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The Simple Reason a 15$ Subscription Doesn't Work Anymore

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  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 12,902
    Torval said:
    My problem with P2P was it was just an extra fee to play the game.....At least with cash shops you get something for that money......Mounts, XP potions, gear, whatever
    Also in F2P or B2P games with cash shops the subscription offers something for the money more than just access to the servers.
    Something that might have been included in the game anyway had it been a sub-only game?

    I remember many games that had exclusive, hard to get prestige items that were part of the core game and games were improved all the time with additions. Now they give you the impression that those things would never be developed if they couldn't charge extra for it.

    The only reason games like ESO make it seem like you're getting something extra for your sub is because they create that illusion by carving out things (crafting bag for example that is part of the core GW2 game) that could easily be core improvements. The 1500 crowns per month subbed they give you is also just so you can get some things easily (eg. costumes, mounts) that would have been obtainable through achievements or in-game gold if it was a sub-only game.

    Bottom line is you've got to pay anyway to get the full experience. I still prefer to get access to the whole thing through a monthly sub.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member RarePosts: 6,543
    Or it may have been part of an expansion that you pay extra for, or a collectors edition that you pay extra for, or it may have never been made at all.
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,657
    Distopia said:
    waynejr2 said:
    So all of you people who say $15.00 sub doesn't work anymore.  Are you happier today with the mmoRPGs you have than say back in 2001 - 2003?  If we look at your posting history are you praising games which you are playing or are we seeing mostly complaining?
    I'm happy with ESO, yet not happier with it than I was in SWG. I also wouldn't exactly say the sub doesn't work, it's just doesn't work continually for a lot of games. It has done well though for WOW, FFXIV, as well as EVE. 

    It works for ESO, just not on the regular, If I'm seriously doing PVE content I'll sub for the extra content, if I'm mostly PVPIng I won't sub. That's the same way I played TOR more or less as well. SUB when doing content, unsub when just dabbling around in the game. 
    The sub isn't a problem for me in any game. If I'm focusing on it at the time I'll subscribe. But I like that I don't need to subscribe to ESO in order to play. It's the sub being optional and adding perks for the money that matters to me.
    take back the hobby: https://www.reddit.com/r/patientgamers/

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  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,657
    Iselin said:
    Torval said:
    My problem with P2P was it was just an extra fee to play the game.....At least with cash shops you get something for that money......Mounts, XP potions, gear, whatever
    Also in F2P or B2P games with cash shops the subscription offers something for the money more than just access to the servers.
    Something that might have been included in the game anyway had it been a sub-only game?

    I remember many games that had exclusive, hard to get prestige items that were part of the core game and games were improved all the time with additions. Now they give you the impression that those things would never be developed if they couldn't charge extra for it.

    The only reason games like ESO make it seem like you're getting something extra for your sub is because they create that illusion by carving out things (crafting bag for example that is part of the core GW2 game) that could easily be core improvements. The 1500 crowns per month subbed they give you is also just so you can get some things easily (eg. costumes, mounts) that would have been obtainable through achievements or in-game gold if it was a sub-only game.

    Bottom line is you've got to pay anyway to get the full experience. I still prefer to get access to the whole thing through a monthly sub.
    There are a couple other aspects about that "all for the price of $15". Those rare items were gated behind an RNG to keep you paying htat sub for years on end. Not only that but then they require 40 other people to have a chance to even roll for it. Then make it competitive so those 40 person groups are exclusive and vying for the chance to roll. That is their entire monetization scheme summarized.

    So sure you got it all for the initial box fee of $50 plus that $15 a month for a year, plus the xpac pre-order cuz you need those items/bonuses/whatever. So years and hundreds of dollars later you get the item that puts you on a treadmill that replaces it annually for $230 (sub + box fee).

    Oh, and the moment you stop paying, letting them milk your wallet, then you lose all access to everything you've paid in.

    The reason why I hold up ESO as an example to follow is precisely because you can have access to the entire game just through the sub, but you can also play it without one and not feel like your character is a Pariah.

    Subscription only games like FF14 carve out pieces and charge extra for it too. You want more than one character slot? More money per month? Inventory and storage are limited, especially for the crafting mats, unless you pay more rent per month. That doesn't even touch on the cash shop or "collector's edition" premium packs which are just cash shop like items bundled in a package.

