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Wizard101 Pricing Model

Aug 10, 2008
Kilajula wrote:
Velete wrote:
Take a look at any other mmo that costs 9.95 and you will see almost endless content for serious endgame powergamers or casual social players.
Now let's compare how long any other MMO that costs 9.95 has been on the market with Wizard*101*. OOPS! Wizard*101* isn't on the market yet. They will be adding content on release too. And continually added content after that. People need to stop acting like what's on the table now is as good as it gets. At least wait to see what is offered in the game at release, then your argument of comparisons might carry some weight.

Yet again Kilajula, you miss the point. Wizard101 may not be on the market yet, but many beta players played to the end of existing content and there is nothing to do after that.

There is no endgame content and it's hard to see how it could be added.

Your dedication to the game is admirable, but you're expecting that worlds will be added to the spiral at a rate which I just can't see any dev house doing. You'd need one every few days (or week say) to keep people occupied. Without that constant and massive addition of content people will simply get bored and stop playing.

So lack of end game stuff alienates the hardcore gamer market. When you add in the fact that people can't chat to each other usefully in game (alienates everybody) and that the monthly cost is high for a game aimed at families (alienates the target family market) , it's hard to see who will actually sign up and stay signed up beyond the first month.

Much though I hate to see a nice MMO fail, I've seen lots do just that and I fear that Wizard101 is consigning itself to that route.

Jun 30, 2008
well you know what


yes thats right i am! so there! :D

I am only going to pay for a month intially and then see what else they offer i do have a slight concern over running out of things to do as it has taken me 2 days to get up to three quarters of the way through krok - and yes that is doing all quests.
So i will be very interesting in seeing how much more they will offer, i will be seriously considering the worth of paying if i run out of quests!

as for a family account i do think this should be considered - it does not affect me personally but i could understand where familes are coming from when they want to play together.

and as for the post right at the start about MacDonalds - thank you so much for the great life and GOOD POINT :P

Jun 07, 2008
That's what I'm saying, make a cash shop only but not both...

Kind of silly....

Also people have 2 or 3 kids, no parent in the world going to pay $20 or $30 per month per kid...

I wouldn't pay it for my kids... I might buy them some cash shop items like a hat or a new pet or something, but paying per month...

no way....

Midsummer wrote:
I doubt I'll be playing after the game goes live. I've said all along that I wouldn't mind paying a monthly fee or paying for cash shop items, but BOTH? So you are telling me that I pay 9.95 a month and then I still have to pay more to get the cool crown-related items? I can understand paying 9.95 a month. I can also understand a cash shop to get the cool stuff. I'm not about to pay for both. Perhaps when the "really exciting things come down the pipe" I will reconsider, as long as I'm not paying more than $10 a month. I've enjoyed my time as a beta tester.

Aug 12, 2008
To be fair, WoW had zero raid dungeons on release.

The Molten Core was added 3 months after release. It did have some of the 5 man dungeons (Scholomance, Stratholme and Blackrock Spire), which were all intended to be raided, had about ten times the monsters that were in there before and still only dropped only one item per monster. Trust me, it wasn't that fun. Even when they added the raid dungeons, they were a huge turn off to a lot of people because of the length of time it took to complete and the fact that you needed 40 other people to play with you to have a chance at completing the content.

So, no, WoW didn't have very much end game content. It did have quite a bit of "leveling up" content, but if you really tried, you could still level a character from start to level cap in 2 weeks.

It's really hard to compare the 2 because you are essentially comparing two very different games. WoW was designed for older players and designed for people that like to raid (i.e. spend a lot of time killing very powerful monsters that takes 10-40 people months to learn). Wizard101 is designed for younger players and more casual audiences, and people that don't want to be committed to their computer a few nights a week.

Aug 19, 2008
I'd have no problem with a $10/ month fee, but as others have said the game can be beaten in far less than that. I would prefer something like Guild Wars system, a fixed single payment for each account, with expansions costing an additional fixed payment. That, plus a cash shop, would seem to be a sounder basis for financing.

It's the difference between asking yourself "Now that I've beaten this game, is it worth paying $10 a month for?" and "Now that I've paid $20 for my account, why shouldn't I pay a few more $$$ for some nifty items/ the next expansion?".

