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  1. #1

    Alternative subscription options

    For people who have very limited time to play, say only a few hours on the weekends, should blizzard offer a /day or /hour subscription model, something like 30 cents/hour or 1$/day, or the sorts?

    Maintaining a server in terms of costs has gone down dramatically over the years with the advent of VMs and insane ramp up of physical power, an AMD Epyc CPU with 96 cores / 192 threads could probably power all of the original WoW servers and still have room to spare.

    So it's not like Blizzard can even justify needing 15$ from a player for the monthly upkeep alone, and it's not a debatable question that the amount of content they deliver per patch, on average, doesn't justify the monthly fee, especially with the amount of money they make on the game box and MTXes, which cost nothing to run and are insanely priced (20$ to change a name in a database, 30$ for a race change, 60$ for a char boost and so on).

    So for someone like me who would only play a few hours on the weekend, paying 15$/month (the price of a quality game on sale, or 3A game for 2 months) + expansion costs just to do some PVP and quests makes no sense, even if it is cheap.

    For the love of god, read the above before vomiting out the tired old "it's the price of a movie" trope. This has nothing to do with that.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    For people who have very limited time to play, say only a few hours on the weekends, should blizzard offer a /day or /hour subscription model, something like 30 cents/hour or 1$/day, or the sorts?

    Maintaining a server in terms of costs has gone down dramatically over the years with the advent of VMs and insane ramp up of physical power, an AMD Epyc CPU with 96 cores / 192 threads could probably power all of the original WoW servers and still have room to spare.

    So it's not like Blizzard can even justify needing 15$ from a player for the monthly upkeep alone, and it's not a debatable question that the amount of content they deliver per patch, on average, doesn't justify the monthly fee, especially with the amount of money they make on the game box and MTXes, which costs nothing to run and are insanely priced (20$ to change a name in a database, 30$ for a race change, 60$ for a char boost and so on).

    So for someone like me who would only play a few hours on the weekend, paying 15$/month (the price of a quality game on sale, or 3A game for 2 months) + expansion costs just to do some PVP and quests makes no sense, even if it is cheap.

    For the love of god, read the above before vomiting out the tired old "it's the price of a movie" trope. This has nothing to do with that.
    It's not a matter of efficiency, which is what you are suggesting, though—if it were just to cover the price perfectly, that would be an efficiency-based production system. We live in a capitalist profit system, which means that a company is more driven by achieving demand equilibrium—they will try to squeeze out the most profit from minimal production, and prices are elastic with demand. If demand goes up or down, prices will respond inversely until an equilibrium that maximizes profits is found.

    It's not a bad thing, strictly, it's simply how the world works. If you want Blizzard to lower prices, demand will have to lower for subscriptions as they are. They'll charge less if they feel legitimate pressure to lower prices. As it seems like the players who pay for their subscriptions and sell tokens are giving them equal or more profit compared to players who play for free, Blizzard has an incentive to keep prices high since the whales and subscription players will pay, the former implicitly covering all the lost profit of players who don't pay subscriptions and use tokens instead.
    Last edited by Le Conceptuel; 2022-07-22 at 06:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Conceptuel View Post
    It's not a matter of efficiency, which is what you are suggesting, though—if it were just to cover the price perfectly, that would be an efficiency-based production system. We live in a capitalist profit system, which means that a company is more driven by supply and demand equilibrium—they will try to squeeze out the most profit from minimal investment.

    It's not a bad thing, strictly, it's simply how the world works. If you want Blizzard to lower prices, demand will have to lower for subscriptions as they are. They'll charge less if they feel legitimate pressure to lower prices. As it seems like the players who pay for their subscriptions and sell tokens are giving them equal or more profit compared to players who play for free, Blizzard has an incentive to keep prices high since the whales and subscription players will pay, the former implicitly covering all the lost profit of players who don't pay subscriptions and use tokens instead.
    Ok, but I know a lot of people I used to play with, myself included, who would be willing to pay a bit of money to play every now and then, but would definitely not pay an entire monthly fee again, since it's not justified from a "what I can get from other games vs just from WoW" perspective.

    And I can imagine there's a lot of other people who feel the same way.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    Ok, but I know a lot of people I used to play with, myself included, who would be willing to pay a bit of money to play every now and then, but would definitely not pay an entire monthly fee again, since it's not justified from a "what I can get from other games vs just from WoW" perspective.

