Should I Cancel My EVE Online Subscription?

I’m having a bit of a dilemma at the moment because my EVE Online monthly subscription just renewed a few days ago and yet I haven’t logged in for a week or so. I’m still very fond of EVE but I’ve been incredibly busy with moving apartment recently and checking out other MMORPGs so it’s kinda fallen to the wayside.

Currently I’m subscribed to three MMOs – World of Warcraft, Aion and, of course, EVE Online. Is that too many? My personal limit usually sits around two as, quite frankly, I just don’t have the time to play any more than that (even one is a stretch sometimes). This of course is the perfect example of one of the major flaws with subscription based games. There tends to be a threshold for the acceptable numbers of hours playtime per month to justify the fee. Of course that threshold varies per person but ultimately we need to feel like we’re getting value for money.

My big problem is that I keep thinking “I still like the game, I will probably log in and play it a lot sometime soon”. This thought is what kept me paying a subscription to SOE for EQ2 for about three months, long after I really stopped playing it. Maybe I just have more money than sense.

I know there’s a big movement now towards micro-transactions and pay-to-play although I doubt we’ll ever really see the latter take off in the West. What I’d definitely like to see though is some sort of restricted subscription. Maybe something like you can pay reduced fee but only get to play the game for X number of hours a week or in-between certain times of the day. A lot of other services like mobile phones, broadband connections, TV packages and gym memberships offer this already so maybe it’s not too much of a stretch for MMORPG companies to swallow.

Should I Cancel My EVE Online Subscription?

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17 Comments

  1. Longasc says:

    I think you should rather cancel Aion. You know, I am always speaking in favor of Aion when people bash it and dismiss it easily as just another grinder, as it does a lot of things different and right, when it comes to rewarding grouping and PvP feeling and balance especially. Plus awesome combat and a sleek UI and supremely well coded client.
    But you did not really enjoy it so far, gold selling gets out of hand and Aion will suck up more and more time, in the typical Asia grinder fashion, to get any kind of progression done. I do not know if you like that, and if only your buddies hold you back from cancelling your subscription, this is no proper reason, actually…!

    EVE: You will train skills while subscribed, and this game has some hurdles to overcome. There are major points where EVE is JUST BORING and nothing happens. Not everyone is in a big player corp, and even fleet battles are often hours of boredom till you are one of the first to get shot and podded.
    EVE can be played very casually, but then it does not feel worthwhile to me somehow. If you feel like this, cancel EVE, too!

    WoW: I have personally played enough WoW for all my life, and I did not like the latest development in the game. It is still a great game, but I blame it also for the downfall, casualization (in a negative sense, nothing against casuals per se) and stagnation of the genre.

    So: Cancel Aion, maybe even cancel EVE. But keep WoW as long as you have no other MMO that really entices you at the moment. How about trying Fallen Earth? I heard there are only US servers, and I did already spend too much money on MMOs at the moment.

    I am also busily playing LOTRO. I still do not recommend a lifetime membership, mind that. ;)

    • Gordon says:

      You speak a lot of sense, sir. I think Aion will be getting the chop. Not that I don’t like it but it’s just that it hasn’t thrilled me like I thought it would plus I don’t have the time to invest in it at the moment. I’m still enjoying WoW more and as everyone else has pointed out, EVE is a good game to keep on the backburner as I can still progress with it without having to play for hours every day.

      Thanks for the wise feedback! :)

  2. Stogrim says:

    Eve is a great game to keep if you like it. Due to the time based skill system you can still progress even without logging in much. As long as you have goals and think that you will be logging in again you can progress towards them, logging in occasionally to fight, queue up some manufacturing, or just playing the market…

  3. Rhii says:

    My brother’s a rabid EVE player, and though I don’t play, I’ve learned enough about it from him to know if you’re going to play again, staying subscribed is worth it.

    He went on a two month cadet shipping program with the merchant marine this summer, and while he was at sea I was responsible for running his EVEmon addon and making sure his characters on both his accounts kept learning skills. :) It was an education.

    I’d say keep it if you think you might play again once things settle down, since it seems like it will give you a leg up when you do get back to it.

