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General: Smedley On Subscriptions - One for All and All for One

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 17,625MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

According to a new post by Sony Online entertainment's John Smedley, the gaming giant is considering a single subscription option for all players. Simply said, subscribe to one SOE game, subscribe to them all. Smedley made the remarks in response to recent changes to the premium subscription model.

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a Happy New Year! we're here back working hard to make cool stuff.

I wanted to give a little more insight into our thinking regarding the changes to the upcoming subscription plan.

I have been personally reading every post I can find about it and I understand there is a lot of FUD out there around it. So let me clear some things up and let you in on some of our thinking process.


The goals of our plan are very simple. Let players buy anything they want up to 2000 SC. It's fair to say that there aren't a lot of high priced items in the Planetside 2 shop, but that's kind of a good thing too. It's just when you look at it from the perspective of someone who's plan is changing they are right to ask "why is this good for me?".

We are discussing the feedback we've been getting and we are making some decisions regarding this today. Particularly around Player Studio items (yeah that was a bad idea) and we're talking about bundles as well. I promise that we are listening.

Why did we make this change? There were a few reasons really. First and foremost we wanted to let players get some of the larger items on the marketplace. People complain the other way on this all the time - they complain that the 500SC isn't enough for them to buy enough stuff. So we thought this would be a positive change.

Second - it helps us deal with some internal issues regarding accrual of balances of SC for people who aren't playing or spending. There are a lot of people who play and have SC in their wallets and don't spend it ever.. this accrues over time and it's a problem. Before the jaded among you cry out that this is really the most important reason - please don't judge just yet. It's actually not but I don't want to hide the fact that it's a part of it.

Third - we have a problem with a disparity between our console titles (which can't use Station Cash) and our PC Games. We can't do the same kind of promotions as easily on the PS3 and PS4. We're a lot more limited because we can't use Station Cash on there. So when we have a 3x sale on SC we have to do something different for our console titles. It's a pain in the neck to deal with this.

Fourth - And this is very important -

We are considering (and are likely going to move forward with) a plan that means if you subscribe to one of our games you are a subscriber to all our games (this applies to PC titles only btw).. all for the current $14.99 a month. That's a benefit most companies simply can't offer because they don't have our portfolio of games. The goal would be to let you pick an item in each game you play. Some of you might say "well who cares..I only play Planetside 2. How is that a benefit to me?" My answer is simple - we've got a great lineup of games, some of which aren't announced yet that cater to a lot of players. We have EQN and EQNL coming along with other..... games... that PS2 players might just like :)

I will do my best to keep up with this thread and answer questions as much as I can (a bit AMA style).


Head to this Reddit thread to read the entire AMA with Smed.

Thanks, Darkholme, for the tip!


Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom



  • RzepRzep warsawPosts: 730Member Uncommon
    If this happens I immediatly sub. Having the ability to play all the SOE stuff without restrictions would be awesome.
  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,342Member Uncommon
    One sub for all games, sounds like a real deal.  Hope they go through with this.  I have not subbed to a SOE game for a while, but this might give me a reason to.
  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    Considering free to play seems to be the way they are going it's probably a smart call to offer what they are. It gives their games a lot of value and lets them bring in $15 from someone that may otherwise spend nothing.

    Having sub access to all their games would make playing multiple soe games pretty appealing. Where normally when you tire of one you may as well go to any other free game on the market.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,440Member Uncommon
    A sub for all their games? Aren't they all FTP anyways?
    4ft Gaming Mouse Pad -
  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 17,625MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    If they do this, Smed can count me in for sure. Great deal.

    Associate Editor:
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  • NobleNerdNobleNerd Wolcott, NYPosts: 700Member Uncommon
    Concept sounds great, but I have not found even 1 SOE game worth playing longer than a month. Most are riddled with issues of performance, balance or out-dated-graphics and gameplay. SOOOO this would not interest me much with this developer.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Dauzqul
    A sub for all their games? Aren't they all FTP anyways?

    Are you asking because you're trying to troll bait a why do free games charge for things or do you legit not know about the SOE payment models and what they offer in their f2p games ?

  • udonudon Durham, NCPosts: 1,790Member Uncommon

    I think the things excluded from the list of items you can buy is telling as to a significant reason for this.  Once Landmark launches  people will be selling stuff for station cash and SOE will be paying them a percent of the sale.  Excluding these means that SOE forces the buyers to spend money on the items rather than banking station cash received from a subscription.  Assuming player made content is popular it could end up being significant for them.

