I really want to go back to Tabula Rasa. I know that if I could afford to (or my wife would let me) subscribe to more than one game a month Tabula Rasa would be one of the top contendors. I loved just going in an blasting the $#!& out of mobs with my knockdown shotgun. Sometimes I would get so embroiled in a control point that an hour would pass… or I would run out of ammo and realize I hadn’t moved my character from a 200 ft. radius (filled with dead Bane) for 30 minutes. But, I won’t be coming back (even with all the cool stuff you are adding). Sorry, Richard. Sorry, NCSoft. A “better” game currently claims my $15 a month.
But, with MMOs being so cutting edge why do they require all-or-nothing committment? They are providing a service, and plenty of other services have many different options for subscriptions.
Take, Lord of the Rings Online. They have a $200 lifetime subscription or $9.99/month subscription plans available every once in awhile. This is a great plan to bring people on the edge of a subscription back in to the fold. It breaks from that $15 flatline. I think, along with all the new shinies, that breaking from the $15 flatline is the best plan to bring people back (barring an expansion, which is the ultimate in shinies). Lord of the Rings Online isn’t hurting for subscribers, and has found its niche.
Sony Online Entertainment also changed the game, but their plan isn’t as good as Turbine’s. For $30/month you can get a ton of subscriptions for MMOs. You can play Pirates of Burning Sea, Vanguard, Everquest II, Matrix Online, etc., etc., etc. A dabbler’s dream. Do some PvP-like action of Planetside, switch to a trader on the high seas, and then go back to vanilla EQ. It’s great if you like one of the games to begin with. But, if you want to play just only Matrix Online to mess around for a month… $15.
The Guild Wars business model is the stuff of dreams. They are heading towards 6 million units sold. That’s all I will say about that. World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online… and I guess Age of Conan don’t need to try any “crazy” business models yet. Of course Warhammer Online and Age of Conant don’t want to admit they can’t run with the big boys…
But, back to Tabula Rasa. Is the nodal point for supply and demand so fixed at $15? They have sent up spaceships with founders and given their subscribers some great new content (much of it directly requested by users). They are trying everything to get you back… except push off from that $15 flatline.
…better than a 100% slice of nothing.