    Bottom line is I don't like renting and being milked for more money when I play a game when I've already paid so much into it.
    take back the hobby: https://www.reddit.com/r/patientgamers/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly
    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

    It only took 3 people 8 words to rock Blizzard to its core.
  • CeironxCeironx Member UncommonPosts: 88
    I think people are forgetting that companies earn millions if not billions of dollars while the guy who fixes your toilet while swimming in shit gets just enough to fill his stomach. Idk man...
  • AethaerynAethaeryn Member RarePosts: 3,008
    When UO was in beta.  They did a survey.  I think they were toying with $10 to $80 dollars a month.  The overwhelming feedback led them to $15. . Maybe it was Meridian.

    Either way the cost of the tech based on the number of subs has likely compensated for the inflation?  Maybe not with new games though.  I guess there is more on the server end.  It is what is profitable and what the market will bear.  People will not pay much more with F2P and if they did they would demand premium service and possibly policing of the community.

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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,916
    When UO was in beta.  They did a survey.  I think they were toying with $10 to $80 dollars a month.  The overwhelming feedback led them to $15. . Maybe it was Meridian.

    Either way the cost of the tech based on the number of subs has likely compensated for the inflation?  Maybe not with new games though.  I guess there is more on the server end.  It is what is profitable and what the market will bear.  People will not pay much more with F2P and if they did they would demand premium service and possibly policing of the community.
    Uh, no, that's not where and when $15 started, read the thread if you want to know more.

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

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  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 7,034
    waynejr2 said:
    So all of you people who say $15.00 sub doesn't work anymore.  Are you happier today with the mmoRPGs you have than say back in 2001 - 2003?  If we look at your posting history are you praising games which you are playing or are we seeing mostly complaining?
    The same game I paid $15 for in 99-04 is still around and is free today
  • BurntvetBurntvet Member RarePosts: 3,465
    edited December 2016
    Eldurian said:
    Burntvet said:
    The people running the SWGEMU main server list the actual expenses of what it costs one server that can support up to 6k-10k players (not concurrently), and the break out all the costs for their whole enterprise.

    Granted they are using volunteer CSRs and devs, so there is no real labor expense, but they are keeping development going and running 2 servers (play and test) for under $24k a year in donations, and have been for years. (And that includes everything including paying an accountant and lawyer).

    Which split over all those players is not much. Even factoring in labor for several people, $15/mo would cover that a couple times over.


    So, when talking theoretical this and that, one should consider the facts of what is actually being done and for how much....


    (Personally, I send them $100 in January and play as much or as little as I want during the year with a clean conscience, and as just one person I am paying 1/240th of their expenses...)



    So a few things I'd like to ask about that.

    1. Does SWGEMU actually update content at the rate of a true MMO. You know a few major patches a year with one major expansion where they release new features and content, occasional graphics updates to keep things current etc. Something comparable to WoW, EVE, ArcheAge, Runescape etc.

    2. Is SWGEMU run for profit or do they put everything they make back into the game, essentially making it a charity?

    And if you want to say two is about "greed". The reason good MMOs are made by for profit companies is those companies can use their profits to do things like... launch an MMO with all the content needed for it to be fun without panhandling for funds on Kickstarter first.
    As to that:

    !. They are still finishing out the mechanics of the game, not everything is done yet. They are rebuilding the server code from scratch, and there is a ways to go yet.

    That said, everything is pretty much "done" except for jedi and space (and a few other bits here and there), and the Jedi village is mostly finished on test center, the main programmer for that was out for a while after a serious illness/injury.

    2. The EMU is totally not for profit and is being run as a de facto charity, all donations go towards upkeep, no one directly working on the project draws a salary. The EMU is considered "fan art".

    The reason for this is at the core of why the SWG is legal/possible and is allowed under the law to exist: the "fan art" exception to copyright law in the US.

    There are several conditions that must be met to satisfy the "fan art" exception to IP law, and they mostly center around money. First, the company whose IP it is can not be made to lose money by someone's fan art (since SWG is closed, that one is not hard). Another condition is that the producer of the fan art, conversely, can not profit from the company's IP either. (There are other conditions as well, including "not damaging the reputation of company or value of the IP by producing the fan art (which can't really be said since they are exactly remaking a game SOE/LA released)).

