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[Column] General: The Subscription Model - A Matter of Expectations

13

Comments

  • shmashedshmashed Member UncommonPosts: 18

    I am willing to put up with just about any business model as long as the game is good.  Subscription models are fine to me.  HOWEVER, I will not take part in any game where RL money can be directly converted into power to a great degree.  If a company wants to have a free game with a "VIP" monthly fee to unlock some things, thats fine by me.  Vanity items for RL money?   Knock yourself out!  Exp boosters for RL money?  Starting to get borderline here, hopefully the booster is quite limited in time, expensive and not a massive boost.  But once cash shops start selling premium weapons, premium armor, premium tanks, premium ammo, premium guns and other things that disrupt equal footing in competition, then I am completely gone.

     

    So many F2P games just treat their free players as defenseless sheep for their paying customers to rip into.  The games only last as long as it takes for the sheep to realize they don't have a chance.  Once the sheep disappear, the payers do as well, because they can't pay to win any longer.
  • AlverantAlverant Member RarePosts: 1,096
    There's one other advantage to subs. If you subscribe to a game you're a revenue source, if you do a FTP you're a resource to be exploited. I heard about the ARC Client from what used to be Perfect World and how it will monitor your internet usages and sell that information to third parties. I don't want that.
  • HrimnirHrimnir Member RarePosts: 2,413
    Originally posted by Nickhead420

    So why, especially with the most successful game being a subscription-based game, does the idea of subscriptions seem to bother so many?

     

    Well, there are people who live by the saying "You get what you pay for."  But, for every one person who thinks that way, there are about three dozen people who buy everything from Walmart.

    Yeah, and whereas i spent $15 on a quality spatula from a boutique store 10 years ago thats still perfect, they've gone through 8 or 9 $4 walmart spatulas in the same time frame.

    Who has spent more money?

    I'm really tired of the fact that human mentality has this horribly flawed logic that if a lot of people do something then that means its good or worth doing.  Its a ridiculous notion.  Unforuntately im smart enough to know that its not going to change so i dont waste a huge amount of time fretting over it, and just accept it as nature of the beast.

    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • VelocinoxVelocinox Member UncommonPosts: 1,010
    Originally posted by Alverant
    There's one other advantage to subs. If you subscribe to a game you're a revenue source, if you do a FTP you're a resource to be exploited. I heard about the ARC Client from what used to be Perfect World and how it will monitor your internet usages and sell that information to third parties. I don't want that.

    As opposed to the hackers getting your information directly from the MMO's database? No CC# stored on a F2P game means no CC# stolen when their network gets hacked.

     

    Originally posted by Hrimnir
    Originally posted by Nickhead420

    So why, especially with the most successful game being a subscription-based game, does the idea of subscriptions seem to bother so many?

     

    Well, there are people who live by the saying "You get what you pay for."  But, for every one person who thinks that way, there are about three dozen people who buy everything from Walmart.

    Yeah, and whereas i spent $15 on a quality spatula from a boutique store 10 years ago thats still perfect, they've gone through 8 or 9 $4 walmart spatulas in the same time frame.

    Who has spent more money?

    I'm really tired of the fact that human mentality has this horribly flawed logic that if a lot of people do something then that means its good or worth doing.  Its a ridiculous notion.  Unforuntately im smart enough to know that its not going to change so i dont waste a huge amount of time fretting over it, and just accept it as nature of the beast.

     

    I bought an expensive food processor and it broke within a week. Top quality (supposedly) name brand with good reviews... Just because something is more than its competitors does not mean it is better.

     

    Value perceived is value achieved.

     

    A lot of people doing something doesn't mean it's good or worth doing? You mean like paying a subscription for WoW? Not many cases of a bigger group of people all doing the same thing in our industry than that.

     

     

    'Sandbox MMO' is a PTSD trigger word for anyone who has the experience to know that anonymous players invariably use a 'sandbox' in the same manner a housecat does.


