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Interest Growing For Pre-Paid Game Cards

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the myriad-ways-to-pay dept.

Businesses 70

Worlds in Motion is running an interview with GMG Entertainment, a company finding success marketing pre-paid "digital currency cards" used online for games and other entertainment services. Customers and retailers alike are enjoying the simplicity and utility of the cards, and GMG suggests that this segment of the industry will only continue to grow: "I estimate this year that you'll see EA enter this space for some of their games, and a few other big names are absolutely interested. In fact we're in final negotiations with a couple of recognizable names. We tend to estimate the size of the total pre-paid gaming card business when we do our numbers, and this year we're looking to something between $75-100 million dollars in sales across North America. We see that going to $250-300 million in 2009 and being in the region of a half-billion by 2010. We see this market growing dramatically in the next two to five years."

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it should be interesting... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25514987)

To see how the failing economy affects these numbers. People will be buying more in cash because of credit problems but will they still be playing as many games (what with all of the less money)?

Re:it should be interesting... (1, Insightful)

Arch24 (1091167) | about 6 years ago | (#25515239)

If anything I think most people will invest their $15 per month in a virtual vacation. MMO's help to distract from real life woes.

Re:it should be interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25518589)

How is this flamebait? Seems perfectly logical to me.

my interest (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25515077)

I'm interested in Linux, Barack Obama, and eating shit. A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Re:my interest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25515273)

Still misrepresenting Obamas asshole as pink.

Pre (3, Funny)

Konster (252488) | about 6 years ago | (#25515111)

Pre paid? Does that mean someone already paid for them and they are free?

Re:Pre (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 6 years ago | (#25515231)

no, it refers to the fact that you pay up front and then get to use it instead of like a cell phone bill where you use it then get billed and pay after you use it.

Re:Pre (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 years ago | (#25515285)

Yes. You purchase one a week, then post the number to all the online chat rooms you can find to add the value to each account.

Re:Pre (2, Insightful)

Konster (252488) | about 6 years ago | (#25515611)

Erm, how is my original post flamebait? It was merely a Carlinesque question about pre paid. Like pre heating an oven? How do you pre heat an oven? In the same token how do you pre pay for a game card? Pay for it via CC prior to picking it up, thus obviating the purpose? :)

Re:Pre (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 6 years ago | (#25519729)

Mod points come with crack. Mods have been on crack since the mod system was added to Slashdot. Don't take it personally, or wonder why, as the answer is simply "crack".

Dilbert said it best... (1, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25515113)

Vouchers, like money but expires and you can only use it at one store.

Sounds like what this is. It's yet another way to stop you getting a refund on that crappy game which promised the moon and delivered crap.

Re:Dilbert said it best... (2, Interesting)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 6 years ago | (#25519537)

The use they had when I've seen them was for playing online games without using a credit card. Believe it or not, many people who play MMORPGs are under age. Some of them either can't, or don't want to give their parent power over them by having them pay for the games directly. Instead, they go to Best Buy every month and purchase the game cards themselves. This system really isn't a bad one, and it doesn't really take advantage of anyone. The trick is, it needs to remain what it is and not become something more. If I am forced to buy game cards instead of use my credit card, I would be a little angry. I don't want to drive to the store to purchase these cards, nor do I want to purchase extras so I don't have to go back. I quit online games fairly often, so paying for them in advance has always been a bad deal for me.

Take a lesson from EVE (1, Offtopic)

fi1th (1090847) | about 6 years ago | (#25515119)

Take a note from Eve: Online: ETC has been used with utmost effect making the MMO universe practical for all non credit crunching credit card holders.

Eve has real problems with RMTs (Real Money Traders) but is combating this well. I am not sure what the WoW status is for RMTs as I have neverbothered to play the game. It bewilders me why you would want to play a game of such immature graphical rendering. I love to fly through space in my cruiser []

Nothing pleases me more :)

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (1, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25515163)

Maybe because the racist ccp [] charges Europeans more money (excluding tax) then the US?

Then they pretend it would be impossible for them to charge a similar price, excluding the fact that many MMOs do account [] for the currency difference.

