I’m going to rant for a few minutes. I watched the video announcing that TERA is going free to play, and I heard Brian Knox (on behalf of En Masse Entertainment) make a statement that completely contradicts their situation and the reality of this industry. Brian says that the reason TERA is going F2P is because the MMO industry has changed for the better. Those two things are simply not true.
TERA is not going free to play because the MMO industry is changing. TERA is going free to play because no one is playing, and they are not making enough money to pay their bills. There is no reason to change things up, risk damaging the public’s perception of their product, all because the “mmo industry is changing.” They’re going F2P because they don’t have another option to survive.
Stating that the MMO industry has changed for the better is asinine. En Masse’s own product can’t stay above water and has to make a huge change to the game’s design philosophy in order to survive in this “better” landscape. Instead of relying on a model designed to prosper when players are successfully enticed to keep playing, they change to a highly exploitative business model with high burn and churn rates. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, not playing MMOs, or happen to be one of the few people who love what’s happening in the market, most games are having to do what TERA is doing, and that is usually followed by a ton of layoffs. But the industry has changed for the better, right?
Obviously they’re not going to speak poorly of their own product and they’re going to say how going F2P is only going to improve their game and not change it in any way. Obviously they have to somehow make the best out of a situation where they change or die. Just don’t believe for a second that they’re changing because things are going really well for them. I can’t stand when devs spin a change to F2P in a way that misinforms people. You can watch their ridiculous announcement trailer after the break. (more…)