  • cukimungacukimunga Dacono, COPosts: 2,259Member
    One subscription to rule them all.. Haha    Interesting concept im guessing they won't take off the limitations to all the FTP games so basically they just want to try and get people to sub for EQN.    But if they drop the restrictions for the FTP games then count me in.
  • WellspringWellspring Charlotte, NCPosts: 129Member Uncommon
    Didn't they already do something like this with Station Pass or whatever?
  • stragen001stragen001 ReadingPosts: 1,720Member Uncommon
    They wouldn't be offering one sub for all games if they actually had any good games that people would pay a sub for on their own.

    Also, you can bet your ass that when EQN is released it either won't be included.

    This is just a way for them to try and keep cashflow up while they are developing EQN

    Cluck Cluck, Gibber Gibber, My Old Mans A Mushroom

  • steelheartxsteelheartx Biloxi, MSPosts: 433Member Uncommon
    Wonder what happens to those who have save 1000's of Station Cash prior to this?

    Looking for a family that you can game with for life? Check out Grievance at !

  • azarhalazarhal Somewhere, BCPosts: 813Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rzep
    If this happens I immediatly sub. Having the ability to play all the SOE stuff without restrictions would be awesome.

    You know, it's just a 5$ cheaper "All Access" subscription, by this I mean that you can already play all SOE games (well Free Realms, EQ1, EQ2, PS1, PS2, DCUO, Vanguard, Clone War Adventure) for 20$/Month (or 15$/month for 12 months) without restrictions. You also received the 500SC/month (worth 5$) with All Access, the Feb changes remove that (but you get the same deals in exchange, for example if you play EQ2, EQ2 and PS2 you get to pick one item worth 2000SC in each games each months).

    I'm not sure if the new system would include the games they aren't their own (Dragon's Prophet and Wizardry Online).


  • KarahandrasKarahandras Sible HedinghamPosts: 1,683Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wellspring
    Didn't they already do something like this with Station Pass or whatever?

    I believe so(but at $19.95 i think).

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 9,085Member Uncommon

    Well there are still several problems lying right there that he is avoiding and knows full well what they are.

    First of all "a mistake"pfft he can't honestly tell me he thought for any  second that cash shops are a fair idea.

    The problem is that subscribing to a SOE game means nothing,there are always going to be stuff YOU WANT" and will have to pay extra to get,so it is STILL a cash shop game.

    ALL of their "gaming news" is NOT news it is ALWAYS advertising.They send me emails it is to sell me something or tell me about some sale on SC.

    The going standard for a cash shop game is FREE,then start grinding money from players pockets.SOE is trying to make it sound like a good thing by giving them a 15 buck sub fee to immediately start using their cash shops lol.

    As for those with tons of SC ,sitting on it,i was one of those players,i don't play SOE anymore but i still have a ton of SC saved up.They make it sound like a problem,well you can't have your cake and eat it too,you wanted to find a way to mislead spending and now you are worried players might have enough saved up to play for free for a long time.

    What Smedley was REALLY hoping is that you spend 15 bucks sub fee AND spend that  500SC and or more.SO now he is worried and might incur a limit on spending lol.Tha tgtells me he plans on HUGE advantages incoming for ther cash shop and that is why he doesn't want all those sitting on tons of SC to be ready to take advantage of it.

    Samoan Diamond

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,539Member Uncommon
    Isn't it only $20 now to sub to all their games? $5 price decrease isn't that big of news. That is a pretty sweet deal though.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 9,085Member Uncommon

    I am really lousy with wording my ideas,i don't pretend to be an English major.

    After i thought about it,it is simpler to just say Smedley is planning on some real advantages for cash shop use.This is why it is easy for him to say give us 15 bucks because it opens the door to players possibly using the cash shop for SEVERAL games instead of one.After all if you were only going to spend on one game the 15 sub fee,now he has you at least thinking of spending MORE.Not only in more games but there will also be a huge push on cash shop even in that one game you planned on playing.

    So you give him 15 a month PLUS spend more on SC and all with the intention of only playing one game.Even if you play more,most likely you would NOT have subbed to those anyhow,so they are banking on getting more cash shop from you for those other games.

    It all adds up to "possibly" or "VERY possibly" getting more money from you than you originally planned on spending.

    This is like 100 year old marketing,like when you go to the store and they tell you how much you are saving.Buy 5 bag of chips for 10 bucks,they were regular $3 bucks each so would cost you 15 bucks.The reality is you are not saving a single penny because your intention was to buy ONE bag at 3 bucks,not spend 10 bucks on chips.

