The initial launch of the game was overwhelmed with various disasters, with numerous glitches and negative feedback from gamers who balked at having to pay after their 30 days of free game time ran out. Excessive criticism from consumers forced Square Enix, the game’s developer, to keep the game free-to-play.
“It is my job to basically make the game profitable,” game producer and director Naoki Yoshida told SPOnG. “But, it’s not all about the profit. It’s also about bringing the players what we originally promised. Part of that original promise was to release the game under a subscription model – for players to pay a monthly subscription and be able to play 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Fulfilling this promise is the first thing we must do.”
Once the game is launched with a new subscription model in place, Yoshida suggested that he and his team will study the business models of other games and adapt as needed. The overall gaming industry has faced the wrath of critics who decry the fact that gamers are no longer interested in having to pay subscription fees to play games. However, according to Develop, subscription-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are still viable business models. As long as developers continue producing innovative content that provides long-lasting entertainment, users are willing to fork over the monthly fees.
For gaming companies offering subscription-based games, having a top-notch subscription billing and management platform to track and manage the full subscriber lifecycle is absolutely crucial. Missing out on payments from gamers could be a big hit toward the developing studio.