMORPG), then other people will be attracted to them if they think they can circulate that money back into their own accounts + profits - somehow.

QED.

  sunshadow21

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/15/04
Posts: 355

9/13/13 4:14:19 PM#10
Originally posted by 9ineven
Originally posted by Ginaz
Most subs have been $15 for around 10 years now. If you factor in inflation, the price of subs has actually gone down since they haven't kept up with inflation. Besides, if you can't set aside $15 a month, then you have bigger problems than paying for an MMO.

 

Bandwidth, servers cost, etc are way cheaper then 10 years ago...

 

And I'm tired of people like you always coming with the "if you can't afford to pay $15 a month".

 

Everybody can afford that, the thing here is that most people who don't like subs is because they feel the game is not worth that much...

Bandwidth is cheaper, but the cost of manpower has gone up as the need for larger dev teams to cover the additional art and mechanics has grown. So all in all, $15 is actually probably on the low end of what they could be charging us, since qualified devs and coders can command a salary far greater than the cost of what bandwidth used to be.

  9ineven

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/09
Posts: 156

9/13/13 4:45:31 PM#11
Originally posted by sunshadow21
Originally posted by 9ineven
Originally posted by Ginaz
Most subs have been $15 for around 10 years now. If you factor in inflation, the price of subs has actually gone down since they haven't kept up with inflation. Besides, if you can't set aside $15 a month, then you have bigger problems than paying for an MMO.

 

Bandwidth, servers cost, etc are way cheaper then 10 years ago...

 

And I'm tired of people like you always coming with the "if you can't afford to pay $15 a month".

 

Everybody can afford that, the thing here is that most people who don't like subs is because they feel the game is not worth that much...

Bandwidth is cheaper, but the cost of manpower has gone up as the need for larger dev teams to cover the additional art and mechanics has grown. So all in all, $15 is actually probably on the low end of what they could be charging us, since qualified devs and coders can command a salary far greater than the cost of what bandwidth used to be.

 

Still, no current MMO is worth a price box + $15 monthly fee + possible cash shop IMO and I know I'm not alone.

When a solid MMO comes out, I'll pay gladly. Until then I'm sticking with GW2, not incredible but it's economic model is solid for what the game has to offer.

  Beelzebobbie

Elite Member

Joined: 1/03/09
Posts: 348

If DaoC was so fun why don't you just play it?

9/13/13 5:50:19 PM#12
Originally posted by Ginaz
Most subs have been $15 for around 10 years now. If you factor in inflation, the price of subs has actually gone down since they haven't kept up with inflation. Besides, if you can't set aside $15 a month, then you have bigger problems than paying for an MMO.

But we are 4 people playing in one household and thats not 15 dollars or whatever curency your using thats 60 dollars a month+ 4x games +4 expansions etc. 

Ain't no game in the world thats worth so much money, and I still don't get why you have to pay a sub when games like GW2 don't need it.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6580

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

9/13/13 11:54:15 PM#13

Yes i agree that with high cost of inflation sub fees have gone down.The cost of bandwidth was very expensive is the very early days then went down but over time that is also a component of inflation.

From comments i see MANY still do not understand game design and what they are actually looking at or playing.To simply say WHY when developer A is not charging a sub is a BLIND reason.I can easily see the difference in quality between subbed games and free games and that quality is pretty much usually in the appearance/graphics.It is like buying a car,i guarantee 90% or more would pay a little extra for a nicer looking car of the same value.

The value of a subbed game is VERY little,50 cents a day,i could think of thousands of ways people waste 50 cents a day,including leaving the TV on,lights on,smokes,alcohol,eating out at McD's,buying a Coke or a Coffee,none of it is needed.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Raquis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/18/13
Posts: 303

9/14/13 2:13:04 AM#14

I have never played an mmo that I wanted to play for longer than a view months,they are just not good enough to keep my attention so subscription fees don't make sense to me.

and the old story why can

GW2 and EQN and shroud of the avatar ask no subscriptions and work.

you are just throwing money to the game developers.

 
  Olgark

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 280

9/14/13 4:22:04 AM#15

I prefer the subscription based games. You get a better service more regular updates and nothing is locked as you have access to all the content. Yet with F2P or B2P mmo's you usually end up paying more per month than a pay to play mmo anyway due to being locked out of dungeons, or wanting to play a class or race.

 

F2P and B2P mmo's only work if you play them a few times a month if you are a regular player in them and play 8 to 10 hours a week then you will spend more than the £9 a month on items. Which is the usual cost of a pay to play mmo.

  jbombard

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 455

9/14/13 7:41:47 AM#16

Subscription games put pressure on the developers to provide value to their players.  F2P games just have to have stuff in the store that sells, not necessarily provide value to all their players.  Sub is "What will they enjoy", F2P is "What will they buy".  The difference is subtle but important.  That isn't to say a F2P game can't provide value as some manage to quite well, it's just that there isn't as much pressure to do so.