    Samoan Diamond

  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLPosts: 20,418Member Rare
    5 bucks off and everyone's going crazy for it? I just don't see it.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    I don't play games, I inhabit virtual worlds™
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • OG_ZorvanOG_Zorvan Fresno, CAPosts: 615Member
    Originally posted by SBFord


    Particularly around Player Studio items (yeah that was a bad idea) and we're talking about bundles as well. I promise that we are listening.

    I take that to mean Player Studio is going bye-bye. Good.

    Bad enough nickel and diming players with "professional" made items, trying to nickel and dime players with amateur crap is worse.

    EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SBFord
    If they do this, Smed can count me in for sure. Great deal.

    I do not see it as a good deal. I am on SOE All Access right now, and have been  for years. I keep meaning to play the games but do not get around to it and have accrued loads of SC in the process. I would have cancelled the sub at times, if it was not for the fact that I am in the UK and SOE All Access was pulled from the EU market during the PSS1 shenanigans, so could not cancel as could not resub All Access and probably would lose access to DCUO as All Access kept me a SOE customer and not a PSS1 customer.

    The current deal you could let your SC build up and then get whatever you want when you are ready, and could even spend 2500SC after 5 months, now you will not be able to spend more then 2000 SC. If there is anything you want now that costs more than 2000SC you will have to spend more to buy it, and if something is 2500SC it does not seem like you can buy 500SC to top it up, if you want something that is 2500SC you will have to buy 2500 SC with real money.

    I may even cancel the sub once this goes through and then use up the SC I have, and play for free for a while

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,594Member Uncommon

    I don't think the deal is that sweet and here is why:

    1. The 2000SC voucher, as of this point, can only be used on one item per month. Most of the SoE stable of games have a bunch of small things monetized in their cash shop. Many of the items, especially when you play long term, are far less than 2000SC. Many good mounts are are 950 - 1250 SC. How many mounts do you really need? Many of the premium housing deeds are greater than 2000SC and you can't use it in combo with other SC.

    2. The SC accrual is a problem for SoE why? People are paying $15 for 500SC, and only if they buy a recurring subscription. There is a 50,000SC cap you can have. So no matter what you can't have more than $500 worth of SC. The problem is they want to offer higher SC items but not have people use accrued SC to pay for them. They want to generate revenue for high ticket items right then. This new system allows them to do that very thing.

    3. Player created items, bundles, and services are excluded from the 2000SC voucher.

    4. If you play long term and have enough mounts and higher ticket items like I mentioned above much of what you buy often are many lower priced items. It is a means to push subscribers towards additional SC purchases.

    5. You must use your 2000SC voucher every month or lose it.

    6. I could already use the 500SC accumulated through my EQ2 sub for any game I wanted, and did with Dragon's Prophet.


    I won't lie, I'm a SC hoarder and I like to buy a lot of small things at once. The Gold member benefits plus a small SC stipend are what made that deal worth it to me. Without that it's not. I would rather buy the occasional SC purchase at this point.

    While I did see people ask for more of a stipend in threads about improving Gold membership, no one ever really asked to have the stipend removed in favor of a more restrictive voucher.

    Overall, this change benefits people who play several SoE games and those who play one that like to make a single large purchase rather than many small ones. That's not me so I cancelled my sub. I'm still playing EQ2, but no amount of "AWESOME SAUCE" poured all over the top makes this attractive to me.

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,577Member Uncommon

    Didn't they already do that at one time with their Station Pass? It was a great idea.

    To see Smedley do something of a 180 on his previous stance on Subs (that they were "going bye-bye"), is a positive, though.

    A flat sub fee to avoid all the limits and restrictions of a nickel-and-dime F2P system? Hell yes. I ain't gonna complain!



  • IkedaIkeda Largo, FLPosts: 2,288Member Uncommon
    I'll admit.. I was all-access and a SC horder.  I bought every DCUO expansion with my horde.  This news is kinda good, kinda sad.  I like the all-access drop.  I don't care for the loss of my SC though.  That seems unfair.
  • ZombieKenZombieKen Northwest, INPosts: 5,034Member Uncommon

    It doesn't do much for me.


    I can't think of one SOE game that would get me excited about subscribing, let alone two or more.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • AbimorAbimor phoenix, AZPosts: 335Member Uncommon
    So how is this going to work? I have 7500 sc about 1500 is saved from my subscription the rest I have bought when it goes on sale. I cant help but feel I am being ripped off if they take it away.
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