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I've been having a discussion partly about this in another forum here far, far away... But I'm curious to hear the opinions from the Pub inhabitants.
I'm basically saying that Guild Wars 2, regardless of what you think of it, is a game changer for MMO financial models. GW2 is a full-featured MMO with robust PVE and PVP content, complex crafting, etc. And yet, they are continuing to use the same GW1 financial "Buy the Box... and that's it" model.
When Gw1 did this back in 2005, it was an exciting new no-sub model for something that resembled an MMO. Unfortunately that's all it was: a resemblance. No AAA MMO needed to worry because what they all provided was a much larger and better product. So the monthly sub P2P model carried on largely unchallenged.
Sure, Arenanet has always had a cash shop where you could buy outfits and extra character slots all along and this will continue with GW2. But don't confuse this with the typical "Free" to play game where the content packs, races, classes and items in the cash shops are much more than just "nice but not needed" options. You actually do get everything you need in the initial payment with GW2 just like you did with GW1.
The stuff in the GW2 cash shop will generate some extra revenue, sure. But it isn't anything Arenanet is relying on to make ends meet. They will make their profit from the box sales. Anything else will just be gravy.
So... what justification is there now for having a monthly subscription for any MMO? Can't other companies budget to make their profit off the original purchase just like many other PC and console games--with very similar development costs to MMOs--have been doing for years?