Coming off of yesterday’s post about EverQuest 2 turning to a DLC model, I started to think about MMOs in general and whether or not the entire industry could actually benefit from an (ready for it?) ‘ideal’ DLCÂ system.
Since a subscription seems to be taboo, what if the game simply cost the box price to get started. Then, instead of subscription, monthly or every other month (or honestly however often they can make it…)Â content updates were released that, in the total of a year, added up to what would normally be added to the game in an expansion.
The monthly content would be separate from regular maintenance patching that would improve the overall game. Balance changes, regular updates to existing content, etc., are all included in the base price. The DLC would be $15-$20 each. Â There could even be an option to subscribe for $15/month and gain access to all DLC as long as you subscribe — such systems technically exist already.
Effectively, regular DLC is like a subscription except for the fact that players end up getting much, much more than a normal subscription would normally yield. It’s also optional.
A few problems…
- DLC seems to inherently demand instancing which truncates the world and segregates players
- Greatly depends on the dev team being capable of creating regular updates and publishing content
- The psychology of players dropping $15 on a purchase vs. $15 in a subscription is a hurdle, and if the contnet were spaced then the psychology of dropping $30, $45, etc., at a time seems even worse despite being no more than a subscription
- Opportunity for devs to take in a regularÂ cash
- Optional for players to pick and choose what content appeals to them
- Creates the opportunity for a lot of new content
- Regular yearly expansions can still be released to raise the level cap for everyone and provide a one-time $60 increase with lots more content
This all relies on an ideal. The ideal being that the content is amazing and quality is high. Rushing content to collect cash ruins the entire plan. Since that’s where most of the ‘business’ side would rush it, I question whether such a system could ever work. But if we could actually see the MMO industry respect quality, respect GOOD gameplay/design then we could work within the ‘spirit’ of the subscription model.
Ideas? Thoughts? I’m curious to know how you’d react to buying an MMO at the regular box price and having it be a full MMO without a subscription or F2P cash shop, but have there be micro-expansions or DLC packs come out with new content (and rewards). Â Would you be willingÂ to buy one every 3 months for $45? Every month for $15?