When I first started at Massively-that-was, over 10 years ago now, I remember it being a crash-course not in MMOs, which I knew backward and forward, but in console gaming attitudes, thanks in large part to rival networks and our own bosses over at Joystiq. The overall mainstream gamer sentiment back then was that MMOs were a joke specifically because of their subscriptions. No self-respecting console gamer would sub to a video game – that was the mantra. I had been subbing to MMOs and ignoring consoles for so long that the attitude was a jolt to my system.
Things have changed in a decade. I don’t need to remind you how many consoles have subs now, quite successful ones, and the idea that nobody but hardcore MMO geeks would pay one is utterly dead. A few weeks back, Microsoft even announced that “Xbox Game Pass members have added over 23 million friends on Xbox Live, which is a 70% growth in friendship rate.” Granted, that’s surely pandemic-influenced, but clearly, even console people are more than willing to pay for access.
Will they pay for access to one game at a time, though, MMO-style? Or are console-style, Daybreak-style All Access Passes more appealing? Are gaming subs due for a comeback?