    Thus, all of the donations are carefully tracked and wholly used on expenses.

    In short, the EMU people don't make any money for themselves, because they legally can't, without sinking the EMU itself under a lawsuit.


    Edit: The real point I was trying to make in regards to this thread, is the actual, non-company expenses for keeping an MMORPG server going and marginally supported are not high, and easily doable for the $15/mo fee, so there is not much need to ask for what? $30? $50? The EMU is going on about $2/mo per player with volunteer CSRs.

    Post edited by Burntvet on
  • JRRNeiklotJRRNeiklot Member UncommonPosts: 129
    A product or service is worth what the customers are willing to pay.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,916
    I actually find $15/month very reasonable for a game that I actually play.  It's the price of a single movie ticket here in L.A.
    The movie ticket price isn't bad where I live, around $12 or so, as little as $9 at Studio Movie Grill.

    But when I buy a small popcorn and medium drink (upgraded for free to a medium/large with. my AMC premium card) and it comes in around $18 it chokes you a bit.

    No wonder I frequently hear the sound of illicit canned beverages being opened during most movies, even from families with children.

    So back on topic, monthly subs are of small concern to me, but the title does have to offer an experience not easily found elsewhere 

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "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






  • Viper482Viper482 Member EpicPosts: 2,711
    Eldurian said:
    I don't know the exact date that 15$ subs became a thing. I believe it was around 2000. It definitely was by 2003. Check this out though:

    Inflation Calculator

    Put in the year you played your first 15 and the year you played your first 15$ sub game and hit "Calculate".

    Based on my estimation of 2000, a 15$ sub should now cost people 21$. Yet subscription prices have not increased whatsoever. People just want to go back to the good old days of 15$ subs but it's a lot like people who want to go back to the good old days of five cent coffee. It's been 16 years. We went through a major recession during that time period. 15$ doesn't pay the bills anymore.

    No consumers have ever shown any indication of being tolerant to them jacking up the prices though. Any MMO that did would be massacred by public opinion as "greedy money grabbers." So they gave us cash shops instead. That's on us.

    Blizzard seems to be doing okay.
    Make MMORPG's Great Again!
  • carotidcarotid Member UncommonPosts: 425
    Viper482 said:
    Eldurian said:
    I don't know the exact date that 15$ subs became a thing. I believe it was around 2000. It definitely was by 2003. Check this out though:

    Inflation Calculator

    Put in the year you played your first 15 and the year you played your first 15$ sub game and hit "Calculate".

    Based on my estimation of 2000, a 15$ sub should now cost people 21$. Yet subscription prices have not increased whatsoever. People just want to go back to the good old days of 15$ subs but it's a lot like people who want to go back to the good old days of five cent coffee. It's been 16 years. We went through a major recession during that time period. 15$ doesn't pay the bills anymore.

    No consumers have ever shown any indication of being tolerant to them jacking up the prices though. Any MMO that did would be massacred by public opinion as "greedy money grabbers." So they gave us cash shops instead. That's on us.

    Blizzard seems to be doing okay.
    So is FFXIV
  • NildenNilden Member EpicPosts: 2,896
    Viper482 said:
    Eldurian said:
    I don't know the exact date that 15$ subs became a thing. I believe it was around 2000. It definitely was by 2003. Check this out though:

    Inflation Calculator

    Put in the year you played your first 15 and the year you played your first 15$ sub game and hit "Calculate".

    Based on my estimation of 2000, a 15$ sub should now cost people 21$. Yet subscription prices have not increased whatsoever. People just want to go back to the good old days of 15$ subs but it's a lot like people who want to go back to the good old days of five cent coffee. It's been 16 years. We went through a major recession during that time period. 15$ doesn't pay the bills anymore.

    No consumers have ever shown any indication of being tolerant to them jacking up the prices though. Any MMO that did would be massacred by public opinion as "greedy money grabbers." So they gave us cash shops instead. That's on us.

    Blizzard seems to be doing okay.
    Yeah that fact shuts down this entire thread for me.

