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This idea would fail horribly (and has failed already when EQ did it)
The psychology of human spending is why.
People who pay premium services have *higher expectations* on all fronts, better support, betterer peformance, better graphics, better gameplay, better everything.
This leads to disappointment because higher expectations are subjective and thus almost impossible to fullfill, unless there was a game that was head and shoulders better than anything on the market (doesn't exist).
So no it doesn't work, it leads to players canceling quickly because of unmet higher expectations.
I put just looking.
Speculating about this "premium" game that does everything unbelievably well is nice and all, but . . . show me the game.
It's a tall order to tell people that a game will cost more than other games on the market if it isn't obviously far and away a better game.
There four features don't mean much:
Polished game from day one
This shouldn't be premium, this is expected. The fact that we (gamers) allow games to release in such poor condition and then continue to give them money is our failing as consumers. When something is released for public consumption we should receive a working product. This is typically not the case, but that doesn't make this feature "premium." So no, I wouldn't pay more for this to happen, this should always be happening.
Fully developed game world with extensive lore
I'm not sure what this means. Actually, I know what you're saying . . . depth to races, history, deities, classes, environment and so on. But most games do this, at least in developer's minds. That's where you're going to run into issues between expectations and reality. If you ask Trion if they felt that Rift was fully developed with extensive lore, they would say yes. A good amount of people would agree with that too. But Rift is far from premium in this regard - it's actually quite mediocre. Just because something is developed and extensive doesn't mean you find value and quality in it.
Regular monthly content updates (sizeable)
This is something I feel safe in assuming, that we all want. But again, who determines sizable? ANET feels they give a lot of content in their biweekly updates. Again, the amount of work that goes into something might be quite sizeable, but how is it perceived by the gamers? Does "sizeable" equate to major WoW patches where you get a new raid and 2-3 new dungeons and a new zone? If it's something on that level, they'll need an army to produce it (and I don't think an extra $10 per person is going to pay for it).
Which is another issue being overlooked in the "premium MMO" desire. You think more money means more money goes to development. More money might mean bigger dividends to the investors, or funding a second team which works on another game, or general administration, or who knows what. This is again, something that would be out of our control - yes, you can just stop playing, but then you're right back here talking about wanting a game that satisfies you.
Plentiful GM interaction including GM run events in game
Could be cool, and I've seen in a few times in my many years playing MMO's, but just like the sizeable updates issue above, this costs money and what happens if this content isn't compelling enough to get enough player participation? I know it's supposed to a given, that it will be compelling in your dream MMO, but you can't dictate player behavior and if you make this content more valuable to player time, then people will ignore other content which would signal to the developers to stop spending time on that other content. It's a difficult balance and one of the major reasons we've seen MMO's take the direction they've taken.
Developers track players use of the game world and determine what is and isn't worth spending time/money on and they reduce or eliminate it completely.
Anyway, I'm not opposed to the idea of a premium MMO, but I'd have to see it before I believed it.
Originally posted by Morrok Originally posted by Slapshot1188 People spend 40+ hours a week playing games. 160+ hours a month. That's under 10 cents per hour.
I have a job, and a family. I spend probably 20-25 hours a week playing games and have zero trouble balancing any of the above. I did not say EVERYBODY spends 40+ hours in a game, but many actually do.
Originally posted by Slapshot1188 I don't think it's possible to create enough quality content to keep up with the rate of consumption and stick to a $15 price point. Heck, I don't know if $25 could do it.
Now, you have stated a few interesting points about what you define as "premium". But i was missing in that list the background research of the marketability of the product. Crafting system? (does it include the crafters) PvP? what type, how? (which crowd are you serving, can't please all) Economy? Stuff like that.
I would consider that none of the above things you mention have anything to do with whether a game is "premium". Those items you list would determine if it was a game type that I would play, just like a decision on whether to play a sci-fi or fantasy game.
Any package (the game and the service around it as you defined as "premuim" above) has also to compete for, and in most cases share with other activities, the player's time. A picture i like is comparing a game to going to the movies. And a game sub, if it's to compete with other activities for my money shouldn't cost more, in absolute numbers, not relatively speaking.
So you can go spend (even at your minimal numbers above 8*4 weeks) 32 hours at a movie for $15? Heck if that's true you are absolutely correct. But actually we know that is not true and it's a silly argument to even try and make. you are actually making the argument that games should charge $15 to play them for a day...since that would equate with the movie experience in "absolute numbers"
It is easy to say "i would pay more", people do say the same thing about organic food. But if they are in a supermarket, and given the choice between cheaper conventional and more expensive organic food, most people buy the cheaper one. Same is true for games - true "stand apart features", that only THIS ONE game has and which would "warrant" a higher price, are seldom to non-existant.
