Are MMO Subscription Plans Changing Forever?

With the impending launch of Guild Wars II, there is a lot of talk about whether there is still a market for subscription based MMOs. Many feel that BTP (Buy to play) and FTP (Free to play) games will soon take place of all subscription based MMOs. however many of the same players and pundits have been saying this since the first Guild Wars came out. When Lord of the Rings Online went free to play the suggested end of all by to play in subscription-based games. that has yet to occur though. the truth is to game developers know the best way for the particular game to make money. some games are better is free to play some are better is by the play and some the subscription model works best. of the three most anticipated games of 2012 two are subscription-based. if we expand that back to December of 2011 three of the four are subscription-based. Star Wars the Old Republic, Tera and The Secret World are all subscription-based. While it suffered a mass exodus after the first month, we know that Star Wars has been highly successful in their subscription method. The subscription rate stands at 1.8 million players as of the March investor call. with the game launch in December of 2011 that means that Star Wars is it had at least two full paying months from its customers (taking into account the free 30 days for buying the game). If we take 1.8 million multiplied by $15 a month we get $27 million dollars in additional revenue each month over a pure buy to play game. Now is this more than they would have made BTP or FTP with cash shops, that we don’t know, but EA and Bioware believe that at the current moment that subscription-based plan are the best way to go for them. so the death of the subscription-based MMO has been wildly over exaggerated.

Having said all that, depending on what the Elder Scrolls Online does with its payment plans could change everything.

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Adam Richardson

Adam is the founder and owner of lvl30 Publishing and the Editor-in-Chief of POCG.co. His responsibilities cover everything from making contacts to final approval on articles for the site. Formerly, before incorporating lvl30, he founded and ran the prior incarnation of POCG (Playing Out of Control Gaming) as well as worked as an editor at various sites including GameStats, Game Post, and Sega Post. When he’s not working on the site he runs the technical support department for a office equipment company. You can reach him at abrichardson at pocg.co

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