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Should the subscription model go away?

   Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. They describe they feel like they are being forced to play the game just to get their sub time worth. Also with many games doing the whole "free to play and cash shop" combo many developers see lots of profit in that. Let's not forget the B2P without a sub and a cashshop. (Looking at Guild Wars 2 which is really doing good as well.) Heck, even some games like SWTOR converted from sub based only to a freemium model with a cash shop and they make a good profit off of it as well. 
 
   Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. (Also FFXIV. Over 2 million subs.) That's really only a whopping two games. I have a feeling that subs will be an even lesser option as the MMO genre continues forward.  
 
 
 
   So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?
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Comments

  • HeretiqueHeretique Member RarePosts: 1,499

    I'm seeing the shift, which worries me a bit. We've seen a small minority of F2P>Cash Shop actually "work" when it comes to not nickel and diming someone into oblivion.

    I am a fan of the subscription model but as long as a F2P game can support itself without an overpowered cash shop / RMT economy issue then more power to them.

  • ArtificeVenatusArtificeVenatus Member UncommonPosts: 1,236
     
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,774

    I am not a dev/publisher so I am not going to tell them what they should or should not do.

    However, I will not play a sub game anymore. Whether they will cater to my preference remains to be seen.

  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,077
    Personally, I will always prefer p2p vs f2p; however, I do believe the sub model should change. After the whole thing with wow's expansion release, it just affirmed my thoughts that subs should be "pay for the time you are actually able to log into the game." Honestly, I feel more people would be inclined to support subscription based games if the models were like that vs paying for x-amount of days, half of which you might not be able to utilize due to schedules/other games/server downtime/etc. Just my thoughts.
  • bcbullybcbully Member EpicPosts: 10,064
    No f2p should go away. Sub prices should vary. 5, 10, 15, 20 ect.
  • fanglofanglo Member UncommonPosts: 314

    MMORPG's in general are going away regardless of the model used. The problem is that it's far easier to develop an iPadd app game that is F2P than a full fledged MMORPG. A decent F2P iPad app game can make almost the same amount as a current MMORPG. 

    People love these casual games. Anyway, this will force MMORPG's to become niche games. As such the model isn't as important because you are already dealing with a niche audience. In fact when you start talking about niche audiences the sup plan works better because you won't have as many people playing your game. 

    2015 releases a ton of Cash Shop MMO's and we'll have to see how they do. 

    I healed Mistwraith and all I got was this stupid tee-shirt!

  • KhayotixKhayotix Member UncommonPosts: 231
    Originally posted by bcbully
    No f2p should go away. Sub prices should vary. 5, 10, 15, 20 ect.

    now I don't normally get caught up in these discussions as I am a huge proponent of Subs ONLY. However I totally agree with BCbully. F2P needs to go away! I have played over 50 F2P games and it has proven that those games are nothing but shells designed to steal our money even P2P mmo's that converted, have ended up crossing the horrible threshold of P2W. Instead the idea of Sub prices varying is a great solution!

     

     


  • zaberfangxzaberfangx Member UncommonPosts: 1,796

    No model should go away, should be more model ideas out there, then just so many f2p or sub model that take most of the cake.

     

    There people will say sub is better no free to play is better, is all about the company and how much money they spend on that game, that end up funded with the money they make, so far there very few mmo like that, even wow don't spend 100% on there own game.

  • XatshXatsh Member UncommonPosts: 363

    P2P should go away if and only if F2P does 2 things.

    1) stops giving people who pay more an advantage over those who pay less.

    Your advancement in a game should be based on the work you put into it, not the size of your wallet.

    2) stop putting the majority of new content in the cash shop with the intent of forcing people to spend money. Hell half the f2p games 90% of the new content added between expansions is X new items in the cash shop.

    Aka ingame content should have a priority over cash shop.

  • ElirionLothElirionLoth Member UncommonPosts: 308
    Originally posted by bcbully
    No f2p should go away. Sub prices should vary. 5, 10, 15, 20 ect.

    image

  • ArtificeVenatusArtificeVenatus Member UncommonPosts: 1,236
     
  • Superman0XSuperman0X Member RarePosts: 2,204
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. They describe they feel like they are being forced to play the game just to get their sub time worth. Also with many games doing the whole "free to play and cash shop" combo many developers see lots of profit in that. Let's not forget the B2P without a sub and a cashshop. (Looking at Guild Wars 2 which is really doing good as well.) Heck, even some games like SWTOR converted from sub based only to a freemium model with a cash shop and they make a good profit off of it as well. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. (Also FFXIV. Over 2 million subs.) That's really only a whopping two games. I have a feeling that subs will be an even lesser option as the MMO genre continues forward.  
     
