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why do MMOs have a subscription fee?

shr4pnelshr4pnel Member UncommonPosts: 99

To help pay for servers? Then how come online games like the Battlefield or Call of Duty or Counterstrike series can exist without monthly fees? They've done away with monthly fees for what, 10 years now?

So that new content will be released? Then how come every other non-MMO game can release a DLC or expansion without charging a monthly fee? You can go to the Steam website and look at all the no-monthly fee games and see their developers releasing DLCs and new expansions for their game without having to be motivated by its players paying a monthly fee.

So what's the reason really?

«1345

Comments

  • OminousDawnOminousDawn Member Posts: 75

     

    The games without subscription fees charge for the DLC's, shop items, and other add-ons, the ones with subscriptions fees generally do not.

    Just  a different payment method, is all.

    The game you are looking for requiring no PvE completion and where you can just jump in and start mindlessly shooting at people is that way - >>>>

    ... it's called an FPS.

    Quit ruining the MMORPG genre with your constant "PvE grind" whines.

  • NadiaNadia Member UncommonPosts: 11,798

    different business models

     

    Jeff Strain commentary from 7 years ago

    http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

    In the early years of the MMO industry, from roughly 1997 to 2001, there were a few big MMOs that had active player populations. By the time we started ArenaNet in the summer of 2000, we knew of at least eighty MMOs that were in development. Based on the success of UO and EQ, publishers were reviewing their portfolios and planning to migrate their existing game franchises to the online world, where they believed they could adopt a subscription model and "make bank".

    Clearly, it did not work out that way. As more MMOs came into the market, two things changed. First, players now had a choice about which game they would play, and as a result their expectations for polish, content quantity, and service increased substantially. Second, and perhaps more telling for the future of the industry, it became clear that the subscription model forced players to choose a single game, rather than playing many different games.

    Gamers will no longer buy the argument that every MMO requires a subscription fee to offset server and bandwidth costs. It's not true – you know it, and they know it. Gamers may buy the argument that your MMO requires a subscription fee, if you can tell them what they are getting for their money. This is the legacy of games like Guild Wars, Maple Story, and Silkroad Online, all of which introduced new business models into the MMO genre and were quite successful. The subscription model is still perfectly viable, but the pain threshold is very low now. It's no secret that gamers don't want to pay a subscription fee. If you can convince them that your game offers enough value to justify it, more power to you! But be prepared to defend your decision, often and loudly, and back it up over the lifetime of your game.

     

  • hallucigenocidehallucigenocide Member RarePosts: 1,015
    to continue giving more content,paying a salary to those working on it and lots of other stuff... games without subs get their income through other means such as cash shops.. no one is going to release a game for free without a means of milking their player base for money somehow.. making them cost money and so does maintaining them. 

    I had fun once, it was terrible.

  • vandal5627vandal5627 Member UncommonPosts: 788
    To make money.  Why else?  I'm pretty sure if Battlefied or Call of Duty could charge a monthly subscription without causing an uproar they would.
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 32,086
    Originally posted by Nadia

    different business models

     

    Jeff Strain commentary from 7 years ago

    http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

    In the early years of the MMO industry, from roughly 1997 to 2001, there were a few big MMOs that had active player populations. By the time we started ArenaNet in the summer of 2000, we knew of at least eighty MMOs that were in development. Based on the success of UO and EQ, publishers were reviewing their portfolios and planning to migrate their existing game franchises to the online world, where they believed they could adopt a subscription model and "make bank".

    Clearly, it did not work out that way. As more MMOs came into the market, two things changed. First, players now had a choice about which game they would play, and as a result their expectations for polish, content quantity, and service increased substantially. Second, and perhaps more telling for the future of the industry, it became clear that the subscription model forced players to choose a single game, rather than playing many different games.

    Gamers will no longer buy the argument that every MMO requires a subscription fee to offset server and bandwidth costs. It's not true – you know it, and they know it. Gamers may buy the argument that your MMO requires a subscription fee, if you can tell them what they are getting for their money. This is the legacy of games like Guild Wars, Maple Story, and Silkroad Online, all of which introduced new business models into the MMO genre and were quite successful. The subscription model is still perfectly viable, but the pain threshold is very low now. It's no secret that gamers don't want to pay a subscription fee. If you can convince them that your game offers enough value to justify it, more power to you! But be prepared to defend your decision, often and loudly, and back it up over the lifetime of your game.

     

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

     

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    Try the "Special Edition." 'Cause it's "Special." https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/64878/?tab=description

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  • DarLorkarDarLorkar Member UncommonPosts: 1,082

    To make money?

