The Subscription MMO Is Dead

Kotaku - The era of the subscription-based online game has well and truly ended in 2012.

It had a good run, really. Fifteen years is quite a long time for anything to stay static in the land of gaming.

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HiddenMission2101d ago

free to play is the way to go

zeal0us2101d ago

B2P is better way to go imho

ATi_Elite2101d ago

There is plenty of room for subscription MMO's BUT......

It has to be AAA+
It has to be original and innovative
It has to be a GAMER DRIVEN MMO
It has to have constant updates and new content

Under these circumstances a great MMO that is Gamer Driven can be subscription base therefore DEMANDING full support and a steady flow of new content and the subscription fee will keep the community full of "like minded Gamers" who are there to enjoy the experience.

Also sub fees eliminate hackers and N0obs! Who would wanna pay $15 bucks, get caught Hacking or cheating and lose your money?

aliengmr2101d ago (Edited 2101d ago )

1. You're talking about a Unicorn.

2. "N0obs" play MMO's all time, sub don't stop that.

3. Sub based MMO's have gold farming and bots and they aren't worried about getting caught.

Fact is the various forms of F2P are far more profitable. WoW and EVE were lucky. They came at a time when subs were normal and built a very strong customer base. The problem is nearly ALL the people will to pay subs are playing those games. So you would have to convince them to either pay more or leave. Not easy considering the investment.

The investment is the real issue here. The folks playing WoW and EVE are heavily invested and aren't about to give up either game. And the pool of players willing to fork over 15$ a month and not playing either those games is limited. Look at TOR.

TOR going F2P pretty much killed the sub market for new games. It showed that even with EA's backing and $300 mil for development couldn't stop them from going F2P. It doesn't matter the game may not have been good, nobody is going to invest after EA's failure.

If there were a perfect recipe for making a game someone would have found it. WoW and EVE are not perfect, they happened to arrive at just the right time when conditions were good. They survived and went to build and maintain large and devoted player bases. And since then those players have invested so much that leaving has become very hard to do.

Subscriptions are dead going forward, if EA can't break into the market with the freakin Star Wars franchise, Bioware, $300 mil, and no questions asked:P then who could? Who would even risk it?

DeadlyFire2101d ago

Luck has nothing to do with their success. WoW created an addicting element that kept gamers active and that they enjoyed thoroughly.

EVE created player driven community on a single shard server. Everyone is in one game. Its great game if you like space travel.

TOR itself only fails because it is WoW with a Star Wars cape and mask with a few new modes. They would have been much better off with Galaxies 2 or something along those lines. LA took note that gamers wanted KOTOR 3 so vividly they thought they would certainly play in a world based on KOTOR all the time. It was a mistake.

Investment is a key issue sure, but MMOs from the 90s still exist today if you look at them some are still churning out a profit with those same $15 a month subscriptions. Sure it may not be billions, but its profitable market still. Problem is that many can only invest in limited number of MMO games at a time due to recession crunch. Even so I can afford $50 a month if I wanted to do so. Value has to exist though. Free to play is a fad to ensure that whatever is released makes some profit. It will exist as a new form, but it will not be the golden goose. It will pass as more people get money in their hands. I myself am looking at possibly taking on two jobs. Then well you lose out on gametime so why pay $15 for one month and only play 8 days. There has yet to be a MMO where you can buy time and only use it as you log in to it.

I agree 100% with Elite.

Although I believe games like Madden, Nascar, Wrestling, and other sports titles could work. Why? Well the core gameplay never really changes all that much. Its something that could just be patched along the way. They get annual roster updates. You still create your custom athlete or competitor every year.

aliengmr2100d ago

You may have misunderstood what I mean by luck. Any game that becomes very successful owes a lot of that success to luck. EVE fills a niche that is hard to find while WoW was accessible with a well known IP in the west. I do NOT think if WoW were released today it would have subs.

Yes TOR is not a very good game, but if you were were starting an MMO and saw a giant like EA going F2P with SWTOR, are you honestly saying you would still go sub based?

I meant 2 things by investment. One was what I mentioned above. The other was player investment. What MMO's exist today that still charge subs because the player base is still there. That is due in large part to player investment as well as being a good game. It should be noted that SOE has been grouping most of their games under one sub rate for years.

To say that F2P is just a passing fad and subscriptions are the future ignores all the evidence right in front of you. Hell, even WoW is F2P to a certain level.

Seriously, the traditional sub based MMO is dead. Just because there are a few remaining hold-outs does not mean future releases are going to still go with subscriptions. F2P and freemium make more money, which is why the vast majority have gone that route.

As for sports games, well, if subscriptions were a viable option I think EA would have been all over that. My guess is they looked into it.

Megaton2101d ago

It was never really alive. Only a handful of MMO makers ever got away with it in all these years. The rest shut down or went FTP.

iamlegend99992101d ago

I can see some mmo's doing what guild wars 2 is doing. Just pay for the game and the rest is free.

pompombrum2101d ago

How can anyone claim it's dead when over 10m+ people are actively subscribed? Until WoW dies, the model isn't dead. Other games are failing because they simply aren't good enough and aren't worth the subscription fee. If SWTOR for instance really was good enough to take on WoW and offer a deep end game experience to rival other games then it'd still have loads of active subs.

NexGen2101d ago

I'm fine with free to play, but there's a fine line between that and pay to win. DCUO went free to play at biggie. When they switched to pay to win, it changed and became a major chore/financial drain to maintain equal status.

F2p, ok. P2w, no way.

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