The Daily Grind: What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018?

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Camelot Unchained: Yes, it’ll have a sub, but it won’t be $15. Mark Jacobs re-confirmed that it’ll be less than the industry standard down in our comments a few weeks ago. It’s been rattling around in my head since then as subscriptions just keep popping up in the news. Star Citizen has an optional sub in alpha. Age of Conan just lowered its subscription rate. And the biggest subscription MMO in the world seems to have no problems moving a bajillion expansions, driving token prices to fluctuate. Did we hit rock bottom? Are we just watching the price reset in a new era?

I’m currently paying $13 a month for an old-school game because nobody else has content that even comes close. I wouldn’t hesitate to pay more for an MMO I couldn’t wait to play. In fact, I was prepared to pay more than $15 for CU. Would you? What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018? And what would you expect from an MMORPG charging a subscription?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Woetoo
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Woetoo

What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018

In 2018. Maybe $15, probably nothing. There nothing really out there either released or on the horizon that warrants more than $15.

For the “right” MMO, as others have said, with regular content updates, good support both in terms of patches and GMs, a clear vision of it’s own future and NO cash shop… up to $25. But for $25 it would have to deliver a better product than we’ve seen in the last 8 years.

Maybe SWTOR could have managed it, if they’d not botched the game engine and endgame design.
Maybe Everquest:Next could have managed it, if they had been allowed to deliver just 80% of what was imagined (I don’t think they needed a destructible world).
Other noticeable mentions for GW2, Rift and FF14, though I haven’t played any of them to offer judgement.

Someone needs to send Elon Musk a copy of the Witcher 3. Maybe then we’ll get an MMO worthy of a return to the subscription model. Or drag the Doctors out of retirement.

Ernost
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Ernost

Nothing. Why pay a monthly fee when there are so many f2p options to play?

kjempff
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kjempff

Depends entirely on the quality and longevity of the game.
I paid 6×15$ sub for a six box on a recent Everquest progression server, and it was worth it.
A completely new mmo without expansions and years on its back I would say somewhere between 5 and 25 depending on its quality.
I would pay extra for GM events.
I would pay a lot for a living ever changing mmo concept with GM control/events (like the EqNext idea).
I would pay extra for a mmo without any shop and other rmt currencies.

mosselyn
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mosselyn

It depends on how much I’m playing. For a game I’m really into, $15-30/month. For one I only play occasionally, $5-10.

What the developers provide for the fee figures into it, too. I’m willing to pay more for a game that has regular content updates versus one where they’re mostly just keeping the lights on.

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Zen Dadaist

Depends what comes with the sub. I’m liking the look of the CU sub and what you get for that.

If it’s not a particularly large game, that also has services and cosmetics as microtransactions, with fairly minimal day-to-day human interaction with devs and GMs, no live events, occasional expansions etc then I’d be looking in the £5-£8 per month range.
If it’s a lavish huge game full of stuff going on, live events, live chat moderators and petition queues that are only a few minutes long at most, with everything obtainable by gameplay (i.e. no exclusive microtransactions) and with services and QoL bits free then I’d be willing to stump up a chunk more. £15-20 maybe if the price of expansions and content updates is covered in the existing sub. I don’t think this one would work out too well in the current market however so I’m not holding my breath.

shazanti
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shazanti

It depends on what the subscription gets me. Does it get me a developing/expanding/updated game, well-monitored forums, quick in-game or out-of-game support for any game related issues, etc.? Then I’d happily pay the industry standard and wouldn’t even blink over paying a bit more.

Is the game fully complete with no consideration of expanding besides maybe, maybe expansion/DLC, with pretty much hands-off on the devs part for the main game itself? Does it have vile troll-infested forums, or has it completely ditched hosting its own community resource and instead shoved that responsibility off to Reddit/Facebook/Discord/Dear God Will Someone, Anyone Else Handle Our Customers? Then I’d sure hope that this was a F2P game because I’m sick of giving my money to businesses that do this, because this has pretty much been ‘industry standard’ too many times in my experience.

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David McD

I would pay $25 a month if it had consistent content updates and no cash shop.

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Rolan Storm

For CU $15 seemed fine. Glad to hear I don’t have to.

$5 per month for a new game. Up to $50 for a game I chose as my main. Also I want flexible subscription. Not months, but days I can pay for.

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MurderHobo

$50 per month. My maximum gaming budget.

This price-point would never work for the mass market. I understand that, but my gut tells me fifty bucks per month is the ‘fair’ price for the services I’d want in my dream MMO.

Because I want staff out there. Referees. Event managers. Security to manage the hooligans. Those things are expensive.

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Michael

This price-point would never work

Fixed.

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Karl Maurer

I am quite willing to pay $15 a month to play a good MMO. But I can only afford ONE at that price, and at the moment that is SWTOR (though I pay the 6-month option to get the price down). I used to also Sub to FF XIV, but I couldn’t pay for two these days and chose to drop FF because I had fewer friends playing there.

I -much- prefer a subscription over micro-transactions as I can better budget the expense of the game (other than in its cost of my time). If I were to get employment that paid significantly more than my current one, without leaving me totally exhausted and in no shape to play ANY game, then I would likely be willing to do up to 3 at $15 a month. At that point, any more and I would be paying for something I wasn’t really using. It’s hard enough to find enough play time in my week to play more than one… three would be really pushing it.

That all being said, if the right game came along (I’m looking at you, Ship of Heroes, and you, City of Titans) my thought processes might be different. I really am jones’ing for some City of Heroes class MMO playing.