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General: New Report Reveals Declining MMO Subscription Revenue

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Comments

  • RequiamerRequiamer ???Posts: 2,034Member

    Well mmo market is in real bad shape now, its like 3 to 4 year already that no really good game boosted those numbers. So the number begin to show the decline. I'm sure this will change with the next gen of mmo, well i hope at least, if not people will go play other online type of games like fps or rts, or continue to play those instead.

    Also sub model don't fit the market anymore, they will have to find better models type, it was a good model when gaming was a western activity and people had revenue to pay for them. But now gaming is world wide affair, and most people just cannot afford what the west could. This show in the success of f2p. But imo f2p isn't a very good model either because it cannot finance large projects. So i won't be surprise to see new models popping, that can take into account the low revenue of most gamer around the world. Maybe low price box+ a lot of expansion and a mild cash shop seam the best option for me now, but nobody use it, i hope Anet will have some success with this. But clearly there is a shift now into payment models, and it is mainly due to the world wide expansion of gaming and nothing else imo.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,144Member Uncommon

    Only subscribers have ever contributed to evolution of any game. Or some alternatives that at the end of month can be more expensive then any subscription model. Also consider that at some point one have everything that he/she needed from various "shops". I.e. I have spend pretty a lot of money for CO and various hideouts, weapon and armor packs, ... etc. For fun. But now that I virtually have all I needed will for sure spend much much less. But as long as i play will for sure be "gold" user, subscriber.

    Cheap people that love anything as long as is free are usefull for economy of gaming industry as street beggars for general economy. 

  • SmokeysongSmokeysong Lewisville, TXPosts: 236Member

    Let's see, we have a change in the market from the subscription model to the F2P model, F2P accounts aren't actually free but are funded by "microtransactions"; we get a decline in subscriptions income and an increase in "microtransactions" income.

    Amazing. Who would have thought it?

    One thing this points very strongly at, is what many of us have said many times -

    Free to play isn't free.

    Income from subscription accounts has declined, but the overall income has increased, which means the F2P accounts are spending more money than the subscription accounts that were lost.

    ;)

    Have played: Everquest, Asheron's Call, Horizons, Everquest2, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer, Age of Conan, Darkfall

  • raistlinmraistlinm new orleans, LAPosts: 673Member

    Originally posted by Smokeysong

    Let's see, we have a change in the market from the subscription model to the F2P model, F2P accounts aren't actually free but are funded by "microtransactions"; we get a decline in subscriptions income and an increase in "microtransactions" income.

    Amazing. Who would have thought it?

    One thing this points very strongly at, is what many of us have said many times -

    Free to play isn't free.

    Income from subscription accounts has declined, but the overall income has increased, which means the F2P accounts are spending more money than the subscription accounts that were lost.

    ;)

    I get the feeling that you somehow see this as a bad thing???

  • SelfDestructProSelfDestructPro Oxnard, CAPosts: 323Member Uncommon

    There's two reasons for the declining revenue.

    1) The economy is in the sh**hole.  No one can afford to play these days.

    2) Who really wants to play the games these days anyway?  The novelty of these games has worn off.  The mechanics, graphics, and even themes of these games are outdated.

    I mean, I'm not trying to be a Negative Nancy, but there's no good games right now.  I think Guild Wars 2 and ArcheAge are steps in the right direction, but they're just steps.  Lots of the mechanics are still the same and I think people are going to to get tired of these games as well when they come to that realization.  Don't get me wrong, I'm just as excitied as the next person for these two games, but I don't have high expectations for the long run.

  • seiturseitur ZabrzePosts: 14Member

    Preety simple.  

     

    1 .Few older or less popular games went F2P .

    2. Economy is in bad condition. Some people tend to cut fixed amount expenses especially entertaiment comes first (then alot of them spent same amount on microtransactions but well that's becasue in west people have not learned yet to monitor their expenses , but they will , happy consumersim is coming to end , get used to it imho).

    3. In last years P2P games that were relased were really bad , at best medicore , and those who had potential were released to early / bugged/ unfinished - no brainer they failed bad.  Anyway alot of those medicore games had to change model cause people don't want to commit themselves to subscribe a bad or medicore game. Not to mention they were overhyped (remember pumping hype by devs on Warhammer Online?)

     

    Market just shift to Asian style , so  majority will be cash shop games + few subscription ones.

     

    Don't worry subscription revenue will rise , that does not mean ofc that f2p will retreat.

     

    Future is reamain to be seen, who knows what solutions will be in future. Maybe servers with diffrent business models?

    Maybe totally new business models? Or just P2P and F2P will divide market and that's it.

