Massively OP Kickstarter donor SoMuchMass offers an intriguing business model question for your consideration in this morning’s Daily Grind:
Would a pay-by-hour model work as a MMO payment method in the “West”? (Clarification from SMM: After a certain amount of hours played, it would go into unlimited mode, which would be a $15 month cap. Basically it is a solution for people who play only a couple of hours a week and don’t want to pay the whole $15 a month. If I play WoW 10 hours a month, I should be able to only pay 5 dollars instead of the whole $15.)
I’ve also wondered whether gamers would go for an unobtrusive hourly fee in 2015. Certainly Westerners were happy to abandon the model for online games in the ’90s once internet access became cheaper and more widespread, but it stuck around in East Asia, and our gamer pals across the ocean might be getting the better deal after all.
See, for games you just want to sample before buying a box or paying a full sub, an hourly fee would be a huge improvement. It might also work for people who dabble in several games at a time too. It would certainly satisfy our compulsive desire to pay for exactly what we’re using and not a penny more. But if handled poorly, it could also mean paying a whole lot more for a sub if you’re the type to dive in obsessively, unless there’s a monthly cap.
What do you think? Would you try a pay-per-hour MMO model? Do you think it could survive in the West? How would you set it up?