The only thing that could make me play WoW right now is a pay-as-you-play subscription plan.
I tried playing WoW four times. Three trials and two months of paid play. On average, I find perhaps 2 – 3 hours of time to play per week, since weeks are busy. The price they’re asking for a WoW subscription, something like CHF 19.00 per month, is much too high for such a short amount of playtime. People like me get better mileage from free-to-play MMORPGs with RMT systems, such as Runes of Magic or Dragonica or donation-based ones like Shards of Dalaya.
What would fix all this is a pay-as-you-play plan for WoW. With the above numbers, based on current monthly WoW subscription costs, we’re at about CHF 6 per hour. Ridiculous! Silly! Nasty! Now how about CHF 0.50 per hour? Much better. For people like me, that’d be CHF 1.50/month for WoW, savings of 17.50. Until I’d reach the 19.00 of the current subscription plans, I’d have to play for 38 hours. Seems roughly fair to me. For anyone playing more than 38 hours/month, the normal subscription would be cheaper.
I have doubts that Blizzard would ever consider such a plan. Since they’re a North American company, they’re probably not so open to pricing models that work in Europe and Asia. But they’d at least have busy people like me as players and could make a few bucks a month off of us, compared to not earning anything from me at the moment. If the CHF 0.50/hour is high enough to be profitable, they’d be making money that they are not making now. Even if it isn’t profitable, it would drive up revenue, something that might be nice to report in a time when the North American economy is down.
One can dream. But until something like that happens, WoW is not for me 😦
What’s up with all of us posting about MMO pricing in May 2009 and not any earlier? 😛 Thanks, Tesh, for the heads-up 🙂