What Will Make a Subscription Worth Buying

771 posts / 0 new
Last post
Consultant
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
kickstarter
Joined: 08/22/2013 - 03:14
What Will Make a Subscription Worth Buying

Assuming that we all get a short subscription when we initially buy CoT, what benefits would be enough to get you to subscribe once that initial subscription expires, for $20 per month, indefinitely?

Why will you spend the money, given that lots of goodies (as yet, unspecified) will be for sale in the cash shop?

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
Ok well..

Ok well..
Most games seem to differentiate between sub, subbed at some point, never subbed ever.
Those who subbed at some point, get some extra perks over those who have never subbed.

There was a discussion about a no-stipend model. I personally feel that a stipend helps.

So on top of stipend, some kind of goodies?
Team boosts. Encourages teaming, no brainer.
Access to content -
Test server - yes
Player created (old MA/AE) content - yes
All other content should be available to F2P
Free / available costume pieces
Free / available auras
Free / available extra costume slots / character slots
Free / available updates
Free / available powersets
Respecs

Honestly these could all be available in the cash shop and I may still buy them there..
BUT those would be a few options at least that as a f2p player would make me sub.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
I think the problem I have

I think the problem I have here is that CoT is made for and by CoH players.
Who subbed.
And it's not those people we need to convince.
It's the F2P wtf players who play NW, GW2, Aion, BS, WS, CO, Xbox1, PS4, DCUO, FF, Fifa, CoD, Minecraft..
You know.. all those "other" people.. we want their micro-transactions, their subs.
IF we need them. Otherwise screw those guys.

These discussion were not happening at CoX, at CO, at DCUO, at Colossal Cave.. there's not enough information to decide if we need those people let alone want them.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

FalconStriker
FalconStriker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/18/2013 - 17:40
First of all, I've never

First of all, I've never heard of a game subscription being 20 bucks, more like 11 to 15.

With that out of the way, lets look at what other games do and barrow from what seems to work well.

Look at planet side 2 for example, it's free to play, but it also has a subscription option. Buying things with money or subscribing, doesn't necessarily give you an unfair advantage in that game, it just makes it more convenient to unlock certain things that can be obtained through grinding. They aren't even necessarily better, they are just more niche game play weapons. Yeah my chain gun I use is nice, but outside of 40 meters it's down right useless.

It's a bit trickier with mmorpg's however, but could be applied.

For subscribing, you could have teir rewards, getting things like exclusive costume pieces, particle effects, xp and resource gain boosters.

In shop you could offer utility things like boosters, bank slots, things that just make the game more convenient to play.

With other mmorpgs though, they offer cosmetic options, but with city of titans, it's important to have a lot of cosmetic options ready to use.

So what I thought could be cool, is you can unlock new power sets like with cox, but make it to where you can just purchase them for a quick unlock too. They are not necessarily better than other powers, but off alternate ways of playing out the different roles.

Subscribing could also grant currency for use in the shop, just like with planet side 2 and other SOE games.

You could also just have subscribers passively get more xp and the like passively as long as they are subscribed, instead of just tossing them boosters that last an hour or a day.

You could also offer subscriber only daily sales on the market place, just lots of little things to give subscribers lots of incentive without actually giving them an unfair advantage.

But then again, many people seem to favor having the game only be playable through subscribing.

I kind of like the guild wars 2 method. You pay for the game, no subscription. But I think it would be nice to barrow from arena net and SOE, pay for the base game, subscriber option, no pay to win, everybody is supporting the game at least on some level, so there's no true free loaders because they had to buy the game just to play in the first place.

There's lots of options to explore as long as you stay away from pay to win.

FalconStriker
FalconStriker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/18/2013 - 17:40
GH wrote:
GH wrote:

I think the problem I have here is that CoT is made for and by CoH players.
Who subbed.
And it's not those people we need to convince.
It's the F2P wtf players who play NW, GW2, Aion, BS, WS, CO, Xbox1, PS4, DCUO, FF, Fifa, CoD, Minecraft..
You know.. all those "other" people.. we want their micro-transactions, their subs.
IF we need them. Otherwise screw those guys.
These discussion were not happening at CoX, at CO, at DCUO, at Colossal Cave.. there's not enough information to decide if we need those people let alone want them.

Sorry for double post, dude it's an MMORPG, more is always better.

Massively multiplayer. Be more sociable man, it's what online gaming is all about, yes we want those players, even the COD players because you know what? Cod is just a phase for gamers, they eventually grow out of it and crave something with more depth. Plus I mean, if they like super heros/comics, we should want them here, regardless if they play games you don't like.

The more the merrier I always say. Nothing would suck worse than seeing this game launch and fail due to lack of players, plus it would be so lonely and boring. :(

Gangrel
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 15:14
Combination of:

Combination of:

Monthly points stipend
[1]Early access to "new content" (missions, powersets) [1]
"Free" access to new content as it comes out (expansion sized content being the exception here)
A *sensible* increase on storage (just so long as the F2P/Premium storage limits are not so few you have to go back to base every 10 seconds to unload)
Access to more character slots
[2]Permanent discount on stuff from NPC vendors (say 5-10%)
[2]Permanent increase on currency drops (say 5-10%)
[3]Test server access

What I would do as well, is that if you subscribe and you MAKE a character with a "restricted" powerset (ie one not available to non-subscribers), when you stop subscribing, I wouldn't stop the player from playing that character, especially if its one of their "chosen" characters that they want to unlock. I would however prevent them from creating new characters with that "restricted" powerset, until they buy it from the market.

The same also applies if enhancements are "subscription limited" as well. Let the player *keep* what they have slotted, but not let them slot any new stuff. They earnt that stuff, and if you stop someone from *using* what they have earnt/put into their character, especially if they can still *keep on playing* said character without a subscription. Coming back and discovering that X is just not usable for *whatever* reason, will irk that player even more... they will be less likely to play with a "gimped" character than anything else.

potential work around can be with multiple builds where one build can ONLY use the basic drops, and if you want to use the better stuff, it goes into your 2nd/3rd build... that way, you are not limited so much as to be unplayable, and you dont have to trash one of your "IOd" builds just to be able to reslot for your basic enhancement build.

[1] Suggesting this after what SW:TOR did with their recent "star fighter" patch, where subscribers get it NOW, premium players get it later, and truely F2P players get it *last*.
[2] Mutually exclusive, both are good in their own rights, together, can be a bit overpowered
[3] This is not something that should be able to be bought from the RMT store IF it is offered as such

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
First, 10-15 a month is

First, 10-15 a month is generally the sub rate, not 20. That's 30-50 cents a day. Let's get that out of the way, as there are already people who think 50cents a day is some how to much.

One thing I think to remember is not to do what TOR did to subs. "Oh hey! Dye Packs! Now pay extra for them at a chance to get what you want! You have a monthly allowance, so don't worry if you sub, you can buy the dye pack, not get the color dye you want, and still try again next month!" They just did it terribly. Every new costume piece coming out that people wanted were very rare and only a chance to obtain.

I don't mind some costume items being made store only, but let players pay for them outright. CoH did it a bit better with getting better odds at getting them as you obtained pieces of the set.

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 41 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
I prefer THIS subscription

I prefer THIS subscription model.

Redlynne wrote:

Simplest way I can think of to run things (not necessarily the best, just the simplest) is that monthly subscriptions do not have any stipend to them whatsoever. In other words, subscriptions do not "pay out" store currency at all. Instead, the number of months you have been subscribed continuously ... with no lapses ... ratchets up a discount in the game store by +10% per month ... up to a maximum of a 100% discount (at which point items in the game store are "free" to the subscriber). If your subscription lapses, for whatever reason, your account will ratchet down by -10% steps on your store discount immediately, and then by another -10% per month that you are continuously unsubscribed until reaching 0% discount.

Basic idea is a Loyalty Program whereby continuous subscribers, after 10 months, basically no longer need to worry about currency for the game store, because they have effectively "paid" for everything in the store with their 10+ month subscriptions already. As a Loyal Subscriber, you're given access to everything in the store, for free, as a reward. Note that this means that such a reward is available to "everyone" who is loyal to the game for almost a year, which is not "too long a time frame" so as to make it feel like something that is beyond the horizon of waiting for the patient.

Now, obviously, if you take that to its logical extreme and have an item in the store that can impact the in-game economy (such as reward packs or itemization you can trade or services you can trade, such as respec tokens) you're going to have a problem. But there are limitations that can be put on such things (Bind on Pickup being the most obvious example) if you stick to a "freebie" rule for loyal subscribers. Another alternative would be to limit the discount on such store offerings such that even subscribers need to pay additional real money for such items, but still get a decent/steep discount on them (up to half their normal discount, so up to 50% off maximum?). In other words, there would be ways to "finesse" such things ... even up to doing things like "get only 1 free every 20/44/68/92 hours" for store offerings that can be bought repeatedly (such as reward packs) so as to moderate how quickly such offerings might be able to flood the in game economy. That way, loyal subscribers have no upper limit on quantity of freebie offerings they can get, so long as they remain continuously subscribed over time, because those continuous subscriptions are "steady money" for MWM.

The net result of such a system would be that anything and everything in the game is available FOR FREE to subscribers, so long as they are patient enough to wait to get them for free (by paying their subscriptions continuously with no lapses), thus offering not only an incentive to subscribe, but also an incentive to stay subscribed for the long(er) haul. However, if patience is NOT a virtue, then store offerings can be purchased faster at the expense of (additional) real money. So long as the store offerings fall into the category of "nice to have" rather than being "necessary to win" you'll manage to avoid creating a "Pay To Win" model of gameplay.

Why do I like it? Because it is literally a Loyalty Reward System. Stay subscribed long enough and you've already "paid" for everything the game releases.

S imple.
E asy.
E ffective.

Set the subscription rate at $10 flat and leave it there. No need for "subscription discounts" or other marketing gimmicks. No hassle pricing, and the price is automatically billed to your credit card every 30 days, instead of paying all up front, making it very easy to afford at 30¢ per day. Win-win-win-win-win.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
Psychologically if you make

Psychologically if you make it $15 and give me $5 to spend in the cash shop, I'd feel I was getting a better deal.
This applies to my personal sub but also I could see it being the case for parents for instance. If I've given my kids money for a game, I'd not be inclined to give them more money for a game, even if it worked out the same.

