Shayd3000 wrote:The subscription based products usually go to the bottom of my list. I am less likely to subscribe - especially if I have to pay for GM client and floating licenses. I prefer to pay up front and own.
I'm afraid this is the reaction you're most likely to see from most people.
Over the years I've seen the question come up with various VTTs, and invariably anything subscription based goes to the bottom of people's lists.
It would have to be truly freakin' amazing software to change anyone's mind about this--i.e. include everything that's on everyone's wishlist would be a good start.
It's just a hobby for people in the end, and there's only so much people are willing to spend on it. The hobbyists are a different breed than car-nut hobbyists, who will willingly spend $1000s on upgrades for their vehicles.
Unfortunately that leaves you in the unenviable position of trying to make a viable business out of hobby that people won't part with their money for.
I have 2 thoughts on this matter.
The first is that I can see it working if you want to charge a subscription for the GM license, but not
for the player client license. Trying to extract money from the 'player' crowd is often like trying to squeeze blood from a rock. GMs are more giving; they already have to buy all the source books (etc.) for their game of choice, and they've already made the commitment to spend a substantial portion of their time in game preparation. They're more committed, and more likely to be open to modest subscription price. Something on the order of $15/yr seems about right. Maybe even more; spread out over a year, $15 isn't that much.
Second, you are your own worst enemy. Learn the lessons that all big software companies have learned: have a new major release every 2-3 years, and charge for the upgrades. You keep giving major new features away with minor releases. Work on the Big Update, version 2, and charge for it. Of course if you charge for it, we all expect it to be bug-free. And have some of the new features that require a 'major rewrite' that many people have been harping on.
I've been using BRPG for over 2 years now, and paid only once for the license. I've paid for various artpacks too, but that's incidental.
Of course, these 2 points are pretty much in conflict; if you go towards a subscription, we'll expect upgrades to be free. We'll also expect a continuous stream of minor updates to improve the product. That's just the expectation when you are continuously paying for a product. Some of the features that require a major rewrite will have to begin to make their way into the product--no more putting them off! Subscriptions set high expectations.
Those are my thoughts; I hope that helps.