ArenaNet president talks microtransactions and the risks of going subscription-free

Guild Wars 2’s payment model is one of the few things it has inherited wholesale from its predecessor. When ArenaNet announced their plans for a subscription-free MMO back in 2005, they were consciously moving in a different direction to the then-entrenched practice of recurring monthly payments. Seven years later, the MMO industry is a different place. Free to play is on the rise, and the amount of MMOs with compulsory subscriptions is dwindling – but no-one, as yet, has borrowed ArenaNet’s balance of boxed games and expansions with no monthly fee. During a recent visit to the studio, I had the opportunity to sit down with ArenaNet president Mike O’Brien for a chat about the industry. So why hasn’t the Guild Wars model been copied?

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