(EDIT: Looks like Blizzard is being VERY safe about this discussion. They made it QUITE clear now that Battle.net will at least not be a monthly...Good for them. I rest easier now...)
One commenter, Rao, from Gestalt Mind, had this to say
"I have never understood the gamer attitude of, “Oh my god! They want to charge us for that? Money-grubbing evil bastards!”
Gaming companies are just that… companies. They are there to make money. That is their reason for being, but gamers seem to take it so personally that the game companies want to make a living.
You don’t see Burger King adding a new sandwich to their menu and then fast food junkies all over the planet start getting all up in arms because Burger King charges for them, but yet gamers do this."I started another long winded comment, and decided to bring it here...
May I ask this? Does Burger King offer anything free? And then decide to charge you for it?
Lets say you buy a Burger, and the fries were free.
Then they decide one day that they must charge you for those fries.
How would you react?
Would you think "Oh poor Burger King must be hurting for money, and they must charge for those fries now...good for them"
"Burger King is declining in business, and they need our money..."
Yea...that is what it is like.
All I am saying is if they decide to "charge" for Battle.net, then they better offer a reason.
Look at HG:L. They had the game as a free service. Yet, if you paid for a monthly they added a ton of features to your game.
Now, back to the Burger King deal. Lets say they decide to charge for the fries...but originally they were a medium, and they switch it to a large, THEN charge.
This is how it is done.
Look at the ways Guild Wars monetized.
Extra Character slot - Charge
Unlock skills for PvP - Charge
Services are the way to monetize. Maybe THIS should have been the route. People want to feel they are getting something for their money.
If Battle.net is still a glorified chat room lobby to meet others or sell stuff...you can manage this through some other way (say X-Fire).
Now, Blizzard has mentioned charging for "customization" of your look.
THIS is the way to monetize.
As long as the only way to get that look is by fees and not something that is already offered in character creation...cool.
Also, the item you buy cannot be a drop either.
It sounds like everyone believes I think Blizzard should not be making money...far from it.
But, they need to be careful HOW they make it is all.
"Games companies are in the business to make money, and maybe monetizing b.net will finally drive all the b.net kiddies off to Xbox Live where they will be safely away from real gamers."
Ouch (we won't go into a study done that showed the average age of the Xbox 360 user is 35-44)..
But, to honestly think that "monetizing" gets rid of kids...uh, have you played WoW? I have found 14 and 15 year old kids in EQ2 with bad attitudes many a time.
This is far from the purpose of the monetizing, and to think such a thing is foolish.
This was just a silly attack on Xbox live users. And I agree that there are a ton of mouthy brats (my son included) on the service.
But, it sure will not drive away that kid that needs everything, which happen to be the ones who are the mouthiest.
It will just cement a more "elitist" attitude if anything.
The monetizing will just engender attitudes across the board. Blizzard is seen as a powerhouse right now, and so far is STILL not slowing down (this seems to be the argument of WHY Blizzard needs to charge) and if sales are any indication, WoW is still topping the charts even though WAR has taken the top spot for several weeks.
This is just greed at this point.
Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 will both sell like madness. They will earn funds which should help with Blizzards continued development of their next big MMO.
And believe me, THAT MMO will sell also. THIS will be their next cash cow.
Battle.net is just a slap in the face to the fans of these games. And fans are fickle.
Guess we will have to wait and see how this progresses. To me, Blizzard can have my cash for Diablo 3.
Battle.net will be off the table for me....
But of course, I see the removal of LAN play as the slap on the other cheek. And guess what...blind fanboys will also turn that cheek, no question asked...
Sorry...maybe I should feel sorry for poor Blizzard....