     
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    Subscriptions need to remain... if they were to go away, F2P would most likely fail. Subscription is the centerpiece of the F2P model, and is the most popular payment option.

  • VesaviusVesavius Member RarePosts: 7,905
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. 
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

     

    I have seen more complaining about cash shops recently than subs tbh.

     

    WOW is not the only successful game that relies on subs to fund it though. Pretty much every so called 'free to play' game in the West relies on sub revenue to underpin it's income. You could as legitimately call them sub games as easily as cash shop/ F2P games. In truth, the vast majority of games operate a HYBRID revenue model, of which the sub is an essential part of. The first people who would say NO to it going away would be the developers themselves. 

     

    The sub is a robust dependable model that isn't going anywhere. It tends to appeal to a more mature niche interest customer base that can't be bothered with the exploitative fiddly obscured cost cash shops, which is where this genre is heading more and more, so no it should not (and will not) go away. 

  • aesperusaesperus Member UncommonPosts: 5,135
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. They describe they feel like they are being forced to play the game just to get their sub time worth. Also with many games doing the whole "free to play and cash shop" combo many developers see lots of profit in that. Let's not forget the B2P without a sub and a cashshop. (Looking at Guild Wars 2 which is really doing good as well.) Heck, even some games like SWTOR converted from sub based only to a freemium model with a cash shop and they make a good profit off of it as well. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. (Also FFXIV. Over 2 million subs.) That's really only a whopping two games. I have a feeling that subs will be an even lesser option as the MMO genre continues forward.  
     
     
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    It shouldn't disappear completely, but in the current market landscape (common for people to hop games frequently, and high saturation of games available, even MMOs) it just doesn't make sense.

    Subscription models worked around a decade or so ago, when we could reliably expect regular game updates (of which part of the subscription was supposed to go towards), and thus game support. Now? The most successful subscription MMO (by a large margin) is WoW. It has been so for many years now. With all of those subscription dollars, how many quality game updates have we seen that weren't paid expansions? Very few. How many expansions were released at a price below a full game? None.

    The whole idea of what subscriptions are meant to provide just isn't upheld anymore. Probably the best sub game we've had in recent years would be FFXIV:ARR. Which is basically a wow clone reskinned with FF. It's well done, and they add a good amount of content, but that's one example out of dozens.

    ** IF we can get back to a situation where both gamers are willing to stick with one or two MMOs for a prolongued period of time, AND developers are willing to provide quality game updates with some of the subscription money, THEN and only then do I think it's justified to see more of that business model.

    - There is little reason to parade one business model over another (from a consumer standpoint). They are all just differing ways to make money. Subscriptions can be just as greedy, if not more so, than the average F2P cash grab. It just doesn't feel as much like it. F2P models can be extremely fair to the player (look at GW2 for example, or TERA), but we still have studios that don't understand how to properly implement a F2P model that doesn't completely overwhelm gameplay. And that is a problem.

  • Entris38Entris38 Member UncommonPosts: 401
    Originally posted by ElirionLoth
    Originally posted by bcbully
    No f2p should go away. Sub prices should vary. 5, 10, 15, 20 ect.

    image

    Completely agree also.

  • aesperusaesperus Member UncommonPosts: 5,135
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. 
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    I have seen more complaining about cash shops recently than subs tbh.

    WOW is not the only successful game that relies on subs to fund it though. Pretty much every so called 'free to play' game in the West relies on sub revenue to underpin it's income. You could as legitimately call them sub games as easily as cash shop/ F2P games. In truth, the vast majority of games operate a HYBRID revenue model, of which the sub is an essential part of. The first people who would say NO to it going away would be the developers themselves. 

    The sub is a robust dependable model that isn't going anywhere. It tends to appeal to a more mature niche interest customer base that can't be bothered with the exploitative fiddly obscured cost cash shops, which is where this genre is heading more and more, so no it should not (and will not) go away. 

    That's because most western MMOs start out as sub games and then swap to F2P later. This isn't a fault of the F2P model, but rather reflects on how hesitant many studios are with trying it out. F2P is a model which sounds ridiculous in concept. It sounds highly risky and potentially disasterous, but in practice it actually works very well. As such, if you are trying to fund a game it takes a lot of skill and saavy to convince a board room that your multi-million dollar project won't be flushing their money away, because you are offering it out for free.

