The Old Republic Will Be the Last Subscription MMO

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

Nah. Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium will be pay to play. It should be free to play and microtransactions for various add ons but well, Games Workshop.
Games Workshop will squeeze every available cent out of it till it screams.

They confirmed time and time again that TOR WILL be subscription based. You can try your jedi mind tricks as often as you like, that won't change any time soon.

Yes, subscriptions will die out eventually, but not quite yet. Wh40k online is still being worked on, and unless the monkeys at Games Workshop have a sudden flash of insight they will try a subscription modell for that attrocity.(No worries, we won't see it soon, nor will we see it for a long time - this baby is as bound for a gigantic flaceplant)

I'll put my money down with the "pay once, play forever" payment plan with microtransaction ala Guild Wars.
- You have a tangible experience every time you decide to spend money on the game - either some new skins, new dungeons or a pet.
What do you get everytime you pay your subscription ? For me, I get an awkward feeling everytime I work late, travel or otherwise can't play that game.

- I don't want to give most companies out there ANY of my financial data. We've seen how risky that can be. I also don't own a credit card - which disqualifies quite a lot of online games out there.

We're just racing right towards pay-to-win, aren't we?

Just don't deteriorate into 'Pay to Win' instead of 'Free to Play.'

Bull. There will always be a place to subscription games.

octafish:
The West needs to get rid of the monthly subscription rip off and instead switch focus to the time based subscription that is still strong in the East. Would you rather pay to play over a calendar month where you might have internet outages, work, school family, and other distractions or would you rather pay for the time you spend in the game?

Personally I find MMO subs offer incredible value for money - I sub to 2 games per month, around 20.00.

You couldn't even buy a new full-priced game for that.

In fact, for the past 5 years, until June of this year, I was on a very tight budget and MMOs, paid for via a sub, have been a godsend to me.

Greg Tito:
The Old Republic Will Be the Last Subscription MMO

And he's right. Many of us have been seeing this coming for a long time.

MMOs no longer offer the depth or breadth of experience that justify a monthly subscription. There's too much downtime between major patches, and not enough to do in the meantime (unless all you want to do is fight).

Early MMOs had tons to do outside of combat, and that non-combat content had depth (SWG crafting, for instance) enough to sustain full-time play. That doesn't happen anymore, so this one-size-fits-all pricing model is losing its appeal to a lot of people. F2P allows a "name your own price" option, in a sense. It's smarter, and it's more in line with the current state of MMOs. I'd rather see the games get deeper again instead, but this works, too.

LJJ1991:

The Old Republic doesn't even have a release date, yet. And It's probably not going to be out until at least late 2013.

It doesn't have a date, but there is absolutely no way it is coming out in 2013. Maybe Q1 2012 at the latest. They are already doing beta for it.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.314179-EA-BioWare-Have-No-Clue-When-The-Old-Republic-Will-Launch

Why the fuck should I care what that degenerate Smedley thinks?

Here's a fun fact. MMO's go F2P because they were failing or they can't compete with WoW by charging subs! They do it to give people an incentive to play. If your game is good you don't need F2P bullshit. I really HATE F2P method because you can end up paying more than a base sub.

Well thank you captain obvious.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Smedley is a fool. If he's right on this account, it'll be purely by chance.

Almost every design decision he's been involved in has doomed something to failure - and with F2P games being the ONLY form of MMO - you've just re-locked the market into stasis - which is what killed it last time.

Do you remember, Smedley, what happened when you took Vanguard off EQ? Do you remember shattering the playerbase? NGE? Frogloks? How many times you had to patch every last update? How you shattered the crafting system? How DCUO is already going FTP? How NCSoft/Cryptic are still beating you, despite far less resources?

How about designing games with players in mind instead of profits, and then when you've got a good base, they won't mind paying a little extra? Makes a lot more sense than locking content permanently away from people because they would rather buy something from one shop over another.

Saved me a lot of typing.

I wouldnt listen to anything Smedley said, especially on the topic of gaming. If he wants to comment on how to completely destroy both games and online communities, or perhaps how to take an unbreakable IP and break it, then fine waffle on. Otherwise I think Smedley has earned nothing more than the right to STFU.

I think he is right in a way. I think that this will be the last biggest MMO that will be free to play.

I believe there will still be developers pushing out MMO's that require a subscription but they will not have a huge fan base. I just think that all big MMOs which will have a large fanbase will all have to go FPS in order to be successful in the market with the way things are going.

All we can really do is give it a year or two to see if this is really the direction that we are heading in.