I'd hate to see this company, which has been so very responsive to its userbase, losing money on this project merely because they choose a poor payment model.

Jul 14, 2008
This is a combined post of all that I made on a fansite forum:

I love the choice made for the business model. The only thing that wasn't mentioned that I am heavily curious of (Which makes the whole model actually WORK) is the amount in % of discount for pre-paid subcriptions.

What everyone here is failing to realize and so quick to jump down KingIsle's throats is I believe they have a plan to reduce the fees down to around $7/month...

THEY WANT YOUR COMMITMENT. At least for 6 months. If you don't want to play for 6 months, you pay at the premium of $10/month

It's not a big request, they simply want some loyalty.

Even at $10, this is a unique game that you can find no where else. No Korean Cookie Cutter or Disney game can replicate what Wizard101 and KingIsle has done. Period.

You've all stated your opinion...some biased, some misinformed, some without intelligence behind your posts....

I don't blame you.

Someone even went to say ToonTown is a gift to gaming. LOL at that, but we're not going to make this a flame-fest. I will leave it at this: No respectable MMORPG site will list toon-town anywhere near the top 25...even the top 50 MMO's.

My friend Greg pointed out the similarites. I agree the interface is similar Greg, but that is because they are both kids games!

The HOW to get around the game (The user interface, the way chat works) is similar because they share the same target audience. The Who,What,Where, and Why are COMPLETELY different. I totally disagree with those who say Wiz is 45% TT. If you want to consider the UI, I'll give you a 5%.

Please do not compare Wiz to games like Maple Story and Combat Arms. While these are OK games, I can play MapleStory in about 50 different forms with about 50 different names, but it is the same game. Same thing with Combat Arms. They polish'd off the same engine they use for all their B- First Person shooters.

Korean Cookie Cutter MMO's cannot compare to what it takes to create a single unique game from scratch. That is why CASH SHOPS are so much easier/popular for them to put up. They have ALREADY MADE MILLIONS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

Korea/Asia have been making MMO's before ToonTown was even a concept, Before Americans could concept the definition of MMO. 3/4 of the korean games out now (including the original korean Maple Story) were made BEFORE toontown, restyled, renamed, and ported to American and European countries to rebrand and make money in cash shops.

KingIsle is an American-based company funded by a couple people (Like the gray haired guy in the making videos who claims them to be the "Real Wizards"), staffed by some of the greatest game developers in our countries game making history. You are talking about the guys who made MORTAL KOMBAT. The game that spawned almost every fighting game out there (Aside from Street Fighter). J.T. Coleman produced Shadowbane, an MMO that actually MAKES a Top 50 MMO List. Yes, developers of this calibur cost money.

Developing a game on your own, without editing a game that already exists and made money, COSTS MONEY.

KingIsle is not DISNEY, a multi-billion dollar franchise who doesn't even produce their own MMO's (Disney Interactive has better things to do, I think?). It's kind of funny that the company that has billions can't fix bugs that I saw in Alpha 6 years ago, while KingIsle has made great stride in a matter of months starting the end of may.

I just did my fair share research on the game and the company behind it before I installed. I also ran the fansite @ http://ravenwood101.com which now just forwards to this site. It has been since my site went down.

Anyway, I just think a lot of you are being way too impatient to make judgement on just why this game is being priced as it is. You do not even know what the discount percentages are. The game would not cost $10/month if you really plan to play. All of you also seem to disregard all the content and systems being polished off, such as PvP, new cards, classes, etc.

In closing, I'd like to remind all you TT'ers who are complaining about the price structure of Wiz that ToonTown started at the same price ($9.99 at release, AND IN SOME INSTANCES YOU PAID FOR THE BOX) and did NOT offer ANY discount packages until about 6 months in. The both offer limited free things to do, but how much thats free is moot. It's just a teaser to show you what you would be paying for, not for you to leech.

So, you either signed up after the price dropped, or you are a Hypocrite.

There are many games of much less quality that charge equal or more. A lot of those games you have paid for whether it be cash shop or subscription.