Raise the sub, and other activities will become more attractive. Even moreso, if you consider that many a player - especially with a family - does include the family/kids (if he wants to keep playing "his" game, he'd better!) and the sub cost is multiplied by 2 or 3.
Yes and there are literally hundreds unpon hundreds of options for people that cannot afford $25 sub fees. In no way shape or form am I suggesting that every game must have a premium subscription. I could play a new F2P game every day for a year and I would not run out of them.
20EUR/USD isn't much, yes. 25EUR/USD isn't that much more (but still 25% more!). But even small amounts of money are a lot when the times are hard. Look at Greece, Portugal - heck look at the US middle-class which is disappearing. A sub is the first "optional" thing (or second after going to the movies) to save, the choice is easier the higher the sub price is.
So we're at the core of the pricing issue (which is valid for any tradeable product): Where is the price at which the sold products make the most money? As price goes up, demand naturally goes down so overall revenue might be higher at a lower price. And that's what i think is true with sub prices when comparing 15 to 20 or 25EUR/USD.
But the flip side is that when a pricepoint is utterly SATURATED, a smart brand can distiguish itself by providing a premium experience and charging for it. We do not all drive Kias. There is actually a robust market for premium cars. Not for everyone, but a thriving market exists.
Originally posted by Slapshot1188 Flip side to this might also be to include an option to purchase X hours at a time for people that do not play large amounts of time. So a truely casual player who can only play 10 hours a week might be able to purchase 40 hours gametime for $15 or so.
And "renting" the game for only a few hours isn't all that popular despite the (entertainment) industry trying to not only nudge but shove customers in that direction. People really want to go online when they can, without having to consider additional costs, that's why "flatrates" (mobile phones, internet provider) and subscriptions are prefered.
Strange analogy. I can drive to the store right now and buy a phone with T-Mobile. I can buy a wide range of plans that stretch from unlimited voice/data, to X hours voice and X GB data, to pay by the day, to pay by the minute. All of those exist from the same wireless phone company and all make sense for different people. For instance my own phone is on an unlimited plan, my youngest childs is on a pay by the minute because he only needs it in an emergency.
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Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)
Hell I'd go up to $50 a month if it was that good. This also would entirely depend on there being no cash shop period, everything is actually earned in game.
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I would gladly pay for a premium MMO. For the first year or two that I played UO I remember plenty of GM interaction and random events. It's probably what kept everyone there. The GM interaction drastically died down before Trammel came out though.
I'd hope if paying that much there would be plenty of free content updates and not too many paid expansions per year.
Either way, if it looks like I'd enjoy it, I'd give it a chance without hesitation.
Originally posted by LoktofeitOriginally posted by AlBQuirkyAt that price, I would like (but highly doubt) free expansions when they come out.
Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.- FARGIN_WAR
Originally posted by AlBQuirky Originally posted by Loktofeit Originally posted by AlBQuirky At that price, I would like (but highly doubt) free expansions when they come out.
Is it cutting out or simply not tacking on?
There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein"Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre
Will probably never happen though.
This is almost as naive a question as that posed in the thread "when did MMOs become all about making money". Companies will select pricing models to maximise profits, simple as that. If 'pile it high sell it cheap' nets most profit that is what they will do even if their game is more amazing than real life.
It is worth pointing out too, that budget and how 'good' a game is are pretty unrelated too.
This is really a 'fantasy' question, though the attached poll suggested it might not be meant that way.
Lets assume said premium game reached 2 million subscription players (consistent) at 20 dollars a month + initial box price of $60.
Box revenue = $120,000,000
Second month on of subs = $40,000,000
Can you imagine how much that kind of money can do for a game?
EQ did something similar 10 years ago
the price? $40.00 / month
this was back when EQ was only 10.00/month back in 2002
the legends server lasted 3 years and shutdown in 2005
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I think this thread proceeds from a faulty premise: that raising the prices will lead to a larger budget. It's not like the cost of an MMO comes from hand-crafting each individual player's experience. If you have half as many people each paying twice as much, there's zero change in revenue - those players will be getting nothing out of their higher fees.
I think the deciding factor really would be how good the game itself is, how much it costs to play it, would be a determining factor in terms of whether it was competitive with other games of its type, end of the day the game would have to be a lot better than its peers to charge double the going rate for a P2P game.
What could they offer that other games don't already, the first thing that springs to mind would be in game voice comms, and i don't mean just for a dungeon/party group, but everywhere. The game would have to have features that other 'regular' games just don't have.
I guess it boils down to what you consider to be a "Premium MMO experience" which isnt really that easy to define, as some would consider that to be what you already get in regular P2P games.
The hoping that a higher price point would keep the kids out, which unless the game had an age restriction anyway, just wouldnt work, although it might well preclude people on a low income, most kids have access to the 'bank of mom and dad' which is far more resilient to price increases, especially if it means buying a few hours of peace and quiet.
