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Consider $8 Per Month Or $60 If You Pay Annually For Vip


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As of 2010 your average household spends roughly 5% of their entertainment spending on videogames (downloadable content, new games, etc) according to Nielsen. This only increaes to 9.3% when you only consider households that regularly buy videogames. That's still a very small portion of the overall budget considering that in 2010 your average household only spent 2.7% of its total budget on entertainment.

 

People generally do not increase their entertainment budget, so each type of entertainment competes with each other. Something like a monthly fee is a guaranteed reduction of the rest of their entertainment budget. This is why your average person in this generation is less likely to subscribe to cable and instead opt for a smaller monthly fee Netflix account. In fact, the average entertainment budget for a household has been declining over the years. The average household entertainment budget dropped to 1.3% in 2012 and continues to drop.

 

So when you ask someone to spend a monthly fee on your game, you are asking them to allocate a pretty large chunk of their monthly entertainement budget toward your game. That increases even more when you consider there could be multiple people in the household that may subscribe. There will be a price threshold which drastically reduces the number of subscriptions. I would argue that $15 per month is well over that threshold. It will make a person or family really consider if they want to spend that kind of money. It's twice the price of Netflix. You also aren't really guaranteed anymore money at the $15 per month as people who are willing to allocate $15 per month are going to allocate it anyway by buying things in the cash shop. In a way, you are competing with yourself.

 

So I think you should consider charging $8 per month with the option annual option set at $60. This is the cost of Netflix on a monthly basis and the price of Xbox Live or PSN if they opt for an annual fee. I definitely wouldn't recommend charging more than $10 per month which is what Xbox Live and PSN costs on a monthly basis. I think they charge that to encourage people to get the $60 per year which is guaranteed yearly income for them. For those that wish to spend more, you could offer cash shop currency bulk deals where the more cash shop currency you buy, the larger the discount.

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Thanks for the well thought out post.  I don't agree with your conclusion though -

The lowest median US income I found for 2010 was 37,000.00 (Mississippi)- that means about 1,850.00 a year for videogames at your 5% figure.  That seems like a lot of money to spend per year on gaming imo but I'mma go with it as it looks like you did your research and I could waste time attacking figures or I can actually have a discussion.   :)  

A 15.00 a month sub works out to 180.00 a year.  That's 10% of the annual budget for videogames for  a low annual income average in 2010.  That does not seem excessive to me?

Your comparison to Netflix and Xbox subs is relevant but I don't see such a huge difference between paying 8-10 dollars a month and paying 15.  If it was 29 bucks per month I'd see folks narrowing their eyes a bit but not for the 15.

Chopping it down to $8.00 a month means much less operational funding for the game - which means they need to get in twice as many subs to keep the game going after launch.

Driving in more subs makes making the game more appealing to the masses and yeah - I've said before I'm all for that.  I think that CF needs a much wider base than just PvP players.  But right now I feel like the decision makers at CF have a clear vision of what they want this game to be and I have the feeling that there's room for a pretty good swathe of player types. 

But the more financial pressure is on CF leadership the more tempting it is to start adding more and more to the cash shop and then it turns into pay to access certain areas and next thing you know you're going down the road of LOTRO with huge areas gated byplayer cash rather than by player skill.

I'd like to see CF set up to win - to launch well (with the understanding that launches suck) and be able to pay their staff and even work on additional features for the game.  I think a 15.00 a month sub is reasonable both financially for players and ethically for CF.

 

Again - great post - thanks.

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The Chronicles of Crowfall           The Free Lands of Azure            RIP Doc Gonzo.

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Well thought out posts. I hope they have someone in their office that can do market research to figure out which price point will bring in the most overall profit and then choose that rather than decide on an arbitrary number. Either way, i'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they know what they are doing.

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At $8/mo, they're giving up a lot of revenue (I doubt you'd get more than double the # of subscribers at $8/mo compared to $15/mo).  

 

I'd pay up to $25/mo for a subscription to the MMORPG I play.  Much cheaper than the other entertainment options available to me (and more fun).

