Tuesday, January 13, 2009

MMO genre monetarily speaking

I will be out of town today for a retreat with the group I contract with, so I just wanted to post a thought, and discussion for when I return.

I have noted an upswing in posts regarding the monetization for the MMO genre.
The one post that started me thinking about this post is Tish Tosh. Specifically in his comments, he states...

"There’s certainly something to be said for finding a profitable niche and catering to it. The MMO market is oversaturated with $15/month monster hunts. "

Could it be that it is not so much that all of the MMO's are just copying each other mechanics wise, but instead, the player has to be selective?
We still are in a money crunch, so people will be careful where their money is spent. If a game has to be given up, then people will stick with a more populated MMO than even trying something new.

I really think the way MMO's charge for gameplay needs to be reviewed and modified. Think of the next MMO coming, Darkfall. If it is another 15 buck a month affair, do you really want to give up your WoW, EQ2, LOTRO, etc. for taking a chance on this title, especially if you really do not know what it is about? (Well, besides it being Vapor still...so ignore that part.).
Aion will offer a free "preview" of the game, but will 2 or 3 days be enough for you to say "Yea, I can throw out another 15 bucks here".

What if instead they offered a 10-15 hour a month gameplay session for 5 bucks? Would you think about them then?
What if the download was free, the first month was free, then you paid if you wanted to continue?

What are some other possible avenues?

There is no doubt, the 15 dollar deal has me really making tough decisions, and just saying "No" to MMO's right now...unless I get a deal or get to try it first.

How about you..?


Lars said...

I think MMOs should be priced like cell phones.

At the low end, for casual users, you have the "pay as you go" no-contract. I would pay $5 and get 15 hours of play that I can use whenever I want; it might take me a year to use it up.

Then there might be a tiered subscription fee, where you pay $5 a month and get 15 hours per month, with hours carried over, and overage charges if I play longer.

And then for the hardcore, you would have the standard $15 a month unlimited plan.

I imagine we will start to see tiered plans when the so-called $15 dollar deal turns into a $20 dollar deal. They'll need an intermediary price point to stay competitive with the casual users.

Lars said...

Had a few other ideas as well, but didn't want to post a five page long comment.

Tesh said...

The market will diversify. The only question is who (else) will be filling the niches, when it will happen, and who else will fail by thinking of $15/month as the only option.

I'm thinking indie (smaller) projects will be the frontrunners (Puzzle Pirates and W101 are already ahead of the curve); the change is already happening, but will accelerate this year; and there will still be too many companies who look at WoW and fail when they don't understand the market.

Thanks for the link!

Danshir said...

I personally think the option given by W101 is an excellent one to offer customers. You can either buy the content for unlimited use or use a subscription plan.

Since Tesh mentioned Indie projects, A fellow writer at NegativeGamer*I write there too* found an interseting semi-MMO being developed by one guy..and it looks..very unique.

You can check out a video at my website. I don't think it would be your cup of tea though Edge.

Since I've not said anything in a while, How did you like DeadSpace and The Darkness? Enjoy that scene that I mentioned? *There is no way you could have missed it..*

Tesh said...

Heh, I knew you were referring to Love when you said it was a one man operation. I'm keenly following that particular little project.