How Can MMOs Be Monetized Fairly? a Column at MMORPG.com

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelMMORPG.COM Staff LegendaryPosts: 25,833
edited August 2016 in News & Features Discussion

imageHow Can MMOs Be Monetized Fairly? a Column at MMORPG.com

What’s the best way to monetize an MMO and have it be seen as fair by the players? This is a question that’s no doubt going to ruffle a few feathers and create a few competing comments, but our own Lewis Burnell is brave enough to tackle the topic in his column this week.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Valve Corporation Member LegendaryPosts: 9,758
    Separating the MMO business from shareholders is a good start.

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  • observerobserver Member RarePosts: 3,675
    edited August 2016
    There should be a balance between the actual gameplay and quick cash grabs.  If these monetization schemes can provide great gameplay, then i'm all for them.  This doesn't seem to be the case though for some of them, i.e., immersion-breaking costumes (TERA & FFXIV:ARR for instance), RNG lockboxes,  etc.

    I don't mind boosted buffs being sold, or optional subscriptions that give better benefits, because those actually contribute to the gameplay itself.
    Post edited by observer on
  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member EpicPosts: 3,604
    edited August 2016
    Business model I prefer? P2P without cash shop? Oh right, forgot those dont exist anymore either. People defend FFXIV's cash shop since its cosmetic and are perfectly fine if SE keeps pulling previous seasonal stuff just to sell in the shop which they update on a monthly basis and replace those previous items with trash in comparison. I may not care much for WoW on a long term basis, but at least they dont pull junk like that or update their cash shop nearly as much. You give companies string and they just take off running till it runs out.
    Post edited by Albatroes on
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,897
    edited August 2016
    You either pay or don't pay, it isn't a matter of "fairness".
    Post edited by Gdemami on
  • KellerKeller UtrechtMember UncommonPosts: 423
    A MMORPG = Subscription

    Personally I sleep better when I know I've spent $15 on a monthly subscription then when I've spent $10 on an extra bagslot. So feeling compelled to log on to a game because I have a subscription is a false reason. On average a player spends way more on a f2p game than a subscription of 12 x $15 would be. Usually at start you need to unlock as a free player, extra bagslots, extra character slot, cosmetic appearance slot, some mechanic tied to crafting, extra vault storage space, being able to sell on the AH, etc. They want money from you before you even have tested the game properly. $15 seems right to test a game.


  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 6,001
    I like the GW2 model. They should experiment with the sub models. How about a week sub or just a weekend sub.

    "Change is the only constant."

  • GladDogGladDog Pottstown, PAMember RarePosts: 845
    I still thing ESO has the correct business model for most games.  B2P, you can sub or purchase DLC as you go.  Or not pay anything.  It is entirely up to you.  There are a lot of games out there that would get a real boost with this monetization system.


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  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,680
    I like the GW2 model. They should experiment with the sub models. How about a week sub or just a weekend sub.

    You mean like some games do?  The problem with that is the idiots.  In the past, people have suggested daily rates and here is where they go stupid.  They suggest Monthly Fee/30 as the daily rate.  So 15.00 would be 50 cents per day.  Just plain stupid.

    Make it 2 dollars per day Or some interesting choice they have to make between the various rates offered.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,680
    Everyone should pay.

    If you are allowing freeloaders, then to be "fair" they don't get a say.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLMember RarePosts: 2,958
    My preferred system is:

    1. Pay for the game;
    2, No monthly subscription;
    3. Shop that has cosmetic items only (e.g., armor skins, not armor); and
    4. Expansions cost extra.

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • danwest58danwest58 Cincinnati, OHMember RarePosts: 1,706
    A Sub without a cash shop is the ONLY FAIR model period. No one is a freeloader that requires a cash shop so a paying player can pay for the player not paying. Everyone Pays or you dont play.

    Now Yes we can talk about Subs coming down to about a $10 a month sub with a box cost. That is also fair.

