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Pathfinder Online CEO defends subscription fees for Elder Scrolls Online

By Russ Boswell ยท 22 replies
Jan 9, 2014
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  1. The CEO of Pathfinder Online, Ryan Dancey, is defending Zenimax's decision to port Elder Scrolls Online as a subscription-based MMO. Dancey's defensive stance comes on the heels of a recent article by Paul Tassi. The editorial piece, titled Predicting the...

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  2. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +205

    I wonder why they didn't include FFXI or FFXIV in the subscription based MMO list.
    psycros likes this.
  3. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,151   +588

    Meh, I knew it was going to either do this or do a Micro Transaction system. No big surprise here, when you have a game like an MMO that is ever changing, your going to have to pay a little more for it. So as long as the game is constantly evolving and expanding, a subscription is no big deal.
  4. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 1,006   +249

    Well I for one don't even consider subscription based games, so that's zero revenue from me. However I also do whatever I can to make as few, if any, micro transaction purchases in those kinds of games.

    My problem with subscription based games is it's just not worth how much time I have available to me to play games. If there was a system where you pay $x per y hours of game play... I might consider playing.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  5. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 317   +313

    They should try putting that in a monthly/yearly historical graph of players per month. I bet the numbers look a whole lot worse in recent years. There is money to be made but you better not screw up the release and grab the subs while you can.
  6. jetkami

    jetkami TS Booster Posts: 100

    You can chart all you want...you can convince yourself that you are right and the market supports you. The tale of the tape will come once the game is released. Good luck. I personally dont have 10 to 15 bucks for a game when there are other options available.
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,613   +595

    Huh wow still makes the most money per month
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,779   +2,598

    ESO isn't going to fail because of the subscription but because its essentially all-PVP, all the time. This isn't what Elder Scrolls fans want from an MMO and its unlikely that they'll be enough that's new or different to lure away players of similar games.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Not confirming or denying that ive played the game, but I have at least SEEN it and it was a bloody mess at the time.

    Hopefully you guys get the message. NDA you know....
  10. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,935   +2,259

    I can't say too much about ESO because of the NDA, but I've been in the beta since the start. It is not going to be all pvp all the time. Running dungeons is my favorite thing todo and you get really good rewards without being handed them like you are in WOW.

    on a side note, I defend the subscription based model. The infrastructure require to run a "mega server" is massive. Eve has a hard time running 30-40k people on their server at once, I expect eso to be bigger than wow in its first few months. If it isn't a subscription, its micro transactions or a "pay to win" system. They're entitled to make money, I'd rather pay a sub and play fair instead of playing some rich guy who dropped $1000 for the best gear and XP boosts, ect, ect. Anyone who has played a "pay to win" game knows why subscriptions are better.
  11. gibbstar

    gibbstar TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +10

    If the game is good, I don't mind paying a monthly fee, but on that note I don't like having to buy expansion packs every year or so, either. I really like how Eve does it: pay your monthly and they give you all the expansions/new content for free.
  12. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 788   +173

    This game is gonna bomb because it is just too damn expensive
  13. This game is gonna bomb because there is no mod support.
    Main reason to play ES series is that you can make a nightmare game where npc's are actually dangerous and its fun to play instead of sandbox with pink bunnies.
    You can make/change dungeons, npc's, weapons, armor, ui and "other" mods.
    and subscription mmo? who cares about it.
  14. Here's a little home truth that Mr Dancey and the devs at ESO need to take in. Over the last five to ten years the video game landscape has changed. With the advent of high-end consoles, digital distribution points like Steam and the growing strength of the indie market, players have far more gaming choice than ever before. The fact is, there is so much out there vying for attention to be consumed in our limited spare time that consumers bulk at the idea of being locked into a month to month payment scheme.
    It has become increasingly hard to hold gamers attention for any extended period of time when there are new titles constantly coming out begging for our consideration. It's a strange reality we face but, unless it's a well established title, an entire month is now a long time to commit to a game in it's entirety. Not that MMO's are dead. But as consumers, the last thing we need is to feel pressurized into making the most out of our monetary outlay.
  15. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 602   +81

    God I didn't realise WOW was so low nowadays, in its peak it was 11,000,000+ players
  16. havok585

    havok585 TS Addict Posts: 205   +61

    That guy at ESO pulled facts out of his ***.

    About WoW subscribers, latest figures are 7 million+ active.
  17. Mooseinadesert

    Mooseinadesert TS Rookie Posts: 25   +8

    $60? then a small fee?
  18. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 209   +162

    Well if the game is good enough, people will pay to play it. There is nothing wrong with the subscription model. I for one would happily part with some cash every month in exchange for a more quality return on the more valuable, limited resource we really invest in MMO's: Time.
  19. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Addict Posts: 157   +73

    As a fan of the Pathfinder tabletop RPG this is hugely concerning. Pathfinder Online is in the works, and if this is the direction they are taking, then it's as doomed as every other MMO out there.
  20. My biggest problem with the article was that he said a game switching from subscription to f2p micro transactions doesnt mean the game was a failure, that only when it closes. Thats flat wrong. SWTOR failed miserably in the subscription market and to prevent having to close was forced to go to f2p. Same with lotro. If TESO has to back off its subscription plan it means the game has failed to achieve its expectations.
  21. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 648   +58

    $15 a month for a top quality MMO is still worth it. Compare this with other entertainment avenues and it is still relatively cheap. Paying $x per y hours of game play would lead to a greedier income model. The only drawback is that if you subscribe to other MMOs it CAN be quite expensive. Life is short, can't do it all.
  22. This is a failed business model and prediction. All other market values state that money to be used for entertainment/travel are dipping down and won't top back out until the market stabilizes- which can take a few years at the current rate the government officials of USA are allowing things to go. (I'm not certain how it goes in other countries).
    Most importantly, the only thing required to destabilize that revenue completely is one motivated group creating a home-run of an MMORPG with no subscription base+ half price from launch+ a micro transaction system that in no way allows a unique item set that can't later be gotten at the end of the games/servers life with a payment option in BitCoin. This would develop an intensely passionate user base for favoring game balance over profit, that would follow you to your next venture even if they had to change game genre's to do it while self generating publicity for being the first "mainstream" game to accept the digital currency set up.
    I know this, I have always been a gamer. This decision is a mistake and attempting to backtrack on growth of the industry into the direction it's already taking.... The rock does not fight the water in a stream, the water flows around the rock.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,509   +5,073

    One time fee, Free2Play, or I won't consider. It is that simple.
    If it is anything like LOTRO, you loose those free expansions when you stop paying the subscription fees.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014

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