    And I can imagine there's a lot of other people who feel the same way.
    Sure, that's your observation, but Blizzard employs actual economists who will influence their business decisions. They have far more information than you do and consequently have a better understanding of what will maximize profits. The simple fact is that we can only infer a lot of information regarding subscription numbers, retention etc. that they have immediate and accurate access to.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Conceptuel View Post
    It's not a matter of efficiency, which is what you are suggesting, though—if it were just to cover the price perfectly, that would be an efficiency-based production system. We live in a capitalist profit system, which means that a company is more driven by achieving demand equilibrium—they will try to squeeze out the most profit from minimal production, and prices are elastic with demand. If demand goes up or down, prices will respond inversely until an equilibrium that maximizes profits is found.

    It's not a bad thing, strictly, it's simply how the world works. If you want Blizzard to lower prices, demand will have to lower for subscriptions as they are. They'll charge less if they feel legitimate pressure to lower prices. As it seems like the players who pay for their subscriptions and sell tokens are giving them equal or more profit compared to players who play for free, Blizzard has an incentive to keep prices high since the whales and subscription players will pay, the former implicitly covering all the lost profit of players who don't pay subscriptions and use tokens instead.
    TRUE. Blizz rely in the proffit the game gives...Even with the low content drops for a monthly pay game...but i guess they finally, again, realize that ppl want content because is the way to engage in the game. In Warlords they promised more content drop in the next expansion and they did it! BUT in BfA the returned to their roots and until today they are trying to squeeze the last drop from players...Result? Subscription dropped and now they are investing like crazy on advertising (now im bombarded on youtube) and promised "more" content in DF.

    About the subscription prize...last year we saw some counties increased the monthly fee and sooner or later that will happen for the rest so don't expect any friendly blizzard alternatives for subscription because now u need to buy 2 month if u pay with the money u have on your Blizzard account and that's nos friendly at all...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathos View Post
    TRUE. Blizz rely in the proffit the game gives...Even with the low content drops for a monthly pay game...but i guess they finally, again, realize that ppl want content because is the way to engage in the game. In Warlords they promised more content drop in the next expansion and they did it! BUT in BfA the returned to their roots and until today they are trying to squeeze the last drop from players...Result? Subscription dropped and now they are investing like crazy on advertising (now im bombarded on youtube) and promised "more" content in DF.

    About the subscription prize...last year we saw some counties increased the monthly fee and sooner or later that will happen for the rest so don't expect any friendly blizzard alternatives for subscription because now u need to buy 2 month if u pay with the money u have on your Blizzard account and that's nos friendly at all...
    Admittedly, being bombarded with advertisements could've just meant you've fed the algorithm by consuming large amounts of WarCraft content, especially if you use a singular Google account across multiple websites, but that's generally a correct observation!

    Either way, there's simply no way to change the price except for people to pay less, and even then that won't have immediate effects—they'll have to experiment and figure out what the people want over a longer period so they can be sure of the changing demand. Again, it's not that Blizzard is maliciously trying to rip you off or anything—that's just how markets work.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Conceptuel View Post
    Sure, that's your observation, but Blizzard employs actual economists who will influence their business decisions. They have far more information than you do and consequently have a better understanding of what will maximize profits. The simple fact is that we can only infer a lot of information regarding subscription numbers, retention etc. that they have immediate and accurate access to.
    Doubtful, as a game economy analyst for 3 years who focuses on player retention, we usually get our information on return players by giving surveys to players who've left or existing players who show diminished spending or time played in a game.
    We also track their account activity on anything shop related for a game such as browsing or simply opening offer links and what they've browsed.

    Nobody I know has ever received such a survey, and we've stopped playing for almost 2 years.

    I can also tell you that analysts aren't nearly as omnipotent as you'd believe, and while they do have a lot of data (too much, oftentime), they don't really know how to interpret it.

    I did an interview at Ubisoft a few months ago for a data analyst, they told me they store data on every single bullet fired in every single game of Rainbow Siege: bullet spawn location, travel route, damage done, where it hit, everything.
    When I asked them what they do with that data, they told me "uh, nothing for now, but we're analysing how to use it".

    Then they started spouting AI and ML buzzwords and I phased out.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    Ok, but I know a lot of people I used to play with, myself included, who would be willing to pay a bit of money to play every now and then, but would definitely not pay an entire monthly fee again, since it's not justified from a "what I can get from other games vs just from WoW" perspective.

