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Online subscription. Fair or not fair?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - Online subscription. Fair or not fair?

Is paying to play online fair?

No. 37 58.73%
 
Yes. 21 33.33%
 
Don't know. 5 7.94%
 
Total:63
The_Yoda said:

Not sure how I feel about that ... I'd like to see companies succeed because they make a quality console and quality games that people want, not because they are being subsidized.

It would be interesting to see numbers on what each company has invested in infrastructure, maintenance, and the "free" games on offer.  If they are making a huge profit on these services then I'd be less ok with it.

The investments aren't particularly big. The online subscriptions account for the majority of profit that Sony and Microsoft are bringing in. The margins are even higher than on the accessories which can already be argued to be overpriced.

There isn't much known about the payment structure for "free" games, but for PS+ there was an article a few years ago where developers commented on their experience of making games available for free. The consensus was that it is beneficial to them, because it gives exposure and increases chances for sales success for their next game/sequel and because their games were usually already at a point where they barely sold anything anyway. Sony apparently hands out a few cents per downloaded copy of a PS+ game, but since most subscribers don't download many of the "free" games, Sony pockets even more of the subscriber money than they already do to begin with. A subscriber who downloads all available games in a year might cost Sony about $5. Infrastructure and maintenance might add another $5-10, but it's really hard to imagine that Sony's costs are anywhere close to necessitate a yearly fee of $60.

For Microsoft it would be similar. There's a reason why Microsoft adopted the stance that their games have to be built around online multiplayer, because that is what drives subscriptions, and subscriptions have been the most profitable part of their console business by far.



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Legally speaking, in the vast majority of the cases it is fair since there's hardly a law against charging for online services. From an ethical point of view, anyone's mileage may vary. On one hand server costs get covered and other online infrastructure becomes well maintained or improved such as better network security, game servers remain longer for the duration of it's lifetime and content is better archived but on the other hand the costs are passed down to the customers ...



on the surface, no, but most companies that do offer rewards or extra incentives that help justify the price. Xbox Live and PS+ both offer users 4 free games every month that they can continue to play once the month is over. Nintendo is going to start using a more simplified model with a much cheaper fee and fewer games per month.



To me it isn't but to others it may be. It depends on the person.



Nope. Not fair.

Sure, have a subscription service for games, but don't put the online component of games you've paid for behind a paywall.



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AngryLittleAlchemist said:
outlawauron said:

Because the architecture behind a network is far more intensive than setting up P2P servers. When you play a game online on PS4, you're playing it on PSN, not the server list that varies wildly from dev to dev. While netcode isn't created equal, you know the product will work.

To summarize all the work that has gone into it as the same thing as digital storefronts or to deny the leaps and bounds in product quality.... Man, I don't even know what to call that. Blissful ignorance? It's like how people falsely say that PSN/XBL are doing the same thing as Steam when Steam hosts absolutely nothing off store. They don't offer the same product at all.

If you don't think the value is worth the cost, then don't buy it. I will pay for it because I place very high value on cloud saves, PSN discounts, and free games.

You know, we are on an online forum with the ability to reply to people ... you could just ask for clarification instead of calling others ignorant instantly. I will admit I worded that badly as there is a common misconception that Steam and PSN are the exact same, so I can see why you assumed I was being ignorant ... however that's not what I was getting at and you could just simply ask me for clarification before hammering down judgment. Just to be clear, I *know* that PSN and Steam are different, PSN is much more complex and hosts multiple games. However, even if PSN has higher costs because it's an entire network and not just a system of servers spread around one individual product ... that doesn't really change the fact that you're paying money for a console for the purpose of playing those consoles games, no? That's kind of the point of the consoles, and in 2018 you'd expect that the ability to use internet freely comes in that package. 

Simply put, PSN's problem isn't the value, it's the fact that you have to pay to use online in the first place. Your excuse and Sony's excuse is the value, but that value could just be put behind any other subscription service. So they have to lock the value behind the ability to play online. Most people who have PSN are paying for it JUST BECAUSE you have to use it to play online. You can use the excuse all you want of the "value" but I would rather just play online for free and have the option for a separate subscription service ... 

Don't get mad at me for perceiving your post as it read as you admit it was poorly worded. 

