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Additional / Alternative Payment Options?


Started by kilverjr
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Before Reading
First off, I’m not saying that the subscription model should be completely done away with, but rather an alternative payment option should be available, or at least a reduced monthly fee. Zenimax states that they want the subscription model to assure players a steady flow of frequent, good quality content every four to six weeks. In a massive world such as Tamriel, there will inevitably be an influx of money required for maintenance/new content. However, is the standard $15 monthly fee absolutely necessary for this, or are there other ways to ensure that ESO is the next prodigal success in the MMO genre? Below is my opinion on why the $15 subscription model should be reconsidered for an additional payment option as well as some alternatives to the subscription model.

Subscription Games
From a financial standpoint, this makes sense. One subscriber for a year is $60 up front with one month free, plus 11 months at $15/month = $225 for one person for the first year. Without a subscription, it would roughly take four buyers to equal the $225 for the first year subscriber. So in the long run, they will have a smaller player base due to some people not wanting to or able to pay the monthly fee, but they will potentially make more money in the long run.

Pros of Subscription
- As mentioned above, more money in the long run
- A steady, guaranteed income to ensure new content frequently (whether or not Bethesda needs $15/month from everyone to accomplish this, I don’t know)

Cons of Subscription
- Loss of player base due to the turn off of having to pay to play, and for the current player base this means you will have fewer players to run dungeons with, fewer players to do raids with, and smaller and/or fewer guilds to choose from
- Games also gain players by word of mouth and peer pressure, and with a smaller player base this word of mouth and peer pressure will be less
- Some people who live paycheck to paycheck can’t afford a $15/month “bill”
- In my opinion, when I pay to play a game, like WoW, it makes me feel like if I want to take a break from the game for even a week or two, for whatever reason, I’m just giving my money away for something I’m not using at that time

Additional/Alternative Payment Options
Companies should always keep their customers thoughts and desires in mind when making their products, but making everyone happy isn’t easy. Only giving one payment option will leave many people unhappy. Why not give the players two payment options? This will still not make everyone happy, but it will bring in more players and keep a steady flow of cash for Bethesda. Point 1 could be an alternative to the subscription model, while point 2 could be added in conjunction with the subscription model; players would choice one or the other.

1) $60 up front with micro transactions
This has to be done carefully, avoiding “pay to win” for a start. With that being said, there are plenty of games that follow this model (or are free to play in the first place) and earn their money from micro transactions. Just sell purely cosmetic items, League of Legends follows this and look how successful and popular it has become. So for ESO, some cosmetic items could be special/unique mounts, unique looking armor (no stat differences, just cosmetic), unique costumes for companions, or special or different looking companions (like different race/outfits, but still no better stats than normal companions).

2) $60 up front with an upfront lifetime subscription
Some people, including myself, are not going to get the game if we have to pay 25% of the retail price every month. This means every year of subscriptions, you bought the game three more times… Also, this is a game that could survive for years, just like WoW, but overtime I don’t want to spend that much money, and I won’t. Hell, even a $200 up front lifetime fee would be fine for me instead of a monthly fee, since I planned on playing ESO for a very long time.

3) Lower Subscription Fee
$15 a month has been the norm for many subscription based MMOs ever since WoW paved the way in the early years. For many people in today’s online community, $15 is a bit steep for a monthly subscription given how many other good quality subscription based games are out on the market, not to mention all the free to play MMOs. Why doesn’t ESO prove to the online community that it can step back from the norm, $15/month, and maybe try $5-$9.99/month and still be able to push out good quality content frequently like they want to? I’ll bet that the people hurting for money in today’s economy would be onboard for a lower monthly fee that they could afford.

Final Thoughts
Hopefully everyone will look at this from all angles before voicing their opinions.
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Post #118732
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Ok ill address your points from my perspective.

1. I read Micro transactions in the heading and skipped to No.2
Micro transactions ruin games very quickly.

2. Lifetime subs make people who dont pay for them believe they should earn them, and in the long run the income drops off completely.

3. Lowering the fee is not needed, if you pay for 6 months instead of monthly, or 3 monthly it gets cheaper anyway, the longer ahead you pay your sub you get a discount.


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This post was last modified: August 14th 2016, 01:46 AM by HAple2769
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Post #118825
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Hate micro transaction, the mere utter of the word fills me with hatred. I'm currently happy with the P2P model but wouldn't mind a bit of money being skimmed off if possible.


