No company cares about the long term viability of there product, it's all about the big bang at release, and the life time membership offers i see on sto only fertalize the idea that they could care less about you me startrek or making a good game it's all about making your profit and covering costs on release day and the month after. I say **** you cryptic shove my preorder in your ass, the last hope for a good new mmo will be from bliz, mark my words i hate WoW but they know they can make more money in the long run....watch for there next mmo release will be the smothest launch ever.
As any marketing person will NOT tell you (key word is NOT) the idea of marketing and business in general is to provide a product or service with the highest profit margin. How you get the profit margin is irrelevant so long as the cost of your legal fees and consequences do not exceed your acceptable profits.
In other words, if mind control was legal, most businesses would use it. Marketing is designed to exploit sociological and psychological effects of humans to get them to purchase a product. They will treat you as nothing more than a number to be exploited.
Im pretty sure cryptic arent stupid enough to realise that they will have incredibly healthy profits from this game if they keep subscribers playing for month after month. With an IP such as Star Trek, that should last for years.
The long-term players will be adults in the 25-35 (20-40) age bracket who have enough disposable income to continue paying their sub for years over and over without caring about the outgoing cost of their subs.
SWG made that mistake by taking a game which had the same long-term player demographic where they had a core of a few hundred thousand players who had subscriptions that had been ongoing for years and/or would subscribe for years.
In financial terms, for every 100,000 players subbing, they get $1 million per month.
Then SOE made the great decision to actively market the game to child/teenage players by decreasing its complexity and totally changing the game. Of course the players they were now marketing to will only subscribe for a month or two. And additionally they lost 95% of their long-term sub base, which of course leads to a dead game.
Long term profits are where MMOs gain their money, short-term profits (i.e. lifetime subs, box purchases) are meant to cover as much of the start-up cost as possible so the monies earned in future are as close to pure profit as possible.