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The Daily Quest - Can B2P Revive the MMO Genre?

Posted Feb 13, 2015 by Suzie Ford

The Daily Quest  - Can B2P Revive the MMO Genre?

The Crowfall team is the latest to embrace the notion that the old standards of revenue generation have stagnated and that something else needs to be brought into the mix. Up to the last couple of years, MMO revenue was generated either with subscriptions or through item malls in free-to-play games. Yet with today's more mercurial MMO community, those tried and true ways of generating cash seem to be inadequate for the task.

The F2P MMO movement that has been so widely prevalent in the last few years seems to be ending its reign, with more and more MMOs choosing alternative ways to provide players with a great gaming experience. Subscriptions, too, seem to be headed the way of the dodo with only a few titles, most notably World of Warcraft, able to sustain themselves by requiring all players to pay a monthly fee to access the game.

Which brings us to the so-called hybrid movement of revenue generation:

Crowfall's "buy once, play forever" is not the first of its kind. Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World have blazed a path to this new way of generating much-needed finances to continue developing the game by offering players the chance to make a one time purchase the "box" for the normal cost of a console title ($50-60 or so).  Other MMOs have changed from subscription-only to hybrid revenue models. Star Wars: The Old Republic and Elder Scrolls Online have both opted to change course this way.

The advantage of the B2P movement is that players are not required to put in any additional money unless they choose to do so through optional "VIP" programs that offer super-currency and in-game perks such as accelerated XP, etc. Players can also buy items from an in-game shop that are cosmetic in nature or that do not in any way affect game play. Even with the boosts that VIP players may receive on a monthly basis, all players have access to the same game, the same content, the same items, though it may take "normal" players longer to achieve those things.

B2P seems to have it all going for it: The ability for developers to actually make money, pay their employees and continue to develop the games we love. In addition, players have wide options on how they want to finance their relaxation and can choose how much beyond the base price of the game they wish to pay.

Is it enough to revive the MMO industry? Will more and more titles adopt this revenue model? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom