The Daily Grind: What could MMO studios do to add value to their subscriptions?

Game for sale!

When Blizzard first announced World of Warcraft’s trading post and yet didn’t actually include anything particularly objectionable, pay-to-win, or RMT, I thought it seemed like a reasonable addition to the game, provided it’s not a prelude to a future sub hike. As it stands, however, it adds a lot of value to the existing subscription, which will certainly play into gamers’ decision to stay subbed in the inevitable content droughts between expansions.

Of course, the idea of a stipend for a sub is very common in MMOs with hybrid business models and optional subs already, as studios are very conscious of adding motivation to their subs. And it can be very effective; I don’t really bother playing Lord of the Rings Online unless I’m subbed, and it’s almost entirely because of the perk of getting bank and vendor access on the go. Then there are some darker ways of keeping people paying, like taking away their houses unless they pay up. I’ve fallen prey to that in the past, and I’m pretty done with it, which strikes several prominent MMORPGs off my play list.

What other ways could MMO studios do to add value to their subscriptions that would actually entice you to sub or stay subbed when you’re not playing?

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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