| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (5)

Posted: Dec 24th 2008 9:20PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I just had a read. i would agree with everything said really.

lets face it though, its about time we had some great sci-fi MMO's mybe not even AAA titles but something over than eve would be great.

Posted: Dec 24th 2008 11:16PM Teiraa said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Agree to most of it, but I don't believe at all that "2008 signaled a death-knell for the future of subscription-based online gaming".
A large chunk of the player base is avidly hating RMT and MTs, and they are never going to love it. In future, we might see more MT based games, but the traditional subscription based model will continue to flourish in its market niche.

Posted: Dec 24th 2008 11:32PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Ditto. I think the older gamer is completely comfortable shelling out $15 a month and getting access to everything (with the invested time, of course). I also think this acts as a filter system of sorts, since it keeps the 1337 k1dz from saturating the player base and turning the community to crap. A service I am completely willing to pay for.
Reply

Posted: Dec 25th 2008 12:04AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
As the commentators at Gamasutra and here have noted, I don't think one can make the claim that 2008 marked the transition to a different form of monetization in online games. The implication in the article is that microtransaction schemes will in the near future supersede subscription plans. At one level this is sort of trivial; they already have, even in the West, and most people haven't noticed. Habbo Hotel, Club Penguin, Disney's recently released toy/mmo product represent a far larger market, in terms of active users, then the subscription based MMO player base combined. The revenue isn't the same as Blizzard's yearly billion dollar haul but it doesn't have to be to maintain similiar or even larger margins.

And that perhaps is the real, substantial shift, one captured in the point about fantasy MMOs as being "solved problems." Developers are realizing that developing a game on par with established MMOs in the genre is an untenable goal; they not only have to produce a comparable product to what those properties were at launch but they also have to compete with years of added content and evolution plus the loyalty of the existing player base. One might be able to eke out a small victory here but it will be a pyhrric one at best. The other option? Follow Nintendo, don't chase the "core" consumer, and instead offer experiences that are hopefully appealing to both old and new gamers alike. Battlefield Heroes seems like a perfect example of this.

Where I think Zenke may have erred in the article was to posit that this expanded audience would come to dominate the existing one to the exclusion of the "core" and its standard business model, the subscription. Instead of being the rule, the subscription may come be to viewed as emblematic of the old guard of MMOs; but it will still have a place among the vastly expanded array of games and game play opportunities. Just as I might enjoy Wii Sports for 30 minutes, I might also like to sink a couple hours into Fallout 3; and then pay 10$ more for the DLC when I'm done.

Posted: Dec 25th 2008 6:34AM wjowski said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Considering the companies that've been taking up the banner of the microtransaction model lately, I'd say look forward to subscription model becoming more dominant than ever.

Featured Stories

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best economy?

Posted on Apr 18th 2014 8:00AM

The Think Tank: Thoughts on PAX East 2014

Posted on Apr 17th 2014 8:00PM

The full scoop on Marvel Heroes' team-ups

Posted on Apr 17th 2014 4:30PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW