Saga of Lucimia’s creative director debates the merits of MMO business models

    
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The debate over MMO business models is constantly ongoing: There are those who swear by monthly subscriptions, those who prefer strictly free-to-play, and those who think the sweet spot lies somewhere in the middle. In the case of Stormhaven Studios, creator of the in-development MMO Saga of Lucimia, the devs are firmly on the side of the subscription model, and in a recent blog update, Creative Director Tim Anderson explains the studio’s reasoning for its position.

The studio cites Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida to support its pro-subscription stance, quoting him as saying that “over 80% of players are satisfied with the subscription model . . . due to players’ confidence in a steady stream of quality content because of their subscription,” while “the free-to-play model is an unreliable source of income predicated on devoting development resources to monthly consumable or cosmetic items in order to maintain profitability, leaving little time left for higher quality story and battle content.”

It’s a fairly solid argument, even if — as the post notes — free-to-play games are currently commanding “about 77% of the U.S. online market,” but according to the studio’s research into the matter, the bottom line of the subscription vs. free-to-play argument is straightforward and fairly unsurprising: “at the end of the day players actively playing a given title don’t really care one way or another if a game is free-to-play with microransactions or has a monthly fee attached,” as long as the game in question is “fun and immersive.”

What a shock, right? Players are willing to pay for a game as long as it’s good, plain and simple. As Anderson notes, while Saga of Lucimia is definitely leaning toward a subscription model of some sort, the devs have yet to determine exactly what kind of model that will be, and as he himself says, “[the studio is] a long way from needing to make a decision” on the matter.

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Joe Seabreeze

The proper way that I see it is give me 10 or so levels to determine if I like the game or not (via demo). If the game is fun and slightly blows me away, I’d be happy to pay a sub until the game gets boring. It’s that simple.

If you can’t pull me in by level 10 or so, then I doubt the later levels will either.

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Michael18

If having a sub, I think it would be cool to allow players with inactive accounts to still login, walk around a bit, and hang out with the guild. The active payment would only be required for completing quests or progressing your character in any significant way. Maybe you could even allow such players to help out guild mates in dungeons, but they won’t get XP or loot.

This would solve one of the (few) issues I have with sub games: you know you’ll be locked out completely from your character and guild as soon as you no longer play enough to justify the monthly cost.

kjempff
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kjempff

That is an interesting idea.
Or building up free hours when not subbed, so there is no entry barrier when you consider coming back.
It is all about removing that entry barrier so there is a chance of a conversion. And chance is that if you played a game and considering going back, it is because you liked it for the most part.

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Witches

The real problem is a game with a fraction of the content of WOW wanting to charge the same, it’s not that strange that most aren’t willing to pay the same for games with considerably less content.

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Joe Seabreeze

So basically what you’re saying is that all mmorpgs are the same and only the amount of content matters. In other words, why pay for continued development if you can play a different game that already has an endless supply of content.

If that’s the case, why make a game at all? :)

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Tim Anderson

^ This.

The reality (via the studies mentioned in our piece) is that the “amount” of content has little/no bearing on whether or not a player is going to pay a monthly sub for your game.

It *all* comes down to “is it fun”. If it is, they don’t care one way or the other if it’s sub-based or microtransaction-based: they’ll play it and pay to do so without a care in the world.

If we all tried to measure up to WoW’s amount of content, EverQuest 1 (for example) would blow it out of the water in terms of sheer *amount* of content created, since the game has been out far longer. So by that same token we could ask “why do the Blizzard devs keep doing it when EverQuest has so much more content and therefore the ‘value’ is greater”.

kjempff
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kjempff

I play games for progression, and for mmorpgs also achievement and (non direct)competition.
This means the game need to offer me this progression by playing the game, and most shortcuts I or others can take to bypass this mess with the value of my progression and my feeling of accomplishment, and obviously shop-items that can not be farmed in game are even worse.

The thing is that f2p will always have a huge influence on the entire game design; and I really can not see how this can result in better quality games (from a gamers perspective); with one exception and that is if the model earns considerably more money AND this money is used to rectify the negative the f2p model applied in the first place (except that never happens).

There are always exceptions where a balanced intrusive-ness of f2p has been reached, but it is still a delicate balance that can tip at any time if developer gets out of touch with an update. So for a mmorpg where I invest much time, I would really prefer a model I can trust not to tip my subjective scale.

To me it is really a matter of how much f2p crap will I tolerate compared to how good the game is, and I will always feel like f2p is that parasite that I want to get rid of if I could.