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (0, Offtopic)

fi1th (1090847) | about 6 years ago | (#25515319)

Oi mods, you're realling starting to make me mad tagging my posts as ' flamebait ,' ' offtopic ' and ' troll .'

I'm trying to contribute my opinion to ./ and all you do is give me bad f*#king Karma

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25518453)

You are calling CCP racist against Europeans? Really? REALLY!?

Have some facts to go with your whine. CCP is based in Iceland, it mainly employs European peoples. Their server farm is based in London. If you don't know why that is important, I'll give you a hint. 500+ blades and enough redundant bandwidth to host the entire universe for the entire world is no laughing matter. It's serious money. London gets it. The servers could just as easily be in the US. (there is a shard in china actually, but it's china only)

CCP isn't racist, they are just greedy. Sure, they could equalize the currencies based on a particular standard, and therefore have to change their pricing on a regular basis. Or they could just charge everyone the same amount, no matter where you live.

OH, but that isn't what you said is it? You said they charge Europeans more... but they don't. They charge you the same as they charge me. The difference is your currency is worth more right now. When eve started out this was reversed and no one was complaining.

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (1)

thefoul (1113419) | about 6 years ago | (#25518643)

Just so everybody in the world gets this once and for all, it's not RACIST just because somebody is from a different country. Read a dictionary, get a clue, whatever you gotta do! I'm tired of seeing idiots say it. I'd not even qualify jewish and africans as a different 'race', we're all human, grow up and live with it. If they're charging more or less money because of your location, it's due to economic reasons, probably just because they CAN charge you more, they will. Same reason you can get pharmaceutical drugs in India for $0.05 a pill when it's $2 per pill in the US. Thank you!

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25518829)

No, that's because in places such as India and Thailand (which is a better example) they completely trash the patents on US medicines in favour of their citizens having good healthcare.

I bet you wouldn't be saying this if you didn't live in the US [] .

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (3, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 6 years ago | (#25515311)

Thorax is a nice ship.

Don't know why you've been modded flamebait (I'd change it if I had points), what you say is correct.

At my peak of Eve I was able to afford anything I wanted, making billions a week from plexing and moon mining. Now I've rolled my time back, I can play every so often, lose a ship or two with the confidence I'll be able to make cash via ETC trading. One or two every so often keeps me in T2 ships, battleships and battlecruisers for weeks.

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25515393)

Come on, it takes maybe an IQ of 3 to see why he got modded flamebait.

WOW is(was?) extremely popular, and "immature rendering" is a pretty immature term to use. He's welcome to have his own opinion and not like the style of game. However, using derogatory terms like that, whether deliberate or sadly ignorant, is just begging for angry retorts - hence, flamebait. I don't particularly care for WoW and especially not EVE, but I'm not going to be a self absorbed jackass by trying to paint them in a negative light.

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (1, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 6 years ago | (#25516367)

Are you sure about that last bit?

I feel that WoW's graphics are immature too, so to myself it's not flamebait... LOTRO and Eve (which is older than WoW) are much more sophisticated.

I used to play WoW, gave up after the community turned nasty, the graphics certainly weren't what kept me playing.

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25516459)

The last bit? I'm quite sure. It's possible I'm still a self-absorbed jackass, but it's not for belittling things that don't appeal to me personally.

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 6 years ago | (#25518243)

It is flaimbait because the statement is designed to do exactly what's going on here - spawn an irrelevant debate over the merits of WoW's graphics (of which I'll resist the temptation of getting involved in).

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (3, Insightful)

Broken scope (973885) | about 6 years ago | (#25515383)

You were modded flamebait because of the "immature graphical rendering" line. And lets face it, unless you have a decent machine, eve looks like shit.

WoW maintains its look and feel across a broad range of hardware, something EvE can not claim.

Re:Take a lesson from EVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25515491)

I love to fly through space in my cruiser. Nothing pleases me more :)

Probably the saddest thing I have read here.
Certainly no woman pleases you more, but I think that might be due to their understandable absence from your star-faring life of adventure.

