Subscription Based Games; Are You Willing To Pay?

The games reported on this month were Zenimax Online's RPG MMO, Elder Scrolls Online, Carbine's Science fiction MMO, WildStar (which will have a secondary in-game money method to pay for the subscription similar to EVE Online) and Square Enix's Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Sony's upcoming RPG MMO, Everquest Next, has not had its business model revealed at this point in time.

In the recent past a lot of games have dropped the subscription model and have gone to free-to-play. While free is always good, the implementation by some of the developers have left a lot to be desired, especially when gamers view the business model as using micro-transaction that create a "pay-to-win" scenario.

Anyway, back to subscription fees. Let's do a little math, because math is fun.

Let's assume that the subscription fee for said game is $15 per month. That means that as a subscriber you are being forced to dish out approximately $0.50 (50 cents) per day to play the game. Given that you can't even get up cup of coffee for 50¢, and that same 50¢ is getting you all the game playing bliss you want in a 24 hour period, there is no question that the subscription fee for a game is one of the most inexpensive forms of entertainment around.

We will grant you that the game has to be fun. Even if it's free, a game that turns out to be a steaming pile of suck is not worth any cost or the time invested. In addition, the developers of a subscription based game must steadily release new content in order to keep players interested in what they perceive as a dynamic world that regularly involves them in new locations and events.

An interesting contrast in subscription based games can be seen in a simple comparison between CCP's EVE Online and Blizzard's World of Warcraft. With Eve Online, you purchase a game account which requires a monthly fee to maintain and you get to play all you want and all of the updates and expansions to the game are given to you free of charge. With World of Warcraft, you buy the game, pay a monthly fee to play to your heart's desire, and then have to pony up more money to purchase the expansions. Given that both games are doing well, it's a safe bet to assume that a lot of people are not put off by the monthly fee requirement, and in the case of WoW, paying even more for additional content.

The question then for you, dear readers, is "Would you be willing to pay a monthly fee for a game, and if so, what would it take to keep you forking out the money every month?"

We look forward to your thoughts on this in the comments section below.