MMORPGs: The payment model of the future

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  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    So this thread has now established that

    1) Development and maintenance costs for some games don't really require a subscription, and

    2) People like different things.

    I mean, you have been playing CoD for the last four years and having a great time doing it, awesome. The $50 up front cost and the xbla subscription seem to you to be an economical use of entertainment dollars, also awesome.

    Lots of people have made the same decisions with WoW and are presumably also enjoying the returns on their money.

    So... what?

    One side is trying to convince the other that they are wrong because the games they enjoy are inherently shitty, their game developers are lying to them, and they're cheap and lazy for taking something for free that's free?

    Also, GW would really be a better example than CoD. I didn't even know that XBox Live had a subscription! Amazing.

    sidhaethe on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    Mutilate wrote: »
    eatmosushi wrote: »
    "How often does the original CoD get content updates that add new game play elements?"

    huh what was that i couldnt hear you i was too busy paying $100 to update to burning crusade and then wrath of the litch king.

    Turn the sound down and answer the question? Are you somehow implying that paying money for a game expansion is silly? Are you implying that you expect new CoD games to be free since you paid for the original? Sorry I am not following what you are trying to do here.

    I'm not going to speak for soushi, but my argument would be that in both cases you're paying to buy more content, so why are you paying a subscription for one on top of having to buy more content?

    Because you think the game is worth the money?

    I mean, there is not some implacable logical argument that will convince someone that WoW is a better deal than guild wars if they like guild wars better anyway. This to me is obvious.

    People in this thread seem to be approaching MMO subscriptions as though they are some kind of political issue that requires advocacy against. People pay subscriptions because that's what the game costs and they find it to be a worthwhile purchase.

    I honestly don't know where you've gotten this impression. All I am advocating for is the option to opt out of paying a subscription where I don't have to opt out of MMOs entirely. Pay a sub all you want! WoW isn't changing its business model anytime soon, until the second it is deemed able to turn a bigger profit.

    I will say that I "feel" for players of LOTRO who were paying a sub because of the hybrid model, in that I don't like players who love their game to be sad about it (even though I really really hate LOTRO and regret that I bought a lifetime sub for it), but I don't really understand their rage because they can still pay a sub and access everything they had access to if they want to. People opposed to the F2Ping of LOTRO (and it's really not free to play, it's going velvet rope + sub + purchasable currency) on the premise that the mere knowledge that someone could buy content, or buy a class, will ruin the community and the game direction forever. I mean, I don't know, maybe it will. But they've got absolutely no precedent to base their gloomy feelings on.

    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
    And the other people are saying that anyone who pays for an MMO subscription is dumb because hey, you could have just been playing call of duty for those four years. They even add new maps!

    ...

    I mean, we could figure out what the comparative per annum costs for Wow and guild wars are. WoW costs (say) $180 bucks a year, guild wars costs what, thirty bucks a year? Dunno how many boxes they've released or what they cost.

    It doesn't really matter though, because a hundred and eighty bucks a year really isn't that much money, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of WoW while I was playing it.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
  • eatmosushieatmosushi __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2010
    ok fine maybe i was just salty that i realized i paid $720 for 4 years of wow. ya got me.

    +150 for game +2 expacs

    so $870

    plus another $250 for my spectral tiger...

    another $400 on power leveling and gold

    :3

    eatmosushi on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Spun uncontrollably skyward... Driven brutally into the ground
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Mutilate wrote: »
    Some people seem to take it as a personal affront that companies choose to charge pay to play and that other people would actually be willing to do this. It's a stupid stance to take but one that will not change anytime soon. Again, if a person does not want to pay to play then don't pay and don't play. It really can be that simple.
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    Mutilate wrote: »
    eatmosushi wrote: »
    "How often does the original CoD get content updates that add new game play elements?"

    huh what was that i couldnt hear you i was too busy paying $100 to update to burning crusade and then wrath of the litch king.

    Turn the sound down and answer the question? Are you somehow implying that paying money for a game expansion is silly? Are you implying that you expect new CoD games to be free since you paid for the original? Sorry I am not following what you are trying to do here.

    I'm not going to speak for soushi, but my argument would be that in both cases you're paying to buy more content, so why are you paying a subscription for one on top of having to buy more content?