On a last note, i don't currently know of any game in existance that would warrant a sub of over £10, or $15 or more, the tech just doesnt exist yet.
Originally posted by maplestone I think this thread proceeds from a faulty premise: that raising the prices will lead to a larger budget. It's not like the cost of an MMO comes from hand-crafting each individual player's experience. If you have half as many people each paying twice as much, there's zero change in revenue - those players will be getting nothing out of their higher fees.
True but thats also making alot of assumptions that charging more (or subbing at all) will directly result in a 1:1 drop in subscribers. I can agree that at this time, imo, existing subscription games do not earn their subscription price.
Most games have a lower limit on hardcore fans who enjoy the game regardless of a fair price business model, above that is variation in business models to balance other players expectations enough to join or stay with the game.
Personally, as some have mentioned, companies need to offer different plans. A mix of P2P, B2P, F2P just to open the game up to as many customers as possible much like other major forms of media.
4 accounts * 17$ per month = 68 $
Used to play Anarchy Online with price tag like that,no problem.
Then add cash shop in to that formula and i have 4 cash shops in my home ,bye.
was not really polished game at all,but they had such an immersive world that it was definitely worth it.
So, did ESO have a successful launch? Yes, yes it did.By Ryan Getchell on April 02, 2014.**On the radar:http://cyberpunk.net/**
For the right MMO experience I would have no problem with that. I already spend much more on movies and they have less entertainment value than a good mmo.
Originally posted by PAL-18 4 accounts * 17$ per month = 68 $ Used to play Anarchy Online with price tag like that,no problem. Then add cash shop in to that formula and i have 4 cash shops in my home ,bye. was not really polished game at all,but they had such an immersive world that it was definitely worth it. Would you pay for a Premium MMO experience? Yes.
There are a lot of people who go the multiple sub route in a game but refuse to play one with a cash shop. Good point.
I would maybe pay 5 dollars a month, that's considering there aren't anyother fun options out there. 10 cent an hour...well pending on time not many have time for 10 cent an hour, maybe if it literally charged me 10 cent an hour I'd pay for the premium dream mmo experience that has never existed and has yet to exist(not expecting it to next year or the year after).
Meaning I'd play for an hour and it takes 10 cent from my account.
So to your question, no, but however if it was an price that means the game would last in the future these days, not the past, then sure I'd pay yearly(15 - 20 dollars) or 5 dollars maybe, a month. Otherwise no game is worth it cause those that try won't last long unless the devs are stubborn and/or the game made it in time(WoW and before). Won't be paying monthly for a great game to then go b2p or f2p in the future, nope.
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P2P LOGIC = If it's P2P it means longevity, overall better game, and THE BEST SUPPORT EVER!!!!!(Which has been rinsed and repeated about a thousand times)
Common Sense Logic = P2P logic is no better than F2P Logic.
Would never pay so much money to play a game, its not a car or a house payment, it's a game! Guild wars 2 seems like it's doing fine with no sub and they bring out a lot of new stuff on a frequent basis (at least when I played). I can cope with a sub when its an acceptable amount (maybe $5, no more specially when one has already paid $50 or $60 for the game itself) and $25 sub is way too much to pay for a game. In a way it is quite funny the enormous amount of greed direction the major publishers are heading and people are eating it like it's candy (although I believe some people are willing to pay higher subs I also suspect some people are just saying that on foruns and the gaming scene on behalf of "someone" to scout the market), we've got to a point where we pay for the games + sub + if we want to sell it/ loan it/ give it away to a friend you can't bought you bought a licence I think its ridiculous and that paying more will only get stockholders more profits it will not reflect the quality and quantity of the gaming experience.
Someone mentioned what they pay for cable as an example around $140, well I can watch a movie with my girlfriend, a show with the kids, some sports with my mates and for that price will probably get a "gazillion" channels about different subjects (don't want to get in to the quality of what they broadcast it may be somewhat relevant but goes a bit out of the scope of the discussion). With a game only I will play it (if the girlfriend wants to play she'll have to have her own acc + the kids + the mates). To say "oh its only 10cents an hour" is oversimplifying the core of the subject. On top of that to play the game you have to have internet so you would also have to add that to the final price.
I think companies should worry more about delivering finished, polished, ready to use products (when I buy any faulty product I can return it or get a new working one) than to try to milk us, they are not a dying industry, far, far from it according to revenue numbers....
Just my 2 cents
Originally posted by Slapshot1188 Lot's of people are complaining about the shift to subs for future games. Personally I think the $14.99 price point is too low for a truely premium experience. Am I alone? By "premium" I mean: Polished game from day one Fully developed game world with extensive lore Regular monthly content updates (sizeable) Plentiful GM interaction including GM run events in game
Yes I would. I'd pay quite a bit to insure a game like that.
What I wouldn't do is pay for many games like that.