FFXIV: Sub model isn’t just about higher quality, its also about safety

Full interview can be found here.

So, just because ESO moved into a free-to-play subscription model, it doesn’t necessarily mean for us to move into that direction as well. Also, for use we have taken player surveys and took a look at what our customer satisfaction level is and we actually garnered data that shows that over 80% of our players are satisfied with the subscription model and they feel very assured that it is a constant. You are safe to be in that environment, and you know that you can expect a decent amount of updates and content. So, we don’t believe that FFXIV needs to shift in that direction and not everything that other competitors or titles do will necessarily apply to our title.

Bold section for emphasis as its something I’ve always felt is true about the sub model vs other models, and it’s nice to have a senior dev from the most recent successful MMO state it as well.

As I’ve written before, each update from a sub MMO is usually a celebration of getting something new or improved, while each update under non-subs is a potential “give us more money” cash-shop power update or ‘addition’. In short, you cheer sub updates, and grow to fear non-sub updates, which itself has a pretty significant impact on overall enjoyment.

PS: If/when they add the snowboarding game from FFVII, that’s going to be a massive time sink for me. God I loved that game back in the day.


About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Final Fantasy XIV, MMO design, RMT. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to FFXIV: Sub model isn’t just about higher quality, its also about safety

  1. Ettesiun says:

    “over 80% of our players are satisfied with the subscription model”

    20% of the people paying a sub do not want to pay a sub ? Why are they paying it ? Are they stupid ? Nobody forces them !

    • SynCaine says:

      Guessing its people who like the game but would rather not pay for it, so they say they don’t like it. Similar to the dummies who wish all new MMOs would go B2P because that’s the ‘best’ model, despite the model not actually being ‘buy once and never pay again’ like they think, nor it working out all that great even for the poster child; GW2.

    • Anti-Stupidity League says:

      “4 out of 5 persons who like playing a subscription-based mmo really like the subscription-based model. Because this clearly demonstrates the superiority of the subscription business model among the people who like games which you have to pay a monthly subscription for, I’m going to write a blog post about it.”

      • Frosth says:

        It proves that other people don’t matter.

        F2p games make less money than subscription based games, that’s a given, but many f2p proponents are also under the impression that sub players are paying against their will and dislike the model.This poll shows otherwise.

        Why search for less valuable customers when those you have are satisfied?

        Even at its lowest outdated estimates, FFXIV was at 500k susbcribers. It’s much higher now, but this means that at its worst, there were 400k happy customers ready to pay monthly and producing 72M yearly revenue at a minimum.
        At the 31st of March ,we’ll get the new SquareEnix financial reports telling us the actual numbers, settling this debate once and for all.

  2. Isey says:

    I would agree with you if Sub Model companies didn’t build in artificial time sinks to push out time to get more sub fees, it is a sort of “hidden” money grab. Don’t limit dailies. Don’t limit dungeon runs. Don’t limit how many points of X currency you can get in a week. Let me access all of it if I am indeed paying for unlimited access.

    If they gate content by timers and lock outs or maximums, all they are doing is ensuring you can’t reach your goals in the time you want to – but the time THEY want you to, stretching out your sub fee and subscription.

    I don’t play FFXIV so I don’t know if they do that, but WoW certainly does.

    • SynCaine says:

      I think gating is actually important to prevent people from burning themselves out. If back in the day WoW allowed us to reset a raid as often as we wanted, I can guarantee you our guild would have tried running raids every night, and while short-term it would have allowed us to progress faster, long-term it would have caused people to drop out and ultimately for the guild to implode.

      If a game abuses gating too hard, people unsub. If it does it right, they don’t, but I don’t think all gating is bad, sub MMO or not (F2P and other models have gating as well, so it’s not a sub-only design concept).

      • Isey says:

        I think people should have that choice in a Sub Model though (although I don’t entirely disagree with you). Scary part for WoW is if everyone beat their content within one to two months, everyone would UNSUB for the next 10-14 until the expansion. Which is why they gate and time release content. I just believe if it is truly full access content for a fee give me full access, and let the community decide how they consume it.

        It’s more of a symptom of MMOS being achievement/task based games instead of virtual worlds to explore and participate in.

        • SynCaine says:

          So to be more specific, I think gating is good in a themepark, mostly to help pace people ‘correctly’. I can’t think of a good reason for it in a sandbox, but generally the content and approach to it is very different between the two styles.

        • Frosth says:

          Another reason to gate content with timers, one that would work in a sandbox too, is to slow down the hardcores and reduce the power gap.

          I’m not a casual so I usually “suffer” from those features, but I feel it is important that everyone feels like they can compete.

  3. carson63000 says:

    I’m trying to recall if a sub game has ever announced or implemented a switch to F2P while I was subscribed to it, and if so, what my thoughts were at the time.

    I don’t think it has ever happened. Certainly there are games like LOTRO and EQ2 which I subscribed to, and which later went F2P, but I think that for all of them, I was no longer actively subscribed at the time.

    I’m pretty sure that any joy at the prospect of saving a paltry $15 a month would be overwhelmed by trepidation about what effect it might have on the game.

    • Delpez says:

      I was subscribed to Lotro when the ax dropped, and the announcement was met with widespread panic and condemnation! In fact, a fair percentage of our kin left on the announcement – even before the game actually went F2P. So while numbers did spike after the move to F2P, a portion of that was swapping loyal, multi-year players with tourists.

      So yeah, I have an aversion to F2P, and in my case it is based on personal experience. Sure, Lotro had issues before the move, but throughout the community was great. F2P destroyed that too.

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