    You don't have to! You have a choice if you do not want to pay for any of that. At one point in time sub fees were probably necessary to keep an MMO afloat. I don't think anyone is arguing that that need is probably long gone, or at least for your major players. A small start up company may need the boost from sub fees to keep going but that's not what we are talking about. It's just status quo at this point. If WoW had failed out but GW for example had become a huge money making hit with it's model then we would probably see more no monthly sub MMO's. We are talking about business here and they want money. As long as people are willing to pay then they will keep making monthly subs part of their design.

    Have you ever considered that the subscription model is part of the reason why WoW did so much better then GW?

    shryke on
  • MutilateMutilate Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    shryke wrote: »

    Have you ever considered that the subscription model is part of the reason why WoW did so much better then GW?

    I honestly believe that WoW did better because it's a better game. I played GW and actually had a blast during the beta. It was going to be the reason I canceled WoW. Then when it got released, I don't know what happened it was not fun. That's of course my opinion. If you are throwing out there that WoW did better because Blizzard had more revenue coming in for it and as such gave it a heavier focus than NC Soft gave GW... there is truth in that I would imagine. Putting all this into persepctive, if a game had come out that did everything WoW did and was free to play then WoW would not be the juggernaut it is. Quality games are what lead to profit. The longevity of WoW should prove that.

    Mutilate on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Mutilate wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »

    Have you ever considered that the subscription model is part of the reason why WoW did so much better then GW?

    I honestly believe that WoW did better because it's a better game. I played GW and actually had a blast during the beta. It was going to be the reason I canceled WoW. Then when it got released, I don't know what happened it was not fun. That's of course my opinion. If you are throwing out there that WoW did better because Blizzard had more revenue coming in for it and as such gave it a heavier focus than NC Soft gave GW... there is truth in that I would imagine. Putting all this into persepctive, if a game had come out that did everything WoW did and was free to play then WoW would not be the juggernaut it is. Quality games are what lead to profit. The longevity of WoW should prove that.

    Except that's not really putting it into perspective because it's ignoring that the subscription model is a large part of the reason WoW is what it is. That money goes back into the game.

    shryke on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    Mutilate wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »

    Have you ever considered that the subscription model is part of the reason why WoW did so much better then GW?

    I honestly believe that WoW did better because it's a better game. I played GW and actually had a blast during the beta. It was going to be the reason I canceled WoW. Then when it got released, I don't know what happened it was not fun. That's of course my opinion. If you are throwing out there that WoW did better because Blizzard had more revenue coming in for it and as such gave it a heavier focus than NC Soft gave GW... there is truth in that I would imagine. Putting all this into persepctive, if a game had come out that did everything WoW did and was free to play then WoW would not be the juggernaut it is. Quality games are what lead to profit. The longevity of WoW should prove that.

    Except that's not really putting it into perspective because it's ignoring that the subscription model is a large part of the reason WoW is what it is. That money goes back into the game.

    You keep saying this (the subscription money goes back into the game) but I haven't seen a citation for it. You don't know how much of that money is pure profit and how much is future game investment. If most of it is profit, then most of it is not going back into the game. If most of it is going back into the game, then you are paying for the new content that is added pre- and post-expansion with your sub.

    Your subscription money is not charity, it is not a donation you just shoot at Blizzard to say "thanks! I had fun this month!"

    sidhaethe on
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    So any chance to get back on the topic?

    I think we've thoroughly covered:

    a) I fucking hate WoW
    b) I fucking love WoW
    c) I fucking hate paying a subscription
    d) I don't mind paying a subscription
    e) We're all dumb, why didn't we just play COD for 4 years for freeeeee!

    Emotions aside, understanding individually we're going to like and dislike certain very specific things, where do we feel the payment model of the future is going to come from?

    ironzerg on


  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    And the other people are saying that anyone who pays for an MMO subscription is dumb because hey, you could have just been playing call of duty for those four years. They even add new maps!

    Who is saying that CoD is equivalent value to WoW? Really, who? And again, the implication that what F2P players are playing are not "real" MMOs with "real" content. That's, actually, exactly what I was referring to.
    I mean, we could figure out what the comparative per annum costs for Wow and guild wars are. WoW costs (say) $180 bucks a year, guild wars costs what, thirty bucks a year? Dunno how many boxes they've released or what they cost.