    When your head is stuck in the sand, your ass becomes the only recognizable part of you.


    No game is more fun than the one you can't play, and no game is more boring than one which you've become familiar.


    How to become a millionaire:
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  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,150
    Originally posted by Alverant
    There's one other advantage to subs. If you subscribe to a game you're a revenue source, if you do a FTP you're a resource to be exploited. I heard about the ARC Client from what used to be Perfect World and how it will monitor your internet usages and sell that information to third parties. I don't want that.

    I heard that Zenimax Online and other subscription games selling account holder personal information to advert agencies. That's why I won't subscribe to a game I don't want my personal information sold.

    Do you see how ridiculous it sounds when you make up silly stuff like that? Do you have any proof or are you just propagating rumours? Is that what Trion is going to do with their unified launcher? Does Steam sell your info? Does MMORPG? Loktofeit was right, people just make stuff up around here, say it a few times, and then believe it's true.

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  • HarikenHariken Member RarePosts: 2,288
    And don't forget,your not paying a sub for anything new. Its the same game mechanic since everquest with more polish because of the new tech. Paying a sub for this is not worth it to me. Give me something new if you want a monthly from me. I think mmo devs are lazy and stuck dreaming about that wow money. I have been paying subs since 99/2000. I'm done until i get something worth my money.
  • sairuscosairusco Member Posts: 133
    Originally posted by Nickhead420
    Originally posted by handlewithcare

    the problem now with the subscription is that ESO is going to be so bugged at launch but the want you to still pay a full subscription.

     

    But, that's how EVERY game launches.  Also, it wouldn't be Elder Scrolls without a few bugs.

    Haha so very true, I remember the launch of Daggerfall, it had so many bugs but still I really enjoyed that game, and about every elder scrolls game I played for that matter.

    Bugs can happen :-)

    edit:

    well not really launch, I mean.. I remember Daggerfall when it came out.. long ago 

  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk Member RarePosts: 1,567

    I think the reason so many people are calling for all new releases to be F2P is down to one thing. They're a bunch of "Freeloading Bastards" who expect to get a brand new game for free and to never have to pay for anything.

     

    Warning! Sarcasm incoming!

    Yes! Of course they should get the game for free. How dare a developer expect anyone to actually pay them for their game. That's outrageous!

  • justmemyselfandijustmemyselfandi Member UncommonPosts: 559
    Originally posted by jmcdermottuk

    I think the reason so many people are calling for all new releases to be F2P is down to one thing. They're a bunch of "Freeloading Bastards" who expect to get a brand new game for free and to never have to pay for anything.

     

    Warning! Sarcasm incoming!

    Yes! Of course they should get the game for free. How dare a developer expect anyone to actually pay them for their game. That's outrageous!

    I don't hear the AION or TERA devs complaining that they're broke.

    SWtOR pulled $139 million last quarter solely from cash shop sales alone. A cash shop aimed at "free" players. And since they declined to say how much revenue subscriptions brought in, I'm fairly confident they're making more from those who didn't buy the game than those who did.

    Your strawman argument flopped harder than TESO will.

    But the main thing is, there's no reason that a sub game couldn't be successful solely as a subscription game.

    The only thing it has to do is not be more of the "same shit different day" as all the other mmos that have been released to date.

    If you're going to give the same game with a reskin and some renamed skills as everyone else, then suffer the F2P route. You will not survive on subs alone.

     

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  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,692

    The subscription model itself has become a joke. The publishers all know now that they can get more money by double dipping errrr, I mean using a "hybrid model" FF14 is now considering  such a model. ESO now just implemented something of a shop and WildStar is going to have CREDD. Not to mention it's NCSoft. So, I doubt anyone will be surprised when WildStar Announces they'll be adding a shop.

    Using the "Subscription Only" model has turned into nothing more than an "opening move"

  • Four0SixFour0Six Member UncommonPosts: 1,175

    I am studying economics at my local University.

