should Paradox go for a subscription model over a DLC model?

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darth254

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I know DLC and subscriptions aren't necessarily exclusive, but maybe an effort should be made to get away from the DLC tsunamis we've seen in EU4 and CK2?

DLC kind of gives off the impression that features are either purposefully being withheld or forcefully introduced, both for the sake of DLC sales.
 

BeauNiddle

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Gamers will complain about withheld or forcefully introduced features regardless of any approach made. Gamers complain a lot.

The way I play Paradox games is in surges at random points throughout the year. I get an itch that other games can't solve and I binge on Paradox, then move back to other things. As such a subscription wouldn't work for me. DLCs allow me to decide how interested I am in a game or how much I want to reward Paradox.
 
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withche.07

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mrinku

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No. I'm a survivor of the MMORPG era and...

Just no.
 
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AndrewT

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cristofolmc

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I don't think they'd ever go for that moddel, since they are very much of the philosophy that you can choose what content do you want. And force you to pay a monthly subscription for stuff you don't want...No, doesn't seem like something they'd go for.

I think the current model of big free patches with extra content and flavour in a DLC works fine. Or at least much better than a subscription model.

But maybe a kind of netflix sort of Platform with ALL the PDX games with ALL its content, which you'd pay like 5 euros a month or something...That could be an interesting concept I'd probably pay for if it was optional. Like have both models. I'd like to know I still have the option of NOT paying and have CK2 and I:R with the stuff I've paid for to play whenever I want to regardless of whether I have the money to pay this months subscription or not.

But yeah, I PDX Platflorm like Netflix would be interesting. There are already appearing videogame streaming online platforms for which you pay 10 euros a month and just like with netflix you have access to a couple hundred videogames. It would be an interesting concept PDX could study. It could also include the videogames from other companies they sign agreements with.

They could do stuff like several subscription packs. Like pay 2 euros a month and have the first 3 years worth of DLCs of all PDX content. Pay 5 and have 5 years worth of content. Pay 8 and have access to all PDX content. I dont know, there are many posibilities. But again, as an alternative compatible with the current model and that would include ALL the games. I would never pay a subscription for just 1 of their games. It would have to be a PDX platform that gives you access to all of their games.
 
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Dmitrius

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Gamers will complain about withheld or forcefully introduced features regardless of any approach made. Gamers complain a lot.

The way I play Paradox games is in surges at random points throughout the year. I get an itch that other games can't solve and I binge on Paradox, then move back to other things. As such a subscription wouldn't work for me. DLCs allow me to decide how interested I am in a game or how much I want to reward Paradox.
Yeah me too, like nothing but one run for 20 hours then dead for weeks.
 

CrazyZombie

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Yeah me too, like nothing but one run for 20 hours then dead for weeks.
Yup. Basically failed my finals in the uni, thanks to Imperator: Rome, but put it on the shelf during summer and waiting for 1.2.

Got tired and angered by HOI4 - on the shelf.

Annoyed by Stellaris less than acceptable optimization - on the shelf.

I really don't want to annually pay for the product, I don't use. I feel okay with buying DLCs from time to time, but pay just for promises that devs MAY make something for that money - no, thanks.
 

Dmitrius

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Yup. Basically failed my finals in the uni, thanks to Imperator: Rome, but put it on the shelf during summer and waiting for 1.2.

Got tired and angered by HOI4 - on the shelf.

Annoyed by Stellaris less than acceptable optimization - on the shelf.

I really don't want to annually pay for the product, I don't use. I feel okay with buying DLCs from time to time, but pay just for promises that devs MAY make something for that money - no, thanks.
In terms of being incentivised to create something that people will want to buy, purchase over service makes sense.

That being said, it does quickly reach a point where the consumer will say I'm not getting into this if the final price is 200$. I think a service model makes more sense in those cases. It should be noted that most people buying Paradox games are long term customers who don't notice these prices over a 6 year period and would feel hard done by if the products they'd bought in faith suddenly became available for a fraction of the cost.

So potentially it's an argument between external growth and ongoing revenue from stable products. In the long run I think games as a service is a much better model for all the reasons that movie and tv has almost completely switched at this point. It's a mystery to me why Steam isn't already doing it. The PD store is probably too small to work by itself, but bundled with Steam stands to work rather well.
 

CrazyZombie

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In terms of being incentivised to create something that people will want to buy, purchase over service makes sense.

That being said, it does quickly reach a point where the consumer will say I'm not getting into this if the final price is 200$. I think a service model makes more sense in those cases. It should be noted that most people buying Paradox games are long term customers who don't notice these prices over a 6 year period and would feel hard done by if the products they'd bought in faith suddenly became available for a fraction of the cost.