As an example, Warframe and Path of Exile f2p is tolerable for my subjective taste because they are (for now) such good games and not very intrusive in their f2p model, but I still think they would be better games without.
As another example WoW that offers max level through shop is instantly a no go just because of that, not to mention shop+subscription is double creepy (incl other mmorpgs, you know which).
Then we have the mmorpgs that have turned into dress up games, at least seem focused on creating looks for the shop, rather than improving the actual game (you know which).

Can a sub based game survive ? sure it can, if the game is good then gamers WILL pay what it cost. And on that note, would the good ole trial method not work for a sub based mmorpg ? you know 4 hours for free, or level 1-10 for free, newbie area for free and so on … I mean to get past that entry barrier that f2p does so well.

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Tim Anderson

We’ll be doing some sort of free trial (20 hours of gameplay?, one zone + a dungeon?), after which players will need to buy the game + sub to continue playing.

We toyed with old school idea of “buy the box, get a month of gameplay free”. We could still potentially use that, but the unfortunate reality is that there are too many gamers these days who just won’t touch something unless there is a free trial.

We’re confident that anyone who tries the game will want to keep playing it, so there’s not a lot of risk in creating a polished starting area that gets players into the world and then from there the onus is on us to provide enough value for them to want to buy + sub.

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kjempff

I think you are making the smart choice for a sub based game. The buy “box” + 1 month free is an outdated model that doesn’t work well anymore. Free trial sound like the way to go in todays market, it will not only easily pay for its own cost by conversion rate, but also solve the purchase barrier .. In my opinion.

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Tim Anderson

The data shows that the free trial is what works the best. It’s not what WE prefer, but that’s not really relevant =P

I personally still buy every game I play without trying it first. If it looks fun, I buy it to play. Doesn’t matter if it’s indie, AAA, or AA.

Sometimes I swing and miss, but for the most part, I’m always getting my money’s worth.

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Sunken Visions

People can have fun with something as ridiculous and Angry Birds. Production quality is only an issue if it detracts from your fun. That being said, many parts of online games are not that fun, simply because too much time is spent monetizing parts that are fun.

This is one of the major reasons people like me tend to ‘game hop’. I’m always looking forward to the next interesting game, only to be disappointed with half of it.

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Barnoc N'Draak

I have no data for this, but my sense is that whales in the cash shop can keep an unhealthy game online long after it should have been retired.

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Tim Anderson

If it is continuing to make money and be profitable for the publisher/developer, one cannot characterize the game as “unhealthy”.

That being said, whales alone are never enough to keep any game afloat. They represent *maybe* 2 – 3 percent of your total population; the average consumer (who represents 50 – 60 percent) is what keeps your game going. (p.s. there’s a ton of consumer data out there you can look at, plus insider reports; it is exceptionally rare for whales to ever achieve more than a 5% total of your audience).

In our own case, whales represent less than 2% of our total.

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Barnoc N'Draak

Well, the definition I had in mind for “unhealthy” included more than the profitability, but I take your point about whales. I’m not sure that all developers share your perspective based on what I’ve seen in some cash shops.

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Emmanuel Carabott

I have a feeling the impact of whales is greatly exaggerated. I mean how many players do you think a game can have that are willing to spend 5k+ per month?

Besides why do whales exist only in free to play games? Why are sub based games seemingly immune ? Truth is they arent. If you’re willing to spend 5k+ a month you could maintain over 300 subscriptions at once. Yet you hardly ever see people multiboxing even in MMOs that allow it. Like I used to play eve, in 6 years I came across 1 player who used to multibox more then 10 accounts or so at once and they were famous for it. ( this was before plex or free to play). It was common for people to have multiple accounts, but no more then 3 in my experience.

Not saying there arent people willing to spend vasts somes of money per month but I bet its a very small number not large enough to make a meaningful different.

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Barnoc N'Draak

I don’t think the comparison with multiboxing is really apples to apples. To use the numbers you gave, a game could remain profitable with 1/300th of the population, which was kind of my point.

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Emmanuel Carabott

its not but different business models will cause different whale behaviours, thats to be expected. Problem is its kinda hard to see whales in action generally. In anycase whales will use their money to gain an advantage, thats a given i guess. In your typical p2w f2p game that generally means buying a ton of insurance stones and maxing their equipment. Thats for the most part invisible. But in a game like eve prior to its cashshop/plex/f2p there was just one way where a willingness to pay lots of money monthly would get you an advantage and thats by multiboxing. and thats something you can actually see. Thats why I brought it up. You’re right not the same but closest one can get unless they have access to a company’s finances :)

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Barnoc N'Draak

It’s true that whales gonna whale, but one model is more likely to produce a dev that operates like Captain Ahab than the other.

