Lifetime Subscriptions: Worth the Hefty Price Tag?

 Your world looks intimidating. Is that good or bad?
A lot of new MMOs that come out these days will offer the most hardcore of users the option to pay one lump sum fee in order to play as much as they'd like. Some asking prices are around $200 for a lifetime subscription. So is the pricey entrance worth the risk/rewards?

First, no one can know how a MMO can turn out years down the line, or maybe just a few short months after launch. So the best way you can evaluate the lifetime subscription is to question the company first.

Who is developing the game, who is producing it, and how ambitious does the MMO look? It would be wise to do a track record on the company to see how their business has operated in the past. Have they shutdown any projects, cut funding, or sold their rights to any of their games when things started to turn south?

We all know that MMOs don't last forever, or that they often peak at certain times in their overall life. The best way is not to judge a game on its current status, but rather on the future.

It can be hard to predict a MMO's lifetime, so sometimes the best idea not to jump into a MMO right at a game's launch. Gather reports on how the game is doing after its first month or two. Read reviews, look at player subscription statistics, look at community messages and responses.

Once you have worked hard to conclude your own consumer research, now you can look into lifetime membership options. The last decision is purely your opinion on the game, and how much time you think you will invest in it.

In most cases with MMOs, you will always want to take breaks, so as not to burn out. A lifetime subsciption makes sense because if the game will be around for at least a couple of years, the gain of investment on your entertainment will be more than worth the hefty up-front fee.    
9 Comments
10 Comments
Posted by tekmojo
 Your world looks intimidating. Is that good or bad?
A lot of new MMOs that come out these days will offer the most hardcore of users the option to pay one lump sum fee in order to play as much as they'd like. Some asking prices are around $200 for a lifetime subscription. So is the pricey entrance worth the risk/rewards?

First, no one can know how a MMO can turn out years down the line, or maybe just a few short months after launch. So the best way you can evaluate the lifetime subscription is to question the company first.

Who is developing the game, who is producing it, and how ambitious does the MMO look? It would be wise to do a track record on the company to see how their business has operated in the past. Have they shutdown any projects, cut funding, or sold their rights to any of their games when things started to turn south?

We all know that MMOs don't last forever, or that they often peak at certain times in their overall life. The best way is not to judge a game on its current status, but rather on the future.

It can be hard to predict a MMO's lifetime, so sometimes the best idea not to jump into a MMO right at a game's launch. Gather reports on how the game is doing after its first month or two. Read reviews, look at player subscription statistics, look at community messages and responses.

Once you have worked hard to conclude your own consumer research, now you can look into lifetime membership options. The last decision is purely your opinion on the game, and how much time you think you will invest in it.

In most cases with MMOs, you will always want to take breaks, so as not to burn out. A lifetime subsciption makes sense because if the game will be around for at least a couple of years, the gain of investment on your entertainment will be more than worth the hefty up-front fee.    
Posted by atomic_dumpling

Just do the math. With a monthly fee of 10 bucks you couldn't even play two years for 200 bucks. If you are willing to make a long-time commitment (including breaks), it's a bargain.

Posted by PenguinDust

An MMO is based entirely off its community.  While you may save money over time, the question is will you actually want to play the game for any length of time?  I know that there have been single player games that I've lost interest in after only a couple of days of play.  Additionally, MMOs often start out broken in some way.  It takes a devoted community to stick with a game during those tumultuous early months.  If the majority of the community feels it isn't getting any better you wind up with an Age of Conan or Hellgate: London.  And, when a gamer pays for a lifetime subscription I think they expect something that will remain vibrant and growing for as long as they're wanting to play.  If they don't get that, if when they log in the server feels empty, if the social aspect of the game is lacking, they may feel as if the lifetime subscription was a waste of money.  A big waste compared to the initial price of the game and a couple of months of subscription pay.  For me, the only game makers who have the clout to get my early subscription money would be Blizzard or Bioware...maybe Bethesda, too but I'm not sure they are the ones building the rumored Elder Scrolls MMO.

Posted by intoblivion

If you really think the game is deserving of so much of your time then yes sure, also your helping the Devloper pay off early MMO fees that usally ocur such as loans and sever rentals, if you pay that $100 thats the same as 10 people just playing for 1 month then quiting, so in the short term your helping the game you have invested in survive.
Posted by CitizenKane

If you plan on committing long term to a MMO and have the money up front, a Lifetime subscription is a really good bargain.

Posted by Gmanall

  Well like everyone has said it is a deal as long and you think that people will stay and play after the hype wares down.

Posted by Jimbo

Not straight up. If the offer is still available after you've been able to spend a decent amount of time with the game then sure.
 
I've played a bunch of MMOs and never stuck with one long enough to have made a deal like this worthwhile.

Online
Posted by Bigandtasty
@Jimbo said:
" Not straight up. If the offer is still available after you've been able to spend a decent amount of time with the game then sure. 
Yeah. If I were to try an MMO for a month or two and everything looks good, I think it'll last for years and hold my attention for years, then a lifetime subscription is a good purchase.
Posted by tekmojo

I mean $200 is a lot of money to pay for a single game. I have no current lifetime subs. but I have heard some people chatter about them recently. Just trying to get some feedback to form my own opinions.

Posted by MisoRonery

Having many friends who have paid every month for World of Warcraft since launch day, and of course none of them buy in multiple months to save a few bucks, they have spent an absurd amount of money on that game.
 
Everyone got a free month with purchase, so let's start from December 2004.
 
Without taxes, for $14.99 USD per month, and including paying for the original game and two $49.99 expansions, they have paid just over $1000 on this single game.
 
Then again, WoW is a bit of an anomaly, but if you get in on the ground floor of a long-lasting MMO that you like, it makes $200 seem like quite the bargain.