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My Guess: DLC Will Evolve into Monthly Subscription to Play Civ 6; Licensed Mods

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Jatta Pake, Mar 12, 2011.

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  1. Selous

    Selous King

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    i believe that PC gaming has already taken a reverse course, with small developers being able to advertise and distribute to a very wide audience ... imo your view of the game market has been distorted by the rise of consoles in the past few years, with DLC and P2P networking being king. This has ported over to PC gaming due to the profits generated by these methods, but i do not believe that it is sustainable on a platform like the PC
     
  2. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Alright. Let's leave aside your reasoning that Single Player games won't be able to charge a subscription fee. I understand you believe that, and I'm sure you understand that I believe that will eventually no longer be a barrier. Are there any other reasons you feel that AAA title subscription gaming wouldn't be sustainable on the PC platform?

    More to the point, if everyone goes the exclusive DRM route, what exactly is stopping them from moving to subscriptions (for DRM and the games themselves)? I don't believe consumer sentiment will stop them, as there already seems to be a number of people happy to line up to pay more for less. It's not too bad now, so I believe that many don't realize what they're setting themselves up for.

    What happens 5, 6, 7, 8 years from now when most of us have nearly all of our games on DRM, and little by little we begin to get notices that we have to being paying fees and subscriptions? Does everyone just say "No way!" and give up all their games? I don't think so. I imagine they'll start off small enough that people will grumble, but pay to avoid losing their games, and over time the payments will increase.
     
  3. Selous

    Selous King

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    the thing that i dont get is why someone would pay per month for a static single player environment, most hardcore gamers i know wouldnt, and it is poor value for money for casual gamers ... as opposed to MMO games that require a dynamic environment (aka everchanging and constantly updated)
    EVE release xpacs free as a way to entice players to continue to purchace subscriptions, WOW charge for their xpacs but continue to update with "meaningful" patches that add content ... both these methods give a player a reason to contine playing/paying

    how could this be achieved with a game such as CIV? present day patches and DLC can be dished out on a monthly basis, but how much does this really add to the content of the game? and more importantly, how long can meaningful updates be continued? without being construed as being moneygrubbing and putting off the fanbase

    i do not believe that subscription would be sustainable on the PC platform because any small time game developer can advertise and distribute at a low cost, to a world market for a low cost

    i got nothing here, people are stupid, i blame consoles, nothing is stopping people at all, perhaps people will see the damage that micro transactions are doing to the industry :cry:
    i see that general quality of indie games will get better and distribution will become more mainstream as they become more intigrated with steam and the such, these low development cost games will keep the AAA titles in check

    at least this is the future that i hope to see!!
     
  4. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    double post
     
  5. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Any small time developer can go one of 2 distinct directions. One is obscurity/minor cult following, which will have little effect, if any, on the industry and its practices as a whole. The other direction is huge success, which if that happens the most likely course of events for them would be to become part of this system of DRM and fee based content. As I put it earlier, today's successful indie game is tomorrow's AAA title, and they'll just be another part of the system.

    A game like Civ doesn't have to have the longevity of an MMO in order to make more money from subscriptions than it does selling in a box. If you sell a subscription to someone for $10 month, and they play for 6 months, you've made $60 from that person. It doesn't have to last several years like WoW or EVE.

    In essence, you're arguing that it can't happen by asking how they would achieve something that doesn't need to be achieved. The ONLY thing that needs to be achieved to make Single Player games move to a subscription model is to get people accustomed to the idea of paying little by little (like DLC is doing now), and limit their options (as Civ already did by requiring Steam with no other choices).

    Theoretically, nothing is stopping them from charging you a subscription for Civ V (or any other Single Player game they own exclusivity to) this very instant, other than it's not the norm yet. That's the key point. Not enough games are DRM only yet. But I think that will change in a few years, and once that happens, all power is in the hands of DRM. I simply can't believe that they won't find a way to milk more money out of that power after they spend years and $$$ to get it. Subscriptions seem the most logical way for them to do that.
     
