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Reader Comments (57)

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:56PM DerpMchurson said

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@BubleFett EA would never do that. Look at War.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:05PM scoddy said

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I can see this being my go-to MMO when for a long time after it goes F2P. I really love the style of the whole game and loved playing my Ranger. It's been quite a while but I'll definitely be jumping back in.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:10PM jimr9999us said

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Aion is a AAA mmorpg and their aggressive f2p timeline has to cause concern to both the older f2p fantasy titles (AoC, LotRO) as well as Rift.

It's going to be real interesting to see what games are standing 12 months from now.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 5:44PM Utakata said

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@jimr9999us

You do realize that the most the reasons for these conversions is that they're throw the game a last lifeline. With perhaps the exception of LoTRO, which was probably doing okay before the Freemium conversion, I suspect many of these games where on their last legs. Instead of subjecting the game to the public humiliating Tabula Rasa final solution...these conversions likely give the game a needed cash infusion and a longer lifespan, especially when there is a new influx Triple A "shinies" on the horizon...

...therefore, they are not doing it because it's trend, they're doing it to survive.

This may not effect RiFT however, since they seem to be doing okay even with likely a sub downturn. Others I can't say. But you are right to suggest it does balloon the F2P/Freemium conversion market. And like bubbles, balloons can only get so big before they go pop.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 7:18PM jimr9999us said

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@Utakata

As far as I can tell, Aion's NA sub base is 3rd or 4th, after WoW and TOR but right around Rift.

The question for me right now is: how many sub based mmorpg's can the Western market support, as well as how many F2P conversions?

It's interesting watching WB gallop towards a true Eastern model...will LotRO be the 1st to say goodbye?
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 7:36PM smartstep said

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@jimr9999us

For sub games (meaning pure p2p not freemium ) I would say 3-5 medium to big titles and few indie ones.

F2P / freemium get saturated alot and what customers will see is ALOT of gambling like items, advantage items ,etc - like in Asian mmos
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 9:50PM Ghostspeaker said

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@Utakata

That's a widely repeated myth. Granted, none of the games that went freemium (the only ones that went truly F2P were Lineage 2 and APB) were wildly popular on a WoW scale obviously, but most of them had reasonably stable, sizeable communities. The only ones that could arguably be characterized as last ditch efforts to save the game were DDO and Fallen Earth (also APB sort of, though that was more of a complete do-over of an already failed game rather than just a change of business model). Indeed I would think a decent sized pre-existing subscriber base would be necessary to fund switchovers.

From what I've seen the switch to freemium is usually most successful and most likely to happen when a game's population is stagnant but stable. There's enough of a solid core to fund the sudden influx of free players who will revitalize the community with fresh blood and (hopefully) eventually join the subscribing core. If the core community isn't there there's not as much for new players to get attached to.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 9:55PM Ghostspeaker said

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@jimr9999us

I seriously doubt LotRO will be going anywhere anytime soon. As much as folks around here like to whine about its business model, it's got one of the biggest and most tightly-knit communities of any game on the market right now. I think only WoW, CoH, and EVE and maybe a couple other sandbox titles really approach the strength of LotRO's community.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 11:40PM Utakata said

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@Ghostspeaker

Would you like to provide evidence to back your claim before dismissing mine as a myth?

Keep in mind my position is based on my understanding of the common knowledge on where the games where at...that is, the usaul indicators of lack player interests and server mergers. There are exceptions of coarse as I noted with LoTRO. But I can't really think of any other game that was doing okay at the time of conversion. Most where likely underperforming...

...that's of coarse if you know something that I don't about these games. And can provide documentation that counters my position. I am willing to keep an open mind on this...as I await for your evidence to the contrary.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2012 2:00AM Vagrant Zero said

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@jimr9999us Aion has 4 NA servers. That's nowhere near what Rift or Lotro or TOR has, or even EQ2 now that I think about it. That's closer to AoC actually.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:30PM Khai mann said

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When do we get some news about the European F2P transition?

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:33PM Softserve said

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Used to be i'd play like one premium mmo and one or two F2P ones... but now so many are becoming F2P that it's getting impossible to choose between them and I'm playing less and less of them. It's like there's a whole new giant category and it's overwhelming.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:39PM kgptzac said

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I wonder the "head start" event will be before of after 3.0 patch being deployed? It is not very appealing to veterans, though, as 14 days of pre-3.0 content doesn't seem to be worthwhile.

Yet it's a good move going f2p. More people should check out the gorgeous and vivid world this game presents, and perhaps up the general expectation for newer games so we will get even prettier games in the future.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:39PM hami83 said

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I'm all for F2P, as well as AAA games that are P2P.

What surprises me though, is how few companies go the Guild Wars route with buy to play. B2P.
Every xpac costs a full amount, the games have never dropped in price. Even in 2012, Guild Wars 1 games still cost a decent penny.
They must be successful considering the scale of the sequel.
I wonder why other companies don't copy their business model.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:50PM drginger said

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@hami83 Agreed. I'm also not sure why other MMO companies haven't gone the route of B2P. A wild guess would be that F2P might actually net more dollars, if done "right".
The Guild Wars 1 games have been on sale, quite a few times, though. I bought the trilogy for 15€ during the Steam summer sale of 2011.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 7:03PM Cyroselle said

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@hami83 I think it's because traditional MMOs usually have a large, mostly uninterrupted pervasive world, and run clones of this on multiple servers at a pretty high bandwidth, while GW had one server (that I recall) did not have a pervasive world, and ran everything in instances and channels of said instances, even the quest hub/towns.

But I could imagine that hardware becoming cheaper, harddives increased capacity and lowered cost, and advancements in broadband technology could make B2P on an MMO entirely possible.

The question is, will that happen. The lure of garnering some side cash, or indeed one's bread and butter from a cash shop is pretty powerful.

As is stands, even GW has a cash shop, although not exploitative like those from games that have been tarnishing the F2P idea lately.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 7:12PM JuliusSeizure said

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@hami83

You're clearly mistaken about the price. It's now a mere $30 for all three base games together. You can also get them individually for $20 (likewise with Eye of the North) which is a significant price increase by comparison, true, but still much cheaper than their initial prices.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:43PM drginger said

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This is great news to the American Aion fans (and fans-to-be). If NCsoft manages to execute this as well as the Lineage 2 F2P-conversion, then Aion may very well receive a massive influx of new daevas.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 4:54PM Brianna Royce said

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@(Unverified) There's already a cash shop, actually.

Posted: Feb 21st 2012 5:03PM Fabius Bile said

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AIon was/is a snorefest. I stopped playing it with the fee, and I wont play it for free.

the problem never was the monthly fee. the problem is the game.

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