 

I'll probably buy accounts for my wife and two sons as well and get them subscriptions.  They won't play much, but if we can all share a personal kingdom, it would be a lot of fun.  =)

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an important thing to realize about optional subscriptions is that subscriptions are not mandatory. funny how that happens right?

the subscription is about supporting the game, not getting a foot up on other players; I would guess the price came straight from the 20 page thread where a large portion of the community said they would be willing to pay up to $15/month

 

the only aspect of the pricing model that could be viewed as remotely pay to win is the extra training queues, but this is selling convenience not power. if you stick to one character it will be "on par" in training with any of a subscriber's characters, the subscription offers here the convenience of not having to trade power for novelty

discounted $60 annual fee (versus $180 at $15/month or $96 at $8/month) ... a second copy of the game ($50 once) gives you an additional training queue and 3 extra character slots permanently, would not be surprised if ACE let you redeem extra keys to an existing account (i.e. not need an alt)

 

and one final note:

at any price up to $10 you put more weight on the process of spending money  the the amount of money spent, slashing game prices below $10 (outside of sales, etc) always hurts revenue

Edited by NotAnApron
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Thanks for the well thought out post.  I don't agree with your conclusion though -

 

The lowest median US income I found for 2010 was 37,000.00 (Mississippi)- that means about 1,850.00 a year for videogames at your 5% figure.  That seems like a lot of money to spend per year on gaming imo but I'mma go with it as it looks like you did your research and I could waste time attacking figures or I can actually have a discussion.   :)  

 

A 15.00 a month sub works out to 180.00 a year.  That's 10% of the annual budget for videogames for  a low annual income average in 2010.  That does not seem excessive to me?

 

Your comparison to Netflix and Xbox subs is relevant but I don't see such a huge difference between paying 8-10 dollars a month and paying 15.  If it was 29 bucks per month I'd see folks narrowing their eyes a bit but not for the 15.

 

 

Your calculations are wrong. Your average household who actively buy videogames spend 9.1% of their enterainment budget on videogames. They only spent 2.1% of their overall budget on entertainment in 2010. So a household income of $37,000 would spend $777 per year on entertainment and only $70  per year on videogames. That has shrunk since then. A price of $15 per month not only consumes their entire videogame budget, but starts eating into the rest of their entertainment budget.

 

 

 

Chopping it down to $8.00 a month means much less operational funding for the game - which means they need to get in twice as many subs to keep the game going after launch.

 

Driving in more subs makes making the game more appealing to the masses and yeah - I've said before I'm all for that.  I think that CF needs a much wider base than just PvP players.  But right now I feel like the decision makers at CF have a clear vision of what they want this game to be and I have the feeling that there's room for a pretty good swathe of player types. 

 

But the more financial pressure is on CF leadership the more tempting it is to start adding more and more to the cash shop and then it turns into pay to access certain areas and next thing you know you're going down the road of LOTRO with huge areas gated byplayer cash rather than by player skill.

 

I'd like to see CF set up to win - to launch well (with the understanding that launches suck) and be able to pay their staff and even work on additional features for the game.  I think a 15.00 a month sub is reasonable both financially for players and ethically for CF.

 

Again - great post - thanks.

 

I disagree that chopping it down to $8 per month means less operational funding for the game. If a higher price always meant higher revenue, that means they could charge $30 per month and bring even more money in. There's a value issue that is as much psychological as it is financial. Most people simply can't justify paying the price of three full priced games for one subscription to one game and that quickly increases to the price of six full priced games if there are two people in the household paying. The company is also competing with themselves. Someone willing to pay $15 per month on a game, will be willing to spend it on the game whether it's a monthly fee or not.

 

When you talk about masses, it's as if you are putting PVP players in a camp that can pay more than someone that can't. PVP players are amongst the entire financial spectrum. I think a dedicated PVPer or hardcore gamer who cannot afford or justify the monthly fee will go into the game without any intention of spending any money even if they can spend $7 in the cash shop because they won't see it as financially viable to stay with the game.

Edited by frozenshadow
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I'd say  $10 monthly with   9,8.5,8  for 3,6,12 month respectively.    You could also do a $10 monthly sub without cash shop credits, and a $15 monthly sub with cash shop credits.

Edited by Strana
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I'd say  $10 monthly with   9,8.5,8  for 3,6,12 month respectively.    You could also do a $10 monthly sub without cash shop credits, and a $15 monthly sub with cash shop credits.

Just a heads up, they already released information on their plans.

 

Game will be buy to play at around 50 bucks, with a option to become VIP with a monthly sub around 15 ( subject to change of course ). There will also be a micro trans shop with items that don't affect actual gameplay ( ie giving paid advantages )


 


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You are not worth my time to player. 

 

They said that the $15 a month a  would have perks but have not stated what perks other than the 3 passive training slots. They have not stated what those training passives are or how they work. You are merely assuming things.

