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Reader Comments (56)

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:09AM c0gnit0 said

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Absolutely they should be always include the previous ones. Personally, if I were to market an mmo like that...I would wonder which I wanted more, the $40 from two expansion boxes or the 3 months subscription for the player. Sure you can have your cake and eat it too but only if your customer doesn't get pushed away by the initial $40 and decides the game is worth it to even pay up another $45 for 3 months. Personally if I hadn't been around for BC and WotLK, I wouldn't have gone for Cataclysm. I like WoW but not $55 for one month of playing content that is irrelevant to the new expansion. It just seems like a nickel and dime thing....it makes me think of how EA is charging online licenses for their console games now. If you don't have a new copy, you have to buy online licenses to play the thing on a network like PSN or Xbox Live. That's BEFORE the additions to the game after launch. So when it comes to old content still costing money, it's a little harsh to the customers. It feels like a slap in the face.

"Want to play our awesome, shiny new content? That'll be $60 please. Thank you! See you in Cataclysm in a month! Then you get to pay again!" :\

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:09AM MMOaddict said

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Yes. No question about it. This is one area Blizzard shows their extreme greed. SOE can be greedy but at least they package all their old expacks into the newest one. I think Turbine does too. I have more respect for Turbine and SOE because of that.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:12AM c0gnit0 said

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Absolutely old expansions should be included in the new ones. Why pay money for content you're likely to never see? It's like a toll-booth to get to what you want. In a game like WoW where they develop most of its content for max level, why would you pay the same price to get through the previously two, irrelevant level ranged expansions to get to the new one? On top of paying the monthly subscription fee. It feels like a nickel and dime scheme. If your game is truly good, you wouldn't worry about getting box numbers up because subscription retention rate is where the money is. It's similar to EA charging online licenses for their console games now. Sure you can buy a used copy but you can't get to anything good without paying the toll booth. Once you pay the toll booth, you can then pay more for the stuff you really want. It seems like a slap in the face from the company.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:20AM hassaun2006 said

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i think charging for expansions on top of subs is unsavory to begin with, but if they are going to do so then yes by all means roll the content into one reasonable price. The only exception I could stomach would be GW2's theoretical model, where since they dont charge a sub, and aren't *supposedly* going to force you to use the cash shop, and you aren't going to "out level" content, then they could get away with charging for each individual expac. i still wouldn't think it'd be a great idea down the line, but I'm cheap, lol.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:30AM Patently Right said

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@hassaun2006 It's decent enough considering that it's an MMO, whereas for single-player games you'd be buying around a handful each year, and RRP for those are $60 already (depending on where you live.)

So, theoretically, instead of buying 5+ single-player games, you'd be buying 2~3 & an expansion for an MMO you can log in at any time without added fees. It's a win-win situation, even when in practice, unless you're the hardcore type who needs every awesome game that comes out.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 11:08AM SnarlingWolf said

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@hassaun2006

To the initial article question, yes they should include the other expansions. I also have walked away from a game instead of coming back to it because I saw how many expansions I'd have ot get (and EQ/EQ2 haven't always included all previous expansions. I ran into the problem with EQ2 once which stopped me from trying it).

As for this poster. I agree. In the changing landscape where f2p looks so appealing to people (before they see it switch to pay 2 win and are shocked that they would ever do such a thing) you need a little extra to make p2p appealing as well.

First I would always offer a 14 day free trial on a brand new release game. Let more people try out the game and see if they want to hop in. I won't play a game anymore without the free trial part and often by the time games get around to it I've lost all interest because it took so long.

Second I would make the boxes cost a little bit more than the same amount of time subscription. So basically what you're saying to your customer is by giving you this expansion we are taking a certain subscription commitment from you. Want to sell a box for 50-55 bucks? Make it include a 3 month subscription with the box. You'll still win out, some people that might have quit with the normal month sub runs out (like the initial wave in most MMOs now) might stick around the extra couple months since they have the "free" play time. That might be enough to get people hooked who normally wouldn't have played long enough to. And if they do quit well they already paid you for 3 months.

I do think the days of a flat out box sale for MMOs should be over. The market has 100 games in it where you can do a free trial and then instantly just sub up (no box/expansion fee of any kind). So why would you buy the new box to a new untested, probably buggy/unfinished, game for $60 when you can get 4 months of play out of a more polished, more additional content, better tested game?
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:22AM xBludx said

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"Should"? Are you asking about "should" in a free market capitalist society?

It would be more accurate to ask "do you want," and the answer would be yes. But "should" has nothing to do with it, where the rule is supply and demand. If people pay for new expansions that don't include old expansions, then of course, that is what you will get more of.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:26AM Wic said

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Id say it depends on the game and the subscription costs or cash shop costs.