 

I prefer a game to include everything in the sub with no store of any kind.  What will determine whether or no Wildstar is a success is whether or not it is a good game that provides value to their subscribers every month.  If CREDD fails nobody will use it, but that doesn't affect the game because it is an optional currency.  If CREDD is a success it may provide some additional value through making subs available to people via gameplay, but the success of CREDD is fairly independent from the main game.

 

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3477

9/14/13 10:13:14 AM#17

I find it amazing how many people suffer from memory loss if it comes to MMO's. Since when do subscription payment models guarantee quality or even quantity?

It is simple. If a gaming company thinks it can get away with subpar support, content quality and update frequency and ask top price, they will do it. It is up to you, the customer , to accept it or not. Never assume that what a company asks as price, is also a fair price. This is not how commercial business works. A price tag (or in this case payment model) doesn't guarantee anything, besides knowing what you have to pay.

  Livnthedream

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

I like this planet, YOU get off!

9/14/13 10:52:06 AM#18
Originally posted by Beelzebobbie

I don't get why a sub has to be so high??? Is there really someone out there who belives that Blizzard is just breaking even insteed of making billions of dollars in profit??

Because they aren't. They are a publicly traded company, and the financial reports are freely available on their website. Since you are so focused on your own finances I would hazard the assumption that you can read a finance ledger, go look it up. Here is a hint. WoW is only 60% of their earning (D3 makes up another 30, go RMAH) and of that they are only making ~$8.50 total per subscriber. That includes box sales, the store, transfers, names changes and the sub. And that is just revenue, not profit.

Gw2 is making profit probably a bigone aswell and they don't have any sub, they don't have a cash shop either were you can buy everything out there of forcing you to pay after a while.So why do everyone else need subs?So they can make a filthy loads of money, thats why. 

False. Anet too is a publicly traded company, and as such has fully available financials available. After the initial spike that was launch+Christmas they have seen a steady drop of ~20% every quarter since, and the initial drop was huge. 347% huge. On top of which atleast the newest update is seeing horrible return. If the Asian market does not pay off (and honestly I will be surprised if it does) you will see major changes from Gw2. What and how those changes are implemented have yet to be seen.

I don't run into any lag at all same with secret world and they make money so why can't final fantasy and wow do the same?

Tsw is still getting updates (extremely slow updates) because they are subsidized through the Norwegian government. The amount of actual money they are making is nil, which can be seen by the way they do business. Ie they roll it all into their next game and barrow whatever they need to barrow to make up the rest. They have been just successful enough to not have to file for bankruptcy, which is exactly why you do not see the company growing like say CCP.

WOWs graphics are so old that they could have a mobilphone as a server today. 

I played WOW on a private server with less lagg problems and all there servers were full, how is this possible with all the funding blizzard have??

Its not graphical fidelity holding it back, its engine limitations and server structure, which is why you will never get it on a phone. There is a reason why your cpu is about 50 times more important than your gpu for WoW specifically, but mmo's in general. I mean you do realize that there really has not been a massive change in storage technology in a decade right? I mean we have ssd's, which are extremely useful, but they wear out quickly and are hugely expensive for any decent storage size. The more of those you have, the more different locations needing to be accessed by the (lowball) ~150k users killing something every single second. That lag is from bandwidth and back end.

Originally posted by Beelzebobbie

But we are 4 people playing in one household and thats not 15 dollars or whatever curency your using thats 60 dollars a month+ 4x games +4 expansions etc. 

Ain't no game in the world thats worth so much money, and I still don't get why you have to pay a sub when games like GW2 don't need it.

That honestly sucks for you. I also guess you don't eat lobster and caviar on a regular basis either. All video games are extra's. There is absolutely 0 reason to attempt to cater to those few in your specific situation when its neither the norm, or its been shown that others will pay it. There are other fish in the sea you know.

Originally posted by Novusod

The biggest problem with subscriptions is they don't stay a subscription for very long. Just once I would like to see a company make a promise to stay subscription based for 5 years and if they do decide to F2P then they should refund all the player's money who got ripped off buying subs. The worst thing is when a game starts Pay 2 Play and charges people all this money and just ends up going F2P 6 months down the road. It is a fools game and I wasn't born Yesterday. If companies can't make that promise then that just shows how weak the subscription model really is. It has been my conclusion that subscription model has been dead for quite some time. None of these recent games have any intention of remaining subscription. They are just cashing in on initial hype while secretly planning to F2P like every other recent release.

How many times are people going to allow themselves to be fooled. That is the real question.

I would love to see your proof of this. I mean if this really held any water then Walmart would have put Costco/Sam's Club out of business long ago. Oh wait, Costco just had its 30 year anniversary and is one of the top 10 grocery chains on the planet? You don't say? Something is only "dead" if it no longer serves a purpose in the market, and that is clearly not the case. Or are space sim games also dead?