  • outfctrloutfctrl Jacksonville, FLPosts: 3,619Member

    Personally, I dont play F2P, ever.  If I like a game enough, I will subscribe.  I want all the content, not bits and pieces.

    image

  • WraithoneWraithone Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 3,592Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by ActionMMORPG

    One can't discount the effects of the world's economic struggles.  In today's market, even low growth is doing well.

     

    Compared to the banking sector, we're doing great. image

     

    Actually, when was the last time that major nation state governments spent hundreds of billions to bail out the MMO industry? image

    The banking sector pretty much OWNS the politicians, so the banks are doing rather well. Its the rest of us that get stuck holding the bag. 

    I'm not susprised that the business model is slowly changing. Given how western companies react when they find out about the Sweet Cash Shop profits that are being made in the Asian markets (look at CCP for only one example), its surprising that the trend hasn't been steeper.  Over time, I expect this trend to continue.  

  • CeridithCeridith Toronto, ONPosts: 2,980Member

    It's always baffled me why so many gamers enjoy playing games where they have to pay more to get less in a F2P game, and then turning around and berating subscription games for being 'too expensive'.

    Other people can spend their money how they want, but I'm not going to stick around if the industry as a whole adopts this bass-ackwards game design philosophy. And yes, F2P is a design philosophy, because game design goals shift to create gameplay problems to sell more item shop 'solutions' to said problems.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,905Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Ceridith

    It's always baffled me why so many gamers enjoy playing games where they have to pay more to get less in a F2P game, and then turning around and berate subscription games for being 'too expensive'.

    Can't argue with that one bit.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • gegezerggegezerg Brick, NJPosts: 1Member

    Well in my opinion these games that claim to be "F2P" are nothing but micro transaction scams.. This gaming model has made me kinda sick to my stomach. F2P is not F2P at all. In games like LOTRO where you get more of a trial than full freedom to play the game, most F2P game come with a subscription premium the same price as you were paying regular sub, only the F2P player gets limited this and that pretty much forcing you to pay anyway.

    Most F2P games players will end up getting the premium because lack of content they can enter and lack of bank space or bag space or available items to them like mounts and such. These companies are taking advantage of us as customers and gamers alike. Selling items of specal value that may improve gameplay and games that sell items with advantages is just wrong.

    I fully support P2P games such as WoW, yes they have a micro store but the items sold or services there do not affect gameplay. I would rather pay $15 a month than pay the $15 and then have to buy other items that come out every week that change gameplay.

    Lets take All Points Bulletin for example, they restrict your contact standing and money earned after matches if you are F2P by so much that you need premium to get anywhere, then they sell overpowered guns on the Market for upards of 30$ each and also cars are 20$ each and you may rent guns for 30 day or longer. This is just wrong to do, I think that they would make more in the long run just having a sub based game, more people would play and more money would come in.

    This increase in money is due to a short spurt in spending by customers to get certain items in games.. then they get annoyed because they have spent hundrends of dollars on a 50$ game. The sub base is just better in my opinion.

    Free to Play really isn't Free at all. My grandfather used to say, "Nothing in life is Free." You will end up paying for it one way or another.

    The F2P is just an advertizing ploy to get people in then they tell them they can't do this or that without premium and then they end up buying to play.. it's just a company saying "hey, we failed at making the game good enough for people to pay so we will say it's Free to play and then make it like a trial version then they will pay to play it past the tutorial, hah we will make or money back in no time!"




    Sub based games are just better overall.

     

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,117Member Uncommon

    I don't think they ever mentioned that the decline could be due to the lower quality overall of recent MMO releases, did they?  Most likely the issue is due to lazy developers wanting easy cash rather than the payment model itself.  People are willing to pay for content that is actually fun and even more importantly, targeted at their play style.  They will leave or even pass up on a game that does neither.

    image
  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Auburn, MIPosts: 365Member

    Originally posted by elocke

    Didn't a good portion of previously sub only games switch to FTP models?  thereby decreasing how many games even HAVE a subscription based income?  This is a misleading article.

     

    Murders in small, mid-west town last year: 0

    Murders in small, mid-west town this year: 1

    News article: "MURDER RATE IN SMALL, MID-WEST TOWN UP OVER FOUR BILLION PERCENT SINCE LAST YEAR!!!"

  • Spiritof55Spiritof55 Grifton, NCPosts: 405Member

    I expect game quality to decline.  We'll not see mmorpgs on the level of warcraft in the future if they're designed from the start with the f2p model in mind.  F2p kills quality.  You have to design the game with differently.  You can't say person x will have that particular quest or weapon by level 10 because person x may not buy it.  So games will be dumbed down to appease the simple minded masses that will leap onto the f2p bandwagon.

