The free-to-play model has taken the gaming industry to a new level. It also has the specialty to make up some nice and easy money by charging consumers for the “premium” content. It may seem that this route is a no-brainer for companies that create MMOs, but Naoki Yoshida, producer of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, thinks that there is still a lot of life left in the subscription models.
Instead of opting in for a complete F2P system, Square Enix has decided to approach Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with a setup similar to many recent MMOs that is allowing players to explore the game during their first month for free and then charging normal subscription fees after the trial period. Speaking to a leading website, Naoki explained that the one month of free play is beneficial as the players get to enjoy their time in-game so much that they’ll be moved to pay for additional time subsequently. He believes that this decision is a strategic one, where subscription models end up yielding better and stable ventures than that of the F2P landscape.
Yoshida thinks his industry comrades may not be giving subs a chance to redeem themselves, as he believes that they have been blinded by the prospect of easy money generated by F2P quickies. It’ll be quite interesting to see if A Realm Reborn will be able to maintain this momentum and if the other MMOs also begin changing their stance as the months pass.