Originally posted by 9ineven
Everybody can afford that, the thing here is that most people who don't like subs is because they feel the game is not worth that much...Still, no current MMO is worth a price box + $15 monthly fee + possible cash shop IMO and I know I'm not alone.

Sweet, you are a drop in a general population of 30 million. I would love to see proof of this "most" number. Oh wait, you are already changing your argument.

Originally posted by MumboJumbo

Companies are realizing:

If enough players put enough real money into these bottomless pits (CodeName: MMORPG), then other people will be attracted to them if they think they can circulate that money back into their own accounts + profits - somehow.

QED.

So all services are evil now? If so I guess we really need to start cutting out the middlemen!

 

@op The question is, thus, what reason has anyone to go into a WildStar CX to trade CREDD when there's no assurance of the game's longevity, quality, or amount of stuff to do when you can pay less for a subscription to the game or get more game value from a different game (or games) for less? In case you didn't check out that Krono FAQ I linked earlier... Krono sells for, at most, $17.99.

You are asking the wrong the question. The answer to what you posted is simple. There will always be those who have limited time and want access to ingame currency. Its why p2w works exceedingly well, and why gold sellers make stupid amounts of money. You combine that with people who want to play the game but not have to pay and that market takes care of itself aslong as you have a game that is worth playing. The initial push though is always going to be there. There are far too many early adopters for it not to. That initial ~10% that you can trip over and get is all you need to plant the seeds for those who want to play for free, and are willing to work for it.

 

http://chroniclesofthenerds.com/nerdfight/

Y U NO FLIP TABLE?!?!?!

  Theocritus

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

9/14/13 11:09:42 AM#19
Originally posted by 9ineven
Originally posted by sunshadow21
Originally posted by 9ineven
Originally posted by Ginaz
Most subs have been $15 for around 10 years now. If you factor in inflation, the price of subs has actually gone down since they haven't kept up with inflation. Besides, if you can't set aside $15 a month, then you have bigger problems than paying for an MMO.

 

Bandwidth, servers cost, etc are way cheaper then 10 years ago...

 

And I'm tired of people like you always coming with the "if you can't afford to pay $15 a month".

 

Everybody can afford that, the thing here is that most people who don't like subs is because they feel the game is not worth that much...

Bandwidth is cheaper, but the cost of manpower has gone up as the need for larger dev teams to cover the additional art and mechanics has grown. So all in all, $15 is actually probably on the low end of what they could be charging us, since qualified devs and coders can command a salary far greater than the cost of what bandwidth used to be.

 

Still, no current MMO is worth a price box + $15 monthly fee + possible cash shop IMO and I know I'm not alone.

When a solid MMO comes out, I'll pay gladly. Until then I'm sticking with GW2, not incredible but it's economic model is solid for what the game has to offer.

 The times have changed...There's only a handful of games clinging on to this tired method......People should be able to pay for the features they want...An arbitrary 15 dollar charge for no real reason is ridiculous.....Also that .50 a day adds up when you play for a year or longer......Im sure there are a few millionaires who convinced people to give them only .50 a day....

  Satyros

Novice Member

Joined: 8/13/13
Posts: 38

9/16/13 6:48:33 AM#20
Originally posted by 9ineven
Originally posted by sunshadow21
Originally posted by 9ineven
Originally posted by Ginaz
Most subs have been $15 for around 10 years now. If you factor in inflation, the price of subs has actually gone down since they haven't kept up with inflation. Besides, if you can't set aside $15 a month, then you have bigger problems than paying for an MMO.

 

Bandwidth, servers cost, etc are way cheaper then 10 years ago...

 

And I'm tired of people like you always coming with the "if you can't afford to pay $15 a month".

 

Everybody can afford that, the thing here is that most people who don't like subs is because they feel the game is not worth that much...

Bandwidth is cheaper, but the cost of manpower has gone up as the need for larger dev teams to cover the additional art and mechanics has grown. So all in all, $15 is actually probably on the low end of what they could be charging us, since qualified devs and coders can command a salary far greater than the cost of what bandwidth used to be.

 

Still, no current MMO is worth a price box + $15 monthly fee + possible cash shop IMO and I know I'm not alone.

When a solid MMO comes out, I'll pay gladly. Until then I'm sticking with GW2, not incredible but it's economic model is solid for what the game has to offer.

 

 

Exactly. Sub, box, cash shop.. pick two.                                                              

ESO is going to have all three of them. While I haven't given up on the game, when I heard of the cash shop I instantly went from "I'll pre-order collectors and pre-pay at least some months of subs" mind-state to "Wait for launch, see how things turn out.. then maybe if it's excellent..".                                                     

Since I, actually, am a subscription supporter and elder scrolls fun, me ( thus players like me) having these thoughts is a really bad omen for the future of the game.

Still hope I'll be proven wrong.

 
 
 
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