Bioware: "There will always be a place for premium content at a premium price"
Sep 29, 2011
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on John Smedley's take on subscription-based MMOs. The Sony Online Entertainment president told
that they're on the way out: "In my opinion [Star Wars: The Old Republic] is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model. Why do I think that? Simply put, the world is moving on from this model and over time people aren't going to accept this method."
about Smedley's comments, Bioware's Greg Zeschuk seems to think that gamers will always be willing to cough up for quality: "Those are very kind words in a way. It's interesting - I think there will always be a place for premium content at a premium price and that's one of the differences."
Greg reckons brand loyalty is also a factor: "Free to play is very much about trial, about 'Hey, I don't know what this is, I don't have confidence that it's any good, but I'm willing to take a look at it,' versus 'I know this is good, from a trusted source, and it's the biggest license in the world.' So it's a different value proposition."
Fellow Bioware bigwig, Ray Muzyka had his say too: "There's more competition for entertainment dollars now than ever before from social and play for free, and all sorts of entertainment, which I think is actually really healthy from an entertainment industry perspective."
Muzyka also thinks quality of product is the most important aspect: "I agree with Greg that there's a space for a certain number of premium products that are subscription based or whatever the premium pricing model is. But they have to merit it, they have to earn that from a consumer trust perspective and delivering and exceeding expectations. I think The Old Republic is definitely in that triple-A premium category. That's the feedback reading from the players and data testing."
Has free to play changed the way you spend cash on games? Will you be laying down a subscription for The Old Republic? Let's talk cold hard cash in the comments.
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