John Smedley Addresses StationCash for EQ2 Subs

Written by Feldon on . Posted in StationCash

SOE President John Smedley has personally addressed the removal of EQ2 Subscriptions from the StationCash Marketplace:

Quick note – I’m sorry we didn’t do a good job of messaging this. It was handled while we were at E3 and that was bad. Very simply put we pulled the non-recurring subscriptions because we want a closer look at the numbers and how our overall pricing of subscriptions is impacted by it. I don’t want anyone thinking they were pulled because of double DC promotions or anything like that. We know what we’re getting into when we run those promotions. We’ve been running them for years and we run them because our players like them. It may surprise people, but we actually see terrific numbers on the days we run those promotions so it’s a win-win for our players and for us.

We’re trying to figure out the right balance of things that make our customers feel great about our pricing and balance that against our customer base as a whole. We aren’t saying they are going away for good.. we’re just looking carefully at the data right now and how we do this right. Please be patient while we figure this out. These non-recurring subscriptions are something we’re still working through and we want to make sure we do this right. Obviously as a business we have to make sure the decisions we’re making good for our players, and I assure you that’s what we’re trying to do.

Smed

Then he provided this update:

I’ve asked the team to put them back up for a week to let people buy them with existing SC. We should have been more thoughtful about this and I apologize for handling it the way we have. I’m not sure when it will be back up. Maybe today or maybe Monday (a lot of our team went to E3).

Smed

and an update from Piestro:

Some of you may have noticed that non-recurring subscriptions are no longer available on the Marketplace. This change was premature, and the option will be restored. However, we do intend to discontinue offering non-recurring subscriptions in the near future, and we will be sure to let you know in advance when this occurs.

We apologize for any confusion.

and finally an update from Olihin:

We will have these items back on the Marketplace for everyone in the next couple of hours.

We are verifying the changes now, and pushing them to live soon after.

Thank you!

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Comments (37)

  • Taka

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    It was fun while it lasted.. but its cool. there are other games that are freemium with companies with way better customers service.

    Reply

  • Nyna

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    I welcome this move because it will kill off many players who’re not in for the fun but merely because they can SLR and sell Plat so others actually pay their sub.

    It wont stop SLR and Plat selling completely of course, but at least you cant pay your sub with it now, but you can still buy homes, mounts, maybe even expansions.

    Reply

  • Sarken

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    I’m actually rather impressed they were quick to respond to this. It was inevitable they’d be doing some rethinking on how to handle them. What happened was a pretty terrible botching of several different elements, but it’s rather impressive that over something this big, they take proper damage control measures. I’ll give props to SoE for quickly working to do what they can to fix things up, but I have to wonder why they keep having these issues in the first place.

    Reply

  • Daalilama

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    Nyna sounds like a carebear player simply with his/her response…you dont care for SLR the end result for many is the plat is used to aquire station cash which is used in many cases to pay for subscriptions…just like a couple of morons on the official forums prior to the release of Skyshrine who were pushing for the banning of SLR and failed this is pointless position. In addition hoping that this move will”kill off” players who use this option to pay their subscription is truely pathetic at best.

    Reply

  • SBJones

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    Nyna, if they didn’t like they game, they wouldn’t be playing to begin with. Also why would anyone want less players in the game?

    Reply

  • Betony

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    Smed’s been an absentee landlord for far too long. Perhaps the stockholders finally got through to him that his 1%er attitude toward the EQ franchise has caused helacious damage and either step up to the plate and take responsibility or ship the hell out.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    Nyna seems to be one of those people who just does not get it. I have paid for my subscription since EQ1. Paid many many years in EQ2. Do I have the means to make plat, sure. Did I see a deal and take it. Sure. But just because I can make plat easier than the ones that are selling game cards, does not make anyone a better or worse player.

    To me it just shows the absolute ignorance about the player base. SOE has gotten there money. Just because they do double and triple station cash at the drop of a bucket is what is causing the massive devaluation of there subscription model. That is poor management on their side trying to make bigger and better deals. Doing the year subs at half price, while very nice, was not smart business. That is there fault, not the players. So hopefully some people will get a clue and realize that players are players and how they pay for the sub has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Reply

  • Nyna

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    Also why would anyone want less players in the game?

