Thanks to the omnipresent being known as Ysharros, I’ve been dully informed that EQ2 is breaking out a new type of payment model for the game. “EQII Passport” is sort of a lite version of the EQ2 subscription: you pay $5 a month to get 3 days of game time. As Ysh says, it’s not ideal, but it’s a start.
When you think about it, three days of play for $5 is kind of a ripoff compared to 30 days for something like $15. It doesn’t help that SOE’s put a couple puzzling restrictions on it as well — you have to be a previous player (“No newbs allowed!” the announcement proclaims) to partake, and the three days have to be consecutive (i.e., all in a row). So I guess it’s great for those who do just want to pop in game for a solid weekend of play once a month, but it sort of demands you use that weekend to the fullest to avoid wasting your money.
I’m probably not going to bite on this — I might if the three days weren’t consecutive — but I’m excited nonetheless. I’ve been clamoring for more casual, bite-sized subscription plans for a while now, as I really would play more MMOs if the choice wasn’t between a full subscription and not playing. Hopefully, MMO studios will start to realize that a smaller amount of money for more casual play is still better than zero money that people are unwilling to commit when they’re spread too thin. For EQ2, what do they have to lose with this? Nothing.