Posted Thu, Jul 24, 2008 by Medeor
If I give you a free sandwich, will you eat it?
Apparently 14% of over 2,000 gamers polled would play a MMO game if it was available free. Thus says a recent article on Worlds in MotionWorlds in Motion. According to the article, only 2% of those gamers polled would play for a monthly fee. Disregarding the obvous questions of polling accuracy (or the lack thereof), let's think about these numbers for a minute. The author takes these numbers as a reason for more free MMOs to be developed and that the monthly fee model isn't as attractive:
"According to Parks Associate's director of broadband and gaming, Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, the barriers to entry with subscription-based MMORPGs, such as time and money, are too high for potential customers. Free-to-play models, however, offer flexibility and enable players to choose how much they want to invest based on interest level and play patterns. Thus, the firm believes that microtransaction models have the best potential to grow the U.S. MMORPG audience."
Considering these 2,000+ gamers are not already MMO players, I'm surprised any of them responded in the affirmative. As always, the "would you play for free" question is almost ludicrous, I mean who wouldn't? Oh wait, only 14% said they would play for free. That is more disturbing to me. "Let me give you this game for free" getting met with very mild enthusiasm might make me run from the free to play model if I were a developer.
I like the idea of bringing more casual gamers in so they can test the water, but does the F2P model do that? I've said my peace, so after your review of the article stop by and
voice your opinion.