    Because of that I have taken a stand against, or firmed it up if you will, Free 2 Play. I dig it on a "holy crap they were smart" level, but as a consumer I wont touch it.

    To avoid TL:DR, here is a synopsis; It is very rare that a consumer gets EXACTLY the value our of a consumable that they pay for it. For almost everybody the values is often times slightly above or below their willingness to pay. In a normal market, the supplier (here the publisher), and the consumer (mmo player) divide the surplus left (for the publisher every dollar below their cost, for the consumer every dollar above their value.) The Free to Play market is unique in that it allows the publisher an avenue to charge you exactly your willingness to pay. Sounds great? No. This is what is called a Perfectly Price Discriminating Monopoly. Since they charge exactly your willingness, there is NO surplus to the consumers and all surplus goes to the supplier. I understand there is an argument that states, "the consumer pays what they want" so it works, but based on the quality of offerings I think it sucks.

    On a personal note, I believe, "You get what you pay for", and every F2P mmo I have played lived up (down? ) to that expectation.

     

    Happy Friday. 

  • blondehblondeh Member UncommonPosts: 540

    l really cant see peoples problem with paying what?.... £8.99 a month for entertainment? 

    Lets put it into perspective? My monthly entertainment costs...

    Sky TV + Sky Broadband + Sky Telephone = £80+ pm

    Netflix = £5.99 pm

    Cinema once or twice a month....looking at £30+ for one sitting

    Football match once a month = £30+ and that doesnt include travel costs, food, drinks etc

    Night out with the lads??? £200+

     

    Thats just some examples of my costs per month.... so paying £8.99 is a bargain!

    The only F2P game i play now and then is Rift. Its probably the best f2p game out there. Why dont I sub? Because I play WoW and Rift doesnt warrant a sub because I may play it...for only 3 hours a month if that.. and i spend zero pounds on it.  Although I have done.  WoW i play 3-4 hours a day during the week. So its well worth £8.99

     

    I'm not sure who F2P is aimed at but it certainly aint those who go out to work and earn a living...or for those that think paying for entertainment is moot.

     

    image

  • DihoruDihoru Member Posts: 2,731
    Considering what games are coming in the F2P spectrum and what games are shifting to F2P or B2P models... I cannot see either lasting long with P2P... not hating just why would you care about a burger if you can get one just as good for free or on a pay once get it forever deal? (granted the lines and the company may not always be the best but still...)

    image
  • justmemyselfandijustmemyselfandi Member UncommonPosts: 559
    Originally posted by blondeh

    l really cant see peoples problem with paying what?.... £8.99 a month for entertainment? 

    Lets put it into perspective? My monthly entertainment costs...

    Sky TV + Sky Broadband + Sky Telephone = £80+ pm

    Netflix = £5.99 pm

    Cinema once or twice a month....looking at £30+ for one sitting

    Football match once a month = £30+ and that doesnt include travel costs, food, drinks etc

    Night out with the lads??? £200+

     

    Thats just some examples of my costs per month.... so paying £8.99 is a bargain!

    The only F2P game i play now and then is Rift. Its probably the best f2p game out there. Why dont I sub? Because I play WoW and Rift doesnt warrant a sub because I may play it...for only 3 hours a month if that.. and i spend zero pounds on it.  Although I have done.  WoW i play 3-4 hours a day during the week. So its well worth £8.99

     

    I'm not sure who F2P is aimed at but it certainly aint those who go out to work and earn a living...or for those that think paying for entertainment is moot.

     

    Many "free" players are spending more in one month buying from the shop  than you spend in a 12 month sub.

    F2P uses the same sort of psychology that casinos and drug dealers use. "$15 a month is too much! Oooohhh...look at that shiny. Well, it is only $2.00, I can buy that. Oh, look at that one....".

    Yeah, baby. It's free. Go on, try it. Oh, you want to try the good stuff? That's gonna cost you, baby.

    No wonder "lockboxes" ( a.k.a. nickel slots, buy a key for some nickels and hope you got something good. Keep trying, you'll get it. ) are a staple of most F2P games, eh?