    The Cash shop is a bunch of crap because MMORPGs spend too much time developing things for the cash shop. Its better just to not have a cash shop and just have a sub + Box. Yep prices could come down to $30 to $60 base game and $10 Subs. There is no reason why people cannot come up with a $10 sub. Hell a min wage job work 2 hours and you have your sub money.
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Cambridge, MAMember UncommonPosts: 1,032
    I'd prefer monthly subscription that is high and cash shop for cosmetics if necessary, and a good game with no bots or hacks. I'd pay $40+ a month for that.
  • TalulaRoseTalulaRose Long Island, NYMember RarePosts: 1,053
    "Fairly" is not something you will be able to get the MMO community to agree on.

    I don't see an issue personally. If a company does something I don't agree with I don't give them money.
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Valve Corporation Member LegendaryPosts: 9,758
    I do not think an MMO can survive much less thrive with just a box and sub. Some people here are even saying to lower the sub price.
    Game development cost's have sky rocketed over the years yet games remain virtually the same price. The market has shifted and publishers are struggling to keep a positive residual income flowing in that pays for the overhead of running an always on game that needs constant updates and attention. Yes 'back in the day' it was possible but things have grown more expensive. In the genre's infancy it was possible but now.
    Box,Sub and a cosmetic cash shop is fine. ESO does a decent job but they even have had to add loot boxes now to make up costs. It is not always just about making more and more money. Sometimes it is just about paying the bills and having enough money to keep your people employed to create new content.

    Some are suggesting paying a higher sub fee on top of a box price. That I think is fair. I know many of us here would willingly pay $20 to $25 USD a month for a good game. If it had a box price of say $40 tp $50 and a sub of $20 to $25 or so that would perhaps generate a steady enough flow of income to keep a game running for some time all while affording the developer the cash to create new content. 

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  • ScorchienScorchien Hatboro, PAMember EpicPosts: 4,027
    Separating the MMO business from shareholders is a good start.
    no:)
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Valve Corporation Member LegendaryPosts: 9,758
    Scorchien said:
    Separating the MMO business from shareholders is a good start.
    no:)
    That is what every Indie studio is doing

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  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,897
    blueturtle13 said:
    That is what every Indie studio is doing
    No, that is what every investor is doing....but I guess it sounds better the other way round.
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Valve Corporation Member LegendaryPosts: 9,758
    Gdemami said:
    blueturtle13 said:
    That is what every Indie studio is doing
    No, that is what every investor is doing....but I guess it sounds better the other way round.
    So you consider Kickstarter backers Investors?

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  • danwest58danwest58 Cincinnati, OHMember RarePosts: 1,706
    I do not think an MMO can survive much less thrive with just a box and sub. Some people here are even saying to lower the sub price.
    Game development cost's have sky rocketed over the years yet games remain virtually the same price. The market has shifted and publishers are struggling to keep a positive residual income flowing in that pays for the overhead of running an always on game that needs constant updates and attention. Yes 'back in the day' it was possible but things have grown more expensive. In the genre's infancy it was possible but now.
    Box,Sub and a cosmetic cash shop is fine. ESO does a decent job but they even have had to add loot boxes now to make up costs. It is not always just about making more and more money. Sometimes it is just about paying the bills and having enough money to keep your people employed to create new content.

    Some are suggesting paying a higher sub fee on top of a box price. That I think is fair. I know many of us here would willingly pay $20 to $25 USD a month for a good game. If it had a box price of say $40 tp $50 and a sub of $20 to $25 or so that would perhaps generate a steady enough flow of income to keep a game running for some time all while affording the developer the cash to create new content. 

    Yes an MMO Can survive on a sub.  Its simple.  Dont make an MMO that cost $100+ million, and dont have Stockholder Publishers.  Its not really that hard.  Most of the cost come into play when we keep trying to copy and paste WOW and make it more modern.  

    We do need a polished good MMO but it does not need to cost Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to do.  If an MMO can come out at 75 Million with 500K Subs it will make the money back in 2 years on a $15 a month sub, that is not included Box Price.  The Problem is look at what SWTOR cost and how piss poor that game was and how small it felt.  Shit UO which was the first MMO was much larger than SWTOR.  


