MMORPGs: The payment model of the future

MyDcmbrMyDcmbr Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in MMO Extravaganza
So with the announcement of LotrO going with the Hybrid payment model I figured this would be a good time to start the discussion.

Currently there are 3 widely used payment types:

Pay to Play (p2p): You buy a box or download and pay a monthly sub. Some give you the box for free and just charge the sub. This group holds the biggest MMO currently. Examples: WoW, Aion, Eve, AoC, etc etc.

Free to Play (f2p): You download the game for free, all content within the game is free. There is a cash shop though that sells items that can greatly impact gameplay. Most of these games come from the East where they are much more common. Examples: Requiem, Aika, Perfect World, Rappelz

Hybrid: You download the game or buy a box, sometimes free, sometimes not. You can either subscribe to the game with a monthly fee or buy content in modules. Most also have a cash shop with item that do not greatly impact gameplay, but can depending on who you talk to and how they view the model. Examples: DDO, Runescape, (some say) STO.


Personally, I see the Hybrid model as having your cake and eating it too for the companies that go this route. I also think that more and more companies are going to change their payment models to this in order to make more $$ especially if LotrO does well. In the future I see the Hybrid model taking over most of the AAA MMORPGs that come out.

Thoughts?

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  • HenroidHenroid Seize the Memes Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The hybrid model is superior for people all around, in theory. Allowing people to try the game out for free unhinged is better than "You can play to level 10 and can't message people in whispers or join guilds" or whatever. If the game is good enough people will pay the monthly. And DDO also has deals going on their shop, like sales, that bring people into the idea of paying extra money for some things.

    Henroid on
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  • 815165815165 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I really like the flat monthly subscription model, it's up front and puts emphasis on the developers to include enough content for people to stay subscribed (or to allow them to unsubscribe for periods during lulls in content). Plus then there's no feeling of some players having anything others don't, which always ends up being a big deal.

    815165 on
  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I think in order to attact maintain and build a viable online world you will have to have the hybrid system which the monthly subscription guys have already moved towards (i know that EQ EQ2 Wow all have dabbled or converted to microtransactions in addition to monthly fees).

    Here is the model that has the biggest potential to make alot of money.

    F2P newbie levels, basically a limited try before you buy, basic services only, penalties in pvp to prevent griefing to subscribing customers, but unlimited access to midlevel pve enviroments. Yes there are limits in trading, channels, no UI modifications, probably a ninja set of nerfs preventing very rare to unique items from being farmed.

    Subscription Access - access to what are considered basic features, such as housing, to enhanced UI features, channels, guild banks, fully playable pvp, unlimited access to open world zones, mounts, character progression upgrades available (move from being a knight to a paladin, or black knight)

    Micro Transactions - graphic enhancements, reskins, character modifications (gender name class), server moves, keys to instances which might have to be farmed, guild halls, additional inventory/bank space, custom UI upgrades or rule work arounds (such a wow auto camping afk characters from game), personal stores, alt spaces, and access to GM lead ingame multi server events

    farbekrieg on
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    I am not a big fan of the term microtransactions in the context of MMOs. They are typically anything but.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It's pretty tough to implement pay-for-gameplay in a way that is compelling. I don't have a problem with paying for graphical changes or other vanity items, but charging for gameplay enhancements gets lame quickly. The perception of a level playing field is important for MMOs to work.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    To me the F2P model has already proven it's worth many years ago and recent developments show that big developers are also seeing the benefits in giving content away for free.

    citizen059 listed a few big titles that will have some free content:

    -Battlefield Heroes
    -NFS World Online
    -FIFA Online
    -Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online

    We can add to that list Stronghold Worlds, DDO, LOTRO and Warhammer Online.

    It's kind of a funny move in the gaming industry: on the one end of the spectrum we're getting more and more stuff for free and on the other end we're paying extra money on top of the normal costs of a game for some downloadable content

    I have no idea what the future will bring to us, actually. Hell, when I took over the MMO Uberlist a few years ago I had no idea the F2P model would get so popular in the west in such a short period of time.

