There’s a lot of talk in the MMO industry as of late that free MMOs are the way of the future, and subscription MMOs are headed out the door. But Turbine, the development studio behind Lord of the Rings Online, doesn’t believe this to be the case.
Turbine believes that it’s not the subscription that’s the problem, but the way in which it is implemented. Blocking players from choosing how they want to spend money in their favorite role-playing games is a dangerous approach, and free-to-play titles have just found a better way to let players pay for the things they want.
Adam Mersky, Director of Communications for Warner Interactive, offered these words of wisdom on the subject:
“It's probably not right to say the subscription MMO is dying, it's probably more right to say the idea of forcing a player to only have one option for having to consume your content - that's probably dying.” If there’s anyone that knows the successes freedom of payment choice can bring to a game, it’s the folks over at Turbine. LOTRO was reinvigorated by a rush of players after going free-to-play – but plenty of players are paying for the premium subscription plan. It wasn’t the “free” that brought players, but the flexibility of the payment options.
Other devs seem to agree. Erik Boyer, producer for Dungeons and Dragons Online, had this to say:
“If we were going to release another MMO, we would not come out and - from my perception - launch it as a subscription game. The right choice would be to make it a player-choice of subscription or free-to-play.” What do you think? Is there room for both subscription-based and F2P MMOs?
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