Then there’s also the fact that some cash shops operate like a small-town bank, while others operate like a national bank, and still others operate like a payday lender.

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Emmanuel Carabott

Ohh I agree 100% there, for sure a lot of f2p cashshop are designed to exploit whales as much as possible. while sub based business model evenly spreads the cost across everybody… lets say cashshop generally try to channel everyone’s inner whale.

My only argument was that probably there are a lot less whales in the world then people think, and probably a lot of what people consider whales are in truth more like dolphins, IE people that spend more then $15 a month on average but not really large quantities that people imagine when using the term whale

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oldandgrumpy

I prefer a good/fun game :)

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Tim Anderson

I think we all prefer that =)

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Barnoc N'Draak

Sadly, I feel like we’re living through a gilded age at the moment

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Emmanuel Carabott

Personally I dont think its that simple. Subscription is fine when you’re all happy and excited about a game but becomes an issue when you start to get a little bored of said game. Like for me the longest I’ve been subscribed to a game was with Eve online, I maintained a sub for over 6 years so I spent like over $1000 on that game. After 5 years the excitement started to wain but its not like I no longer Liked the game so I maintained the sub for another year even though I’d play a few times a month.

Thats what ultimately drove me away from Subs cause here I was in my last year spending over $250 so to be able to play the game occasionally when I felt the urge. Could I have just taken a break? yeah maybe but there were days where I just had to play and for that I had to maintain the sub but then when you stop and think that there were months were I was spending $5 each play session you’d suddenly ask yourself what am I doing?

I am okey with paying a sub, I dont regret spending 1k on Eve, its a great game but what I am not okey is, if you decide to make a sub based MMO your secondary game you’re going to have to suffer and that I have a huge issue with. I spent $1000 on your game and I dont get to enjoy it anymore unless I give you another $15?

Ironically Eve itself nearly fixed that dilemma with the way they implemented their hybrid model… If only they made it so if you’re not subbed you dont get skills anymore but you get to use anything you have already skilled up for? I’d even be up for run restrictions, like you can only run x mission on a free account per month etc… but no they had to put sever restrictions on what you can use unless you sub which still makes it feel like all the money you’ve put in the game in the past doesnt count unless you pay more. For me, as long as a game will make me feel like all the money I spend on it doesnt count for anything unless I pay more when i decide to slow down, I am not going to subscribe.

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Barnoc N'Draak

I have some of the same issues.. when I’m subbing I feel like I must play a decent amount every day. If subs were a bit less I might not feel that way.

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Tim Anderson

15 dollars a day is ridiculously cheap. In my mind, subs should have increased with the cost of living.

That being said, the average sub comes to 50 cents per day. If that’s not affordable entertainment, I don’t know what is =P

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Emmanuel Carabott

I personally think a good middle ground that would solve everyone’s problems would be a more expensive buy to play model. Problem is I dont think the community would be open to it and It might be tricky for Devs to implement as well since if they can’t pump out an expansion per year the cost would be just ridiculous.

In my ideal world you have a release (expansion every year) and the cost for it would be that of a yearly sub like say $180, maybe even round it up to $200, I’d be fine with that. There would be no sub to play ofcourse and no cashshop or anything of sort. That way in my view everyone wins. Sudio gets their $15 a month sub. Players get access to all content with the money they spend and If player wants to take it easy for a while they can but they still get to play what they already paid for and can just pay more once they get up to date.

Unfortunately while in my mind thats a great idea, I know in practice it wouldnt work. I mean just look at Gw2, they released an expansion after 3 years and people went ballistic cause they charged $50 for it, imagine what would happen with $200 yearly.

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Tim Anderson

I’ve advocated for 25 – 30 dollars a month, but our data shows that it traditionally has never worked for the companies who have tried it because many players already complain about 15 a month being “too expensive”, or such as your GW2 example, 50 dollars.

The one that really irritates me is, for example, Project Gorgon. It’s like 20 bucks or some really cheap cost (off the top of my head).

And yet, you consistently see players complaining that “it’s too much to pay for an indie title”.

That line of reasoning always sticks in my craw. It shouldn’t matter if it’s Indie or AAA; the price is the price. Either it’s worth it to you, or it’s not.

