There have been many questions regarding Xsyon's monthly subscription and I'd like to express the reasons behind this.
I've been a gamer since the 90s. Xsyon was originally conceived and designed 15 years ago. Early development started in 2008, although most of the game code has been redone since 2011.
Xsyon is an MMO and MMOs have continued development, support and server costs that single player and coop games typically do not have.
When development began, the standard model for MMOs was to charge an initial fee plus a subscription as Xsyon does currently. I had played games following this model since the mid 90s and find it straightforward and fair.
Xsyon was designed based on the standard and did not anticipate the change in the industry. World of Warcraft and other games still follow the standard.
More recently many MMOs have switched to other models. These include:
- Frequent paid expansions.
- 'Free to Play' with cash shops for items and enhancements.
- 'Pay to Win' where features or bonuses are unlocked by paying for them.
These models were created to increase overall revenue from players, often obfuscating prices and deliberately separating the player from a sense of actual costs. These methods often offset players who pay the bare minimum with revenue from players who end up paying upwards of $100 per month on items or features.
These models often rely on much larger communities and I do realize that Xsyon caters to a small niche crowd.
Rather than redesign Xsyon to focus on how to monetize the game, we've stuck with the older standard method. As I stated above, I feel it is straightforward and fair. All players pay the same for equal access to the game.
What do you get for your monthly subscription fee? You get to play a fun and unique game and be part of a helpful and friendly community. You get to communicate directly with the lead developer (me) as the game evolves based on your input and that of other players.
Although Xsyon is in Early Access because of the continued development, your character will not be wiped and your are not expected to be a tester. You can simply enjoy the game for what it is.
Read more about the Current State of Xsyon.
Many players have done so and spent hundreds, even thousands of hours in game. Some spend over 100, even 200 hours in game every month.
For now this model has been working. Before launching on Steam, subscriptions were not an issue and have been keeping Xsyon moving forward.
I do appreciate input and understand that times are changing.
I keep an open mind towards the future and am considering removing the subscription while Xsyon is listed as Early Access. This is not a quick and easy decision to make. Clearly many players are turned away by the monthly subscription. It was not an issue before our appearance here on Steam.
Removing the subscription is risky. The amount of new players brought by this change would need to compensate for the loss of monthly revenue. Based on current and past data, I'm not 100% sure it would do so. I'm hesitant to take the risk, not only for myself, but primarily for Xsyon's loyal player base.