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Subscription Rates Increase

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Anonymous
May 12, 2005 11:37:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Subscription Rates Increase

Due to the increased costs of running the EverQuest game service, we
will be increasing our subscription rates in June. Effective June 12,
2005, the new monthly subscription rate will be $14.99/month. While
this announcement may be unpleasant, the cost of operating a top tier
MMO has increased significantly over the past three years and this
change will help us achieve our goal of seeing that every player has a
consistently enjoyable experience in the world of EverQuest. We will
continue to offer discounts from the new rate plan on multi-month
subscriptions. The new price for a 3-month subscription will be $41.97,
a 6-month subscription will now be $77.94 and a 12-month subscription
will now be $143.88. The 24-month subscription will continue to be
$199.95. You don't have to do a thing; you will automatically be
migrated to the new billing structure under your current subscription
plan when your current subscription plan expires. Subscription rates
are subject to tax and value-added taxes, as applicable. These price
increases will not affect the SOE Station Access? subscription rate.

New EverQuest rates as of June 12, 2005:

* $14.99 per Month
* $41.97 for 3 Months
* $77.94 for 6 Months
* $143.88 for 12 Months
* $199.95 for 24 Months


Additionally we'd like to thank our current EverQuest players by
offering a 6 and 12-month limited time promotional offer. For a limited
time only, you can take advantage of 6 or 12-month promotional
subscriptions and reap great savings. Between May 12th and June 11th,
2005, we're offering a special discount on the new monthly subscription
price:

* A 6-month subscription costs only US$69.99 ? that's a 10%
discount off of the new monthly plan.
* Even better, a 12-month subscription costs US$99.99 ? a 31%
discount off of the new monthly rates.

And for those customers subscribing to other great SOE games this is
also an excellent time to become Station Access Members. The Station
Access subscription provides an easy gateway for SOE fans to a variety
of SOE titles for $21.99 a month. The Station Access subscription is
good for EverQuest, PlanetSide, EverQuest Online Adventures, EverQuest
II, Star Wars Galaxies and the Station Pass games.

EverQuest subscriptions are recurring, meaning you will continue to be
billed at the appropriate interval, until you affirmatively cancel your
subscription. Note that purchasers of the full game will receive 30
days of game-play included with the purchase at no additional charge
(subject to certain restrictions) after supplying valid billing
information. If you cancel your subscription during the period of 30
days of game-play included with purchase, no charges will be made to
your credit card.

Subscriptions are subject to tax and value-added tax, as applicable.

All subscription fees will appear on your credit card statement under
the heading "SOE*EverQuest".

Please note:

The subscription charges are in addition to the cost of the game. You
will need to purchase a copy of the game from a retail store or online
at the Station Store (http://store.station.sony.com). The price of the
game will vary depending upon the store.

----------------------------------------------------

The wonderful thing about this announcement is... right now the login
servers are down (7PM Pacific) and people can't log in. Guess they
need that increase afterall since the servers are shoddy, right? ;p
May 13, 2005 8:27:53 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

After verifying that this is true I'm thoroughly not impressed.

Seeing as the OP left no cite:

"Why was the subscription rate increased?

Due to the increased costs of running the EverQuest game service, we
will be increasing our subscription rates in June. While this
announcement may be unpleasant, the cost of operating a top tier MMO has
increased significantly over the past three years and this change will
help us achieve our goal of seeing that every player has a consistently
enjoyable experience in the world of EverQuest."

http://eqlive.station.sony.com/library/faqs/faq_rate.js...

EQ1 to cost as much as EQ2? Part of their strategy to bump us over to
eq2? Part of their strategy to make sure we all give WoW another look,
now that its the same price?

My only comment to SOE now is:

Prove it!!

How on earth can a game whose primary development is surely paid off,
whose continued development is supported by regular expansions, in an
era of falling hardware and bandwidth prices require another 15% jack to
the rates to continue to support?

Come on SOE, lets see just how badly you've mismanaged your finances.
This game makes 5.5 million per month. In a few weeks you'll be running
half as many servers as you were a couple months ago.

You've recently *reduced* your customer service costs (remember how
proud you were about that) you even told us all about it.

MMOGs benefit greatly from economies of scale. EQ has more than twice
the subscriber base as EQ2... i hate to see whats in store for them.

If it truly costs you more to run EQ now than it did 2 years ago you
need to fire your obviously incompetent management team.

So where exactly did you blow it?

Lets see the balance sheet. -What- exactly went up so much in face of so
much that we KNOW went down?

Why not just come clean and tell us that you'd like to make more money
while providing the same level of service? Isn't that the truth? We'd
probably even have more respect for you if you told us that then this
fantasy about "increased costs".
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 12:36:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

"42" wrote:
> After verifying that this is true I'm thoroughly not impressed.
>
> Seeing as the OP left no cite:
>
> "Why was the subscription rate increased?
>
> Due to the increased costs of running the EverQuest game service, we
> will be increasing our subscription rates in June. While this
> announcement may be unpleasant, the cost of operating a top tier MMO has
> increased significantly over the past three years and this change will
> help us achieve our goal of seeing that every player has a consistently
> enjoyable experience in the world of EverQuest."
>
> http://eqlive.station.sony.com/library/faqs/faq_rate.js...
>
> EQ1 to cost as much as EQ2? Part of their strategy to bump us over to
> eq2? Part of their strategy to make sure we all give WoW another look,
> now that its the same price?
>
> My only comment to SOE now is:
>
> Prove it!!

