*psst* Hey, Cryptic guys. Come over here. I've got a business proposition for you.
Most of us know what your definition of "exclusive" means by now: "only given out to certain people for a limited amount of time before we put it up for sale". Well, I'm here to suggest another way to make money and possibly retain subs. I'm pretty sure that you're already thinking about offering certain bonus items outside of their original intended audience. Hell, it's already been done with the Captain's Table and TOS unis.
I suggest putting certain highly wanted items in the Veteran program. Some people are asking for the MU unis, the Lib Borg, and the Galaxy-X (as, I'm sure, among other things). Why not make them available for the 500+ day mark(s)? This will give an incentive to those who really want the item(s) and we all know that some non-lifers will be willing to go to this mark, especially if the game ends up worth playing for more than a couple months.
Don't put these things in the C-Store. That place is already too overcrowded and you don't need to put anything else there. Hell, there are lots of things already in the works to be put up there.
I know that there will be people who would argue "why should we have to give up our EXCLUSIVE bonus items"? As stated above, this could be a way to earn more revenue. If you guys are set on acting like Ferengi, at least act like INTELLIGENT Ferengi. Read the posts. There are people who would be willing to do this.
If others wish to comment on this idea, I invite a civil discourse. Please leave the hateful posts at the door.
That depends on what one considers a good customer.
In Cryptic's case, a "good customer" is someone who will purchase 5 subscriptions on top of their previous things, thus increasing their profit.
If that is true, then Cryptic/Atari doesn't have a good grasp as to what a "good customer" is. They're playing in a field where sub retention is more important than short-term sales. If people do get others to play and sub and stay for months or years, then that would be a better business plan. However, they're thinking is flawed as many people will do as you said. They will go out and buy five more copies of the game, start five more accounts, and pay for five extra months of playtime just to get a ship that is not just cosmetic.
In the short-term the game will prosper as they are making money from box sales. In the long run, though, they will lose not only revenue from the perceived notion that subs have skyrocketed but they will also lose revenue from those who had considered staying on but felt put off by such marketing tactics. As it currently stands, the referral program is a lose-lose situation.
In order to keep people playing, there has to be two things: a more solid game with better end-game content & something to work towards. Putting items like the MU unis, the Lib Borg, and the Galaxy-X as something to strive to earn will benefit everyone in the long run.
Not meaning to sound selfish here, but alot of the exclusives from lifetime subs and pre-orders were advertised as 'exclusive' amd 'limited time only', to make them available ingame for people that missed out is a bit of a kick in the shins to the people, like me, that bought multple pre-orders because they way they were advertised made it appear that it was a 'now or never' type thing.
I'm fine with adding more exclusives to the game, but they should really slow down with the ammount of exclusive items they are adding and they should really be careful about adding things that have been advertised as exclusive to get people to buy them.