    "You CAN'T buy ships for RL money." - MaxBacon

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  • RhimeRhime Member UncommonPosts: 273
    Eldurian said:
    I don't know the exact date that 15$ subs became a thing. I believe it was around 2000. It definitely was by 2003. Check this out though:

    Inflation Calculator

    Put in the year you played your first 15 and the year you played your first 15$ sub game and hit "Calculate".

    Based on my estimation of 2000, a 15$ sub should now cost people 21$. Yet subscription prices have not increased whatsoever. People just want to go back to the good old days of 15$ subs but it's a lot like people who want to go back to the good old days of five cent coffee. It's been 16 years. We went through a major recession during that time period. 15$ doesn't pay the bills anymore.

    No consumers have ever shown any indication of being tolerant to them jacking up the prices though. Any MMO that did would be massacred by public opinion as "greedy money grabbers." So they gave us cash shops instead. That's on us.

    I would pay a $15 sub monthly again if it meant no cash shops and full game access. Hell, I'd pay $21 if that was the fee for a great game.
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,045
    I'd gladly pay $21 for a game worth it personally.
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 33,916
    carotid said:
    Viper482 said:
    Eldurian said:
    I don't know the exact date that 15$ subs became a thing. I believe it was around 2000. It definitely was by 2003. Check this out though:

    Inflation Calculator

    Put in the year you played your first 15 and the year you played your first 15$ sub game and hit "Calculate".

    Based on my estimation of 2000, a 15$ sub should now cost people 21$. Yet subscription prices have not increased whatsoever. People just want to go back to the good old days of 15$ subs but it's a lot like people who want to go back to the good old days of five cent coffee. It's been 16 years. We went through a major recession during that time period. 15$ doesn't pay the bills anymore.

    No consumers have ever shown any indication of being tolerant to them jacking up the prices though. Any MMO that did would be massacred by public opinion as "greedy money grabbers." So they gave us cash shops instead. That's on us.

    Blizzard seems to be doing okay.
    So is FFXIV
    A handful of titles which still survive on a mandatory sub  model does not prove the argument.

    I believe most of them still offer items and services outside of the monthly sub which would support the OP's points.

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "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






  • IshkalIshkal Member UncommonPosts: 295
    edited December 2016
     Cost of decent comps back in the day of first 15$a month sub roughly $700-800 cost of a comp today needed to code and run graphics/testing roughly $700-800, an that's better then they probably need, probably cheaper in bulk an with connections a game company has. Cost of a newb programmer is cheaper today then it was back then 45-50k, back then 80-100k everything else is just coding time and testing time which falls under the salary of employees so I could argue it's cheaper now to make a game then it was for the first 15$ a month sub game. Which is probably why there are so many crap games, and throw togethers,
  • TheJodaTheJoda Member UncommonPosts: 581
    Ide pay up to $25.00 a month if the product was solid,  and it meant quality development, no bots , and a monitored game (gms)

    ....Being Banned from MMORPG's forums since 2010, for Trolling the Trolls!!!

  • linadragonlinadragon Member RarePosts: 579
    Subs aren't working because companies refuse to reinvest the money they are getting when they have it. It's not the sub that isn't working. It's that people want their money's worth for the sub. Many games are stagnating content heavily while focusing quite heavily on a rather casual solo friendly experience and then hitting the same end game treadmill grind of dungeons and raiding...  It is rather formulaic since it happened in WoW and has rather dulled down the overall MMORPG experience. 

    As it stands many people are able to finish and get to end game within the first month of a games release and with less and less people interested in the endless treadmill that is end game content you end up in a situation where those people lose complete and utter interest in the game potentially until there is more content happening and that content is often several months out if not longer. So while initial sales are good the player base can quickly tank and many mmorpg developers/producers end up swapping to f2p as an option instead of churning out content that actually takes awhile and holds people's attention. 

    This all sort of comes down to the "WoW syndrome" as I like to call it with development. Too many games have followed suite of WoW that it is sort of like "meh why bother when I can just play WoW". Look at the sub game that actually does well outside of WoW. The one that does the best outside of WoW currently is Final Fantasy 14 (A Realm Reborn and Heavensward) this is heavily because FFXIV doesn't have massive content droughts and they frequently release new content between expansions (so much so that the actual content of the patches are pretty much a full expansion unto themselves by most normal measurements) thus they tend to keep people's interest for a lot longer. 

