Sorry for the bad pun, but John Smedley of SOE Fame, or infamy if you’re not a fan, said something this week in an interview on GamesIndustry.biz that got me thinking;
“In my opinion this [The Old Republic] is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model.”
Now call me curious, but aren’t you, Mr Smedley, developing EverQuest 3? Isn’t that a “large scale MMO”? Of course it is, it has to be, it better be!
PlanetSide 2 going Free to Play should’ve set off my spidey senses, but I’m now thinking the venerable EQ3 will be launching sans Sub.
F2P is all well and good, but this is SOE, I can’t help but think that they’ll be fleecing the players for every penny they can get their grubby mitts on, to me, the difference between subscription and free to play is the same as the difference between those awesome Theme Parks like Alton Towers and Oakwood Park; where you pay to get in and the rides are free, and those rubbish “Fun Fairs”, if they can be so-called, where you get in for free, but pay for all the rides. SOE would like to have you pay to get in, then pay for the rides, as they did with EQ2.
I’m also quite annoyed with F2P actually costing you more than a subscription. I like knowing how much a game is going to cost me before I play, call me old fashioned, but I certainly think spending real money on pretend things is still a bit odd. A Massive game like EQ3 would have loads of things to do other than questing and grinding exp. Crafting, customising your home, trading with other players etc. Imagine, if you will, that you had to pay a fee every time you did that, or were severely limited in what you could do until you coughed up the cash for a “Traders Pack” or maybe an increase to your “House Item Limit”, which wouldn’t be permanent, would only be a 7 or 30 day “rental” until you needed to top it up. NO! THE HORROR! ARGH!!
Obviously, this is a worst case scenario, but if SOE moves EQ3 into the F2P arena, as they will be doing with DC Universe Online; and with SOE’s track record for telling their players the truth (the RMT in EQ2 thing still hurts!) it doesn’t bode well for players’ value for money.