So potentially it's an argument between external growth and ongoing revenue from stable products. In the long run I think games as a service is a much better model for all the reasons that movie and tv has almost completely switched at this point. It's a mystery to me why Steam isn't already doing it. The PD store is probably too small to work by itself, but bundled with Steam stands to work rather well.
Sorry, but I have not the best associations with the term "game-service" (*cough* Genderfield 5 *cough*) where devs promise to add content some day later, while you pay full price and above right here right now.

At the same time, I think that subscription model may have worked for already "old" products, like EU4 and CK2, but as ALTERNATIVE way - you buy subscription to, let's say, PDX grand-strategy bundle, and may play all their games of that genre until your subscription expires. BUT, there should be old fashioned way to buy all the stuff once and for all.
 

Dmitrius

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Sorry, but I have not the best associations with the term "game-service" (*cough* Genderfield 5 *cough*) where devs promise to add content some day later, while you pay full price and above right here right now.

At the same time, I think that subscription model may have worked for already "old" products, like EU4 and CK2, but as ALTERNATIVE way - you buy subscription to, let's say, PDX grand-strategy bundle, and may play all their games of that genre until your subscription expires. BUT, there should be old fashioned way to buy all the stuff once and for all.
The details are difficult to speculate on. Microsoft and Sony are doing it more or less as you have suggested with a limited library which I presume is a test. I'll be interested to see which PC platform bites the bullet first with a trial run.
 

George1848

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It is good that gamers complain, this creates a feedback loop against problematic bussiness pratices.
From what I see, Paradox Interactices doe not NEED to continue the current DLC policy on any game, since they seem to have enought profit to buy off smaller compagnies. If they continue, I have this request: post, publically, what this money is used for, down to the last cent. All the receits, salary rolls,promotional money given to artits, youtubers and more, Steam's cut...etc.

If the community is being made to pay for what is essentially a WIP-game model, or a paid Open Access, it should know what is it paying for. In general, what does Paradox Interactive desire to do with these profits and why are some games, such as EU4, still have DLCs costs several times more than the base game.

Preferably, I would like to see updates come without marketing for an other DLC and games to be released in one, single chunk, finished and polished at launch.
And, the arugment of DLC funding updates is NOT legitimate, since one cannot be expected to pay extra for a balanced, finished or fun product

Edit: no, subscriber-based games encourage unfair bussiness practices and an endless development of a game. As GOT taught us, it is better to end something rightly, than to rush and check boxes
 

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Play for free with donations would be the optimal model for the players since it encourage the Company to make good enough game for the players to support the continuous development of the game.

Second best would be play for free x amount of hour and if you want to play more you need to purchase the game or dlc and when be able to play for unlimited time.

The drawback of these models is that it can be hard for the Company to make enough Money.
 

Hanako Seishin

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games to be released in one, single chunk, finished and polished at launch.
So how many more years we would have to wait for CK2 and EU4 to be finished? Not even mentioning HOI4 and Stellaris. If they didn't release games until they were "finished" by your definition, we'd still only had CK1, EU3, HOI3 and no version of Stellaris.
 

whosthebestcop

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At least on Steam Paradox dlc policy seems to be a huge negative with the general fan base. Even if you read comment sections of sites that reviewed IR there is an overwhelming negative attitude towards the dlc policy.

Not just that but if you look at the games on steam it's a mess. Which ones have 30+ dlc which ones have over a dozen.

New users have no idea what is what without research or watching videos. And even then they mess up. Example new users think trams are in mass transit dlc for Cities but it's in after dark.

Not sure what the answer is I really like it when dlc policy came out but now 5+ years later it's a negative.

Maybe larger dlc products each year? Maybe platinum editions on game launch? $100-150 for all DLC.

Technically paradox did subscription for Pillars if Eternity 1 since they produced it.

Doesn't matter if dlc policy is actually bad the appearance to general gamers is it's negative. It's every where a paradox game is discussed except on thus forum.

Maybe the large expansion packs were better? Or larger dlc options?

I just know if you look at ck2, euiv or even cities steam page they are messes with all the dlc. Why would a new user jump into that mess?
 

George1848

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So how many more years we would have to wait for CK2 and EU4 to be finished? Not even mentioning HOI4 and Stellaris. If they didn't release games until they were "finished" by your definition, we'd still only had CK1, EU3, HOI3 and no version of Stellaris.
Then, what we are having here, is a problem with Paradox, not us, or the definition of a game. The 1.0 versions are always, without a single exception, barebones, whilst the later ones, on each game you mention(except EU3 and CK), akin to a "kitchensink" mod. We would need to wait for years, for what now ammounts to a AAA studio to realease a finished game. (Paradox has: big advertising, its own "Cons" akin to E3, buys off smaller studios, has a qvasi-monopoly on certain types of games..etc). Considering the current budget of Paradox, enough for buying off smaller game studios, I would expect them to be able to do such thing.
There is always: demos, open-acess-beta for interacting with the public and get feedback, or just the option to use the money to hire a bigger team and bring in more experienced programmers.