Funcom already announced in their quarterly investment meeting of 26.8.11 that The Secret World will be pay to play. The pre-order for The Old Republic confirms what Smedley has said about that MMO being P2P, because it includes a month's playing time. It only remains to be revealed whether Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium will charge a subscription or use the misleadingly named 'Free to Play' model.

The Secret World is a very interesting case, since Funcom revealed that it "will feature a traditional paid subscription model combined with micro-transactions through an in-game store [...] we are being very careful in making sure that items purchased through the store does(sic) not give players any unfair advantage against those who do not use the in-game store." It's entirely possible that the micro-transactions will mean a lower monthly subscription than the typical 6 to 8; let's not forget that Funcom are particularly shrewd in their business dealings. A lower than normal monthly subscription effectively subsidized by vanity driven transactions could very easily provide a remarkably profitable business model.

Personally I'd like to see any MMO I'm interested in get a truly huge subscription fee with enforced credit card registration, an 18+ certificate, & a stringent IQ test - but that's purely because I've played WoW & experienced 'Barren's Chat'.

While F2P MMOs are friendlier towards my wallet, I don't believe that they are the absolute future. Personally, I think LotRO microtransactions mode was worse than the subscription it replaced. I'm surprised you didn't have to pay just to be able to use certain keys on the keyboard. Other than that: bags=money, classes=money, character slots=money, items=money. Almost everything in the game had a certain limit if you wouldn't throw in cash, and while that does possibly make more money than, let's say, half a million subscribers, it seems like the more dickish move to me.

From a company perspective, I understand, but from a gamer's perspective, i disagree.

I've always maintained that games that require subscriptions should be better than those without. Which is why games like DDO, LOTRO, CoH and all the rest are going free to play. They simply aren't as good as the leading subscription based MMO (wow). SWTOR looks like it's going to be the first game to really give Warcraft a run for it's money, so it should be interesting to see where it goes.

Dont be making the mistake of thinking they are doing this free to play thing for the consumers though. They have realised that if you make the game free to play but allow people the option to buy things like skins and stuff that they make more money. Simple as that.

People using press releases from Funcom to dispute an opinion piece by John Smedley.

Its almost like listening to Fox news using GW Bush quotes to debunk something Sarah Palin said on complex economics.

Im not sure if its the blind leading the blind or the blind and stupid leading the blind, stupid, deaf, stubborn and moronic. Probably all of the above.

Someone should tear Smedleys arms off and beat the development staff of Funcom to death with them. The whole exercise would be more amusing, deep and entertaining than any of their games and the end result would be a massive and immediate jump in the quality of people working in the industry.

CriticKitten:
I think the fact that TOR intends to push the subscription model is actually going to pose a hindrance to its sales figures, considering that just buying the game itself right now is roughly the same price as buying a brand new console game.

That's certainly what's going to keep me from even trying out TOR. I feel ripped off by the idea of buying the box, then having to pay more every month just to be allowed to play the game I already bought. If there was no sub but you still had to buy the game, ie the Guild Wars model, I'd think about buying it to try out for a while. If it was free to download but had a subscription, ie the Eve Online model, I'd get it and pay for a month or two to see if I liked it. By demanding I buy the game and then keep giving money on top of that, EA have ensured I won't bother at all.

Scars Unseen:
I stopped reading at John Smedley.

Not to seem pedantic, but why comment if you stopped reading that early? You can't have anything to contribute to the discussion of the actual article. I know it makes some sort of bold statement, 'oh this designer is so [WHATEVER] that I can't read anything he says, but other people have already made that comment, and then gone on to actually make comments.

OT: I don't play MMOs, the reason being that the good ones aren't free and the free ones aren't good (although I hear LotR Online is reasonable)

If developers started to make free MMOs, that were actually worth a damn to play, I'd maybe consider it, and once hooked in, probably be more likely to pay for smaller things inside the game. So speaking as the sort of gamer that I suspect Smedley is referring to, I can see exactly where he's coming from.

Although frankly, the above statement stands, if he wants me to play his free MMOs, he'd better get some decent quality control in there.

That's one of the stupidest predictions I've seen in a while. I'd understand where he's coming from if he put the standard "if it fails, world will end" clause, but as it is, it just doesn't have a leg to stand on.

For one, does anyone think Blizzard's gonna pull a F2P model with Titan? Do you think they have something against those giant mountains of money or something?

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Hasnt LoL already overtaken WoW in terms of sheer playerbase? They should be topping WoW by know, both on the accounts and active accounts charts.