    Aldo on
  • Commander 598Commander 598 Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I prefer the Guild Wars model: Buy the box.

    Commander 598 on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yeah, sign me up for the GW and GW2 model. When GW2 comes out and is sub-free as well, I think the hybrid model titles are going to hurt a bit for it.

    sidhaethe on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I prefer the Guild Wars model: Buy the box.
    I would like more of this as well. I did not enjoy Guild Wars, but the model was sound and there was enough content for the game to keep you occupied for about as long as the average MMO (including PvP of course).

    Is GW2 going to follow the same model, by the way?

    Aldo on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Aldo wrote: »
    Is GW2 going to follow the same model, by the way?

    Yes. No sub, buy the game and own the whole thing forever.

    sidhaethe on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    Is GW2 going to follow the same model, by the way?

    Yes. No sub, buy the game and own the whole thing forever.

    Awesome.

    I read like a year ago it'll be with a complete world to discover and everything, so colour me interested.

    You know, come to think of it. I'm surprised SW:TOR isn't going to follow this model, the whole epic story driven gameplay would be pretty sweet with this model.

    Aldo on
  • Dead ComputerDead Computer __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2010
    This is going to result in shitty games.

    This model is going nowhere.

    Dead Computer on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    This is going to result in shitty games.

    This model is going nowhere.
    Feel like explaining your views?

    Aldo on
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The biggest thing I find interesting is with games like Tera and Aion the Korean market is trying to move towards buy the box, pay a sub games for its big hitters.

    And now practically all of our MMOs are going cashshop, F2P models.

    Aumni on
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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Aumni wrote: »
    And now practically all of our MMOs are going cashshop, F2P models.

    Sure, if by all you mean a small fraction of.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Aumni wrote: »
    The biggest thing I find interesting is with games like Tera and Aion the Korean market is trying to move towards buy the box, pay a sub games for its big hitters.

    And now practically all of our MMOs are going cashshop, F2P models.
    ...2

    By the same publisher to boot.

    Aldo on
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Aumni wrote: »
    And now practically all of our MMOs are going cashshop, F2P models.

    Sure, if by all you mean a small fraction of.

    Right. A small fraction of FFXI, WoW, EQ, EQ2, UO and DAoC are F2P.

    But a large fraction of DDO, LOTRO,Battlefield Heroes, NFS World Online, FIFA Online
    , Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, Stronghold Worlds, and Warhammer Online are moving towards F2P models.

    It's a pattern that I used some hyperbole on. Sue me! :(

    Aumni on
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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    Several of those are so incredibly narrow in target audience that a traditional subscription model would result in quickly closed doors. It is disingenuous to imply that they have any flexibility in their choice of revenue model.

    Edit: Also, although I have not yet researched the ones you listed, I suspect that several of them are at best pseudo-massive in the same style as Guild Wars.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
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  • draw4wilddraw4wild Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I like the idea of a flat subscription. $15 dollars a month means very little to me and this way I know exactly what I'll be spending. If you give me the option to buy items needed to play the game, I have next to no willpower and will spend much more than said $15 for a month and then I'll wind up quitting.

    Ironically enough though, I'll never spend money on cosmetic only items and I'm completely fine with microtransactions for said items as long as they keep my item models innovative and fresh too. I also am okay with the Johnny works75hoursaweek buying xp pots so he can keep up with Joey Nojobwhosparentspayhissubscription.

    I think the main problem with subscriptions though is where does all the money go. Most games charge $15 a month for their subscriptions, and most games put out content at a similar rate. Enter WoW with their millions of subscribers and I get the same amount of content eq2 gives me with their millions of less subscribers. I'm not arguing quality of the content but I'm assuming it costs Sony and Blizzard similar amounts of capital to produce a dungeon for example which makes me picture Blizz sleeping on beds made of money which is primarily the reason I stopped playing WoW.

    draw4wild on
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Several of those are so incredibly narrow in target audience that a traditional subscription model would result in quickly closed doors. It is disingenuous to imply that they have any flexibility in their choice of revenue model.