I'm no economist .. and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
But this, in concert with the fact that they're not raising the rate on the
All Access Pass, leads me to the belief that they're doing this to cover
operating losses due to shortfalls in income from EQ2.

They most likely budgeted this year based on projected income from EQ2 that
will not materialize. Since EQ2 didn't quite pan out as expected, they're
making up for it from the original fanbase.

At least that's my guess.

Crash
Related resources
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 1:15:50 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

<Snip>
> How on earth can a game whose primary development is surely paid off,
> whose continued development is supported by regular expansions, in an
> era of falling hardware and bandwidth prices require another 15% jack
> to the rates to continue to support?
>

Don't they need less hardware now they are merging the servers, that alone
should save them a few bob.

Ut
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 3:10:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Well since WoW subscriptions are falling like flies (all those who
started at release and play regularly have at least 1 lvl 60 if not
more), I would think they're trying EQ2 now.
Luckily for WoW still lots of new people playing after reading the 90%+
reviews in magazines, etc. But reaching max level so quickly makes me
wonder if the game will last more than a year
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 6:10:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

On 13 May 2005 11:10:21 -0700, wolfing1@yahoo.com wrote:

>Well since WoW subscriptions are falling like flies (all those who
>started at release and play regularly have at least 1 lvl 60 if not
>more), I would think they're trying EQ2 now.
>Luckily for WoW still lots of new people playing after reading the 90%+
>reviews in magazines, etc. But reaching max level so quickly makes me
>wonder if the game will last more than a year

I think most people leaving WoW are returning to their old games. CoH
had a big drop when EQ2 then WoW came out. Over the past few months,
the decline has not only stopped but reversed. They've recovered over
20k players that had been lost around the launch of these two games.
Perhaps some are going over to EQ2, but I'd wager a good portion are
going back to the games they were just playing to "hold them over"
until WoW and realized they actually enjoyed...

--
Dark Tyger

Stop the madness! (Marvel Vs Cryptic Studios petition)
http://www.petitiononline.com/marvscoh/petition.html

Hey, everyone else is doing it. Free iPod:
http://www.freeiPods.com/?r=15728814
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 6:34:53 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

<snip>
> Prove it!!
>>
> I'm no economist .. and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last
> night. But this, in concert with the fact that they're not raising the
> rate on the All Access Pass, leads me to the belief that they're doing
> this to cover operating losses due to shortfalls in income from EQ2.
>
> They most likely budgeted this year based on projected income from EQ2
> that will not materialize. Since EQ2 didn't quite pan out as
> expected, they're making up for it from the original fanbase.
>
> At least that's my guess.
>
> Crash
>

They are pushing monthly prices up, but offering a discounted yearly price
at the same time, I believe they are just trying to push people into a yearly
subscription.

From Sonys point of view thats great, you have all the money upfront regardless
of if they play and they are less likely to lose players to new games as
most people wouldn't like to waste money.
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 11:16:32 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

In article <MPG.1cedccab10f3c55b989b30@shawnews>, 42 wrote:
> Why not just come clean and tell us that you'd like to make more money
> while providing the same level of service? Isn't that the truth? We'd
> probably even have more respect for you if you told us that then this
> fantasy about "increased costs".

Idle speculation: all the major new games (WoW and EQ2) have launched, and
been out long enough that everyone that is going to leave EQ1 for them has
done so, and nothing major is coming up soon. That leaves EQ1 with a fairly
resiliant population that won't be hurt much, if it all, by a price
increase. So, it gets them free money, and makes the all access pass more
attractive, which might encourage people to buy other SOE games, which gets
Sony an upfront sum there, plus makes it even less likely those people will
leave SOE in the future.

--
--Tim Smith
Anonymous
May 13, 2005 11:34:53 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Tim Smith <reply_in_group@mouse-potato.com> wrote in
news:k27he.164$X92.45@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net:

> In article <MPG.1cedccab10f3c55b989b30@shawnews>, 42 wrote:
>> Why not just come clean and tell us that you'd like to make more
>> money while providing the same level of service? Isn't that the
>> truth? We'd probably even have more respect for you if you told us
>> that then this fantasy about "increased costs".
>
> Idle speculation: all the major new games (WoW and EQ2) have launched,
> and been out long enough that everyone that is going to leave EQ1 for
> them has done so, and nothing major is coming up soon. That leaves
> EQ1 with a fairly resiliant population that won't be hurt much, if it
> all, by a price increase. So, it gets them free money, and makes the
> all access pass more attractive, which might encourage people to buy
> other SOE games, which gets Sony an upfront sum there, plus makes it
> even less likely those people will leave SOE in the future.
>

Well, none of SoEs other games are ones that would cause me to remain
with them, when the time comes that I decide that I no longer wish to
play EQ, I do currently have the station pass.

