Thursday, September 03, 2009
How much for that Blizzard all access pass?
Gordon from We Fly Spitfires doubts many people will subscribe to both World of Warcraft and Blizzard's next MMO at the same time. I think that if these two subscriptions are strictly separate, Gordon is probably right. But he also mentions the possibility of a SOE "station access" like deal, and says it would have to be at a "reasonable price point". And I think that this is the key to the issue.
The SOE station access currently costs $29.99 per month, plus taxes. Which means that you basically need to play THREE SOE games for that to become a good deal. I have no data on how many people took that offer from SOE, but I would be surprised if it was a large percentage of their players. And that is with SOE offering 8 games to choose from. Unless they'd threw in some Battle.net Diablo III or Starcraft II goodies, Blizzard would only have two games on offer, and "play 2 games for the price of 2" doesn't make for good marketing.
You'd need to be seriously weird to play two MMORPGs on two computer simultaneously, unless at least one of them is an Asian AFK grinder. With whatever your favorite MMORPG is at the moment taking up a significant amount of your time, a more likely scenario for multiple subscriptions is having one main game, and playing the other just minimally, like checking the auction house daily. Or playing WoW on raid nights, and the other Blizzard MMO on the other nights. One could also imagine people playing one game intensively for some time, e.g. after a content patch, and then switching to the other game, back and forth, after some weeks.
In any case, having two subscription is extremely unlikely to result in you playing twice as much. Thus most players would be reluctant to pay twice as much for that. A clever offer will take that into account. If, for example, the Blizzard all access pass were to cost $19.99, a good number of people would go for it, as you basically pay $5 per month for the convenience of switching between games without the hassle of subscribing and unsubscribing, or for playing a second game at low intensity.
If your favorite MMORPG company had two games, each costing $15 per month, what would you be willing to pay to play the both?