    Edit: Also, although I have not yet researched the ones you listed, I suspect that several of them are at best pseudo-massive in the same style as Guild Wars.

    Most of those are Pseudo-massive. My original intent was to state there are more F2P model, cash shop games popping up everywhere. Whereas we're seeing a couple of Retail-Boxed Korean MMOs with a subscription plan attempting to capture the western market - something that hasn't happened before.

    I used some hyperbole and didn't get the point across. My apologies.

    Aumni on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Aumni wrote: »
    Aumni wrote: »
    And now practically all of our MMOs are going cashshop, F2P models.

    Sure, if by all you mean a small fraction of.

    Right. A small fraction of FFXI, WoW, EQ, EQ2, UO and DAoC are F2P.

    But a large fraction of DDO, LOTRO,Battlefield Heroes, NFS World Online, FIFA Online
    , Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, Stronghold Worlds, and Warhammer Online are moving towards F2P models.

    It's a pattern that I used some hyperbole on. Sue me! :(

    It's a system used by dead/dying/old games and small games that don't really expect to ever get big.

    And if you say "But WoW!" I would point out that WoW uses it only for purely cosmetic shit that can easily be substituted for free ingame shit.

    shryke on
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    Aumni wrote: »
    Aumni wrote: »
    And now practically all of our MMOs are going cashshop, F2P models.

    Sure, if by all you mean a small fraction of.

    Right. A small fraction of FFXI, WoW, EQ, EQ2, UO and DAoC are F2P.

    But a large fraction of DDO, LOTRO,Battlefield Heroes, NFS World Online, FIFA Online
    , Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, Stronghold Worlds, and Warhammer Online are moving towards F2P models.

    It's a pattern that I used some hyperbole on. Sue me! :(

    It's a system used by dead/dying/old games and small games that don't really expect to ever get big.

    And if you say "But WoW!" I would point out that WoW uses it only for purely cosmetic shit that can easily be substituted for free ingame shit.

    WoW isn't a F2P game, so you don't have to shove that in my mouth. And I agree with your points, and would add 'niche' to your list of dead/dying/old.

    Aumni on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Aumni wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Aumni wrote: »
    Aumni wrote: »
    And now practically all of our MMOs are going cashshop, F2P models.

    Sure, if by all you mean a small fraction of.

    Right. A small fraction of FFXI, WoW, EQ, EQ2, UO and DAoC are F2P.

    But a large fraction of DDO, LOTRO,Battlefield Heroes, NFS World Online, FIFA Online
    , Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, Stronghold Worlds, and Warhammer Online are moving towards F2P models.

    It's a pattern that I used some hyperbole on. Sue me! :(

    It's a system used by dead/dying/old games and small games that don't really expect to ever get big.

    And if you say "But WoW!" I would point out that WoW uses it only for purely cosmetic shit that can easily be substituted for free ingame shit.

    WoW isn't a F2P game, so you don't have to shove that in my mouth. And I agree with your points, and would add 'niche' to your list of dead/dying/old.

    Didn't want to shove it in your mouth, just heading it off cause I felt someone would bring it up eventually.

    And yeah, "niche" == "don't really expect to ever get big" in my mind. It's a good set-up for those games actually.

    But the big hitters are gonna stay at a monthly model imo because cash-shop models aren't popular with people for big games in the vein of WoW.

    shryke on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    draw4wild wrote: »
    I like the idea of a flat subscription. $15 dollars a month means very little to me and this way I know exactly what I'll be spending. If you give me the option to buy items needed to play the game, I have next to no willpower and will spend much more than said $15 for a month and then I'll wind up quitting.

