Firefall has questioned nearly everything about what it means to be an MMO. In fact, CEO Mark Kern has mentioned to us at PAX East 2011 that the term MMO is not in the development vocabulary of his game: "If people want to call us an MMO, that's great. We aren't going to call ourselves an MMO, because we want you to think fresh thoughts along with us." These "fresh thoughts" extend not only to the game design, but they also extend to the game's subscription model.
As a former team lead from Blizzard, one would think that Kern would totally support the monthly subscription model shared by Blizzard's flagship MMO, World of Warcraft. In the beginning, Kern admits that he was. He tells to the Escapist, "We felt that with a AAA quality game, a subscription was still the way to go. I was pretty skeptical of free-to-play five years ago."
However, with the change in US economy and watching the success of F2P MMOs in other countries like China, the CEO changed his tune. "What I found surprised me; free-to-play wasn't just a successful model, it was an incredibly profitable one," Kern explains in the Escapist article. As the perception of F2P is changing in western culture, perhaps we will see more and more triple-A games beginning their life as free-to-play.
The full interview with Firefall's Mark Kern can be found on the Escapist website. Let us know what you think of F2P for triple-A games in the comments below.