--
On Erollisi Marr in <Sanctuary of Marr>
Ancient Graeme Faelban, Barbarian Soothsayer of 70 seasons

On Steamfont in <Insanity Plea>
Graeme, 28 Dwarven Mystic, 24 Sage, Retired
Aviv, 15 Gnome Brawler, 30 Provisioner, Retired
Anonymous
May 14, 2005 12:02:41 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

> So where exactly did you blow it?
>

They lost half their subscribers, so those remaining need to pay more to
cover costs.
Anonymous
May 14, 2005 2:01:15 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

<wolfing1@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1116007821.510181.254570@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Well since WoW subscriptions are falling like flies (all those who
> started at release and play regularly have at least 1 lvl 60 if not
> more), I would think they're trying EQ2 now.
> Luckily for WoW still lots of new people playing after reading the 90%+
> reviews in magazines, etc. But reaching max level so quickly makes me
> wonder if the game will last more than a year
>

Shame that reality doesn't match your theory, though.


--
Simond
"I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your
slave." - Jareth the Goblin King, Labyrinth
Anonymous
May 14, 2005 3:28:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

In article <1116007821.510181.254570@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
wolfing1@yahoo.com wrote:
> Well since WoW subscriptions are falling like flies (all those who
> started at release and play regularly have at least 1 lvl 60 if not
> more), I would think they're trying EQ2 now.
> Luckily for WoW still lots of new people playing after reading the 90%+
> reviews in magazines, etc. But reaching max level so quickly makes me
> wonder if the game will last more than a year

Well, my WoW Druid is level 31, at a little over 6 days /played. This
is a slower than my DAoC Necromancer was (50 in ~9 days /played).

--
--Tim Smith
Anonymous
May 14, 2005 4:09:08 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Utania wrote:
> <Snip>
>
>> How on earth can a game whose primary development is surely paid off,
>> whose continued development is supported by regular expansions, in an
>> era of falling hardware and bandwidth prices require another 15% jack
>> to the rates to continue to support?
>>
>
> Don't they need less hardware now they are merging the servers, that
> alone should save them a few bob.
>
> Ut
They've already paid for the hardware though, It just became a lot of
spares. The increase is probably paying for the 'economies of scale
bandwidth' that EQ2 and SWG are NOT consuming.
May 14, 2005 5:34:27 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

In article <BJ7he.1798$E7.734@news-server.bigpond.net.au>,
vladeschxxxx@bigxxxxxpond.net.auxxx says...
> > So where exactly did you blow it?
> >
>
> They lost half their subscribers, so those remaining need to pay more to
> cover costs.

THe majority of their significant costs should scale with the size of
the playerbase. Bandwidth, customer support...etc
Anonymous
May 14, 2005 10:52:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

"Tim Smith" <reply_in_group@mouse-potato.com> wrote in message
news:k27he.164$X92.45@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> In article <MPG.1cedccab10f3c55b989b30@shawnews>, 42 wrote:
> > Why not just come clean and tell us that you'd like to make more money
> > while providing the same level of service? Isn't that the truth? We'd
> > probably even have more respect for you if you told us that then this
> > fantasy about "increased costs".
>
> Idle speculation: all the major new games (WoW and EQ2) have launched, and
> been out long enough that everyone that is going to leave EQ1 for them has
> done so, and nothing major is coming up soon. That leaves EQ1 with a
fairly
> resiliant population that won't be hurt much, if it all, by a price
> increase. So, it gets them free money, and makes the all access pass more
> attractive, which might encourage people to buy other SOE games, which
gets
> Sony an upfront sum there, plus makes it even less likely those people
will
> leave SOE in the future.
>
> --
> --Tim Smith

I agree. I don't think the increase is related to costs, but indicates what
they sense the subscriber base is willing to pay. Otherwise, I don't think
the new monthly rate would have been, magically, the going rate for online
games these days.
Anonymous
May 16, 2005 8:45:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

On 12 May 2005 19:37:15 -0700, "kullek" <kullek@gmail.com> wrote:

>Subscription Rates Increase
>
>Due to the increased costs of running the EverQuest game service, we
>will be increasing our subscription rates in June. Effective June 12,
>2005, the new monthly subscription rate will be $14.99/month.
<snip>

Yeah, the costs must be skyrocketing now that they have half as many
servers to run.

I was just thinking that it was about time for a price *decrease*. I
rejoined for a month, then cancelled again due to lack of time. This
pretty much guarantees I won't come back, ever. Thanks SOE.
Anonymous
May 17, 2005 1:24:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

The Other John <spamblock@blockit.com> wrote in
news:o 4a9811d8gt6egk2rrj3acu8v03u1f36dc@4ax.com:

> On 12 May 2005 19:37:15 -0700, "kullek" <kullek@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Subscription Rates Increase
>>
>>Due to the increased costs of running the EverQuest game service, we
>>will be increasing our subscription rates in June. Effective June 12,
>>2005, the new monthly subscription rate will be $14.99/month.
> <snip>
>
> Yeah, the costs must be skyrocketing now that they have half as many
> servers to run.
>
> I was just thinking that it was about time for a price *decrease*. I
> rejoined for a month, then cancelled again due to lack of time. This
> pretty much guarantees I won't come back, ever. Thanks SOE.
>
>

Seriously, I'm sure there is a heck of a lot more that goes into running EQ
that people here are willing to consider - more than just x-number of
server boxes and x-GB's of bandwidth (not that one EQ server necessarily =
one server box).

