Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Not So Free Realms

Thank you to Green Armadillo for highlighting the fact that Free Realms is going to put a barrier in at level 5 beyond which you must be a subscriber to advance. As Green Armadillo himself puts it:
"Free Realms is now all but officially a subscription game with a free trial, rather than a free to play game with an item shop and optional subscription"
I know very little about Free Realms having only played one character up to (coincidentally) level 5 but on the face of it this is a staggering move. For quite some time it has appeared that microtransactions were an unstoppable force which would eventually signal the death of the subscription model. Turbine's recent move of DDO from compulsory to optional subscriptions has reportedly been a big success. Sony are the only company I have heard of moving back towards a compulsory subscription model.

Without more information it is hard to read this. I assume Sony are doing it because they think it will make them more money but is this because they have decided that their non subscription players are costing them more than they are worth? If so this has implications for all Free to Play Games.As one of the commenters to Green Armadillo asks "So F2P does not work then?"

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