Plus with a stipend you're already visiting the shop and are more likely to be looking round at the extra stuff you could buy on top.
You'd be looking at that $15 spaceship and thinking "I can save up my stipend for three months" and not be thinking "I've paid my sub, I'm not buying that stupid spaceship"

Plus the long term model doesn't get the short term cash in. If I'm f2p I'm not going to think "yeah if I sub for 10 months I can get that floating castle pet"
Plus I'm pretty sure the stipend is better for the games cashflow. Getting $10 every month will be nice but $15 of which $5 is being spent on in-game items is an extra $5 going against the credit line.

FalconStriker wrote:

it's an MMORPG, more is always better.

Only if they are paying something and contributing more than the "lol let's bring Barren's chat here" mentality.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Gangrel
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 15:14
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Set the subscription rate at $10 flat and leave it there. No need for "subscription discounts" or other marketing gimmicks. No hassle pricing, and the price is automatically billed to your credit card every 30 days, instead of paying all up front, making it very easy to afford at 30¢ per day. Win-win-win-win-win.

The reason why companies tend to do the "pay up front for X months, get a discount NOW", is more so that they have the money in their hands *right now* and whilst it is in their bank account, it can be earning them interest.

There is also the human factor, where if people think they are getting a good deal for getting "X amount of discount for paying up front", then they will do it (if they can afford it).

Bonus as well, is that it gives the player a *reason* to keep on playing each month, because they will have already paid for it.

It is why I (when I was living by myself), used to pay for my land line rental up front for the whole year. It was cheaper and I was going to have to pay it anyway.

The $10 subscription base rate is interesting, because that would actually make it one of the cheaper sub fee's for MMO's out there... which tend to be based around the $15/£8.99/€12.99 mark (as a standard fee),

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Dedicated servers that have

Dedicated servers that have zero repeatable content. If the servers are like Everquest Next where the actual landscape is different and perpetual I will pay up to $25 per month for access.

IF the world is a DC Universe rubber band instead of a Marvel Universe progression then I simply don't see the benefit of paying for ACCESS to a game that I won't have new experiences in.

If I play an MMO in todays marketplace I need to EITHER be able to access the game at no additional cost (Free to Play or Pay to Start) OR have a perpetual server experience (EQN) if they want my dollars and/or loyalty.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
Access to everything in the

Access to everything in the game without having to pay any extra real money for anything other than true expansions. Having to earn access to items via gameplay, veteran rewards, or stipend points is ok as long as these methods can eventually get me access to everything.

Spurn all ye kindle.

FalconStriker
FalconStriker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/18/2013 - 17:40
Well you're looking at it in

Well you're looking at it in a narrow scope, I listed tons of ways to give incentive for people to want to subscribe, plus it doesn't have to totally be free to play, they can pay for the game then you can offer them bonus stuff and vet reward exclusives on top of the normal perks to subscribing and supporting the game, like subscriber daily sales, passive bonus xp, etc etc.

If they bought them base game then they are paying something, subscribing to play a game you already paid the base cost for has become pretty outdated, it just seems like bad business sense to stick to a method that was used a decade ago and was phased out several years ago. It's just a senseless way to alienate new players.

I find it ironic that you're referencing barrens chat as your argument for why we should say fuck new players, from a game that held on to it's subscriber model, longer than ANY other game, even longer than COH, mind you, heck it still does technically, you can't F2P past level 20. So by all technical standards, it's still the only subscribe to play game, and you're using THAT, as an example of why we should actively alienate any one who wasn't a COH fan?

I hate to sound like a dick, but you're gonna have to provide a better argument than that to convince any one why it's a good idea to flip the bird to any one who's not a long time fan of COH.

I see nothing but good coming from a (again to remind you) an MMORPG having a healthy population. Massively multiplayer online role playing game, half the appeal to any game like that is the promise of lots of players, social gaming.

We should be bastions of the old spirit this game is trying to capture and provide and welcome new players with open arms and show them WHY we love this game, I want to share my love for the game and the community and see it grow and become something big. Not scorn people and call them newbs and f2p leeches telling them to go back to their COD.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
You know, the whole

You know, the whole subscription system thing you call outdated, is working for World of Warcraft, Eve Online, and the newer FFXIV: ARR. Please enlighten me to how it's outdated. I wouldn't say it's outdated, I would say it's a system that doesn't work if the game is considered a failure.

The old spirit of the game? It was F2P for less than a year when it got announced it was being shut down.

You make a game where people think it's worth staying subscribed to, and they will.

That all said, the devs have already said they plan to have a F2P option.

Gangrel
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 15:14
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

That all said, the devs have already said they plan to have a F2P option.

I think its better to say that the developers plan to have a "Buy to Play" option.

F2P/Free2Play suggests that there is NO box cost for the game.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

Consultant
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
kickstarter
Joined: 08/22/2013 - 03:14
I like to think that a thread

I like to think that a thread like this can provide ideas for the devs in 18 months when they are really working on finding a good balance between subscribers and non-subscribers.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to react to $20 as a price, or to get worked up about whether we "need" to maximize the number of players. Of course we want to build the largest community that is sustainable.

Similarly, i suspect that we would all be delighted if the game could be indefinitely supported simply by all of us buying it for a reasonable starting price.

But our devs do not set the market price of servers, or labor, or capacity...they will have to pay some costs on an ongoing basis, so the premise of this thread is "what if we need some subscriber base to keep the game going for everyone?"

Perhaps we could conceive of tiering the subscriber base, with a $5 per month subscription and a second higher monthly subscription, with different benefits. This of course, resurfaces the original discussion point of what do we need to receive in order to justify any monthly payment at all? there are some very good suggestions in this thread already -- more ideas, anyone?

A player suggested to me today that subscribers could get some sort of (very weak) click power to enhance mez protection, perhaps for 3-4 minutes. My first thought was that this might be going over the edge of pay to win; tricky balance required to make the power worth having, but to not make it critical to winning fights for everyone. Perhaps there should be some accolade powers for current subscribers, that could also be earned by performing extra missions or TF's?

I would be in favor of allowing subscribers to buy pets (shivans, anyone?) from the store that have to be obtained by playing. In my mind it is a convenience to be able to buy shivans. Perhaps a subscriber could buy 10 at a time, instead of 5? I'm just thinking out loud with these suggestions.

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
FalconStriker wrote:
FalconStriker wrote:

I hate to sound like a dick, but you're gonna have to provide a better argument than that to convince any one why it's a good idea to flip the bird to any one who's not a long time fan of COH.

No, I'm really not.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

Perhaps a subscriber could buy 10 at a time, instead of 5? I'm just thinking out loud with these suggestions.

That's an interesting suggestion. So far we've just looked at can have's and can't haves. Why not - maybe not across the entire board of offerings - also have a limiter.

CO has plenty for non-gold (subscriber) members, you can only carry so much cash for instance, limited bags
http://co.perfectworld.com/freetoplay

Personally I found badging and crafting to be a big hook. Those could still be available but in a reduced form.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
GH wrote:
GH wrote:

FalconStriker wrote:
I hate to sound like a dick, but you're gonna have to provide a better argument than that to convince any one why it's a good idea to flip the bird to any one who's not a long time fan of COH.
No, I'm really not.

The first mistake the devs can make it trying to appease the CoH fans and not trying to bring in a bigger player base.

So yes, giving the bird to non-CoH fans is a dumb idea. As a CoH fan, what I want to see if a successful superhero MMO that is better than the two we have now.

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
Free bird?

Free bird?

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
And this bird you cannot

And this bird you cannot change!

Spurn all ye kindle.

ZigZag
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 6 days ago
kickstarter
Joined: 01/05/2014 - 11:50
Id like to just see a monthly

Id like to just see a monthly stipend of cash shop tokens just a bit less than what the amount would get you in points directly. The difference would be Vet rewards like CoH had, and a few things that don't matter much, like early access to powersets/costume sets.

What I absolutely do NOT want to see is any type of costume piece or powerset ect. exclusively obtained by means of RNG in the cash shop. I hate in almost all games these days the absolute best and coolest stuff is gotten only from random drop from a purchase in the cash shop. If it was just early access or possibly cheaper if you get lucky with a gamble thats fine, but If I have my heart set on an item I will prob never get because i'm unlucky I may quit the game. (almost happened even in CoH with the cool travel things and those one costume pieces being RNG only)

daolong
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/06/2014 - 10:50
There are a couple ways to

There are a couple ways to run F2P and have it work, but the games that seem to be the most effective with seem to follow a pretty standard set up.

You start with awesome and addictive game play that requires just the box price to get full access and then you add:

A set of required equipment/enhancements/whatever that can be bought with only in game currency (you want people to actually play).

A set of ever expanding or consumable/degradable items with game play impact that can be purchased with either substantial in game currency or with real world dollars.

A set of awesome but purely cosmetic upgrades that are only available for cold hard cash (costume slots, special weapon skins, pets, etc....).

The trick is getting a good balance. RNG for real world cash items is usually a bad idea unless you are doing a card game style system. For anything bought with in game currency though its totally fine.

Just my 2 influence.

Consultant
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
kickstarter
Joined: 08/22/2013 - 03:14
I have a concern that making

I have a concern that making some costume elements unlockable only with real cash is going to tick off some players a lot. Not me, actually, I was/am somewhat limited when it comes to creating costumes that win contests. But a longtime COH player once told me that in some ways COH was a costume contest with a game attached. If it is that important, perhaps the costume parts will seem more like content -- and I think all of the game content (missions, etc) should be available to players who neither subscribe nor spend much in the cash store.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

I have a concern that making some costume elements unlockable only with real cash is going to tick off some players a lot. Not me, actually, I was/am somewhat limited when it comes to creating costumes that win contests. But a longtime COH player once told me that in some ways COH was a costume contest with a game attached. If it is that important, perhaps the costume parts will seem more like content -- and I think all of the game content (missions, etc) should be available to players who neither subscribe nor spend much in the cash store.