I’ve had great burgers that cost 30 dollars, and I’ve had great burgers that cost 5 dollars. I really don’t give a shit how much the burger costs, or who made it, as long as it tastes good.

I’ve played great games that cost me 70 dollars, and crappy games that cost me 70 dollars. Great games that were Indie, and crappy games that were AAA (and the opposite).

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Tim Anderson

What’s REALLY fun is when you start plugging in the cash shop data on P2W titles and find that a good portion of the community PAY MORE THAN 15 A MONTH in consumables, but because it’s presented to them in a “pay as you go” format, they never complain about the spendatures :)

But the moment you hit them with a mandatory sub, they freak out

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Emmanuel Carabott

well to be honest, for the already stated reasons, paying more on consumables would be more attractive to me in this context but I know thats not the point you’re making, sometimes people do that believing its saving them money when its not and in my observations it really depends on the individual. I mean I am sure some have my same point of view, a game might have a higher running cost but if I step away and decide to focus on a different game I still get access to all the stuff I paid for when ever I decide to give it a go here and there. Thats a big value proposition.

Then you also have some people who clearly dont want to pay anything. I guess they just play what they can and ignore pvp and other content that requires best in slot gear.

A big advantage is that you can also pace your spending, like if its a particularly bad month or two, its totally fine spending nothing on the game, you dont really miss out on anything. Thats also worth spending a little more on average imho.

On the other hand I guess you also have victims. Generally p2w games dont start p2w, they just introduce more p2w elements as time goes by, I guess some people get allured with the prospect of having a game to play for which they can pay nothing or close to nothing only to then be hooked and pay much more then a sub once these p2w elements are introduced.

For sure I dont envy you, picking a good model is not easy.

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Emmanuel Carabott

Yes project gorgon is a great example, reaction to it was unbelievable. Think gamers really need to be exposed to game development, there is a sever lack of appreciation of the effort that goes into making a game. Only thing I can think of why people would behave that way. That being said they know that team has been working on it for years, they’ve been allowed to play it for free for years themselves, kinda obvious, yet they still think $30/$40 if they want to access it a little earlier was unreasonable… unbelievable.

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astrid

Project Gorgon is actually $40, although it’s fairly often on sale for $30. In my mind, either price is crazy cheap for what the game offers but yes, I saw another complaint just today how $40 is far too expensive for a game with armor graphics glitches. Different people, different priorities, I suppose.

My first MMO was EverQuest, so I tend to base my idea of fair MMO pricing and model on that. I don’t think I’d go for a mandatory monthly sub above $15 though, however many decades out of date that pricing is. Games in general have remained fairly cheap, so a game that’s far more expensive than usual would have to be really special to justify its price to me. It’s possibly less about the money for me than that I don’t want to feel like I’m getting ripped off. To use the burger analogy, if a restaurant serves me a mediocre $5 burger, I might go back to it to try something else. If they serve me a mediocre $30 burger, I’m not bothering with them again.

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Skoryy

15 dollars a day is ridiculously cheap.

Maybe for those of us in higher income brackets, sure. However, gaming is currently trending towards gorging on the whales mainly because nobody else is spending. There’s a reason why the sub model crashed and burned right as we were plunging into the Great Recession – and hasn’t recovered since. I can take a look at all the GoFundMe’s in progress looking for only a few hundred bucks. Or ask my friends who work crap jobs that could use that $15 for a whole lot more than spending on games. $15 is worth a lot more to those on the other side of the median wage, and I haven’t even touched how its only going to get worse as the economy cools off.

kjempff
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kjempff

@Tim There is one challenge though for a sub model for Lucimia.
With the game that past a certain point will be close to 100% group based (at least that is my perception of Lucimia), the problem is that when your friends stop playing or taking a break or just plays less for a period, then you are stuck on the decision to keep paying the sub but with less hours of fun or also take a break.
This can be an unfortunate side effect of the heavy friend/group based game. There seem to be no grand fix for this ? But it would be worth considering what can be done to minimize that effect.

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Tim Anderson

So, here’s some fun data for you @KJempff.

Stastically speaking, NO sub-only game on the market has a greater than 5% – 7% subscription rate.

Not WoW, not FFXIV.

That’s not me just making shit up, either; we’ve consulted with industry leaders, gotten our hands on industry reports. Those are just the facts.

NO GAME, not even the giant that is World of Warcraft, can keep more than 5 to 7 percent of their total playerbase actively paying a subscription at any given time….for exactly the reasons you stated above.

