Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
 
Sensational news: World of Warcraft NOT going Free2Play this year!

In a stunning news announcement Blizzard just declared that they weren't changing World of Warcraft to a Free2Play business model this year. They said: "Are you crazy, guys? We already rent half of Silicon Valley for our servers, if we went Free2Play we'd grow to a 100 million players and wouldn't know how to handle the hardware!"

Coincidentally CCP also announced that EVE Online wasn't going Free2Play anytime soon: "We have a solid business model charging people for the priviledge of waiting for their characters to gain skills while offline. If people could do that while not only not playing, but also not paying, we'd be ruined!"

Meanwhile Square Enix denied that Final Fantasy XIV would be released with a monthly subscription model, but change to Free2Play before Christmas. "We can't admit being scared by all those negative beta reviews. And anyway we are so bad at designing account management and billing systems that a change like that would never work for us!"

Coming up: The competition in which YOU get to guess which game isn't going Free2Play next!
Comments:
Lord of the R-

Huh, really? Oh.... well. Guess I'll leave this to the big kids.
 
A tale in the Desert.

Champions Online.

Star Trek Online.

Star Wars: The Old Republic.
 
I hear Alganon will be adopting some innovative new services for sale in it's cash shop. $50 will buy you dinner with Derek Smart. Or if you don't want to spend that much, $25 will buy you two dinners with Derek Smart.

(badum-TISH!)
 
Yea, whenever i think of games that won't go F2P [against all logical odds] then i think of any Cryptic Game.

I bet Neverwinter Online will be a subscription + cash shop + paid patches + paid expansions + paid action packs + paid beta too.

Now i can understand if games like WoW and even Aion [with quite healthy populations at this stage] feels no need to go F2P...there's no reason to do so. But these games slowly circling the drain of obscurity , their loss if they don't do "something" to either make the sub do more for you [something Funcom is experimenting with AoC [veteran points, level gains for each week subscribed etc] OR open up the game with some form of free-to play-now-pay-later model.
 
I predict that we'll see two things happen in the future:

1. If the MMO is successful, it will continue it's monthly subscription and introduce a cash shop.

2. If the MMO is failing, it will introduce a F2P model (which ultimately still costs users a lot of money) in addition to a cash shop.

Not that I'm a cynic or anything ;)
 
Tobold, you're generally a mild-mannered type of blog writer, and as a LotRo player, I couldn't help but take the hint here. I'm not sure whether your irony was directed at Turbine-They did make a fuss about it because they're a company and because it's their business plan. Hopefully it will bring more players, and more resources for Turbine to develop the game further. Going 'f2p' doesn't mean the game is failing. No, LotRo is not as technically polished as WoW, but for a lot of gamers out there, including myself, it's a nice community and a brilliant game - which, granted, can't satisfy 11 millions gamers like WoW. Anyways, I'm a keen reader of your blog, but I thought your irony and obviously being annoyed at the f2p buzz was slightly insulting and unjustified.
 
Tobold, you're generally a mild-mannered type of blog writer, and as a LotRo player, I couldn't help but take the hint here. I'm not sure whether your irony was directed at Turbine-They did make a fuss about it because they're a company and because it's their business plan. Hopefully it will bring more players, and more resources for Turbine to develop the game further. Going 'f2p' doesn't mean the game is failing. No, LotRo is not as technically polished as WoW, but for a lot of gamers out there, including myself, it's a nice community and a brilliant game - which, granted, can't satisfy 11 millions gamers like WoW. Anyways, I'm a keen reader of your blog, but I thought your irony and obviously being annoyed at the f2p buzz was slightly insulting and unjustified.
 
Nefastos, you misunderstood Tobold.

What Tobold tries to say with this post is that it is unnecessary to announce that you do not go F2P, like Warhammer did.

He tries to prove it by creating a strawman (WoW announces to not go F2P, he calls it 'sensational news') and then hoping that you see how silly it is with WoW. Therefore it has to be silly for Warhammer, doesn't it?
 
as a LotRo player, I couldn't help but take the hint here

The joke was squarely aimed at EA Mythic announcing WAR wasn't going Free2Play, as evidenced by the link I gave.

