Working in this industry for more than a decade has not, in fact, given me the ability to see the future. But it has given me the ability to at least make reasonable guesses about it a fair amount of the time, and one of those guesses is that if your business model is still trying to be “subscription only” and you aren’t Square-Enix or Blizzard, you might want to rethink that. It’s not that I dislike subscriptions or think they’re bad – quite the opposite. I just recognize that the market has spoken, and free-to-play is the default expectation, and if you’re launching without some really big momentum, you’re not going to be the game to break the mold.
Obviously I am not alone in the fact that I cannot actually see the future but can make reasonable guesses about it, but I like to think that people have their own different things that make them frown at a news item about a pre-release game while muttering that ain’t it, chief. Maybe it’s open PvP, maybe it’s just a clueless sort of content model, maybe it’s a total lack of awareness of the market. Heck, maybe it’s selling big packages before anyone has even played the game. What things do MMOs do pre-launch that look like a red flag to you?