    Me, I have absolutely no problem paying $15 a month. As long as I'm getting everything for that $15 a month. If I have to also buy clothing or other "unique" items from the cash shop, then I am not getting everything for that $15 so now a sub really isn't worth it.

    All that crap they throw in the cash shop is content that used to be added to the game as a whole as part of our subs.

    You want a flat monthly fee, remove the nickel and diming and I'll give you that fee. I don't care if it's $15 or $30. I'll pay it.

    Want to nickel and dime? That's exactly what you'll get from me. A few nickels and maybe a dime.

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  • Gallus85Gallus85 Member Posts: 1,092

    It's amazing how many people here zero education on this subject.  P2P has proven to be a failed model.  F2P has proven that it brings in more players (which is good for the community, since in MMOs, players are content) and it brings in more money.

     

    Nearly every P2P game that launched has benefited largely from converting to B2P or F2P.  Games that were dead or dying went F2P and started to generate many times more income and saved the game.

     

    So, people need to be logical and just look at the facts.  Nearly every single P2P game over the past 10 years has failed.  Tons of F2P games thrive and make a ton of money.  Almost all P2P that were dead or dying that switched to F2P saw huge success as a result of the switch.

     

    It's nothing more than baseless wishful thinking that ESO will some how change this trend.

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  • GhernGhern Member UncommonPosts: 134
    Originally posted by Gallus85

    It's amazing how many people here zero education on this subject.  P2P has proven to be a failed model.  F2P has proven that it brings in more players (which is good for the community, since in MMOs, players are content) and it brings in more money.

     

    Nearly every P2P game that launched has benefited largely from converting to B2P or F2P.  Games that were dead or dying went F2P and started to generate many times more income and saved the game.

     

    So, people need to be logical and just look at the facts.  Nearly every single P2P game over the past 10 years has failed.  Tons of F2P games thrive and make a ton of money.  Almost all P2P that were dead or dying that switched to F2P saw huge success as a result of the switch.

     

    It's nothing more than baseless wishful thinking that ESO will some how change this trend.

    I would argue that FTP was good for the community. FTP brings in the more transient players and leads to more player  churn. That is anything but a stable community.

    This is the problem I have with modern MMO's. Too many instant gratification players. Players complaining about running out of content when an mmo used to be about existing in the virtual world. Oh well, maybe I am just getting old.

  • Agent_JosephAgent_Joseph Member UncommonPosts: 1,317
    if someone cant pay 15$ monthly,should looking  for  job(or another job),not playing games

    only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW

  • TbauTbau Member Posts: 401
    Originally posted by umcorian
    Originally posted by Tbau
    Originally posted by dirtyd77
    Originally posted by Tbau

    Yes but sadly one of those two upcoming sub games will contain a cash shop with a pay wall item. The Imperial race.

    The ground has been laid for a subscription game, with a F2P cash shop. I will take no part in such a distorted mutation of the subscription model. To pay a sub and be nickel and dimed?!? no way.

    This is the true slippery slope to me and the one that I feel will eventually run me out of the genre. 

    Even though SWTOR considers itself freemium now their model ran me away from a game I enjoyed... 

    I will not support any game that charges a sub and gates any type of content/fluff/cosmetics behind a paywall. 

     Just for clarity, I have zero issues at all with a sub game having a cash shop with cosmetics and mounts.

    The race is a pay wall item, something you only get with F2P games so there is nothing to stop them from creating new playable races that can only be used if bought via the cash shop. Beyond that, if that makes them a profit, there is nothing to stop XP buffs, armor, crafting materials and every other thing you find in F2P games from being placed in there also.

    It's not like WoW, where mounts literally cost pocket change and are restricted in speed by your level and price-walled by training. In WoW's cash shop, you're essentially buying a "skin" - you still have to float 90% of the gold expense in game AND be the appropriate level to ride it. In TESO, you're buying a mount you can start riding as early as you can get in the open. Moreover, mounts "level up" in TESO based on feeding - naturally, those who start with a mount can start feeding it much sooner.

