I'm not gonna lie, I like free to play better than pay to play. I realize this is a minority opinion here but according to the latest 2011 MMO Games Market Report, in the US 47% of all MMO spending is on free to play games so I don't think I'm alone in liking f2p a lot.
So which games are going to be released in 2012? Looks like upcoming free MMORPGs of 2012 are:
Marvel Universe Online
One interesting thing I noticed is that all of them except for Sevencore are based on existing franchises. Is this because everyone realized with the launch of WoW so long ago that the best way to get a lot of players from the start is to make an MMORPG out of a successful franchise? I'm sure there will still be new and interesting worlds created from scratch in the future but it looks like at the moment a lot of developers are looking to existing IPs to make new MMO games.
I also noticed that game devs are finally catching on tot he fact that scifi is as popular as fantasy, so hooray for that. I've no problem with fantasy worlds but we do need variety so I am happy to see that we will be able to use guns and tanks in 2012, not just your basic medieval weaponry.
I don't know which of these upcoming 2012 free MMORPGs I am going to play but I will definitely keep an eye on all of them.