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Why EverQuest's dev director thinks we should want all MMOs to be free-to-play

EverQuest Next will operate under a free-to-play model - the details of which we are not yet privy to.

The imminent release of The Elder Scrolls Online - not to mention Wildstar, that other, underdog hope for the post-WoW MMO - has dredged up that argument for the ages (and ages, and ages): will free-to-play really replace the subscription?

EverQuest development director David Georgeson has helped shift his series over to the former, but won’t speak ill of the subscription model. Instead, he’ll tell us why he thinks free-to-play is better for players.

“There’s nothing wrong with the subscription model,” began Georgeson in a chat with IGN. “I have personal opinions, which I’ll go ahead and share because I’m just that cocksure of myself.”

Georgeson believes in the principle of try-before-you-buy. If SOE don’t do a “really good job” on EverQuest Next, they won’t “make a dime” - and the dev director thinks that’s only right.

“We’re effectively street performers,” he explained. “We go out there and sing and dance and if we do a good job, people throw coins into the hat. And I think that’s the way games should be, because paying $60 up front to take a gamble on whether the game is good or not? You don't get that money back.”

If the game you’ve bought upfront is a “turkey”, Georgeson points out, your money is wasted.

“With free-to-play you get to go in, take a look at it and find out,” he said. It’s entirely our responsibility to make sure you’re entertained. That’s the way things should be in my opinion with free-to-play.”

I’ve often thought that free-to-play might have been the best thing to happen to MMOs - the vast majority of which most PC gamers never used to dip a toe in. There’s no denying that much of the potential good (and bad) lies in the implementation, though. What do you lot reckon?

Cheers, VG247.

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Belimawr's picture
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but I want my MMO's to be pay to play as it limits the number of dicks in the game as they have more to lose from a ban.

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That's the thing tho, I personally hate f2p mmos. That micro-transaction store is a terrible thing. I do agree with try before you buy that is something all mmos have to have. However there is a flaw with that, a mmo tends to put all their focus on the first 20-30 levels of their game. Beyond that part it all gets watered down and they just try to squeeze in as much crap as they possibly can without any quality check. What you end up with are boring quests, epic fail raids that barely even work, pvp that is beyond broken because of class balance. The list goes on...

Nah, I'll stick with subscription mmos for now. There aren't many but at least wow is one of them, sure they've gone down the dark road with the exp boost, that is indeed HORRIBLE for the game. You'd have to play wow to understand how bad those boosts to 90 really are.

The only f2p mmo I've played for more than a week was rift. I believe I played it for 3-4 weeks, it just felt so unpolished and broken beyond level 50(which was the update back then). I even talked myself into "buying" the game to unlock those new classes and more character slots, but I never did because of level 50+. I tend to not mind a f2p game too much as long they keep their store with cosmetic items but you can't really sell a game like that, they always have to put "something" in there to try grab the casual player. Those items are usually xp boosts, increased money/currency, but at times these can also be armor, weapons and so forth.

No thanks to f2p mmos. I'd rather just play a normal singleplayer game at that point.

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[PWNY] Fluttersnipe's picture
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F2P makes for a very unstable development team, the company never has good idea of how much money they're going to receive each month. Sure it's easy for SOE to say this though, they have a parent company with gobs of money to throw at games, your average startup company or new developer does not.

99% of F2P games are crap, the only good ones are the MMOs that have gotten desperate for money and went free to boost popularity. And since they started life as subscription model games, they don't count towards F2P being good.

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