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Post #118827
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Obligatory post in before the flame begins.
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Post #118860
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(November 26th 2013, 07:36 PM)Avidus Wrote: Ok ill address your points from my perspective.

1. I read Micro transactions in the heading and skipped to No.2
Micro transactions ruin games very quickly.

2. Lifetime subs make people who dont pay for them believe they should earn them, and in the long run the income drops off completely.

3. Lowering the fee is not needed, if you pay for 6 months instead of monthly, or 3 monthly it gets cheaper anyway, the longer ahead you pay your sub you get a discount.

Can you explain a little more?

1. How do COSMETIC micro transactions ruin a game? I didn't realize League of Legends is ruined after three years of this. Now yes some games can ruin themselves with P2W, like D3, who now realizes it and will be removing their auction house early next year.

2. How do you know people feel like they want to earn them? They would have two options, pay all upfront now, or pay per month. They know they don't have a liftetime membership, and if they want one, they can buy one. Can you give me an example of this argument? Who believes they should?

3. Yes this is true, pay for like 3 or 6 months and you can save like 1-3 bucks a month. But what happens when a family crisis happens? You lose your job? You get where i'm going with this? Something happens that causes you to have just wasted that 3/6 - month subscription cause you can no longer pay?
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Post #118962
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(November 27th 2013, 12:20 PM)kilverjr Wrote:
(November 26th 2013, 07:36 PM)Avidus Wrote: Ok ill address your points from my perspective.

1. I read Micro transactions in the heading and skipped to No.2
Micro transactions ruin games very quickly.

2. Lifetime subs make people who dont pay for them believe they should earn them, and in the long run the income drops off completely.

3. Lowering the fee is not needed, if you pay for 6 months instead of monthly, or 3 monthly it gets cheaper anyway, the longer ahead you pay your sub you get a discount.

Can you explain a little more?

1. How do COSMETIC micro transactions ruin a game? I didn't realize League of Legends is ruined after three years of this. Now yes some games can ruin themselves with P2W, like D3, who now realizes it and will be removing their auction house early next year.

2. How do you know people feel like they want to earn them? They would have two options, pay all upfront now, or pay per month. They know they don't have a liftetime membership, and if they want one, they can buy one. Can you give me an example of this argument? Who believes they should?

3. Yes this is true, pay for like 3 or 6 months and you can save like 1-3 bucks a month. But what happens when a family crisis happens? You lose your job? You get where i'm going with this? Something happens that causes you to have just wasted that 3/6 - month subscription cause you can no longer pay?

1. Regardless of what they put in a micro-transaction store, it takes you out of the game to get stuff that can't be acquired without giving ZOS more money. There would be items that people might want, but only having it available in a micro-transaction (regardless if cosmetic or functional) is very off-putting. Plus, ZMI could be all too temped to make actual gear be placed in there to make more money. Having the framework already in place would only make that even more tempting. One greedy decision and the game is ruined.

2. Lifetime membership would only cause ZOS to lose money. A $200 lifetime sub would mean ZOS only makes money from that customer for 1 year. Benefit to the customer is only valid if they play for that year as well. More bad than good. Plus if they implement a bulk discount like Avidus described, that year of gameplay would be less for the customer (good for them) and ZOS has a higher chance of that customer buying another year (good for ZOS). Everybody wins.

3. Having a discounted system does not force anybody to by subs in bulk. That choice is up to the customer and what they are comfortable investing. So what if a crisis happens? Not meaning to sound uncaring, but that is called life. I'm sure if a legitimate crisis happened, ESO would be the last thing on a person's mind anyways.


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Post #119018
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@kilverjr

I see your perspective in caring for the community and their ability to play the game for a sustained amount of time.
However when discussing payment for a game you cannot take in the variable of what happens if somebody has a crisis.

As a developer it is not up to them to make sure everything is perfect for each and every player, they have to find a happy medium.
If you have a crisis that is why you can stop automatic payments.
If they care too much about little things they will end up with no profit, it also allows them to stand by their policies.

My point in short is that it is not their responsibility to allow those who should not, or cannot play to play.


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Subs ! Have always liked the sub way to go. Dislike shops and other transactions.


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Hello I know this a month old thread and I am new. I was looking for a home to go to for this game and i ran into this thread.

I will give my point of view on subs and other options.

I am a PC and console gamer and I have played FFXI, FFXIV, GW, GW2, AOC, and Defiance.
They are some better then others in those games i have listed and the best ones I enjoyed are the Sub based games.

Why? Because it felt like its a premium game and it fely very different then other games.

