Today’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter backer and prolific commenter Omedon, who wrote us a really long question. It’s long. But it’s a good and relevant one, particularly in light of dolphingate, tokyogate, and p2wgate (quit making gates, people). And it’s worth printing in its entirety before we answer.
Once upon a time, when F2P was young and magical, arguments among the genre’s enthusiasts would sometimes feature a variation on the following point: “I pay for the game with my time because the MMORPG needs a lot of people, and I have options, so they should count themselves lucky that I play their game, whether I pay them or not!”
Of course this would get shouted down with cries of “freeloader” or what have you, and on it would go. I’m not going to weigh in on this argument, but instead question whether or not it can still be made in the genre, as it now clearly accepts that F2P is the norm and that players can and will hop around from game to game. I think it can be argued that MMORPGs now, more than ever, try to keep players “one at a time,” not necessarily banking on this community of gamehoppers actually directly playing with each other as a core need of the game.