    A sub game has to have new content rolled out on a regular enough basis, can't be too too easy that you steam roll the content within the first month (make it take at least 3 - 4  MINIMUM, and have content ready to go that lasts for a bit after that and keep snowballing that). Have focus and don't become complacent with content you have out. Many games fail because they lack content at this point and if content isn't there people aren't going to want to pay for jack shit. 
  • hatefulpeacehatefulpeace Member UncommonPosts: 621
    Eldurian said:
    I don't know the exact date that 15$ subs became a thing. I believe it was around 2000. It definitely was by 2003. Check this out though:

    Inflation Calculator

    Put in the year you played your first 15 and the year you played your first 15$ sub game and hit "Calculate".

    Based on my estimation of 2000, a 15$ sub should now cost people 21$. Yet subscription prices have not increased whatsoever. People just want to go back to the good old days of 15$ subs but it's a lot like people who want to go back to the good old days of five cent coffee. It's been 16 years. We went through a major recession during that time period. 15$ doesn't pay the bills anymore.

    No consumers have ever shown any indication of being tolerant to them jacking up the prices though. Any MMO that did would be massacred by public opinion as "greedy money grabbers." So they gave us cash shops instead. That's on us.

    That is 100 percent not why they added cash shops. Cash shops came from people selling their accounts formillions every year, and the corporation not getting any money from it. They didn't realize when eq and up came out that people would spent 10000 plus a year on games. Then they added gambling into the mix, and made more than any sub could. They wouldn't go back to sub's even if it was 30 a month , cause they lose out on the gambling junkies who dump a grand or more a month into their addiction. 
  • hatefulpeacehatefulpeace Member UncommonPosts: 621
    edited December 2016

    Forgrimm said:
    I'd gladly pay $21 a month to have access to everything and not be nickel-and-dimed in a cash shop. Cash shops weren't introduced because game devs didn't think people would pay a higher monthly sub cost though, they were introduced because for the majority of games, a cash shop is more profitable for the company, even more so than it would be for them to offer an increased monthly sub rate.
    What % of players do you think pay $252 a year to cash shops to play MMOs? Its well under 5% Im sure.... I always saw the monthly as a total waste of money...The day it went away was a good day.....I handed over hundreds of dollars to WoW and EQ1 and felt totally ripped off.
    If you take all the MMOs with cash shops it would be a way higher percent that spend over 252 a year in the gambling shop. More like 50% 5 percent spend over 10 grand a yyear. Let's see arche age, bdo,swtor,uo,uncharted waters online, all have gambling shops designed to get u addicted to dumping way more than 252.
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 7,034
    P2P worked best when there were only a few MMOs available and you had no other choice.......The market eventually got flooded with tons of free games that were just about as good as the $15 a month ones so many of us moved on......There is no reason to pay the $15 anymore.
  • zaberfangxzaberfangx Member UncommonPosts: 1,795
    The hard part here is that people willing you pay for a good MMO but it fail short of making any money with out very high amount people willing to buy it. The box cover + sub fee is not going to cover the cost of a MMO to make there money back in just a few years even after launch. Takes years to get a High cost MMO out from the red.

  • madazzmadazz Member RarePosts: 1,976
    Your understanding of inflation is completely off. You are only looking at it from the pure dollar value angle.

    For instance, Kraft Dinner Mac and Cheese launched in 1937, and it's price was $0.19. Today, it costs about $1.00. Going by your version of inflation that doesn't take ANYTHING else into account, the actual cost of one box should be $3.25. But its not, its still only about $1.00.

    Why? Well there are MANY factors. Advertising costs, production costs, source material costs.

    In the MMO hosting world it's the same thing. Servers are dramatically cheaper to run than they used to be 17 years ago. Technology in many areas is now cheaper and more reliable. Programming is even easier in many respects. The average sub used to be about $13.00. It shouldn't cost $21.00 when you consider that like Kraft Dinner, many things got cheaper and more reliable to produce/run/host. 

    So maybe $15.00. Either way, if it was a great game I would absolutely pay $20 a month to play.

    Just remember, inflation isn't as simple as "A dollar was worth this back then, and is worth this much now".
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