  4. Stabs says:

    I certainly think you shouldn’t sub to more than 2 MMOs at once.

    If you’re playing one a lot and want another to be on the backburner then Eve is very good for the backburner role. Log on once every few days, change skills, update orders then go play whatever really grabs you. That’s my current pattern with Eve and DDO.

    What I like about Eve is when I get really active again my sub will have turned into significant in-game advancement.

    So if you want to play the hell out of Aion right now, Eve will tick along nicely with minimal effort where WOW wouldn’t.

  5. Maybe something like you can pay reduced fee but only get to play the game for X number of hours a week or in-between certain times of the day.

    What’s the business case for this? In order for this to be worthwhile for a business, the amount of money lost from people who prefer to buy the cheaper subscription has to be less than the amount of money gained from people who wouldn’t buy a subscription in the first place. Your situation here is the exact argument against this type of payment system: you’re still subscribed at the “full price” even though you’re not playing as much. I suspect that if this type of pricing were introduced, it would simply reduce revenues which is bad for most companies.

    On top of this, you have added costs. Trying to track how much a player has played requires a new system (and, let’s face it, a new source of bugs). Then you have the problem of determining what the cost per time period is. $10 for 20 hours in a month? Does that seem fair? Personally, I’d prefer to pay the extra $5 and not worry about time limits (or subscribe for multiple months to get a cheaper charge if I really enjoy the game.) I’m sitting idle in LotRO while reading and responding to this; I’d feel more under pressure if my time were metered.

    Finally, you have to realize that all the examples of other industries aren’t giving you limited plans out of the kindness of their hearts. Cell phone companies, at least in the U.S., will gouge you hard if you go over your limits charging you a stupid amount per minute over. Gyms know that most people lack the willpower to continue going, so they offer the cheaper plan to get a few more people signed up thinking it’s a better deal when they don’t use it that month. :) A lot of companies also use the cheap package to get someone in the door, then they have the salesperson give you the hard sell to upgrade; since everything is automated for MMO signups, game companies lack this opportunity to have a human upsell you.

    Too many complications to make this work, from my point of view. That’s why I much prefer microtransactions as an alternative to a flat monthly subscription.

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, you’re right and I think that’s why we’ve never seen it before. Obviously it isn’t in the interest of the MMO companies to give us that sort of varied subscription. The odd thing though is that one of the driving factors behind it for say, cell phone companies, is competition. Although there are a ton of MMOs out there, there doesn’t seem to be any competition over the monthly subscription. I find that very strange, don’t you? You’d think they’d be falling over themselves to attract players with a sweet deals and incentives but they don’t.

  6. JC says:

    I found myself in much the same situation recently. For a couple of months between moving, changing jobs, etc, I either didn’t have time to play or didn’t have internet. But I kept it going and kept the character training and now I can fly T2and T3 hulls. Now if only I played enough to make the ISK so I could actually afford to BUY said hulls. . . . .

    But yeah, I’m glad I kept it and I’ve started her back up again this past week. The bank account is climbing, slowly but surely and soon I’ll have me a nice Onyx HIC, and then after that I’ll look at saving for a Tengu.

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, I think EVE is definitely the sort of game that is worth hanging onto because I don’t need to spend a lot of time playing it if I don’t have it. And when I finally decide to log back in, I can be in a good place :) Think I’ll hang onto it…

  7. [...] pondering the cancellation of my EVE Online subscription, I idly considered the possibility of MMORPGs having different type of monthly subscription fees. [...]

  8. You could always cancel it since it just charged you, see how much you play through this month and resub if you feel you’re getting your money’s worth. The great thing about subscription models is that you get to pick and choose when to play. If you’re not playing right now, cancel and come back whenever you actually are ready to play. There’s no need to throw money out the window when it’s so easy to come back.

  9. This subscription models is really very flexible. I thinks that its actually design for its users.

  10. [...] the microtransaction model, focus on providing a small amount of exceptional content. Instead of demanding a subscription from people who may like the game but not feel compelled to keep paying for the game, we can offer paid content when it becomes available. Focus on providing high quality [...]

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