NCSoft anticipates SOE on the “free model”

This could be a big news.

I was reading on Joystiq some impressions about Dungeon Runners and Exteel but what caught my attention is that they say both games will be FREE:

We know that MMOs can be a little addictive. So do developers and publishers. That’s why some of NCsoft’s new offerings are at once a stroke of brilliance and absolutely terrifying. Aimed at new MMO players as well as existing ones, the PlayNC portal invites players to try its games by putting them at an irresistible price — $0.

The money, of course, lies in areas like micropayments — while a great portion of each game is free, features like new items or character slots will come at a price. Some games may only offer lower-level gameplay for free, meaning that players are enticed into purchasing the game once they have become invested in a character. Two games from the PlayNC portal were playable at E3: Dungeon Runners and Exteel.

I have the suspect that Joystiq mishunderstood the whole thing, but if it’s true it is really a huge news.

From what I’ve seen neither of the two is worth a subscription fee but at least Dungeon Runners could become extremely interesting if they make it accessible for free and maybe sell new content at a very low price. The last few screenshots I’ve seen are much, much more improved. This could easily become a new “Diablo 2” if done right.

I’m still rabidly against the RMT model. But I would accept paying an accessible price for content on a casual MMO-like. If they hit the center you can kiss DDO goodbye.

It looks like SOE is being left behind pretty much on every field.

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