  • WarEnsembleWarEnsemble Member UncommonPosts: 34
    I do not mind all of the options. I tend to favor subscription based games and dont mind the micropay as long as they don't make it a requirement. IMO, Everquest 1 is the perfect solution. Subscription with an item shop that GREAT benefits, but as a subscription player, you receive free in game currency every month, so nothing actually REQUIRES real money.
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 6,001
    waynejr2 said:
    I like the GW2 model. They should experiment with the sub models. How about a week sub or just a weekend sub.

    You mean like some games do?  The problem with that is the idiots.  In the past, people have suggested daily rates and here is where they go stupid.  They suggest Monthly Fee/30 as the daily rate.  So 15.00 would be 50 cents per day.  Just plain stupid.

    Make it 2 dollars per day Or some interesting choice they have to make between the various rates offered.
    I would pay six dollars for a three day weekend of play.  That way I could get caught up on my game play characters and if it took longer I could add a month sub on to that, or not.

    "Change is the only constant."

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 10,198
    Gdemami said:
    blueturtle13 said:
    That is what every Indie studio is doing
    No, that is what every investor is doing....but I guess it sounds better the other way round.
    So you consider Kickstarter backers Investors?
    Apparently they're the new type of investor who take all the risk and don't share in the profits... weren't those types of investors called "marks" once upon a time? :)
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  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,897
    edited August 2016
    blueturtle13 said:
    So you consider Kickstarter backers Investors?
    Huh?

    Of course backers are not investors, that is why they are turning to them in the first place, because no investor is going to give them money. Well, maybe second place since KS is money with no liability...who wouldn't want that?!

    But it sounds better to say "We do not want them" rather than "They do not want us" or "We do not want to be accountable"...
    Post edited by Gdemami on
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 6,001
    Gdemami said:
    blueturtle13 said:
    That is what every Indie studio is doing
    No, that is what every investor is doing....but I guess it sounds better the other way round.
    So you consider Kickstarter backers Investors?
    I do.  Games have to have some kind of over-site.  Usually it's whoever supplies funding.  What would happen if the main backers lost faith in a project and left and/or got refunds and the others who were thinking about backing saw this?  

    "Change is the only constant."

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 14,767
    I do not think an MMO can survive much less thrive with just a box and sub. Some people here are even saying to lower the sub price.
    Game development cost's have sky rocketed over the years yet games remain virtually the same price. The market has shifted and publishers are struggling to keep a positive residual income flowing in that pays for the overhead of running an always on game that needs constant updates and attention. Yes 'back in the day' it was possible but things have grown more expensive. In the genre's infancy it was possible but now.
    Box,Sub and a cosmetic cash shop is fine. ESO does a decent job but they even have had to add loot boxes now to make up costs. It is not always just about making more and more money. Sometimes it is just about paying the bills and having enough money to keep your people employed to create new content.

    Some are suggesting paying a higher sub fee on top of a box price. That I think is fair. I know many of us here would willingly pay $20 to $25 USD a month for a good game. If it had a box price of say $40 tp $50 and a sub of $20 to $25 or so that would perhaps generate a steady enough flow of income to keep a game running for some time all while affording the developer the cash to create new content. 
    I think mmos charge too much, way more than their online components warrant. Single player games or games with single player and multiplayer components operate on a much smaller revenue chunk per person.

    Think about how much your typical MMO wants you to spend a year and compare that to how much more entertainment you can buy that aren't mmos.

    Annual sub at $15 / mo = $180 annually. If it were $25 that would be $300.

    Then there are box / xpac fees. Let's say that's $60 annually.

    Then there are digital extras. Let's not even count those for now.

    So an MMO would like us to spend about $240 per year per game at the very minimum (or $360/yr at the higher rate). Are they really delivering $240 a year in entertainment? That's more than my annual Netflix bill and I get way more out of it than any single mmo.

    Maybe the industry needs a paradigm shift away from spending $300M on a game and then expecting billions in return. We may have moved on from trying to create WoW clones, but I think the industry is still chasing that carrot. It's just trying a bunch of different stuff now hoping for that WoW / LoL / GTA payout.
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