Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nothing is for Free

I keep reading across other blogs and websites about how free to play is the new fad. Who is going to follow? Certain companies are trying to change because of the industry. Lately though I don't know if I like the direction. Why?

While I am glad I can play some of these games for free, I know with the new FTP models for the latest MMO games like EQ2 and LoTRO, well, I'll never be able to play them free and play seriously. They will simply be too limited to really enjoy much and be able to actually play them as you would normally. They know that, we know that... why do we still call this free? It's more like an ongoing trial that gets you to pay if you end up sticking with it. Instead of paying for a normal subscription they can actually get you for more offering special content that would have been considered in the subscription. Trust me, it's easy to spend and then it just all starts adding up.

Nothing is for free. Except maybe Guild Wars. I honestly think these games turn into money grubbing monsters that turn a lot of us away. Look at Free Realms for example. I have stopped playing it so much because the only things updated on a constant basis would be items in the cash shop. Sure the game gets updates but most anything good in the game requires real money. They even nerfed how much gold drops in instances... but hey you can always buy gold from the cash shop! To level it requires money. There is nothing free in the game except for 5 levels to hook you in. The cash shop is such a big part of the game it's turned me away from logging in as much. I remember in DDO you had to find a token to level or buy it from the cash shop. I quit shortly after reading that. No thanks.

I'm not picking apart these games. I think some of these FTP models could actually be more prosperous and last long term with people if they stopped trying to suck money from us every which way we turn. They tell us- It's the way everyone is doing it! Um, no. You just want to see how many different ways you can screw me and my wallet before I walk away from your game. Blunt, I know.

I'm not mad that some of these games are going FTP. I just think FTP is the wrong term. After noticing just how limited FTP is with some of these, I wonder if anyone would actually play some of these for an extended amount of time. Certainly not me. On the side once a week? Sure. Yes, I remember they are companies out to make money. I tend to lose respect for companies that charge for every little cool thing in the game- Thinking I have a money tree in my backyard. Whatever happened to getting things in the game that were cool with the base subscription? Now we have to buy all the cool stuff?

So when are we actually going to get a REAL free to play game like Guild Wars again? Guild Wars does have you buy the expansions but really you got so much content it's just like any other MMO except you don't have to pay for a sub. 

I do not mind at all paying a little extra for cosmetic and fluff items. It's when we start charging for every little thing a person needs to play, much like Allods Online, then it starts getting out of hand. People run away in droves, trying to keep their wallets safe from games like these. When will developers realize this?


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