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Richard Aihoshi: F2P Spreads West

Posted Jun 22, 2009 by Dana Massey

Richard Aihoshi: F2P Spreads West

In this week's free to play column, Richard Aihoshi looks at the movement of F2P, microtransaction driven games coming West. Recently Turbine became one of the first mainstream US developers to change to this model with the announcement of changes to the way Dungeons and Dragons Online is paid for.

A couple of weeks ago, Turbine made the rather intriguing announcement that it will enter the free to play market this summer with Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, which is referred to as a digital upgrade to its 2006 subscription title. The press release didn't really say anything as to when or why this came about, and I've seen nothing in this regard since. As a result, I can only speculate the seemingly obvious, that the company feels the game has more potential to move forward with a change of business model.

One thing I find interesting is that SOE took the same step quite recently with the launch of Free Realms. However, it was developed from the ground up, which means the decision to do so was made some time ago. I have no way of knowing whether this factored into Turbine's thinking or if the timing was purely coincidental. What's very clear, however, is that F2P is continuing to gain prominence within the western market.

Enjoy his full column here.

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