    That said, there are numerous F2P games in the west that do not rely on subs to succeed. GW2 is one of the prime examples, and Planetside 2 is also doing alright. There are other examples of F2P MMOs that do well w/ out a sub, but they (and most MMOs in general) are coming from eastern companies as of late.

    Most western game studios do not want to take a risk making an MMO anymore. They'd rather make an online multiplayer game, than risk their entire operating budget making a game in a genre that everyone's struggling to figure out its future.

  • HavrimHavrim Member Posts: 7

    I truly hope that they don't go away, unless western companies figure out how to make a working business model that doesn't feel like a completely transparent attempt to nab as much money as possible.

    Riot did an amazing job with LoL.  If companies can figure that out, I'm all for it.  

    Unfortunately, we're not there yet.  I'll continue playing p2p games and choosing those over the other.  What REALLY worries me is the new trend of having a subscription AND a necessary item shop.  That crap has to go!

    In my opinion, the three most polished games on the market right now are subscription-based games.  One of those is the 9000-pound gorilla that may never go away.  The other two (FFXIV and ESO) have companies that are listening to their players, updating their game often and without charge (so far), and seem to be successful.

    I TRULY hope the subscription model doesn't go away...

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,998

    There's one part of P2P I don't like and only one part of F2P I do like. I don't like the possibility of buying a game--for whatever reason--that I don't like so I do like the try before you buy aspect of F2P.

     

    But I find cash shops in games a big turn off and don't want it or the subtle and not so subtle ("IPFreely just got a Golden Donkey mount from a Chest of Awesome Goodness!") in-game ads.

     

     

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • DraemosDraemos Member UncommonPosts: 1,518
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. They describe they feel like they are being forced to play the game just to get their sub time worth. Also with many games doing the whole "free to play and cash shop" combo many developers see lots of profit in that. Let's not forget the B2P without a sub and a cashshop. (Looking at Guild Wars 2 which is really doing good as well.) Heck, even some games like SWTOR converted from sub based only to a freemium model with a cash shop and they make a good profit off of it as well. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. (Also FFXIV. Over 2 million subs.) That's really only a whopping two games. I have a feeling that subs will be an even lesser option as the MMO genre continues forward.  
     
     
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    Gods no, the subscription MMOs are the only ones that are worth a shit anymore.  Look at the sort of improvements you get in games like FFXIV and ESO post released compared to the shit you get stuck with in something like GW2.  

  • VesaviusVesavius Member RarePosts: 7,905
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by Vesavius
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. 
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    I have seen more complaining about cash shops recently than subs tbh.

    WOW is not the only successful game that relies on subs to fund it though. Pretty much every so called 'free to play' game in the West relies on sub revenue to underpin it's income. You could as legitimately call them sub games as easily as cash shop/ F2P games. In truth, the vast majority of games operate a HYBRID revenue model, of which the sub is an essential part of. The first people who would say NO to it going away would be the developers themselves. 

    The sub is a robust dependable model that isn't going anywhere. It tends to appeal to a more mature niche interest customer base that can't be bothered with the exploitative fiddly obscured cost cash shops, which is where this genre is heading more and more, so no it should not (and will not) go away. 

    That's because most western MMOs start out as sub games and then swap to F2P later. This isn't a fault of the F2P model.

    That said, there are numerous F2P games in the west that do not rely on subs to succeed. 

     

    I didn't say that there were no pure cash shop MMORPGs out there, I just said that the majority are hybrid games of which the sub forms a dependable and vital part of the revenue of. 

    Personally, I am a firm supporter of the sub and have been for years on these boards. Given the choice, I will pay a sub every time. I find the cash shop system to be dishonest and exploitative and nothing I have seen from the recent efforts of the past few years has changed that PoV.

     

     

  • KanethKaneth Member RarePosts: 2,284
    Originally posted by Draemos
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. They describe they feel like they are being forced to play the game just to get their sub time worth. Also with many games doing the whole "free to play and cash shop" combo many developers see lots of profit in that. Let's not forget the B2P without a sub and a cashshop. (Looking at Guild Wars 2 which is really doing good as well.) Heck, even some games like SWTOR converted from sub based only to a freemium model with a cash shop and they make a good profit off of it as well. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. (Also FFXIV. Over 2 million subs.) That's really only a whopping two games. I have a feeling that subs will be an even lesser option as the MMO genre continues forward.  
     