    Ironically enough though, I'll never spend money on cosmetic only items and I'm completely fine with microtransactions for said items as long as they keep my item models innovative and fresh too. I also am okay with the Johnny works75hoursaweek buying xp pots so he can keep up with Joey Nojobwhosparentspayhissubscription.

    I think the main problem with subscriptions though is where does all the money go. Most games charge $15 a month for their subscriptions, and most games put out content at a similar rate. Enter WoW with their millions of subscribers and I get the same amount of content eq2 gives me with their millions of less subscribers. I'm not arguing quality of the content but I'm assuming it costs Sony and Blizzard similar amounts of capital to produce a dungeon for example which makes me picture Blizz sleeping on beds made of money which is primarily the reason I stopped playing WoW.

    I have read before (and it's worth as much as any hearsay) that two thirds of the $15 subscription fee is pure profit, so if that's true it is not at all a necessary amount for MMOs to charge for the privilege of maintenance and regular updates. The ArenaNet team (behind Guild Wars) have maintained that their decision to remain free to play is in no way related to their heavily instanced game format, demonstrated by the fact that Guild Wars 2 is intended to be an open, persistent world while retaining its free-after-purchase business model. The fact that there is still a live team for Guild Wars would also indicate that being free to play does not preclude game maintenance and updates.

    sidhaethe on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    draw4wild wrote: »
    I like the idea of a flat subscription. $15 dollars a month means very little to me and this way I know exactly what I'll be spending. If you give me the option to buy items needed to play the game, I have next to no willpower and will spend much more than said $15 for a month and then I'll wind up quitting.

    Ironically enough though, I'll never spend money on cosmetic only items and I'm completely fine with microtransactions for said items as long as they keep my item models innovative and fresh too. I also am okay with the Johnny works75hoursaweek buying xp pots so he can keep up with Joey Nojobwhosparentspayhissubscription.

    I think the main problem with subscriptions though is where does all the money go. Most games charge $15 a month for their subscriptions, and most games put out content at a similar rate. Enter WoW with their millions of subscribers and I get the same amount of content eq2 gives me with their millions of less subscribers. I'm not arguing quality of the content but I'm assuming it costs Sony and Blizzard similar amounts of capital to produce a dungeon for example which makes me picture Blizz sleeping on beds made of money which is primarily the reason I stopped playing WoW.

    I have read before (and it's worth as much as any hearsay) that two thirds of the $15 subscription fee is pure profit, so if that's true it is not at all a necessary amount for MMOs to charge for the privilege of maintenance and regular updates. The ArenaNet team (behind Guild Wars) have maintained that their decision to remain free to play is in no way related to their heavily instanced game format, demonstrated by the fact that Guild Wars 2 is intended to be an open, persistent world while retaining its free-after-purchase business model. The fact that there is still a live team for Guild Wars would also indicate that being free to play does not preclude game maintenance and updates.

    I'd call bullshit on your numbers. WoW's profit margin isn't anywhere near 2/3rds. (It's only like 50%)

    shryke on
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I read somewhere that Farmville, of all things, demonstrated the ridiculous amount of money that can be made in F2P/cash-shop games to western devs.

    Salvation122 on
  • CripTonicCripTonic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The problem with MMO payment models is really simple:

    "You can play all you want for fifty cents a day!"
    sounds a hell of a lot better than
    "The new __________ will cost you $10!"

    I don't know about you guys, but I pay more for coffee every day, so monthly subs sound like a really good deal, especially if you play a lot.

    My only hangup on sub/month games is when they dip into the micro-transaction market and still expect everyone to pay monthly fees like they don't exist. It even bugged me when I was playing WoW that they charged such a high fee for their biennial expansions. Every 2 years, WoW costs over $400 assuming you pay your sub monthly and buy the expansions. That is a lot of cash for one game.

    CripTonic on
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  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    draw4wild wrote: »
    I like the idea of a flat subscription. $15 dollars a month means very little to me and this way I know exactly what I'll be spending. If you give me the option to buy items needed to play the game, I have next to no willpower and will spend much more than said $15 for a month and then I'll wind up quitting.

