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Jack Emmert says subscription MMOs have to prepare to beat WoW


Jack Emmert, the designer behind MMOs such as City of Heroes and Champions Online, spoke to Eurogamer recently about the trend of free-to-play MMOs vs. subscription MMOs -- a timely discussion with Champions due to go free-to-play sometime next year. Jack said in the interview that games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic are going to be the games that will lead the subscription market, and that all other games, especially those with a budget of $50 million or less, should consider a F2P business model. He says in the article, "I don't believe that subscriptions are dead because there are 10 million or so people subscribing to WoW that beg to differ. What I think is there are simply not as many people willing to pay another subscription in addition to WoW, in addition to their Xbox Gold membership."

As the MMO market expands and more gaming consoles offer online pay-to-play subscriptions, the choices for consumers expand as the money in their wallets shrinks. Jack comments about you, about the gaming connoisseur, and about F2P: "[Y]ou're just sampling it, giving it a shot, seeing if it works. If it doesn't, no harm no foul - you don't play." Given Cryptic's corporate decisions regarding F2P, the success of the Turbine's F2P games, and the rising quality of F2P games overall, he may be on to something. Catch the whole interview on Eurogamer.

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