If it's not worth $14.99/mo. to someone, I get that, I suppose, but I can't
imagine anyone ever thinking a company might decrease their rates. We were
due for another minor increase (this one still being smaller than the
last), and here it is.

Still a bargain, if you ask me. /shrug

--
Rumble
"Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."
-- Benjamin Franklin
Anonymous
May 17, 2005 8:17:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

"Rumbledor" wrote:
> Seriously, I'm sure there is a heck of a lot more that goes into running
EQ
> that people here are willing to consider - more than just x-number of
> server boxes and x-GB's of bandwidth (not that one EQ server necessarily =
> one server box).
>
> If it's not worth $14.99/mo. to someone, I get that, I suppose, but I
can't
> imagine anyone ever thinking a company might decrease their rates. We were
> due for another minor increase (this one still being smaller than the
> last), and here it is.
>
> Still a bargain, if you ask me. /shrug
>
> --
> Rumble
> "Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."
> -- Benjamin Franklin

Everyone has a price cap and, like Rumbledor said, there isn't a problem
with that. My cap, with the way the game is today, is probably the $15
they're charging. Much more and I'll have to seriously consider staying
with the game.

Not mentioned in previous posts about ongoing costs are game
designers/programmers. Also not mentioned is the customer service
department. Whether or not you think the CSD is doing a good job, the costs
associated with it (and designers/programmers) keep increasing (wages,
insurance, etc.).

Apparently a lot of people jumped to EQ2, at least in part, because of the
graphics. I'll admit that the graphics were really the only thing that had
me wanting to play it. I tried the free trial. I know the trial is limited
but I really wasn't impressed with much except the graphics.

I think the best thing SOE could do is continue with new content and upgrade
the graphics. My personal requests would be to expand the character design
options (I really miss that from SWG and There - everyone *really* does look
different from everyone else) and add housing (also missed from SWG and
There) as they've done with EQ2.

Sorry Sony, but if I leave EQ, it'll be to go to WoW, not EQ2.

~Deborah~

Bristlebane Server:
Kentigern Fyrebear - Level 29 Barbarian/Shaman
Vaerity - Level 18 Gnome/Paladin
Nieriel - Level 11 High Elf/Cleric
Anonymous
May 17, 2005 10:37:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

"~Deborah~" <thoughtsinterrupted[NO@SPAM]hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:GOoie.1388800$8l.446759@pd7tw1no...

>
> Also not mentioned is the customer service
> department. Whether or not you think the CSD is doing a good job, the costs
> associated with it (and designers/programmers) keep increasing (wages,
> insurance, etc.).

What is the average annual salary in a Delhi callcentre, anyway?

--
Simond
"I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your
slave." - Jareth the Goblin King, Labyrinth
May 17, 2005 11:18:18 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

In article <ycidnZsftfISsRffRVnyhQ@pipex.net>,
apocalypsecow@spamfilterdeletemeplease.dsl.pipex.net says...
>
> "~Deborah~" <thoughtsinterrupted[NO@SPAM]hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:GOoie.1388800$8l.446759@pd7tw1no...
>
> >
> > Also not mentioned is the customer service
> > department. Whether or not you think the CSD is doing a good job, the costs
> > associated with it (and designers/programmers) keep increasing (wages,
> > insurance, etc.).
>
> What is the average annual salary in a Delhi callcentre, anyway?

Hehehe.

And lets be realistic about the size of the development/CS team.

450,000 accounts x 2 dollars/mo = $900,000/mo increased revenues. per
MONTH.

Even a team of 200 would EACH have to get a raise of over $4,000 per
MONTH to soak up that kind of revenue. Wages haven't gone up *that* much
in the last 6 years.

Nevermind that we haven't accounted for the falling costs of bandwidth
and hardware.

Plus I'm pretty sure the team is less than 200 people. Much less. I'd be
very surprised if its even one third that.

They have figured they can make more money at 14.95. That is the only
reason they raised it. I'm fine with that.

