The Agency and Micro Transactions

With Leipzig now over, I started to read into all that went down over the gaming event. One piece of news that stuck with me was Sony’s new MMO style game called “The Agency” and a new business model SOE has coined “Micro Transactions.” What does this mean? It means when you sit down at your console or computer then log into a MMORPG gaming world, you will not have to worry about when your subscription is supposed to renew or if you have enough time left on your gaming card etc. because this MMORPG is free.

But is it?

Actually it is not, logging into the game and enjoying it on one level is all well and good, but if you want to get into all the content and possibly advanced your character you will have to pay up. If you want to see the newest dungeon out, you have to pay up. Johnny can’t get the sword of doom because it only drops in the Caverns of hell which requires a charge of $5.95 to access that dungeon where the sword drops.

SOE President John Smedley told attendees that “The Agency” will combine a lot of different business models, including in-game ads, and the “velvet rope” model, with some areas off limits unless the player gains(means pay up $$$) access.  Mr. Smedley thinks that in The Agency the velvet rope model will be used a lot in this case, which he thinks will appeal more to the hardcore gamers.

While agree with that, I am sure the hard core gamers will pay up to get the newest items, and see all the content. Where does that leave the more casual gamers? What if there is PVP? Can you square off against someone and kill them successfully, or will you die at their feet not because of skill, but because they have the bigger check book?

It is certainly something I am interested in. Personally I like the unlimited access for a monthly subscription, where how much time you put into a game shows what you get out of it.

The Agency over all looks really cool, being a non fantasy themed game and more in modern world with a spy vs. spy layer to it. When it comes out, I will definitely give it a go!


5 responses to “The Agency and Micro Transactions

  1. Yep I think that’s everyone’s concern, at least until we learn more about how these transactions will actually operate in the game. If the transactions are kept to broader content buckets, like expansions, major zones, etc., people may pay up if it’s reasonable and we’ll still be on even footing.

    If however there are transactions for actual in game items, armor, transport, etc. – things that could quickly boost one character in power over another – that wouldn’t work. The check books would win out in that case.

    I think it can work – but the question is, how much is your average gamer willing to spend above and beyond $15.00 per month? $5 more? $10 more? Being both willing and able will come into play I think. Should be interesting.

  2. I think the gamer may be willing to spend a lot of money, obviously I do not have figures to show what SOE is doing with their Exchange server but I understand business is good. As well as the gold markets out there seem to be booming.

    While I look at this suspiciously it is a bold move by SOE, they seem to be the company that has set the market standard in the past. I am looking forward to how this plays out.

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