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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Elder Scrolls Online - Is The Game Set Up to Fail?

Default Elder Scrolls Online - Is The Game Set Up to Fail?

September 14th, 2013, 02:16
Press2Reset has a new editorial asking the question is The Elder Scrolls Online set up to fail when it's released.

If history is any sort of indication, this is how things will play out for The Elder Scrolls Online: The game’s open beta will be promising and it will have a large number of participants. When it launches it will sell a lot of copies, experience the normal issues such as overloaded servers, bugs, and glitches. However, after the free 30-day trial is over there will be a huge drop off of players rather than a gradual decline that will continue. Within four-to-six months ZeniMax will be forced to adapt a F2P model because the numbers are so low that they aren’t making a profit or that the profit margin is negligible.

Until MMOs can evolve, and the genre gets a shake-up, the subscription model is not a viable solution anymore. Developers need to stop looking at their games as a 100-meter race. It is a marathon. If you discourage players right out of the gate then you are setting yourself up for failure.

And ZeniMax Online is setting up The Elder Scrolls Online to fail. If the company wants its game to be successful, then they need to drop the subscription and go entirely F2P. It will help them attract large numbers of players and help them retain a significant number of them rather than watch as their player-base dwindle exponentially over a short period of time.
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September 14th, 2013, 02:16
Screw that and screw that author. Free to play pay to win cash shop garbage will be avoided by me at any cost. The ONLY reason I'm interested in this game is because it's sub based.
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September 14th, 2013, 03:16
Originally Posted by regomar View Post
Screw that and screw that author. Free to play pay to win cash shop garbage will be avoided by me at any cost. The ONLY reason I'm interested in this game is because it's sub based.
Actually I think most people are forgetting why sub based went away. I agree that the F2P model now is, in general, not that great. But with sub-based many feel "pressure" to play— to get their moneys worth. Even more so when they play 2 games. Hell I used to be subbed to as many as 4 at a time.

Heck when I jump on DDO or World of Tanks I might spend 20-30 in a weekend. But i have fun and I don't worry about the pressure to play.

So I think the answer is subscriptions— but sub at a neglible price. Make it $5. I spend 50 on the game— and it is the cost of a latte' per month. If I ignore it for 4 months I prolly will not care— but you can be sure that I will not let $15 go by for 4 months— espically if I am playing more than one game.

How much better would the revenu model be if they had 3 times as many people stay for 3 months as opposed to 1/3 as many after 1 month?

It is actuarial science they should employ to show them that more subscribers at a lower price over time — with less price resistance over time— will support a longer term model.

That's my thought anyway
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September 14th, 2013, 04:52
Originally Posted by regomar View Post
Screw that and screw that author. Free to play pay to win cash shop garbage will be avoided by me at any cost. The ONLY reason I'm interested in this game is because it's sub based.
Same here. I despise F2p. We may be a minority nowadays. I guess we will see.
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September 14th, 2013, 08:28
I think games like LoL has shown that F2P doesn't have to be so bad. However, I do agree that most F2P games aren't worth the time but I think that's not because it's F2P per se but because either the design itself sucks or they have to put in tedious or grinding mechanisms that make you want to pay to make them go away or if they make it pay-to-win
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September 14th, 2013, 10:49
Originally Posted by benetar View Post
Actually I think most people are forgetting why sub based went away. I agree that the F2P model now is, in general, not that great. But with sub-based many feel "pressure" to play— to get their moneys worth. Even more so when they play 2 games. Hell I used to be subbed to as many as 4 at a time.

Heck when I jump on DDO or World of Tanks I might spend 20-30 in a weekend. But i have fun and I don't worry about the pressure to play.

So I think the answer is subscriptions— but sub at a neglible price. Make it $5. I spend 50 on the game— and it is the cost of a latte' per month. If I ignore it for 4 months I prolly will not care— but you can be sure that I will not let $15 go by for 4 months— espically if I am playing more than one game.

How much better would the revenu model be if they had 3 times as many people stay for 3 months as opposed to 1/3 as many after 1 month?

It is actuarial science they should employ to show them that more subscribers at a lower price over time — with less price resistance over time— will support a longer term model.

That's my thought anyway
I agree 100% with this. I am shocked no one has adopted this model. I also think MMOs need to be more narrowly defined. Yes, it will be a smaller audience but a much more compelling feeling for that audience.
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September 14th, 2013, 11:52
I guess some people don't understand that even 4 months mean a lot of money. If you have 10 millions of subscribers that pay 15 $ per month the total bruto will be
10,000,000*15*4=600,000,000
Plus retail price which adds another 500,000,000.
Do you call it fail?
10,000,000 is perhaps a bit too far, but who knows?
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September 14th, 2013, 15:22
It's not going to fail, at least not financially. Isn't this one of the first MMOs being released on xbox and playstation as well? There's a lot of extra cash there, from a user base who are probably more used to subscription fees models than F2P. I think it will rake in money, personally. It doesn't mean it will be good though - jury is out on that!
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September 17th, 2013, 10:48
Not a big fan of F2P myself. The servers end up lacking stability, as people jump in and out of the game too much. Take TOR as an example - sure the zones are full, but most of the players are clueless. Doing instanced content for example often means having to explain stuff over and over again. I don't mind new players, but when you replace them at a rate so high that hardly anyone knows how to play their class, it's gone too far.

Subscription based MMOs, which is basically just WoW these days, may generate less income, but to me they're more enjoyable as they offer a stability and community that F2P MMOs simply can't.

That being said, I do agree with the author that the MMO genre needs to change. The evolution seems to have slowed to a crawl, and it doesn't seem like it's going to pick up pace anytime soon.
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September 17th, 2013, 11:03
Unfortunately, what happened with WoW means that most publishers willing to finance an MMO are doing everything they can to appeal to the masses.

Like or not, appealing to the masses means you can't demand that they invest much of themselves in your game - which is why the genre has changed so much. The few games that still remain that actually challenge players on occasion are sparsely populated.

So, if we're going to expect an MMO that appeals to people willing to invest themselves - we're not going to find it funded by the big boys.

At least, it's going to be a miracle if it happens.
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September 17th, 2013, 11:25
After the free trial, why not have an hourly rate? Like, 20c per hour. You play 50 hours in a month, you pay 10$. It would seem fair that a person who plays 10 hours a month, pays less than the person who plays 100 hours a month.

Also, wouldn't it be easy to have the same game using both FTP and monthly subscription models? Those who pay monthly fee, will use the shops etc in the game like in any other subscription based MMO.
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September 17th, 2013, 14:05
Originally Posted by benetar View Post
It is actuarial science they should employ to show them that more subscribers at a lower price over time — with less price resistance over time— will support a longer term model.
I'd have thought price elasticity was more economic than actuarial science, unless there's some kind of online life mortality tables.

Heh, I could certainly see sex having an impact on the online life expectancy, although more in the sense that having sex probably means less hours online.
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September 17th, 2013, 14:28
Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
After the free trial, why not have an hourly rate? Like, 20c per hour. You play 50 hours in a month, you pay 10$. It would seem fair that a person who plays 10 hours a month, pays less than the person who plays 100 hours a month.

Also, wouldn't it be easy to have the same game using both FTP and monthly subscription models? Those who pay monthly fee, will use the shops etc in the game like in any other subscription based MMO.
This would be the worst idea ever I mean, unless it's one of the options. There's a reason why AOL killed Compuserve and others, people don't like to feel the pressure of the meter. Even if they end up spending more, most people prefer to pay a flat fee rate.
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