     

    Hourly charges

    Monthly subs

    Buy to play

    FTP

     

    Just gaming evolution at work. And the reason? Refer to the first sentence :P

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Member EpicPosts: 5,772
    MMO's have a subscription fee or at least HAD a subscription fee to keep up server costs and provide further content development. Currently the MMO's with subscription's in place do provide free content updates (except a few who still charge) but a lot have been going in the cash shop path as well as a sub then going F2P. It's all changing I guess although I hope subs with no cash shop stay in some games.
  • ZizouXZizouX Member Posts: 670

    Because quality costs money.  The company is paying for servers, salaries and millions of other things that are required to make a game.

     

    Admittedly, a lot of companies are all about making as much money as possible by making the game "as good as it has to be" vs." companies that use the money to make the game "as good as it can be."

     

    Blizzard/WoW makes a great game where the monthly sub is justified.  I think FFXIV is also the case.   The subscription needs be justified by teh quality and frequency of the content it offers.  If you're paying $15 a month and the game is no better than most free to play or but to play mmo's than it's not worth it.

     

    However, from my experience, FFXIV (on average) is much better quality than any other free to play game.   I am getting my money's worth and happily pay that amount knowing the game is coming out with great content every 3 months.

    Subscription allows you to be on equal footing with everyone.  All of the content is at your disposable. No pay walls, no limitations on how much you can play, etc.  

    Also, subscriptions usually weed out some bad apples (i say usually because that's not always the case).  WoW is a sub game but the community is so large that the d-bags are more noticeable.  If the game is completely free, people feel that they can be A-Holes.  People who pay to play a game, usually, are better behaved.  That's been the case with Eve, FFXI, FFXIV....

     

    My 2 cents.

     

    PS - I rarely play F2P games.  Have had horrible experiences with the community and the content is not justified.  Unless it's like a game like SWTOR where you can do the story parts of teh game and get an awesome experience for free.  However, I'm not a fan of making people pay money to get more inventory or action bars.  

  • NadiaNadia Member UncommonPosts: 11,798
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

  • UtinniUtinni Member EpicPosts: 2,209
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    None of the MMO's I play have cash shops.

  • KaladinKaladin Member Posts: 468
    Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counterstrike release full price expansions constantly.  That's how they pay to keep their servers up.  They do bug fixes and background updates, but you typically do not see full content patches with those types of games.  At least not at the rate you do with subscription MMORPGs.

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    And I have the voice of a thousand hurricanes.
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  • NadiaNadia Member UncommonPosts: 11,798
    Originally posted by Utinni
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    None of the MMO's I play have cash shops.

    correction - most sub mmos have cash shops for cosmetic pets / mounts

  • rockin_uforockin_ufo Member UncommonPosts: 378
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Nadia

    different business models

     

    Jeff Strain commentary from 7 years ago

    http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

    In the early years of the MMO industry, from roughly 1997 to 2001, there were a few big MMOs that had active player populations. By the time we started ArenaNet in the summer of 2000, we knew of at least eighty MMOs that were in development. Based on the success of UO and EQ, publishers were reviewing their portfolios and planning to migrate their existing game franchises to the online world, where they believed they could adopt a subscription model and "make bank".

    Clearly, it did not work out that way. As more MMOs came into the market, two things changed. First, players now had a choice about which game they would play, and as a result their expectations for polish, content quantity, and service increased substantially. Second, and perhaps more telling for the future of the industry, it became clear that the subscription model forced players to choose a single game, rather than playing many different games.

    Gamers will no longer buy the argument that every MMO requires a subscription fee to offset server and bandwidth costs. It's not true – you know it, and they know it. Gamers may buy the argument that your MMO requires a subscription fee, if you can tell them what they are getting for their money. This is the legacy of games like Guild Wars, Maple Story, and Silkroad Online, all of which introduced new business models into the MMO genre and were quite successful. The subscription model is still perfectly viable, but the pain threshold is very low now. It's no secret that gamers don't want to pay a subscription fee. If you can convince them that your game offers enough value to justify it, more power to you! But be prepared to defend your decision, often and loudly, and back it up over the lifetime of your game.

     

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

     

    Strain also left the company. It was a weird, when he left the original vision of GW2 change 180 degrees.

