Pay by the hour?

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How much would you pay for an MMO by the hour?

50 cents per hour ($15 a month would get you 30 hours, or roughly 7.5 hours a week)
0
No votes
30 cents per hour ($15 a month would get you 50 hours, or roughly 12.5 hours a week)
2
8%
25 cents per hour ($15 a month would get you 60 hours, or roughly 15 hours a week)
2
8%
20 cents per hour ($15 a month would get you 75 hours, or roughly 18.75 hours a week)
2
8%
15 cents per hour ($15 a month would get you 100 hours, or roughly 25 hours a week)
2
8%
10 cents per hour ($15 a month would get you 150 hours, or roughly 37.5 hours a week)
3
12%
5 cents per hour ($15 a month would get you 300 hours, or roughly 75 hours a week)
2
8%
I would never, under any circumstances, pay by the hour for an MMO
12
48%
 
Total votes : 25

Pay by the hour?

Postby jason on Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:21 pm

Taking this from another thread derailment, assuming that the game in question is an MMO that you want to play, that it has all the features you want, be it casual solo play, raiding, grouping, items, no items, level cap, no levels, etc... whatever you want. Would you be willing to pay by the hour instead of a monthly subscription, and how much would you be willing to pay? Also assume that billing can be done either "buy in advance" or "bill me later" style and that its not an issue.

As info: Currently, for WoW, the Asian markets pay approximately 6 cents an hour, direct exchange rate... but adjusted for buying power, its about 25 cents an hour. At that rate, $15 a month converts to 60 hours a month, or around 15 hours a week.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:05 pm

No PbtH for me. $15 a month is really easy to budget for.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Makkaio on Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:44 pm

Sure, $15 a month is easy to budget for, but what if, like me, you may not be able to play for more than a couple hours a week? Sure, I may only save $10 - $12 that month, but at least I didn't pay for what I didn't use. Paying per hour would be a great way to get rid of AFKers, spammers or griefers, too. I mean, if that stuff really bothers you.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby temp on Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:34 am

Pay per H why not?

So you just pay for the server time and traffic that you realy consume.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:43 am

Different strokes for different folks.

And it's not just about paying for the bandwidth you are using, temp, the $15 fee also covers a lot of other things. Remember there are more expenditures than just bandwidth. Have to pay the salaries of those content designers who are designing more content. ;)
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Vald on Thu May 01, 2008 12:08 pm

PBTH is interesting, but I don't know how newer games/ companies would find that right target price per hour. It needs to be high enough to ensure enough revenue from the "casual gamer" base, but reasonable for a "hard core" gamer to not end up paying who'll easily put in a lot of extra time per week. If they had a maximum cost "cap" per month, then that might be a good solution, but that's an additional bit of complexity. And if they were really daring, following the utility company billing (flat fee per month for access and then some smaller variable fee for the actual consumption of the goods) that'd more closely hit on billing for consumption while still covering costs, but that'd be too complex for most people to get, and it'd be bound to lead to a lot of QQing.

This all said, if there were PBTH options for some games out there, I'd probably end up subscribing to more than the one, sometimes two like I do now.

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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Thermoses on Thu May 01, 2008 12:27 pm

You would need some kind of sliding scale to satisfy the most people. So the first thirty hours are $0.30 an hour, the next thirty are $0.20, and every hour after that is $0.10. So someone who plays 40 hours a week would rack up 120 hours a month, paying

30 x 0.3=9.00
+
30 x 0.2 =6.00
+
60 x 0.1 = 6.00
=21.00 for the month,

where someone who plays only 10 hours a week would pay
30 x 0.3=9.00
+
10 x 0.2 =2.00
=11.00 for the month.

and you'd need a mechanism that tracks minutes logged in, to avoid abuse from rounding hours down or complaints from rounding them up.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby jason on Thu May 01, 2008 12:57 pm

I definitely think that having a sliding scale or a cap would probably be the best way to go. Even so, if the rate is reasonable I'd gladly do a pay per hour plan simply because I don't like the fact that I if I stop playing, I have to stop the billing as well on monthly games. I'd rather keep the account active and be able to jump back in at any time without having to cancel and resub.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby rad on Thu May 01, 2008 12:59 pm

I voted for no pay by the hour, but it's not really the money that would bother me because I'd probably end up spending less money. I think that pay by hour would make me feel the need to be doing something every second that I was logged in. Since MMO's are really just a source of entertainment, it wouldn't really be as relaxing to me. Sometimes I like to just log on and really take in the game setting or just mess around and not really accomplish anything.

