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TESO: Payment Model Poll


The Elder Scrolls Online is going to be released in a very competitive and unstable period in MMO industry. At the moment, most AAA MMOs have followed the route of Free-to-Play (F2P) with variations of in-game shops and gameplay limitations. This happened because they couldn’t keep their subscribers  hooked for a long run and seeing their numbers decreased after 6 months to 1 year for their game releases. Of course we have to take into consideration the global economic crisis as one main reason why players value every penny of their game time. Also, you can find more details about payment models on the current market on Goblin’s Corner column.

In 2012 the AAA MMOs which released was:

  • Stars Wars: The Old Republic (it actually released on  December 20th 2011, that was only 10 days away from 2012. So we counted as 2012 game)
  • TERA Online (May 1st & 3rd 2012)
  • The Secret World ( July 3rd 2012)
  • Guild Wars 2 ( August 28th 2012)
  • World of Warcraft: Mist of Panderia Expansion (September 25th 2012)
  • Rift: Storm Legion Expansion (November 16th 2012)
  • EVE Online: Inferno Expansion (April 24th 2012) & Retribution Expansion (December 4th 2012)
  • PlanetSide 2 (November 20th 2012)

The Facts:

  • 6/8 of these games, except Guild Wars 2 & PlanetSide 2, followed a subscription model on their release.
  • 5/8 of these games, except WoW, Rift and EVE Online, have a free-to-play model active at the moment.
  • The Secret World holds the record of the shortest subscribed life in MMO history. Released on July 3rd 2012 and went free-to-play model on December 12th 2012. 6 months and 9 days of a subscribed life.

Right now, players have to many options to chose from, without paying a single penny. The competition is too high and the risk of a subscription model too dangerous. Will TESO count on its heavy marketing name and on their single player fans to be brave to chose the P2P option, or they will follow a safer road by implanting a variation of F2P model ?


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