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Pay-to-Play, Yay or Nay?

Written by a WiiTalk member on Thursday, 27 August 20098 Comments

Written by Lepruk86

Following the news that, in Japan, players will have to pay to play online in Monster Hunter 3 for the Wii, it got me thinking and I feel more and more like we are moving towards multiplayer and single player components of games being seperated by a mystical barrier called Pay-to-Play.

The recent onslaught of MMORPG’s coupled with their over-whelming popularity has lead companies to believe and conclude that people don’t mind paying a monthly fee for content updates; and whilst I feel there are some games where a fee in place makes sense; - such as MMO’s where the company actually has to host, maintain and store data for you (though the pricing is way too high for these kinds of basic services in some instances)… - there are other games that I feel this sort of business model really wouldn’t fit.

With Xbox cheekily charging a fiver a month (if you pay direct) to play games online you sort of feel like they are testing the waters for how far people will go to get that multiplayer kick. What if individual companies desire to start charging for people to play on their servers? That means we then would have to pay for gold and then pay even more to play on that secure and private server. Given the current state of the world economy I feel like this is asking too much from our wallets.

Now I know that there is no proposed business model of any sort currently in effect at this moment but do you honestly think that it isn’t possible in the near future? Also if they introduce it slowly; say £1 for a month to play all of Activision’s games online; would you even notice this extra quid? After a few years and you are paying that price per game I think the transition would have been so subtle that people would have just accepted it?

And here comes the meat of my question; what makes us more subjectable to accepting this kind of abuse from companies especially when it comes to something that has typically been free for several years? I am well aware and fully believe the *pay-to-play* model will cross over into other genres of games in due time but do we really care that much about multiplayer?

Now the fuse that started this is Diablo 3 - I know not a whole lot of love for that game on this board so I will keep this brief!!! - D1 and D2 were updated and patched for several years and the only charge was for the expansion that got released; you could host servers across Blizzard’s famed battlenet for free; have access to all points of the game for free as well as recieve several critical game patches…. for free!!! Yet there has been murmur’s that Blizzard will charge a premium subscription fee for D3 in order to have access to certain features.

If it was free before why can’t it be free now? After looking back over my old WOW account and reading the insane amount of money i sunk into playing that game; I suddenly feel annoyed and abused.

Now don’t get me wrong; in the case of something like Fallout 3 where there is PLENTY of content in the game; paying for the additional DLC is fine by me - In my eyes that’s just like buying an expansion - and I think most would agree that FO3 feels like a full game from the start; you don’t feel betrayed that the DLC content isn’t in the game already because they are seperate optional extras (though this is also a slippery slope where developer’s start leaving out content that was intended for the original game)….

So let me close out with a couple of direct questions:

1: Think of your favourite game you like playing online; Would you really grudge paying a couple of quid a month to play it (provided any new maps etc as well as balancing patches or w/e were free?) or likewise do you mind paying directly for new maps?

2: Do you think basic patch and bug fixes should cost money? In previous days bugs just remained in the games; because there was no way to patch them; so do we take this service for granted as well as the extra work that goes into it?

3: How many hours of content must a game have before you consider it an acceptable product? Do you care if content is purposefully left out to be sold as DLC later? (this has been known a couple of times)

My answers to these should be pretty obvious from what I have written; so thinking hats on; let’s hear yours.

If you would like to contribute to the WiiTalk blog, then please send your submissions to FooFan via the PM system on the forum.

8 Comments »

  • SammyPegs said:

    I wouldn’t mind paying if it was a once a year thing and if it was a much better service than the wii is currently giving. There is no way in hell I’d pay to play a game like pro evo where the only two options are playing against a friend or stranger.

  • red40 said:

    i think that the only way i would pay per month would be when the next gen wii comes out and offers a lot more online and better hard ware to go with it

  • venerable(ish)bede said:

    I’d feel somewhat more at ease paying for extra material rather than a game patch, which is essentially an admission that the software code was in some way faulty. I’m musing as I type about what other industries get away with selling a solution to an inherent fault to their customers . . . I jest, mostly.

  • Smits said:

    I dont think you should have to pay to play online at all. The reason i dont like the 360 is simply the fact i have to fork out ££££ to play online with my mates. If the wii follows, i’ll regret ever bothering to play it.

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  • rente said:

    Die nächste Mal, wenn ich read a weblog Ich hoffe, dass es enttäuscht mich, wie doesnt viel wie dieses. I implizieren, ich weiß es war meine Wahl, um Option lernen, aber I wirklich dachte youd haben Eines aufmerksamkeitsstarke zu sagen. Alles, was ich höre, ist ein Bündel von Jammern über etwas , dass Sie könnten Reparatur wenn Sie werent zu beschäftigt passieren Suche nach Aufmerksamkeit.

  • pie eater said:

    well, i’ve only got a wii and ps2, so my wifi games aren’t that advanced (but my friends do)if the monthly payment is relatively low and the game is awesome (halo,cod, modern warfare, just cuase,etc)and i know i have the time to play online and make the most of it, then i would pay for it.

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