MMO Pricing Options

MMO subscription options are lacking at the moment.  There is usually only one option per game.  Of all the games on the market there are basically only two models; either pay $15 per month or play for "free" but buy items in a virtual store for real world money.  These aren't necessarily bad options, but there could be better ones out there.

EverQuest 2 apparently feels the same way since they just released a new pricing option.  Returning players can pay $5 for 3 days of consecutive play time.

That is stupid.  It's limiting because it only targets old players who return and the three days of play time have to be consecutive.  Having an option to pay more money per hour but for less overall days isn't bad, only the restrictions on it are.

Instead, why not do a daily rate and let it be an option for all players?

I would revisit many of my old MMOs if I could pay per day instead of per month.  There a bunch of MMOs that I might play once a week if a daily rate was available for 1-2 dollars.  Games that I don't want to spend $15 each month on.  Games that are worth playing, but not worth playing every day.

At the moment I'm not subscribed to any MMO, but if daily rates were available to me I would dabble in Champions Online, Star Trek Online, EverQuest 2, World of Warcraft, and EVE Online.  Each of these companies could potentially make a few bucks from me each month, but since my options are $15 or don't play at all, I have been choosing not to spend my money on games I would only play sporadically.

I found this graph over at The Forge that shows what I'm talking about.
I'm in that bottom left quadrant right now.

With some new pricing options I would jump back on the MMO bandwagon and give all those hard working developers some of my money.


  1. The subscription model I'd love to see is this: a low monthly sub (about $5) and then a robust microtransaction store that let me buy pretty much anything I could dream of (combine Blizzard's mount/pet shop with RoM's Diamond Store and DDO's entire business model). That way, I'd be able to justify more than one subscription at a time, and I would be more likely to drop money on impulse purchases because I'm already invested in your game. In the end, it would equal out to a lot more money, I think, but I'm no economist.

  2. I would probably go for that as well. I just wish there were more options available. All the MMOs seemed locked in to just a few subscription models. They really need to try something different.


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