Vast proliferation of value cards (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#25515233)

Whole sections of value cards, all incompatible, are showing up in stores now.

A Hispanic organization has been researching the various "Call Mexico" phone cards, and on average they deliver about 60% of their face value. It turns out that some of them have no value at all.

Re:Vast proliferation of value cards (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 6 years ago | (#25516875)

>> "Call Mexico"

That game is so complex, I couldn't even level up after playing for two hours.

Re:Vast proliferation of value cards (1)

UnNamedLINUX (637576) | about 6 years ago | (#25517127)


Finally! (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25515263)

Thank God! After WoW destroyed my life and my credit cards were all canceled, I thought my days as an undead thief were over.

How terribly unsurprising. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 years ago | (#25515291)

So, let's see, "Pre-Paid Game Cards":

The customer pays upfront, giving you 100% of the card's face value immediately. At worst, they end up giving you a little loan. At best, some or all of the card is never redeemed.

These cards bring the nickel-and-dime micropayment experience to consumers too young for credit cards.

The system can use the same, or similar, electronic payment infrastructure as credit cards already do, making it cheap to administer.

Well, I can certainly see why interest is growing in selling prepaid cards, they are basically just an online rehash of the old gift card scam. What I find harder to understand is why interest would be growing in buying them(underage gamers with no other way of paying excepted). The whole gift card/prepaid "value" card thing is a gigantic scam.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (2, Insightful)

Konster (252488) | about 6 years ago | (#25515739)

I disagree that it is a scam, and it's also great for credit card holders to avoid HUGE headaches.

I won't name names, but Pony Online Entertainment last year had some problem with their billing system that caused my credit card to get locked down due to suspected fraud. This became a very large problem as housing related bills that were charged to my card got declined. It took a solid day to get things ironed out, all from a problem that should never have happened in the first place.

Also, I believe that EVE Online actively encourages the trade of prepaid cards for in-game money, which is handy for anyone, not just people that do not have access to credit cards.

Prepaid cards for managing RMT (Real Money Transactions) in MMO's or other games is a nice idea as it allows for instant conversion from RMT to virtual money and can be traded in game for virtual cash or account play time.

If I were to start an MMO now, I'd include RMT and game cards in the business model, as these can add a lot of money to the bottom line and keep subscribers subscribed. I'd allow game cards to be bought and sold openly in the player market. Say player X wants in game money, so he buys X number of game cards from my game's online store using a credit card that he can then post on an in-game auction house for players to purchase using virtual money. Player X gets his virtual money, the purchaser gets account playtime and everyone walks away happy. Or perhaps a player want a secure method of using RMT to buy gear or virtual money in game; he or she can go down to local video game store and buy a game card or two and turn that into armor or virtual gold or whatever without the risk of exposing credit cards to questionable 3rd parties.

Bottom line is that this is a good idea and it can earn the developer of said game a pretty solid source of revenue outside the normal $15 monthy subscription.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25516309)

Umm... you're paying "housing related bills" with your credit card, and you're blaming the problem on someone else? Please sit down and think about that for a minute...

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (1)

dwarfking (95773) | about 6 years ago | (#25517605)

The OP probably has thought about it, you need to do so as well.

Many people use online bill paying tied to a credit card, then at the end of the month they write one single check for the credit card bill. Do this with something like an American Express card (if your online bills will accept) and there is no finance charge.

It is a simple way to manage your monthly finances and all your monthly bills show up on one statement.

You apparently assumed the OP was living off credit cards, but some people actually do know how to manage using plastic.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25518797)

SOE has always been shite with their prepaid cards. They are hardly anywhere; I have friends in Australia who purchase their cards off Ebay because Sony doesn't sell them there. I live in the states and I've never seen a prepaid SOE gamecard.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | about 6 years ago | (#25516085)

Which is why in Nebraska, unredeemed gift cards must be turned over to the State Treasurer, who then tries to find the original owner.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25516087)

Trust me. All the points you listed are a small price to pay compared to the bullshit that credit card companies can and will put you through after 8 years of the All American Patiot G.W. Bush and his empathetic band of sycophants, erm..., i meant patriots again.