Now, you would think that all of those games, considering they have plenty of things for single players to do in between full-group content, would keep players around longer.

But the reality comes back to the one vital component in online gaming: a person playing alone will play for around 40 hours average, while a person playing with a guild or friends will play for an average of 2,000 hours.

It doesn’t matter how group-based or solo-based the game is, the data shows that people want to play with other people. If you can keep them in the game having fun with other people, they will stick around a lot longer.

So our only concern is how do we keep players around even IF their friends bounce out for awhile. We’re focused on live GM events for one; we’re going to have a Mentor system for two (where we have folks who actively head out into the world and find the stragglers and actively work at getting them into pickup groups and making new friends); and three, ways for them to easily get together with other people to keep having fun even if their primary friends are off doing something else.

We won’t be able to solve those problems for everyone, but we’re well aware of the challenge in keeping players actively in the game. And the reality is that even the giants of the industry struggle with it.

Meanwhile, ESO has a 25% active player base. But they aren’t mandatory subscription. They are sub-optional. Which is why we are also looking at their way of doing things (I have a reply elsewhere in this thread which talks about our ideas on the ESO model), minus the items-for-cash aspect of it.

So…yeah :) We’re certainly aware of the challenge and working hard internally to find ways to break that barrier….because we aren’t Square Enix or Blizzard or Zenimax; we’re an indie studio who has to make our own name for ourselves, and that’s a challenge in and of itself.

kjempff
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kjempff

Extremely interesting facts there, 100x thumbs up for a great reply.
Good to hear you are very much on top of the challenges, especially with solutions to making new friends in the game – Because you can’t expect players to play a mmorpg like table top and bring their rl friends to play with, at least it is my guess that many mmorpg players just join and find friends in game ? (that is what I do)

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Tim Anderson

I don’t know the exact stats, but we’ve seen reports that suggest as many as 60% of players come into a new game with an existing guild and/or static group.

Getting the other 40% into guilds and PUGs is our goal. Most games those players are left on their own, but we’ve got some ideas with our Mentor system where we will have players actively going around looking for players who aren’t grouped and actively looking, and help them form up and do things together.

That’s how friendships and guilds are formed :)

kjempff
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kjempff

60% is a surprisingly high number, but if you say so…
That is not the impression you get when you are in the other group, but then again players who come with existing friends don’t really need to interact with other than their friends, so they stick to themselves I guess.

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Kayweg

What you describe is an often made point.
“I feel like i must play, because i paid”.
See, i have to pay my TV license monthly, that doesn’t mean i feel like i have to watch TV all the time “because i paid for it”.
It’s a purely self inflicted psychological “problem”.
We’re paying flat rates for all sorts of services without using those services all the time….and think nothing of it.
But when it comes to a game subscription we suddenly feel we “have to play” ?
It’s just another flat rate, see it from that angle and suddenly there is no “problem”.:)

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Tim Anderson

Ahhh, the Netflix/Hulu/Amazon example is SUCH a good one. Your mobile phone is another.

It’s only game subs when people start debating :)

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Barnoc N'Draak

Actually no, I’m the same way about Netflix. I’m just frugal.

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Emmanuel Carabott

yes and no, I mean yes all you say is 100% true but there is a fundamental difference that kind of changes the dynamics a little bit. Monthly TV subscription gives you access to a large variety of content not one specific type of content. You’re not going to watch less TV because you get burned out watching the same content so to speak as you can just switch to a different show etc… I mean if Subscription MMOs were to adopt something like tv like license model where I dont know, I’d pay say 30 dollars a month and play any sub mmo you want then great sign me up, all my sub issues would go away.

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Tim Anderson

SoE (before Daybreak) used to have that with their All Access pass; sub for 15 a month and you had access to EQ1, EQ2, Vanguard, etc.

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Schmidt.Capela

DayBreak still has the All Access plan: 15 a month for premium access to EQ, EQ2, DCUO, and Planetside 2.
(And I still get it for free due to having purchased a lifetime DCUO sub back in the day; it was the only way I would play DCUO, mind, as back then I already refused to pay a monthly fee for games.)

BTW: yeah, I do have Netflix. But it not only has a very large range of movies and series, it also allows the whole family to use the plan, simultaneously even (as in, we can watch 4 different programs on different devices at the same time, all included in the same single subscription). I’m usually against paying flat subscriptions, but Netflix has so much value thanks to its large catalog and the family-wide nature of the plan that I don’t mind it. In contrast, the typical MMO sub not only costs more than I pay for Netflix, but it only allows a single person to play (and typically makes sharing the account a banable offense outside very specific exceptions, like a parent and a small child).

