It feels like a long time ago now (because it was about a decade) but I still vividly remember when Dungeons & Dragons Online went free-to-play and then massively upped its revenue, and the overall tone of the discussion around it immediately seized on the idea that this was a game-changer for MMOs. The subscription fee on these games is what keeps people away, according to conventional wisdom at the time. And free-to-play has certainly helped some titles… but it hasn’t been enough to keep other titles afloat, or to keep some titles from avoiding an extended stay on life support (poor WildStar).
At this point, of course, the majority of titles out on the market are free-to-play, with some outliers like Final Fantasy XIV and Black Desert Online. Even the long-stalwart EVE Online finally joined the free-to-play ranks eventually. And yet I wonder how many of us have actually taken hold of the idea that we no longer have subscription fees and thus aren’t limited to the same games at all times. So what about you, dear readers? Have you tried out more MMOs in the free-to-play era than you did when games usually required a box price and a subscription? Or have you remained fairly consistent?