The growing trend toward the free-to-play business model in the MMO industry has caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal.
The feature story in the paper's weekly Digital Media section is entitled "First, Give Away the Game," and focuses heavily on some of the recent free-to-play announcements from high-profile MMO developers. Warner Brothers President Martin Tremblay spoke to the WSJ regarding DDO's dramatic turnaround last year as well. "The game was almost dead," said Tremblay, saying that DDO is now "very healthy" financially, thanks to the switch to free-to-play. He stated that the change was "a big reason" for the decision to acquire Turbine, and the reason Warner Brothers plans to follow the business model for other games. "This is the way we believe customers want to consume games in the future."
It's an interesting look at the growth of microtransactions and the F2P model in the Western market. The full story can be read on the Wall Street Journal's Digital Network.