Are Console Gamers Ready To Submit To Pay-To-Play?
With the impending release of two huge console MMO games and the lack of serious subscription based titles previously available on console, I thought it would be the perfect time to ask the question. Are console gamers ready to bite the bullet and submit to the pay-to-play genre? As a PC gamer I find the subscription aspect of online and MMO titles to be a familiar element of online gaming. Ever since I first began enjoying the infinite possibilities of MMO gaming subscription titles have been present and although the general opinion of players seems to fluctuate, the financial model itself has been a constant for years.
However, it’s only with the release of the latest consoles that we’ve seen MMO developers try to conquer this growing market. MMO games aren’t totally alien to the world of console gamers. Plenty of free-to-play titles have made an appearance on the PlayStation and Xbox but none have really forced in-game purchases or reoccurring subscriptions. There’s a couple of exceptions to this rule but titles like FFXIV on PlayStation 3 are really just a way to entice gamers before the release of next-gen – if we’re honest it was basically a beta as the PlayStation 3 does not boast the technical power needed to successful support such large-scale games.
But now that both Sony and Microsoft boast far more powerful hardware on the console market, developers are taking note and attempting to entice console gamers into subscription based worlds, but will it work? I know many console gamers that couldn’t even tell you the definition of MMO, and the thought of paying a subscription each month seems totally baffling to them. How do you convince an entirely new audience of gamers of the value of a paid service without them taking the blind dive and paying for it?
It’s not entirely a battle of educating a new audience as there’s obviously a host of PC gamers that also enjoy console gaming, and with many of the biggest upcoming MMO’s boasting launches across all 3 platforms, it won’t be surprising to find at least some PC gamers opting to choose the console experience. After all, a sofa and 48inch TV does seem a little more appealing than a PC chair and 28inch monitor. But is that corner of gamers big enough to warrant full release and support on the console platforms?
There’s also the concern of additional costs via both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As a PC gamer my only financial commitments involving gaming are my internet fees and game subscriptions, but console gamers have more to take into account. Xbox One players will also need to subscribe to an Xbox Gold Membership account and although PlayStation 4 players can enjoy some online gaming without a subscription, the insane value of PS Plus suggests most that could afford a subscription based game are already paying for the additional perks offered through Sony’s membership program. So on top of monthly internet costs PS4 players will need to spend $9.99 a month or $49.99 for the yearly discount while Xbox One gamers will have to fork out $59.99 a year, add another $15 a month for a subscription MMO and $60 for the game cost, both console audiences are looking at a minimum of $290 a year just to subscribe to a pay-to-play game.
It’s a steep price to enjoy a single title. Obviously other benefits and such come into play as both console communities can enjoy online play in other titles, but it’s a cost that was previously never a concern. Are you a console gamer? Are you willing to pay for a subscription service? Leave your thoughts below.