Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thou shalt not pay
Lord of the Rings Online did a brilliant promotional video for their switch to Free2Play mode, with an actor looking like Gandalf from the movies proclaiming "Thou shalt not pay". Fancy, but there is a hitch: LotRO only went Free2Play in the USA. The European release of the Free2Play version is "delayed" without even a release date announced, and we're being told that this isn't just a delay of a few days, but of weeks, if not months.
The inevitable consequence is that European players who want to try out the Free2Play version of LotRO don't wait, but play on the US servers. And once they started there, it isn't obvious whether they ever will switch to European servers. Moving back to European servers once those go Free2Play would gain them just a little lower ping, but would lose them their characters. And it is also likely that playing on the US servers will be cheaper, as game companies usually don't use a proper dollar to euro conversion rate, but instead use a 1:1 or close to that conversion which price-gouges the Europeans.
This is actually the first time where I regret having bought a lifetime subscription to LotRO, because it means I can't play on the US servers, but am bound to the underpopulated European servers.