     
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    Gods no, the subscription MMOs are the only ones that are worth a shit anymore.  Look at the sort of improvements you get in games like FFXIV and ESO post released compared to the shit you get stuck with in something like GW2.  

    Well GW2 is a B2P and yes they have way overdone their focus on the gem store. If they do announce an expansion pack in a couple of weeks and decide to focus on actually improving the game as opposed to nickle and diming everyone, they might get some kind of a clue that expansion releases are a better way of generating revenue in the eyes of the fans instead of focusing on the gem store whales.

    This isn't to say that B2P can't work. ANet more or less slowly ramped up their focus on gem store over the past couple of years while still providing frequent content updates. Living Story didn't grab everyone as it was fairly poorly executed, but there at least was potential there.

    The Secret World is an example of a B2P game that is extremely well received by it's fans. The game isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I rarely see anything overly negative about the game. I feel the combat system and even the setting hold the game back a bit.

    To answer the original question, I do agree with BCbully's idea of tiered subscriptions. If I wanted to say pay $5 per month maybe I would have access to one character, I could open up more character slots at various dollar increments with the top tiered being opened at $15.

  • Viper482Viper482 Member EpicPosts: 3,010
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. They describe they feel like they are being forced to play the game just to get their sub time worth. Also with many games doing the whole "free to play and cash shop" combo many developers see lots of profit in that. Let's not forget the B2P without a sub and a cashshop. (Looking at Guild Wars 2 which is really doing good as well.) Heck, even some games like SWTOR converted from sub based only to a freemium model with a cash shop and they make a good profit off of it as well. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. (Also FFXIV. Over 2 million subs.) That's really only a whopping two games. I have a feeling that subs will be an even lesser option as the MMO genre continues forward.  
     
     
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    Free to play is a plague on this genre, period. All MMOs should be buy to play like GW2 (even that is questionable to me) or subscription models. I just hate the community fre to play conjures.

    Make MMORPG's Great Again!
  • HavrimHavrim Member Posts: 7
    Originally posted by Draemos
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
       Recently, I have seen many people in game and on various sites complain about  paying a subscription fee. They describe they feel like they are being forced to play the game just to get their sub time worth. Also with many games doing the whole "free to play and cash shop" combo many developers see lots of profit in that. Let's not forget the B2P without a sub and a cashshop. (Looking at Guild Wars 2 which is really doing good as well.) Heck, even some games like SWTOR converted from sub based only to a freemium model with a cash shop and they make a good profit off of it as well. 
     
       Since WOW is really the only game that has been subscription based and a huge success over these past 10 years. (Also FFXIV. Over 2 million subs.) That's really only a whopping two games. I have a feeling that subs will be an even lesser option as the MMO genre continues forward.  
     
     
     
       So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    Gods no, the subscription MMOs are the only ones that are worth a shit anymore.  Look at the sort of improvements you get in games like FFXIV and ESO post released compared to the shit you get stuck with in something like GW2.  

    This...right here.  Paywalls, crafting materials, "convenience" items (which almost always end up being necessary) are all crap.  Stick with a subscription based MMO from a company that knows what they're doing...and pay a whopping $15.00 a month for a ridiculous amount of entertainment for the cost...

  • phantomghostphantomghost Member UncommonPosts: 737

    I prefer subscription.  Of course I understand they will most likely make more money with the cash shop option.

     

    Giving nobody an advantage is the way I prefer it.  Everybody has all the content they paid for (expansions).  And nobody has any special benefits such as xp pots or other unfair advantages.  

     

    Once you take away the advantages you are left with cosmetics... I prefer my players gear to show where I obtained it from.. and that should not be from my paycheck.  


  • Adjuvant1Adjuvant1 Member RarePosts: 2,100
    Originally posted by Vladric_Hellsinger
     
     So my question to you is should subscriptions remain or go away completely?

    Subscriptions are great. Provided all cash shop items are cosmetic or otherwise incidental, everyone who participates is on equal footing, relative to how much time and effort they care to contribute. There's no legitimate argument against P2P model. It's not like a video game is food or something else necessary, it's a luxury. If you want to participate and can afford it, you do, if you can't, you don't. There's no conversation there, as far as I'm concerned.

    People will dislike things, they will be vocal about it, but just because they do, doesn't mean their argument has merit.

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