When i heard this, i was happy because i refuse to use credit cards. I'd take a loan out from a mobster first because at least he will tell you the terms upfront and respect you payment if you meet those terms.

watch and learn:

Like cash, but with a EULA (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 6 years ago | (#25517629)

"The whole gift card/prepaid "value" card thing is a gigantic scam."

What gets me is that it's effectively a way for marketers to convince people to trade nice, clean cash that you can exchange for whatever good or service you want, in exchange for the same cash value with what amounts to a sort of restrictive End-User License Agreement attached to it (saying that "this money may only be exchanged for ScamCo® products or services". Sometimes there are even expiration dates or "service fees" associated with some of them...)

"Restricted" money ought to be less valuable than unrestricted money. If there was a genuine discount (e.g. pay $45 and get a "$50 Gift Card" for ScamCo® products) I could understand the appeal - in that example, the company would be paying YOU in exchange for your cost in lost usefulness of the money by accepting the "license". I don't recall ever seeing it done this way, though.

Re:Like cash, but with a EULA (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | about 6 years ago | (#25521837)

If there was a genuine discount (e.g. pay $45 and get a "$50 Gift Card" for ScamCo® products) I could understand the appeal - in that example, the company would be paying YOU in exchange for your cost in lost usefulness of the money by accepting the "license". I don't recall ever seeing it done this way, though.

Back when I was on a pre-paid mobile, they did this.

What about pre-paid credit cards? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#25519771)

I'm curious. I know some people don't have good credit, so they can't get 'credit cards', or they are underage. What are the requirements for the 'pre-paid' credit cards I see advertised from time to time? I would assume, being pre-paid, that you don't need to have good credit? Not sure about the age requirements though - can a minor get a pre-paid card?

I'm not sure why more people don't use pre-paid credit cards for online transactions if they cannot get a 'traditional' credit card?

Re:What about pre-paid credit cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25551325)

I don't know about the underage issue. But as a person with extraordinarily bad credit I can tell you that anyone can get a prepaid credit card. They're not a great deal, but this is exactly what I do so that I can play online games that require a credit card.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (1)

qlayer2 (1122663) | about 6 years ago | (#25522557)

I buy them at Christmas, for friends and relatives who enjoy playing online games, and get a break from paying for it themselves. A $30 WoW card give the person 2 months of play, so it is a reasonable return for a gift. This is one of the things that never disappears off my brother's amazon wish list.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 6 years ago | (#25523259)

Well, I can certainly see why interest is growing in selling prepaid cards, they are basically just an online rehash of the old gift card scam. What I find harder to understand is why interest would be growing in buying them(underage gamers with no other way of paying excepted). The whole gift card/prepaid "value" card thing is a gigantic scam.


Three reasons:

1) Avoid linking your account against a credit card. This way, if the company somehow does something nasty, you're just out the value of your card, but you won't have to keep dealing with the bank if the nastiness involves the company repeatedly billing you over and over again. (Mistakes happen, too - so it just avoids customer support calls to get refunds if double/triple bills).

2) Controlling spending. With a card, you are limited to what you can buy. If your credit card is linked, and you have some buddies over, they may decide you "need" some things and happily get them for you, billing your card in the process. (Or if you get drunk and end up clicking on the "buy now" button). I think there was at least one accidental purchase of that "I Am Rich" application from the iTunes store...

3) Sales. I know for gift cards that sell points (Microsoft Points, Nintendo Points), the in-console exchange rate is fixed - X points per dollar. But I also know that places like Dell often have good discounts on these cards, making them cheaper to buy than the official rate. This is important for stuff like digital downloads - these discounts make them ever so slightly cheaper. But hey, saving money's saving money

As for other reasons why people buy them as gifts - one is they can get them at a discount - e.g., companies may buy $10 gift cards to the coffee place for their employees, and you can be sure the company didn't pay $10/card for them. Or, perhaps the giving of cash is considered tacky in some situations - western nations frown on asking or receiving cash (look at any Ann Landers column and you'll find someone talking about asking for cash, or getting an invite and requesting cash), and not so much Asian culture (where giving money is seen as good). But there are celebrations where the cash is considered a tacky simply because it's a thoughtless gift - it shows the giver couldn't even spend time to try to get a gift. Hence, a gift card - giver isn't sure if recipient already has the item, but knows recipient can make use of it anyways.