  6. Tapewormlondon

    Tapewormlondon Warlord

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  7. radiohodet

    radiohodet Chieftain

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    Haha, is this forum for real sometimes? Nothing the in the original post makes any sense whatsoever. People have to step outside their Civ 4 bubble sometimes. Monthly subscription is a dying feature even in MMORPGs. There is no chance that any single player game can ever justify a monthly subscription fee. I don't think anyone would be suicidal enough to try either.
     
  8. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Casual gamers won't, but I'm not sure that more hard core gamers wouldn't. And if it's profitable, it's virtually guaranteed to happen sometime, somewhere. It could almost be considered a law of physics.
     
  9. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Why?

    Some people pay subscriptions to watch TV at home alone.
    Some people pay to go to the batting cages alone.
    Some people pay memberships to go to the gym alone.
    Some people pay rent/mortgages for cabins in the wilderness so they can be alone.
    Some people pay security companies for alarms so they can be left alone. (haha)
    Some people pay subscriptions for magazines, puzzles, and newspapers they can read alone.

    This list could continue almost infinitely. These things are obviously profitable or nobody would provide those services.

    You get the idea. Why exactly are video games different? Why would it be suicide, especially if the DRM's are in a position to make subscription the only option aside from not playing at all, as they already are for some games?

    Some of you have multiple games on Steam right now. What would you say if you had 12 games on Steam (or any other DRM), and tomorrow Steam said you have to start paying a $2.99 monthly fee to manage your account, or lose access to your games? Would you pay it? What is stopping them from changing the terms of the SSA (Steam Subscriber Agreement) at a moment's notice? Not the SSA itself, that's for sure. It's explicit that they can change the terms for any reason with 30 days notice (section 4. B). The only thing stopping them is that it's not the norm for video games yet, and people have options other than DRM. So not enough people are in the position I am describing yet.

    That is changing though, and as it does, as our power to choose (DRM or not) for more games is taken away, the only thing to do is wonder "Why was it taken away?" Some will say the answer is to stop piracy, but that will never happen, and it's a smokescreen answer from DRM's. The real answer is, so they can charge more.
     
  10. Tapewormlondon

    Tapewormlondon Warlord

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    But this is the problem. Casual gamers FAR outnumber hardcore - hence why all products are being geared towards them.......and have been for some time. The gaming industry isnt going to to go gung ho for hardcore gamers as its not profitable. Casual is the new market.
     
  11. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    It doesn't matter how much casual gamers outnumber hardcore. And no, not ALL games are being geared towards them, though it certainly feels like all my old favorites are... Hardcore games are/can be still profitable, especially if they do what I believe they are moving towards. Every market is dynamic, and niches rise and fall all over the place. The common theme for successful product niches is profitability. There is always going to be a subset of the market willing to pay for games developed for them, and there will be ever progressing and evolving ways of charging those people more and more for it, which is exactly what I'm saying is happening already.

    I'd love to continue posting, but I gotta get to bed. Enjoy your 'free' (after initial purchase, meaning non subscription) access to single player games while you can.
     
  12. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    However, it does not seem that a subscription model would be a terribly strong business model for a game like civ. Having a subscription model, means that a game must be near perfect at release (requiring a big investment in development and testing), otherwise you risk losing a lot of the initial in flux of subscribers due to disappointment, which will be hard to get back. Imagine, if civ5 with its terrible launch, was a subscription, probably only the most hardcore of fans would have stuck around. (And we all know that that is not where the money is.) In the case of civ5, people made an initial investment, after which playing the game is free. This means that people that initially quite may at some point after patches have been released try again. If they are please at what they see, they may even pay for some more DLC.

    Even if the game is good at launch, you will still have a problem with the more casual gamers (where most of the profit is to be made) which play a game for a couple of months and then move on. With the current model these clients yield $50+dlc in income. You'd need a very steep subscription fee to make up for that.

