DC Universe Online Release Date And Pricing Revealed, But Will The Subscription Fees Scare Console Players Away?
According to a report by IGN, DC Universe Online finally has a release date. The game is in beta right now which when it works properly most folks are enjoying immensely. As of now according to SOE, DC Universe Online will launch in full on January 11, 2011 for both the PS3 and PC in North America. If you live in the UK, you will have to wait a few more day until January 14th, 2011 and there is not yet word on an Australian release date. While your hanging around, don’t forget to check out the full PSN trophy list for DCUO as well.
In case you aren’t familiar with what DC Universe Online is, its an MMO where players can create their own villains and heroes and set out to make their name known under the tutelage of Batman, the Joker, Superman, Lex Luthor and so on. The PC version of the game will cost $49.99 and the PS3 version will cost $59.99. Both come with a free 30-day subscription to the MMO, but after that, the game will cost $15 (€13) a month – or $199 (€180) for a lifetime subscription.
That my friends is the rub, well one of them anyway. So they want to charge you $15 a month or $180 a year if you choose to pay on a monthly basis. Then they are giving you the $199 lifetime option which being only $19 more than what you would pay for just one year of subscription seems like a steal doesn’t it. This is where I think SOE is making a critical miscalculation as far as pricing goes, console gamers are not like PC gamers and they can’t be treated as such. While I’m sure that the universe that SOE intends to build is more than worth that amount, I just don’t think console gamers will respond to it and that could force DCUO to go the way of APB. PC gamers are used to a model where they buy the actual game disc and then pay a monthly subscription fee, but console gamers we buy the game and maybe DLC if we want it that is pretty much it. Even after playing DCUO and really enjoying it I don’t know if I would be willing to fork over $15 a month for it, hell I only pay $9.99 a month for Netflix.
I know that SOE has to make a profit, but as it stands I don’t think either pricing model will work. The problem with the lifetime subscription is that you just don’t know how long the world is going to be around. If SOE has the kind of problems that I think they will and they shut DCUO down in 9 months let’s say, will the people that bought a lifetime subscription get a refund, I doubt it. I think the lifetime option could become a whole lot more appealing though if SOE committed to let’s say a solid 24 month support and content plan upfront so that you know you would at least have time to recoup your investment. As fair as the monthly subscription, I don’t think that SOE can charge more than someone would play for Netflix which in most households will be used more and therefore I think $9.99 or less should be the target price point. They need to make up the cost in volume, they need to understand its better to have 100,000 people playing while paying a reduced price point versus having 25,000 people paying at the current levels. If they don’t change then I think they will see a large amount of players to kick things off and then after the 30 day subscription runs out they will see the number drops off significantly, at least on the PS3.
Another problem I have is the fact that they are starting everyone from scratch, I understand it but they aren’t even letting people keep their character names. MMO’s aren’t like other games, they take a lot of player commitment and since they didn’t put a level cap on the beta I know people that are over lvl 20 and now they will have to do that all over again. That seems like a lot of work for nothing to me and I don’t know how the community will respond.
Alright folks, now you know what I think but we want to know what you think. Are you happy with the release date? What do you think about those subscription fees, are you willing to pay them and if so for how long?