I suppose the one bright side would be that you wouldn't see as many AFK people. :lol:
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Draegan on Thu May 01, 2008 2:56 pm

No. I would never want to pay by the hour. There should be a flat fee and that's it. Lets not get back to that sort of payment.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Thermoses on Thu May 01, 2008 4:38 pm

But if a game came out with a pay-by-the-hour scheme, and the range that you may pay in a month is between $11 and $25 max (or $0 if you tried something else for a month), would that keep you from playing the game?
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Blackguard on Mon May 05, 2008 9:11 am

I'd do it, but I don't think it would work. Pay-by-the-hour used to exist. It was replaced by flat fees because people no longer liked it after flat fees came out. That leads me to believe that people wouldn't do it anymore. But... maybe changing that to a more structured tier system could work.

$5/month gets you 10 hours of play a week
$10/month gets you 25 hours of play a week
$15/month gets you unlimited hours of a play a week
$0/month gets you 1 hour of play a week?

Maybe it automatically drops your billing down if you go below your assigned threshold? That probably can't work unless you go weekly. You'd also have to charge AFTER the month, not before, which would probably cause problems.

Or maybe... if you don't play for an entire week, it just tacks on an extra week to your subscription. So if you disappear for 8 weeks your subscription will last for 2 months beyond cancellation.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Vald on Mon May 05, 2008 10:04 am

All the complexity there is why I don't think PBTM would work - it's too complex for the simple folk. (Aside - my pricing/ hours preference for a PBTM is similar to BG's, and at a $5/ month for 10 hours/ week, I could see myself carrying an extra game or two.)

On the idea of having to bill after the fact, if they work it like the pay-by-the-minute phone companies (like Virgin Mobile) and you buy time in advance, and as you consume the balance runs down. There would be the complexity of how the time is counted/ removed from the balance, maybe that's where it would have to be billed weekly. But, the pay-by-the-minute mobile phones are completely consumption driven (no monthly fees or anything), and come to think of it, their model is pretty much what we're discussing. The user selects the plan up-front, and depending on their consumption, they could choose to change the plan and commit to more time up-front, or pay a slightly higher fee for the week/ month. This is what's being marketed to the younger generation (16-25), so maybe this could have a leg to stand on for the future, since they're growing up with the complexity/ idea.

At the very least it gives more excuses for people to give when a PUG goes bad, eh?

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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby jason on Mon May 05, 2008 10:38 am

I guess the main thing here is that overall I am adverse to pre-pay. I don't pre-pay for my electricity or water. I do pre-pay for my cell phone (post-pay for overages), but only because they don't offer a post-pay option. There are some months where I don't make cell phone calls, but I can't know in advance when those months are going to be, they just happen. However, if I cut back on my power usage, I know my electricity bill will go down.

All in all, I just want a game account that will cost me nothing if I'm not playing, and not require me to cancel and restart it, anticipating when I'm not going to be playing. I want the same thing for my cell phone, but they don't offer reasonable plans for that.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Sat May 10, 2008 12:09 pm

jason wrote:I guess the main thing here is that overall I am adverse to pre-pay. I don't pre-pay for my electricity or water. I do pre-pay for my cell phone (post-pay for overages), but only because they don't offer a post-pay option. There are some months where I don't make cell phone calls, but I can't know in advance when those months are going to be, they just happen. However, if I cut back on my power usage, I know my electricity bill will go down.

All in all, I just want a game account that will cost me nothing if I'm not playing, and not require me to cancel and restart it, anticipating when I'm not going to be playing. I want the same thing for my cell phone, but they don't offer reasonable plans for that.


Are you really adverse to pre-paying?

Do you have insurance of any kind? Property & Casuality Insurance and Health Insurance are pre-payments. You are paying a company money so in the event you need something, they will provide that service. I've been driving for 8 years now. You know how many times I have used my car insurance policy for ANYTHING? Zero. I only use my health insurance policies for vision care (& corrective materials) and dental care. I've no real need for anything else. Even then those benefits being paid out for those services don't really add up to the money that I put in and that my employer puts in to pay for that policy.

I understand where you are coming from to a point. And you can do it with your cellphone with the Pay-as-you-Go stuff, which I am seriously considering at the moment.
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