I came late into the AOE and at the time it was F2P and I played it and it was nice, but what got me is that you have to pay up if you dont want to keep using sticks as weapons and get a real sword. I put in $30 to see what happen and soon I was able to get what is worth $30. I didnt like that at all. Games like this, LOTRO, and DDO are in the same page with I feel very cheap.

GW and GW2 is a tricky one, in one hand its free to play online but you have to buy the game. no problem. The game is really good and play very well but there is something off about this game that feels empty. Dont get me wrong GW2 look super but there is something you can see why its free.

FFXI and FFXIV are the games that have that premium feel to it and how they go about. From questing together and parting system felt top notch and it was worth the $10 and $12 monthly.

I played FFXI on the xbox 360 and there is one thing I took notice about playing a subscription. I saved money, also people dont realise that they spent more money in 1 year of console games then if I was to pay a whole year of MMO and get a game or 2.

Here is the math.

I get 5 games a year which each are $60 = $300 a year and that is not including the DLC or season pass.
1 year sub of ESO its about $180 plus I can buy 2 more games with in $300.

And also when people are done with the game they do traded in and get really nothing for it while i get updates from the ESO game with the sub I pay.

Thank you very much people and I will continue post here and then.

*Oh one more thing I like to see play time card in places like Bestbuy, Walmart, Target and others to make the choices easier on people so they dont have to worry about putting up CC info up.*
This post was last modified: January 13th 2014, 09:35 PM by Nervusbreakdown
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Post #133742
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I just don't understand the rationale that people who are supposedly 'hurting for money' are still able to afford a computer and an internet connection to play the game. $15.00 a month is a non-issue for anyone who has a job. There are certainly worse ways you could spend it.
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Monthly subscription above everything else. Plus it keeps away certain people from playing the game (see League of Legends)
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(January 14th 2014, 03:39 AM)Sheetka Wrote: Monthly subscription above everything else. Plus it keeps away certain people from playing the game (see League of Legends)

I think "keeping certain people away" Is a terrible reason to have subscription fees! And I'm sure that is not what the devs are hoping to achieve with said fees.


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Post #134027
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Additional payment options would be a bad idea. Life-time subscription is certainly something they can implement but a MMO needs a cash flow not a cash burst. I don't know if you have read or listened to interviews where they go over the reasoning for their choice of payment method, even if you have I would like to make some points as to why the subscription method is ideal.

1. The pay wall. Now I know you mentioned a cash shop for cosmetic items and I'm sure that would exist but you're forget the fundamental fact that the company does need to make money and therefore you will be struct by pay walls which almost force you to spend money to continue enjoying the game. League of Legends does this with new Champions, Guild Wars 2 does this will bank slots, bag slots, character slots. anything with 'slot' in it. This game is first and foremost an Elder scrolls game, therefore freedom is paramount.

2. Being able to simply buy any form of item with cash would simply break the economy in this game. With the removal (or should I say non-inclusion) of a global or server wide trading system buying items becomes a challenge. Though not with out it's limitations. Trading internally through guilds is used as a replacement is an interesting way of creating a healthy and challenging economy. Crafting becomes more difficult as materials are now more difficult to yet you're hands on and the majority of the lazy players wont bother. Instead of these lazy players going to the cash shop they will have to buy from the hard working crafter's that put in the time and reap the rewards.

3. Subscription is by far the easiest way for ZOS to calculate their budget. They know they have X amount each month and can clearly see when X is increased or decrease and can make the adjustments instead of content becoming watered down and released unfinished or poorly. This also creates a healthy gaming community which may well be reduced due to lack of interest but you are forgetting about the mega server technology. Usually MMO's are split into servers and this is when you will notice the less people for content. However as the player numbers are reduced or increased the intelligent server will place people into shards according and you will never see a difference.

4. World of Warcraft was released in 2004. That is 10 years ago (giving it a few months) and the subscription was $15. In an economy that is sustained through endless growth prices have risen, wages have risen and benefits have also risen. Placing that into account the subscription should actually be more for a game that isn't already sitting on a Scrooge McDuck worth of money. In addition to the ever common argument of 'I go from paycheck to paycheck' or 'I'm struggling to make ends meet'. If you can afford the upfront cost of $60 then you can budget $15 a month still leaving you with $45. Maths. Its awesome.
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Post #134032
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This thread makes my soul cringe.

I don't understand the need to even talk about this?

Surely you can play another game if you can't afford to play a subscription based game?


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