Personally, my view is that ANY new billing option, as long as it is not deceptively marketed, is a good thing for players, even if it's not a GOOD option for the vast majority. The question I'm more interested in is what SOE thinks it's going to get out of this deal. Who would potentially elect this plan?
- Former players considering a full-time comeback? That's effectively a $5 bet that you don't think you'll be sticking around for more than three days. If you're wrong, and you resubscribe after your trial, you lost the $5. If you're right, you "win" the $10 you saved compared to paying for a full month to retrial. But why are you even bothering if you think you're not even going to like the game?
- Multiple account holders (a demographic that's specifically mentioned in the promotional material)? My guess is that most people who are willing to go to this expense either maintain the multiple accounts or they don't. Multi-boxing is not for the faint of heart - you need to pay for multiple account keys, multiple subscriptions, possibly multiple gaming machines, AND you may need to keep your multi-alts up to speed with your main character (unless you only play them as a multi-static group). I don't see people who've put that much into it deciding they're just going to moonlight on their additional characters one weekend per month.
- Infrequent gamers? The plan is limited to being used once a month to encourage people to stick with the traditional recurring monthly subscription, so you'd have to be a very infrequent player with a very fixed schedule. You'd also have to be relatively insensitive to the cost, since it would be higher on a per day basis than most games, but not SO insensitive to the cost that you would be paying the full monthly fee if this option weren't available.
- People who want to cherry-pick quick access to the occasional time-sensitive event, such as in-game holidays, bonus exp weekends, or perhaps a guild birthday celebration? To be perfectly honest, there's a half decent chance that I might take this option myself at some point. The problem for SOE is that I have previously re-subscribed for the entire month if there was something sufficiently interesting going on. I.e. sometimes they'd be getting $5 that I wouldn't have given them, but sometimes they'd be missing out on $10 that I would have paid AND losing out on the chance to convince me that maybe I'd rather stick around for more than the one month.
Like I said, it's not a plan for everyone, but there is a specific niche market that could benefit from it. I'm just not sure that this particular market actually gets SOE more money in the long run.