The Daily Grind: Has a free trial ever convinced you to buy an MMO?

    
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Many years ago when my guild was between home games, we decided to conduct a little experiment to entertain ourselves while we waited for a specific launch. Over the course of a few months, we jumped into a new MMO trial every week and played around together. We tried obscure things, betas, games we hadn’t been to in ages, everything from classic Lineage to Anarchy Online. We even played A Tale in the Desert. And while the experiment was fun and gave us stories and memes that we are still repeating to this day, not a single one of those games actually “stuck” with us. We didn’t buy in. Maybe it was the nature of the experiment, or maybe it was the fact that we already knew we were jumping into something else when it launched. Or maybe if those games had appealed to us in the first place, we’d have already been playing them.

Granted, so many MMOs are free-to-play now that “free trials” aren’t really a thing outside of a handful of games, but you could still do this experiment today, and I wonder whether it’s particularly successful. Has a free trial – or a promotion, or the free-to-play equivalent – ever convinced you to buy an MMO or other game?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Wilhelm Arcturus

EVE Online is probably the only free trial that successfully hooked me. I have, over the years, tried a variety of MMO free trials, especially back in the day when nearly everything was subscription. But my going with the free trial seemed to run with a lack of commitment to a particular title, so that those games failed to stick seemed somewhat predestined.

Also, back when I tried EVE Online, it wasn’t available as a physical box (a bit unusual back in 2006) so the steps to get the game pretty much required you to sign up for the free trial, from which you could buy the game and convert to a subscriber. For that reason it probably isn’t a fair comparison. (I remembered being a bit irked at the time that they wanted me to buy the client, which I had already downloaded, so I could then commit to giving them $15 a month.)

So the answer for me seems to be “no.”

Runner55
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Runner55

I believe Eve Online had a free trial way back when, although I was floored the moment I saw a friend of mine play it. It kept me in for a couple of years while playing in a very small but tight-knit group of fewer than 10 people.

Eve Online is probably the most dynamic MMO out there and once things changed I got to borrow a WoW account to try it out, which I ended up playing for I don’t know how many years.

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mpandu.nky

For players in developing countries (me) free trials are important to test connection. They can really fluctuate. So yes I’ve always waited for free trials. I bought SW:ToR, ESO, & GW2 out of free trials.

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chris miller

A trail has convinced me to both buy and not buy a game. Generally I watch trailers and research a game before I buy, if it’s a single player game I may even ‘end up with’ a copy and play a couple hours before deciding if I’m buying. When it comes to an mmo, I’ll free trial before a sub whenever possible.

Ive noticed that most larger mmos have a f2p or a free trial, because they believe in their product, and that shows me confidence which is important.

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Once for sure.

Though I was already pretty sure I was going to play it, I used EVEs three week trial to confirm my decision to buy (was $20 back then) a few copies and start subbing.

Played for over ten years so was a success I think.

Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

I started a free trial for a game once, now I write about it ;D

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Peregrine Falcon

Yep. Being invited to SWTOR beta convinced me, and my friends, to buy it.

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McGuffn

No, but free trials have convinced me to buy other games. Great fun was had.

Free to play mmos have convinced me to pay for things though.

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

Nope. It has managed to keep me AWAY from a game. Had a WoW disc and code from a friend. Downloaded and played. Although the whole fantasy realm doesn’t excite me, I gave it a fair chance. Just didn’t click with me. Still to this do don’t see the what the big fuss is about it but to each their own.

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TomTurtle

It’s what helped me get into Guild Wars 1, which I got a great amount of entertainment out of. A Youtube LP of the game along with Rubi’s column on Guild Wars also greatly helped.