Sony defends DC Universe subscription

"Players feel they're getting exceptional value."

At 9.99 a month on top of the cost of the game, PC and PlayStation 3 MMO DC Universe Online is too expensive for some gamers. For creator Sony, however, the superhero RPG offers great value because gamers regularly receive free content updates.

"Certainly we want people to feel they are getting the value to that subscription," Sony Online Entertainment spokesperson Ryan Peters told Eurogamer.

"We understand we're asking a lot and the equation I always give to people is that it's similar to DLC - if you were getting DLC from Red Dead Redemption every month, I'd probably sign up for that because I buy every piece of DLC they throw at me.

"We're trying to keep it on par with that kind of experience where it's compelling and you feel like you're getting good value.

Sony revealed to Eurogamer that "a really cool iconic character" will hit the game in February, "Something that casual and hardcore followers of the DC brand are going to have a strong familiarity with - who knows, it may even be relevant to the time of year right?" Who could it be?

"People on the console are a little more hesitant because this is a different scenario for them, whereas an established MMO person would say, 'OK, I play an MMO' Peters added. "I would say two thirds of them are subscription-based and there's certainly a free-to-play marketplace out there.

"It's not so much a re-education process as saying, whatever price you're paying in your country, $15 in the States is a ticket to the movies and I guarantee you're going to get much more time and enjoyment out of this - especially the movie I saw last night which was The American with George Clooney which was awful. It was absolutely awful. 16 Euros to watch it in my hotel was the worst investment.

"I thought, there was a month's subscription to DCUO right there, and I thought that was a better investment."

DCUO launched last week and entered the UK all-formats chart in tenth spot. It is the fastest-selling SOE game ever.

"The players feel they're getting exceptional value for the money they're putting in," Peters continued. "I'm not going to say, 'Hey, sign up for a lifetime subscription' and then drizzle some content in there. I want you to feel there's something constantly for you to access, something that draws you back into the game.

"Our goal is to constantly give you something to do when you log in."

Peters dismissed talk of DCUO eventually going free-to-play, as so many MMOs have done in recent years.

"To be frank, I don't think there's any internal thought about why we would change our model - we're talking about a game that's a week old," he said. "We haven't had an opportunity to prove ourselves to the players on that content delivery.

"Internally, we have some awesome content planned and once people get over that hump of, 'Oh my gosh, we're paying for a game, it's not DLC, it's packaged as something else,' it'll be fine.

"In the PC landscape, sure free-to-play has become more and more popular, it's more competitive from an MMO standpoint. We did something kind of different with EverQuest 2 where we actually have a free-to-play server running in parallel with a paid-for service. It brought a lot of new people into the game and there's a different mentality and gameplay on that server - that works for us and is a different approach in terms of free-to-play across the board."

Kapow! DC Universe Online goes live

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