.. But it isn’t.Â That alone speaks volumes of the strength that the subscription model continues to have in the mmorpg marketplace.
“We didn’t want to charge a subscription, but as we researched market conditions, we realized that wouldn’t support us.” – Rob Pardo [Source]
More like, “We didn’t have plans to charge a subscription but when we researched the difference in quality of design and future development, combined with the potential revenue, we realized that we would be foolish not to.”Â There’s no question in my mind that the subscription model is here to stay.
Even though I openly hate on what WoW was allowed to become, I consider Rob Pardo to be a brilliant and incredibly talented designer. Reading through his comments that he made at Paris GDC I found one statement in particular that stood out amongst the rest.Â In response to how Blizzard moved forward into the MMO genre:
â€œVery naively, or else we might not have done it.â€ – Rob Pardo
Think about it.Â The most successful, popular, and arguably revolutionary mmorpg (of its kind… *sprays the flame retardent*) ever made was developed by a company that was naive and probably more cautious and unknowing compared to many developers today.Â The results speak for themselves.Â Even as I speak I guarantee there are dozens of developers locked up in a room somewhere racking their brains trying to think “How can we be like WoW?!” or “How can we beat WoW?!”.Â The solution isn’t to make your game like WoW, it’s to make your game like like WoW was made.Â Make your game the best it can be with the elements you feel will make your game a success in today’s mmo landscape, and move into the mmo scene like Blizzard did.
The alternative isn’t pretty.Â You end up with a game that wreaks of over thinking (AoC anyone?) the simple, yet beautiful, aspects of mmorpgs.Â In many ways that is precisely why WoW took a turn for the worse years ago.Â Blizzard lost the innocence and naivety.