Quote of the Day

“Here’s what charging a flat monthly fee actually means:

  1. Fewer players will try your game.
  2. The majority of those players will pay more money than they otherwise would have.
  3. Perversely, you’ll still end up making significantly less revenue.
  4. Also, the subscription model will put pressure on players to leave the game as soon as they feel like they are ‘done’ with the game.”

~ Zen of Design


15 thoughts on “Quote of the Day

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus August 23, 2013 / 11:17 am

    From the man who sells hotbars in his game.

  2. Uncle Dengar (@Degan_MG) August 23, 2013 / 11:30 am

    The 4 points are true for most of the MMO selections we have out there right now. Developers are creating shallow, short-term, and disposable games with a free model and a cash shop.

    Create a long-term, deep and challenging game and people will stay and pay a sub as well as build loyalty.

    Besides, I still think that its the quality of a game that drives success or failure, not the business model. If you make a crappy game, no one will play it free or not.

  3. Jeromai August 23, 2013 / 11:58 am

    5. You prevent the minority of those players from throwing a lot more than $15 a month per account at you.

  4. Percy August 23, 2013 / 12:18 pm

    #3 is hardly a guarantee.

    #1, #2, #4 are all true.

    The bottom line with a sub game is that is HAS to be good or else it will fail hard and fail publicly (SWTOR). If the game is really good a subscription model is perfect, ideal, in fact.
    F2P is just giving up on the ideal from the start.. which is a very safe & smart move but also very boring.

  5. Drew August 23, 2013 / 12:40 pm

    LMAO @ his comment about #4 being ‘insidious’ because then you have to figure out ways to keep players playing. In an MMO- yes, the horror! Also, clearly far less offensive than monetizing quality of life requirements like hotbars and bank space.

    Give me a break.

  6. bhagpuss August 23, 2013 / 1:08 pm

    @Jeromai Well, not if you have a Cash Shop as well as a sub.

  7. DeadlyAccurate August 23, 2013 / 3:08 pm

    I would add a #5: Players are less likely to return after a hiatus if they have to re-enable their account first.

  8. ScytheNoire (@ScytheNoire) August 23, 2013 / 3:24 pm

    Both companies are making huge mistakes by going subscription. I was interested in both, but have already written them off as I’m not interested in paying a monthly fee for a game.

    Reversely, I spent more than $15 a month in GW2 while I was playing it.

    So not only are their losing customers, they are severely limiting their earning potential. It’s a lose-lose situation and one that definitely doesn’t make sense, unless they are just trying to avoid building up the network and server infrastructure they would need as a B2P.

  9. rowan August 23, 2013 / 8:37 pm

    Ever the contrarian, I gotta say Schubert has a point. I may not like the direction SWTOR has taken, and BioWare may never get another penny from me. But it’s hard to argue with SWTOR’s post F2P success. I see a lot of people saying if a game is good, the revenue model doesn’t matter. I think that is increasingly naïve in the current MMO landscape. There are many people who won’t play a sub-only game, no matter how great it is. We can talk game design all we want, but business is business. And there are plenty of good reasons to use the cash shop or hybrid approach, mostly to lower the barrier of entry to the game. If the game is that good, then having a non-subscription variant won’t hurt it.

  10. Tyler F.M. Edwards August 23, 2013 / 9:17 pm

    All I can do is speak for myself, but I’ve had it with sub models. I’m tolerating it in WoW because I’m the biggest Warcraft fanboy on the face of the Earth, but I’m sure you’ll here my cheering all the way in [insert your location] when Blizzard finally drops the subscription.

    It’s not even about saving money, really. It’s just about what provides a better bang for my buck. Essentially, I get nothing for paying a subscription. I earn the right to play a game… that I’ve already paid for. In a F2P or B2P game, I get fancy clothes, XP boosts, and other fun goodies for paying. And I’m not penalized for not paying — barring some awful SW:TOR-esque model.

    By comparison, if I miss a payment in WoW, I’m shut out. All the countless dollars and hours I’ve sunk into my characters is essentially for naught. That’s no way to treat a loyal customer, IMO.

  11. acbarberi August 24, 2013 / 11:27 am

    I think the accuracy of this quote is to be called in question. I want data!

  12. Jaye Dub (@xXJayeDuBXx) August 24, 2013 / 11:32 am

    I like how the game has yet to be released and already people say they are losing customers. Seems to me the only people who are upset that Elder Scrolls is not f2p are those who want more for nothing, basically they don’t want to spend money to buy the game.

  13. rowan August 24, 2013 / 11:55 am

    @Jaye, but they have lost people, even if it’s not many. I can personally say that my interest in being a part of TESO or Wildstar is severely diminished by their insistence on the sub model (buy-the-box is not an issue for me). On the other hand, if I were more interested in either title already, the sub would not seem so much a barrier.

  14. saucelah August 25, 2013 / 1:34 pm

    I was never going to play TESO, but I can say for sure that Wildstar has lost two customers from this decision, possibly more. I have one friend that always comes to the games I play and a few others that sometimes do. Yeah, sure, $15 a month isn’t much for a hobby . . . but I have a gaming hobby not a Wildstar hobby.

    After three years of unemployment spent desperately searching for jobs while clawing up any temp work I can find, I’ve learned to warily watch the little, regular purchases like these and severely limit them. They all add up, and I’m not putting that in my budget.

    Maybe someday for a game that seems to have truly done something different, something I really want to get in on from the start, but otherwise no, not happening.

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