Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Ethics of money - part 2
A few hours after I wrote the previous post on alternative payment methods, I receive the news that the New York Times has an article on what SOE plans for the future. Chrismue is also referring to it in the comment section. Quote:
“Right now our revenue is almost all subscriptions,” John Smedley, the unit’s president, said in an interview. “In two years, we would like to see no more than 50 percent of our revenue coming from subscriptions, and five years from now we think less than 10 percent of our revenue will come from subscription sources.”This is probably going to be very similar to Hotel Habbo or Club Penguin, but maybe with better graphics. Nothing like Everquest at all. But maybe one day we will see Everquest 3 with no monthly fee and micropayments, who knows.
In general, Mr. Smedley wants to replace subscriptions with a combination of microtransactions, advertising and what he calls the “velvet rope” approach. All three concepts may come to bear in Free Realms, which the company hopes to release on PCs this coming winter and on the PlayStation 3 next summer.
While the company’s traditional fantasy and science-fiction games have been aimed at a hard-core male audience, Free Realms is basically aimed at children, especially girls. The game will be free to play in general, but will require paid membership for access to special zones and activities (hence the term “velvet rope”). In terms of microtransactions, players will be able to buy virtual in-game items like pets and clothing à la carte. And there may also be advertising inside the game.