John Smedley had a chat with us about the impending switch to a free-to-play model for DC Universe Online. So it might not come as a big surprise that he's penned a recent editorial on GamesIndustry.biz regarding the current state of MMO business models and where the industry is heading. It also probably won't surprise most people to see that he envisions the free model overtaking subscriptions, but his reasoning might.
As Smedley sees it, free-to-play has a number of advantages, but one of the big ones is that it levels the playing field between big developers and smaller outfits when the games can both be played up-front without an initial investment. It's also more commonly accepted as a worldwide model, which matters in an industry that increasingly looks to other markets aside from the US. Sony Online Entertainment is slowly moving into the free-to-play realm itself, and only time will tell if the model will be a success for DCUO, but it's interesting to see the thought process behind the model expanding on a regular basis.
Look for our own interview with Smed regarding his thoughts on the growing free-to-play trend, coming soon.