My first thought is nothing, I really believe that it is up to the developers and the MMO community to make that decision final. I mean as long as games like Rift and WOW are able to function with a subscription model that will still be the main goal for larger studios. After all they have to cover their budgets.
However smaller studios and those who don’t feel they need to be the only game you play will take the F2P or hybrid subscription model at inception.
Let’s talk free to play stigma and why it really shouldn’t be that way anymore.
Stigma part one if a game switches from a subscription to F2P they are a dying game and a last ditch effort to save themselves. I believe that this one mostly came from DDO making the switch because it was floundering. But games like Lord of the Rings Online did it completely to increase revenue. Mostly after seeing what the change did for DDO. Both of these game of course being published by Turbine.
I am sure that the swift manner in which Star Wars The Old Republic has decide to change most people are going to see this as a failure. I believe that in the eyes of the studios involved that may be the case. When your actual goal is to hit 13 million subscribers and take over the #1 spot anything less is a failure.
Next stigma if a game comes out as F2P it is low budget and not well made. Low budget maybe but not well made have you seen Firefall it is well polished, it still has some issues but it is in beta. Although most F2P games are Asian ports that don’t always translate well in the US and Canada doesn’t mean they are also bad games just that we aren’t the right audience for them.
With all that in mind are subscription MMOs dying? I don’t think so with WOW still running things. And games like Rift performing like it has. There is promise in a subscription based game. That being said it is going to take innovations like the ones in Rift and those that are being tried in games like The Secret World for that to remain true.
On the flip side games like Guild Wars 1&2, Firefall and LOTRO that are very solid MMOs. That you can play without spending a dime and they can and will continue to make the money needed to continue to develop content and turn a profit.
So what have we learned? That subscription or no there are all types of very strong MMOs out right now. So find one you might like or a couple and give them a try.
After having a little disagreement with LOTRO I started subscribing to Trion Worlds Rift. I hadn’t played Rift in quite a while ( from the alpha and beta to be exact) and I must say that a lot of the changes made seem to be wholly for the better. Being this is only the second MMO that I have ever subscribed to you would think that I say better just because it is different. But I do have a few other MMOs to pull from. I have to say on the whole I think that Trion is a company that has it almost completely figured out. From small things like aoe looting to larger things like world events it is like they themselves still remember what it is like to be a gamer. I have been playing Rift since mid to late December and I have leveled 1 character to level 40 and multiple other to 20 or better. And the only major issue I have is fining groups for dungeons or group quests, most of which is my fault for not using the chat system. I have mostly just used the LFG option in Rift which seems to be underutilized or just not enough people know how or want to use it. Otherwise I feel that it has been a very solid and enjoyable experience.
I truly believe the given unlimited resources the people over at Trion could make a true WOW contender, although I still contend that WOW is more of an anomaly than the goal that people make it to be. Due to timing and a story in a world that was familiar to a large sum of people was the main cause of Blizzard’s success. Now to get back on the rails I know that people believe that any development team can make a great game with unlimited resources, I do not believe that to be the case. I am not saying the Trion team is infallible but they do seem to get more right than wrong. I know that in the MMO world there is no pleasing everyone but it does seem they come pretty close.
I know that this is usually when I start pointing out the issues with whatever I am writing about. In this case however I really don’t have much to say. The only real problems are just the typical MMO issues. Most of which normally caused by the players themselves. I will issue a final thought to go along with my former article about Rift. Rift is a solid game and quite enjoyable, by no means could it be a WOW killer. After playing for this short time I will say that I don’t believe at this time the game needs to be free to play by any means. Save that my original thoughts on Rift still remain the same.
So thanks for reading if you have any thoughts leave them below or email me at TheBorReport@gmail.com and also try Rift out for yourself here www.riftgame.com levels 1-20 for free and then let me know how you feel. Until next time ~ Bor
After many Betas of Rift I can safely say that it is a decently solid game. There is a lot of polish on many features of the game. Some big things done well and even some little things that really make a lot of sense. Is it a WOW killer?