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

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  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,767
    Quizzical said:
    DMKano said:
    I think fairness is completely subjective - so IMO you find a game that is "fair for you" and you play that.

    Adapt to reality of now, don't expect the world to change for you.

    If you can't find anything to suit you - move on.


    There is fairness and there is equality.
    Someone can say "Hey! That's not fair!" to anything they want. But equality can be measured. I want to play a game where I pay to gain entry. What I pay is equal to what everyone else pays to gain entry. From there, the only thing everybody gets for the fee, is the same amount of time. 

    Traditionally, we'd all pay $15.00 in exchange for 30 days access. That's what EVERYONE pays, that's what EVERYONE gets. 30 day. How people choose to use that time is on them. 

    Subjective:
    "It's not fair! That person spends 12hrs a day in the game, and I can only spend 4!"

    Equality:
    You both paid for 30 days access, you both recieved 30 days access.

    The arrangements one makes in their own life in order to use what they were given is entirely on them and should not be foisted on the rest of the player base in the form of "Convenience Items". Otherwise known as "Fairness", which it seems can be bought.
    People who play 4 hours per day aren't the ones upset about a subscription.  People who play 4 hours per month are the ones who don't like that.  And they don't have to put up with a subscription model because there are plenty of games that don't require a subscription.  Such as nearly all of them.
    So you think the entire genre should shif around 4hr/mo gamers? Because I don't get the impression that any of this monetizaiton shift over the past 10 years has been focusing on catering to people who play 4 hrs a month.
  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,767
    edited August 2016
    DELETE
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,656
    Quizzical said:
    DMKano said:
    I think fairness is completely subjective - so IMO you find a game that is "fair for you" and you play that.

    Adapt to reality of now, don't expect the world to change for you.

    If you can't find anything to suit you - move on.


    There is fairness and there is equality.
    Someone can say "Hey! That's not fair!" to anything they want. But equality can be measured. I want to play a game where I pay to gain entry. What I pay is equal to what everyone else pays to gain entry. From there, the only thing everybody gets for the fee, is the same amount of time. 

    Traditionally, we'd all pay $15.00 in exchange for 30 days access. That's what EVERYONE pays, that's what EVERYONE gets. 30 day. How people choose to use that time is on them. 

    Subjective:
    "It's not fair! That person spends 12hrs a day in the game, and I can only spend 4!"

    Equality:
    You both paid for 30 days access, you both recieved 30 days access.

    The arrangements one makes in their own life in order to use what they were given is entirely on them and should not be foisted on the rest of the player base in the form of "Convenience Items". Otherwise known as "Fairness", which it seems can be bought.
    People who play 4 hours per day aren't the ones upset about a subscription.  People who play 4 hours per month are the ones who don't like that.  And they don't have to put up with a subscription model because there are plenty of games that don't require a subscription.  Such as nearly all of them.
    So you think the entire genre should shif around 4hr/mo gamers? Because I don't get the impression that any of this monetizaiton shift over the past 10 years has been focusing on catering to people who play 4 hrs a month.
    I'm sure the metrics they use to influence decisions are a lot more complex than simple data points. Real discussions and decisions usually revolve around layers of information and how those are grouped or sorted. There's more likely a lot of pivot tables looking at the data from various points to make these decisions.
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  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,767
    edited August 2016
    Deleted
  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Deleted

    Well, do you have access to all the information to base all that on?
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  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,687
    Kyleran said:
    It is not at all the same, and there's no way to continue this conversation with this sort of disconnect.

    / mic drop
    Agreed. If you cannot make rational argument, the debate is moot.
  • R3d.GallowsR3d.Gallows Member UncommonPosts: 155
    edited August 2016
    Gdemami said:
    R3d.Gallows said:
    Games with no sub are designed differently than games with a sub.
    No, they aren't.

    The game is designed still the same way, just some things are placed in the cash shop - instead of paying $15 sub and hitting lvl 10 to recieve additional inventory space, there is no entry fee and no sub and you may purchase additional inventory space from cash shop.

    Same design, different monetization.

    Just because you place certain game features and content into a cash shop does not mean anyone is trying to make your life miserable or manipulate you, that is just silly.

    This has nothing to do with "fun".
    This is absurd. Especially your attempt to put words into my mouth once again. I never said someone's trying to make your life miserable. I said gameplay. Unless your whole life is playing F2P games - then yes, the devs are pissing all over your life so they can sell you a mop youll be able to clean it up with. Also, I see no way to keep this discussion going if you claim moving certain features and rewards to the cash shop doesnt affect fun. 
  • kenpokillerkenpokiller Member UncommonPosts: 321
    F2P/P2P like early Runescape with half/full loot PvP :')

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  • cheyanecheyane Member EpicPosts: 6,375
    Perhaps the best way to handle this is to actually base the monetization on the actual time people play and use the resources. Then to allow the player to decide the type of monetization they prefer. 

    So if you play less you pay less and if a player prefers to play for free they can then pick which access  is going to be restricted. Surely you agree that when you play for free there should be restrictions to what you can access. That is only fair to those who pay the full price.
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  • NitthNitth Member UncommonPosts: 3,904
    cheyane said:
    Perhaps the best way to handle this is to actually base the monetization on the actual time people play and use the resources. 
    Probably the most reasonable argument.

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  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,687
    This is absurd. Especially your attempt to put words into my mouth once again. I never said someone's trying to make your life miserable. I said gameplay. Unless your whole life is playing F2P games - then yes, the devs are pissing all over your life so they can sell you a mop youll be able to clean it up with. Also, I see no way to keep this discussion going if you claim moving certain features and rewards to the cash shop doesnt affect fun. 
    I was never putting words into you mouth and not doing it now either. You just read into things that aren't there, ignoring the context of the post.