    Ironically enough though, I'll never spend money on cosmetic only items and I'm completely fine with microtransactions for said items as long as they keep my item models innovative and fresh too. I also am okay with the Johnny works75hoursaweek buying xp pots so he can keep up with Joey Nojobwhosparentspayhissubscription.

    I think the main problem with subscriptions though is where does all the money go. Most games charge $15 a month for their subscriptions, and most games put out content at a similar rate. Enter WoW with their millions of subscribers and I get the same amount of content eq2 gives me with their millions of less subscribers. I'm not arguing quality of the content but I'm assuming it costs Sony and Blizzard similar amounts of capital to produce a dungeon for example which makes me picture Blizz sleeping on beds made of money which is primarily the reason I stopped playing WoW.

    I have read before (and it's worth as much as any hearsay) that two thirds of the $15 subscription fee is pure profit, so if that's true it is not at all a necessary amount for MMOs to charge for the privilege of maintenance and regular updates. The ArenaNet team (behind Guild Wars) have maintained that their decision to remain free to play is in no way related to their heavily instanced game format, demonstrated by the fact that Guild Wars 2 is intended to be an open, persistent world while retaining its free-after-purchase business model. The fact that there is still a live team for Guild Wars would also indicate that being free to play does not preclude game maintenance and updates.

    I'd call bullshit on your numbers. WoW's profit margin isn't anywhere near 2/3rds. (It's only like 50%)

    Fair enough, if the profit margin is 17% less than what I read elsewhere, it in no way invalidates the rest of my comment.

    sidhaethe on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    draw4wild wrote: »
    I like the idea of a flat subscription. $15 dollars a month means very little to me and this way I know exactly what I'll be spending. If you give me the option to buy items needed to play the game, I have next to no willpower and will spend much more than said $15 for a month and then I'll wind up quitting.

    Ironically enough though, I'll never spend money on cosmetic only items and I'm completely fine with microtransactions for said items as long as they keep my item models innovative and fresh too. I also am okay with the Johnny works75hoursaweek buying xp pots so he can keep up with Joey Nojobwhosparentspayhissubscription.

    I think the main problem with subscriptions though is where does all the money go. Most games charge $15 a month for their subscriptions, and most games put out content at a similar rate. Enter WoW with their millions of subscribers and I get the same amount of content eq2 gives me with their millions of less subscribers. I'm not arguing quality of the content but I'm assuming it costs Sony and Blizzard similar amounts of capital to produce a dungeon for example which makes me picture Blizz sleeping on beds made of money which is primarily the reason I stopped playing WoW.

    I have read before (and it's worth as much as any hearsay) that two thirds of the $15 subscription fee is pure profit, so if that's true it is not at all a necessary amount for MMOs to charge for the privilege of maintenance and regular updates. The ArenaNet team (behind Guild Wars) have maintained that their decision to remain free to play is in no way related to their heavily instanced game format, demonstrated by the fact that Guild Wars 2 is intended to be an open, persistent world while retaining its free-after-purchase business model. The fact that there is still a live team for Guild Wars would also indicate that being free to play does not preclude game maintenance and updates.

    I'd call bullshit on your numbers. WoW's profit margin isn't anywhere near 2/3rds. (It's only like 50%)

    Fair enough, if the profit margin is 17% less than what I read elsewhere, it in no way invalidates the rest of my comment.

    That really depends. Is that profit before or after new development costs?

    shryke on
  • 815165815165 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    CripTonic wrote: »
    The problem with MMO payment models is really simple:

    "You can play all you want for fifty cents a day!"
    sounds a hell of a lot better than
    "The new __________ will cost you $10!"

    I don't know about you guys, but I pay more for coffee every day, so monthly subs sound like a really good deal, especially if you play a lot.
    This is a good argument, MMO's are a super cheap form of entertainment on a cost/hours ratio. I could go to a football match for £17 for 1.5 hours of entertainment or pay £9 to play WoW for about 60 hours in a month.