    Instead of developers receiving predicted revenue monthly (i.e.  1 million people x 15.00 = 15,000,000) they will have no idea what they'll get with microtransactions (pay as you play) so the desparation level to skew the game mechanics toward money gain will be high.  Quality will suffer. 

    With f2p developers and publishers win, you lose.

     

    There will come a day when people will remember when games used to be deep and fun while they suffer through the latest shallow f2p.

     

    I'm glad I got out of mmorpgs.  Now I play single player console games.

  • Spiritof55Spiritof55 Grifton, NCPosts: 405Member

    Originally posted by Distopia

    Originally posted by Ceridith

    It's always baffled me why so many gamers enjoy playing games where they have to pay more to get less in a F2P game, and then turning around and berate subscription games for being 'too expensive'.

    Can't argue with that one bit.

    I've been saying that forever.  Its very true.

    You'll spend more in a f2p for the same experience you get in a p2p.  F2p games are more expensive to play and people berate p2p games because of the "expensive" monthly fee.

    As I mentioned before, with f2p games developers and publishers win, you lose.

  • VercinorixVercinorix Lansdowne, PAPosts: 53Member

    I have no idea whether this has been mentioned earlier or not, but I have to seriously question the value of this report's ocnclusions.

    Looking at the data included in the report, it seems to be completely missing the entire Asian sector, and the North american / European data only goes back to 2007.

    Also, there doesn't seem to be any attempt to correlate this data against broader economic data. Without that, you would be a fool as an investor to bet money based on this report and a fool as a gamer to draw any conclusions from it.

  • BeackerBeacker Newbury, MAPosts: 420Member

    Personally I think that  if games are going to microtransactions and F2P. We shouldn't have to go premium for the 14.99 a month. Premium price should be like $4.99 a month and you know people will do microtransactions. We already pay once why make us pay again. Or if by paying $14.99 a month we also accrue currency to use at the micro transactions shops. F2P is great for the games it is getting more revenue overall but to put 14.99 ontop of it to get more content is ridiculious. Games should just sell thier gold too to get rid of the gold sellers. Just because it is there though doesn't mean you have to purchase it.

  • Enforcer71Enforcer71 Hellertown, PAPosts: 794Member

    Originally posted by UrzaElent

    Well I would take any of this with a grain of salt. I mean really, we've been in a rescission for what now 2-3 years and just about every state but a handful have had high unemployment  for almost the same amount of time. No industry is making nearly as much money as they did  before all this hit the fan. It just makes sense that the hobby/entertanment sectors are the hardest hit. Just look at the money from the theater/movie industry and how low its dropped compare to previous years. As someone that works in retail this is no surprise at all.

    When you have millions unemployed and millions more praying they are still employed by the time the holidays come around like the about 100k plus from the post office that may or may not have jobs come christmas and the fact that some mmo devs came up 5% short this year seems silly at the least. I love my hobby. I've been an avid gamer since before some of these posters were even born but if I had to pick anyone to lose money it would have to be the gaming industry. There are just way too many other things to be worried about right now and other places where my money can be better spent.

     

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/12/news/economy/post_office_layoffs/index.htm 

     

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/05/eveningnews/main20069136.shtml 

     


     

    Totally Agree!

    Out of every 100 men, 10 should not be there,
    80 are nothing but targets, 9 are the real fighters.
    Ah, but one, ONE of them is a warrior,
    and he will bring the others home.
    -Heraclitus 500BC

  • bisurgebisurge Anchorage, AKPosts: 168Member

    I think microtransactions are the way to go. Let's take a big example: World of Warcraft, which is rapidly losing subscriptions, and keeping few new subscriptions for anything more than a short period.

    In today's market, when people are keeping their wallet close, and their checkbook closer, who's willing to shell out $20 to buy the box game, and then after that, $15 a month? And don't forget about another $20 for an expansion, and $20 for another expansion, and $30 for another expansion. It just doesn't make sense, unless the buyer seriously thinks he or she will be playing for a very, very long time (but if they follow MMORPG news, they probably don't). I mean, I thought I'd like World of Warcraft when I was younger, but after using one trial, I decided that I liked other MMOs, particularly Guild Wars, infinitely better. Good thing I didn't buy the game. Also good thing I waited until trials became boxed with every Blizzard game (got mine when I got Starcraft: Brood War, which I got later than everyone else).

  • Dave08Dave08 Greensboro, NCPosts: 67Member

    Originally posted by EverSkelly

    Originally posted by itgrowls

    brings in revenue, that actually gives more money to the devs so they can churn out more content

           

    You meant, even more cash shop items instead of a real content.

    If its a subscription model, devs need to put gameplay content in order for people to be interested and pay subscription.

