Reacting briefly to some stuff I’m reading online:
1- Free To Play is still the place where MMORPGs go to die. It’s the place of decline and of slower death, where companies put their game so they can squeeze some more dollars out of it.
2- Free To Play is not currently proven as a successful model. I still need to see projects that make a real profit that includes the entire initial budget. Why? Because this is the model that is usually seen as “successful” for a MMO that started with normal subscriptions and then moved to F2P. Like SW:TOR. Free To Play is “successful” after a failure already happened.
3- I’d like to see numbers and statistics. How many players log in at least during a month, and then again next month. Then take these accounts that are active from month to month, and find the average of what they are spending in the span of 6 months. I want to see if they spend more, on average, than 14.99 * 6.
4- No one out there has even started to think about the only reasonable thing that the market is truly asking: LOWER monthly subscription fees. Because I do believe F2P is only competing with subs NOT BECAUSE OF THE MODEL, but because it’s cheaper. You, usually, really do get more. But I’d really like to see if F2P continues to be successful if monthly fees were lowered to be more acceptable.
5- I’ll repeat point 4 to clarify it: F2P is not demonstrating to be the better model. It is demonstrating that you are more successful with a bigger playerbase that pays less, than a smaller one that pays more. You get the exact same result by keeping monthly fees and reducing them.
6- Guild Wars 2 is very often mentioned by the media as Free To Play. It is not. You pay upfront. It’s a whole lot different.
7- MMORPGs like World of Warcraft don’t deserve monthly fees. Because they are producing EXTREMELY SLOW UPDATES from month to month. In the old days patches were frequent, weekly if not daily, and you could see that the game was making progress. It was an ever evolving thing unlike single player games. These days there’s zero progress (no work on systems, only on small amount of “content”). So no, you don’t deserve to be paid monthly.
8- In general, it’s not that the monthly fee is obsolete. It’s that the MMORPG genre has been killed and in a definite decline. We got glorified single-player. No one wants to play monthly for glorified single-player. Free To Play is on the rise because the quality of MMORPGs became lower and lower.