MMORPGs and Real Money Transactions: Shifts to F2P Revenue Models

MMORPGs started out subscription only, but I believe with the success of LOTRO and EQ2 in their respective F2P models, that part of a subscription MMORPGs “aging process” will almost always include F2P at some point, depending on how the game does, revenue-wise. On one hand, WoW took many years to reach its current free-play offer (which is still restricted in a lot of ways), whereas SWTOR has only been out eight months and will hit its “F2P” coming of age sooner this Fall.

MMOs and E-Sports – Part 1: Why hasn’t it worked?

E-Sports – The Current Landscape

I had a lengthy discussion the other day with a friend of mine with whom I share a common interest in game genres. We are also both fans of watching, but not playing, Starcraft 2. Currently, the biggest games being played as E-Sports are League of Legends, Halo: Reach, Call of Duty, and Starcraft 2. The genres are rather limited. There is one RTS, one MOBA game, and two FPS games. Why aren’t other genres represented?

Well, how about MMORPGs? Well wait a moment, how is THAT a competitive game? How is it an e-sport? To answer that question, we should consider the last time an MMO was in consideration as an e-sport: World of Warcraft Arena.

Guild Wars 2 Release Date: August 28th 2012 and Head Start!

Well folks, has finally announced a retail launch date for Guild Wars 2: August 28th, 2012. For those of you who pre-purchased, you’ll be glad to know that you will be getting a three day head start, with access open on August 25th, 2012.

If you haven’t bought your copy, you should do it now, as they have not officially given a cut-off date to still be eligible for the head-start, so why risk it if you were already planning to buy it?

System Requirements:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or better
  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or better
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800, ATI Radeon X1800,Intel HD 3000 or better (256MB of video RAM and shader model 3.0 or better)
  • 25 GB available HDD space
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • Keyboard and mouse

The game looks very polished and most people believe it was ready for a while. They definitely needed to release it soon before the hype and steam built up from the Beta Weekends disappeared, and the holidays are too far off. With Diablo 3’s player-base quickly fizzling out, they’ll be looking for the next best thing.

Personally, I hope this game does well after a disappointing Q1 and Q2 for 2012, namely how poor Star Wars: The Old Republic turned out and how lackluster Diablo 3 became. If it turns out good, I’ll have a reason to buy a new PC.

Upcoming Games for Q3/Q4 2012

I’ve been meaning to do some updates on some other games as I’ve been busy lately, but there are a few games I am looking forward to that I wanted to highlight for the second half of 2012.

Torchlight 2 – Summer 2012

This action RPG looks incredibly polished and created by some of the older Blizzard North developers who worked on Diablo and Diablo 2. From the look of the gameplay videos coming out of beta so far, it looks like it’ll be a great and simple game that stresses the funadmentals of ARPGs. With four character classes and a new overworld system, 30 hours of gameplay, and mods, I think this game will do great, especially at $19.99.

Guild Wars 2 – Fall 2012

I’ve mentioned this MMORPG a couple times before on this blog and I think it is one of the best titles to come around in a while. With the DAoC-like WvWvW system, dynamic combat, and an e-sports emphasis, I think this game will go far. The F2P model concerns me (more of a social/community issue that I’ll touch upon in another post) but the game will be good regardless.

Natural Selection 2 – Q4 2012

First person shooters are fun. Real-time Strategy is fun. But combining them both? It works! In this sequel to the popular Natural Selection game on the Half-Life engine, the game has a new engine, better graphics and animations, tweaks, and new gameplay mechanics. Definitely a game to look forward to if you enjoy labyrinth-like levels and team-based strategy.

More updates to come!

Diablo 3 Release Date – Targeted for Q2 2012

According to a Blizzard slideshow presentation on their 2011 Q4 financial results, they reveal on page 18 that they will be aiming for a Q2 launch for Diablo 3, the latest game in the Diablo franchise. The same slide also reveals that more information will be out for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria on March 19th. Mists of Pandaria will be the 4th expansion pack and will feature the new continent of Pandaria, a raise in the level cap from 85 to 90, as well as new game features.

There will be no Blizzcon this year as there will not be a lot of new information to announce with 1 game and 2 expansions already set to release this year.