So, before i start discussing why they should be F2P i would first like to talk about P2P games.
I played WoW for a good 3-4 years, so i am going to use this as an example.
A play to play game, by my standards, is an acceptable way to run a game, but you have to stop it there.
Paid character transfers? Full priced expansions?
That is utterly rediculous in my opinion.
Especially when they are allowing some countries to play for much less than America.
Although it would be out of place in Fantasy MMO's,
in Modern/Sci-Fi MMO's companies could easily integrate in-game advertising,
that could pay for the upkeep of the game. I'm talking non-intrusive real life ad's on the billboards, signs posted throughout the game, posters on walls. Everything.
Maybe a Box-cost, but that should be about it.
MMO developers at the moment, all see us as sheep, or consumers. Gullible people who are just waiting to throw our money at them. But we are not sheep.
The game they make should be made for us. Because in the end, it is just a product. And the only thing that matters is the customers experience. Why not once, make a game, that not only the developers enjoy, but one in which the audience which they are trying to appeal to will absolutely love also.
Although some companies have been successful just seeing us as ship, think of how much money you could make with 2 million people viewing hundreds of in-game adds each day. People who love the experience they had in your game so much, they keep coming back, again and again.
So a one time box fee, + the thousands they make each day from advertising.
Sounds like a win-win situation to me.