Monday, September 27, 2010

Free to Play

Free to Play (F2P) is a word until last year was not very often used. Only 2 REAL[1] games had free to play. Anarchy Online and Runescape, it doesn’t matter your opinion on Runescape since it is the world’s biggest F2P game in numbers even today. While Anarchy Online’s free kept it alive to today, however most common MMO’s did not try this (expect for EAland[2] on its dying breath). However last year the MMO, DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach) was about to bite the big one. However Turbine (being the guys they are) made one last try to save the game and was born the same game with a new name... DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online: Ererron Unlimited[3].

Very fast 5 million accounts were made and DDO was saved and now has about 1 Million subers (VIP). DDO showed the world that F2P (if done right) could save the game. The fact was DDO fitted F2P very nicely with the style of game (not an EQ[4] style game). Today DDO is growing and last mouth Turbine put its other game LotRO (Lord of the Rings Online) into the F2P market, it’s too early to tell, however with server waits that’s a good sign (in a bitchy way).

Many other games are now moving. 3 months ago SOE[5] said that EverQuest 2 will NOT be going free to play, a mouth later and they said it will! In fact I am doing an audio commentary on it now; however I am waiting for the download to finish! Also Pirates of the Burning Sea is going F2P (and hopefully if PotBS and EQ2 go well then other SOE games like Vanguard and Planetside may go over(and maybe... The Matrix Online could come backJ).

Also we are seeing the rise of “endless trials” which is what they sound like such games are WAR[6] and AoC[7] also many other games are too similar things as well. E.g. Star Trek Online and Champions Online.

The future of free to play games looks good, and I can’t wait to be a part of it!

[1] Non Kerian WoW clones, I should note that other kids games were as well e.g. Toontown online

[2] Sims Online, now shut

[3] Ya I hate the name too, however many old players (like mah self) still call it Stormreach (I have the box)

[4] More commonly known as a “WoW Clone”

[5] Sony Online Entertainment

[6] Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

[7] Age of Conan

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