    Someone who doesn't get nickel and dimed has to drop 17k Gold before they finally gets a chance to "catch up" with their mount development. 

    Meanwhile, in PvE, the guy who paid money HAS an XP buff, in the form of faster travel in zone. Meanwhile, in PvP, the guy who paid money can react in World PvP faster, and - if he sees you in transit, he has the choice whether to bypass you by moving quicker, or run you down. 

    Starting with a mount in this game grants a significant, mechanical advantage. I'm not okay with something like this in a sub model.  As you said, that's a free to play cash shop. 

     Well, again for clarity's sake.

    I still have no issues with their being mounts in the shop. Its a fluff item and one that no one has to buy because you can get the mounts in the game. Now if those mounts had some type of bonus that you couldn't get with a mount you could get in game, then YES I would have an issue with it because it makes it a P2W item.

    Its the race I have an issue with because its a F2P style pay wall item that you cant get any other way other than spend yet more real money to get access to. This is something new sub based game should have. It never should have even been part of the pre-order in the first place. Either give the race to everyone or don't give it, this is something F2P games do. And yes I am aware of STO doing it, but that was a horrible game that went F2P fast.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,860

    I don't mind paying a monthly sub for ESO. That's the only way I'll get to play the game from next Sunday.

    The only other choice I have is to not play until it goes "F2P", but that could take 6 months at the very barest minimum. More likely 12 months, possibly 18 or 24... Do I want to wait ? Hell no, I want to play it. Now !

     

    Does it bother me that the game might be F2P at some point in the future ? Not in the slightest !

     

    When new products appear on the market for the first time, they sell for top dollar. A year later they are in the bargain bin, because there's something new that's replaced them. That is the way of the world, and that's the way it will be for the next few thousand years at least...

  • MrNoMrNo Member UncommonPosts: 114

    I have heard the F2P vs P2P argument for a very long time now and each base has its own pros and cons:

     

    P2P Pros:

    1. You don't have to worry bout getting end game loot. Just do the grind or run the raids and in most cases you will get your end game loot.

    2. When you get bored with which ever MMO you are playing. You stop the Sub go play something else come back in a few months when they have a few new patches or maybe a even a new xpac.

    3. Social wise other gamers are willing to help you out in a tough spot.

    4. For the foremost when you play a P2P game PVP is usually better then F2P.

    P2P Cons:

    You do have to worry about loot, because even though drops are more frequent in instances. You usually get the same drop over and over again until you run it for the 100th time just to get the drop you really want.

    2. When you get bored with the same grind yes you can unsub and not go because you realize nothing has changed.

    3. See the similarity between pros and cons most sub games are meant to be this way.

    4. OP usually a game will OP a certain class to the biggest QQ of the game being played.

     

    F2P Pros:

    1. Its Free.

    2. Also it is in most cases you will not achieve end game gear unless you buy your end game gear or actually sub to the F2P game for end game content.

    3. When you get board just quit, after all it is free.

    F2P Cons:

    1.  Social chat is filled with all kinds of interesting ppl .

    2. F2P usually is more grinds then a P2P game.

    3. OP is a huge prob with cash shop F2P.

    4. If you play in a open world pvp F2P you are one brave gamer.

     

    Mr. No Knows. ;p

     

     

    image

  • Righteous_RockRighteous_Rock Member RarePosts: 1,234
    I used to like sub model. Now after all the games converting, I am just throwing in the white flag. No sweat off my back though, played my share of games on pc. The culture has moved beyond me now. I won't buy anymore games, I am not buying a game just so a year later it can be given away for free. Sorry Wildstar because I like your game but the market is jacked up and has skewed my decision making and eso you can take a hike your game is just going to make things even worse.
  • MagikrorriMMagikrorriM Member UncommonPosts: 222

    I don't think there is any sub model game that was free of microtransactions, FFXI remember mules? They cost 1 dollar a month, in FFXIV extra 2 retainers will run you 2 dollars a month for both.

