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

Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Thermoses on Mon May 12, 2008 12:40 pm

Probably the Fastlane model would work the best. (Fastlane is a toll-booth auto-pay transponder system on the US east coast). Based on all our posts here, the customer collective has these needs:

    They don't want to be bothered with thinking about billing.
    They don't want to be screwed financially by playing too much.
    They don't want to be billed when they're not playing.
    They want to come and go as they please without having to tinker with their account info.
So for a game, it would work like this:

    When you create an account, you hook it up to a credit card (same as now).
    You make an initial deposit of $30 to your game account.
    As you play, the game deducts hourly fees from this account (according to a sliding scale).
    When the account goes below a certain threshold (say, $5), it bills another $30 to your credit card.
    The game e-mails you a statement every month as an FYI (same as now).
    If you don't play for several months, no money is deducted and your account remains active.
    If you cancel your account, the balance is credited to your card.
This requires zero thought on the player's part, other than the credit card stuff, which we do now anyway.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Mon May 12, 2008 1:41 pm

Or I can just sign up with a credit card that is automatically billed for $15 a month and have no worries whatsoever as long as I play other than swapping out the number when the card expires.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby jason on Mon May 12, 2008 2:16 pm

Nybling wrote:Or I can just sign up with a credit card that is automatically billed for $15 a month and have no worries whatsoever as long as I play other than swapping out the number when the card expires.


As you have stated over and over, you don't care if you are charged for months you don't play... that's fine. Perhaps they can offer two billing schemes, one straight monthly for people who don't care, and one that offers flexibilty for people who do.

Under the current scheme, if I choose to take a break from a game and cancel, because I do have to actually cancel in order to be not charged for it, the chances that I will come back drop significantly because I can't just log back in on a whim, I have to go reactivate the account first.

On the other hand, if I could do all account management from within the game instead of having to go to a website, maybe then it wouldn't be much of an issue.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Mon May 12, 2008 2:28 pm

Eh, that doesn't require another billing scheme at all. What you could do is add a feature to "suspend" charging so you could have the next month's charge not come through until you tried to log onto the game.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby jason on Mon May 12, 2008 2:43 pm

Nybling wrote:Eh, that doesn't require another billing scheme at all. What you could do is add a feature to "suspend" charging so you could have the next month's charge not come through until you tried to log onto the game.


That only works if either a) all my absences from game are planned, or b) I get in the habit of suspending my account every time I log out.

In just about every game I've played there have been times where work got busy, or I started some other activity, and gaming fell to the wayside. Three months later I go back to the game and realize that I just spent $30-$45 to not play the game.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Vald on Mon May 12, 2008 3:49 pm

If there was a way to suspend your credit, that would go a long way, at least to me. Last time I took a break from WOW, I was about 2 months into my 3 month billing, and my break was for 2 months, so I paid for 1 month which I never used. Since then I only pay by the month, since most of the savings by paying quarterly were basically wiped out by that one month where I didn't want to play, but I had no recourse to getting that month "held".

Sure, some folks would take the time every day to suspend, but most would probably let it go and if they didn't play the next day, so be it. Perhpas there could be some sort of 24-hour delay, so the daily suspension for credit is deterred. Maybe the approach should be pay by the day, rather than hour?

Come to think about it -- this could have some really serious consumer/ developer repercussions if such a system was put into place. From the emo-kids "mass cancelling for a day/week" protesting to those hard-core raiders who cancel "because all the content is done" to the general population playing less and less because the gaming company takes their sweet time between patches. *cough Blizzard cough* And, on the flip side, if the gaming companies rushed to get content out and it was buggy, I'm sure many people would cancel for the week of the patch, and wait for the "all clear to sound" before re-activating, holding them accountable for delivering quality.

The more I think of it, the more I like some sort of capped pay by the hour system. Wow, I never thought I'd get to that point...

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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Mon May 12, 2008 4:10 pm

no no no no no no nonononononononononononononoononononono

no caps on playtime. We will not be going down the China path!
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Thermoses on Mon May 12, 2008 4:31 pm

Nybling wrote:Or I can just sign up with a credit card that is automatically billed for $15 a month and have no worries whatsoever as long as I play other than swapping out the number when the card expires.

You still have no worries with the sliding system. The only variance is how much you pay a month, and it won't fluctuate by more than a few dollars, especially if there's a cap. As a player, why is this a problem? (As a programmer, sure, it's painful to implement, but that's a different debate).
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Mon May 12, 2008 4:37 pm

Gah why do you mention caps? :( :( :(

Playtime caps make me an extremely sad panda.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Thermoses on Mon May 12, 2008 4:39 pm

Nybling wrote:Gah why do you mention caps? :( :( :(

Playtime caps make me an extremely sad panda.

No, not playtime caps, dollar caps. If you never leave your computer all month, you don't pay more than [ some amount]. I agree, the playtime cap is unattractive.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Mon May 12, 2008 4:47 pm

Thermoses wrote:
Nybling wrote:Gah why do you mention caps? :( :( :(

Playtime caps make me an extremely sad panda.

No, not playtime caps, dollar caps. If you never leave your computer all month, you don't pay more than [ some amount]. I agree, the playtime cap is unattractive.


Oh, well maybe if you can cap it at $15 a month than that would be great. :) It's the market standard I guess, until EAMythic comes and charges whatever they're going to charge.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Thermoses on Mon May 12, 2008 4:53 pm

Nybling wrote:Oh, well maybe if you can cap it at $15 a month than that would be great. :) It's the market standard I guess, until EAMythic comes and charges whatever they're going to charge.

Ok. But back to the crux of the question, say the cap was at $20? $25? $30 (if you played 20 hours a day); at what cap value would you decide not to play the game? Is $15 your hard limit?
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Nybling on Mon May 12, 2008 5:04 pm

Thermoses wrote:
Nybling wrote:Oh, well maybe if you can cap it at $15 a month than that would be great. :) It's the market standard I guess, until EAMythic comes and charges whatever they're going to charge.

Ok. But back to the crux of the question, say the cap was at $20? $25? $30 (if you played 20 hours a day); at what cap value would you decide not to play the game? Is $15 your hard limit?


I would pay $20 a month for a quality product, absolutely. $30 I would think twice about, but $20 is no problem.
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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Vald on Tue May 13, 2008 9:36 am

Yes, when I said capped, I meant dollar capped, which is what this thread was discussing, paying for a MMO. (Sensitive much about time caps! ;))

For me, $20/ month would be the max, since much like the airline industry, most other games tend to raise their prices once another company does. And, if I go for 2 games/ month, that's $40, which is starting to reach the territory of the wife getting a bit perturbed about.

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Re: Pay by the hour?

Postby Thermoses on Tue May 13, 2008 10:47 am

Vald wrote:For me, $20/ month would be the max, since much like the airline industry, most other games tend to raise their prices once another company does. And, if I go for 2 games/ month, that's $40, which is starting to reach the territory of the wife getting a bit perturbed about.
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But that's where the beauty of a sliding scale comes in. If you're playing 2 games, and assuming you're not playing them simultaneously, then you're not sinking max time into either one. If they both have the pay-by-hour sliding scale system, you'll pay $11-15 per game, instead of the cap of $20 per game. And if you're sinking enough time into both games where you hit the cost cap, then you'll have much bigger issues with the wife than just the $$ cost to play...
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