 

Reading through the announcement discussion,  this was the only official comment I found on passive training. http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/2073-021215-the-confessor-god-history-pricing-faq/?p=52689

 

Eve Online and Dust514 are the only games I know with passive training so I will explain them.  In Eve,  a single character on account can train a skill. The skills have to be placed in training queue. If you have nothing in training queue, nothing trains. The skill in queue trains at a specific rate whether you are offline or online. No matter how much you play.

 

Dust514 also passively trains a single character on account, but those skill point don't go into a queued skill.   They go into a skillpoint pool. Same online and offline rate.   Additionally, you generate active skill point by playing the game.  Active skill points also go into the skillpoint pool. You distribute them into a skill of your choice at a later time.

Edited by Strana
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Please provide links to your broad statisticalassumptions please. You stats are totally off for Asia. And I'm sure for Europe as well.

 

America isnt the center of the gaming world.

 

Oh and for the record, $15 has been the standard for MMOs for over a decade. So lets not make a post talking about lowering VIP figures to suit your own budget. I'd pay double for a good quality game with active developer community and quality infrastructure.

Edited by silentil
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Please provide links to your broad statisticalassumptions please. You stats are totally off for Asia. And I'm sure for Europe as well.

 

America isnt the center of the gaming world.

 

Oh and for the record, $15 has been the standard for MMOs for over a decade. So lets not make a post talking about lowering VIP figures to suit your own budget. I'd pay double for a good quality game with active developer community and quality infrastructure.

 

Crowfall is an American game developed primarily for America. The non-English rights will likely be sold off to help fund the game and it will be up to that publisher to decide what pricing model is best for them. My source is Nielsen, as I stated.

 

It has been a trend for over a decade to no one's benefit. Very few games can survive under such pricing weight which is why almost every MMORPG goes free to play. Looking at the success of one or two games and expecting a whole market to work like that was a mistake and that is exactly what happened when everyone else followed suit by raising their prices to match World of Warcraft's. EverQuest priced itself out of the the market as did other WoW competitors. Even World of Warcraft has hurt itself as people cancel their subscription regularly inbetween lulls in content. People have other things to buy with their limited entertainment budget.

Edited by frozenshadow
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Everquest didn't price itself out of the market.  What a silly statement.  And WoW is losing subscriptions because people have been playing the game for years and are bored with it, not because of the subscription fee.

F2P isn't really free.  You pay in other ways.  Either lesser access for not being a paid subscriber, or you end up having people paying oftentimes more than a per month subscription for all the goodies in the shop.  

 

Personally I don't touch F2P games anymore.  They're mostly crap.  Not surprisingly, the two games I've played the longest (EQ1 and EVE) are subscription games.

 

The reason some games move from subscription to F2P is because they're bad games and not many people are playing them.  The games go F2P to try to get more people to try them out, but most of those "converted" games still have a subscription fee if you want to enjoy the full game, or they have a P2W shop.

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Crowfall is an American game developed primarily for America. The non-English rights will likely be sold off to help fund the game and it will be up to that publisher to decide what pricing model is best for them. My source is Nielsen, as I stated.

 

It has been a trend for over a decade to no one's benefit. Very few games can survive under such pricing weight which is why almost every MMORPG goes free to play. Looking at the success of one or two games and expecting a whole market to work like that was a mistake and that is exactly what happened when everyone else followed suit by raising their prices to match World of Warcraft's. EverQuest priced itself out of the the market as did other WoW competitors. Even World of Warcraft has hurt itself as people cancel their subscription regularly inbetween lulls in content. People have other things to buy with their limited entertainment budget.

Nielsen is well known for its inaccuracy in properly tracking game use figures let along financial metrics. Most MMOs got F2P because the NA publisher botched the launch and disgruntled off the excited customer base (NCSoft West, Trion, Enmasse, etc).

 

Raising the prices to match WoW? Again, showing your very limited knowledge of the topic at hand. There were many successful MMOs before WoW that charged $14.95/month. WoW went F2P because they'd already made a shirtload of $ and were not going to continue development or expansion of their infrastructure. They are the largest MMO not because the game was good, but because they capitalised off their Blizzard player base (Warcraft RTS series particularly). Their game is stale, graphics suck, rep grind sucked. Has nothing to do with subs cost.

 

Sorry, but I'll come back to my original statement - your post is purely motivated at setting a figure that is within your economic means. Nothing more. You've loaded no opex consideration into it, no forecast growth. Its a very weak analysis motivated by selfish reasons. I'm definitely open to discussion, but there is no weight to this in your post.

Edited by silentil
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