    - I dont need guys who dualbox camp nameds in SS contested, or who only group with a small posse to SLR crap.

    TBH I joined an SLR group recently myself just to make some plat, but I hated it. this kind of “professional” platmaking and lootselling doesn’t really do any good to anyone but the guys who do it. So maybe some of this jerks will quit the game once they can’t fund their sub anymore.

    Reply

  • miragian

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    I have little doubt that this change will do nothing to the SLR group. It possibly have people that buy the station cards leave or change but the groups that sell them I seriously doubt will go anyway.

    It’s its professional you don’t go out of business you change how you run your business model. Don’t expect that group to go anywhere.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    This was unexpected responsiveness. It’s still going away–as I said earlier, this was too good to last–but they seem almost kinda sorta to be, I don’t know, learning from previous errors. Maybe SOE’s new head honcho finally yanked on Smed’s leash?

    In any event, this won’t slow down the plat-for-SC trade too much. Folks will still have uses for the stuff, so the market will continue, though this will put a damper on it, at least for now. Also keep in mind, the cards can still be redeemed for play time rather than SC. If you still want to pay for your sub with plat, you can, just not at the ridiculously favorable rates you could previously.

    Perspective, folks, perspective…

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    LOL @ Nyna – I guess if you find a bad apple in a barrel you throw out the barrel.

    @ Anaogi – You are right on. It will change things a little, but it will not stop it. If anything the exchange rate might go down but otherwise it will remain in tact. The other thing that was mentioned is that they are not necessarily going to get rid of it. They still like the idea, they are just going to try and make it so it is more lucrative for them. SOE realizes they still get there money either way, it is simply that they are not getting as much because of there ridiculous double and triple station cash every other week.

    As far as SLR groups go, anyone who thinks those will go away because they change something in SC obviously has no clue what SLR is. That has been around since as long as the game has been out. That is what brokers are for. OMG, yes brokers were the first to sell loot for plat. To anyone who thinks that this is a new thing, get a clue. Those that can do it will do it, if you don’t like it, don’t group with them. They can do it because they have already put in there time to get better loot.

    Reply

  • Landiin

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    What a cop out ‘This was handled while we was at E3′. Nothing is done in a co this size with out weeks of prier notice to the team. They knew it was going away and they said nothing! And only when there was a large revolt did they come out and so OH snap we handled this bad and gave E3 as an excuse. The only thing they’ve learned is to handle the uproar faster.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      What a cop out ‘This was handled while we was at E3′. Nothing is done in a co this size with out weeks of prier notice to the team. They knew it was going away and they said nothing! And only when there was a large revolt did they come out and so OH snap we handled this bad and gave E3 as an excuse.

      SOE is very compartmentalized. Also, Marketing has incredible power. I’m not surprised at all at how this went down.

      Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    @Nyna: I’m with ya. Maybe this move will get rid of a few of the duchebags that hate the game, can’t stand anything they do, complain about every move they make, but keep playing anyway because it doesn’t cost them any actual money anyway. Can they stil pay for their sub for plat? Sure, but it won’t be quite as cheap. Does that make me a carebear player? If so then you can [self edited]. Do I agree with every move they’ve made lately? No. Are there things that need fixed like itemization? Yes! Does that make this the worst game on the planet? It sure sounds that way if you listen to some of the comments here and on some of the other message boards. They screwed up due to ignorance. When they realized it, they made it right. Plain and simple. You are now safe to remove your tinfoil hat. (I must say that I’m glad Feldon lets me post here even though we disagree on so many things. :) )

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Dethdlr posted:
      I must say that I’m glad Feldon lets me post here even though we disagree on so many things.

      Dethdlr and I have had some e-mail debates about different aspects in EQ2 that, if we were geographically proximate would have come to blows. I keep saying we should do a Podcast, but it would probably sound like Fox News. ;)

      Reply

  • Katz

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    They really need to hire someone who can think things through to their logical consequences. Either they have no one like that currently or they just don’t listen to them, but time after time this happens. They do something, there is an uproar, they go “oopsie, my bad” and adjust. Either they are doing it on purpose or they are clueless.

    I’ve not payed a sub using SC so I don’t care about this one, but I do care about others they’ve made.

