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1-16-2009 @ 4:34PM
This most certainly is insurance. It's horribly set up insurance, as traditional insurance assumes that you're willing to pay a premium to avoid the risk of a hugely costly expense (loss of home, car, bodily function). 15 bucks a month isn't the sort of risk I need to insure.Second, the payout cap of 1.75 means that in the even that the servers *are* down, you're not really getting compensated for it. If the fee they charge is in the 6-15 dollar range and they pay 1.75x your fee back to you maximum, that won't even cover your subscription costs. I play on a rather stable, not terribly high population server. My fee from them would probably be around 5 bucks a month, and if I'm limited to getting 9 bucks back, why should I even bother? I have a good deal of consumer surplus from WoW (I'd be willing to pay more than the current monthly fees if the rates were hiked, as I enjoy a month of WoW quite a bit more than any other 15 bucks I spend monthly) so in the unlikely event that there is extended server downtime I'd get a whopping four bucks back, maximum. Since I'd already be willing to pay more to play WoW, they're utterly incapable of actually compensating me for the time I've lost.TL:DR version of that: I'd like lots of compensation in extreme situations (multi-day realm down) but if they cap payments at minor inconvenience levels, why bother? It's like having car insurance that pays out a maximum of a thousand bucks. Sure, it may pay for a fender bender, but that's not why you have insurance in the first place.With that being said, they bring up an interesting point in the 2nd part of the interview, which is funding their money through advertisements. If they can sustain this, they'll be able to nominally pay a benefit to WoW players, and still retain profit through advertising, which will actually enroll WoW players and thus provide a demographic for said advertising. However, to create that win/win situation, they need to be willing to take an initial loss by actually paying out a positive expectation, which is obviously risky to them if they don't have the actual revenue stream via ads yet.
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