Not only didn't I target LotRO, I also don't mind at all that LotRO is going Free2Play. My point is rather that 2 years ago everybody said that Free2Play was only for Asian Browser-games and would never work for major MMORPGs. And today we get a company having one of the top 10 MMORPGs feeling the need to announce that they are NOT going Free2Play. I find that change in attitude remarkable.
 
Next games will announce when they're NOT coming to facebook.
 
Diablo 3 will release with an item store.

Believe it.
 
I don't get it. With a few well known titles going F2P recently, and the ever-present rumor that any given player's MMO may be going F2P, Mythic reassured their customers that they're not planning on that particular business model. They then used that moment to briefly mention paid services that they *were* considering.

It's almost as though you were offended by the announcement.
 
In a press release today God announced that Life's cost model would not be changing in the foreseeable future. While, in the past, critics have labeled Life as free to pay God was quick to point out that he set up a very complex charge based system wherein the user found out quickly that after installing the program a user was charged for entry by installed "checkpoints" that were labeled parents. "I felt that charging money right off the bat was a bit off putting for some so I decided that I would instead charge time based off of tasks called "chores" and "Visits to boring aunt Edna's" I put the charge into a quest like structure. But at level 18 the user is exposed to the real cost model.

At level 18 the checkpoints are changed to be called "house" and "relationship partner". In which the user then discovers the true cost model to Life. "Probably the largest revenue system I've installed so far was the "Child" system." God was quoted as saying.

So with the current cost model in place and millions being collected daily it's not really a surprise that Life's cost model will remain unchanged.
 
I think it's kind of funny, that when WoW was released, the very thought of mmo's being f2p was ridiculed. Now it does seem everyone is going into some sort of alternative payment scheme.

Everyone except the really big dogs.
 
>YOU get to guess which game isn't going Free2Play next

Life :)
 
In a bizarre twist of fate, Farmville is now using a subscription model...
 
I don't get the commenters who are offended - it's obviously just a tongue-in-cheek post.

Regarding WoW they may not go F2P this year but they'll certainly have people working on a F2P system.

It depends how Cataclysm does. Admittedly the only options are stupendously well and very well, but very well is not good enough. If Cataclysm fails to meet Blizzard's expectations and the F2P rivals are indentified as a cause then WoW may go F2P next year.

After all EQ2 and Lotro are very similar to WoW and just about as good. They've suffered from being almost as good but not quite in a genre where there generally aren't second prizes - everyone plays what they think is the best game and few sub to two MMOs.

But would I rather play EQ2 or Lotro for free or pay for WoW? Personally I'll take the free one.
 
You could have a WoW private server...only cost you a few million.
 
For the record Blizzard did discuss it awhile back. I really don't see why you are making such a big deal out of what Warhammer announced.

http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/06/30/blizzard-discuss-making-world-of-warcraft-free/
 
Jokes are very hard to explain to humorless people.

Don't you agree that it is remarkable how the general attitude towards Free2Play games has changed in the last few years? We went from "Free2Play? NEVER!!!" to companies having to defend themselves for NOT going Free2Play.
 
No I totally agree. I think DDO is the one that really set this ball in motion by releasing how much of a revenue increase they had from going F2P.
 
Since Mythic was merged into Bioware I sure note how they only use the Bioware Symbol at the bottom of the newsletter.
 
This is highly amusing.

The adamant attitude of not going FREE does not help when the game is clearly troubled.

I still keep thinking they should be the first to introduce TIERED pricing. Since the game obviously is geared toward each Tier offering a different play experience and the fact T1 IS FREE, why not?

Tier 2 levels = $5 a month
Tier 3 levels = $10 a month
Tier 4 (or the full game) = $15

Brilliant, cost effective, and would probably bring in more players who like the middle tiers (especially since they have fixed a major problem with the T2, T3 populations)

But, you gotta be creative, and not be whiny about FREE vs PAY.
 
@Rank,
That is actually a very good idea.
 
Two days in a row? Cute post, but I gotta say... slow news day much?

Thanks for the good laugh though Tobold.
 
The first one wasn't funny and got basically no echo.
 
I put £100 on Need For Speed Online to be next!
 
I was wrong....
 
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