Tobold's Blog
Saturday, November 08, 2008
 
FreeRealms is accepting beta signups

SOE's next virtual world, FreeRealms, is accepting beta signups now. FreeRealms is obviously targeted at a younger audience, and will have a free-to-play option, as well as optional subscription and microtransactions. But from what I can make out from the videos, there are also MMORPG elements to the game, fighting monsters, puzzles, mini-games, even a trading card game. If SOE gets the mix between virtual social space world and MMORPG right, this might become a huge hit.
Comments:
An interesting idea. A subscription-free MMO aimed at younger players than current games reach could get a lot of players. What's less clear to me is whether the numbers add up. Are micro-transactions enough to fund such a game?
 
Habbo Hotel and Hello Kitty World cater to a similar demographic and can generate a demand for cosmetic upgrades through micro-transactions. It could be enough to fund it, but attracting and maintaining a number of customers is another issue entirely.

Only a small percentage of people actually pay for services in free-to-play MMORPGs and having a huge number of players increases that chance.
 
@metrogamer:

Only a small percentage of people actually pay for services in free-to-play MMORPGs and having a huge number of players increases that chance.

Revenue in f2p mmo's is actually a bit more complicated than that. Among those who pay, you have some who pay a little, and some who pay alot. But the average should be enough to cover your costs and turn a profit.

Those who don't pay still add value to the mmo by establishing a viable player base, and attracting more (virtuous circle).
 
I am defendant going to try this one out as it looks interesting (even though looks like the target audience is younger than i am)
 
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