It could always just boil down to jealousy that people who have the money to buy additional crowns over their allowance from subscription will have an advantage....but I wouldn't go there, since no one in 14 pages has tried to point it out....

Aug 08, 2008
I have to agree with the sentiment here that we just aren't being given enough information. We don't have a clear idea of what content is going to be included in the free package (which for anyone serious won't be enough anyway), what the 12 month discount will be, what the new content schedule will be like, nor what the separation between crowns-based content and subscription content will be. If the only way to be a "serious" player will be to buy Crowns to get the best gear, and pay $10 a month, I think I'll pass. This is a fun little game, but "fun little games" should cost $25-40 total, not $120 a year.

Jun 09, 2008
I understand that companies need income to live.

My issue is with the fact that you want BOTH pay to play AND items cash shop.

I see this as greed, not justified need of income.

Added to the fact that chat is still unworkable (still cannot say numbers, for instance), this game is currently not worth paying for.

And since you even disabled the already lame chat as well, unless we pay a registration, this is good bye from me.

Aug 27, 2008
I don't mind the subscription and the cash shop, as long as the cash shop items do not unbalance the game. It does not necessarily bother me that people can buy awesome stuff as this does not detract from MY experience (except for PvP). If you want to plunk down big bucks to get a sparkly robe, go right ahead. If I see someone with an expensive cash shop item, to me it takes a bit of shine off their achievement. I made it to Bad Blood without the items once and will do it again if I need to :)

Aug 11, 2008
I agree that the developers should bet paid for all their hard work, I mean come on everyone we have all had fun with the game while in Beta testing.

With the discount pricing- Agreed they need to make money, How about just a discount or family pricing for the Beta testers? The ones that come on after the game is launches would not get the discount pricing. This should keep everyone happy and the game afoot

I also agree and hope that new worlds will be added frequently, This will keep the players amused and wondering what will come next.

Jul 22, 2008
Dracil wrote:
BTW, personally I'm a fan of Puzzle Pirate's (www.puzzlepirates.com) hybrid system.

They actually have two types of servers. One is subscription ($10/month, $6.25/month for 12 months) and one uses something called doubloons. The two servers are the same except for one thing.

On Subscription servers, you can't get certain higher-end clothing/equipment and play certain puzzles unless you pay.

On Doubloon servers, you can still get those items, but you need Doubloons. You also need to buy badges to actually play certain puzzles (though they have rotating free puzzles for people who don't pay).

The thing is, you can buy Doubloons off other people who bought doubloons with real money (there's actually an in-game doubloon exchange where you can post buy/sell offers). That way everyone can get access to everything on a Doubloon ocean, it just essentially costs them more in-game money vs. someone who buys doubloons on a monthly basis. Also, people who are willing to spend more real money can get in-game money by basically buying more doubloons and selling them off (I see Wizard101 already has this sytem in play with Zeke, but it's only one-way).

It doesn't unbalance the game because 1) All items including badges eventually decay in 1-3 months depending on the item (more expensive items tend to last longer). 2) Items don't affect the game that much. Most are cosmetic. "Dominating" in the game (winning ship battles) is more dependant on the crew's ability to do the ship puzzles.

I also play Puzzle Pirates, and I believe that this is a good system. You can either subscribe, or buy doubloons (or not since you can use in-game gold to buy money bought doubloons/crowns from other players). Either way, the game is being paid for. Only here, I'd rather not see a crown server and a p2p server as that means I may not be able to play on the same server as many of my friends. But it's not up to me.

While I really enjoy this game, I'm afraid that it may go the way of Pirates of the Caribbean Online. It's been close to a year and still no Chapter 2. After taking the Boss Battle down for months, it comes back up a little easy, then is tweaked so that it is nearly impossible to beat. Character level is still capped at 40, and there really isn't much to buy with your gold but new ships. Buying new weapons increases the damage you do which decreases the amount of experience you get. Basically, in other words, not enough to do. And for people who are serious enough about a game to pay a monthly fee, it is rather important to us to have something to do.

Right now, I'm not going to be paying for a subscription. Mostly, because I've got other things that I need to pay for, but partly because I want to see how much and how regularly new content will be added before I part with money that really should go to fueling my vehicle. Then again, if I did spend that $10/mo on the game, I probably would stay home more.