    If it's a F2P, devs add more and more cash shop items instead of a game world content, because it's cash shop items that make money in f2p, not a subsriptions


     

    Couldn't have said it better.    

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Requiamer
    Well mmo market is in real bad shape now, its like 3 to 4 year already that no really good game boosted those numbers. So the number begin to show the decline.
    But imo f2p isn't a very good model either because it cannot finance large projects.

    What goes up, must go down at some point, sooner or later.

    This has nothing to do with 'no really good game boosting those numbers'. Online video game entertainment was, and still is, new industry so the rapid growth we have seen for past years is nothing unnatural. I would say we are experiencing 'consolidation' period now when the industry is adapting changes in game design as well as business models.

    Imo, simpler games, probably with cross platform support, and shorter production cycle will be released - WoT is shiny example how new generation of games could look like.

    This goes perfectly well with F2P model. F2P isn't bad model just because it is not suited for large projects. I would be very surprised if we see increasing trend in large budget games but if so, box fee + subscription + paid expansions + cash shop would be reasonable to expect considering the budgets such titles take.

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member

    Originally posted by Dave08



    Originally posted by EverSkelly

          


    You meant, even more cash shop items instead of a real content.

    If its a subscription model, devs need to put gameplay content in order for people to be interested and pay subscription.

    If it's a F2P, devs add more and more cash shop items instead of a game world content, because it's cash shop items that make money in f2p, not a subsriptions






     

    Couldn't have said it better.    

     

    Why do you assume cash shops don't offer gameplay content?  Unlockable areas, like in AoC or LOTRO?  I'd call unlockable classes and races "gameplay content" too, and don't mind seeing devs working on adding stuff like that.  Cash shops don't have to be all xp potions and neon hair dyes.  

     

    They can be more like DLC expansion stuff, and as such, can give devs more money and incentive to add gameplay content.  As opposed to a sub, where they get the same amount from everyone, no matter what they add.  Sure, they lose subs if they don't add anything, but that can seem more intangible, when they're losing subs for any number of other reasons at the same time.  

     

    Without the direct connection of purchasable content, publishers are more likely to cut their development funding, putting the game into a maintanence mode where they barely have the resources to regularly patch bugs and balance issues.

     

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • EverSkellyEverSkelly AlytusPosts: 334Member

    Originally posted by Vhaln   

     

    Why do you assume cash shops don't offer gameplay content?  Unlockable areas, like in AoC or LOTRO?  I'd call unlockable classes and races "gameplay content" too, and don't mind seeing devs working on adding stuff like that.  Cash shops don't have to be all xp potions and neon hair dyes.   

             

     Well, yes, but in a F2P they usually put stuff to the cash shop, not to the game world.

    Basically in F2P they just remove some content from a game and put it in a cash shop. They create artificial problems in game to take away fun and enjoyment, and then sell solutions for these problems in cash shops.

    They make leveling slow and painfull grind, but sell exp potions.

    They give the ability to enhance your gear, but you can fail and destroy the gear or enhancement item. You can buy non-fail ones in cash shop though.

    They create zones, but lock them. Want to exp in that exciting zone? Buy the zone in cash shop. 

    They create new races and classes, but you can't play them. Buy in cash shop.

    And so on. Not even talking about armor and weapons.

  • CasualMakerCasualMaker Somerset, NJPosts: 870Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by EverSkelly

    ...

    They create zones, but lock them. Want to exp in that exciting zone? Buy the zone in cash shop. 

    They create new races and classes, but you can't play them. Buy in cash shop.


     

    Sorry, I'm not really seeing how putting them on the in-game cash shop is so different from selling expansions and adventure packs on the company's web store or in retail boxes.

  • just1opinionjust1opinion Kansas City, MOPosts: 4,844Member

    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Originally posted by Sulaa

    Yeah article is bit biased.  Subscription overall revenue dropped because some games went F2P and apart of Rift there weren't any AAA or decent sub game in long time.  

     

    Try to shift few popular F2P games into P2P model and you will have less MT revenue and more sub revenue , it is that simple.

     

    Situation in article is merely reflection of some game companies decision and not becasue suddenly sub games are going down :/

    Going forward in the future it's going to be harder and harder to distinguish between the two models, with most titles employing some sort of hybrid.

    Take EQ 2 Extended, is it a F2P game?  Yes, you can go with a bronze sub and only do cash shop purchases.  But wait, you can buy a gold sub and pay a monthly 15.00 fee.  In fact, don't most other recent F2P conversions such as LOTRO also offer a sub model?  So where exactly do their revenues fall?

     

    GREAT point.

    President of The Marvelously Meowhead Fan Club

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