The “hybrid” business model of Wildstar

Business models are all the rage these days. There are many players adopting a “sub only” stance, and there are many players on the “no sub fee”-faction. I fall to neither one, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Carbine has often made their choice of business model a topic, or maybe they haven’t but got asked about it a lot. Their answer has always been something along the lines of “options for paying”, “hybrid model” and so on.

Well, they disclosed their business model today – there’s even a FAQ section, maybe because the “hybrid” model is so complicated. Now, granted, in the dev blog there is no mention of “hybrid” anymore, but the word “options” is still there.

I’ll make it short- you know about EVEs business model? Yeah, that’s Wildstar’s model, too. Just that the PLEX is called CREDD and costs 20$ instead of 15$. The normal subscription fee is 15$, as usual. A subscription is mandatory to play the game. You can buy those CREDDs, which grant subscription time, and sell them ingame for ingame gold.

Now, as i said, i am neither for nor against subscriptions out of principle. What i don’t like is when something is made up to be all obscure and great and innovative when it really isn’t. Like Wildstars business model. It’s a sub with some gold trading on top of it.

In the end, this won’t decide whether i’ll try the game or not, but a sub game would do well to at least make me think i’ll be playing it for longer than 2 months, which is not an easy feat, even when i’m not the most stable guy in this regard.

And there’s another thing: the blog entry starts talking about the business model like this (emphasize mine):

We’ve decided to go with two major options at launch for how you can play the game.

At launch. Yeah…nowadays every dev should know the market. If you want to go p2p, that’s fine, but stick with it. Or at least give the impression that you are willing to stick with it. That part just reads like a disclaimer for going whatever-to-play later on.

Oh, and Wildstars launch window is now spring 2014 instead of end 2013.

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