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Wizard101 Pricing Model

AuthorMessage
Developer
Hey folks, I wanted to drop a quick note about the pricing model before the game goes live. We’re going to be using a “hybrid model” for Wizard101, which means that the game will be available with limited content for Free (roughly half of Wizard City, and the PvP system which will be coming online shortly after launch.) Players can purchase unlimited access to all of Wizard101’s content in a couple of ways:

- Monthly Subscription. You can buy a recurring subscription for $9.95 per month that gives you full access to the game content, chat systems and other great benefits.
- Pre-paid subscription. You can buy a recurring subscription for 6 months or 12 months at a discounted price.

In addition, we are looking to bring other pricing options online shortly after launch:

- Time for Crowns. In addition, we’re going to allow you to buy pre-paid months using crowns. Initially crowns will be available online, and eventually (through some really cool programs that we haven’t talked about yet) we’ll provide other ways for players to get crowns, as well.
- Other pricing options that will be announced at a later date

We have a lot of exciting stuff coming down the pipe, but the first step is to get the game launched successfully … so to make that happen, we’re going to start with the traditional online game model of subscriptions and a cash shop. Stay tuned as we bring you more options post launch and, as always, enjoy the game!

Survivor
Jun 29, 2008
22
Wait, so you are saying that if we play for free, we can't even get passed Wizard City?

Survivor
Aug 27, 2008
24
Oh great, here we go again, "I want to play for free!" Well, I want to eat for free but for some unknown reason, McDonalds keeps thinking that I have to pay for their food! Can you believe it?!

Survivor
May 29, 2008
42
grandmaster wrote:
Oh great, here we go again, "I want to play for free!" Well, I want to eat for free but for some unknown reason, McDonalds keeps thinking that I have to pay for their food! Can you believe it?!
Hahahaha, that made me laugh. On a side note I would thing McDonalds should pay us to eat their food, but that's my stomach ache talking.

I don't know, I assumed from the interviews that the free model had more content than half of wizard city. At most I was thinking a level cap around 20 or so. But I guess we know what happens when one assumes, lol.

Survivor
Aug 26, 2008
1
I think that's fair. Life isn't always free and getting free stuff doesn't always make it the best. You get what you pay for.

Survivor
Aug 09, 2008
1
Sorry, but this really disgusts me... I really do not think this game is worth paying every month for. I pay $160 a year for another game, and it's with two accounts and twelve characters. I think that that game has much better graphics and gameplay than this. I think this game should have the system MS has, which would be to pay for crowns and just that. Making it to where we can't get anywhere in the game without paying and then to ALSO make us pay for crowns, is a bit selfish in my opinion. I am quitting the game, and I would have paid. I would have paid for crowns if you just had that system, or I would have paid $5 a month if you had that system. However, to have to pay every single month is just pointless when people have practically beaten the game in less than a month.. I really liked this game, but you guys have disappointed me greatly. I don't mean to be rude or harsh, but you lost me as a member..

Survivor
Aug 02, 2008
3
Not the best deal but here is a discussion on another forum (I hope I am aloud to post a link to there from here) http://www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=498

Survivor
Aug 18, 2008
2
grandmaster wrote:
Oh great, here we go again, "I want to play for free!" Well, I want to eat for free but for some unknown reason, McDonalds keeps thinking that I have to pay for their food! Can you believe it?!


Yeah, but not this buggy of a game for that high of a price. I demand more content before paying closer to ToonTown, which has far more content.

Survivor
Jun 17, 2008
3
Thanks Watson,

If this info is final and official (?) then it needs to be promenantly displayed and linked everywhere.
On the Homepage.
In the FAQ
Stickied in the forum
In BIG RED LETTERS anywhere you can.

You need to be very clear on what people are getting.

"...roughly half of Wizard City..."
Would that be the left footpath? or the right footpath?
People will want to know if they can complete enough quests to progress
to Krokotopia?
"...and the PvP system which will be coming online shortly after launch."
Uh... so can I rank up with PvP?