    Whenever i step outside, somebody claims to see the light
    It seems to me that all of us have lost our patience.
    'cause everyone thinks they're right,
    And nobody thinks that there just might
    Be more than one road to our final destination--

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid Member EpicPosts: 10,722
    Originally posted by shr4pnel

    To help pay for servers? Then how come online games like the Battlefield or Call of Duty or Counterstrike series can exist without monthly fees? They've done away with monthly fees for what, 10 years now?

    are you trying to say the a multiplayer match in call of duty takes 5 years to develop like a whole mmo does? what about the size, the gameplay, the things you can do in the game. Everything in an mmo cost more. Do you think a Call of Duty map is always there running on the server full of people in the same scale than an mmo?

     

    GW2 (and TSW) are evidence that you can have a high quality mmo without subscriptions. But outside of that anything that doesnt have a subscription in the mmo industry is lower quality and cost less to make (not counting the ones that failed and turned f2p to survive).

     

    Your comparison is not fair to any side. The only similarity i see between them is that both (mmo companies and multiplayer non-mmo companies) waste too much money developing crappy games that are not worth the money they want to charge.





  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Member UncommonPosts: 2,662

    I can tell you why people think a mmorpg charges a sub. To pay for all the things that go into making a mmorpg and keep it running.

     

     I can tell you why I pay for a sub. To keep content development away from a cash shop and package option.

     

    Now we are at the stage where a sub seems to be a barometer for determining how long the nuclear (F2P) option is staved off. Get enough players to sub and you develop a sustainable base capable of supporting content releases on a regular basis. Fail to garner enough subs to maintain your internal goals and projections. And you could be facing the F2P music sooner than expected.

     

    The mmorpgs and games that are now F2P are struggling to balance generating cash shop revenue vs. generating enough non cash shop content. Take one look at your non mmorpgs to see the crazy amount of players they have to maintain to generate a profit. MMORPGs are nearing a place now where subscription thresholds outweigh the cost of struggling to support a long term cash shop. And the magic number seems to be between 300k-600k subscriptions depending on your initial budget and who your company answers to.

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  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 Member Posts: 2,735
    Originally posted by hallucigenocide
    to continue giving more content,paying a salary to those working on it and lots of other stuff... games without subs get their income through other means such as cash shops.. no one is going to release a game for free without a means of milking their player base for money somehow.. making them cost money and so does maintaining them. 

    Tell that to blizzard. They make 100's of millions a year and can't put out content once in an 8 month period.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 32,086
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    I would say two reasons for  that.

    1, subs have not gone up significantly in price for  quite some time yet the market is fickle about sub prices. They need more money than subs can give them and therefore they add the cash shop.

    2, Because the market has acknowledged and to a certain extent, accepted cash shops. They are basically implementing what the market will bear as companies don't say "no" to money.

    Like Skyrim? Need more content? Try my Skyrim mod "Godfred's Tomb." 

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    Try the "Special Edition." 'Cause it's "Special." https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/64878/?tab=description

    Serph toze kindly has started a walk-through. https://youtu.be/UIelCK-lldo 
  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 Member Posts: 2,735
    Originally posted by Ramonski7

     I can tell you why I pay for a sub. To keep content development away from a cash shop and package option.

     

    And yet subscription mmo's all have cash shops. There goes your little theory.

  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 Member Posts: 2,735
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    I would say two reasons for  that.

    1, subs have not gone up significantly in price for  quite some time yet the market is fickle about sub prices. They need more money than subs can give them and therefore they add the cash shop.

    2, Because the market has acknowledged to a certain extent accepted cash shops they are basically implementing what the market will bear as companies don't say "no" to money.

    No the market has proven that people don't want subscription mmo's. There is one exception and that's wow. No way i'll pay a monthly sub for something in 2014 that was new and innovative in 2001.

  • ZizouXZizouX Member Posts: 670
    Originally posted by nerovipus32
    Originally posted by Ramonski7

     I can tell you why I pay for a sub. To keep content development away from a cash shop and package option.

     

    And yet subscription mmo's all have cash shops. There goes your little theory.

    The cash shop items in a f2p mmo (xp packs, content packs/gated content, cosmetic items) and P2P mmo (server transfers, names changes, faction changes) are qualitatively different.

     

    You're comparing apples and oranges.  If a p2p mmo is offering the same type of items from a f2p mmo, you're getting ripped off twice.

     

    Most good companies don't do that.  They either have a pretty awesome cash shop that is not game breaking (GW2) or they have cash shop SERVICES in a p2p mmo (FFXIV and WoW).

     

    Other than giving a quick retort to some of the posts, your response with completely without substance.

  • ZizouXZizouX Member Posts: 670
    Originally posted by nerovipus32
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    I would say two reasons for  that.

    1, subs have not gone up significantly in price for  quite some time yet the market is fickle about sub prices. They need more money than subs can give them and therefore they add the cash shop.

