Free-to-Play: Business is Booming

Posted by on November 11, 2011 - No Comments »

Just over a week ago did DC Universe Online went free to play with Sony Online Entertainment bragging about how its player population increased by 1000% in the first few days. Today we learned that over one million new players have registered since the switch, which means the game only had 100,000 players before. So it’s very clear now as to why the switch was made, 100k is pretty horrible.

Today we also learned that Age of Conan: Unchained has gained 600,000 new players since the switch to F2P in July. Not quite as big as DCUO, but AoC is an older game and I’m sure most of the people who were interested in AoC had already tried it at some point.

Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Global Agenda, Champions Online are just some of the other MMORPGs that made the switch over the last year or two, all with great success.

While the free-to-play business model can be a savior for some games, it’s not the cure all with games like as Lego Universe, Faxion, Mythos and others closing down even after making the switch.

It’s clearer then ever the pay-to-play model is dead as just about every MMORPG announced, with the exception of Star Wars: The Old Republic and maybe The Secret World, going F2P. You can also view our MMORPG list and see that we only have 25 subscription games left of more than 350 games listed and only 5 of those 25 being released in the last 2 years.

With the amount of AAA MMO games now free, STO, EQ2 and Lineage 2 on their way, I don’t see TSW making it as a subscription title and I’m betting it’ll make the switch before the end if it’s first year if they do.