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Free to Play is the future. It is mainstream, and where all the money is. Free to Play (or other forms of it, like freemium or buy to play (free to play, but still have to spend a one time fee as an entry) are FAR more popular and successful than any pay to play MMO. Even successful MMOs like EVE or WoW, barely make a dent in the free to play MMOs. SWTOR would have died if it didn't go free, same with LOTR, DDO or any other conversions.
While EVE and WoW are successful, the pay to play payment model is going to be within 10 years (and that is being liberal about it), going to be a very niche or even extinct market.
One way pay to play models can survive are deals. But even this won't last Which some do have, deals like Rift. Restaurants often have special offers where you can buy a certain food item, for a much bigger discount. This is very successful. An MMO can offer a 10 dollar per month (no, not 30 dollars for every 3 months, but actually 10 dollars per 1 month). This could delay the extinction of pay to play models. Most MMOs force you to spend 15 dollars, and most people just don't want to spend that kind of money. Or the 30 dollars "special" offer for 3 months...which seems like a con. Why not offer it for every daily month. Then if someone unsubs, the offer is removed from their account.
But, even if p2p offer great deals every month (which would help them greatly)...in this world economy. most people just don't want to spend that money every month. Or many people work 6 jobs a week to pay their mortage, bills, rent and taxes...even if they had the money, a 15 dollar subscription goes wasted
Pay to play has always been rather niche however. WoW being the exception, but many free MMOs are far better. TERA and Aion are the most free of the freemiums, and even Guild Wars 2 shows that you don't need a monthly fee or a pay to win cash shop to succeed. In fact, GW2 is the best example of a massive, probably largest MMO out there...that shows that monthly fees are just not needed. Its cash shop has no IWin items, its all vanity or convience.
Why can GW2 do this, but pay to play MMOs still offer the prehistoric pay every month model, and offer far less content and much smaller patches? WoW it can take 3-4 months for a patch to come out. You get done with the content in less than a day. GW2, there is patches happening all the time and its the biggest game there. All surviving on the box and non-IWin cash shop.
MMOs like SWTOR, LOTR, DDO, TERA, Aion (among many others) and GW2 show that the pay to play model is a scam. It is outdated, and will become even more niche than it ever was. There is no reason to pay for an MMO every month, when you can get far more content every month in GW2, or amazing combat of TERA or the very free Aion. Or SWTOR for the great story. And heck, LOTR and DDO let you earn points in-game so you don't even need to spend any money. And they are all surviving, and doing far better than any pay to play MMO.
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