    I think overall, a microtransaction model (like the current DLC model) is stronger for a game like civ than a subscription model. Players of a civ game, always want more, (look at the popularity of everything and the kitchen sink type mods for civ4), a lot of players will be willing to pay for more content. Different players will however want new content at a different rate. With a DLC model, clients can buy new content at a rate that suits them (and their wallet), in the case of a subscription model, new content must be offered at a fixed rate for all consumers, this rate (and the subscription costs) will be dominated by the needs of the rather large group that doesn't want to spend too much. This means that a company is missing out on the business of the very content hungry crowd with large wallets that is prepared to spend $100+ per month on DLC. (These also exist.)

    In all a microtransaction model is much more flexible, and allows to cater to much more divers audience, than a subscription model.
     
  13. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    One more post before sleep.

    It doesn't HAVE to be a strong model if it's the ONLY model you can choose. Right now, you can choose lots of AAA games without subscriptions and without DRM. It won't stay that way forever. Once DRM locks up their competition and makes deals with all the AAA titles (who will be more than happy for the most part to do this, it means more money for them), then you have NO OTHER CHOICE.

    Would you choose not to play Civ V if your only choice was Steam? You've already made that choice! It's only a small jump from that to $2.99 subscription/month for DRM, and smaller still to jump up from there, especially AFTER all the other games worth playing have followed suit and are only available through the same paid DRM! And even MORE especially after that DRM has all of your games under lock and key unless you agree to begin paying the new fee! Sure, some indie games will offer an alternative, but most will suck and the good ones will eventually become part of the same system.
     
  14. Tapewormlondon

    Tapewormlondon Warlord

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    Also lets not forget the consumer finacial reach for a subscription model. How much do these games cost per month.......£4/ $8?, hell even at £2/ $4 per month I cannot see myself having many games on my "rental list". People would be cancelling games subscriptions left right and center in order to get newer games they wanted.

    How long does a normal game last? 4 months tops? doesnt seem like developers would get very much money compared to just selling it outright with added DLC.

    What if the game is crap? Then they get an initial influx of subcribers then they leave.....or worse still no one would subscribe after the free trial (There would have to be a free trial surely?).

    I just cant see it being finacially viable. If it was EA would have done it already, money grabbing theives that they are LOL!!!
     
  15. forty2j

    forty2j King

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    Mostly agree. If the subscription fee for single-player worked, StarCraft II would have a subscription fee. Instead.. it has free patches, a mod store, and 2 planned expansions.

    WoW's subscriber base suggests that monthly subscription isn't quite dead in MMO's, though. Besides, the money to support the network infrastructure, the thousands of servers, and the in-game live support staff of an MMO has to come from somewhere. I doubt Blizzard could pay those bills with free-to-play, subsisting on the vanity pet store.
     
  16. forty2j

    forty2j King

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    Interestingly, there was a rumor that Activision wanted to move Call of Duty to a paid subscription model, and the resistance to same is what led to the ouster of Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward's executives. I don't know if there was anything to that though. But if they did this, I don't think it would work out well -- depending on the platform, at least. I'm already paying an XBox Live subscription, so an extra sub to Activision would be disconcerting.
     
  17. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    MMOs like LOTRO have already adopted the DLC approach...
     
  18. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    You are completely missing the point. Why the industry opt for a business model that makes less profit. There is more profit to be made in a model selling lots of DLC, than there is in a model relying on subscriptions. (Which will result (for civ like games) in the majority of players playing a game for a while, getting bored, moving on and not returning.)
     
  19. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Fair enough. In the end, whether it's all DLC type or all subscription, we still wind up paying more. In some cases much more. End result is the same.

    What about DRM subscription (pay us or lose all of your games, as I've outlined earlier several times)? That's what I find even more likely, once they're in a position to do so.
     
  20. Vordeo

    Vordeo King

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    Do you have any evidence supporting that, outside of speculation?

    I find, for instance, Valve charging subscription fees for Steam, very unlikely to happen anytime soon.
     
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