Friday, February 24, 2012

VG Talk #11 Is F2P the W2G for MMOs?

Video Game discussion.

Are free-to-play (F2P) games the way to go (W2G) for MMOs? F2P has not only become the new standard for MMOs but it’s almost the only successful business model if your company’s name isn’t Blizzard. If you’ve avoided the MMO scene then you might want to at least think about how this affects gaming in general. The concept is that while the initial game is free and/or there are no monthly fees, extra content has to be bought. Many video games are starting off as pay-to-play (P2P) at first as a buffer to gain some initial return (those servers aren’t going to pay for themselves) before changing to the F2P model while others are F2P right out of the gate.

Notable MMOs that are F2P:
Champions Online
City of Heroes
DC Universe Online
Dungeons and Dragons Online
Dungeon Fighter Online
Everquest II
Lord of the Rings Online
Maple Story
Perfect World
Ragnarok Online
Rusty Hearts
Star Trek Online

Notable MMOs that are P2P:
Star Wars the Old Republic
World of Warcraft

The majority of the notable F2P games in the above list were originally P2P which is very telling of the trend going on here. Then you have things like EVE Online that don't make either list because it's kinda sorta both (it's technically P2P with a free trial period but you can earn in-game currency to pay for the game which makes it F2P for those that work hard).

MMOs aren’t the only games that are turning to the F2P business model. Games like Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, Minecraft Classic, and the upcoming games Firefall, Tribes: Ascend, and End of Nations are all F2P.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think this will affect all video games or just MMOs and/or PC gaming? Do you prefer subscription based games, games that only require buying a disc, or free games where you have to pay for extra content (including hats)?

This is Kylak signing out and raising a spatula to Urf.


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