If anyone wants to try - I suggest giving cash to your friends/relatives/parents this holiday season equivalent to the value of the gift you were going to buy them. Heck, include shipping and taxes, too. (The fact that people still run around getting gifts for the holidays, and wait in long return lines the week after... why not cut out the trouble and just give cash?)

Sure, it's a scam - as the Dilmom put it, you're converting universal cash for something far more restrictive. And maybe your family loves giving/receiving cash. But there are also cultural and practical reasons for them to exist, and be extremely popular.

Re:How terribly unsurprising. (1)

Psychochild (64124) | about 6 years ago | (#25524459)

I'm an online game developer and I looked into doing pre-paid cards a few years ago for my own game, Meridian 59 [] .

Parent post gets it right. It's not a scam, because companies make less money from the pre-paid cards than they do on direct sales. Take a WoW pre-paid card, for example; a $30 card gets you 2 months of play, but the company has paid anywhere between 30-50% of the face value to create, distribute, and provide retail markup for the card. (At least, those were the figures I was quoted when looking into it.) A retail store probably buys that $30 card for $15-20, so the company is making a lot less money on the card compared to the player pulling out a credit card and paying directly.

Really, the cards are to get people that might not play otherwise: people without credit cards, who don't want to use credit cards online, or whatever reason. They're convenient for a lot of people, so they buy them and the company makes more money than they would have otherwise.

Some insight from someone who understand both parts of the equation.

i have never paid to play a game online... (4, Insightful)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 years ago | (#25515331)

and i never will. how and where they find these people, is beyond me.

i did play MUDs, i know the type of game, and I honestly think the only reason people play these games is to sell items, characters etc, to people with money but not the time, who want a tricked out sword and armor that make them godly in a video game, and they can brag about having so and so a sword.

i played MUDs for about 6-8 months, and i never looked at an everquest box and thought 'this might be fun' i got over the genera as a whole, and it shocks me that people like these games. I know WOW is designed by great game programmers, but to me a video game should have a one time up front cost. paying by the month? forget it.

not even for a console, where i can play many video games online for one 'extra' fee, forget it, i pay for internet, that's the most i'm willing to pay to play online. i know some people are willing to pay extra, but i just don't see the entire gaming world bending over to pay a few extra billion here and there to bolster the economy. the gaming venues have been hit or miss all through the gaming history, i've seen every major player from atari to nintendo have trouble treading water. there are reasons why companies like 3do are a legacy, and why EA owns half the gaming properties on the known face of the earth.

trying to figure out what people want to do with their free time, is not a measured science, it's an art.

i spent 2-3 years struggling with an addiction to online real time strategy, and i know i have an internet addiction, but after 3 years i learned how to deal with my online strategy addiction, and i now have time for television, the internet, and whatever else, all without usually having trouble falling asleep at night. during my addiction i was so problematic that i would play til 2 am and physical exhaustion set in, i would at times shout from getting angry at other gamers without even being aware of having spoken.

it wasn't pretty, and i didn't have to go cold turkey. i can take measures to control how i game.

sadly i don't know if kids can learn how to be grown up until they're 30. i'm 30 and i don't know if i could have said or done anything to prevent me from making the same mistakes i made. ah well.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (1)

Broken scope (973885) | about 6 years ago | (#25515405)

They find them because there are alot of people willing to pay for a service. You give them money, and they give you something in return.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (3, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | about 6 years ago | (#25516851)

i have never paid to play a game online... and i never will. how and where they find these people, is beyond me.

Most games with a monthly fee aren't charging you for the online play. They're charging because they're adding content and providing moderation services.

There's a big difference between a racing game charging to just play online and a mmorpg that provides new content in patches and live in-game support.

Far better to evaluate them as purchase price + monthly fee*months played/months. If it's not worth that to you, then don't buy.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25516931)

You're paying a one-time up-front cost again and again for every bug fix and patch that they do.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25517069)

I used to feel the same way, 'fuck you I already pay for internet, why would I rent your game too?'

