Stellaris Expansion Subscription​

A dark day for Stellaris players may be approaching; Stellaris meets the infamous subscription model.


By. Jacob

Edited: 2024-03-03 10:29

When I logged into Stellaris yesterday, I was quite shocked to read the news that they will be adding an expansion subscription that will allow users to subscribe to Stellaris, and instead pay on a 1 month, 3 month, and 6 month basis; it was claimed they had listened to feedback from users that wanted this, but yet the feedback to the announcement on Steam seems overwhelmingly negative.

Regardless of what players think of it; subscription models are extremely bad for consumers who will be poorer as a result of paying for a subscription rather than just buying it once. It is one of the main reasons why I try to stick with open source and free software in my work, and try to avoid paying subscriptions for everything that is not absolutely required, including software from Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe.

For those that just want to "try the game", they are actually not a good fit, because it will be on the expense on everyone else; that's what we have good old fashioned shareware and demo versions for.

Subscriptions are harmful to consumers

With Stellaris, it is like taking a loan in the bank and investing it all in stocks only to loose it; not only do you loose the amount you invested, you also still have to pay back the bank. In fact, it is so much worse than investing borrowed money, because while you are playing Stellaris, you have no chance of improving your investment, and you know the money you pay towards the subscription is lost forever. It gives you a time-limited access to play the game.

Other companies like Adobe and Microsoft also use subscription models, but at least here you are paying for a service that might actually help you increase your productive output. It is still extremely bad from a business perspective, but the important part is that what you are paying will, at the end of the month, have produced you more money than you poured into it. Things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even Stellaris, is not going to give you a return on your investment. It is total wasted time and money.

Subscriptions in gaming are malicious

You can then argue we have fun while playing Stellaris, but again I am not willing to pay perpetual subscription fees just to have fun, knowing the damage it can cause to my social- and financial status down the road.

Just how much fun we get from Stellaris is questionable. I agree it has addictive gameplay elements in it, but actually playing it is more like a type of torture, because how excruciatingly slow it is and how much time you have to invest for progress. You will be pouring massive amounts of your own finite time into it, and that is in addition to the money you are paying for the subscription. Please be careful what you decide to pay subscription fees to! Most often these payment schemes are just designed to make somebody else rich while you become poorer!

Stellaris: Excruciatingly Slow for no Good Reason

Perhaps most famous for being subscription-based is World Of Warcraft; it will literally consume players time, while also taking their money. It can be a vicious cycle when combined with a gameplay that requires such a massive investment of time that the player has little left to work or be social. The gaming industry may not have had malicious intentions when they decided on the subscription model, but it will ultimately just be an additional perpetual drain on players bank account, and they should really be mindful of that.

How much will it cost?

These are the prices announced on steam:

  1. 1 Month: 9.99 USD
  2. 3 Months: 19.99 USD
  3. 6 Months: 29.99 USD​

The "discounts" may seem worth it for someone that just wants to try the game, but still, keep in mind you will loose access to what you already paid for after 6 months.

Many of us already brought all the expansions, so there seem to be nothing in it for us, and it will be a far better deal for us to just buy new expansions as they come – something I hope to still be possible.

Tell us what you think:

  1. Just an encouragement for you to try text-to-speech feature in Stellaris. It is awesome!
  2. Overlord makes the existing nightmare with popup- and notification spam worse, and it even manages to break another expansion.
  3. The Leviathans story pack is shooting itself in its foot, and the damage prevents it from being truly enjoyable.
  4. This review focuses on Stellaris, a grand-strategy game in space.

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