Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DC Universe Online Going Free to Play - Just Another Nail In The Coffin?

Sony Online Entertainment announced yesterday the the still young DC Universe MMO will be going free to play starting in October. Anyone with a PC or PS3 will be download and have access to the full game with two character slots and the option to buy any expansion packs. This is good news for those looking to get into DCU, but I wanna talk about something a little bigger, and perhaps could be considered bad news.

I have nothing against an MMO going free to play, or even the micro transactions of in game items in an effort to make extra money. In some cases it's the best thing that can happen to an MMO, like in the case of Lord of the Rings online (LoTRO) it pretty much saved the game from going under. These instances are all fine and dandy but where I begin to have a problem is when an MMO appears to have had the intention to go free to play from the beginning. I look at this DCU announcement and the announcement not long ago about Star Trek Online going free to play as well, and even Champions Online before that, all of these games are still very young and were not having subscriptions problems... wel... maybe Champions.

So my fear is that these publishers are not interested in creation's am MMO that is worth playing for years and years anymore and all they are after is that 1st year of heavy subscription profits and then milk it from then on out. I look at games like World of Warcraft with their 4th major expansion coming out, and EVE Online with their regular Expansions/Major Patches every 6 months or so and I think to myself "these developers love their game" and I just can't say the same for many other MMOs. In summary, I feel the attraction of free to play MMOs have caused publishers to become less enthusiastic about their products and there by watering down the gaming experience in an effort to make more cash with less support, which could be slowly killing the genre.

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