    Reply

  • Thaleem

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    I agree 100% with Dethdlr on his comment:

    Do I agree with every move they’ve made lately? No. Are there things that need fixed like itemization? Yes! Does that make this the worst game on the planet? It sure sounds that way if you listen to some of the comments here and on some of the other message boards. They screwed up due to ignorance.

    With that being said I think that Katz has a valid point:

    They really need to hire someone who can think things through to their logical consequences. Either they have no one like that currently or they just don’t listen to them, but time after time this happens. They do something, there is an uproar, they go “oopsie, my bad” and adjust. Either they are doing it on purpose or they are clueless.

    I’ve not payed a sub using SC so I don’t care about this one, but I do care about others they’ve made.

    I have played and paid for this game for almost five years and get frustrated on several occasions due to the decisions that are not thoroughly thought through (lots of oug’s and ht’s lol) and placed into the game WITHOUT a thought on how it will affect the player base!!! in almost every place of business it is imperative for the management to have “the pulse” on their business so that they can be successful…that being said I fear that these abrupt decisions and lack of concern to the PAYING customer base may ultimately lead to EQ2′s demise. I love the game and so does my family we have two accounts and have paid for a year full in advance so WE as a family can save a few dollars. I hope that this Smokejumper dude can remove his head from you know where (BTW he gives me the HeeBeGeeBees) and start LISTENING to the player base and fix the known issues at hand and begin fixing them (like Itemization, DM, and too many more to list…check the bugs report for more FYI). Anyway don’t mean to rant.

    Thaleem

    Reply

  • Onorem

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    The obvious comment of ‘We didn’t think it through very clearly when we allowed subs for SC, and then offered sales on SC that made subscriptions far too cheap’ would have gone a lot farther with me. There is 1 reason they made this change. They knew they were going to make it. I’m amazed Smed cares enough to post himself.

    Reply

  • melpheos

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    There is a misquote :
    We’ve been running them for years and we run them because our players like them. It may surprise people, but we actually see TERRIFYING numbers on the days we run those promotions so it’s a win-win for our players and for us.

    Hmmm well maybe it’s not a misquote but i’m pretty that’s what he was thinking

    Reply

  • Gunthore

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    Logged in and had just enough sc for a 3 month sub.

    Reply

  • Cyliena

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    I have a feeling that what really happened was that their marketing department saw what happened with the 50% rebate weekend we just, did a knee-jerk reaction and screamed to yank the subs from the Marketplace. Or maybe I just need my tin-foil hat readjusted. ;)

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    Well they wanted us to use all the SC from the double and triple station cash weekends. They got their wish. ;) Now the real question is how many gold members are their from this latest round of sc binging.

    Reply

  • Kralus

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    I understand that SoE must do quite well with their double/triple SC + half off MP sales, but all this ultimately does is lowers the amount of money people are willing to spend on a subscription. I think SoE kind of screwed themselves with these sales in the long term with current subscribers. In my opinion the sales going forward should be at most a 30% discount (with the exception for those that are willing to pay for 6/12 months in advance) while also lowering the frequency of these subscription sales considerably.

    At least for me the above applies in regards to not wanting to pay anywhere near full price for a sub, and all because of the frequency of the sales. Many of us paid something like $3.50 a month? Why would anyone pay anywhere near $15 knowing that we just paid $3.50 for the same product? I know won’t until they get rid of these crazy sales.

    Reply

  • Caldwell

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    This is entirely SOE’s fault, anyone saying anything different is an idiot or a fanboi. Nobody forced SOE to add being able to pay for the game with station cash. Allowing players to purchase subs with SC was a really dumb business move, but the damage has been done.

    SOE if they were smart would move to an a la carte business model. Game is free for everyone to play. Release new content, and then allow players to pick and choose what they want to buy with station cash. Every dungeon and raid zone is purchaseable. Every new tradeskill item, each new skill, etc. This would give sony reason to actually produce CONTENT for players, and give players the options not to have to pay for something they dont want or wont use.

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    no, allowing players to pay for subs with station cash was originally a saving grace for SoE. It came at a time when people didn’t trust SoE’s security with their personal information. SoE’s website gets hacked and credit card info is supposedly leaked… Station Cash offers players a chance to buy cards at a local store, and pay for their game accounts without SoE ever seeing their information. It was a plan that probably saved them from losing a lot of accounts at the time.

