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Reader Comments (12)

Posted: Jan 25th 2009 8:32PM Holgranth said

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I agree some games are not worth $15 a month (Tabula Rasa comes to mind.)
The asian "f2p" with attached microtransactions if you want to experience the full game without grinding for fifty million years, in my humble opinion sucks monkeyballs.

The subcription model I REALLY want to see is a prepay for time subcription. Example I pay $15 American which is $17 for me and get say, 100-150 hours of Warcraft, or I can pay a $15 a month subcription. Thats the kind of player freedom I would like to see developers embracing.

If I want to go to WAR or TOR for a month or so I can just not play and my hours are still waiting pantiently for me when I get back. THAT is the system that in my personal opinion is truely casual gamer friendly.

Unfortionatly everone is looking at the retarded microtransaction system used by the asians where you can just BUY your way through the game. Fat wallet FTW!@!@!

Posted: Jan 25th 2009 9:02PM ultimateq said

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I too think microtransactions can hurt games. I don't mind paying $15/mo for games, but I think the games should be free.

Or at the very least. Make the Game and Expansions affordable, I'd say $10-20. I think its ridiculous that these companies are selling their expansions for $50 on-top of a $15 monthly fee.

Posted: Jan 25th 2009 9:32PM Holgranth said

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By Free I'm guessing you mean free to download or cheap to buy in stores right? And then just pay for the time you spend playing it?
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Posted: Jan 26th 2009 1:18PM ultimateq said

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Yes thats what I meant :)
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Posted: Jan 25th 2009 9:09PM Lethality said

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Fact is, an all-you-can eat model is the best option for these types of games, due to their nature of being more a hobby than a game.

People don't like being nickle-and-dimed, and doing the math to figure out if its happening even less.

The monthly sub model is here to stay. Microtransactions will not play in North America.


Posted: Jan 25th 2009 9:58PM Nadril said

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While I don't like micro transaction models, if they're done wrong, if they are done right they might prove to be viable.

- Paid name changes, "fluff" items, server transfers, ect. A lot of these could be monetized right off the bat.

- Advertisement on a loading screen. I'm not talking about full, in your face advertisements during gameplay. I'm talking about something during the beginning splash screen that could change (just an image would work, not a video). Of course they could say, hey, pay $X a month and get rid of advertisements.


And I'm sure there are other ways to help, such as (of course) expansions or even DLC. Of course they'd have to make sure it wouldn't end up costing more than a normal $15/mo, and I would personally stay away from advertisements.


The good thing this would do is make it so players would be more willing to TRY another game again. For example, I don't want to go back and try WAR again because I'd hate to pay another $15/mo (going through all the hassle again) only to find it still boring to me. With a different model for MMORPG's I feel I could switch a lot easier between them.

Posted: Jan 25th 2009 10:21PM (Unverified) said

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I think I agree with you here - certain things can be monetized very easily such as paid name changes, server transfers -very possibly fluff items, although i kinda disagree on principle- and things like blizzard's new "paid character recreation" where you get to change skin colour and gender, if you wish.

- I think people are right when they say anything that is monetized should not have an influence in whether or not a player wins or loses - anything that has a effect of the game's combat and mechanics should not really be charged extra for.

-Advertisements - a few games already do this (CoX? could be wrong) and Quake Live, although not an MMO, is doing it really well, with the advertisements integrated into "billboards" around the arenas, much like in a stadium IRL. I reckon it's quite a good way of doing things.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2009 9:20AM (Unverified) said

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Why not try what Guild Wars does? Buy to Play then do micro-transaction like when you want to transfer a server, bling for your toon, anything besides altering the balance of the game. Guild Wars has been successful with the B2P model. Then why not adding more spice into Buy to Play model?

Posted: Jan 26th 2009 8:49AM Tom in VA said

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Interesting subject. I agree with first commenter, many games would be viable (or would have been viable) if marketed in different ways. TR would have been quite successful under a Guild Wars model-type model, I think.

I have seen various ideas thrown out there:

(1) the standard $15/month "all you can eat" sub.
(2) "tiered" subs--$15/month "all you can eat" sub, $5/month for X hours, or $10/month for X+Y hours per month
(3) straight time purchases: $30, $15, $10, or $5 for corresponding numbers of hours played
(4) buy game, play for free, purchase expansions (Guild Wars)
(5) F2P + microtransactions -- this can be done badly or done well

MMOs need to get creative. I see a lot of antipathy to models other than the standard stock Model 1, but I just don't get that. If you want to have multiple accounts (e.g., families, couples, etc.) or only play a little each month, or if a game is fun but not *that* fun (Tabula Rasa!), the standard Model 1 is a VERY BAD CHOICE for both the player and the company offering the plan.

I say let a few decent games come out that offer different models and let the market decide. I'd love to see, say, an MT-based SWTOR (done well) and the sub-based WoW (also a good game) go head to head in the market place.

My personal preference is Model 4. The only problem with it is that Guild Wars is in virtual hibernation these days. If GW2 ever comes out and is a decent game with the same payment model, I think it will do VERY WELL indeed. Just my 2ยข.

Posted: Jan 26th 2009 10:24AM Temploiter said

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As a poster in a previous story (is it me or is there a common theme in the industry media going on the last 2 months "pushing" RMT?):

It's a sad state of affairs in the MMO world when the only innovation happening is in the billing department.


How about making games fun and then people will pay to play?

Posted: Jan 26th 2009 8:54PM (Unverified) said

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Just as one plays a game and evaluates it's game system, one also evaluates it's payment system. The billing department is an important system to look at.

Thanks to Tom for posting the list of payment options available to developers. I'd like to see an MMO that allows for any option to be used with differing features. If you just buy the game and the expansions, you merely get what is in the game and the expansion. If they work to patch in content, you can MT it, or get it because you have a subscription. People with subscriptions get goodies like gifts, web stuff(profile, ladders, matchmaking...), tournament access, etc.

I will not pay 205 dollars per year to play an MMO, and especially MMOs of these days (needs more diverse forms of gameplay and a rethinking of what it means to be MMO; apbftw?). I mean a normal game developer can make their simple games for $50 a pop. What merits $205? I don't see it.

Posted: Jan 28th 2009 1:50AM cray said

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I would pay a monthly subscription to play, but it has to be more than just one game. $15 is a lot money for one game no matter how awesome it might be. I would like to see NCsoft set up a $25 monthly subscription to play all their games, From the Lineage series, City of Heroes series, to the new Aion. Including Guild Wars (even though it's subscription free) and other MMOs like Dungeon Runners, eXteel, and of course Tabula Rasa.

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