    And I can imagine there's a lot of other people who feel the same way.
    And they give in, buy the expansion and a month sub, and they play 2 hours, get their fix and repeat 1 year after.

    Blizzard aint dumb, it aint gonna lose $.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by potis View Post
    And they give in, buy the expansion and a month sub, and they play 2 hours, get their fix and repeat 1 year after.

    Blizzard aint dumb, it aint gonna lose $.
    I paid for the expansion and a month sub, did all the quests in all the zones then stopped playing.

    If Blizz would now give me let's say, a daily sub option, I would also pay every saturday to do PVP.
    As things are, I don't pay them anything.

    They are losing potential money as things stand. 52$ /year to be exact, maybe more if I played 2 days a week.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    Doubtful, as a game economy analyst for 3 years who focuses on player retention, we usually get our information on return players by giving surveys to players who've left or existing players who show diminished spending or time played in a game.
    We also track their account activity on anything shop related for a game such as browsing or simply opening offer links and what they've browsed.

    Nobody I know has ever received such a survey, and we've stopped playing for almost 2 years.

    I can also tell you that analysts aren't nearly as omnipotent as you'd believe, and while they do have a lot of information, they don't really know how to interpret it.

    I did an interview at Ubisoft a few months ago for a data analyst, they told me they store data on every single bullet fired in every single game of Rainbow Siege: bullet spawn location, travel route, damage done, where it hit, everything.
    When I asked them what they do with that data, they told me "uh, nothing for now, but we're analysing how to use it".

    Then they started spouting AI and ML buzzwords and I phased out.
    Well, firstly, > doubt, but I'll go ahead and put that aside and take what you're saying as absolute fact simply for the sake of argument.

    Blizzard actually has started giving out those surveys since at least 2018, firstly, so they definitely have that information. They also have access, again, to precise subscriber numbers—we don't, which severely impedes third-party observation. Sure, we have personal testimony to rely on, but that doesn't give us anything useful in the slightest because personal testimony is a microcosm that doesn't always reflect the state of the macrocosm.

    As for interpretation, you're bringing up another microcosm—this is a particular case you've observed in relation to a statement from somebody for, if I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, a job in data analysis. Does this reflect the macrocosm? Not strictly. We don't have sufficient information—a data analyst ought to understand the importance of a sufficient sample size before making assumptions. You're assuming because a single person who was recruiting for a particular job in an entirely different company didn't have full understanding of what they're doing that the same applies to the data analysis team at Blizzard.

    Now, I'm not saying that Blizzard are perfect decision-makers—I think there's a particular moral hazard problem, for one. A lot of people blame the shareholders for why things are going so poorly, but I actually blame Kosack, who seems more intent on maximizing personal profits by withholding or distorting information given to the shareholders. However, Kosack will be gone soon, and Microsoft is likely going to be less susceptible to that kind of moral hazard. If there's really a problem with the subscriber prices, that will likely be resolved soon. For now, we can't make assumptions about what is best for Blizzard or not, and we further can't make any decisions other than simply to try to impact prices with walkouts.

  11. #11
    I'm purposefully going to ignore most of what you've written in your OP and say it's the prize of a good pizza at an italian restaurant. If you can't afford that, use in-game currency and play for free. If you can't do that, maybe the game isn't for you anymore.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    I paid for the expansion and a month sub, did all the quests in all the zones then stopped playing.
    Then you fell for it, thats the point, you gave 39.99 or 49.99 whatever it is, +15$, why would they do that expansion + only what you are willing to pay and lose 10-12$?

    The whole game design is based around making people pay that, and keep them as long as possible cause they know there is a huge amount of people that want to return just for a bit, so they have random carrots to hook different type of players for 1-2 more months per expansion for the $.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    For people who have very limited time to play, say only a few hours on the weekends, should blizzard offer a /day or /hour subscription model, something like 30 cents/hour or 1$/day, or the sorts?
    ok, lets go with 1$/day, and you only play on weekends, thats 8-10$/month, sub is 13$... if 3-5$/month is such a huge financial difference for you that its actualy worth talking about maybe you should think about different things, like how not to starve... and if you play less than that, perhaps its just not worth it? especialy with game like WOW, where if you want to play once a month you wont be finished with current expansion untill 2030...

    its a subscription model as every other, if you dont think you play enough to justify the sub price DONT SUBSCRIBE...
    do you also want your cable tv to be paid only for days you watched something? jeez some people...