    GW's purchasable content consists of 3 standalone boxes, which, at full price, went for $49.99 each, and one expansion for $39.99. Cash shop items consist of additional character slots for $9.95 (IIRC), one of 4 costumes for $10 each or $7.95ish for 2, bonus mission pack (4 prequel storyline missions) for $5, and some other stuff I'm not bothering to look up.
    It doesn't really matter though, because a hundred and eighty bucks a year really isn't that much money, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of WoW while I was playing it.

    Of course it doesn't matter for someone who's happily paying a subscription. Why does it have to be one or the other? What I don't get is the "well, it's only $15/mo" or "well, I didn't mind paying it" or whatever. Why doesn't it matter what you pay? What wouldn't you pay? Do you have a price that WoW could charge that you wouldn't pay? $15 is a completely arbitrary amount. Why not donate $25/mo to Blizzard so that they have more money to keep WoW excellent?

    I mean, am I just articulating it wrong or do we think about the matter so differently that the difference is insurmountable?

    I feel like I am saying "I get x,y,z for free, and that's why I won't pay $15 for it"

    You (general subscription-paying you) say, "I don't mind paying $15 for it" or

    "your game game is shitty for free" or

    "I get much more game for my $15, your game is like CoD lol"

    "no game will profit without charging a sub"/"the reason Blizzard has more money than god is because of subscriptions (well... duh.)"/"pay 2 win is no fun!"

    Well, okay then.

    sidhaethe on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    ironzerg wrote: »
    So any chance to get back on the topic?

    I think we've thoroughly covered:

    a) I fucking hate WoW
    b) I fucking love WoW
    c) I fucking hate paying a subscription
    d) I don't mind paying a subscription
    e) We're all dumb, why didn't we just play COD for 4 years for freeeeee!

    Emotions aside, understanding individually we're going to like and dislike certain very specific things, where do we feel the payment model of the future is going to come from?

    I feel that the payment model of the future heavily depends on two things:

    1) How LOTRO ends up faring in the first 6 months or so after it officially goes hybrid

    2) How Guild Wars 2 ends up faring

    In other words, I think it's too soon to say. Experiments will be done, failures will be had, but I don't think a real trend will emerge until we see how those two turn out.

    sidhaethe on
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    sidhaethe wrote: »
    I feel that the payment model of the future heavily depends on two things:

    1) How LOTRO ends up faring in the first 6 months or so after it officially goes hybrid

    2) How Guild Wars 2 ends up faring

    Personally, I feel:

    1) LOTRO went with it's hybrid model because not enough people were willing to go with the monthly subscription to sustain the game. In other words, I think it's probably entering a death spiral, and won't be much of anything in six months. HOWEVER, I feel that's more of a representation of the lack of a compelling game more than a pricing model.

    2) GW2 will be another good test, especially since their pricing model is straight on from release, and not tacked on after. And the true test will be people's willingness to pay box-by-box, not only in keeping the revenue stream going, but how the game's cohesiveness is maintained through separate pay-or-don't-play expansions. I detect a distinct possibility for multiple game-within-the-game scenarios to form, where players are self segregated based on how much money they've invested via expansions.
    In other words, I think it's too soon to say. Experiments will be done, failures will be had, but I don't think a real trend will emerge until we see how those two turn out.

    Agreed.

    However, I still think the focus is on developing unique and compelling games. How much you can charge and how often you can charge it is a direct function of said compelling-ness.

    ironzerg on


  • CripTonicCripTonic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I'm on the side of the fence that doesn't mind paying fees to play a game if the game actually delivers on those fees, which WoW has done less and less since the initial release of the game.