I get that people who only want one thing (online play) may not be satisfied with what they're paying for, but I don't think that anyone can deny that the product improves as we've gone along. I would argue that the sub costs are mutually inclusive. Yes, they make a ton of money of them, but it's not like that money doesn't get reinvested into their network offerings. 

As far as PSN on PS3 with Plus/free online, they did have a few million subs who only chose to pay for the extras, but you also had people non-stop complaining about poor service with PSN, especially when compared to XBL. You hardly ever hear those types of complaints anymore. :shrug: People will always find something to complain about.



LiquorandGunFun said:
I dont like them but if the game is good enough to warrant the expense then I am in. And the extra games every month and extra savings on sales have been enough for me to keep getting a sub, plus just re-up every black friday, I usually get a year of live or psn for $40 or less. its a non factor in the scheme of things.

 

nuckles87 said:
I mean, we haven’t been paying JUST to play online for years now. Each of these services also offers monthly games for the subscription price.

It’s also rather hard to judge because we aren’t really privy to the costs associated with running these services, and what makes it worth it versus the free services on PC.

To me, the monthly games alone make the service worth it, so whether or not it’s right to pay for online on consoles is a moot point so far as I’m concerned.

Yes, many people wouldn't mind to pay the subscription to get the extras, but the thing is, it's mandatory to pay whether you want extras or not.



My Total Sales prediction for PS4 by the end of 2021: 110m+

When PS4 will hit 100m consoles sold: Before Christmas 2019

There were three ravens sat on a tree / They were as blacke as they might be / The one of them said to his mate, Where shall we our breakfast take?


PSintend0 said:
Online should be free as it was, but it cannot be free anymore as gamers were more than happy to pay for online. Switch owners have been lucky to have free online, but soon it will end. Was it september?
They will try to make money and paying for online is an easy way to make some. Selling cardboard might also prove to be profitable. I don´t know what will be the next thing. Paying to get extra saves...

They already do that with Pokemon. Two save slots = Two games.



My Total Sales prediction for PS4 by the end of 2021: 110m+

When PS4 will hit 100m consoles sold: Before Christmas 2019

There were three ravens sat on a tree / They were as blacke as they might be / The one of them said to his mate, Where shall we our breakfast take?


outlawauron said:
AngryLittleAlchemist said:

So then, why is it the platform holders and not individual developers who are charging for the servers?

Good thing you already pay money for the ability to access the game's content before you pay for an online subscription. 

If this service was a requirement, than Steam and Origin would cost money to use, too ...

Because the architecture behind a network is far more intensive than setting up P2P servers. When you play a game online on PS4, you're playing it on PSN, not the server list that varies wildly from dev to dev. While netcode isn't created equal, you know the product will work.

To summarize all the work that has gone into it as the same thing as digital storefronts or to deny the leaps and bounds in product quality.... Man, I don't even know what to call that. Blissful ignorance? It's like how people falsely say that PSN/XBL are doing the same thing as Steam when Steam hosts absolutely nothing off store. They don't offer the same product at all.

If you don't think the value is worth the cost, then don't buy it. I will pay for it because I place very high value on cloud saves, PSN discounts, and free games.

You mean that, for instance, when COD is played on PS4, there are extra costs associated that wouldn't be on PC? "Network" costs?

So, there are no "network" costs to play COD on PC, but to play on PS4/XB1, the "network" is different and has costs?

Did they change the way the "network" was running on PS3 days?



My Total Sales prediction for PS4 by the end of 2021: 110m+

When PS4 will hit 100m consoles sold: Before Christmas 2019

There were three ravens sat on a tree / They were as blacke as they might be / The one of them said to his mate, Where shall we our breakfast take?


pokoko said:
Of course it's fair. This isn't a game of cards, this is capitalism.

It's fair for them to charge $200 if they wanted. It's their product, they have that right. No one is entitled to "free online" or any other feature.

At the same time, of course, consumers have the right to not buy that product.

Thinking that way, there's no point to discuss anything. There's no point to even have a forum.



My Total Sales prediction for PS4 by the end of 2021: 110m+

When PS4 will hit 100m consoles sold: Before Christmas 2019

There were three ravens sat on a tree / They were as blacke as they might be / The one of them said to his mate, Where shall we our breakfast take?