Jun 27, 2008
I understand that there was a certain amount of effort put into the development of w101. There's a lot of good stuff in this game.

But, with the Subscription and Crowns, that gets a bit pricy. Granted, the crown items aren't needed to play the game, but everyone will still want some of those items.

I understand that there are monthly server and bandwidth costs associated with play and that KI has to pay for those costs somehow, but I don't know if the content is there for price. But I think we all agree that if KI/w101 goes under because they can't affoard the server and bandwith, nobody wins.

I am really torn. My son really likes the game and it's a great bargining tool for good behavior and getting stuff done. But at the same time, trying to be responsible and limit computer game time so that it's balanced with non-computer time and all, the pricing model does make it less attractive.

On top of that, if I want to play with my son, then that is the cost of two subscriptions. One of my sons friends, whom my son introduced to w101 too, has a brother and a sister that got hooked on playing as well. That's a big pricetag for that family to allow their children to play. . .

There really needs to be a family pricing plan.


Aug 22, 2008
Im ok with the game being pay to play, if they want us to pay well some will and some wont. BUT!!!! i believe they are asking way to much for this very simple game, Runescape was pay to play and it is cheap at the same time offers alot ALOT more than this game has to offer, and my fav game Guildwars is free, and there are more to that game as well.

so i would say that a 2-3$ per month would be worth it, and the crowns is another way to make money so why do they have to have the monthly fee so high?

May 22, 2008
First, Congratulations on finally Releasing Wizard101! It is a great product and I hope you do well.

Second, we have sincerely enjoyed participating in the Beta Test. Myself, my wife and our 2 kids all loved helping out and seeing the game. We were also able to go to the Austin Game Day at Dragon's Lair and loved seeing everyone involved.

Last, we won't be Upgrading our accounts, but I felt the need to tell you why.

It all comes down to cost. I'm sure you have heard this a lot. I posted several long messages to the Message Boards on the topic. But your pricing model just doesn't fit into our budget. And I'm afraid a large portion of your target audience (families) will be in a similar situation.

There are 4 of us in the house play. My Wife, myself, and our 7 year old son all played a few times a week. My wife and I liked having a game to play with our son that was more targeted at his age. And our 4 year old daughter could make a Wizard and run around in Wizard City "looking pretty" and "helping us fight".

So if we wanted to pay by the Month, it would cost us $40/month. If we broke down and paid for a whole year it would be $320 (or $280 under the limited offer). That is a lot of money for entertainment we only use a 1-3 times a week. Even if we only Upgraded our sons account, we can no longer play along with him once he leaves Wizard City. My wife and I already play World of Warcraft at $45/month. To be able to play together, we would be more likely to add another WOW account for our son to use (albeit supervised with us playing with him) than get all 4 of us full Wizard101 accounts.

If you had a Family Account that would let all of us play for $20/month we would have signed right up.

If the Basic Account had access to all the worlds, but couldn't use the best gear (like Dungeon Runners) we would probably upgrade our sons account and leave the rest of us to "help" him get better.

If the Basic Account had access to all the Worlds and basic gear but we had to buy Trading Card Packs to get codes for the Premium Gear, that would even work.

But as it stands the Full Access accounts are too expensive and the Free to Play accounts are too limited. The worst of both words for us.

I'm really sorry this is the case. We really enjoyed the game and were looking forward to continuing. I'm sure you have thoroughly examined the other payment structures, but until something changes we aren't likely to log in very often. And please don't think I am one of those crying that Wizard101 must be Free to Play forever. I completely understand the need for King's Isle to make money.

If you eventually offer some other access options, please let us know. Put us on a marketing mailing list if you have one. We would really like to have a more Family oriented game to play with the kids. We really do love the game.

And again, Congratulations on Wizard101! Good Luck.

Aug 22, 2008
Honestly $9.95 a month is way too much for this game. When Toon Town first started out they charged $4.99 a month. Which I happily paid at that time. Content was low but at $5 a month who cared.

