Even the mighty videogame industry is not recession-proof, but can this economic downturn actually aid certain types of games? To the money-strapped gamer, an MMO world might be very appealing, escpecially free-to-play MMOs.
I've heard a lot of people say that the economic issues would result in more players playing MMOs, but at this point I haven't really seen a jump in numbers yet that would suggest it's true. If anything, the monthly fee may be putting people off because it seems like more of an investment in one product than simply buying a single game. And many casual gamers who may turn to an MMO instead of buying the next Big Game aren't even fully aware of the free-to-play market.
The thing with monthly or even weekly fees for MMORPG titles is that, as with the huge events taking place in EVE this week, a lot of money goes down the drain if you are stopping your account, or simply have the fun taken out of it for you. All those who had their accounts hacked, had items ninjaed from them, and were kicked from high-end raiding guilds saw hundreds of dollars/euros/pounds/yen go down the drain, and it's painful. Free MMOs are the way to go, but sadly if they're free, it's a double edged sword as we can never again expect the quality of MMOs like EVE and WoW.
I actually have a problem with MMOs simply because of the fact that the mainstream ones charge monthly fees. The repeated tapping of my wallet either makes me want to cancel in order to stop the leakage, or compels me to play as much as possible so as not to waste the time that I'm paying for.
It's funny that some people are against the monthly MMO charges while I personally would prefer paying a monthly fee than participate in a free-to-play MMO that relies on microtransactions. Which, oddly enough, still accrue quite a bit of profit. It's not that I think free MMOs will be low quality as forthegamergood suggests, it's that free MMOs segregate players and the content they can explore based upon arbitrary monetary contributions.
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