Cuppycake posts an interesting challenge in this post, asking how one might go about “justifying” MMO subscription fees to a console player. My own tactics would be along these lines…
1) Ever gotten to the end of a game (a book, a movie), and wished you could see what was going to happen next? That’s one reason I pay a subscription fee… so I can explore what’s “next”.
2) If the question is money, my subscription runs me the equivalent of buying 1 new title every 3-4 months. Do each and every one of your purchases entertain you for that long?
There used to be a third argument, but consoles finally got with the program (online functionality).
3) How many people (real people) have you met _inside_ your games? Yes, yes, I meet people _outside_ my games, too. The subscription is so we can all play together, from all over the world.
None of those is unassailable, but taken together they largely explain the whys and wherefores of my own willingness to pay for MMOs. To each their own, of course.
All of that said, I’m no big fan of the current subscription model. I’d personally prefer a pay-to-play option, buying a block of hours to “spend”, that kind of thing. Of course, coming from someone who flits back and forth between games like a mayfly on speed, that’s probably not too surprising…