I know its not an MMO but its just a fitting example of F2P done right. The game is well balanced and they are still raking in the money. For PC MMOs, F2P seems to be the way to go.

octafish:
The West needs to get rid of the monthly subscription rip off and instead switch focus to the time based subscription that is still strong in the East. Would you rather pay to play over a calendar month where you might have internet outages, work, school family, and other distractions or would you rather pay for the time you spend in the game? Or even offer the chance for both options. Monthly subscriptions are just as much a rip-off as micro-transactions. Lets face it F2P offers casual MMO players a chance to get their money's worth while only playing a couple of hours a week, if publishers only go after the "hardcore" market they are cutting themselves off from a very profitable income stream. I myself have never gotten into MMO's apart from dabbling in the F2P ones because I have a life and don't have much time to game. Monthly subscriptions are just a waste of my money.

I can either go to the Cinema and see a movie, or get a month of World of Warcraft. Even as a casual player, it's good value compared to other forms of enterainment.

Idocreating:
I can either go to the Cinema and see a movie, or get a month of World of Warcraft. Even as a casual player, it's good value compared to other forms of enterainment.

Or you could go to Redbox about 15 times, or have two months of Netflix and watch as many movies as you please in that time. If you're going to compare it to other forms of media, at least consider the considerably-less-ridiculously-priced options. :p

Darkside360:
Why the fuck should I care what that degenerate Smedley thinks?

Here's a fun fact. MMO's go F2P because they were failing or they can't compete with WoW by charging subs! They do it to give people an incentive to play. If your game is good you don't need F2P bullshit. I really HATE F2P method because you can end up paying more than a base sub.

Here's a fun fact: you're wrong.

There are plenty of MMOs out there which start out free to play because the model is considerably more lucrative than demanding regular payments to play. By staying F2P, you allow customers to interact with people who pay, and if your prices are reasonable, you make it more likely they'll end up paying you at some point. It's simple psychology and it's much the same reason that prices are "$59.99" instead of "$60.00"....the number looks smaller (even though it's virtually the same), so customers unconsciously feel more willing to pay the asking price. Design a F2P game in which you're offering numerous items for, say, $1....and not only will you have far more players, but people will very likely shell out the dollar for those items on such a regular basis that you make FAR more than you would have if you had demanded people pay you $15 to play at all.

It's proven fact that these systems work, and the fact that several major MMOs are moving in this direction or plan to start out with this model is evidence not that the games themselves are failing, but rather that the model is simply more attractive.

WoW didn't switch to a free-to-play model for the first twenty levels for no reason. But at 11 million subscriptions, it's hard to argue they're "failing" either. So I'd say that WoW alone is proof enough of how wrong this mentality truly is.

I think he's trying to trumpet up his own publicity. I don't even know if it's virtually possible for their never again to be another given product of any given sales model. Anything could change.

But, I do agree that the F2P model will rise into the majority. It's just not going to take the titan-grip monopoly that he thinks it will.

The F2P model tends to suck for a number of reasons. Notice I say "tends to" before the rabid P2P haters get rabid. Here are five off the top of my head.
- Pay to win models ruin balance in a lot of games. This is mostly seen in eastern MMOs, but it is still relevant.
- Many games have you pay for content or subscribe to parts of content. This can add up so that if you want access to all the content you will end up paying far more than the flat fee from P2P.
- Support tends to be even more lacking than you see in large scale P2P games.
- Content updates are few and far in between. An example would be Guild Wars which rarely updated except for holidays.
- Some F2P games drastically limit the number of characters you can have and require you to buy more slots or another account for more.

Nurb:
I LIKE monthly fees. It puts everyone on equal ground and they don't force time-syncs and grindfests to "encourage" people to engage in microtransactions.

I don't play F2P games for that reason. When I try out an F2P, I might like it, but then get frustrated with the amount of grinding I have to do when they expect me to buy something and then I go on to something else

This.
To be honest, I've never found a F2P system I like. They either leave me with a constant rediscovery of some content I don't have which consistently interferes with my fun-having or they milk you for every red cent they have. We're talking about corporations here. GAMING corporations. If every game switches to F2P, sooner or later they're gonna start charging for this or that. Every major dungeon. The best materials. In-game economies suffer. I'd rather pay a monthly fee and have ALL of the gaming content available from the start as opposed to zoning into a place only to be told that I need to purchase x-package to have access to that content. Those little "micro" transactions start adding up after a while.

Idocreating:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Hasnt LoL already overtaken WoW in terms of sheer playerbase? They should be topping WoW by know, both on the accounts and active accounts charts.