The problem with unlockable costumes, only through cash shop, in a game with a sub model, is when it's the only way to get the costume.

In a strictly F2P game, I'd say it's par for the course. CoH wasn't. Basically needs to be a good balance between, cash shop content and free to subs, without it also feeling like "Oh, this is a cheaply done and awful costume set, it's yours for free! But if you want this really nice set..."

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
I have a general question..

I have a general question..

Does it depend on the cost of the items we are talking about here?
if yes then it's a question of getting the price right, saying $30 for the non-combat wear chefs outfit (like GW2) or courtly regalia (like NW) is not what I'd be looking at.
If no, if people just don't want to pay, then that's a different matter.

Does it depend on whether there is any gamble involved?
If yes then it's a question of how much per gamble and what the lowest result of the gamble is.
So if you have a $1 key that opens a chest containing a MINIMUM of $5 worth of stuff, then I'd probably buy that.
If you have a $1 key that opens a chest that MAY contain a $30 horse but could just as easily be the 0.01c lump of coal.. then I won't.

I'm very much against gambling with cash. It's a rocky road, and not the good ice-cream kind.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
I'm not a fan of how most

I'm not a fan of how most MMOs have done random packs myself. I did find CoH's to be the best in that I really didn't mind them.

Manipulative Maiden
Manipulative Maiden's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 10 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/06/2013 - 03:54
While I'll definitely

While I'll definitely subscribe I would hope that having a subscription would yield enough points for a cash shop to buy mostly anything with points from the subscription. City of Heroes' main focus was always the awesome character creator. The more costume pieces you got, the more unique costumes you could create. Having to pay additional cash over a subscription for most nice costumes would really be annoying.

What would make a subscription worth buying for me would be:
- Visible progress in the world development. More zones, missions.
- Regular new power pools/ATs (<- horrible altist).
- "Loyalty perks" including but not limited to early beta access or early access to pools.

While being tame in CoH, I'm not really fond of random box thingies in cash shops. I hope we will never see posts like "I paid 100$ in Titan Keys and only got boosters and not the prestige awesome limited time only costume parts I wanted." (Hello GW2!).
If there has to be additional charge items, please let us buy them directly.

Time until Zero Strykers Revival: When it's ready (tm), Beta Mid to End of 201?
Official Timekeeper of the Zero Strykers SG ~ Union

Consultant
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
kickstarter
Joined: 08/22/2013 - 03:14
I agree about the random

I agree about the random things -- no chance for a lump of coal from real cash, please.

I keep thinking that the thing we want to suppress is the gold farmers selling influence for cash, and taking the cash out of the game. A subscription should make everything in the cash shop cheaper at the least, through some mechanism. but perhaps purchases of something like a Hecatomb set should be so expensive that even a subscriber either has to wait and buy at a slower pace, or kick in more money. Certainly if someone wants to go crazy and equip a couple of alts with all "purples" that should take extra money, and the money should stay in the game to fund development for everyone's benefit.

Gangrel
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 15:14
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Consultant wrote:
I have a concern that making some costume elements unlockable only with real cash is going to tick off some players a lot. Not me, actually, I was/am somewhat limited when it comes to creating costumes that win contests. But a longtime COH player once told me that in some ways COH was a costume contest with a game attached. If it is that important, perhaps the costume parts will seem more like content -- and I think all of the game content (missions, etc) should be available to players who neither subscribe nor spend much in the cash store.

The problem with unlockable costumes, only through cash shop, in a game with a sub model, is when it's the only way to get the costume.
In a strictly F2P game, I'd say it's par for the course. CoH wasn't. Basically needs to be a good balance between, cash shop content and free to subs, without it also feeling like "Oh, this is a cheaply done and awful costume set, it's yours for free! But if you want this really nice set..."

CoH had this for quite a few costume pieces before Freedom came out remember...

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

Brand X wrote:
Consultant wrote:
I have a concern that making some costume elements unlockable only with real cash is going to tick off some players a lot. Not me, actually, I was/am somewhat limited when it comes to creating costumes that win contests. But a longtime COH player once told me that in some ways COH was a costume contest with a game attached. If it is that important, perhaps the costume parts will seem more like content -- and I think all of the game content (missions, etc) should be available to players who neither subscribe nor spend much in the cash store.

The problem with unlockable costumes, only through cash shop, in a game with a sub model, is when it's the only way to get the costume.
In a strictly F2P game, I'd say it's par for the course. CoH wasn't. Basically needs to be a good balance between, cash shop content and free to subs, without it also feeling like "Oh, this is a cheaply done and awful costume set, it's yours for free! But if you want this really nice set..."

CoH had this for quite a few costume pieces before Freedom came out remember...

The costume packs? Yes, but they still released good costume sets in game. And the costume packs were what, a year, year and half before Freedom? Basically when the game was in need of some way to make a profit without having a F2P cash shop?

Why I want to avoid CoT being to much like CoH. Yes, CoH could have used some more advertising, but that would only have helped it so much.

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
The game didn't need to make

The game didn't need to make a profit, it was making a lot of money (to me, not in the grand scheme of things) when it was closed. May be misremembering but didn't the sales from the wedding stuff basically pay for a whole issue? And this at a time when it was subscription only.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Gangrel
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 15:14
GH wrote:
GH wrote:

The game didn't need to make a profit, it was making a lot of money (to me, not in the grand scheme of things) when it was closed. May be misremembering but didn't the sales from the wedding stuff basically pay for a whole issue? And this at a time when it was subscription only.

I believe it allowed them to shift progress forward a bit at that point in time. I am trying to remember what Rockjaw told me when I went to an NCSoft "leaver" party (when they let quite a few of the EU guys go, there was a leaving party put on for the staff, which I went down to)

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Forbes has some thoughts on

Forbes has some thoughts on how Subscription Models are more risk than benefit in today's MMO landscape.

I'm not saying every business model needs to be F2P or P2buy but if a super funded MMO like Elder Scrolls is being given the caution flag then what does that say for a less funded and smaller project?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/01/09/will-the-elder-scrolls-online-have-the-last-laugh-with-its-subscription-fee/

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Consultant
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
kickstarter
Joined: 08/22/2013 - 03:14
That's a good article, but to

That's a good article, but to me it highlights that we (the players) will need to find ways to support the devs as they develop CoT. Money has to come from somewhere, and that means us. There is no free lunch.

The unknown here is how much money the devs will need. That may not be clear for a year or two.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Well if the ideal is to get

Well if the ideal is to get money the subscription model has proven not to make as much money as microtransactions. But the STREAM of any constant income is dependent on players logging in and playing.

Don't set the bar to high to ride this ride or many will gladly go back to the teacups until another ride comes available.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

That's a good article, but to me it highlights that we (the players) will need to find ways to support the devs as they develop CoT. Money has to come from somewhere, and that means us. There is no free lunch.
The unknown here is how much money the devs will need. That may not be clear for a year or two.

The problem is, that's exactly what a lot of players want. A free lunch.

Everyone likes to say there aren't players like that, but in TOR and CO, I've run into lots of players who are perfectly willing to play the game for free not pay any money towards it, then complain about the limitations put in for playing free.

Then people wonder "Where's the game's development?" well, they need money to keep up a decent pace in development.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
When did the free lunch

When did the free lunch program get put on trial? in the 1960s it was proven by multiple studies that malnourished children did poorer in school, and it's an established fact that investing in an education returns a much greater reward than the price of the $1.25 meal 5 days a week it costed to feed that child. A nourished, educated child gives back in innovation and new technologies as well as intangible ways like artful applications of new technologies that benefit the entire population.

When did the free to play program get put on trial? in the early 2000s it was proven by multiple market insiders that unpopulated MMOs do poorer in returning capital, and it's an established fact that investing in micro transactions returns a much greater reward than the price of a $12.50 subscription each month it costed to keep the servers open. A populated, micro-transaction incentive game gives back in capital and entertainment as well as intangible ways like positive press that benefits the entire population.

- -

While I wish every player could pay at least $30 dollars toward the future of the game.. WAIT.. they CAN! Pay to play is not Pay to stay. If we're being serious about wanting this game to make money then the entry fee is the best model and frankly subscriptions only make the entry fee model less attractive. I'm not talking out of my neck here either.. I work with these numbers for venture capital firms every day.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Yeah, gives back, but as per

Yeah, gives back, but as per TOR, it was the subscribers who were paying extra the most. The players who were willing to pay the sub where willing to pay more!

Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

The problem is, that's exactly what a lot of players want. A free lunch.
Everyone likes to say there aren't players like that, but in TOR and CO, I've run into lots of players who are perfectly willing to play the game for free not pay any money towards it, then complain about the limitations put in for playing free.
Then people wonder "Where's the game's development?" well, they need money to keep up a decent pace in development.

So true. I can never figure out (or get these folks to explain) how they think the devs are supposed to fund these games.

Where I think the article goes wrong is when it seems to assume that the failure of a sub model is due to the sub model itself. I think it indicates a problem with the game instead -- or maybe just a shift in the goals of the devs/publisher.

I like the sub model because it's a model of trust. "You allocate a certain amount to us every month and we'll keep giving you new stuff that will make you want to keep giving us that money." I enjoyed this model in CoX for years because (1) it put the money "in the background" where it wasn't the primary focus of the relationship between the players and the devs and (2) it allowed both groups to look at the long-term plan, where the value of any one item or issue was not critical, and the devs could concentrate on big deliveries rather than trying to come up with some small items every week or so.

When Freedom was released, my main problem had nothing to do with the mechanics of it. The problem I had was that the nature of our "relationship" changed from one of trusted partners to one of salesman and customer. Even though the sub deal for veterans was actually quite generous, the number of friends who went f2p to save money and then spent more per month in the cash shop really discouraged me. Not only was it a stupid move for players whose stated goal was to save money, but NCSoft seemed to jump on this realisation like P.T. Barnum on an egress. Next thing I knew, the cash shop was flooded with little bits of junk alongside the decent stuff, and there was this unpleasant feeling that my "trusted partner" was fleecing my friends. Of course, I was still able to avoid this by continuing my subscription....until the gambling packs came out with their exclusive items. It wasn't bad enough to make me stop playing, because I still loved the primary content that was coming out, but feeling I had to boycott something on principle changed the nature of my relationship with CoX and made me very wary of every new announcement.