    It was the silly “double” and “tripple” station cash sales, combined with the 50% off and rebate weekends that caused the problems. Plain and simple, the plan should have been to go with prepaid game time cards, not combined station cash cards that could be abused through these sales.Station cash for in game items, game cards for gold game time. That would have solved the problem before it became an issue.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      allowing players to pay for subs with station cash was originally a saving grace for SoE. It came at a time when people didn’t trust SoE’s security with their personal information.

      30-day Game Cards from Walmart would have accomplished the same goal, while retaining a sub price of $15. Also, Paypal and equivalent European services would have helped immensely.

      But by making it StationCash-based, players could gift Plat for SC, as well as taking advantage of Double and Triple SC promotions, to get EQ2 subs for cheap.

      the plan should have been to go with prepaid game time cards, not combined station cash cards that could be abused through these sales.Station cash for in game items, game cards for gold game time. That would have solved the problem before it became an issue.

      Oh wait, we agree. ;)

      Reply

  • milliebii

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    @trueflight I agree with your first paragraph, but I think you miss the mark in the second. Double Triple, Rebate StationCash is a seperate prom to sell more. The problem was no one at SOE expected 14 year old boys to work out the synergy of putting the two together, and having the sense to time Sub purchases.

    The sad thing is that no-one at SOE has worked out that there primary market is not 14 year old boys. The EQ2 community is much broader than that.
    “”"KOOOOLLLL!!!!”"”" features like the new emote thingy and dumbing down the game are aimed at catching a large share of the 14 year old male market. Pity that 14 year old boys are interested in other games. Sadder still that the real player base continues to be frustrated by SOE’s blindness to the real player demographics.

    Reply

  • Ollivia

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    id like you to tell me where in the uk you can buy pre-paid cards as ive never seen one ;)

    Reply

  • Caldwell

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    You could then, and can still pay for your account using cash cards. However, they added the ability to pay for your account with station cash. There is a huge difference. A 15 dollar cash card from any store will give you a one month subscription if you use it to directly pay for that month. However, cashing it in during a triple cash day, that same 15 dollars at walmart can pay for 6 months of a subscription. THATS where they went wrong, allowing people to pay with station cash, not just use the card itself as it was originally intended.

    I have bought and sold more station cash cards than probably anyone in the game. Sony was retarded to do what they did, but im glad people took advantage of it, because quite frankly, it’s about time we got to screw sony over because of their stupidity. Usually their stupidity only screws the us over.

    Reply

  • Panther

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    Maybe they have enough running SUB’s now. People hooked for 6 month or a year. And if people have been playing that long then when it comes time to buy another SUB then they might just do that :). Maybe SOE is more cunning than we give them credit for.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Maybe SOE is more cunning than we give them credit for.

      SOE doesn’t plan that far in advance.

      Reply

  • Gaealiege

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    I bought four years for each account long ago. I’m shocked that people didn’t follow suit at that time. I honestly don’t expect the game to be anything more than a ghosttown in four years, but I’ll be playing for free!

    Reply

  • Muspell

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    What happened to “Free to play, Your way”? =P

    Reply

  • Landiin

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    Actually this could of been a smart marketing ploy. Put on a 50% sale pull being able to buy a sub from the market place. Then when people rage and the word is out you can’t do this anymore put it back in for a bit. Then set back and watch the sales of SC go through the roof.

    Reply

  • Onorem

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    @Panther and Landiin:
    Holy Sh.. is that funny…

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    Dethdlr posted:
    I must say that I’m glad Feldon lets me post here even though we disagree on so many things.

    Feldon posted:
    Dethdlr and I have had some e-mail debates about different aspects in EQ2 that, if we were geographically proximate would have come to blows. I keep saying we should do a Podcast, but it would probably sound like Fox News. ;)

    Them’s fightin’ words! :)

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Dethdlr posted:
      I must say that I’m glad Feldon lets me post here even though we disagree on so many things.

      Feldon posted:
      Dethdlr and I have had some e-mail debates about different aspects in EQ2 that, if we were geographically proximate would have come to blows. I keep saying we should do a Podcast, but it would probably sound like Fox News. ;)

      Them’s fightin’ words! :)

      I really do think we’d make an interesting podcast. ;) Hope you can make it to Fan Fai…Live.

      Reply

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