I just don't care to be lied to about "needing to offset increasing
costs".
Anonymous
May 17, 2005 11:56:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
news:MPG.1cf3e359b91aae4c989b38@shawnews:

> In article <ycidnZsftfISsRffRVnyhQ@pipex.net>,
> apocalypsecow@spamfilterdeletemeplease.dsl.pipex.net says...
>>
>> "~Deborah~" <thoughtsinterrupted[NO@SPAM]hotmail.com> wrote in
>> message news:GOoie.1388800$8l.446759@pd7tw1no...
>>
>> >
>> > Also not mentioned is the customer service
>> > department. Whether or not you think the CSD is doing a good job,
>> > the costs associated with it (and designers/programmers) keep
>> > increasing (wages, insurance, etc.).
>>
>> What is the average annual salary in a Delhi callcentre, anyway?
>
> Hehehe.
>
> And lets be realistic about the size of the development/CS team.
>
> 450,000 accounts x 2 dollars/mo = $900,000/mo increased revenues. per
> MONTH.
>
> Even a team of 200 would EACH have to get a raise of over $4,000 per
> MONTH to soak up that kind of revenue. Wages haven't gone up *that*
> much in the last 6 years.
>
> Nevermind that we haven't accounted for the falling costs of bandwidth
> and hardware.
>
> Plus I'm pretty sure the team is less than 200 people. Much less. I'd
> be very surprised if its even one third that.

And that team has to be paid (likely with benefits) from a greatly
reduced number of active subscriptions.

> They have figured they can make more money at 14.95. That is the only
> reason they raised it. I'm fine with that.
>
> I just don't care to be lied to about "needing to offset increasing
> costs".

"No, Dear, those pants don't make you look fat." There's a darn good
chance they told you what you needed to hear.

I think it all boils down to whether they actually felt a legitimate
*need* to increase the subscription rate, for any reason (including to
make up for shortfalls on other games). We have no way of knowing if
that is true or not, so I hardly think it appropriate to assume they
lied to you.

Even if they didn't really *need* to raise rates, what were they gonna
say? "We just want to make more money"? Yeah, that'd go over really
well.

Not that it matters anyway.

--
Rumble
"Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."
-- Benjamin Franklin
May 18, 2005 12:37:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

In article <Xns965997EE62302Rumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.204.17>,
Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com says...
> 42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
> news:MPG.1cf3e359b91aae4c989b38@shawnews:
>
> > In article <ycidnZsftfISsRffRVnyhQ@pipex.net>,
> > apocalypsecow@spamfilterdeletemeplease.dsl.pipex.net says...
> >>
> >> "~Deborah~" <thoughtsinterrupted[NO@SPAM]hotmail.com> wrote in
> >> message news:GOoie.1388800$8l.446759@pd7tw1no...
> >>
> >> >
> >> > Also not mentioned is the customer service
> >> > department. Whether or not you think the CSD is doing a good job,
> >> > the costs associated with it (and designers/programmers) keep
> >> > increasing (wages, insurance, etc.).
> >>
> >> What is the average annual salary in a Delhi callcentre, anyway?
> >
> > Hehehe.
> >
> > And lets be realistic about the size of the development/CS team.
> >
> > 450,000 accounts x 2 dollars/mo = $900,000/mo increased revenues. per
> > MONTH.
> >
> > Even a team of 200 would EACH have to get a raise of over $4,000 per
> > MONTH to soak up that kind of revenue. Wages haven't gone up *that*
> > much in the last 6 years.
> >
> > Nevermind that we haven't accounted for the falling costs of bandwidth
> > and hardware.
> >
> > Plus I'm pretty sure the team is less than 200 people. Much less. I'd
> > be very surprised if its even one third that.
>
> And that team has to be paid (likely with benefits) from a greatly
> reduced number of active subscriptions.

And? DAoC and most of the rest of the mmog community is successful and
profitable with a quarter the number of subscriptions as EQ. Development
wages are a major expense for mmogs... but its relatively fixed, and
once the subscriber base meets a critical mass (50k-100k for most titles
by all reports) the game becomes profitable, and the remaining expenses
(bandwidth, CS, hardware) scale proportionally.

I'm quite certain EQ was profitable before the price hike, and am quite
certain EQ would be profitable even if they hemmoraged another 250k
players.

It may very well be that EQ is making less money now than it was (indeed
they -must- be making less, but that's not the same thing as facing
rising costs.

> > They have figured they can make more money at 14.95. That is the only
> > reason they raised it. I'm fine with that.
> >
> > I just don't care to be lied to about "needing to offset increasing
> > costs".
>
> "No, Dear, those pants don't make you look fat." There's a darn good
> chance they told you what you needed to hear.

Ones spouse isn't usually trying to sell you the pants.

This is more like the thinly veiled ego stroking that you'd get from a
commission salesperson who wants to make a sale so bad that he'll
squeeze his customer into pants that don't fit when he's out of stock on
the size the customer actually needs.

I can live without their "kindness" while they simultaneously pick my
pocket.

> I think it all boils down to whether they actually felt a legitimate
> *need* to increase the subscription rate, for any reason (including to
> make up for shortfalls on other games). We have no way of knowing if
> that is true or not, so I hardly think it appropriate to assume they
> lied to you.

I can't come up with any model for their business that would have
escalating costs for the ongoing maintenance of EQ1. That makes it
perfectly appropriate to disbeleive them.

> Even if they didn't really *need* to raise rates, what were they gonna
> say? "We just want to make more money"? Yeah, that'd go over really
> well.

