A leap of faith
Well, the lifetime part of the offer is what people argues about really – the 6 month option does not include any controversy. It is just a reduced price.
Contrary to the LOTRO offer, the lifetime offer seems to be offered to everyone as far as I can tell from their newsletter, not just pre-orders. But on the other hand the offer expires when the game releases (or before in the case of us in Europe). The cost is 200 USD, 220 CAN, 148 Euro or 120 GBP.
I must say that I am happy to see that we do not seem to get screwed on exchange rates here in Europe and actaully would be paying fairly close to what our North-American co-players would pay. This was not the case with LOTRO as I recall. However, the newsletter did not say whether the European prices included VAT or not. With Cryptic being an American company they probably do not follow the rules for providing consumer prices here. Anyway that remains to be seen.
Due to the time limitation set on the offer, some people consider it a scam. I do not think it is a scam, but what they are really asking here if for people to take a leap of faith because they believe in the company, not just in the game. This is really more aimed at people that want to play the games partly because it is Cryptic Studios that make them. The inclusion of Star Trek Online beta access emphasizes that in my opinion.
I must admit I am certainly in that target audience. With City of Villains/Heroes Cryptic Studios showed to me that they “get it” for a number of things in MMOs, even though there are also a number of flaws in that game as well. I have very little interest in Star Trek because of the Star Trek brand, but would certainly consider trying it out because it is Cryptic Studios making it.
I am still undecided whether I will take that offer. Over 3 years of playing City of Villains/Heroes says that it would be a good deal if Cryptic manages to keep my interest at a similar level, assuming subscription rates will be similar to other MMOs and that they will keep that payment model for a considerable time.
Given my previous history with games from SOE, Blizzard, Turbine etc I would never go for a lifetime offer because of faith any of these companies. I have not played any Bioware or Mythic games as far as I know, so no existing or future offers would cut it there either. Right now, Cryptic is the only company that has a track record for me that would make me consider that leap of faith.
Well, perhaps ArenaNet also in the unlikely event that it would be relevant, but that is another topic…