June 26, 2011

Subscriptions VS Microtransactions


With advance­ments in gam­ing come new ways for the indus­try to get our mon­ey. How­ev­er with EA giv­ing way to the “online pass” codes trend we see gam­ing head­ing in a new direc­tion. Now we see free to play, pay to play, and all thats in between pop­ping up all over.
Sub­scrip­tions — Ahh the famil­iar feel­ings. Pay for a month? Three months? A year? Two years? Hope­ful­ly this game lasts that long. Sub­scrip­tion based games rode the MMO wag­on to become a stan­dard for a lot of games and gam­ing ser­vices. I am sure the first guy to see a pay to play game said, “Ha! That will nev­er work.” Now that same guy does his best to scrape togeth­er enough mon­ey to get anoth­er month of WoW access like a crack­head get­ting his fix. Suc­cess in the MMO world led Micr­soft to charge a sub­scrip­tion for its Xbox Live con­tent. Even Playsta­tion Net­work final­ly  jumped on the bus when they saw how suc­cess­ful it was. More and more we are start­ing to see new games released with pass codes or codes for add-ons. Now whis­pers are being heard of pos­si­bly charg­ing a flat sub­scrip­tion fee and get­ting access to all the new con­tent as it comes. Will you want to pay for Xbox Live, a new game, and a sub­scrip­tion for play­ing that game? Seems a bit much to me.
Micro­trans­ac­tions — The oth­er side of the coin. Micro­trans­ac­tions are the newest fad in the gam­ing world but they actu­al­ly aren’t as new as you think. Xbox Live charges micro­trans­ac­tions every­time a user buys Microsoft points. What is new­er is the way these trans­ac­tions are pre­sent­ed. They are wrapped secret­ly in a “free to play” game. A per­fect exam­ple is League of Leg­ends, a top down action real time strat­e­gy tow­er defense game. It is absolute­ly free to down­load and play. Every­thing can be unlocked in game by sim­ply putting in time to the game. How­ev­er for a few dol­lars here and there you can speed up the process to get ahead. The suc­cess this in PC games like League of Leg­ends has got­ten Steams atten­tion. Steam announced a new direc­tion of free to play games using the micro­trans­ac­tion method. Even Xbox is rumored to be get­ting new games as well.
As with every­thing it all has to do with mon­ey. How much can they get from us and how much are we will­ing to pay? Some like the idea some don’t. Prices will be the biggest issue. If I have to pay for a game, pay for a ser­vice to play it, or pay for in game con­tent to be able to con­tend in game, what will that cost me?


  1. thsoundman - June 27, 2011 12:10 am

    It’s actu­al­ly real­ly fun­ny you bring up this top­ic because I was actu­al­ly thyink­ing about it the oth­er day. The thing is, is that com­pa­nies have learned that they can earn more mon­ey by charg­ing you less.
    For exam­ple if you charge some­one 35 dol­lars for an expan­sion they are going to think about it and may not even buy it. Let alone a sec­ond expan­sion how­ev­er if you charge them 5 — 15 dol­lars for some­thing and even give them far less peo­ple are far less like­ly to think about a small trans­ac­tion. It’s actu­al­ly been proven that some­one is far more like­ly to pay 3 dol­lars a hun­dred times then they are to pay 100 dol­lars one time. It’s just sim­ple num­bers. It’s actu­al­ly the rea­son I think that MMO sub­scrip­tion fees are going to start becom­ing a thing of the past. Peo­ple spend more mon­ey on less if that makes sense.
    Per­son­al­ly I’d rather have the sub­scrip­tion fee but thats because i know that it’s actu­al­ly cost­ing me less to pay to play then i would be “get­ting it free” but thats just me.

  2. ScrotusKilmystr - June 30, 2011 3:56 pm

    1st off cute cat pic­tures for a gam­ing article.…hhmmm haha no seri­ous­ly
    If it becomes an access fee ie xbox, psn then buy the game THEN pur­chase access to play that game on line then no I will nev­er do it that is sim­ply uncalled for just as must as EAs new ploy for some of it’s recent­ly released games… if you buy the street pass I think its called for each game that you’ve already pruchased you will get DLC for that game at a discount…hhhhmmm pay large sum upfront then pay slight­ly less each time dlc comes along hhm­mm car­ry the 2 divide by PIE and well YOU PAY MORE!! wtf.….
    any­way pay­ing sub­scrip­tion vs micro it would depend on the game type MMO WOW types in my opin­ion (if you can find it then why pay for it) would­n’t be bad as long as you had patience
    now for com­pet­i­tive play to get the edge you may have to pur­chase that gun, sword etc to win


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