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I want to first state the most obvious point to this post – Wurm is not much fun alone especially when you are interested in PvP. I love Wurm, but it is a game that demands players and a population. It does not work as well alone. This game has dramatically dipped in players on the PvP side. When you’re looking for a PvP game, you need a game where you’re actually going to find PLAYERS versus other PLAYERS, but when more and more leave the actual opportunity to encounters enemies dramatically declines too. Now you likely could roam for hours and never see a single soul. If I was a new player I personally wouldn’t buy premium if I was very interested in PvP. Freedom has a good of good aspects still, but that has also declined over time. My idea is only to help bring players into the game. I already know by the title many people will immediately jump on the, “No microtransactions! That’s pay to win!” It is really important to note that there are hundreds of games that incorporate microtransaction shops to a game without ruining the actual balance of gameplay. Many of these larger games feature purely aesthetic features that do not impact the game’s core idea, and have no effect at all on the gameplay itself. Developers can implement microtransactions without giving any advantage to players. However, there are of course games that have abused the system, which has given microtransactions a negative connotation. I don’t personally find the idea of microtransactions to harm a game. I think in many ways they add something unique to a game, and that something tends to be something entirely and completely visually aesthetic. To be perfectly forward, my opinion of this game is that it is not worth the monthly cost in its current state. I have stated this before, and it was not the most well received from a developer or two. Regardless, I just want to share my thoughts. If you want to buy premium in Wurm, the cheapest available option is 1 month premium and 1 silver coin for 10E. That’s roughly 12 dollars USD. Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is 15 USD a month. Now I have to ask myself which game really offers more? It is difficult to truly say that comparatively Wurm is only three USD shy of World of Warcraft’s value. I do understand though that to consumers it is a game, and to developers it is a business. A company cannot afford to payout developers, artists, server hosts, and advertising costs (if any). I think the price currently though has new players asking, “Is this ten year old MMORPG worth it?” I do not have statistics, but I’m willing to be in the past year that the number of NEW subscriptions placed has greatly declined. I know it is easy to respond and say, “Of course it declines! The longer a game has been around, the less new players will be introduced.” Agreed, but I think a lot has to do with the price, but I also believe it has to do with a lack of sales. Wurm premium never goes on sale, and we offer no discounts to NEW players trying out the game. I feel it would be far more encouraging to new players if they were discounted 30% off their first premium purchase. New customers then pay a lower cost, and get to experience the game without the feeling that they spent too much. I am always surprised there are very little attempts to really market the game’s premium. We don’t even have a holiday sale. To the main point though my idea is that the price of premium should be lowered by 25%, and to cover the expenses lost we could promote a microtransaction shop. That would mean that 1 month premium cost would be lowered to 7.5E or 8.99USD. The two months premium would be 12E or 14.35USD, which means you would get double the amount of playtime compared to WoW. To a consumer that sounds far more appealing, but that is a fairly obvious statement. Any consumer is going to like reduced pricing. The issue with that is if we lower premium costs by 25%, CodeClub takes an initial 25% hit. If there’s 2000 active players each paying a monthly premium of 10E, that is 20,000E or 24,000USD. There would be a 5,000 of lost revenue. However, that’s not projecting that the decrease in premium costs would not generate any new players or new subscriptions. I believe that ultimately the gross revenue would equal back out. Think about it this way. Would you rather a hundred players $10, or two hundred players paying $5? The outcome is still a thousand, but of course that isn’t factoring in that each payment itself is taxed and feed. The other part to this suggestion/post is that I have always been surprised that the opportunity to make money off microtransactions isn’t addressed. Too many frown at the word ‘microtransaction’, and developers now attempt to avoid it like the plague. Look at popular titles like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, World of Warcraft, Path of Exile. These titles have aesthetic microtransaction shops that have not ruined the gameplay experience for anyone. They do not promote a pay-to-win model, only a pay-to-look-different model. There are elements to the game that people would greatly pay for, and cater to providing a better experience for players while returning a profit to the company. I cannot think of anyone who states that these titles (CSGO, WOW, POE) are “pay to win” model games. They just have shops with quality aesthetic goods. I feel there’s a lot of content that could be added to the game that would sell because people love things that are unique. Hence why masks, rare items, and different metal types sell so well. It makes someone’s character standout further. We have all these great items in the game, and some really never are seen such as the Challenge rewards. The few helmets and masks that existed there are likely shelved somewhere, and cannot be seen. You know how awesome it would be to have the ability to buy a “Horned Helmet” and it change the appearance of your Great Helm? Imagine just having the ability to change the appearance in something like your sword, maybe the hilt of it or ornate design on the blade. I feel there’s so much opportunity to have more customized pieces of clothing and armor in this game. Those types of shops are what keeps many games alive and pumping. I’m not going to fully flesh out store ideas and items that could sell, but there’s so much opportunity in holiday sales, themes, etc. I feel there is so much opportunity wasted, and to keep everything afloat it means premium costs have to be rather high for the actual return of gameplay. I’m not trying to solve all the game’s problems, but I’m just throwing out the idea that other titles have really brought a unique look to their game, and also make money off it at the same point. I also feel that if that’s an opportunity to increase revenue, and it could possibly lower premium costs I feel you’d have a lot large demographic scope of players interested in the game. At the present time I don’t feel the cost is worth what you get back especially from a PVP server perspective. tl;dr - I feel if there was lower premium costs we'd have more players willing to try, and that microtransactions offer players unique aesthetic goods without appearing as "pay to win" game. Many titles do it, and many of those titles are free to play games that benefit only from these shops such as Path of Exile. There's a lot of opportunity to make money and get players back.