I know this may seem trite - but the clearer you are the less questions you will have to field on this.
The clearer you are with your customers on exactly what it is they are getting the less trouble you will have and the more they will respect you.

So, saying something like "Players will be able to play the first 4 zones of Wizard City (Unicorn Way, Cyclops Ave, Triton Ave and Firecat Alley) for free and beyond that will require a subscription..." would be a lot clearer and less ambiguous. (You can probably improve on that).

"Players can purchase unlimited access to all of Wizard101’s content in a couple of ways:...

- Monthly Subscription. ...
- Pre-paid subscription. ...

...

- Time for Crowns. In addition, we’re going to allow you to buy pre-paid months using crowns. Initially crowns will be available online, ..."

Players will want to know HOW?
A critical question here will be "Is a Credit Card required?"

If there is a way to purchase subscriptions without a credit card then you need to be clear on how.
In this case it is likely to be important because your target audience is under 18.

Survivor
Jun 29, 2008
22
grandmaster wrote:
Oh great, here we go again, "I want to play for free!" Well, I want to eat for free but for some unknown reason, McDonalds keeps thinking that I have to pay for their food! Can you believe it?!


No! I mean that it is a rip off if we can't even get pass Wizard City!

Survivor
Jun 07, 2008
5
wait 1 month and game will be cash shop only with no monthly fee...

I dont see people paying monthly fee,but who know...

Administrator
Watson wrote:

- Other pricing options that will be announced at a later date

We have a lot of exciting stuff coming down the pipe, but the first step is to get the game launched successfully … so to make that happen, we’re going to start with the traditional online game model of subscriptions and a cash shop. Stay tuned as we bring you more options post launch and, as always, enjoy the game!


Hey everyone. Remember Watson stated that we want to get the game successfully launched so we are starting out with a traditional online game model. Keep your eye on the forums and email announcements for updates to other options to come.

Survivor
Jun 12, 2008
18
/agree Zardox

KingsIsle needs to be clear about what content is specifically going to be free, what requires payment and--for the payment-required content--what type of payment is required, specifically.

I do have to say, I'm rather disappointed by this announcement. I knew that there was going to be a hybrid model, per the IGN interview, but this really isn't a hybrid. Quite honestly, based on your very broad description, it seems more like "demo the first couple of levels for free and then pay to continue playing" rather than a true hybrid f2p/p2p model. I wouldn't mind this if you had simply stated the game was going to be subscription based from the beginning.

In terms of entertainment value, is Wizard101 worth $10/month? Absolutely, especially if you play for at least a few hours a month. After all, compare the price to what you'd spend for a couple hours at the movies. The problem, however, isn't the entertainment value, but the value compared to existing online games in a saturated market. As a pre-order customer for LotR, I had the opportunity to pay $10/month for that game. I've also paid $15/month for WoW. While neither of those games are designed explicity for kids, they are good measuring sticks of online gaming value. They both offer a variety of servers, upon which one can have a large number of characters. They also offer much deeper, more immersive content. So, when you compare Wizard101's price point to theirs, Wizard101 comes up short.

Would I pay $5/month for Wizard101? Absolutely. Furthermore, I'd pay that much for each of the 5 members in my household that want to play. Would I pay $10/month for Wizard101? Maybe, for a single subscription, if I didn't already pay for another MMO. Would I pay $50/month for my household? Definitely not. So, in my case, KingsIsle could get $25/month from me or they could get $0. If I were them, I'd want the $25...

As for wanting a successful launch, I guess that depends on how KingsIsle defines success. The game launching smoothly with little lag, few bugs and quite a bit of content could be called a success. The game launching with very few players willing to subscribe could be deemed a failure.

Please clarify.

~Ripper

Survivor
Jun 12, 2008
2
Well, at least i will be able to do a little bit on the game. No way can I afford that much money a month on a game. Ouch! I do much prefer cash shops, then I can buy when I have extra funds.