Right now there isn't enough content to warrent a $10 a month fee. Also if I had a child in the target range I'd first ask to look at the game and on inspecting this game I'd say heck not. Espeically as there is a pay per month and a cash shop. I think greedy so and so and NEVER pay for it. I have a feeling a lot of parents are going to say no.

In today's day and age where gass is going through the roof and families are losing their houses left and right it's insane for a company to charge os much for a game that is aimed towards children. Especially where there isn't enough content in the game to back up the price.

Someone had brought up that there is a discount for a 1 year subscription. Well first off not everyone can pay a lump sum of money all at one point. Also if it's a family of 4 That would be $240. I can think of tons of stuff I'd rather put that lump sum into. An online game that doesn't have the content to back up playing for a year isn't one of them.

Even with them adding in content over that year they would have to work nonstop day and night to come up with content enough to keep people occupied for a whole year. Which I highly doubt they will be doing.

I had suggested earler that you stick with just a cash shop. I know PLEANTY of other games that make bucketloads of money with just a cash shop. I have seen people spend upwards of $100 a month. Even more so after game cards were released. There was once a thread in one of the fansites for maplestory where someone had laid out $500 worth of game cards they had bought that month. Mind you this was within a month of them releasing the game cards. So yes I do believe him/her.

I am sad to not be playing this game but as the peyment model stands right now I won't be playing. There isn't enough content to warrent paying $10 a month.

My suggestion if you would like to bring people in is to charge $5 a month to start out with. Maybe $30 for a year. This price point could be just a starting out point. Like Toon Town did many years ago. They started off low and when they had the content to back up raising the price they did so. No game that survives tries to rip off their customers and right now I feel ripped off.

I do see potential in this game. However right now it's just potential. There isn't enough in the game to warrent more than 1 month of game play. Someone earlier had said that your target audience would maybe play 2 hours a week. I call bologne on this. I used to be a nanny for several families. All of the kids would rather be either at their consoles or computers all day long if possible. So saying that oh it would take them much longer to reach the level cap is not entirely true.

Sorry for the rant but I'm a bit disapointed. Especially at the fact that not only do they want us to pay a monthly fee but then also have a cash shop which gives players HUGE advantage over others who can't afford to spent $10 a month plus all the extras.

Aug 19, 2008
Okay...my 2 cents worth...

I don't mind paying for something I enjoy...$10/month gets a little steep when I will pay for 2 accounts...if there was a "family rate" I would also pay for my grandson and my mom to pay also...but can't go "$40"...so if there was a way you could do a "family rate" if it was charged on the same credit card?

The half price rate offer of $60 for one year is awesome but it ends on Monday....less than a week. Geee...why didn't you tell me last month and I would have budgeted for it?? I only get paid once a month and there isn't $120 extra in there this month (school fees and new school clothes this month).

LOL I am not so interested in the crowns system because the clothes there are hideous! Odd that the dragon for beta testers is available though? I thought that was only for the beta testers.

Do you get any crowns with your paid monthly subscription?

I am guessing I will pay the $10/month for myself and my son for a few months and see how quick new content is added since we spent the weekend getting to Krytopia..he would be sad to stop now...and at 13 there isn't much he actually wants to do with dear old mom...lol.

Question...if I start the monthly fee...how difficult is it going to be to quit it? because I seem to be having difficulty actually signing up for that.

Good luck everyone!

Aug 25, 2008
Cynical wrote:
I am guessing I will pay the $10/month for myself and my son for a few months and see how quick new content is added since we spent the weekend getting to Krytopia..he would be sad to stop now...and at 13 there isn't much he actually wants to do with dear old mom...lol.

:) I think it's very cool that you have something to do with your son, at his age; he's lucky to have a mom who'll sit down and play a computer game with him at all ... my mother never would have done that when I was your son's age. :)

Question...if I start the monthly fee...how difficult is it going to be to quit it? because I seem to be having difficulty actually signing up for that.
It looks like you just go back in, and change each account from "Subscribed" to "Trial" again, when you feel you're "done" with the game.

Aug 19, 2008
Watson wrote:

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!

Okay my question: Having rambled through the Club Penguin to Toontown to Pirates..and now here...I have learned that my children's interest moves on much quicker than mine.

