So, apparently Allods Online is releasing a Russian subscription only server. No cash shop, no pay to win, no ridiculous design choices to force you into paying inordinate amounts of money for basic features — just the game and a nice subscription.
You may remember that Allods was a game I spoke quite highly about for several months back in 2010. I really fell in love with the Astral Ships, the Gibberlings, and honestly enjoyed the PvP and the world. It was a quaint little themepark with some neat features. I was all set to play until gPotato dropped their ridiculous cash shop on us without warning, and proceeded to flip the bird at their supporting community. I’m still bitter.
Anyway, quite an odd turn of events that a notorious F2P game has decided to go 100% in the opposite direction (even if only on one server), emphasizing that players are all on equal footing. I won’t hold my breath for this to be the start of any trend. A server in Russia for a game not well-received in the West isn’t going to make waves, but I sure hope it does well.
I really do think we will see more games revert in the near future with a subscription offering. What do they have to lose that they already haven’t lost going free to play? The end of the F2P era is coming. Mark my words that it won’t last as long as the subscription reign. Competing on price works for some industries, but not for MMOs.