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Posts Tagged ‘payment’

Having been unemployed now for the better part of a year, scrambling for odd jobs and attempting a career change, I’m more sensitive than ever to the cost of things.  There are a great many rants that I could indulge in, but at the moment, I’m in a contemplative mood.

Y’see, payment models are part of these MMO games that I write about here and there.  Syl has a new post up that’s tapping into a bit of the blogging hivemind, which is buzzing about money again.  I’m of a mind that the subscription model is a very poor value for me, F2P is a bit better when it’s not annoyingly restrictive or weirdly monetized, and “buy and play” of Guild Wars and Wizard 101 is still my favorite model.

Thing is, what little gaming I do these days is either on my smartphone with something like Slingshot Braves (which I’m still not spending money on, though I’d like to, in a way) or Flight Rising on my PC.  In the former, I’d probably pony up a few dollars if I could buy specific gear I want, and in the latter, I don’t mind advertisements as the monetization vector.

It makes me wonder… has an MMO toyed with advertisements in their major cities?  As noted in Darths and Droids, of all places, games actually can benefit from some verisimilitude by having sloganeering or even advertisement in big cities.  The setting has to make sense, of course, and advertising isn’t always really a big money maker, but it seems like something someone might have tried, or could have tried.  The Secret World, or The Matrix Online, maybe.

Anyway, I certainly don’t begrudge devs their money.  I have my own money problems, and won’t pay for something that doesn’t offer me good value, but, as with Humble Bundles, I’m OK with spending money on games.  I’m not a whale, I’m a stingy consumer.  Offer me something worth paying for, and I probably will.  Try to manipulate me with stupid things like lockboxes, slot machines, subscriptions or other obvious ploys to get money with little effort, and I’ll just move on.

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Just a quick tip to go check out a pair of great articles from the Rampant Coyote.

First, the quest for gaming’s “Citizen Kane”, and how it may well be a quest that is only defined in retrospect.  I’m of a mind that the industry as a whole is still far too immature (ESRB Orwellian terminology notwithstanding) to have anything remotely as significant as “Citizen Kane”, but I agree with RC’s notion that we may not know what our landmark games are until much later after the fact.

And then there’s this article that pokes a bit into game pricing and the indie scene:

Payin’ the Indies

I’ll admit, I’m sick to tears of most MMOs these days.  I’m still having a bit of fun with Wizard 101, but at the same time, Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume has been more fun, and so has Final Fantasy 12.  I’m going back to my gaming roots digitally, even as I start hashing out more ideas for the board game version of Alpha Hex and another game that I worked up last weekend.  It’s nice to play games that are portable and/or not tethered to the internet, and that have real endings.  It’s even better to make games of my own.

So naturally, I’m interested in the indie scene.  If I can get these ideas worked into great shape, then make them into commercial products, I’ll be a happy little entrepreneur.  And then there’s that book I’m illustrating…

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OK, I’ve floated this idea before, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, but between Pete finding his sweet spot and this rumination on the fate of “vanilla” WoW (it’s not going anywhere, it’s not changing), I figured it’s time to bring it up again.

Dear Blizzard, if you can’t get past the subscription model, please gradate your pricing as follows:

$5/month for vanilla WoW

$10/month for vanilla WoW + The Burning Crusade

$15/month for vanilla WoW + TBC + Wrath of the Lich King

If you can’t wean yourself off the subscription model, at least pay attention and realize that a segmented market is building in the blue ocean that you’re leaving alone in the short session casual arena.  Peggle for purples doesn’t cut it.  Of course, you could do better by offering vanilla WoW as a Guild Wars-like purchase ($30 box price, free play forever), or by offering prorated subscriptions based on time actually played with a cap at the “regular” sub price.

People do wonder… what *are* we paying for?  In a wonky economy, that question has a tendency to come up more often.

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