In the early days of the Internet nerds were actually charged per hour for access to the tubes. Some of you were probably still having your diapers changed when this occurred (looking at you, Heartbourne). Me, well, I was beginning to realize that girls don’t have cooties! I digress. A paradigm shift in Internet monetization happened thanks companies like CompuServe and AOL. These start-ups began offering a bajillion free hours of usage as incentive. Finally, the numbers were trashed and the service became unlimited, but with a monthly cost. This is the same format that many MMOGs have used since the ‘internet’ stopped being a capitalized word.
Everyone (in the West) was happy with a subscription model initially. Then more publishers and developers began paying attention to the lucrative genre. As time has rolled on, additional companies have attempted to make a mark, from AAA endeavors to niche games with dedicated fans. Us consumers began having to make hard choices. Do we subscribe to MMOG A or MMOG B? Both? But then we run the risk of not getting our “worth” from the subscription fees. What to do…
Electronic Arts and Realtime Worlds is taking the high ground for All Points Bulletin. Subscription-minded players can do just that for only $9.99 a month (discounts for three and six month packages). Interested in making APB your second, or third MMOG? Then the pay-as-you-go method is for you. Additional 20 hours chunks will run players $6.99.
APB will not offer 30 days of free play. Realtime Worlds changes the payment game again by including 50 hours of “action game time” as part of the initial purchase. That’d be your questing, maiming, murdering and bounty-hunting time. Taking a page out of Global Agenda’s book, the customization and social aspects described in the PAX East preview are free, forever. It looks like we’re finally seeing a divergence arise in payment structures for mass-market MMOG, niche and AAA alike.
APB will be available June 29. Early adopters receive a bonus ten hours of action play, access to pre-launch events and exclusives emotes, decals, clothing, even a vehicle. Beta sign-ups are still open. APB is available for pre-order at Amazon now.
Tempted by having options and the segregation of content?