I'd honestly have been more satisfied with no explanation at all. Most
companies raise their prices over time, few of them see a need to insult
their customers intelligence while doing it.
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 1:30:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
news:MPG.1cf3f5e3d061c04d989b3a@shawnews:

> In article <Xns965997EE62302Rumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.204.17>,
> Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com says...
>> 42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
>> news:MPG.1cf3e359b91aae4c989b38@shawnews:
>>
>> > In article <ycidnZsftfISsRffRVnyhQ@pipex.net>,
>> > apocalypsecow@spamfilterdeletemeplease.dsl.pipex.net says...
>> >>
>> >> "~Deborah~" <thoughtsinterrupted[NO@SPAM]hotmail.com> wrote in
>> >> message news:GOoie.1388800$8l.446759@pd7tw1no...
>> >>
>> >> >
>> >> > Also not mentioned is the customer service
>> >> > department. Whether or not you think the CSD is doing a good
>> >> > job, the costs associated with it (and designers/programmers)
>> >> > keep increasing (wages, insurance, etc.).
>> >>
>> >> What is the average annual salary in a Delhi callcentre, anyway?
>> >
>> > Hehehe.
>> >
>> > And lets be realistic about the size of the development/CS team.
>> >
>> > 450,000 accounts x 2 dollars/mo = $900,000/mo increased revenues.
>> > per MONTH.
>> >
>> > Even a team of 200 would EACH have to get a raise of over $4,000
>> > per MONTH to soak up that kind of revenue. Wages haven't gone up
>> > *that* much in the last 6 years.
>> >
>> > Nevermind that we haven't accounted for the falling costs of
>> > bandwidth and hardware.
>> >
>> > Plus I'm pretty sure the team is less than 200 people. Much less.
>> > I'd be very surprised if its even one third that.
>>
>> And that team has to be paid (likely with benefits) from a greatly
>> reduced number of active subscriptions.
>
> And? DAoC and most of the rest of the mmog community is successful and
> profitable with a quarter the number of subscriptions as EQ.
> Development wages are a major expense for mmogs... but its relatively
> fixed, and once the subscriber base meets a critical mass (50k-100k
> for most titles by all reports) the game becomes profitable, and the
> remaining expenses (bandwidth, CS, hardware) scale proportionally.
>
> I'm quite certain EQ was profitable before the price hike, and am
> quite certain EQ would be profitable even if they hemmoraged another
> 250k players.
>
> It may very well be that EQ is making less money now than it was
> (indeed they -must- be making less, but that's not the same thing as
> facing rising costs.

In your own words, "And?"


>> > They have figured they can make more money at 14.95. That is the
>> > only reason they raised it. I'm fine with that.
>> >
>> > I just don't care to be lied to about "needing to offset increasing
>> > costs".
>>
>> "No, Dear, those pants don't make you look fat." There's a darn good
>> chance they told you what you needed to hear.
>
> Ones spouse isn't usually trying to sell you the pants.
>
> This is more like the thinly veiled ego stroking that you'd get from a
> commission salesperson who wants to make a sale so bad that he'll
> squeeze his customer into pants that don't fit when he's out of stock
> on the size the customer actually needs.
>
> I can live without their "kindness" while they simultaneously pick my
> pocket.

Oh, come on. Picked your pocket? Is that how you view any rate/price
increase you ever face? Newsflash - companies will raise rates if
necessary or if it just works into their business strategy at the time,
and it's only picking your pocket if it's taken against your will.

>> I think it all boils down to whether they actually felt a legitimate
>> *need* to increase the subscription rate, for any reason (including
>> to make up for shortfalls on other games). We have no way of knowing
>> if that is true or not, so I hardly think it appropriate to assume
>> they lied to you.
>
> I can't come up with any model for their business that would have
> escalating costs for the ongoing maintenance of EQ1. That makes it
> perfectly appropriate to disbeleive them.

Would you even be qualified to comment on their business model?

>> Even if they didn't really *need* to raise rates, what were they
>> gonna say? "We just want to make more money"? Yeah, that'd go over
>> really well.
>
> I'd honestly have been more satisfied with no explanation at all. Most
> companies raise their prices over time, few of them see a need to
> insult their customers intelligence while doing it.

I find it hard to believe that the worst part of them "fleecing us" is
the fact that they tried to disguise it. I really doubt it would have
mattered to you how they went about it.

--
Rumble
"Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."
-- Benjamin Franklin
May 18, 2005 2:19:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

In article <Xns9659A7DC1A66BRumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.204.17>,
Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com says...
> 42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
> news:MPG.1cf3f5e3d061c04d989b3a@shawnews:
> >
> > And? DAoC and most of the rest of the mmog community is successful and
> > profitable with a quarter the number of subscriptions as EQ.
> > Development wages are a major expense for mmogs... but its relatively
> > fixed, and once the subscriber base meets a critical mass (50k-100k
> > for most titles by all reports) the game becomes profitable, and the
> > remaining expenses (bandwidth, CS, hardware) scale proportionally.
> >
> > I'm quite certain EQ was profitable before the price hike, and am
> > quite certain EQ would be profitable even if they hemmoraged another
> > 250k players.
> >
> > It may very well be that EQ is making less money now than it was
> > (indeed they -must- be making less, but that's not the same thing as
> > facing rising costs.
>
> In your own words, "And?"