But then I did some math, Brand new computer games (with limited replayability) cost between 50 adn 70 bucks, they last me around 2-3 months, sometimes less, very very rarely more.

A WoW subscription costs me about 15$ a month. Keeps me entertained, and comes with enough content that its quite likely WotLK will be released before I've seen everything in BC.

I recently bought Rome:Total war, it cost me 45bucks (was the gold, came with BI) I lost interest in under a week, while it was a great game, and I love that type of game play I'd knocked off the main roman campaign in under a week, and putzed around for maybe a month ontop of that. So far value lost vs WoW.

Enter the modders, R:TR (total realism) basically improved the game 100 fold, but that was a free man made mod, shows you the value of extra content eh?

So on the balance a subscription game isn't so bad, I spend LESS on computer games now than I did back when I still clung to my hatred of subscription services.

Subscriptions give you something over the company, they want you to keep playing (and paying) which means you usually get new shit.

Don't get me wrong a shitty game is a shitty game, subscription or otherwise, but if you like the game don't let its payment method throw you off.

BTW, what the hell does your claimed internet addiction have to do with time cards?

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (3, Interesting)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 6 years ago | (#25519579)

You think playing games less so that you can have time for watching television is somehow an improvement? Really?

Given that, I'm not terribly surprised that you aren't able to understand why other people might like things that you do not.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25521597)

Your post was nothing but demeaning and shallow. I know this is slashdot, and being a superior prick for some reason goes with the territory, but please - anytime you're ready to show us your perfect, unblemished, omniscient life record, where you've never made a mistake and never lost time to any inefficiency, then go right ahead.

You sound like someone who's never had a problem. Or perhaps it's just that you're someone who's never learnt to show compassion to others problems?

Funny about your .sig, eh?

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25675013)

well what do you want me to do? walk around forests all day making the decision when the trees need healing rains, helping the diseased trees get their lives ended quickly, and which trees need to be cut so others can grow?

would you have me go so far, even singing to the trees all hours (well birds do sing to trees by daylight, so what you want me to be a night elf?

and even if the sentient trees could protect me from illicit loggers, perhaps even teach them how to walk and how to tear down massive ugly cities, in a slow and ordered progression against the careless and thoughtless hordes? if you want me to be a keeper of the grove, i could, but i believe that the birds and the bees, and the ants and all the glorious species created by god are much more capable at doing the job of a keeper of the grove.

do you honestly think we'd be living in a better world if i taught the trees how to defend themselves? or maybe you'd have me grow a spawning point for wolves, who using all clean tech, could easily take down any logging group that violates procedures and cuts down the trees of life and the trees of knowledge for their own gain?

if you want a war that is real with all of humanity on one side and all of nature on the other side, i can bring it to you.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (1)

snuf23 (182335) | about 6 years ago | (#25521335)

"now have time for television, the internet, and whatever else"

Geez if you are going to pull the "online games are horrible addictive wastes of time" line please follow it up with something like:

"Now I have time to have sex with lots of hot women"

TV????? Do you think some people might prefer gaming because they enjoy an interactive hobby rather than a passive one?

"during my addiction i was so problematic that i would play til 2 am and physical exhaustion set in, i would at times shout from getting angry at other gamers without even being aware of having spoken."

Well then obviously you shouldn't be gaming if you can't control your behavior. Please don't use YOUR tendencies as a reason why games are bad. What is bad is how YOU overreact to them.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (1)

brkello (642429) | about 6 years ago | (#25522195)

MMOs are not really a single game though. It is a game that evolves fairly dramatically over time. There is still significant development work going on that would not happen if it wasn't funded. Makes perfect sense to me.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (1)

Psychochild (64124) | about 6 years ago | (#25524483)

Substitute "television" for "games" and that's something I could have written. Full disclosure: I'm a professional game developer.

When I was young, I watched waaaay too much TV. I got glasses young because my parents noticed me getting really close to the TV while watching it. I didn't have cable most of the time growing up, so I watched whatever was on the broadcast waves. I watched cartoons, sitcoms, anything and everything.

