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An early and simple solution to dealing with operations costs.

Honestly this is the most honest way to monetize operations costs. Your players want to play your game for some time, that time costs you money, you charge your players for that time cost.

In practice however simple subscriptions suffer from the same sorts of problems as "One Time Purchase" type "Pay to Play" models. For most games the required subscription fee will price out a portion of the player base requiring a higher price to compensate pricing more players out. In short this model is possible to be made sustainable but exceedingly difficult to manage well. In particular this model becomes less sustainable over time.

A nice consumer friendly solution is to offer a smaller "Subscription" as an alternative or addition to other options. You see this with games like Elder Scrolls Online. The general idea is you go with a "Free to Play" or low cost "Pay to Play" entry point. You offer "Expansions" as one time purchases/unlocks of content and give fans a "Subscription" option which should get them all expansions at a cheaper effective rate and often exclusive subscriber perks.

Heathen actually uses this model its self in its general development and its game development.

for example:

  1. This Knowledge Base and our Community are free (F2P zero barrier to entry)

  2. Users can purchase our assets on Unity Asset Store for a fixed one time purchase fee (akin to buying expansions/DLC/etc)

  3. GitHub Sponsors get all of our assets for a cheaper rate along with exclusive perks (Similar to a game subscription)

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