On the other hand, we can look at a game like SWTOR. I entered into a sub with them in a rather blind naivety, thinking that we'd get great new content a la CoX's issues. After a year of no new mission content, classes, or planets other than some endgame grinds -- followed by a single planet, 5-lvl release that required even subscribers to purchase -- I realised this was not a game I trusted enough to continue to pay for (or play, for that matter).

I think sub vs f2p comes down to the goals of the company and the type of player base they want to attract. In my experience, the sub model encourages an ongoing relationship where devs and players share a vision of a virtual world, whereas the f2p model supports quick financial transactions, with no ongoing expectations from either player or publisher. "Buy a lot of stuff this month; who cares if you are still around next? We already got our money from you." "That's ok, I saw what I wanted to see; now I'm off to some other game."

I think one of the things that made CoX a rare kind of MMO was that we all were invested in the world, especially in the sub-only years. And I don't just mean monetarily. It seemed to me that the whole community (including devs) cared most about making it the best darn MMO it could be, because we were all in it for the long run, not for a one-nighter.

Spurn all ye kindle.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
I am curious, what games do

I am curious, what games do you know of that rely purely on micro-transactions (that aren't "Oh hey pay 30 dollars for a cool costume/mount for a limited time") that updates content regularly, like CoH did.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
There was also a post from

There was also a post from Jaybezz when I posted that. >_>

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
The problem is that they

The problem is that they offer subscriptions in the first place. By charging for the things people want through micro transactions the game will make more money. It's a simple matter of economics. Selling things a la carte simply sell better than the value meal.

Subscriptions and cash shoppes are in direct competition with each other for economic principle. People with subs will keep saying "the value of my sub keeps going down.. I want value" and the shop people keep saying "Why can't I get the things subscribers can get".

My honest professional opinion is to give up on the subscriber model. Micro Transaction Only model incentivizes the company to create content people will buy and incentivizes players to talk with their Money and NOT with their legs. If you're an alt-lover then pay for character slots. If you want tons of base options pay for them. If you want to have 100 costumes.. pay for them.

The best thing this model gives you is a metric to identify buyer behavior. Beyond the fact that selling the value meal is never actually as valuable as you'd think. The soft drinks and fries are often cheaper than the cups and boxes they come in.. and if you want real value to be put on the things you get from the value meal, then sell them separately. If people are unwilling to pay $5 for a box of fries.. you're probably charging too much.

Real value for real development is all I'm asking. The overhead will take care of itself when the product is good. Frankly the fear that the game can't cover its base expense is moot because if that is a true fear then no amount of subscriptions will help and the suns are paying for what Cryptic Studios so callously coined as "Maintenance Mode".. and No game NOR player (nor venture capitalist funder) wants that fate.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I am curious, what games do you know of that rely purely on micro-transactions (that aren't "Oh hey pay 30 dollars for a cool costume/mount for a limited time") that updates content regularly, like CoH did.

I work with a number of developers of other digital applications. The industry and the consumer has simply spoken on the matter. I have tons of market research and companies I could cite but my company holds me to strict confidentiality.

I'll link you to some market research I've done for various Android releases tomorrow.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

Brand X wrote:
I am curious, what games do you know of that rely purely on micro-transactions (that aren't "Oh hey pay 30 dollars for a cool costume/mount for a limited time") that updates content regularly, like CoH did.

I work with a number of developers of other digital applications. The industry and the consumer has simply spoken on the matter. I have tons of market research and companies I could cite but my company holds me to strict confidentiality.
I'll link you to some market research I've done for various Android releases tomorrow.

Other digital applications. The question there would be, how well do they hold up to MMOs. How well do they hold up to MMOs on the western front? And why do people keep ignoring the MMOs that still succeed with a sub?

oOStaticOo
oOStaticOo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/24/2013 - 06:21
Personally, I hate the Micro

Personally, I hate the Micro-Transaction model. I never bought anything with my money off of the CoH store. I only used the stipend I got from my monthly sub to buy stuff off of it. Money is tight for a lot of people, especially now. People will try their best to hold on to their money and get the most bang for their buck. I'm not saying don't use the Micro-Transactions, but I do firmly believe that there should be a monthly sub model with a stipend allowance to go along with a Micro-Transaction store.

All around I think that would bring in the most money possible. You'll have those that see the monthly sub with a benefit as great and you'll have those people that see certain special items you can only get through the Micro-Transaction store as great as well. Best of both worlds. Also include the B2P. Buy the box up front for $30-50 to play the game, then when an expansion comes out you'll have to buy that too for $10-20 if you want to access it. This isn't a large corporation that has major funds to develop and maintain this game so having as many options for income as possible only seems appropriate to me.

I got chills! They're multiplyin'. And I'm losin' control. Cuz the power, I'm supplyin'. Why it's ELECTRIFYIN'!!

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Other digital applications. The question there would be, how well do they hold up to MMOs. How well do they hold up to MMOs on the western front? And why do people keep ignoring the MMOs that still succeed with a sub?

The trend is very universal from all virtual online products.. but one specifically is an American multiplayer online game. The next argument would be why this data evidence doesn't apply to a MMORPG or specifically a Superhero MMORPG or THIS Superhero MMORPG.. but arguing against the admission of factual evidence into an argument is at its best, a diversion.

I'm at work now looking over the numbers. And trying to take out relevant data, but these projects were obviously investment funded with intent of ROI.. City of Titans being crowd funded and not having an established business model accessible to the playerbase makes this really difficult.. perhaps too much so for me to do without collecting a check.

oOStaticOo wrote:

Personally, I hate the Micro-Transaction model. I never bought anything with my money off of the CoH store. I only used the stipend I got from my monthly sub to buy stuff off of it. Money is tight for a lot of people, especially now. People will try their best to hold on to their money and get the most bang for their buck. I'm not saying don't use the Micro-Transactions, but I do firmly believe that there should be a monthly sub model with a stipend allowance to go along with a Micro-Transaction store.
All around I think that would bring in the most money possible. You'll have those that see the monthly sub with a benefit as great and you'll have those people that see certain special items you can only get through the Micro-Transaction store as great as well. Best of both worlds. Also include the B2P. Buy the box up front for $30-50 to play the game, then when an expansion comes out you'll have to buy that too for $10-20 if you want to access it. This isn't a large corporation that has major funds to develop and maintain this game so having as many options for income as possible only seems appropriate to me.

Hey.. I generally hate micro-transactions too AS A CONSUMER.. If I could pay for ONLY a subscription that would be preferable. But the fact is subscriptions don't make the kind of money micro-transaction models do. As a business analyst and someone who wants to support the project I think they should put themselves in a position of strength. Subscription models simply do not work without millions, yes MILLIONS, of subscribers.. and even then the micro-transaction model makes more money.

Games haven't gone free to play to make LESS money. They do it to make MORE money.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
The established business

The established business model is that we want to buy a box then sub and buy from the cash shop.
It was how CoX was funded, it's how CoT is going to be funded.
What every other game does is totally irrelevant in a niche market like this.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
GH wrote:
GH wrote:

The established business model is that we want to buy a box then sub and buy from the cash shop.

Subs have been stated as an option. This is what I'm arguing against for the reasons stated above.

GH wrote:

What every other game does is totally irrelevant in a niche market like this.

No it is not irrelevant and no economy is so niche that it can ignore its direct competitors.

To Reiterate: If the game is strictly about the bottom line (making as much money as possible) then they should consider moving away from any subscription model.

MWM doesn't even have the same kinds of costs to MAKE the game as finance funded studios so they don't even need to return the money back to the investors. Taking the step of asking for a box fee AND subscription AND a microtransaction store will get a really conspicuous glance from both consumers and investors. The game WILL need investment beyond the KS funds to succeed, so I suggest their prospectus reflect putting the game in the best possible position.

Finally, talk to ANY investor and they'll tell you finance IS universal. Profit is profit, loss is loss and management is management. I sincerely hope the leadership of MWM is treating their company as just that. A company, because the clients who walk in my firm with ideals of being "above the economy" are the same ones with HORRIBLE planning and infrastructure and not one of them walks out with investors money without stepping up to the business mantle.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Why move away from the sub

Why move away from the sub model? The devs have already said if you want to just buy the game and never sub, you can do that as well, you'd just not have any of the extra content/goodies they plan to have as part of the sub/cashshop.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Because selling the value

Because selling the value meal doesn't make as much money as the a la carte.

As a consumer I love value meals. But it does not have the same appeal to the investor/business world.

To put it in music terms..
1) "ArtPop" by Lada Gaga 9.99 sells 350,000 copies after 2 weeks.
2) Beyonce's album comes out and sells 1 million copies in 48 hours
3) "ArtPop" priced at $6.99

The discount is great to consumers who want ArtPop but investors will not look at Lady Gaga products in the same vein as Beyonce products.

The number one factor to vp success (Virtual Product) is volume (quantity). More players = More money. Subscriptions = Less Players. People aren't going free to play to be generous or to save ANYONE money. They do it to make MORE money than they could under the subscription model.

- -

As a consumer I'd love a subscription only model if that means I dont have to pay for expansions and new content. This is an improbability with City of Titans.

As a business man I'd love to see a microtransactions only model because it maximizes profit potential.

As either I question a subscription model with microtransactions. As a consumer I am paying for the opportunity to keep paying you and if I stop paying you, I actually LOSE the value of the things I paid for.. something that would anger me. As a financer I am wanting the game to make money (in this case I'm not looking for the money back) so when a game decides to put a barrier between the customer and the product at all I see this as a threat to my bottom line and want a free to play model. So either the company is "greedy" or they're "thrifty" but just the EXISTANCE of the other is enough to proc endless debate about pricepoints and value.

