Number of Active Subscriptions

In the most recent survey, I also asked players about the number of active subscriptions they had to MMOs. The majority of players (76%) only have one active subscription, and most of remaining players had 2-3 subscriptions. In less than 2% of cases, players had 4 or more subscriptions.

Of those who have more than one subscription, about one-third are playing just one of the MMOs they are subscribed to. Most of the remainder (58%) prefer one game among the ones they are subscribed to. Only very few players (10%) spend about equal time in the games they've subscribed to.

This data suggests that many players with multiple accounts may be transitioning between games, rather than deliberately trying to play both.


Open-ended responses probing respondents for why they kept largely unplayed subscriptions active brought out a set of distinct reasons.

Social Links

For some players, keeping the account active allowed them to stay in touch with friends or family members who were still active in those games, even though they themselves had moved on to other games.

While I prefer playing SWG, my husband prefers WoW so I keep an account active so we can play together sometimes. [SWG, F, 27]

Waited for SWG to get fixed, but since that never happened I went back to it for the roleplay. I kept WoW because I have many friends that play. DDO same reason. [SWG, M, 35]


Other players were sentimental less about their friends online than for the accumulated hard work and memories that their characters carry with them. For them, canceling the account might mean seeing all that effort disappear.

The time that I've spent building up my character and the equipment that I've gathered prevents me from deleting my account. [M, 23]

Lots of time invested in the toons, have a certain affection for them, something like that for a pet. Even if not active, it is hard to. [WoW, M, 54]

the time commitment is huge, and i don't want to lose all the progress i have made with the game (eqoa: frontiers) because i feel that i may play again. [WoW, M, 15]

I don't want to lose the time invested in the character, I have a awesome bounty hunter in SWG and i have put entirely too much time in the character to have him disappear. [WoW, M, 33]

Subscription Plan

Others were simply waiting for their subscription plans to run out. They had bought long-term subscription plans for the discount that they will not renew in the next cycle.

Waiting for subscription to die on its own ... 3 month payment plan. [WoW, M, 28]

Purchased a 3-month sub, and have 2 months left. [WoW, M, 46]


Just in Case

While some players are keeping their accounts to maintain their past efforts, other players are keeping their accounts in case they may be interested in the game again in the future.

Just in case I want to come back and play full time. [WoW, M, 49]

It's a matter of leaving my options open...If the MMO I am currently playing gets too frustrating, I can easily switch to the other. [SWG, M, 39]

I think I would be wasting my money either way, but I would rather have the option of playing it, and having paid for it, than deactivating time and not having that option. [Lineage 2, F, 18]

Hard to Cancel

Some players note that canceling an account may not be as easy as it seems. Several players noted that in certain instances, canceling may require a phone call.

Just down time, find it difficult to cancel subscriptions - not like a click to unsub, it is a phone call if you do not remember the secret type questions answers. [EQ2, F, 41]

Seems that every time I remember to cancel the account, I'm not near a computer to actually cancel it. Other times I'll remember but procrastinate and tell myself that I'll cancel right after ____. Also, the difficulty of canceling an account greatly comes into play for me. To cancel one of my accounts, I had to call customer service. It took me months to get around to actually calling them. [EQ2, M, 22]

Forgot to Cancel

And finally, a very few players admitted that they had simply forgotten about those active subscriptions until they filled out the survey. You heard it here first. Participating in online surveys by Nick Yee can save you money.

Because I forgot to cancel it :) I had subscriptions to three MMORPGs Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest2 and World of Warcraft. As I am only playing WoW, I cancelled the DAoC account but forgot to do the EQ2 one. That's now cancelled as well. [WoW, F, 36]

I keep forgetting about it. Will go there right now after this survey to cancel the other account. [WoW, M, 31]