Paying The Pipers – Subscribing To Multiple MMOGs

The awesome pewpew isn't worth $15.

You may have noticed that I tend to play multiple video games at once, even multiple MMOGs.  I always have a go-to game — it has been WoW for the past two years — but it can change every few months. Right now, for example.  World of Warcraft is in the doldrums.  When the Lich King died, Wrath of the Lich King ended  for me.  Sure, there’s Ruby Sanctum and its connection to Cataclysm, yet that lore hasn’t tickled my fancy.  There is Ulduar, nearly untouched by any of my characters, but a serious group is impossible to find.  Thus my eyes have begun to wander.

I’ve given numerous games the once over.  Been swooned by their large features lists, bowled over by their end game, and enticed by their customization.  From the tried-and-true fantasy genre to the FPS post-apocalyptic world, no type is off limits.  Heck, I have even slummed it in Second Life recently.  You know, just to see what’s up (in the furry community).

I have spent hours researching, but I still haven’t found The One.  It’s always come down to one simple thing: money.  Thankfully, I do not need to worry about that with Global Agenda anymore.  The MMOTPS continues to hold my attention, but in a casual way.  It’s fantastic for those random spurts of playtime, 15-30 minutes of pure unadulterated bliss and stress relief.  The title just doesn’t fill the void (currently) left by WoW.

What I am looking to play is a deep MMOG.  A game I can get attached to;  one that has group content, but can be played as a solo player.  Most of all, I want a story-driven title with flavorful quest text and a living lore timeline.  Going back to Warhammer Online was a waste and APB isn’t anywhere near adequate.  Star Trek Online calls to me, but I fear what Cryptic has beneath those sirens.

The fact of the matter is that most of these games are not worth the $15 a month.  Or by playing second fiddle to WoW, they won’t be worth that to me, so I just won’t subscribe.  I would pay $5 for 10 hours a month of STO or many other games.  This option does not exist.  It seems that developers are just too hesitant to attempt multiple payment schemes for fear of changing the current amount of subscribers or adding new overhead.

Yet, consumers love options.  Who’s to say a developer wouldn’t make up for the downgraded subscribers by signing on more people paying less.  No company has tried.  Or that the market won’t grow overall because casual players don’t mind spending $20 a month on four games, but do mind spending $30 on two.  It has worked wonders for SOE and NCsoft.  DDO showed that massive profits can be made by thinking outside the spreadsheet.  Now it’s time for some other company to genie up a new way for us to open our wallets.  Treats, free weekends and customer rewards programs have all been attempted with varying degrees of success.  How about we just fiddle with the price?

Is that a murloc that is about to hit me?

Fallen Earth and I happen to be a perfect example.  Icarus just announced that subscribers can purchase time in chunks for drastically reduced prices – almost four months free if you pre-purchase a year.  The company followed that up by offering return subscribers the first month for $5.  Boom, new subscriber, even it it may only be temporary.  It was a no-brainer for a Lincoln considering I was already looking.  Anyone care to join me in the Grand Canyon?

Before you head to the comments and lambaste me, I know there are plenty of F2P MMO games out there.  I’ve tried dozens and ran screaming from most of them.  Polish is generally the main issue, followed by the design of the cash shop (paying for things that should be included).  Of all the titles I have attempted, only DDO has rubbed me the right way.  Still, my brain works in such a fashion that if I have not actively paid for something, I am less inclined to play for it.


  1. Having th all access pass is good for publishers with multiple titles, but why would a small company like Hi-Rez Studios ever care about that? Shouldn’t a company only care for itself? At least itself first, industry second. Thats how business see the issue.

    As a consumer of these products, I do agree with your main point. I would subscribe to more MMO if the prices were lower, or offered some options besides all or nothing.

    Love the second paragraph. Interesting way to present that, to say the least.

  2. Fallen Earth came on my rador when I saw you guys cover its mobile app. I know very little about the game otherwise. Might take the trial for a spin…

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