I err on the side of the investor because.. frankly I don't think the game can survive if it tries to cater to the consumers desire for "value meals" because the consumer confidence in the company and product are both terribly low until there's a sample in their hands.. and even then there is a investors bias not to invest to overcome.

This game WILL need more money to even have a launch date. We know this. They have stated a pure desire for the studio to have proprietary rights to the product (a VERY hard sell to investors). They have stated the desire to use a subscription based model (a moderately hard sell to investors for a proven studio a much harder sell for a brand new studio). There are some large barriers between today and launch day. I fully expect they will be selling the character generator as a stand-alone application with hopes that they can both collect money and prove interest to potential investors.. but proof of demand is not enough to get investors to jump. If anything they'll invest in your competition if the demand is there and the product is not satisfactory. This product needs to be packaged in such a way that the investor is completely confident the'll get their money back at a good ROI.

P.S. I am just leaving work and will link to some of the market research sites as citation when I get home.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Yes, but the sub model doesn

Yes, but the sub model doesn't mean there can't be that ala cart cash shop you want.

Subs get more of the new content just given to them and pay a little extra for some things.

You buy the game, get to play it free all you want (as they said people would be able to) and then pay for all those other extras you want. Those who go this route, then payed for the product, got what they purchased, still get to play it, and that new mission storyline, they can either ignore or pay for as DLC in the cash shop.

It's not typical sub model of buy the game, play for a month and then keep paying to play.

I see no problem with this model. Even console players have to pay extra for new content.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
The sub model simply takes

The sub model simply takes away from the value of the microtransaction model. Hybrid model actually does worse by both is the point I'm making.

The choice options are binary (at least they "should" be.

Given the option for subs OR micro transactions (Because, to repeat, the AND model is worse then either) .. there's one real choice. I offer this as a suggestion but I don't expect them to take my word for it and hope they've consulted a professional.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
TOR's hybrid seems to be

TOR's hybrid seems to be paying off. CoH's seemed to be okay. I know of plenty who seem okay with CO's ATs, but I can't honestly say if most are okay with it or not.

ZigZag
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 6 days ago
kickstarter
Joined: 01/05/2014 - 11:50
I rather liked the hybrid

I rather liked the hybrid model of CoH. I find pure f2p with micotransactions tends to end up with things like lockboxes with exclusive gear which is terrible for players. CoH had them yes, but it was the one thing I truly hated about CoH, and I would wager it was forced on the game by NcSoft. This is what catering to investors leads to. Business minded people may need to get used to the idea that this game may cater more to players than to the almighty dollar, or at least that is my hope.

Col. Kernel
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2013 - 14:08
If this is strictly a cash

If this is strictly a cash shop model I won't be in it.

I'm happy to buy the box, I'm happy to pay my sub. I'm even happy to buy the additional goodies I want as long as I am not expected to fund the entire development budget for that goodie with my single purchase.

The only people I really see pushing for a strict F2P + cash shop model are the ones who expect my purchases to fund their freeloading. And sometimes the occasional dev/investor who hasn't figured out that 50% of something is worth an infinite amount more than 100% of nothing. But mostly the former.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Col. Kernel wrote:
Col. Kernel wrote:

If this is strictly a cash shop model I won't be in it.
I'm happy to buy the box, I'm happy to pay my sub. I'm even happy to buy the additional goodies I want as long as I am not expected to fund the entire development budget for that goodie with my single purchase.
The only people I really see pushing for a strict F2P + cash shop model are the ones who expect my purchases to fund their freeloading. And sometimes the occasional dev/investor who hasn't figured out that 50% of something is worth an infinite amount more than 100% of nothing. But mostly the former.

While I can't say I won't play CoT if it became that way, I agree that's how I feel on the strictly cash shops...or else it feels like you have to buy more just to get anywhere in the game.

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 41 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

The sub model simply takes away from the value of the microtransaction model. Hybrid model actually does worse by both is the point I'm making.

Subscription "BAD" ...
Microtransaction "GOOD" ...
... according to JayBezz. Got it.

JayBezz wrote:

The choice options are binary (at least they "should" be.

"TRUST ME" ... he said. Got it.

JayBezz wrote:

Given the option for subs OR micro transactions (Because, to repeat, the AND model is worse then either) .. there's one real choice.

Yes, there is more than once choice, but doing anything other than what I say will be bad for you and it'll all end in tears ... I KNOW IT!

So sayeth JayBezz.

JayBezz wrote:

I offer this as a suggestion but I don't expect them to take my word for it and hope they've consulted a professional.

So after making a case of being a Know-It-All and saying that *ANY* other course than the one you advocate for will lead to financial suicide (yes, I'm exaggerating for effect, but not by much) ... *NOW* you want to put a disclaimer on everything you said so as to CYA?

Um ... I think we can see what you did there.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
I didn't say anything about

I didn't say anything about financial suicide. I am talking about what makes the most money and puts the product in the strongest position for traditional financing. I am not asking you to trust the Book of JayBezz.. There have been countless studies on the subject. The studies are not asking IF micro transactions make more money but instead are asking WHY micro transactions make more money.. its an accepted fact that this model brings more capital to products that fail to reach high population. Most studies point to 2 million as the point at which the subscription model is financially the better choice.

IHS - You have to actually BUY the market research but they're widely respected for venture capitol market researchers
http://www.isuppli.com/Media-Research/Pages/PC-Multiplayer-Online-Games-MOGs-MMOGs-in-North-America-and-Europe-2010-market-review.aspx?PRX

Forbes Editorial
"The Gold Rush is Over; MMOs as a genre may not be dead yet, but the monthly subscription model certainly is for new entries"
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/01/02/predicting-the-biggest-disaster-of-2014-the-elder-scrolls-online/

Oh and here's an editorial interview from an NCSoft Exec.. I'll let you read it
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-05-05-ncsofts-jeremy-gaffney-interview?page=1

I just found that today on google (though my office does have a different IHS study on purchasing trends on handheld applications that I find insightful to the debate).

- -

Beyond the trends of subs vs micro transactions in MMOs there's lots of evidence to support that digital products are a lot like life products. Imagine that City of Titans is a store in your local shopping center. They have to pay their rent and employees each month but the cost of their goods is COMPLETELY covered by their overhead. When you walk into that store there should be as wide a variety to reach your shoppers and getting them to pay for the product.. the difference with digital sales is you ONLY NEED TO PAY FOR THE PRODUCT ONCE. You create code and it can be replicated on each customers computer at virtually NO addition development cost. This is the fundamentals of why digital products are so attractive to investors. Subscription users DO buy other digital products, but they pay less money for them because of the value they get for their subscription.

- -

P.S. I don't come to YOUR work and smack the ****s out of your mouth. I didn't say "Hire a consultant" as a CYA statement but so that gamer pseudo-science didn't run rampant because a few zealots don't have the facts.

P.P.S. - I really hate your tone Redlynne. It's like you have no concept of civility and at this point its occurred with enough frequency that I dread reading your posts.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 41 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

I am talking about what makes the most money and puts the product in the strongest position for traditional financing.

And this point right here is where we are going to have to diverge.

For some people (often accountants and bankers), the whole point of the money chase is that MORE IS BETTER under all circumstances, situations and scenarios ... and there is something to be said for that.

However, for other people (like myself), the "real" point of the money chase is to find STABILITY and SUSTAINABILITY so as to create an environment that both "lives within its means" but can also be self-perpetuating/sustaining over the long haul.

There are circumstances and conditions in which these two goals can be in conflict with each other, as is often seen in real world economics, where High Risk potentially carries High Returns/Rewards if everything goes well (which, of course, isn't always the case) while Low Risk carries Fewer Returns but is also more reliable/dependable (think US Treasury Bonds).

Starting out I would expect City of Titans to be more interested in STABLE sources of funding, rather than the most "prodigious" sources of funding. After all ... even 30k subscribers at $10 per month is the $300k target for the Kickstarter in terms of gross income EVERY MONTH, which would no doubt be pocket change to some of the bigger/more established studios, but be entirely adequate for Missing World Media's needs immediately at launch and shortly thereafter. Stack microtransactions on top of that and you then have a "reliable" baseline of funding you can count on, with "surges" of additional funding that can come available at almost any time. The important thing though is for Missing Worlds Media to not wind up putting itself into the business of being a SPECULATOR in terms of future funding resources, but rather be a business model that is able to "operate in the black" with the funding they've got and can count on ... especially since there are plenty of games that have seen their cash shop sales run through cycles of feast and famine that progressively decline over time (which is, in a lot of ways, a very bad place to be in for a business).


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
I can agree that this is

I can agree that this is truly a fork in our road.

I understand your speculation of the cash shoppe's sustainability. There are many games where the cash shoppe is "feast and famine". But this is not without reason.. I can think of 4 games I'm playing now where I'm not paying for the cash shoppe (even though I have in game currency to buy things) because it's not offering me anything I want. If Lulu Lemon stops offering comfortable, high quality workout gear and instead starts selling sweatpants because they're cheaper then they will lose my patronage.

As someone who works for financiers they want to know what can make the most money in the smallest amount of time. They want people to make those impulse purchases on day ONE of buying the box, 10 character slots, all the costume sets, all the animations they need for their character that aren't free, all lthe bases, all the base options, etc. By selling the subscription that comes with some or all of these items in a $15 dollar package the player may log in.. use their $15 (plus the cost of purchase in this case) and decide it's not for them. This is why the investor hates the subscription model.. it does not have a promise of long term investment in the game but it does maximize capitol for ROI.

As a consumer I want to hold the developers accountable to keep releasing good content. Counter to many people's belief in other companies (*Cough* Cryptic */Cough*) paying a studio to simply maintain the servers with little or no development is going to shrink the game. Shrinking games are ALWAYS bad… I don't care if you had a mega-million dollar release or a small release, the goal of the game is to GROW subscribers and NEVER to SHINK subscribers. If the devs know for instance that EVERYTIME they release a costume set into the cash shoppe an average of 7000 users buys them at $4.99 a pop, then they know they should keep selling costume sets and collect that $. If they see that they've released some crappy vehicles that are selling an average of 200 users.. the should probably move away from the vehicles. The players give the developers INCENTIVE to keep releasing what they like.. INCLUDING EXPANSIONS. If you like/want an expansion.. depending on the dev hours spent on it you should be prepared to pay for that development.

