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GDC: The Future of MMOs - F2P vs. Sub.

Posted Feb 29, 2008 by Jon Wood

GDC: The Future of MMOs - F2P vs. Sub.

The third question that Managing Editor Jon Wood asked of the GDC Panel discussing "The Future of MMOs" revolved around MMORPG business models and whether or not Free to Play and microtransaction games were going to take over the more traditional subscription fees.

As those of you who have been kindly following the series know, I recently moderated a panel at the Game Developer’s Conference. The panel was titled, “The Future of MMOs” and consisted of some of the biggest names in the MMO industry: Jack Emmert from Cryptic Studios, Matt Miller from NCsoft, Ray Muzyka from Bioware, Min Kim from Nexon and Rob Pardo from Blizzard.

So far, we’ve talked about 3rd party IPs and we’ve talked about the console question. That brings us to the half way point of questions that I was able to ask of the group. My third question revolved around the business model. While there are a significant number of people out there who totally discount item shop, or free to play based games, there is no arguing that this business model is expanding. As a result, my question to the developers was simple: With the North American MMOs of the future be paid for using an item mall and micropayments, or will they continue to use the subscription model.

Read it all here.


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