Paradox Interactive can afford to and should scrap the current DLC policy:
-as whosthebestcop said: it turns off new users to have to pay so much for a either a complete experience, or for very basic DLC's or "flavour packs", which only ass a button or two, or at most an other number to increase (EU4: Innovativeness). It cost 200+ euroes, forcing someone to have to be completely reliant on "discounts"(in large numbers this hurts Paradox, since less users come, but when they do, the profit margin is tiny on an already small new userbase)
-it has been running for 5+ years. After the first two years, Paradox started creating events, buying off other compagnies and I assume buying off Youtubers, maybe even reviewers.-> We are NOT dealing with a company experiencing a shortage of funds, not at all. Any cash shortage seems non-existant, on the contrary, advertisement, PR and event organising seems to have received a boost. This had been done with 5+ years of such DLC policy, which looks akin to "DLC milking" after so long
-the quality and scope of the DLCs has either declined, or decayed into a constant remake of the same games, with poor quality control:
1: Shallow DLCs: the DLC model encouraged for the release of a near constant stream of DLCs, for purelly financial gain, without taking into account their substance and the experience offered to the customer, compared to what they pay, example: CK2: Sunset Invasion: to add challenge in after the player spiralled out of control, one must go to non-historical fantasy lenghts in a game marketed as a historical simulator. Monks and Mystics: The research in the period is quite poor, whilst most of it being events (custom events and buttons can be made through mods, see AGOT), furthermore the effects and descriptions are simply off, too similar to rolling a dice(in reality, breast milk does not cure cancer, sniffing puss from lepers does not make you feel better).
EU4: Rule Britannia: adding two "buff options": naval doctrine and innovativeness, some events, and a new religion. Except the UI, most...can be done by mods for free.
Golden Century: false marketing: marketed as a DLC about Spain, half was about pirates, a few events about Spain and a government reform tool, that should have been in the BASE GAME (the government function in 1.0 and later, relied on clicking a button to change government, similar to EU3)
2: DLC for their own sake: the current DLC model encouraged the development of DLCs, not to expand the game, but to make changes, for their own sake without taking into account their effect: Stellaris: elimination of the 3 types of FTL requiring gateways to avoid "chokepoint warfare", changing the population system without taking into account performance issues, 150-200 years into the game.
DLC examples: Sunset invasion, Monks and Mystics, Way of Life, Rule Britannia, Mare Nostrum, Ancient Relics(lootbox system basically, some stories are not SCI-FI, at all), ...etc.
-most important point: the DLC model, althought for some it was affordable, this is no longer the case: what was a WIP game, with DLCs comming bi by bit, now is one big chunk costing over 200 euroes/dollars in many cases, Dlcs costing several times as much as the barebones base game.
As YOU, said that you could not wait, so it is unfair for you to tell others to wait and gather money, or wait for discounts, to but games that are overpriced because of DLCs which [IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHT]: NEVER CHANGE IN PRICE OUTSIDE DISCOUNT SEASONS. NONE OF THE DLCS, HAS BEEN INCLUDED OVER TIME IN THE BASE GAME, OR SLOWLY DROPPED IN PRICE TO 1$, ONCE THE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS OF PARADOX WOULD HAVE BEEN SOLVED.

All in all, the current DLC policy is hurting the quality of the games Paradox makes, the quantity of their overall sales, their image. At the same time, it is taking too much money, for too little content from its users, whilst turning down newer player and making some older ones feeling ripped off. It is a system made by a company who does not need more money, but to spend it more wisely as it is currently a AAA one

To make a point on how some modders must feel about the DLC policy and constant mod breakign updates: this is also a WIP post, edits to some of my main points might come later, and therefore, so will anyone replying to this post, have to edit their own answers
 

Duuk

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At least on Steam Paradox dlc policy seems to be a huge negative with the general fan base.
False. The DLC policy is a negative with the people that click the thumbs down because they want to click the thumbs down. The sales numbers and profitability of the model disagree with you for CK2, Stellaris, EU4, and HOI4. IR, according to Pdox, sold more units than expected.
 

safe-keeper

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Don't know if I would mind it as an option. Pay a fee to access all content for a month, or just buy the DLCs you want. Wouldn't want PDX to switch, though.