If/when the game is in its dying star stage and players clamor to keep it around THEN move to a subscription model.. make sure the cost of the subs is enough to keep the server up and let the game go into "maintenance mode".

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

For some people (often accountants and bankers), the whole point of the money chase is that MORE IS BETTER under all circumstances, situations and scenarios ... and there is something to be said for that.
However, for other people (like myself), the "real" point of the money chase is to find STABILITY and SUSTAINABILITY so as to create an environment that both "lives within its means" but can also be self-perpetuating/sustaining over the long haul.
There are circumstances and conditions in which these two goals can be in conflict with each other, as is often seen in real world economics, where High Risk potentially carries High Returns/Rewards if everything goes well (which, of course, isn't always the case) while Low Risk carries Fewer Returns but is also more reliable/dependable (think US Treasury Bonds).
Starting out I would expect City of Titans to be more interested in STABLE sources of funding, rather than the most "prodigious" sources of funding. After all ... even 30k subscribers at $10 per month is the $300k target for the Kickstarter in terms of gross income EVERY MONTH, which would no doubt be pocket change to some of the bigger/more established studios, but be entirely adequate for Missing World Media's needs immediately at launch and shortly thereafter. Stack microtransactions on top of that and you then have a "reliable" baseline of funding you can count on, with "surges" of additional funding that can come available at almost any time. The important thing though is for Missing Worlds Media to not wind up putting itself into the business of being a SPECULATOR in terms of future funding resources, but rather be a business model that is able to "operate in the black" with the funding they've got and can count on ... especially since there are plenty of games that have seen their cash shop sales run through cycles of feast and famine that progressively decline over time (which is, in a lot of ways, a very bad place to be in for a business).

I completely agree. This is the more business view of the concept I was describing above from a player's point of view. Sure, some people may spend more per month in a cash shop, but such purchases can vary widely from month to month and make forecasting difficult. This model also has the unfortunate effect of forcing devs to waste time on coming up with all sorts of little bits of junk to sell (remember how lame the weekly sales got in CoX towards the end?), taking away time from "big picture" development. You also have the type of player that DOESN'T buy more because he or she is on a budget and watching pennies, or feels that the individual items are overpriced -- yet such a player might not think so much about the minor charge taken invisibly from his/her credit card every month, or possibly paid in advance.

It all comes back to the relationship MWM wants to have with its players. Sure, a cash-shop-only model might generate more income in the short term, but such a model keeps everything in a strictly merchant-customer relationship. The sub business model is a lot like the patron-artist relationship: one provides the funding while the other provides the work, but the goal is realising a shared vision in a particular medium. Sure, the artist wants to make a living, but the primary goal is something else.

From everything MWM has said so far, I think their love of the concept of a good superhero MMO and their desire to recreate something similar to the world we lost is their primary motivation. Sure, they would like it to be sustainable financially, but I don't get the impression that getting rich is the main reason they are doing this. If their vision is the more artistic one, I maintain the sub model better supports this.

BTW, when it comes to package deals vs a la carte, it's interesting to see the example of fast food mentioned above, because I think that very example illustrates the failings of the a la carte model. Yes, items bought individually may cost more, but that very cost can prevent consumers from buying all the items. The reason fast food chains constantly push the "value meals" is because it actually increases sales, inducing people to buy more than they possibly had planned. "Would you like to make that a meal?" "Well, I hadn't planned on getting a drink, but...ah what the heck, go ahead."

Spurn all ye kindle.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
I bring up the value meal

I bring up the value meal because the true value of the drinks and fries are tiny.. You say "sure what the heck" and its the fiscal equivalent of being charged for air. You pay extra for what costs them nothing and what's worse is their product isn't even proprietary you could easily go down the street and pay 1/4 of the upsale and get the same quantity of Soda. The idea that they are ADDing value is hilarious.

- -

If the game intends on being am artistic vision then by all means, I hope they have the funds to afford the luxury. I am a skeptic when someone tells me they have less than $700,000 and they intend to create a MMORPG without giving a plan for financing the game. I'm surely more skeptical than most.. but ANYtime ANY for profit company claims to be doing something out of the goodness of their hearts I don't trust it. (See All New X-Factor). If they want to be a non-profit company they should be a 501c3 tax-exempt organization.. I could sell a grant writer on the dream.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Col. Kernel
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2013 - 14:08
JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

I didn't say anything about financial suicide. I am talking about what makes the most money and puts the product in the strongest position for traditional financing. I am not asking you to trust the Book of JayBezz.. There have been countless studies on the subject. The studies are not asking IF micro transactions make more money but instead are asking WHY micro transactions make more money.. its an accepted fact that this model brings more capital to products that fail to reach high population. Most studies point to 2 million as the point at which the subscription model is financially the better choice.
IHS - You have to actually BUY the market research but they're widely respected for venture capitol market researchershttp://www.isuppli.com/Media-Research/Pages/PC-Multiplayer-Online-Games-MOGs-MMOGs-in-North-America-and-Europe-2010-market-review.aspx?PRX
Forbes Editorial
"The Gold Rush is Over; MMOs as a genre may not be dead yet, but the monthly subscription model certainly is for new entries"http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/01/02/predicting-the-biggest...
Oh and here's an editorial interview from an NCSoft Exec.. I'll let you read ithttp://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-05-05-ncsofts-jeremy-gaffney-interview?page=1
I just found that today on google (though my office does have a different IHS study on purchasing trends on handheld applications that I find insightful to the debate).
- -
Beyond the trends of subs vs micro transactions in MMOs there's lots of evidence to support that digital products are a lot like life products. Imagine that City of Titans is a store in your local shopping center. They have to pay their rent and employees each month but the cost of their goods is COMPLETELY covered by their overhead. When you walk into that store there should be as wide a variety to reach your shoppers and getting them to pay for the product.. the difference with digital sales is you ONLY NEED TO PAY FOR THE PRODUCT ONCE. You create code and it can be replicated on each customers computer at virtually NO addition development cost. This is the fundamentals of why digital products are so attractive to investors. Subscription users DO buy other digital products, but they pay less money for them because of the value they get for their subscription.
- -
P.S. I don't come to YOUR work and smack the ****s out of your mouth. I didn't say "Hire a consultant" as a CYA statement but so that gamer pseudo-science didn't run rampant because a few zealots don't have the facts.
P.P.S. - I really hate your tone Redlynne. It's like you have no concept of civility and at this point its occurred with enough frequency that I dread reading your posts.

Riiiiight. Because business retards (aka "suits") write such good games. /em gives EA the stink-eye

I think that any group of people who has been trained to peer into the future precisely 89 days (i.e. suits attempting to maximize quarterly returns to get a higher stock price) is a poor choice to predict how to make a game both fun and profitable for a minimum of 5 years.

And given the number of dead MMOs (I would say "failed", but they were "successful" enough to return a profit to the investors) that have littered the cyberscape in the past decade I'm going to say that any business decision made by a person solely with a business degree regarding production of an MMO is not likely to be a good one. And that's based on real world results, not wishful thinking or some magazine trying to make sales copy.

Let me help you with some common sense, since that seems to be lacking from your side of the discussion.

1) Always have more than one way to take your customer's money e.g. sub and cash shop. If you're really smart you'll add a way to give gifts (buy item A for player X) as well.

2) Give the customer good value for the goods or services rendered. e.g. don't attempt to recover the full cost of development on the first 10 sales of a digital item. And a monthly sub is an excellent value. You'll have your customers invested in your game (assuming it's half way decent at all).

Consultant
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
kickstarter
Joined: 08/22/2013 - 03:14
The amount of cash that MWM

The amount of cash that MWM needs to build and deploy a sustainable game will differ from many of the other games out there for several reasons. First, our developers do not have much in the way of financial resources -- those reading the article link above with an interview of an NCSoft developer will notice that he says NCSoft has lots of money -- our team is working without salaries, using the KS money just for licenses and such. at some point this will create a need to transition from unpaid labor-of-love to paid employees at a sustainable business that pays monthly bills. Assuming (and this could be incorrect) that the devs will bootstrap themselves up, they will need to take Col. Kernel's advice and maximize the ways that players can provide money.

Another difference with CoT is that there IS an element of an artistic-grant going on. Many of us are willing to provide some money to get THIS game going, not to just get ANY game going. The community exists and is strong, already. so another KS could generate money for development (and for working capital, an unsexy but essential element that MWM probably doesn't have much of). Subscriptions also help with this need, as many past COH players (including me) will pay a subscription and also welcome a cash shop so that we can support what we think is happening in terms of re-building something that we lost.

So the hybrid model attracts cash to MWM that is not being provided in a purely "economical" cash-for-value received-today model, but also is a sort of investment over time, aimed at recovering something we lost. In this sense, CoT is different than many other MMO's.

A huge unknown in all of this is how many players the devs think it will take to make a great community. i agree with the idea that whatever number of players we start with, we should aspire to see the number steadily rising, indefinitely. But I think we all know this will not be the Wow-killer MMO. Do we need 50,000? 20,000? 100,000?

I'm interested to hear what other people think the number needs to be, if anyone has opinions.

Gangrel
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 15:14
I read a rebuttal to the

I read a rebuttal to the Forbes article that is on MMORPG.com (which strangely enough is also linked to in the Forbes article), that states that a game that goes from Subscription to Hybrid/F2P is not necessarily a failure for doing so.

In fact, it could well be said that it is the "smart move" to do so, just so long as you have already planned for it, and not doing in a knee jerk reaction (SWTOR style).

They all have their pro's and cons though.

One thing that will be a factor though which ever route you go is the box price as well.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Market research shows that

Market research shows that for small launch titles, the MOST important factor is to increase player base. When gamers (not us diehard CoT fans, but consumers at large) have to make choices about what game they play a subscription model has shown to be a significant barrier factor.