    2, Because the market has acknowledged to a certain extent accepted cash shops they are basically implementing what the market will bear as companies don't say "no" to money.

    No the market has proven that people don't want subscription mmo's. There is one exception and that's wow. No way i'll pay a monthly sub for something in 2014 that was new and innovative in 2001.

    If the game is a lot of quality, then people are happy to pay a sub.  (FFXIV, Eve).  If the game is crappy and no better than a F2P game, then you'd be a fool to pay a sub for it.

     

    But there is something to be said about individual tastes.  Some people like certain mmo's that objectively, may not be great, but they love the game and are happy to pay for it.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 32,086
    Originally posted by nerovipus32
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    I would say two reasons for  that.

    1, subs have not gone up significantly in price for  quite some time yet the market is fickle about sub prices. They need more money than subs can give them and therefore they add the cash shop.

    2, Because the market has acknowledged to a certain extent accepted cash shops they are basically implementing what the market will bear as companies don't say "no" to money.

    No the market has proven that people don't want subscription mmo's. There is one exception and that's wow. No way i'll pay a monthly sub for something in 2014 that was new and innovative in 2001.

    Regardless, game companies still need to make "x" amount of dollars. something certain players don't understand. Game companies have essentially uncapped payments for those willing to spend uber amounts of money with the hope that they will cover costs/expenses.

    Do some simple math. Figure out the cost of a buy to play game and then make an estimate of how many people buy it. Then look at how much the game cost to develop.

    where is the extra money going to come from? Either subs where everybody pays their equal share or cash shops where some people pay, some don't and some pay a lot more.

    Like Skyrim? Need more content? Try my Skyrim mod "Godfred's Tomb." 

    Godfred's Tomb Trailer: https://youtu.be/-nsXGddj_4w


    Original Skyrim: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/109547

    Try the "Special Edition." 'Cause it's "Special." https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/64878/?tab=description

    Serph toze kindly has started a walk-through. https://youtu.be/UIelCK-lldo 
  • SamuraiXIVSamuraiXIV Member Posts: 354
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    FFXIV ARR don't have a cash shop so get your facts straight.

    "mmorpg.com forum admins are all TROLLS and losers in real life"
    My opinion

  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 Member Posts: 2,735
    Originally posted by ZizouX
    Originally posted by nerovipus32
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    And yet they clearly put in a cash shop.

    So the "truth" of the matter is that these games require x amount of dollars to develop, launch, continue upkeep and continue development.

    Arena Net has always stood beside their idea that their games were buy to play. However, the reality is that their one time fee is not enough so they put in a cash shop.

    true

    but all mmos have cash shops now - even mmos w subs

    I would say two reasons for  that.

    1, subs have not gone up significantly in price for  quite some time yet the market is fickle about sub prices. They need more money than subs can give them and therefore they add the cash shop.

    2, Because the market has acknowledged to a certain extent accepted cash shops they are basically implementing what the market will bear as companies don't say "no" to money.

    No the market has proven that people don't want subscription mmo's. There is one exception and that's wow. No way i'll pay a monthly sub for something in 2014 that was new and innovative in 2001.

    If the game is a lot of quality, then people are happy to pay a sub.  (FFXIV, Eve).  If the game is crappy and no better than a F2P game, then you'd be a fool to pay a sub for it.

     

    But there is something to be said about individual tastes.  Some people like certain mmo's that objectively, may not be great, but they love the game and are happy to pay for it.

    When mmo's move into the next generation i will gladly pay a sub fee, but we are still stuck in 2001 with a few frills added.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid Member EpicPosts: 10,722
    Originally posted by ZizouX
    Originally posted by nerovipus32
    Originally posted by Ramonski7

     I can tell you why I pay for a sub. To keep content development away from a cash shop and package option.

     

    And yet subscription mmo's all have cash shops. There goes your little theory.

    The cash shop items in a f2p mmo (xp packs, content packs/gated content, cosmetic items) and P2P mmo (server transfers, names changes, faction changes) are qualitatively different..

    im sure they are not talking about server transfers, name changes, faction changes. Those arent cash shop items, those are account services. They are talking about selling horses and other mounts and pets in the cash shop in subscription mmos.

     

    Lets say you have a hybrid mmo, f2p with subscription like Planetside 2, TSW, Swtor, Lotro, etc. Sure the free players keep the game alive with cash shop items, thats fine. However, they pretend that subscribers also buy them. If you subscribe you should get everything in the game. That includes the cash shop items meant for non-subbers. Period.





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