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What do you think of these tactics used in the mmo field? most notably in pay to play titles. The example I have is the demand for payment of a monthly sub or in-game consequences will follow. On FFXIV they are bringing in plans that if you don't pay your subscription (and as such unable to log-on) meaning you are not active for more than 35 days they will completely destroy very valuable in-game assets. Heavy punishment for taking a break or stopping payment for whatever reason. To me this sounded like "pay us or we break your car" because that's basically the message they are giving out.
This was brought up to me by my sister, who still plays FFXIV. Guild housing on that game is something that requires vast sums of in-game currency, many, many months of work by multiple people to obtain. They are planning to bring in a system where, if you take a break and stop your subscription for more than 35 days they simply destroy that housing completely and offer nothing back from that destruction. This is guild housing, however in a game where many players created small groups or family guilds to buy these houses or where many in the guild have simply now quit or are on breaks leaving on a small number of actives remaining this basically blackmails the few remaining players to continue their subscription (even if they plan to not play for a while) or lose a very valuable in-game asset. Basically put, "pay your monthy sub fast or we destroy your house". To me this comes off as very questionable tactics, I know these games need to try to force players to retain their subscription but is this really a valid tactic to be used? especially with such a short time frame of destruction of 35 days?
What's next, don't take a break from our game or we will delete your character in 35 days? Every month you're inactive we take a level away? One company getting away with tactics like this will spread if they are deemed successful. I took a break for over 4 months from Guild Wars 2, I recently went back and everything was just as I left it, nobody destroyed anything because I stopped spending money in the cash shop. Same applies to WoW where I haven't played for over a year, everything is just as when I left.
I hasten to add that on all the servers none of the housing plots are full, plus it's very easy to add more land space if they want to and they won't offer you anything back upon that destruction to rebuild if it you come back after 35 days either, there is no valid reason for this kind of draconian tactic other than to extort money out of players and blackmail them from taking unpaid breaks from the game of more than 35 days.
What do you all think of mmo companies using tactics like this?