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5-04-2011 @ 2:12PM
"We've expanded upon what you get for your monthly subscription by leaps and bounds since the game was first released, but the subscription price has not changed."I really love that he pointed out this, it's so true. I think WoW has a very reasonable subscription fee for the fantastic game we get. It's one of the most polished and long-running MMOs out there. People can complain if they really want to, but there's no denying how good we have it. The customer service is fantastic, the quality of the game is astounding. They could have upped the subscription on us any time I'm sure, but padding that additional value with completely optional features is fantastic in my opinion.
5-04-2011 @ 2:52PM
My only complaint about this comment is that it comes off sounding like they're doing us a favor by not hiking up the price; when in reality we continue to pay the subscription fee because we're consistently getting new content. If they'd have left the game static and not given us all these new quality of life upgrades and new content "for free" then most of the player base would have stopped paying said subscription. I also feel that a lot a the different costs should be rolled together. For example, my uncle plays on another server Alliance side, my toons are all Horde, if I want to go play with his guild I have to start a new toon (which I've done) or transfer. Doing the latter would cost me $50 per toon when I think a straight $25 fee would be enough and should be able to select multiple toons to transfer per transaction.
5-04-2011 @ 3:13PM
I look at it this way: for the price of two WoW subscriptions, my husband and I could go to one non-matinee movie and share popcorn. That's $30 for two hours' entertainment, no dinner, and assuming grandparents are willing/available to provide free babysitting (unreliable). Heck yeah, compared to that, WoW is an incredibly good deal. Yeah, if our entire guild decided to server/faction transfer we'd be in a bind, because $120 to move just our two mains would be prohibitive. But we can cross that bridge when we come to it -- which may (and hopefully will) never happen at all. I don't feel like my game experience is hampered by the cost of 'premium' services, or like I'm missing out by not utilizing them.
5-04-2011 @ 3:23PM
Unfortunately it is Not true. While the pure month-to-month subscription has remained the same, the cost for those who purchase 3 or 6 mo blocks have seen an increase. When I started my account back in '05 the 6mo subscription cost $67, a little over $11/mo. My most recent 6mo re-subscription cost around $80, making it over $13/mo. While yes, it is still cheaper than the $15/mo that people who pay month-to-month, there's just much less incentive to do it. so for Mr Zar to say that the cost has not increased, it is really a statement that is somewhere between a 1/2 and 3/4 truth.
@Devin- you are forgetting about the impact of inflation. Because Blizzard hasn't raised the subscription fee since it started, they are in effect earning less money per subscription now than they were five years ago. Blizzard needs to make up the money somewhere, and it can't just rely on increased volume to do it (increased volume adds increased costs). And they can't just decide to turn out less of a profit, since they have to answer to their shareholders/Activision. This is ultimately the best solution to a complex problem.
5-04-2011 @ 3:45PM
PodPeople, I've been paying the 6-month subscription for quite some time, and I don't ever recall it being below $12.99/month. I am more than willing to admit my memory is a bit foggy and I could be wrong here, but I wanted to point out that several US states now have online subscription taxes which could be accounting for the discrepancy:http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&articleId=21266&parentCategoryId&pageNumber=1&categoryId=2324
5-04-2011 @ 4:08PM
@PodPeople- while your statement about the multi month bundle increase is true, when they say the subscription price has not increased they are talking about the $15 month to month fee since that is the actual subscription price, the lower cost multi-month fees are considered a discount off of the subscription fee so if those prices increase but the $15 stays the same then all they are doing at that point is reducing the discount %, so technically the statement that they have not increased the sub fee can be considered absolutely true. I see where you were coming from but from a legal/business standpoint since they have always advertised the multi-month subs as "discounted" then the month to month would be the only one taken into account when discussing subscription fee flux.