    I will make it very simple for you. Here is your claim:
    R3d.Gallows said:
    Unless you make a game good enough for them to want to play it regardless of the sub.
    You also claim that cash shop takes away from fun.

    If that is true, one must also assume that sub takes away from fun too and thus your claim is false.

    ...or, one could reasonably assume that money do make a difference whether we play a game or not, and it has nothing to do with "fun", customers are pricing sensitive(no surprise there).
  • Abuz0rAbuz0r Member UncommonPosts: 550
    Charge all players $0.25 per hour logged in.  That way people who play 60 hours a month pay $15 while people who play 8 hours a month pay $2.00.  This would bring in the masses and never make you feel like 'you're not getting your money's worth'.

    My 25 cents anyway.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,885
    Abuz0r said:
    Charge all players $0.25 per hour logged in.  That way people who play 60 hours a month pay $15 while people who play 8 hours a month pay $2.00.  This would bring in the masses and never make you feel like 'you're not getting your money's worth'.

    My 25 cents anyway.
    Not a bad idea, but the $15.00 price point would need to be tied to the number of hours the "typical" MMORPG player logs in, so that heavy users were given the "opportunity" to pay more if they exceeded the average. You could tie that in with a flat rate, unlimited access offer of say $20 or $25a month. Pricing needs to be fair to both customer and the company, works both ways

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  • DreamQueenDreamQueen Member UncommonPosts: 48
    edited September 2016
    Buy to Play does require people to pay, you don't have to force people into a subscription in order to sell them DLC, just treat MMORPGs like single player console games. Normal $40-$60 entry fee with DLC expansions, and all cosmetics/mounts/pets should be earned and not bought. What good is the subscription fee?

    Blizzard doesn't even give content patches for an entire year of subscription! You buy the expansion, and get content, that is it.

    Mostly seems that companies that make the most money give you no content, and those that make the least try harder like SoE with Everquest 1 and 2. It is okay to give some exclusive mounts and pets/cosmetics like Blizzard is doing, but not when you are subscription only.... On top of that, when you are literally giving no in-game content as well?

    So, subscription isn't fair because Blizzard and companies like Square Enix with FFIV Online: A Realm Reborn are selling things in shops on top of your subscription! You can't even get a subscription only game now!! Best to be Buy to Play and force people to buy the game and expansions, because you will get stuck with a marketplace anyway....

    /quote This would be 90% of everyone's preferred option. However, it does not appear that this model is bringing in enough cash for the devs. As almost all of them with this model have started in game cash for RL cash conversions. /endquote

    They did this to stop people from selling gold with fraudalent stolen credit cards and hacked accounts. By selling it yourself you make money because players will always buy in-game currency for RL money, and this way they don't have to support criminals and break the economy in order to do so. Since, apparently they can't just block the sales themselves.
  • DreamQueenDreamQueen Member UncommonPosts: 48
    Yeah, it is difficult. Many games just aren't fun anymore because they are tiny and shallow. Playing 4-5 games at a time is also a problem with subscriptions, since you'd be paying a thousand of more dollars a year, and have no time to play all of the games anyway.

    Your server bandwidth usage depends on how much time you spend there logged in, so they should have a way of charging you per an hour like AoL, instead of per a month. Someone who plays 4-5 games is going to use a lot less than someone who only plays 1. So, people who play 1 MMORPG say subs are the best and a great value at $200-$300 a year, but someone who plays 4 or 5 is getting no use out of paying $1000 or more a year, because they use almost no minimal server resources whatsoever and are paying full price for not logging in.

    The subscription cancel/renew random roulette is annoying, companies want a steady flow of cash, but they also want a flow of customers, if you remove the customers, you get less group/raids and paying customers quit because the population has declined. People want success, they want populations of other people, and WoW survived on its own population. Having friends/guildmates keeps people engaged and hooked on WoW. Removing subscriptions was an attempt to keep community alive, so that the people would pay the money if they had the money to pay.
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,823
    edited September 2016
    I think the best way for a game to be monetized depends on what profit margin they need to operate successfully as a business.
    Spending $200 million on a game does not mean you will ever see a return on your investment and if it is looking like it won't via just a box and sub, your business model then has to change to meet it. (Like ESO did)

    On the other hand a game that is made for a modest sum of, say, $4 million or so can take a more standard approach to it's monetization. Like a box price and a sub fee like Camelot Unchained is doing. 
    Even then upkeep on the game and the labor and development costs never stop on an MMO. Unlike an offline single player game, there is theoretically no ending to it's development. So residual income must be high enough to support your team, the upkeep and the future development and testing.

    I say charge a standard box price but increase the sub fee to say $19.99 USD a month and offer slight discounts for 6 month and yearly subs.

    The key though, is that funding needs to be used to develop a steady flow of new content plus new expansions. (Two separate teams)
    No cash shop can be done,contrary to some people's opinion, yet the game must always be feeding the machine with content and interaction. This creates an environment that players want to stay involved with.
    The key to a game's success is retention, while still working towards bringing new players into the game to replace the ones that will inevitably leave.
    It is a more difficult thing to pull off than many realize.  

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  • GhavriggGhavrigg Member RarePosts: 1,308
    edited September 2016
    Subscriptions are already fair enough, imo. F2P with a Sub option is fine, as long as development is focused on the subs before the freeloaders. I say this knowing full well the majority of people are those freeloaders who will complain about how they can't do everything paying customers can.
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