What I told you about SOE’s business practices and trends?
I saw this looking at other blogs feeds (Cuppycake and Krones). I guess Brad McQuaid pretended the price to raise in order to keep Vanguard vaguely profitable.
The price is now thirty bucks (in Europe add another $5 of taxes) and they even rebill you automatically with the higher fee (effective April 2, 2007).
Firstly they publicize Vanguard and the All-access pass as both part of a very convenient deal, then, I guess, they are successful but so successful to the point that they cannot keep all games and live teams alive with one reasonable monthly fee that has to be split thin.
So it’s now thirty bucks. Still cheap? Well, it’s almost what you would pay for a FULL brand new game with years of development behind it. And you pay that MONTHLY.
Prediction: this will break either EQ2 or Vanguard, as they are now forcing players to pick one side. As I anticipated, only one will survive.
Next step is obviously rising the single monthly fee. But they just cannot do that before the competition moves the first step ;p
They also gave NCSoft the perfect occasion for a winning stab. Release Dungeon Runners, Exteel and Tabula Rasa and launch their own version of an all-access pass with an accessible monthly fee. If they are going to miss this opportunity then they are just crazy. A victory handed on a silver plate. With their accessible games and variety of styles it even makes sense to play more than one mmorpg.
Planetside monthly fee is also going up: $13 -> $15
The player-reported news on VE3D is worth a quote:
After more 3 years of continually dwindling subscriber numbers, corporate mismanagement, a botched expansion, the addition of in-game advertisements, and numerous unpopular gameplay changes, SOE in all their wisdom has decided to increase the subscription rate from $13 to $15, citing investments to improve the game’s support and infrastructure. Any long-time player knows the only support they have given is life-support. Barely keeping the game running is their idea of investing in it.
And another quote from Amber:
The short-sightedness of this approach is staggering. In a marketplace that Sony hasn’t come close to dominating for well over 5 years, they’re behaving like a monopoly with a captive player base.