    815165 on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    draw4wild wrote: »
    I like the idea of a flat subscription. $15 dollars a month means very little to me and this way I know exactly what I'll be spending. If you give me the option to buy items needed to play the game, I have next to no willpower and will spend much more than said $15 for a month and then I'll wind up quitting.

    Ironically enough though, I'll never spend money on cosmetic only items and I'm completely fine with microtransactions for said items as long as they keep my item models innovative and fresh too. I also am okay with the Johnny works75hoursaweek buying xp pots so he can keep up with Joey Nojobwhosparentspayhissubscription.

    I think the main problem with subscriptions though is where does all the money go. Most games charge $15 a month for their subscriptions, and most games put out content at a similar rate. Enter WoW with their millions of subscribers and I get the same amount of content eq2 gives me with their millions of less subscribers. I'm not arguing quality of the content but I'm assuming it costs Sony and Blizzard similar amounts of capital to produce a dungeon for example which makes me picture Blizz sleeping on beds made of money which is primarily the reason I stopped playing WoW.

    I have read before (and it's worth as much as any hearsay) that two thirds of the $15 subscription fee is pure profit, so if that's true it is not at all a necessary amount for MMOs to charge for the privilege of maintenance and regular updates. The ArenaNet team (behind Guild Wars) have maintained that their decision to remain free to play is in no way related to their heavily instanced game format, demonstrated by the fact that Guild Wars 2 is intended to be an open, persistent world while retaining its free-after-purchase business model. The fact that there is still a live team for Guild Wars would also indicate that being free to play does not preclude game maintenance and updates.

    I'd call bullshit on your numbers. WoW's profit margin isn't anywhere near 2/3rds. (It's only like 50%)

    Fair enough, if the profit margin is 17% less than what I read elsewhere, it in no way invalidates the rest of my comment.

    That really depends. Is that profit before or after new development costs?

    No idea. My hearsay doesn't tell me. Does your source tell you?

    I don't really understand what you are arguing here. Are you saying that developers need to charge (at least) $15/mo or they're not making a profit and that ANet is lying/mistaken/delusional when they say that is not the case?

    sidhaethe on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    815165 wrote: »
    CripTonic wrote: »
    The problem with MMO payment models is really simple:

    "You can play all you want for fifty cents a day!"
    sounds a hell of a lot better than
    "The new __________ will cost you $10!"

    I don't know about you guys, but I pay more for coffee every day, so monthly subs sound like a really good deal, especially if you play a lot.
    This is a good argument, MMO's are a super cheap form of entertainment on a cost/hours ratio. I could go to a football match for £17 for 1.5 hours of entertainment or pay £9 to play WoW for about 60 hours in a month.

    I hear this defense a lot and I guess I don't understand it as defenses go. Sure, if you play a lot $15/mo is a fairly good value (and if you don't, or if you like to play multiple subscription games, I guess you're subsidizing the players that do play one game a lot... lucky for you), but to defend it over paying less, or nothing is weird to me. Free is an even better value than $15/mo! There is this idea that the $15/mo is required for quality and content and the change in business models is coming to prove that that simply isn't the case, yet people are arguing for paying more, with sub+cash shop items, etc. as though we need to show our gratitude for the game's existence through monthly subs or something.

    sidhaethe on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Except that there are hardly any games that involve paying nothing at all. There is guild wars and that seems basically to be it unless you want to go the second-class citizen route in a microtransaction game.

    The reality is that an MMO with continuous and content and so on is always going to have to extract some sustainable number of dollars per month from the subscriber base. A flat monthly sub has the benefit of creating a level playing field among subscribers.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2010
    I don't think that is why they do it though. I doubt any publishers have an interest in a level playing field.

    I suspect it has more to do with easily writing a budget.

    Edit: Misread that. I thought you said level playing field between developers. Never mind me.