Therefore costs are not increasing.

> and it's only picking your pocket if it's taken against your will.

Its only to offset "increased costs" when costs go UP.

Why suddenly nit pick at -my- choice of words?

Besides I seem to recall the ING Direct bank ad campaign has likened
their competitors service charges to "picking your pockets". I think its
an apt metaphor.

> Would you even be qualified to comment on their business model?

Yes. While I don't run a mmog, I routinely work with ISP/ASP business
models. (Application Services Provider not Active Server Pages). The
essentials are the same, server infrastructure and maintenance,
bandwidth, custom software development, customer support, licensing,
etc.

> I find it hard to believe that the worst part of them "fleecing us" is
> the fact that they tried to disguise it. I really doubt it would have
> mattered to you how they went about it.

Sure I'd have been annoyed. But quietly annoyed.
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 6:41:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Rumbledor <Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns965997EE62302Rumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.204.17:

> 42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
> news:MPG.1cf3e359b91aae4c989b38@shawnews:
>
>> In article <ycidnZsftfISsRffRVnyhQ@pipex.net>,
>> apocalypsecow@spamfilterdeletemeplease.dsl.pipex.net says...
>>>
>>> "~Deborah~" <thoughtsinterrupted[NO@SPAM]hotmail.com> wrote in
>>> message news:GOoie.1388800$8l.446759@pd7tw1no...
>>>
>>> >
>>> > Also not mentioned is the customer service
>>> > department. Whether or not you think the CSD is doing a good job,
>>> > the costs associated with it (and designers/programmers) keep
>>> > increasing (wages, insurance, etc.).
>>>
>>> What is the average annual salary in a Delhi callcentre, anyway?
>>
>> Hehehe.
>>
>> And lets be realistic about the size of the development/CS team.
>>
>> 450,000 accounts x 2 dollars/mo = $900,000/mo increased revenues. per
>> MONTH.
>>
>> Even a team of 200 would EACH have to get a raise of over $4,000 per
>> MONTH to soak up that kind of revenue. Wages haven't gone up *that*
>> much in the last 6 years.
>>
>> Nevermind that we haven't accounted for the falling costs of bandwidth
>> and hardware.
>>
>> Plus I'm pretty sure the team is less than 200 people. Much less. I'd
>> be very surprised if its even one third that.
>
> And that team has to be paid (likely with benefits) from a greatly
> reduced number of active subscriptions.
>
>> They have figured they can make more money at 14.95. That is the only
>> reason they raised it. I'm fine with that.
>>
>> I just don't care to be lied to about "needing to offset increasing
>> costs".
>
> "No, Dear, those pants don't make you look fat." There's a darn good
> chance they told you what you needed to hear.
>
> I think it all boils down to whether they actually felt a legitimate
> *need* to increase the subscription rate, for any reason (including to
> make up for shortfalls on other games). We have no way of knowing if
> that is true or not, so I hardly think it appropriate to assume they
> lied to you.
>
> Even if they didn't really *need* to raise rates, what were they gonna
> say? "We just want to make more money"? Yeah, that'd go over really
> well.
>
> Not that it matters anyway.
>

In the end, they are in business to make money, if they feel they can
safely raise the cost, and more than cover the cost of lost customers as
a result, then they will raise it. It helps a lot that other games are
charging about that same amount, so customers don't have a cheaper
alternative to move to.

--
On Erollisi Marr in <Sanctuary of Marr>
Ancient Graeme Faelban, Barbarian Soothsayer of 70 seasons

On Steamfont in <Insanity Plea>
Graeme, 28 Dwarven Mystic, 24 Sage, Retired
Aviv, 15 Gnome Brawler, 30 Provisioner, Retired
Anonymous
May 18, 2005 9:08:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
news:MPG.1cf40db820bb2b17989b3c@shawnews:

> In article <Xns9659A7DC1A66BRumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.204.17>,
> Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com says...
>> 42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
>> news:MPG.1cf3f5e3d061c04d989b3a@shawnews:
>> >
>> > And? DAoC and most of the rest of the mmog community is successful
>> > and profitable with a quarter the number of subscriptions as EQ.
>> > Development wages are a major expense for mmogs... but its
>> > relatively fixed, and once the subscriber base meets a critical
>> > mass (50k-100k for most titles by all reports) the game becomes
>> > profitable, and the remaining expenses (bandwidth, CS, hardware)
>> > scale proportionally.
>> >
>> > I'm quite certain EQ was profitable before the price hike, and am
>> > quite certain EQ would be profitable even if they hemmoraged
>> > another 250k players.
>> >
>> > It may very well be that EQ is making less money now than it was
>> > (indeed they -must- be making less, but that's not the same thing
>> > as facing rising costs.
>>
>> In your own words, "And?"
>
> Therefore costs are not increasing.

It should be noted that they may require a certain margin in order to
continue to recognize EQLive as a viable venture. If that is the case,
it would certainly substantiate a rate increase under the circumstances,
and their explanation, though still not entirely accurate, would be much
closer to the truth that you claim.