When my son dragged me finally off Club Penguin to help hin on Toontown I was so excited I bought annual memberships...to find in less than a month he jumped on the launch of Pirates. I refused to move for a long time but finally crept on to help him.

I made a lot of friends in TT and enjoyed it immensely for a long time...but eventually started making friends on Pirates and when they gave us tet accounts for all 3 of our paid accounts...that is where we stayed.

Then I (can you believe that?) stumbled into this world and have really enjoyed it..so my kids in their limited time joined me here and we are having a blast....

Do you see my problem? I can cancel only 1 TT account, my Pirates accounts I hate to lose test now...then to commit to paying 2 accounts here? Hmmm.

SO...if you could clarify my options it would be most helpful. I wish I had $120 to do the 2 accounts for 1 year at $60/year option but it is only available for one week and I won't have that money within that time frame....my son is finishing his homework so we can go to Krytopia cause he never got there before and is sooo excited!

Is there a time frame for the other pay options? Should I just pay the $10/month for this month and see what happens? Sometimes kernals of information are most painful...

Help please....

May 22, 2008
Okay. I paid for a one month's subscription. Why? I was hoping that KingsIsle would have implemented a family discount plan by now. Sure, I know it's only been just over a week since Wizard went pay-to-play, but that's still plenty of time to come up with an agreeable price for players with families. I won't be renewing after my month expires because I can't play with my family or friends who chose not to buy individual subs. It's a shame, really...there is finally this amazing game that parents and kids can play together, but it's priced so far out of their reach that they opted not to subscribe. I really miss those friends and my niece and nephew, who would have loved to play with their Auntie. Of course, you wouldn't really know about them because they aren't allowed to post here. They aren't subscribers. Please, do try coming up with something reasonable for families to pay.

Jul 05, 2008
Ok you told us there was going to be some sort of family plan that you were working on it. Instead you update the game and make it harder for people to earn experience points and yet many are still waiting for the family paln thus getting farther and farther behind their friends.

Very disappointed that in a week you have not come up with anything. was this a move to force people to buy the subscription and then implement a family plan after the dealine giving no one the chance to compare. or pressure buying gee I better by now because if no family plan comes out I will be paying double the next day?

At the very least you should have given your beta testers a family plan.

Also waiting 2 weeks so my hubby and I can join accounts together to save on transaction fees for international players seems a little extreme too.

As for our son guess he will not be playing so it is no loneger a family game for us.

May 22, 2008
littlebelle wrote:
Ok you told us there was going to be some sort of family plan that you were working on it. Instead you update the game and make it harder for people to earn experience points and yet many are still waiting for the family paln thus getting farther and farther behind their friends.

Very disappointed that in a week you have not come up with anything. was this a move to force people to buy the subscription and then implement a family plan after the dealine giving no one the chance to compare. or pressure buying gee I better by now because if no family plan comes out I will be paying double the next day?

At the very least you should have given your beta testers a family plan.

Also waiting 2 weeks so my hubby and I can join accounts together to save on transaction fees for international players seems a little extreme too.

As for our son guess he will not be playing so it is no loneger a family game for us.

They said they would offer family plans, so there will be family plans, just have a little patience.

May 22, 2008
Quantize wrote:

They said they would offer family plans, so there will be family plans, just have a little patience.

But, see...by the time a family plan is implemented, all of the non-subscriber's friends will be too far advanced for them all to play the game together.

Hello Young Wizards!

We are very proud to announce the addition of Family Pricing to our Wizard101 subscription options! If your family purchases more than one “1 Month” subscription, your monthly subscription rates will only be $6.95/month. That’s a $3/month savings per subscription!

Sadly, we are also announcing the end of our $60/year introductory offer. The last day to purchase a one year subscription at this price will be Sunday, October 5th.

If you want to take advantage of the NEW $6.95/month family pricing or the $60/year introductory offer, login to www.wizard101.com and select Update Subscriptions!

Aug 20, 2008
Jun 12, 2008
I signed up all five of us as soon as the family plan subscription went live. That's ~$35/month for KingsIsle than they were getting before. Good for us, good for them:)