Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pirate for a Lifetime?

Found this nugget of info on PotBS thanks to PirateSpyglass...
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.

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.
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.

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?


Tipa said...

Did you get lifetime subs to LotRO and HG:L?

And especially for LotRO, if you did, did you feel you got your money's worth?

Bildo said...

I was debating on LotRO's all the way up until it launched. I never got higher than about 15-20 in the alpha/beta so I was still under the impression that it was a great game for a social-soloer.

I am glad I DID NOT buy the Lifetime for it, in retrospect. Because I ended up tiring of the game when I found solo-ing difficult in the late 20s and up. Had it not been for that, and had the whole game kept the shine of the early levels, I would have bought it.

HG:L is one I would also purchase simply based on the fact that I want to see all the subscriber content without having to sub and unsub all the time, but $150 seems steep for an action-rpg, especially when we're not sure just how much ongoing content it will be receiving over the next 2 years. I'd hate to spend 150 dollars just for themed holiday events and two new mission hubs, you know?

Ultimately, it's a tough choice to make, but let's just say I would easily do it for PotBS if I could afford it.

heather (errantdreams) said...

I am glad I did the lifetime for lotro, even though I haven't played it much lately, because I have a feeling I will go back to it off and on over time, and if I were paying monthly I'd probably feel I couldn't keep paying a monthly fee just to be able to do that. I'd much rather do a lifetime fee for any game that I think I might play long-term, for just that reason.

Keen said...

Although I'm horribly infamous in my circle of friends for returning to older games multiple times over the course of years I still feel lifetime subs are not worth it.

Although I plan to play PotBS I will not get a lifetime. I'm also extremely happy that I did not lifetime LOTRO.

Spybreak said...

I have a bad case of ADHD in regards to games with exception to WoW(played it for 2 years) and Counter Strike which I like to play once in awhile to relieve some stress.

Lifetime Sub just doesnt work for me. I did think about it for LOTRO. I've resub to WOW 3 times, COH and LOTRO once but I still don't see myself wanting to spend money for a lifetime Sub on a certain game. That and where would I get 200 bucks?!