A major MMO, Lord of Rings Online, announced that it will be switching to free to play this fall. What does this mean? Well you can play the game for free but with many limited features. Some examples of these limitations include not being able to do certain quests unless you unlock them using turbine (the game's creator) points, being limited to carrying 5g at a time (this is still a lot in lotro as 1000s = 1g), and having a limited number of character slots.
This MMO going to free to play could have a big affect on the MMO world for several reasons:
- There will be a huge increase of population for this mmorpg.
- Other games may soon switch to the free to play method in order to keep on top.
- With lotro going free to play there is the possibility that players from other popular MMOs may try lotro and like it more than their current game. Thus lotro may take some players from other MMOs.
- Other MMOs may try to do something special for their players in order to combat this and stay on top.
Great, but just what is free to play? Well I'll try to explain it. Free to play is an awesome little scheme that lets you play the game for free but in order to advance you either have to buy points to spend in order to unlock the new features or buy them directly. Sometimes a player of a free to play MMO can end up spending much more per month than they would on a subscription based MMO.
So what does this mean for people with a current subscription? Well nothing really, they can keep paying and playing the game all the same. The only thing that will change is an increase in new players asking them questions.
More information can be found in the direct quote below from turbine:
Originally Posted by lotro.com
I think this system could cause some MMOs to lower their monthly charges or maybe even get some more to switch to it as it has already proven a success with other games, like turbine's DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online). Maybe we could even see WoW announcing this sometime. I also predict this will cause a huge increase of players in lotro and maybe decrease population in some other MMOs as more people try this game on free to play before actually buying it. While free to play sounds just like a free trial that lasts forever I think this system could rise above the others as a player can play what they want and just buy the features of the game they want. If they want to have all features but not end up paying a ton for them then they can just buy a $15 a month subscription from Turbine or a $15 60 day gamecard at Best Buy. I myself think this change is for the best, both for the MMO world and the lotro community.
Do you think this change would be for the best or worse to the MMO world? How do you think this will impact other games? What impact do you think this will have on the players and turbine's money?
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this article, please post your comments and thoughts below!