I'm not concerned about cost at this point.. the studio is getting "Labor of love" which is the nicest way to say that in financial terms. (I can't tell you how many budding CEO's leave in tears when they realize just how much their free labor is costing them. Families who think they have a profitable business because they don't actually pay themselves.)

- -

The accusation that being about the bottom dollar is harmful for the game is one I vehemently disagree with.. If you think the MWM studio and company are eventually going to screw you over then that's something to take up with the company. MWM is not EA, Sony, or even Cryptic Studios.. their sole objective is to create and sustain the next great superhero MMORPG. I have many points of speculation but that is not one of them.

The reason I offer my educated opinion on the finances from the position of "Make Money" is because profitability is the number one factor that the market will look at (especially for crowd funded projects). If this game, even with a small population, can prove it can make a lot of profit per player then they come to the table from a position of strength. I do not want the hard (free-labor) workers to continue to struggle paying there living costs in order to spend uncountable hours working for free.

City of Titans can (and I argue SHOULD) be seen as a business and maximize profit as any business should. Minimize waste and keep your product growing to sustain and attract new capital. The alternative is not fair to the hard work (that I cannot stress enough is being done FOR FREE!) of the developers nor is it fair to people who want a great game that will likely have low/medium subscription numbers at launch.

- -

TL:DR - Either you trust MWM to support CoT with the money they collect or you don't.. but each virtual product they create for us cost them to create. I want each virtual product to be sold at their full cost because the more money the game collects the more incentive the game has to grow.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

ZigZag
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 6 days ago
kickstarter
Joined: 01/05/2014 - 11:50
If we are going for max

If we are going for max profit why not go all F2P GW2/CO style and put anything of worth in lockboxes so that people have to spend alot of money on a very very small chance to get what they want(or anything decent really)? This would get really good income into the game would it not?

This is the problem with the max out profits philosophy imo, where to draw the line?

IMO the line is at CoH style hybrid system with OUT "traditional" lockboxes

So in your opinion where is the line?

*If lockboxes allow a choice of one from all possible items on the list after a few failed attempts I don't mind them.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
As a consumer I hate

As a consumer I hate lockboxes. HATE them. I hate not being able to buy what I want when I go into a store.

As a financier, I love whatever will sell in the store. So if lockbox keys sell like crazy then by all means.. make your money.

- -

I will (as I have with any other game i've played) call for a consumer boycott of lockboxes for this reason. I don't WANT lockboxes to sell well. I HATE them with such vehement passion that it goes beyond reason. This is why I encourage players to encourage the "talk with your wallet" model. If they release game gambling and it doesn't sell (or vehicles, or costumes, etc) then the sales numbers (as well as pricing) should tell the company what direction to move in for future development. If they release a "special build" that does things like shape-shifting, stretching, cloning, power-stealing and the build doesn't sell well CONSISTENTLY they know they're spending their development in the wrong place.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 41 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Lockboxes are the Magic the

Lockboxes are the Magic the Gathering: Booster Packs business model. This is a market proven, highly successful way to generate cash flow using microtransactions ... therefore JayBezz "HATES them" and will do everything in his power to ensure that Lockboxes will not become a viable offering through the cash shop for City of Titans. At the same time, JayBezz wants the cash shop to be the only source of income for City of Titans beyond box sales ... much like Guild Wars 1+2.

Watching JayBezz, I'm reminded of Ernie putting away lots of groups of toys ...


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

No it is not irrelevant and no economy is so niche that it can ignore its direct competitors.

Who are these direct competitors that are taking me away from CoT? Oh .. nobody. Most of us ex-CoXers are playing other things to kill time. Quite a lot are playing nothing at all. CoX doesn't have and never had a direct competitor. I'd reckon most of us, even whilst CoX was around, went off and tried other things like SWTor, Aion, GW2, NW, CO, DCUO and then came back again.

Of course that is largely anecdotal based on myself and what the group I hang around with have done so far, plus the fact that the ex-CoX fanbase is very much alive in channels in other games and on the titan network forums and on here. There was quite a lot of chatter in zone in CO last night in fact about CoT with some interesting things said in-between the argument about which coat best fit this guys concept and the advertising for high level enhancements.

I'm not going to argue that other models work for other games, they do. What I'd argue is that the model CoX had worked for CoX because it's what the players wanted. And still want. Certainly what I want.

JayBezz wrote:

Taking the step of asking for a box fee AND subscription AND a microtransaction store will get a really conspicuous glance from both consumers and investors.

A really conspicuous glance? Oh noes! Dooooom...
Who are these people you are referring to? Can we give them names? I, personally, think this works for me and I'm a kickstarter donater, I'll also probably (more than likely) buy a second box, will happily pay a subscription and no doubt, from experience, will consume from the shop. I'm an ex-CoX player, a consumer and an investor.

JayBezz wrote:

The game WILL need investment beyond the KS funds to succeed, so I suggest their prospectus reflect putting the game in the best possible position.

We have no idea what figures will be required, how they will achieve them but if the kickstarter is ANYTHING to go by.. I think their prospectus has put the game in a pretty good position so far.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Direct competitors to CoH was

Direct competitors to CoH was other MMOs, GH, and CoH lost.

Every time a new MMO came out, CoH would lose some players for the next new big thing. Did the players return or not? It would seem not enough.

Col. Kernel
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2013 - 14:08
JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

Market research shows that for small launch titles, the MOST important factor is to increase player base. When gamers (not us diehard CoT fans, but consumers at large) have to make choices about what game they play a subscription model has shown to be a significant barrier factor.
I'm not concerned about cost at this point.. the studio is getting "Labor of love" which is the nicest way to say that in financial terms. (I can't tell you how many budding CEO's leave in tears when they realize just how much their free labor is costing them. Families who think they have a profitable business because they don't actually pay themselves.)
- -
The accusation that being about the bottom dollar is harmful for the game is one I vehemently disagree with.. If you think the MWM studio and company are eventually going to screw you over then that's something to take up with the company. MWM is not EA, Sony, or even Cryptic Studios.. their sole objective is to create and sustain the next great superhero MMORPG. I have many points of speculation but that is not one of them.
The reason I offer my educated opinion on the finances from the position of "Make Money" is because profitability is the number one factor that the market will look at (especially for crowd funded projects). If this game, even with a small population, can prove it can make a lot of profit per player then they come to the table from a position of strength. I do not want the hard (free-labor) workers to continue to struggle paying there living costs in order to spend uncountable hours working for free.
City of Titans can (and I argue SHOULD) be seen as a business and maximize profit as any business should. Minimize waste and keep your product growing to sustain and attract new capital. The alternative is not fair to the hard work (that I cannot stress enough is being done FOR FREE!) of the developers nor is it fair to people who want a great game that will likely have low/medium subscription numbers at launch.
- -
TL:DR - Either you trust MWM to support CoT with the money they collect or you don't.. but each virtual product they create for us cost them to create. I want each virtual product to be sold at their full cost because the more money the game collects the more incentive the game has to grow.

And don't you think the best way to attract more customers is to give them more options in how to play your game? I certainly do.

I'm going to go back to the question of why CoH was so popular with us. I never did realize this until I saw Posi's farewell missive. The man was a long time gamer. Sure, his professional qualification were important. But the game was fun and innovative because Posi is a gamer. I figured out what he wanted to play and designed the game accordingly. You don't get that when suits are in charge.

I'm going to categorically disagree with your premise that the goal should be to make money. This philosophy is the major factor in what is wrong with American business today. The goal should be to have a superior product. And while you need a minimum amount of customers to keep any business venture afloat, broadening your market appeal is not always the best move. Case in point. The SciFi channel used to be good for at least SOME science fiction programming. Then some jerk decided it was "under monetized" and bought it, changed the name to SyFy, and put all sorts of garbage on it. Or look at the History channel. It used to be great for people who liked history, before A&E bought it. Now you have Ancient Aliens and other excrement on it. Make a superior product, even if it's targeted for a smaller audience, and enjoy your niche. Don't be a whore.

As for trusting you because of your business background, no. I consider that a handicap, not a point in your favor. Business acumen is good, but in today's educational system business training is not.

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 41 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
I see that Col. Kernel and I

I see that Col. Kernel and I are basically on the same page with regards to the "make a lot of money" objective.

John Lasseter at PIXAR once said something mildly interesting to this effect, that PIXAR doesn't make movies to make money ... but rather makes money to make movies ... which is an important distinction with regards to what is the objective purpose of the studio (to make lots of money or to make great movies).

What I'd want, and what I believe a lot of other people on these forums want, is for Missing Worlds Media to make a really great GAME ... and then let the money flow from that ... rather than to make a MONEY MACHINE ... and then build a game to service the goal of making money. In other words, money is a TOOL to be used in furtherance of the OBJECTIVE ... rather than being the reason, rationale, purpose and destiny for why Missing Worlds Media exists at all. We don't want City of Titans to wind up experiencing the Resource Curse problem as a virtual world.

Money is the "root of all evil" after all ... just ask any well funded villain ... ^_-


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
I agree completely, Colonel

I agree completely, Colonel and Red. That's essentially what I was trying to get to with my artist/patron partnership analogy.

As for direct competition to CoX, I think GH has a very good point. I believe the reason most of us are here having quite spirited debates about a game still 2 years off is because, for us, there is nothing to take its place. Other MMOs don't satisfy us because they jumped on the Me Too bandwagon, so we're holding out hope for a game that will buck the trend and be different, in many of the ways CoX was -- without being a direct copy.

Spurn all ye kindle.

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Col. Kernel wrote:
Col. Kernel wrote:

As for trusting you because of your business background, no. I consider that a handicap, not a point in your favor. Business acumen is good, but in today's educational system business training is not.

I did not put my education as my qualification but my actual experience. The two are related but not the same.

- -

I do not have the final numbers nor any indication of how the game will be funded. It may not seek financing at all (tho I find this to be a fools gambit if you think the game will be produced, built, and released for under $700K, even with "free" labor)

So the goal of my suggestion isn't "Make the most money"; the goal of my suggestion is to "Attract Financiers".

If MWM can produce City of Titans and release it without additional outside financing then my point is moot. I simply do not think that's the case.

