When you sit down and look at the costs involved in being an MMO fanatic, the dollars per hour of entertainment ratio is actually pretty good. After an initial down-payment comparable to any other game out, you pay a paltry $15 a month to keep the servers running, keep the developers churning away at new content, and toss a couple bucks at the corporate investors to keep them behind the MMO phenomenon. A whole month's entertainment comes out to be cheaper than a night at the movies, unless you're using a senior citizen's discount. But as good a value as we get, are we poised on the brink of another across-the-board price hike? Keen and Graev make an extremely pertinent observation in TTH's Warhammer Online FAQ. Namely, they're quoting EA Mythic's Mark Jacobs as saying that WAR's subscription fees could quite possibly exceed the $14.99 a month mark.
It just has to be EA that's talking about doing this, doesn't it? As much as I try to resist falling into the trap of bashing EA for being a thoughtless corporate machine, they're just always getting themselves into trouble like this. I'm not quite ready to renounce the capitalist system and move to a commune in the jungles of Costa Rica just yet, but they really are making me think about it. What about WAR would justify the increase in costs over the competition? Is it because part of the core demographic actually plays the tabletop game, where you can drop over $70 on a single unpainted pewter miniature? Unlikely. Is it because of the higher cost of oil means that it's harder to fuel the server farms it's going to take to keep a game like WAR going? Not exactly, but closer. Or is it just because they can? Circle takes the square.