Football Manager Live has added monthly payment plans to the minimum three-month subscription the game launched with, Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson has told GamesIndustry.biz.
"When we initially launched the subscriber periods were 3-, 6- and 12-month subscriptions having to pay upfront," Jacobson explained.
"We've looked at that, at the comments coming back from people who said they're interested but maybe haven't subscribed, and we've now added another business model which is more like a mobile phone contract - the longer you agree to subscribe for, the cheaper it is, and you pay per month."
The new system now brings the massively multiplayer management game closer in line with other MMO subscription offerings - although you still have to sign up for a minimum of three months.
As you can see at the Football Manager Live site, the game can be subscribed to for GBP 7.99 a month for three months, GBP 7.79 a month for six months, GBP 6.99 a month for a year and GBP 4.99 a month for two years.
The original upfront packages offer better value, at GBP 22.99, 43.99, 72.99 and 114.99 for three, six, twelve and 24 month subscriptions respectively.
In the full GI interview, Jacobson revealed that the game had around 23,000 players - the game has "22 or 23 game worlds live now, which shows the amount of subscribers with 1000 people in each game world".
"So it's kind of going to plan - obviously if it was going perfectly we'd have 1 billion subscribers playing, and eventually 6 billion, but realistically with the economy the way it is we're doing pretty well," he said.
'Start small and grow' is Sports Interactive's goal with Football Manager Live, Jacobson said. "We've still only officially launched in the UK, we haven't done any PR or marketing outside of the UK at all. The process is very different to a boxed game, and the process we've decided to use is pretty different to a lot of the routes that the higher profile MMOs have used.
"We're using elements of the approach that maybe EVE Online, RuneScape and those kinds of games - which have grown virally over long periods of time to get their subscriber bases. We just believe that's a better model than the huge hype, massive launch MMOs that all seem to be opening with a lot of fanfare and not necessarily being there a year or two down the line."
For more, including our review, check out the Football Manager Live gamepage.