Again, I'm not privy to any insider information, so I have no idea what
their motivation may have been, but under the circumstances, I really
can't see mounting a smear campaign with unsubstantiated claims.

>> and it's only picking your pocket if it's taken against your will.
>
> Its only to offset "increased costs" when costs go UP.
>
> Why suddenly nit pick at -my- choice of words?
>
> Besides I seem to recall the ING Direct bank ad campaign has likened
> their competitors service charges to "picking your pockets". I think
> its an apt metaphor.

I find it pretty rhetorical in either case.

>> Would you even be qualified to comment on their business model?
>
> Yes. While I don't run a mmog, I routinely work with ISP/ASP business
> models. (Application Services Provider not Active Server Pages). The
> essentials are the same, server infrastructure and maintenance,
> bandwidth, custom software development, customer support, licensing,
> etc.

Fair enough, I suppose.

>> I find it hard to believe that the worst part of them "fleecing us"
>> is the fact that they tried to disguise it. I really doubt it would
>> have mattered to you how they went about it.
>
> Sure I'd have been annoyed. But quietly annoyed.

Heh, I'm not convinced. :p 

--
Rumble
"Write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."
-- Benjamin Franklin
May 18, 2005 10:08:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

In article <Xns965A7B9878DA8Rumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.199.17>,
Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com says...
> 42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
> news:MPG.1cf40db820bb2b17989b3c@shawnews:
>
> > In article <Xns9659A7DC1A66BRumbledorhotmailcom@204.127.204.17>,
> > Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com says...
> >> 42 <nospam@nospam.com> wrote in
> >> news:MPG.1cf3f5e3d061c04d989b3a@shawnews:
> >> >
> >> > And? DAoC and most of the rest of the mmog community is successful
> >> > and profitable with a quarter the number of subscriptions as EQ.
> >> > Development wages are a major expense for mmogs... but its
> >> > relatively fixed, and once the subscriber base meets a critical
> >> > mass (50k-100k for most titles by all reports) the game becomes
> >> > profitable, and the remaining expenses (bandwidth, CS, hardware)
> >> > scale proportionally.
> >> >
> >> > I'm quite certain EQ was profitable before the price hike, and am
> >> > quite certain EQ would be profitable even if they hemmoraged
> >> > another 250k players.
> >> >
> >> > It may very well be that EQ is making less money now than it was
> >> > (indeed they -must- be making less, but that's not the same thing
> >> > as facing rising costs.
> >>
> >> In your own words, "And?"
> >
> > Therefore costs are not increasing.
>
> It should be noted that they may require a certain margin in order to
> continue to recognize EQLive as a viable venture. If that is the case,
> it would certainly substantiate a rate increase under the circumstances,
> and their explanation, though still not entirely accurate, would be much
> closer to the truth that you claim.

I concede its "closer to the truth". However, I maintain that EQ1 should
be quite profitable, and a solid venture running even at 12.95 with
150,000.

Watching what other mmogs are doing, where they claim they're break even
points are, where they get desperate, and where they are finally
actually cancelled ("deemed no longer a viable venture") backs that
claim up.

Considering that no venture with a 'mere' 150k players is 'hanging on by
a thread'. The argument that EQ at 400k+ is even close to becoming non-
viable is simply not credible.


> Again, I'm not privy to any insider information, so I have no idea what
> their motivation may have been, but under the circumstances, I really
> can't see mounting a smear campaign with unsubstantiated claims.

Chalk it up to balancing out the universe. :p 
Anonymous
May 19, 2005 3:04:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.everquest (More info?)

Rumbledor <Rumbledor@hotspamsuxmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns9658A6DA618F8Rumbledorhotmailcom@63.240.76.16:

> The Other John <spamblock@blockit.com> wrote in
> news:o 4a9811d8gt6egk2rrj3acu8v03u1f36dc@4ax.com:

>snip<
>
> Seriously, I'm sure there is a heck of a lot more that goes into
> running EQ that people here are willing to consider - more than just
> x-number of server boxes and x-GB's of bandwidth (not that one EQ
> server necessarily = one server box).
>
> If it's not worth $14.99/mo. to someone, I get that, I suppose, but I
> can't imagine anyone ever thinking a company might decrease their
> rates. We were due for another minor increase (this one still being
> smaller than the last), and here it is.
>
> Still a bargain, if you ask me. /shrug
>

SoE is a huge company, running multiple games. I would have to think
that as they add more servers, etc they are getting a better deal on the
overall bandwidth that they need to purchase. Furthermore, specifically
to EQLive, I can't imagine they are actually investing MORE money in it
now than they did before.

I don't think anyone who is questioning/decrying the price increase is
trying to say its too much money or that it's breaking the bank. The
problem people have is "hey, what is that extra $2 doing for me?". The
obvious answer is that it's not doing anything for any EQLive customers.
Service is the lightest its been in ages (I remember years ago when
guides and GM's were commonplace) and if I had to guess, I would say that
your extra $$ is just going to fund/subsidize other SoE projects.

-Joe
!