It's under consideration, but by no means an easy decision either way. There are a lot of weird effects to consider, and questions best answered by actuaries and statistitians.Now, I'm not sure how well this option worked our for LotRO or HG:L, but from forum posts on both games, it seems to have netted at least a decent amount of purchases, so I don't see why it couldn't work for PotBS, a game that many a geek like me are looking forward to. It's one, for reasons I can't disclose, I'd put my money down on if it were around $150. My only trouble would be coming up with said money. But that's besides the point.
1. What percentage of the user base would do a lifetime subscription?
2. What does the attrition curve look like for those players? Since they're likely to be the most fanatical fans anyway, it's not going to be the typical dropoff Raph has written about.
3. Of those, what percentage would stay beyond the breakeven point if they were playing monthly? Or more generally, if you integrate the extra money you get from people who would have left before break even vs the money you don't get from those who would have paid after break even, do you come out ahead?
4. How good do you feel about your end game being able to keep players interested in staying after they've burned through your 1-50 content?
5. How important is an early influx of cash to pay back debt, and is it worth giving up potential earnings later to reduce short term risk?
And of course, many of these questions are very hand wavy sorts of things, so nailing down an answer you can use for financial projections is difficult.
In short, we're thinking about it and will discuss it with Sony, but at the moment we have no answer.
I really dig that since LotRO came out more companies are going to try this. I'd much prefer to see more unique styles of pay-to-play, like hourly purchases or tiered subscription models, but a lifetime subscription can make these smaller MMO development studios a significant chunk of money right off the bat and help them see profit immediately, which I think any fan should be for. We want all these games to succeed so that we can keep seeing more of them, no?
If Pirates does swing this, I might have to try and see if I can afford it. It's the kind of game I can see myself going to and from for a long time, and the hassle of subscribing and unsubscribing can be a pain in the ass when doing so. Now... who wants to loan me 150-200 bucks just in case?