I'm also going on record in saying that while I appreciate the volunteers, everyone I know has bills to pay. Even (and especially?) gamers

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Minotaur
Minotaur's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 5 hours ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/05/2012 - 12:49
I know how this will work

I know how this will work with me, as it has gone with NW.

I will spend more than I would have on subs in the early days, then very little thereafter, the subs will get more out of me in the long run.

In CoH I paid for 2 accounts AND dropped a load of money on the c-store. If the game is good enough, people will sub and microtransact.

NW would have got more money out of me if I felt the value for money was there. They had a 60% off sale on pets recently, I bought a load, if they'd been around that price all the time, they'd have had my money months ago.

Tech Team and Forum Moderator

JayBezz
JayBezz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 36 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 14:54
Minotaur wrote:
Minotaur wrote:

NW would have got more money out of me if I felt the value for money was there. They had a 60% off sale on pets recently, I bought a load, if they'd been around that price all the time, they'd have had my money months ago.

And therein lies the devil (the details). If the price is right I will buy.. even when I don't need it. I will even buy things for my friends (you can ask anyone in my SG from games past.. they have all received something from me out of pure generosity).

The fear that people will not support a product they love is an irrelevant fear. The true stipulation is to give consumers products they sincerely want to love.

I do not myself understand the resistance to the model of "you get what you pay for" alongside "you pay for what you get".. but I do respect peoples desires to the contrary.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

Col. Kernel
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2013 - 14:08
Jay,

Jay,

The resistance is because you seem intent on a microtransaction only model. Said model is feast or famine for the devs, regardless of how it performs in the long run from an investor's viewpoint.

I'd rather see the steady income of a subscription model, then add a microtransaction model on top of it. This means that you have your subscriber base (i.e. you're making the rent every month as long as you don't drive your base away) and you get ADDITIONAL monies from your base as well as any spending (if any actually is) done by F2P players.

But the product HAS to be solid for the CoX crowd (MWM's base). We know what we want, and what we expect, and it sure as taxes isn't the FotM play of NWN/WoW or any of the other grind for cash MMOs out there.

If I were designing a game with the depth of play that CoX had (and EVE has), I'd take an extremely close look at EVE's financial model. Allowing "Game Bux" (e.g. Plex) to be traded on the in game market is brilliant. I don't know if EVE has a cash shop or not, but I'd still go with allowing RMT money to be sold for in game money. It gives players yet another reason to spend at the cash shop.

Consultant
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
kickstarter
Joined: 08/22/2013 - 03:14
I agree with the Colonel on

I agree with the Colonel on this one. Hybrid suits the CoT market best. Primarily because the game will open with a committed core of refugees from COH that will sustain it. But the subscription needs to be optional, so that we can maximize the number of non-subscribing players who might want to join in the fun. Microtransactions will be icing on the cake, and perhaps will evolve over time into the major cash source, making subscription irrelevant, but I doubt it.

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
I did the opposite of

I did the opposite of Minotaur.
So between us we average out.
I bought one of the packs and then transferred a load of Zen in and bought tons of professions packs and extra character slots and nothing since.

I lost interest in playing yet another character through the same content plus I, maybe cynically, am waiting for them to stop milking people with reduced cost items and for them to release the next load of awesomer goods. That is what the model requires right?

In CO I'm still using my ongoing stipend to visit the shop and buy stuff. I don't even look at the NW shop.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Direct competitors to CoH was other MMOs, GH, and CoH lost.
Every time a new MMO came out, CoH would lose some players for the next new big thing. Did the players return or not? It would seem not enough.

CoX didn't lose, we were closed down and I have never seen NCSoft give the reason as "because of falling player numbers / revenues".

My impression is that the players that were there were paying enough to keep it going. Content was still being made for it, blasters finally got "fixt" if I remember correctly. Matt Miller talked about the closure and the studio seemed as surprised / shocked as the players to find they were being canned.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
GH wrote:
GH wrote:

Brand X wrote:
Direct competitors to CoH was other MMOs, GH, and CoH lost.
Every time a new MMO came out, CoH would lose some players for the next new big thing. Did the players return or not? It would seem not enough.

CoX didn't lose, we were closed down and I have never seen NCSoft give the reason as "because of falling player numbers / revenues".
My impression is that the players that were there were paying enough to keep it going. Content was still being made for it, blasters finally got "fixt" if I remember correctly. Matt Miller talked about the closure and the studio seemed as surprised / shocked as the players to find they were being canned.

If CoH was making enough money (this means more than covering costs), and was felt to be one of the top MMOs, by NCSoft, do you really think they would have shut it down?

Until we do know the reason it was shut down, we're all just guessing, that still leaves CoH losing to other MMOs. If CoH had Eve Online's numbers, I doubt it would have been shut down for example.

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 41 sec ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

If CoH was making enough money (this means more than covering costs), and was felt to be one of the top MMOs, by NCSoft, do you really think they would have shut it down?

"If you can't say something nice then say nothing at all."


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Brand X wrote:
If CoH was making enough money (this means more than covering costs), and was felt to be one of the top MMOs, by NCSoft, do you really think they would have shut it down?
"If you can't say something nice then say nothing at all."

I do! Like if it wasn't for NCSoft, Cryptic would have shut down CoH 6 years earlier.

Minotaur
Minotaur's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 5 hours ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/05/2012 - 12:49
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

GH wrote:
Brand X wrote:
Direct competitors to CoH was other MMOs, GH, and CoH lost.
Every time a new MMO came out, CoH would lose some players for the next new big thing. Did the players return or not? It would seem not enough.

CoX didn't lose, we were closed down and I have never seen NCSoft give the reason as "because of falling player numbers / revenues".
My impression is that the players that were there were paying enough to keep it going. Content was still being made for it, blasters finally got "fixt" if I remember correctly. Matt Miller talked about the closure and the studio seemed as surprised / shocked as the players to find they were being canned.

If CoH was making enough money (this means more than covering costs), and was felt to be one of the top MMOs, by NCSoft, do you really think they would have shut it down?
Until we do know the reason it was shut down, we're all just guessing, that still leaves CoH losing to other MMOs. If CoH had Eve Online's numbers, I doubt it would have been shut down for example.

One thing to note, on other games they closed down, they made it very clear that underperformance was the reason, they didn't in this case which leads me to believe it was not the reason.

Tech Team and Forum Moderator

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
We were sunsetted as a

We were sunsetted as a tactical retreat back to the market they know best.
That is understandable given that we were making a pittance in the grand scheme of things.
What is unforgivable is not selling us the IP.

I never claimed it was one of the top MMOs, in fact for them it's probably the smallest and given it's age they probably looked on it like an old scruffy dog and took it outside and shot it rather than letting someone rehome it.

I think the hit they took off investors after the closure was quite telling.

I think if Eve had NCSofts management, it would have been.

Why would Cryptic have shut CoX down? NCSoft to the rescue what?

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Lothic
Lothic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
GH wrote:
GH wrote:

We were sunsetted as a tactical retreat back to the market they know best.
That is understandable given that we were making a pittance in the grand scheme of things.
What is unforgivable is not selling us the IP.
I never claimed it was one of the top MMOs, in fact for them it's probably the smallest and given it's age they probably looked on it like an old scruffy dog and took it outside and shot it rather than letting someone rehome it.

This was pretty much how I saw it. As much as I loved CoH I believe it only had maybe 2-3 more years to go before it was going to need a complete ground-up overhaul to remain viable.

I suspect NCsoft was still earning money from CoH in 2012 but it was probably a tiny fraction compared to their Korean-based games. They did the math for themselves and decided to drop CoH while it was still coasting on the last of its profitability. They could have arguably let it linger another six months or year before they pulled the plug, but in the grand scheme they just wanted out of the Western market before CoH became a negative drain on them.

Sure I still hate that CoH ended the way it did. But at least on some level I can understand which way the winds were blowing.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

GH
GH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2013 - 08:49
Feeling musical..

Feeling musical..
Don't need to be a weatherman...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP4XP8CaX7k

I can never forgive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgrl9S6HtK8

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Col. Kernel
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2013 - 14:08
Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

GH wrote:
Brand X wrote:
Direct competitors to CoH was other MMOs, GH, and CoH lost.
Every time a new MMO came out, CoH would lose some players for the next new big thing. Did the players return or not? It would seem not enough.

CoX didn't lose, we were closed down and I have never seen NCSoft give the reason as "because of falling player numbers / revenues".
My impression is that the players that were there were paying enough to keep it going. Content was still being made for it, blasters finally got "fixt" if I remember correctly. Matt Miller talked about the closure and the studio seemed as surprised / shocked as the players to find they were being canned.

If CoH was making enough money (this means more than covering costs), and was felt to be one of the top MMOs, by NCSoft, do you really think they would have shut it down?
Until we do know the reason it was shut down, we're all just guessing, that still leaves CoH losing to other MMOs. If CoH had Eve Online's numbers, I doubt it would have been shut down for example.

Oh come now. NCSoft had a reputation for shutting down "Western" MMOs. They put all that $$$ into Tabula Rasa and shut it down, along with about 5 or 6 other MMOs targeted at the Western market.

I'm fairly certain there was a leak implying, if not outright stating, that CoH was shut down due to internal politics.

Gangrel
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/15/2013 - 15:14
Col. Kernel wrote:
Col. Kernel wrote:

Oh come now. NCSoft had a reputation for shutting down "Western" MMOs. They put all that $$$ into Tabula Rasa and shut it down, along with about 5 or 6 other MMOs targeted at the Western market.
I'm fairly certain there was a leak implying, if not outright stating, that CoH was shut down due to internal politics.

The full list is Tabula Rasa, Auto Assault, Exsteel, Dungeon Runners, Lineage (US servers only), City of Heroes.
Depending on which articles you read (I find the Gamasutra one quite nice), they say that NCsoft had planned a couple of months ahead of time to do it.

On top of that, I remember reading in an article that due to how distant NCsoft (which side of the Pacific though isn't exactly clear) became harder to work with... more remote.

*shrugs*

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

Pages