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Ironwu

Given the option between the two models, I prefer the subscription over the F2P.

But only IF the subscription provides ALL the significant content. If I have to go to the Cash Shop and Gambling Boxes as well as pay a subscription for content? No. I avoid those games like the plague.

Companies that call their games ‘Free To Play’ while at the same time locking significant content behind paywalls, or grinds so egregious as to be prohibitive cause me to not even consider their game.

Companies that require a subscription, and then require Cash Shop purchases to play just piss me off.

It is why I will be playing Classic WoW and paying for Classic WoW come next year.

I am hopeful that Saga of Lucimia will also have the classic subscription model.

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Tim Anderson

We will absolutely not have a cash shop, nor will we have gambling boxes.

It will be a monthly sub; what we don’t know just yet is exactly how we’ll be doing it.

There’s mandatory sub (WoW/FFXIV), and then there’s the ESO model where it’s a box price + free to play beyond that point, with an optional subscription that offers you loyalty points that you can then spend per month on special perks.

The only thing we don’t like about the ESO model is that they ALSO allow you to spend real life money to buy more points, AND they allow you to buy purely cosmetic items + mounts and things of that nature in the store.

If you strip the pay-to-win and cosmetic-for-cash elements out, there’s nothing wrong with loyalty coins, provided they are only used for “fluff” elements, to allow players to use a feature such as, for example, a barber shop where they can go in and spend coins to change the physical appearance of their character (longer hair, shorter hair, fatter, skinnier, beard, no beard, different earrings, etc.)

That being said, our ENTIRE dev team is 100% fans of the mandatory subscription, ala WoW/FFXIV.

But as a fledgling company just getting our feet under us, we also cannot afford (literally and figuratively) to ignore hybrid models as they may allow us to achive greater numbers of players (which is never a bad thing), provided we never cross our personal threshold, which is NO cash shop and NO microtransactions and NO loot boxes.

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Ironwu

Thanks for the update, Tim. I actually like the ESO model a lot. I am currently subscribing to ESO, but I also use the points to buy the DLC (and the odd pet cat). So if I want to stop subscribing, I can continue playing all the content.

I have also liked the World of Warcraft subscription model a lot as well. I never thought it was to expensive for the amount of content I received (except for BfA). Same with EQ1, EQ2 and LotRO, before they were taken over by the Cash Shop virus, of course.

Just as an aside, I tend to spend more in a Cash Shop when the items are really useful and really cheap. Once the Cash Shop prices start to climb and the usefulness drops, I don’t spend any more money in the shop.

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PlasmaJohn

If you strip the pay-to-win and cosmetic-for-cash elements out, there’s nothing wrong with loyalty coins, provided they are only used for “fluff” elements, to allow players to use a feature such as, for example, a barber shop where they can go in and spend coins to change the physical appearance of their character (longer hair, shorter hair, fatter, skinnier, beard, no beard, different earrings, etc.)

Asking me to pay to one-time unlocks for new cosmetic options (tattoos, hair, dyes, etc.) are perfectly fine. As long as the cost is reasonable. $20 is well into #hardpass territory.

Regardless of currency (RL or IG) charging me per-use is an absolute deal killer especially for things that can be done for free or cheap enough to effectively be free in the real world (applying/removing makeup, changing jewelry, putting hair up or down). Same with transmogs.

Between the hilariously overpriced mount skins and Transmutation Charge currency, GW2 got very little money from me for cosmetic items. I’d happily pay for several of their armor skins but the TC’s put that possibility firmly into lolnope territory.

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Tim Anderson

You certainly have to pay for haircuts, hair styling, dying your hair, etc. in the real world. It’s not a “one time” purchase. Each time you want a haircut or someone to style your hair or dye your hair, it’s a per-use fee.

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PlasmaJohn

Certainly but I don’t have to pay the value of a new car to have that done. Or in GW2’s TC case, earn a bonus at work.

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Paragon Lost

Yup, Naoki Yoshida in my opinion nailed it. The subscription model really is the over all best business model for the mmorpg genre, both for the developer and the player. I’ve been saying it since F2P became a thing that it was a terrible business model for the player let alone the developer and yet, here we are. :/ (sigh)

Reader
Tim Anderson

He’s certainly one of the key people we can look to for inspiration.