But, I got better. In college I started being a lot more social and got into D&D and MUDs in college. I stopped watching TV, to the point where I just used the TV for my console systems.

Honestly, I think paying for TV in the U.S. is kinda stupid. Only reason I have satellite is because a majority of people in the house want it. I'll go watch shows to be social, but I think the satellite bill is wasted money every month. I'd rather go rent or buy some DVDs with good programs on them to watch at my own pace and get features like commentaries. But, I understand that some people do enjoy watching various TV programs, even though I don't.

So, I'll spend more time playing games, developing games, and posting on Slashdot instead of watching TV. But, unlike the parent post, I don't think everyone should be just like me. I'll happily pay $15/month for an MMO subscription compared to more for the satellite bill.

My thoughts,

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25675517)

okay, i like your post, you bring up some good points. but there is more to reality than living behind glass and steel clad walls, in a self built prison designed to create and drive revenues.

Re:i have never paid to play a game online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25525479)

Jitesh misses you.

INL Represent!

Are they wealthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25515817)

these must be very wealthy people to give away money buying imaginary things...

i for one could afford it in terms of monetary but i can't afford it if i look at the bigger picture (property prices, cost of living rising, etc.)

votershatefreedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25515869)

online gaming is the death of gaming. (period)

Of course they'll see a dramatic increase (2, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | about 6 years ago | (#25517685)


A key growth limiter to online games has always been the need for credit cards, either because kids don't have them or adults don't want to risk fraud from either a fly-by-night game company or EA getting their billing department hacked.

One-shot electronic money transfer are the future, I wish my credit card made them easy to do for everything. Maybe they should go talk to those cell-phone money guys in India.

There are one-time user CC Number schemes (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#25519865)

"One-shot electronic money transfer are the future, I wish my credit card made them easy to do for everything. Maybe they should go talk to those cell-phone money guys in India."

I have a card with a bank that has a one-time credit card number system I can use for one-shot transactions, or recurring paymemnts. I go to the website for the bank, and after logging in, I can request a number be created, I can specify how many months until it expires (2 month minimum), and I can specify a spending limit. It generates a number instantly, which I can use for payment. Once the number has been used once (unless I specified that it the recurring payment option), it cannot be used again. With the recurring payment numbers, I believe once a merchant has used it, it becomes 'tied' to that merchant, so that no other merchants can bill it. With the recurring payment, I can specify the per-payment limit, and it can only be billed at most once per month (I think).

It does add some inconvenience to transactions, and it occurs to me that if anyone ever were able to get into my online account, they could generate themselves some numbers and go shopping, but I think that it's more secure than the alternative of using one number for transactions with every merchant. I don't know for sure, but I think that if there were a problem, like that SOE billing system problem that caused a credit card to get locked, if you used one of those generated credit card numbers when you setup payment with the affected merchant, it might not affect transactions on the same account with other numbers and other merchants.

Re:Of course they'll see a dramatic increase (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | about 6 years ago | (#25522491)

Or maybe the kid's parents don't want him playing this type of game... Is this circumnavigating parental permission?

Re:Of course they'll see a dramatic increase (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 6 years ago | (#25523525)

I dunno, maybe the parents could put the computer someplace visible and exhibit some parental responsibility to go with their parental authority?

While I can't expect parents to learn how to firewall the ports necessary to play MMORPGs, I can certainly expect them to pay some attention to what their children do on the computer. If they can't, don't they shouldn't buy a computer.

As a person who plays one of these...... (2, Interesting)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | about 6 years ago | (#25518441)

I played WoW for about 6 months, leveled a character to 70, realized that end game sucked because I was paying a monthly fee to play a game where everything end game is on a timer....Wanna do X dungeon? Only once this week! Wanna make some material? Only once every 3 or 4 days...

Screw that...