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  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Except that there are hardly any games that involve paying nothing at all. There is guild wars and that seems basically to be it unless you want to go the second-class citizen route in a microtransaction game.

    The reality is that an MMO with continuous and content and so on is always going to have to extract some sustainable number of dollars per month from the subscriber base. A flat monthly sub has the benefit of creating a level playing field among subscribers.

    Right - what I am suggesting is that more developers take the Guild Wars/Guild Wars 2 route rather than the "second-class citizen in a microtransaction game" route. I am saying that it is possible, if ANet are not off their rockers, so there is no good reason not to even try it.

    What I perceive is that people who play subscription games are resistant to even that much, and I am curious as to why that is, since the reasons usually given have been disputed by the ANet developers. Why is nobody else (among developers) even attempting this model? Is ANet crazy?

    sidhaethe on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I would be tremendously surprised if guild wars' sequel winds up both being completely F2P, and lives up to the sort of open-world, content-progressive vision they seem to have. I didn't spend all that much time with the original guild wars, but that kind of game (primarily instanced small group play, no meaningful "open world") is a lot cheaper to support than something like WoW is.

    It's not that people who play subscription based games love giving someone fifteen bucks a month, it's that the kind of game that asks for a 15 dollar sub is pretty substantially different from something like the first guild wars (or tiger woods online or whatever other examples.)

    My tentative answer would be "ANet is crazy, knows something no one else does, or has been less than honest in their promotional material."

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  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Guild Wars 2 doesn't seem that outrageously different from other micro transaction games. From everything I've read they're going to partition off all the post release new content into "mini-expansions" and you'll have to pay for them all. That doesn't seem like a particularly revolutionary business model.

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  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    I would be tremendously surprised if guild wars' sequel winds up both being completely F2P, and lives up to the sort of open-world, content-progressive vision they seem to have. I didn't spend all that much time with the original guild wars, but that kind of game (primarily instanced small group play, no meaningful "open world") is a lot cheaper to support than something like WoW is.

    It's not that people who play subscription based games love giving someone fifteen bucks a month, it's that the kind of game that asks for a 15 dollar sub is pretty substantially different from something like the first guild wars (or tiger woods online or whatever other examples.)

    My tentative answer would be "ANet is crazy, knows something no one else does, or has been less than honest in their promotional material."

    A) Guild Wars 2 is purported to not be the kind of instanced gameplay that GW1 was, with only personal storyline and dungeons being instanced, and the rest of the world outside towns being open and persistent. We'll see, of course, but this is what the claim is.

    2) re: that's precisely what ANet claims is not the case; that their decision to not charge subs has nothing to do with GW the first's instanced gameplay.

    Where did we get the idea that it cost more to maintain an open world, anyway? Did anyone claim this, or is it one of those common sense things (I would come to that come to that conclusion too, fwiw, except that the developers of GW explicitly say that is not the case. Again, maybe they're crazy.)?

    sidhaethe on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    -SPI- wrote: »
    Guild Wars 2 doesn't seem that outrageously different from other micro transaction games. From everything I've read they're going to partition off all the post release new content into "mini-expansions" and you'll have to pay for them all. That doesn't seem like a particularly revolutionary business model.

    Post-release content like The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Mines of Moria, etc? Because that's all I recall paying for in Guild Wars, except in 3 out of the 4 purchases I made I actually bought an entirely new storyline full of content. Only one of those purchases was an "expansion."

    I don't expect to get new content from GW or GW2 for free, just like any other game out there. But what ANet released for GW is considerably more than 1-2 quest chains of DLC, and I didn't have to pay a sub once I bought them.

    I don't think it's a revolutionary model at all, just not sure why it isn't used by anyone else.

    sidhaethe on
  • CripTonicCripTonic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    I don't think it's a revolutionary model at all, just not sure why it isn't used by anyone else.

    Because WoW does both. EVE however does the opposite, providing major content patches (quasi-expansions) for free.

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