Many popular online video games require a monthly or yearly subscription payment. For example, the individual game titles in the best-selling World of Warcraft series come with an automatic 30-day subscription, but afterwards, the customer needs to renew in increments to continue enjoying the game.
In this current economy, the idea of a subscription game has been largely abandoned in the wake of more general services like Xbox Live and the Playstation 3 Network. However, some video game manufacturers still believe that a recurring revenue model is still the best option available.
For example, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the much-hyped revamped version of Square Enix’s original game that was launched in 2010. The company revised much of the title due to overwhelmingly negative press, and some customers hoped that the monthly subscription service would be abolished.
However, this is not the case – the executive management staff still believes that a subscription service offers many benefits to fans, some of which would be discarded with a free-play approach.
“One of the promises we originally stated was that we would release the game with a subscription model,” said producer and director Naoki Yoshida, according to VG 24/7. “Players will be able to play it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days in the year if they [pay] a subscription fee.”
From a corporate standpoint, running the newest Final Fantasy as a free-play option would require Square Enix to pay the outside service (like Xbox Live) royalties and fees for use. By limiting the subscription to the Square Enix Account Management System, according to the news source, the parent company will be able to experience a much higher return on investment.
While the future of gaming is unclear, for the moment, subscription models are still a relevant and profitable choice.