I know its not an MMO but its just a fitting example of F2P done right. The game is well balanced and they are still raking in the money. For PC MMOs, F2P seems to be the way to go.

octafish:
The West needs to get rid of the monthly subscription rip off and instead switch focus to the time based subscription that is still strong in the East. Would you rather pay to play over a calendar month where you might have internet outages, work, school family, and other distractions or would you rather pay for the time you spend in the game? Or even offer the chance for both options. Monthly subscriptions are just as much a rip-off as micro-transactions. Lets face it F2P offers casual MMO players a chance to get their money's worth while only playing a couple of hours a week, if publishers only go after the "hardcore" market they are cutting themselves off from a very profitable income stream. I myself have never gotten into MMO's apart from dabbling in the F2P ones because I have a life and don't have much time to game. Monthly subscriptions are just a waste of my money.

I can either go to the Cinema and see a movie, or get a month of World of Warcraft. Even as a casual player, it's good value compared to other forms of enterainment.

Of course its good value, I never argued anything else. However, for reasons that should be clear to anyone, F2P is becoming more and more successful and it looks like its going to be overtaking the subscription based system very soon.

Personally, I dont really care for F2P games - I dislike the system most of the time. Crossfire used to be well balanced, now its pay to win. LOTRO and other F2P MMOs give a massive advantage to paying customers. Most of the time, if you want to play a F2P game properly, you are going to end up paying way more than you would with a game thats not free. Rather ironic, but the exact reason why more and more companies are looking to get in on the market. LoL remains the only game I have played that is F2P and reasonably balanced, indeed more balanced than most games that are not F2P.

Still, im going to have to mention this in my ending paragraph - your argument doesnt hold for shit. I [i]could[i] turn to piracy if im looking for the best value, or I could spend those 15 bucks on netflicks and get a wealth of movies and shows. Its up to the individual to decide.

I have to agree with this statement, as its pretty plain to me that they are all moving in this direction. Personally, I've started playing "World of Tanks" and its pretty good - it has problems, and isn't strictly an MMO, but its still shows the potential of the Free to Play game space.

The problem with "Free To Play" games is that they rapidly turn into "Pay for everything" and "Pay to win" games. The "FTP" model is attractive because it's a way of suckering people into paying more money for a game than a subscription would cost if they want to remain competitive.

A lot of the market research done on these things that points to Asian games neglects the differances between the Asian market and the Western one. If you take a look at the pricing differances for how MMOs are sold over there you'll notice some substantial differances. It's also important to note that in Asia while personal computers on are on the rise, a lot of the gaming takes place in things like "Bangs" which are bars and coffeehouses with computers that connect to the internet to game. Given that people pop in and out for a few hours when they can afford to hit a "Bang" a subscription fee isn't really viable, however charging people for personal content tied to their account that is there whenever they login is.

LOTRO has the advantage of being tied to a massive liscence itself, and having launched with a substantial amount of content. The same is true of "Champions Online" (the Champions PnP game has been around for ages). Having been subscription based games providing the base experience for free after they charged a subscription and recouped their losses made them a fairly good deal, as opposed to games that are designed for F2P and need to gouge users right off the bat, with a way of making a few bucks off of everything in the game having been conceived right from the beginning.

To be brutally honest, if MMO games move away from the subscription model, I'm going to stop playing them. I can neither afford, nor desire to tolerate, "pay for everything" gaming. I don't mind the sale of purely cosmetic items as long as the range of options in the base game is substantial to begin with (ie not looking like a clone unless you pay). For example WoW's sale of static pets and mounts doesn't bug me because there is no advantage to them, and there are already hundreds of differant mounts and static pets in the game. If you collect them you could probably ride a differant mount and have a differant pet out every day of the month and still have plenty of them left you never use, without having to pay a dime. In that case if you REALLY want to pay for more of these, more power to you.

I'll also warn you, like a lot of the "FTP" browser based games, there is a glass ceiling. Game developers are masters of that. Playing a game right now and thinking "oh yeah, I can have a great time with this without paying a dime" can be deceptive as the timers for things steadily increase to the point of the game being unplayable... unless of course you buy items to lower timers, or increase exps gain, or remove level differances (like in Allods), and by that point you've invested so much time it seems increasingly reasonable. After a while your paying more than a subscription would ever cost.

Don't forget that there have been articles about some of the bills people have run up playing games like "Farmville", not to mention some kid spending like $1500.00 on Smurfberries without realizing it. It hits both kids and adults, which is why there is a
push (quiet, but building) to have this model regulated as being addictive and predatory.

As I said above, I'll stick with my subscription model or leave, thanks.

Yes...

and I'll believe this when EA isn't asking for $10 for Online passes, When Capcom isn't asking for $5 for character pallete swaps, and when pigs fly from my bunghole.

:/

False. TERA is going to be P2P.

I think it'll be F2P or at least B2P soon enough though. (I hope, it looks good, just not subscription fee good)

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here