When To Quit?
I wouldn’t say I was a big advocate for subscription models but I don’t have any problem with them and, to be fair, I’m not exactly a fan of the alternative either (I think F2P encourages game design for cash rather than quality… but that’s another blog post). The one thing I do struggle with when it comes to my subscription MMOs though is when to call it quits. I’ve barely logged into WoW for the last six weeks. Is it time to cancel?
I don’t bat an eyelid when it comes to forking out $15 a month for a game that I’m regularly playing but it’s been my experience that there’s a prolonged grey zone at the end of one’s interest in a game. You stop playing but keep thinking “I’ll get back into it later”, a vicious cycle that can last for weeks, if not months. Even worse is that feeling of attachment to the world and that somehow by unsubscribing you are severing yourself from it forever and giving up on all of your online friends. You stay subscribed to in vain attempt to fool yourself that you’ve not moved on and not left everything behind.
I shudder to think how much money companies have made out of me for staying subscribed and never playing. My worst period was undoubtedly Everquest 2 when I kept forking out subscription payments for six months after I last logged on for a proper session. I just couldn’t bring myself to cancel and accept the fact that it was over.
No doubt this is where F2P games have a huge advantage and its proponents will say that it does away with this dilemma entirely. And they would be right. Still, I don’t want all of my games to head down the F2P path (we all saw what happend with Everquest 2 Extended) and maybe the emotional conflict could be dealt with by a simple change in terminology. How about pausing your subscription instead of cancelling it? Yes, much easier to swallow. But not in the developer’s interest, of course. They want you to keep paying.
So right now I’m subbed to RIFT (or will be when my initial 30 days free play runs out), Everquest, and World of Warcraft. That’s a lot of games and not a lot of time to enjoy them all. Ultimately, I don’t want to be paying for all three subscriptions come April and am looking to ditch two of them. Which two? Hint: it’s not going to be RIFT. I’m OK with parting with EQ. I had my fun with it (write up coming soon) and will put it on ice until Kunark comes out on the progression server
And WoW? Yeah, maybe it’s time for that to go too. Like I said, it’s been six weeks. Still, I find myself locked in some emotional conundrum, hesitant to let it go. Logic tells me to unsubscribe but my guilt and desire keeps me hanging on. What should I do?