    The difference in FtP and sub is the rate in which the cash flow comes in and content, keep in mind in order to keep cash coming FtP has to devote development to making cash shop items, rather than focusing their time on content. Small companies that rely on investors to fund their game are under heavy pressure to make money for the investors, hence the dawn of FtP.  SE and Blizzard don't rely on investors to fund their games, so yes with those two companies a sub model will work. Which results in more content focus from the devs, less on cash shop items. FFXI is still a sub based game, after all these years.

  • Gallus85Gallus85 Member Posts: 1,092
    Originally posted by Ghern
    Originally posted by Gallus85

    It's amazing how many people here zero education on this subject.  P2P has proven to be a failed model.  F2P has proven that it brings in more players (which is good for the community, since in MMOs, players are content) and it brings in more money.

     

    Nearly every P2P game that launched has benefited largely from converting to B2P or F2P.  Games that were dead or dying went F2P and started to generate many times more income and saved the game.

     

    So, people need to be logical and just look at the facts.  Nearly every single P2P game over the past 10 years has failed.  Tons of F2P games thrive and make a ton of money.  Almost all P2P that were dead or dying that switched to F2P saw huge success as a result of the switch.

     

    It's nothing more than baseless wishful thinking that ESO will some how change this trend.

    I would argue that FTP was good for the community. FTP brings in the more transient players and leads to more player  churn. That is anything but a stable community.

    This is the problem I have with modern MMO's. Too many instant gratification players. Players complaining about running out of content when an mmo used to be about existing in the virtual world. Oh well, maybe I am just getting old.

    You would lose that argument because the only difference between a F2P MMO's community churn and a P2P one is the fact that once the P2P game loses a player it has a lot harder time bringing that player back.

     

    People come and go from MMOs regardless of the model.  The only difference is that F2P creates an environment where coming back to the game isn't blocked by a pay barrier.

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  • MaltisseMaltisse Member UncommonPosts: 34
    @OP. I believe that people really want as much as possible for free. I do not think the majority of people understand that you need steady income to continue production for an MMO. Sub based games provide this, p2p does not, it is a gamble. Not to mention people want p2p games to offer everything that the game requires for competitive play for free, to me that is insane. However companies have figured out how to do this fairly well but I think the overall quality of the game experience suffers from it. If a company must address what content is most important to create I would rather it be meaningful than cash grabbing. I would really like to see a game that incorporates everything for sub members while at the same time offering p2p shops for free users. As a sub member I do not want to ever even see a shop, I want everything the game has to offer. 
  • Gallus85Gallus85 Member Posts: 1,092
    Originally posted by Maltisse
    @OP. I believe that people really want as much as possible for free. I do not think the majority of people understand that you need steady income to continue production for an MMO. Sub based games provide this, p2p does not, it is a gamble. Not to mention people want p2p games to offer everything that the game requires for competitive play for free, to me that is insane. However companies have figured out how to do this fairly well but I think the overall quality of the game experience suffers from it. If a company must address what content is most important to create I would rather it be meaningful than cash grabbing. I would really like to see a game that incorporates everything for sub members while at the same time offering p2p shops for free users. As a sub member I do not want to ever even see a shop, I want everything the game has to offer. 

    This is simply not true.  F2P brings in more money than P2P.

     

    I'm not sure why you people talk without doing any research.  Yes, I agree, P2P for us core MMORPG players is ideal.  It's cheaper and we spend less money in the long run.  But what is best for the longevity of the game, and what is more profitable for an MMORPG, is unquestionably the F2P model.  As proven by every single P2P MMORPG that's gone F2P.  Those that do F2P badly increase profits and burn out quickly.  Those who do F2P right increase profits and stand the test of time, surviving long after P2P games have come and gone.

     

    But it enrages me when you people talk about F2P without any industry knowledge at all.

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