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The Business Models for MMORPGs Must Evolve

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I like the ending:

"My prediction is that GW2 is going to fundamentally change the way gamers experience and relate to content, because they are implementing a horizontal scaling system and no monthly subscription. ArenaNet has smartly invested in delivering content that you build once and that the players re-play forever: Structured PVP and WvW. And AN has removed the leveling divide between players via their PVE sidekicking system, full Bolster to max level / gear in Structured PVP, and from what I understand scaling PVE such that a player never truly outlevels it.

If I’m right, GW2 will model a viable approach for other companies, and we’ll continue to have the benefit of choice as gamers."

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It's an interesting article, but I'm actually rather surprised LotRO and DDO aren't on the list... So they don't have a million subscribers and didn't launch recently. Oh, and they don't make it a point to balance for PVP: You can have a tavern brawl and that's about it. They do however have what I think is a decent and economically sustainable business model. The games are free to download and free to play. An optional "VIP" subscription unlocks all "adventure pack" areas which usually includes a raid or three. Or you can buy them for a few bucks. I think every adventure pack in DDO is about $100. They do however have ACTUALLY WORKING PUZZLES!!!! in raids and some dungeons as well. And for that matter in the shroud raid (most popular), there's one section where everyone gets dumped in their own "cell" and has to solve the floor puzzle to get out.

As for RIFT, I still want my $120 back from Trion.

I'm still up in the air about GW2. Auto-scaling enemies makes for an odd "balance" of gameplay that ultimately results in the player feeling like he's not accomplishing anything anymore... A sense of accomplishment when you reach level 26 and get your new ability that makes killing those 25-27 mobs much easier is great until you run out of abiltiies to gain.

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