Survivor
Aug 18, 2008
1
Survivor
Aug 16, 2008
3
To be honest, if you're doing a month by month model, you'll need a lot more end-game content for it to be worth it. As it is now, I'm pretty sure I can get through everything within a single month after which there isn't any reason to really keep paying.

WoW has raids and arenas. Warhammer Online is built around end-game RvR. Eve Online... well, you can pretty much never max out a character in that game at the rate free expansions and new stuff are being added and the fact that playing more in that game won't make you gain skill levels faster (you gain skill points even while offline).

A cash shop though, allows the game to serve as a glorified chat room with vanity items which would allow those impulse buys and get the money flowing even when players are at max level. Don't underestimate the need for some people to show off, even if said items confer no extra stat bonuses. ;) Just look at how well collector's edition with in-game bonuses for other games sell.

Survivor
May 24, 2008
32
Remember, the game has not launched yet. Nothing is carved in stone so I am sure adjustments will be made on player areas, pricing, etc. as things move along. The staff has to start somewhere to get the game launched and $9.95 a month is pretty standard for online subscriptions. Depending on how things work out, that may be adjusted down, other options (such as the cash shop) may be added, and, as new worlds are added, the basic "free open" areas may also be adjusted (e.g., a new world added and Krok added to the open access area).

Also, remember you are not subscribing just to the game as it stands today. They have stated there will be new worlds added so it won't end when you finish Mooshu. If you are unsure of the cost, then don't subscribe immediately but give things a month to see how the game develops.

For those who already "pay to play" in other online games and don't wish to pay for another, I understand, but that's where personal choice enters into it. Select the game that you enjoy the most and support that one.

I for one have been very impressed with both the game and the solid communication from the Staff throughout the beta period. Not every online game, even the subscription ones, have such active, responsive staffs and that adds a great deal to the appeal of the game.

Survivor
May 28, 2008
2
I'm ok with SOME kind of monthly fee, but for my wife, my son, and myself, that's $30/month, or is there account linking or family accounts available? $30 is a bit too much. You should offer household discounts really.

Survivor
Aug 12, 2008
5
Sorry but the game just isn't worth the regular payment to me.
Beta has been a fun distraction but in less than a month I had reached the last world.
I was hoping to play through to Mooshu and then pick up a decent set of clothing in the item shop but $120 ($240 if I wanted to play with my wife which was half the fun of the game) is too much for a year of a game that provides less gameplay than I can buy for a quater of that in the shops.
I pay less than that for Lord of the Rings Online which has far far more content and keeps on adding it for free, and there are plenty of other similar games competing that also provide farmore than wizard101.
I appreciate that the developers of this game need to be paid for their work (and would happy to make the odd payment via an item shop or pay a much lower subscription) but in return they need to provide value for that money, a game with limited content and few others to play with just isn't worth the current asking price

Survivor
Jul 09, 2008
8
Thanks for letting us know what you can, Watson. :)

We will be anxiously awaiting further details.

Survivor
Jul 05, 2008
33
i want to say so many things to the people that keep demanding these people work for free.. but i can't say most of those things and i'm sure they already know how idiotic they sound. so i'll leave it at that. when can we enter our credit cards?? 8)

Survivor
Aug 02, 2008
5
I want to start by applauding the continued effort by the dev team to keep a visible presence and to share what information can be made available.

Half of these responses quite clearly demonstrate exactly why you DON'T promise ANYTHING until it's official. Sure, we all want to know definitive facts and it sure would be nice for this particular Christmas to get here quicker, but for goodness sakes, these things take time to bring together and MAKE official.

So many here are acting like KingsIsle has already taken our bank accounts to the cleaners and gleefully run to the hills. I'll cut you slack if this is your 8 years old and this is your first game or forum experience ever, but the rest of you should know better by now.

Weigh in with your opinions, state your issues, but be polite about it. They didn't have to give ANY of us access...stop acting like entitled and spoiled brats.