  14. #14
    When the OP has the incredibly simplistic, and incorrect, mindset that thinks the monthly subscription goes to server fees, and content.....the thread should just be deleted.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ablib View Post
    When the OP has the incredibly simplistic, and incorrect, mindset that thinks the monthly subscription goes to server fees, and content.....the thread should just be deleted.
    enlighten us
    show up how that's "incredibly" ""simplistic"

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Lolites View Post
    ok, lets go with 1$/day, and you only play on weekends, thats 8-10$/month, sub is 13$... if 3-5$/month is such a huge financial difference for you that its actualy worth talking about maybe you should think about different things, like how not to starve... and if you play less than that, perhaps its just not worth it? especialy with game like WOW, where if you want to play once a month you wont be finished with current expansion untill 2030...

    its a subscription model as every other, if you dont think you play enough to justify the sub price DONT SUBSCRIBE...
    do you also want your cable tv to be paid only for days you watched something? jeez some people...
    I said Saturdays maybe sundays, that's 4$ or more per month, if i play every saturday.

    Why do you people always have to take every example to the extreme just to fit your defensive narrative of everything blizzard does?

    Did you even read the post to see that my point is I'm not missing money, but that the cost of paying 15$ for something I might only play a few days a month is heavily counterbalanced by my being able to spend that money on entirely new games?

    What do you care what my intent is? I already stated that all I want to do is some PVP and quests now and then. I have games from 2008 I still haven't finished. You think I've finished every MMO i've ever played? Have you?

    And yeah, for the cable TV I actually DO, it's why I don't pay for it. But I WOULD if they would offer me the options.

    That's the entire fucking point of this tread.
    Last edited by AppleWhiskey; 2022-07-22 at 07:06 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    I paid for the expansion and a month sub, did all the quests in all the zones then stopped playing.

    If Blizz would now give me let's say, a daily sub option, I would also pay every saturday to do PVP.
    As things are, I don't pay them anything.

    They are losing potential money as things stand. 52$ /year to be exact, maybe more if I played 2 days a week.
    Yes, and they stand to loses millions on literally every raid logger out there who would only log in their select few days when Blizzard could be milking them for their full price.

    Blizzard isn't dumb when it comes to the art of business, like any other big corporation. If they had even the slightest hint that an alternative idea would net them a larger profit, they would have gone for it long ago.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Very Tired View Post
    Yes, and they stand to loses millions on literally every raid logger out there who would only log in their select few days when Blizzard could be milking them for their full price.

    Blizzard isn't dumb when it comes to the art of business, like any other big corporation. If they had even the slightest hint that an alternative idea would net them a larger profit, they would have gone for it long ago.
    You can't really raid by logging in only one day a week, it usually has to be at least 2-3, and by that point you're basically paying the monthly fee.
    And you have to consider that in this case, many other raiders might also come back, even if it was only to raid 1 days a week.

  18. #18
    Inflation calculator says that $15.00 in 2004 is equal to $23.53 in 2022. Be glad that they have not increased the monthly fee.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    They are losing potential money as things stand. 52$ /year to be exact, maybe more if I played 2 days a week.
    For the same money one could also buy 4 months of game time. There are a lot of people who just have a sub so they can play whenever they want. If all those people had the choice to pay a day here and there Blizzard would lose a much more money than they'd get back from people like yourself.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by AppleWhiskey View Post
    enlighten us
    show up how that's "incredibly" ""simplistic"

    There isn't a discussion that can be had that can raise an IQ by 50 (minimum). If you're a teenager, then that's fair, you get a pass since you haven't really learned how life works yet. If you're older, then the only thing I can suggest is to go back to school and learn a skill. Before you get emo over this suggestion, take a step back and look at yourself.

    As for your original idea of alternative options for paying for a monthly sub (by the hour/day) -- this is already a model they have in other countries. They know how it works. If they haven't released this yet in NA/EU, then it's likely for a reason. I don't know what those reasons are, but I would think high up on the list would be support reasons (billing disputes), and...exactly how much cheaper can the WoW sub be? Even if you played 2 hours per day on Sat/Sun, that's less than $1 a day.

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