    WoW content additions by time (referenced from wowwiki). Only subscription fee-based content is being cited, not content delivered with expansions, which are paid for separately:

    Nov 04 - Jan 06: 4 raid instances, 2 dungeons, 6 world bosses, AQ world event, Honor system, 4 battle grounds - $150 (includes free time from server problems at release)
    Feb 06 - Nov 06: 1 raid instance, cross-realm BGs, 2 world events (Dark Portal & Naxx event) - $150
    Dec 06 - Oct 08: 3 raid instances, 1 dungeon, 1 arena, voice chat (lol), Isle of Quel'danas, Guild Banks - $330
    Nov 08 - Current: 2 raid instances, 1 pathetic coliseum raid, 3 VoA bosses, 4 dungeons, dual spec, AT quest hub, cross-server LFG - $240

    Not all content is worth the same apparently. Burning Crusade was far and wide the worst offender and I sure am glad I skipped more than half of it with an inactive account. Based on how much was added to WoW in the first year, I feel embarrassed for people who genuinely defend the subscription fee for "content" in WoW.

    CripTonic on
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  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Of course, we have your opinion versus the fact that over the reference time frame, WoW went from zero to about ten million accounts.

    So while you do have an opinion, the quantifiable data points to an otherwise completely opposite conclusion.

    ironzerg on


  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    CripTonic wrote: »
    Based on how much was added to WoW in the first year, I feel embarrassed for people who genuinely defend the subscription fee for "content" in WoW.

    And let me follow up with one more point, then please let's get off the WoW bashing and back to the topic.

    Can you name one other game that's been released over the last five years that IS NOT subscription based which allows my friends and myself to enjoy such a depth and breadth of content in a persistence environment, given we all like RPG fantasy based game play AND is/was executed as well as Blizzard has with World of Warcraft?

    ironzerg on


  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    ironzerg wrote: »
    CripTonic wrote: »
    Based on how much was added to WoW in the first year, I feel embarrassed for people who genuinely defend the subscription fee for "content" in WoW.

    And let me follow up with one more point, then please let's get off the WoW bashing and back to the topic.

    Can you name one other game that's been released over the last five years that IS NOT subscription based which allows my friends and myself to enjoy such a depth and breadth of content in a persistence environment, given we all like RPG fantasy based game play AND is/was executed as well as Blizzard has with World of Warcraft?

    A) Seeing as you obviously believe WoW to be the best in show even among subscription games, why narrow the field to subscription vs. non-subscription? Obviously having a subscription does not define the quality, polish, or amount of content in a game.

    2) Can you provide an objective metric by which to measure "executed as well as" that is not a subscription number count, i.e. argumentum ad populam? Or "depth and breadth of content" for that matter? If a majority of players don't raid, does how much raid content exists matter for them? Ditto if they don't PvP? Or if they only PvP?

    C) Off the top of my head, I haven't played FFXI but I hear it is incredibly polished and has a ton of content, and its sub price is $12.95 or something.

    Edit: I would like to clarify, in case anyone suspected I have a hateon for WoW, that I don't. I tried it and didn't like it - much like, oh, a ton of other games I tried and didn't like, including LOTRO and DDO. I don't begrudge its success, nor Blizzard's ability to make more money than god off of it. I'm not going to say it's a shitty game just because I didn't like the graphics or whatever.

    I do bristle at the notion that its success is what defines it as the best game ever, and the tailoring of every argument to come back to WoW vs. everything else. I would love to stop talking about WoW. I would also love for more people who play anything other than GW or WoW to be in this thread, but it seems most people have gone quiet.

    sidhaethe on
  • CripTonicCripTonic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    ironzerg wrote: »
    Of course, we have your opinion versus the fact that over the reference time frame, WoW went from zero to about ten million accounts.

    So while you do have an opinion, the quantifiable data points to an otherwise completely opposite conclusion.

    WoW was at 8-9 million accounts before BC was released. You can claim diminishing returns, but I respectfully disagree based on Blizzard's statements about how the vast majority of people who play the game don't get past level 30, or whatever their comment was at the previous Blizzcon.

    CripTonic on
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  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2010
    ironzerg wrote: »
    CripTonic wrote: »
    Based on how much was added to WoW in the first year, I feel embarrassed for people who genuinely defend the subscription fee for "content" in WoW.

    And let me follow up with one more point, then please let's get off the WoW bashing and back to the topic.

    Can you name one other game that's been released over the last five years that IS NOT subscription based which allows my friends and myself to enjoy such a depth and breadth of content in a persistence environment, given we all like RPG fantasy based game play AND is/was executed as well as Blizzard has with World of Warcraft?

    Guild wars?

    Morkath on
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