Survivor
Jun 12, 2008
18
hbeatbaby wrote:
i want to say so many things to the people that keep demanding these people work for free.. but i can't say most of those things and i'm sure they already know how idiotic they sound. so i'll leave it at that. when can we enter our credit cards?? 8)


Not all of us are arguing that they" work for free". Some of us are questioning the logic and reasoning behind the proposed revenue model at launch, especially in a market already saturated with a wide variety of games (and in a depressed US economy, too), many of which offer more features, functionality and content for a better overall price. Also, please keep in mind that the developers implied the game would be partially f2p in earlier interviews, such as this one from IGN (August 1, 2008):

Jonric: When is your launch target for North America? At that time, what type of revenue model will we see in place?

Todd Coleman: The North American launch will hit in Q3. Beta is going extremely well, and we'll be adding a lot more players over the next few weeks... a huge ramp-up. The game is extremely polished, and we're now making the adjustments to our operational environment and the support systems (like customer support and billing) so we'll be ready for launch.

We plan on free to play for a certain portion of the content, and subscriptions for advanced play. We also have a pretty cool micro-payment plan in place, which is probably not altogether surprising, given our strong similarities to a CCG.


Todd's quote is similar to what Watson announced, but even more vague. The implication in the quote is that there will be a hybrid f2p/p2p model. The announcement by Watson, however, implies that the only f2p play will be introductory content, after which the game becomes p2p.

In regards to f2p/p2p - I think both models have their place, but I personally dislike f2p that force players to pay to advance. I'd much rather see models like the one in Dungeon Runners, where a free player can play all content to the max level, but with penalties (fewer xp/kill, less gold dropped, smaller chance to use gear that drops, etc...). This provides incentive for players to pay, but doesn't force them to do so.

I, and other players, would really like some clarification on specifically what is free, what isn't, and what type of payment is required for what content.

~Ripper

Survivor
Jun 17, 2008
1
As much as I love this game, I really doubt I'll pay a monthly fee to play it. Why?

I already play WoW, I have a commitment to that game. Furthermore, I see W101 as a rather casual game. Combine that with the fact that school has started, I'd play at BEST once a week, and at worse, once or twice a MONTH. Sorry, but I'm just not going to pay a monthly fee for that. :/

Admittedly, if it had been 5$ a month, I might have considered paying. Thats not so bad, and I'd feel like I was getting my money's worth.

I'll probably still play through the free portions, but after that...I'm outa here. :/

Survivor
May 26, 2008
2
hbeatbaby wrote:
i want to say so many things to the people that keep demanding these people work for free.. but i can't say most of those things and i'm sure they already know how idiotic they sound. so i'll leave it at that. when can we enter our credit cards?? 8)


Wow, in case your one of those single child kids that has been spoiled all there lives. ( by looking at your responds i say its likely so) Not everyone can afford anything they want. Regardless of what you think the people who are asking for more free stuff or a lower price have valid points, one that i strongly agree on is the fact that other games with higher content have much lower price. On the other hand i also get the fact that they need some money in there pocket. I have quite a few suggestions King's Isle should look into doing.

1. Content for the Money: I'm sure your not gonna stick with just Mooshu being the last world characters can go to, but the game needs content to be added on a regular bases.

2.Work with other Companies or Sponsorship to INVEST: This option is very easy to do, get other companies involved so they can help support this game and help it grow. Nearly all good games have sponsors from other companies, and guess what? They can help pay for workload and content.

3.CASH SHOP or Expand on the Crowns system Items: Ok, by now you have to have seen WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT! They want stuff for different seasons and other items like upgradable scrolls, and even thought people will hate it make it so that you can only buy rare pets with crowns.

4.Pay to Play Server AND a Test Server: Wizard101 is very similar to ToonTown Online, and toontown has 2 different severs. They have the regular p2p server were everyone who wants all the features pays and new releases come out every couple of months. But this is also a Test server which is completely Free. People sign up for a test account and only so many are chosen a month. The test server would have ALL the content and would allow you and players to test new worlds or new content before its added to the Open Server.

These are some good options for your money problems and for keeping the game going where most everyone will be happy! :D