Soooo now I'm playing a bit of Combat Arms which is a free shooter, but Nexon has implemented the micro-transaction system in such a way that its completely unappealing to attempt to "purchase" anything with game card cash. It would be one thing if I dropped 3 or 4 bucks on outfit or a weapon I got to keep for as long as I played the game. pay real money to RENT outfits, guns and characters. 10 bucks a month to rent a character skin that gives you some hypersonic speed boost. There are some games coming out which promise that the microtransaction items are merely going to be cosmetic and game enhancing, not player ability enhancing....Im looking forward to those coming out soon, hopefully they will get the formula better....

But, if the currret trend is where gaming with microtransactions is headed? Count me out for them ever getting money out of me. On the other hand, if it really was a *micro* transaction (think 2-5 bucks an item), could be done with my debit card, I kept said item for the life of the game and and items weren't introduced that completely threw off the game balance? Then they might very well be looking at getting 20-50 bucks out of me if its a game I like..

Re:As a person who plays one of these...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25520351)

Funny. I dominate match after match of Combat Arms, despite the fact that I've never given Nexon a cent, and use the cheapest weapons and armor in the game. It's not even that difficult.

I wonder when the game will get shut down? Probably when they realize that a cash shop for a skill-based game makes almost no sense?

Also, if you like Combat Arms, but hate microtransactions, why not just play CoD 4 or CS? It's basically the same thing, except you never have to give Activision or Valve another penny.

The point: (1)

Codex_of_Wisdom (1222836) | about 6 years ago | (#25518705)

Most of these replies regard why someone would use these:
Take Runescape for example (yes I play, let the bashing begin):
Most of its demographic is age 20 and below. Most of that age group does not have credit cards to pay membership, therefore, they release cards that you buy, that provide a month or two of membership once you input the PIN on the card.
Ironically, the game that needed this most JUST released PP Cards a couple weeks ago.
And for those saying "paying monthly for a game is stupid" Even EVE Online, with it's huge $20 fee, is the price of two to four movies per month, with more time spent entertaining you and a greater aspect of social connection.
It's all a matter of perspective. :-)

Re:The point: (1)

Wog (58146) | about 6 years ago | (#25520233)

$20 per month?

I pay something like $13 a month. If you buy one month at a time it's $15. If you're somewhere with an oppressive VAT added on, it's something like $16 a month via ETC vendors.

Re:The point: (1)

Codex_of_Wisdom (1222836) | about 6 years ago | (#25533197)

Oh. I stand corrected. I don't know, I never paid for EVE- couldn't get into that one!

Account Trading (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | about 6 years ago | (#25520213)

Let me assure you that it is no mere coincidence that pre-paid gamecards are up and MMORPG's are also rising in sales. While trading accounts is specifically against Blizzard's (for example) EULA, I promise it happens every single day. Blizzard has made it known that they will ban any and all account suspected of being involved in any sort of sale or trade between parties, and will inherently ban any additional accounts associated with the billing information provided with the banned account.

That being said, game cards have no paper trail. They allow anybody to add game time to an account, without it being tracked. Simply remember your account information per account, and it becomes unreasonable to ban via IP, because that can very easily be changed.

There is a correlation between gamecard sales, and increasing requirements for anonymity in order to make untaxed and unsanctioned profits.

EA? Prepaid game cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25522137)

Will they turn them into re-paid game cards?

Step one: Sell re-paid game card.

Step two: Offer website so that users can use the re-paid game card to access the secret re-paid game card account settings.

Step three: Make them now buy the stuff that they would have already bought if they were pre-paid game card.

Step four: ???????????

Step five: Profit!

Incentive for kids. (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | about 6 years ago | (#25522147)

I have a prepaid cell phone. I pay about $15 incl taxes a month for my phone. That's a lot cheaper than my previous plans with T Mobile and AT&T.

I could see the prepaid cards for online games as a great incentive for kids. If they don't get their grades good, or don't do their chores then they miss out on the card until they remedy the situation. That could mean a week or more of no online chatting with their MMO friends.

That, balanced with a time limit and responsible monitoring could be a good thing.

Of course, I still don't understand why I have to pay $50 for the game which comes with zero months included. If I pay $50 and have to pay monthly, I should get at least two months of playtime included. My $60 prepaid phone came with two months of service.

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