5-04-2011 @ 4:27PM
I agree, the cost of the subscription (monthly) is pretty cheap compared to other entertainment avenues. I mean movie tickets are up to $10 in some places, add popcorn and a soda and you're looking at $20 for one person. I admit, I play bingo with my aunt (I'm 30.. going on.. well lets not go there!). The place I go offers a cheap package for $13, BUT its only 3 hours of something to do (and not guaranteed success!). If I play a regular package, its $25, and still the possibility of winning and coming home with anything is low.. Soo, a month of wow, as many hours as I want to/am able to play - with a success rate that is always high depending on what I set out to do (I don't raid, I don't do heroics (yet, i'm leveling another alt for that) is well worth the money for me.Where faction and server transfers are concerned, I really can't say if its worth it or not. I started fresh on a different server because my main server was having connection issues one weekend and I wanted to play. This second server became the place where my Horde toons live. I've tossed around the idea of server-transferring my horde alts from my main server, but I don't see the point because I haven't played those alts in so long that I forget how they work. For me, its easier to start again. I tend to focus on one thing for a while, or get sidetracked by starting a toon that levels alongside a friend of mine, then that one sits till she can play again. If we're both playing for a while, my 'solo acts' collect dust. When I go back, I forget what I was doing. So for me, I'd probably never use those specific services.. but every player is different.. and it makes sense to have those options available to people who wish to transfer with a guild, or with friends.I also think bundling is a good idea, and I'm surprised they haven't come up with it. I read something about guild transfers, where your membership in the guild transfers to a new realm as long as you pay your transfer fee. That seems to be a step in the right direction. I think if you've got 3 toons you want to send to another server, for whatever reason, some type of discount could be applied.. kind of like the monthly/3 month/6 month subscriptions. 1 costs x dollars, 3 costs x - 1 dollars, 5 costs x - 2 dollars.. or however they'd work it out to make it make sense to want to send more than one.
5-04-2011 @ 5:19PM
Loop: thanks for the info, I think you may have nailed it down. I actually wasn't aware of some state gov's had started taxing subscriptions, and I do in fact currently live in one of those states, it really should be officially renamed Taxachussetts. However, I'm quite certain that the multi-month subscription fees did start to increase during the time period before I was living in one of the taxing states.
5-05-2011 @ 8:50AM
WoW is among the most expensive MMO games to start and continue playing, perhaps the single most expensive. No other game forces you to spend $120 right off the bat just to be current with expansion packs ($40 for a Battle Chest, $40 for WotLK, $40 for Cataclysm, as of today from the Blizzard Store). And most other MMOs offer cheaper payment options (I'm paying $10 per month for a LotRO sub, for example, and I get $5 back to spend on the online store each month)Besides, in a couple years, I would expect features like Blizzard's Mobile Armory to be standard in other games. It's already starting; EQ2 Mobile is (AFAIK) free and offers for Everquest II players everything WoW players get from WoW's Mobile Armory, and some more. GW2 is also planning mobile access to, at least, guild chat and AH, also for free. Which basically means that, when comparing with those games, you need to look at WoW's subscription as if it was $18 per month ($15 for the game, $3 for the mobile access other games are granting for free).As for value added services, while I agree that there's a cost for setting them up, if properly planned and implemented they can be virtually cost free to operate. Take server transfer, for example; GW lets me transfer my character between any two servers (say, a US one and a Korean one), for free, in less than 10 seconds; I just pick the server I want to go from a list and I'm there. And it's not the only game letting players do this for free. Most other services could be the same, it's just a matter of setting them properly in a way that minimizes operational costs.I do think it's already bitting WoW back. The player base has been mostly stagnant for the last couple years (11.5 million players at the start of 2009, 12 million players at the start of 2011); WoW has been losing market share, due to it growing much slower than the MMO market, for a few years already. Seems like it's having a somewhat hard time drawing more players than it loses.BTW, just to get it out of the way: I don't think WoW will die, or even reach irrelevancy, in the next few years, barring some really bad moves from Activision-Blizzard. No other MMO should be able to kill it (surpassing it in key markets might be feasible in a year or two, depending on market conditions and new releases, although beating it's total number of subscribers worldwide will not be so easy a task and actually making WoW close should be as likely as finding a snowman in hell). But I do think WoW will decline in market share to less than half the subscription market in the next year or two.
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