What’s The Bloody Point? Pay 2 Play MMO Games
What’s The Bloody Point is my bi-weekly rant article where I talk about areas of the gaming industry that get on my tits. I’ve decided to grace you with my pointless opinions a little earlier this week, as I talk about the current state of the pay to play genre in the MMO industry.
Not everyone is a PC gamer so if you’re more familiar with your Xbox or Playstation 3, MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games are online games that are usually played on the PC. Usually involving thousands upon thousands of players, many consider them to be the pinnacle of gaming for this generation. There are currently 3 main types of MMO game, free to play, pay to play and purchase only. Free to play titles (Games like Dino Storm & DK Online , are an explosion in the MMO industry, providing players with thousands of hours of gaming for free. Pay to play titles (such as World of Warcraft & Darkfall were the dominant force in the MMO world over the last few years, but are slowly being dethroned. Purchase only titles are games that require the purchase of a boxed/digital copy, but no subscription fee. The most popular of these at the moment is Guild Wars 2.
Now that’s out the way, I’ll get to the point. Pay to play MMORPG games have been on a general decline for years. The current dominant force in the P2P genre is without a doubt, World of Warcraft. It’s widely considered as one of the most played MMO games available, only recently topped by League of Legends, but it requires players to pay for a monthly subscription. Now, although this has worked and continues to work for World of Warcraft, dozens of games have released since and are trying to duplicate that success.
Star Wars: The Old Republic released earlier this year and was widely considered as one of the most highly anticipated MMO titles of our time. However, a few months down the line it has transferred to a free to play model. The Secret World was another MMO that released recently surrounded by hype, and they’ve already had to lay off a large number of employees and delay various patches. They’ve also offered free to play weekends, which a few years ago was unheard of until 18 months after release. Looking at the current trends of MMO games, there hasn’t been a single pay to play title that has made any major impact in the last few years.
So why bother? You’re releasing games that don’t have any end-game content. Players get to maximum level in a week, and then what do they have left to subscribe for? The hopes of waiting 6 months for content? Guild Wars 2 is a great MMO, no monthly fee. Massively popular titles are on the horizon, such as PlanetSide 2. So exactly why are developers thinking P2P still has any opportunity to make it big in the MMO world?
What do you guys think? Has the age of the P2P game come and gone? Personally, I think F2P is the future of the MMO world but I’m eager to see what you guys think.