Thought of the Day: What should you expect from an SOE sub?

The big MMO launch this week was DC Universe Online, now available on both PC and PS3 (anyone tried the console version?). Unsubject posts a thoughtful look at some of the plus and minus points of the launch.

Intriguingly, in an interview with Eurogamer (which is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the game who wants to know more about it), John Smedley commented with respect to subscriptions:

“Just like the PC gamers, once they see the amount and level of content they’re getting compared to a normal game with bits and pieces of DLC, they’re going appreciate this a lot more.”

So while the rest of the MMO industry is following a trend of PC games morphing towards F2P payment models, SOE is trying to persuade console gamers that subscriptions are best.  Which is fine, but I think that claiming that console gamers should learn from what PC gamers want may be the wrong argument for that model.

And as for:

The monthly subscription fee means players can expect a lot of new content from us. And I say a lot — I really mean that. This is something that we feel obligated to the players, because they are paying monthly sub fee

… I wonder how players of SOEs other subscription games feel about that.

7 thoughts on “Thought of the Day: What should you expect from an SOE sub?

  1. It’s all lies. While SoE has been telling DCUO online players subscription is the way to go, they’ve been peddling EQ2Extended to EQ2 subscribers, as well as the cash shop.

    You can expect content for a good year or so, and then afterwards expect to pay for your free game updates via the cash shop or expansion packs.

    • “While SoE has been telling DCUO online players subscription is the way to go, they’ve been peddling EQ2Extended to EQ2 subscribers, as well as the cash shop.”

      This is my cognitive dissonance too.

  2. Champions Online (Direct Competition – see what I done there?) goes Free to Play later this month, with much limited customizability.

    I suspect this is the future – use your initial sales and 18-24 months of subs to pay back your initial (Huuuuuuuge) investment and then retrench by looking at your sales model, including F2P.

    EQ2 extended came after..?6 years?, and personally I both spent more playing it, and had more fun, than I ever did with EQ2 pay monthly. As a casual player, buying mounts, big backs, etc. meant I could get on with enjoying more gameplay quicker. EQ2 was a dead world, Extended is not.

    While the MMO market is hugely bigger than it was, so is the competition. There might have been an expectation that niche brands – Star trek, Star Wars, DC, might have been able to withstand F2P market logic – but LOTRO has probably put paid to that.

    Ultimately, these guys have shareholders…if DCUO manages to get subs for 6 years in significant numbers, it will have done well. If those numbers go down after 18 months, they won’t invest in the next.

    BTW, I’m having a blast in DCUO – it lacks polish, sure (MMO launch), and is a little more FPS-ey than your typical MMO, but right now it’s cool. It will need the (lots) more content they are promising, though.

  3. The only problem i have with all of this DCU news is, no one is reviewing the GAME?! . So the pre-orders were messy, so it is a subscription game, so it is priced differently in different territories, so there is different servers , so it is on ps3 and pc ……yet everyone is reviewing SOE here not DC Universe .

    Unfortunately this is not what is going to dictate my decision of playing or not playing ANY game. So even that post from Ubnsubject is pretty much useless and academic. It does not say one single word about the game and how it PLAYS during launch…

    • I’m sure there will be many blogs/websites reviewing the game in the coming weeks. Kotaku doesn’t give full reviews on any MMO until the 1 month anniversary of said MMO.

      Whether you realize it or not, SoE is under a microscope right now. As a long time subscriber to SoE and their games, I can tell you that SoE’s business practices under the leadership of John Smedley has been shady at best, deceptive at worst. SoE has been caught in many pickles as of late, and this is just icing on the proverbial cake.

  4. Subs have never been about getting content to the players. They are about monetizing player inertia. Content generation is a potential side benefit, but it’s obviously not a guarantee.

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