Since its arrival, Fallout 76 has been rife with drama and a general overall lukewarm reception. People who have tried it either love it or hate it, much like those who played vanilla No Man’s Sky. However Bethesda isn’t ready to toss in the towel on their Fallout MMORPG. They still support Elder Scrolls Online, which still has a so-so following, so of course they aren’t read to toss Fallout 76 out with the bathwater.
Their latest idea to bring in more players and more money to boot is with their Fallout 1st subscription program. It’s a premium membership that offers private worlds for players and their friends. There are a host of other amenities that go with this membership, such as monthly Atoms, unlimited storage, and other exclusive cosmetics. All this can be yours for $99.99 a year or $12.99 per month. Which, compared to other MMOs out there that require a monthly subscription fee just to play, doesn’t sound so bad.
There are definite pros and cons to this model, especially when it comes to a game that still has its fair share of problems. However, a bigger question remains: If Bethesda is successful with this plan, will other MMOs follow suit?
Games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV each charge a monthly subscription fee to just play the game. It’s well documented that World of Warcraft subscriptions are dropping, and FFXIV somewhat comes and goes with each expansion. But what if they each offered a premium subscription for private worlds? Would that spur an increase in players (and money)?
Or we can look at a couple of MMOs that don’t already require money to play. What if Bungie offered a premium membership with private worlds for Destiny 2? Or Hello Games with No Man’s Sky?
The point of No Man’s Sky is to play with the possibility of running into other people, but what if you could pay extra to have a private section of the universe for you and your friends? Offer some world building, like a home base, and then generally do whatever you want with friends in tow.
There are possibilities in Destiny 2 for this, as well, although I’m not sure how much these players are dying to have their own private world. Monthly cash stipends, unlimited storage, and exclusive gear, however, could be enticing enough.
Could a membership program save Anthem? Or is Anthem too far in the not-caring-zone for them to even try?
Current MMOs aside, this could inspire future MMOs, especially console MMOs. Depending upon the success of Fallout 1st, it would not be surprising to see Bethesda implement something similar with Elder Scrolls Online, or any future MMO they come up with.
Not to mention, other developers are sure to take note for planning their future MMO titles. Many Mass Effect fans have clamored for an ME MMO, and a similar membership program would get many interested. The same could be said for a possible Dragon Age MMO. Or really any other MMO in planning.
What I’m mostly curious about is how this affects current MMOs that require monthly subscriptions; if they’ll keep on keepin’ on or if they’ll toss around this idea to potentially increase their subscription numbers. Since so many console MMOs don’t require a subscription to play them, PC MMOs and console MMOs like FFXIV may need to explore similar membership ideas to keep the lights on and yet entice more players to try the game in the first place.