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Wood: Much Ado About Paying

Posted Jan 28, 2010 by Jon Wood

Wood: Much Ado About Paying's Jon Wood takes a quick look at different revenue models in this week's column, examining the current trend toward a microtransaction / subscription hybrid model.

Jon Wood

Revenue models are a tricky business in today's MMO landscape. Back in the late 1990s, early 2000s, things were fairly simple in terms of how MMORPG players paid for their games. In order to play the "big names" like Ultima Online and EverQuest, players would have to pony up the dough monthly (on top of a box purchase) to keep their access.

Over the years though, as the MMO market here in the western world has matured, so too has the way that we are charged to play the game. Numerous different revenue models have been tried over the years, but until recently they've only been looked at one at a time. A game was either free to play, or it had an item mall, or it carried a subscription fee. Today though, we are seeing what many players believe to be a disturbing trend toward a mingling of revenue models for games, with developers in essence "double dipping" from their players.

Read Much Ado About Paying.