Because I am old I still remember the halcyon days when the original Guild Wars shocked the world with its plan to serve as a full MMO that you played for free. Free! You just paid for the box, and then you just played! The only thing more insane would be games that you could play for free without ever buying anything! What madness would that be?
Needless to say, the past decade has made that concept pretty laughable now. But I think it is interesting in light of the fact that we now have a sizable contingent of games that do serve as buy-to-play titles. Destiny 2, Anthem, Guild Wars 2, Black Desert Online, The Elder Scrolls Online… there’s a long list of these. And they’re still fencing around what looks like a perfectly fair business model along the way.
The thing is, expectations on these games can vary a lot. I’d wager that most of the people who bought Anthem expected the game to be playable as a single-player title even if the game stops getting supported after a certain point, but is that realistic? What would the end-of-life look like for titles like Black Desert Online? It’s an interesting question to think about. So what are your expectations from buy-to-play MMOs in 2019?