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The game that would of been offered by 38 Studios Copernicus was planned to be a F2P MMO In a interview Curt Schilling states:
"We were going to be the first triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO. That was one of our big secrets. I think when we eventually showed off the game for the first time, the atom bomb was going to be free-to-play. When we announced that at the end, that was gonna be the thing that, I think, shocked the world."
Sadly 38 Studios is now defunct. I feel bad for Curt I hope that he can contribute something to the MMO world in the future.
I do not see that Sub based MMO's will be obsolete any time soon.