I find the cost of expansions to be another good firewall to botters and gold sellers. Which I detest more than the cost.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:27AM Yarg2011 said

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@xBludx what an inane comment.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:34AM xBludx said

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@Yarg2011

Why? Can you support your assertion? I think I'm being rationale here and I'm open to a rational rebuttal. But just an unjustified blanket statement that in your opinion my comment is inane seems somewhat lacking.

Let's see what you've got Yarg2011.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 10:45AM Space Cobra said

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@xBludx

"It would be more accurate to ask "do you want," and the answer would be yes. But "should" has nothing to do with it, where the rule is supply and demand. If people pay for new expansions that don't include old expansions, then of course, that is what you will get more of."

I agree about the "free market" thing and pricing what the market should bear. There are people who will and do pay, especially when you got them hooked.

But I also feel it creates ill-will, even though these same people may buy the new expansion. Consider Microsoft: It tends to have Corporations "by the balls" as it charges full price for every edition, even older ones, if you buy through them.

IMHO, this is a recreation activity and charging for each expansion fully should not be "the way". But I look upon this as a "drug dealer": You want to "hook" your customers, especially new ones. The adage: "The first hit's free," comes to mind. You want to reduce the barrier of entry; at least give the appearance of "a good deal" by having the latest expansion and tacking on the older expansions for a reduced priced. You'll get more "bites" that way. Of course, the older an expansion gets, the "freer" it should be. This assumes, of course, that there are other ways to wheedle money from a customer and I would daresay, although I am so-so about it, a cash shop would be that very thing with it's "Sparkly Pony Scrubbing Bubbles" items, especially if you consider some of those items sell for the price of an expansion.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 10:59AM happyfish said

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@Yarg2011 I agree with bud. Why give something away for free when people are clearly willing to pay for it? Blizzard is a souless corporation, not some "save the children non-profit." 12 million people can't be wrong eh?
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 1:07PM Seffrid said

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@Yarg2011

I fear yours was the inane comment. xBudx's reasoned comment was perfectly sound.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 4:10PM (Unverified) said

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@xBludx I agree that "should ..." is an extremely vague question, but a better question than "do you want?" would be:

"do you think it's an evil marketing tactic to make you buy expansions that are no longer relevant to catch up?"

and/or "does having to buy older expantions stops you from buying the last one and catching up?"
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 9:12PM (Unverified) said

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It *is* an inane comment. The original question of "should" is just fine. In fact, not only is xBludx trying to be pedantic, but his suggestion of using "do you want" is even worse.

I already have all previous expansions. Whether future expansions come with the previous ones makes no difference to me, so asking what I want is pointless to the topic.

It's already fairly acknowledged that we the consumers want as much stuff possible for the money we fork over. Asking if Blizzard should include old expansions is the appropriate question. Should they do it? If they do, it benefits new and long-time unsubbed users since they can access current content for a modest price, but Blizzard loses out of all those old expansion sales. If they don't, they continue to reap the sales of old expansions, but lose out on new subscriptions of players who can't/won't pay to catch up. And so we can debate which choice benefits everyone as a whole, whether Blizzard would make more money if they included old expansions.

Asking what I want is pointless. Obviously, I want all previous expansions, beta access for future expansions, and a pot of gold. And a pony.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:28AM (Unverified) said

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Yes and No.

Take WoW for example.

Should Vanilla have been included for free with TBC after it released? No. It should have been discounted immediately though.

When Wrath released, TBC should have been reduced to 19.99 and included with it should have been vanilla.

When Cata released, Wrath should have been discounted to 29.99 and TBC and Vanilla included.

When MoP releases, Cata should be moved to 29.99 and all previous expansions / vanilla included.

I am not of the mind that when a new expac comes out you should get all previous content for one low low price. There is a TON of content that is in all of those expacs combined. Its worth a lot more than "free". If you played the game for pure content, you could level to 60, stop, do all the raids / bgs, go to 70, etc, etc.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:45AM Jokkl said

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@(Unverified) what conntent? a new player hasnt the tools to do your so called ton of conntent. he just lvls in 1-2 days out of this conntent and thats it. maybe he comes back maybe not - but he wont do it on the right lvl. how could he?! even if he does it the old conntent isnt realy balanced for it. you can faceroll 60/70/80 raids naked these days. i wouldnt call this a ton of conntent. you can do all this in under a week. thats not a ton for me.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:30AM Repopulation said

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Yes.... and the first expansion should include the original game.

Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:45AM (Unverified) said

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@Repopulation

No, it shouldnt.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 8:38AM pcgneurotic said

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As a long-term EQ and EQ2er, I'm so used to getting all-in-one ex-packs that I find it quite a shock when I don't.

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