Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to rotate content in fast enough to keep people’s attention these days. New MMO’s are either working on release or fresh out of the gates. There is also now a huge quantity of MMO’s to choose from.
When you look at things from a gamer’s perspective, we have all kinds of games vying for our attention each day. Really it’s hard to choose one game and stick with it. Even though MMO’s are designed to reward folks who stick with their game, it’s pretty tough to want to log into the same game all of the time. Even the coolest games can become a bit of a grind after a while.
I would imagine that from the other side of the table the subscription model is starting to look not only less lucrative but a lot less secure. A lot of gamers want to check out the latest games just to have something fresh and exciting to check out. Thing is though, they may have to cancel a current subscription rather than adding on another expense. Even if that player returns to their previous game, that’s still lost revenue.
Adding in RMT gives developers a chance to sell items in addition to or in lieu of charging a monthly fee. Now here’s the fun part about RMT, you give people the chance to spend as little or as much as they like at any one time.
These days it seems like a lot of people play MMO’s through pretty quickly and or leave for the next big game release. Now let’s think about that. MMO producers have to realize that it is going to take them longer to release new content than it takes for some players to blow through it. This means that there’s probably going to be stretches of time where they would lose subscribers to other games while they work on the next release.
Now if a developer incorporates RMT into thier MMO, they give players a chance to spend as much as they want on the game while they’re interested in the game. If the player quits playing the MMO after a short time, the MMO producer stands to see a lot more income from the player on an RMT model than they would see from a subscription model. Since let’s face it, in a RMT model the MMO publisher would be able to get as much money as the player would be willing to fork over at least for the amount of time that they’re excited about the game.
If the player then leaves for a new MMO before their current game can add new content, the MMO publisher can still feel confident that they recieved enough income to produce new content and lure back fickle players for a short time. The MMO publisher can also make more from that player in that 2 to 3 months than they would have seen on a subscription based model.
This isn’t saying that the MMO publisher will make more in those 2 to 3 months by using an RMT model, but it is totally possible. It all depends on how easy it is to purchase the MMOs virtual currency, how much that currency costs, and how much of an effect the RMT items can have on game play.
So in the end the question remains, is RMT only going to become more and more of a viable market strategy as more and more MMOs are released? Also as players are we bolstering the RMT model by flocking to each new game on the market, leaving our old subscription based games behind us?
Just some things to think about.