Aside from the medocrity represented in Lime Odyssey, Aeria has highlighted another aspect in the life cycle of free to play game with its most recent email-- "Mega Ten Transitioning to ATLUS".
We all know the normal life cycle of a F2P MMO by now. It normally represents a franchise that harbors critical deficiencies that make it unsuitable for marketing under a subscription based retail model. In other words, they can't get their money up front because gamers won't touch their game, so they revert to free to play in order to get as many eyeballs as possible to look at it. No, it doesn't guarantee a stable, consistent income, but quantity is a quality all its own. Or if you're lucky, your failing franchise is bought out by somebody else and converted to F2P from there.
But what happens when you're even failing at free to play? What happens when you suck so bad at getting people to play a free game that you just don't make money off of it at all? Well, there is of course the obvious: You get your just deserts and go under. You did something so wrong that gamers still won't play your game even when its free to try out. Broken play mechanics. Blah graphics. Insufficent marketing. Pick one or several because they'll all kill your title in the right doseages. There is of course, the other option.
Maybe, just maybe you can get some other sucker to buy your franchise.
That will apparently be the fate of MegaTen as Aeria sells out to ATLUS, an MMO syndicate with an already bad track F2P track record. It also underscores just what becomes of MMOs that consitently don't make the grade. If insolvency doesn't claim them they may just be destined to be bought and sold like trading cards until somebody actually does right by the name... or people finally wise up and let the franchise go back down the toilet bowl of suck with the rest of the turds.
As far as MegaTen goes, was it really a bad enough game to deserve this? No, it was more niche and perhaps survived longer than it should have on its Japanese otaku credentials. But to sentence it to a company like ATLUS can't be anything but salt in an already festering wound.