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The Daily Grind: Are we cheating studios by not paying for free-to-play?


Here's an odd question that I've been chewing on lately: Is there something wrong if we extensively enjoy a free-to-play title that we do not, and are determined to never, pay for? I mean, sampling a F2P title is kind of like participating in a trial, but what about playing a F2P MMO for months or even years without paying? Is there something ethically or perhaps morally wrong about that, particularly since our playtime is funded by both the studio and the paying members out there?

On one hand, we're invited to do so. Studios use F2P to lure us in on the chance that we'll become so invested that we'll be tempted to spend money to either support it or gain a better play experience for ourselves. The studios set the rules for free-to-play, and we operate within them. But on the other hand, I wonder if there comes a point when one can take so much advantage of a "free" service at someone else's expense that it gets tacky or just plain wrong. Do we become the unwelcome house guest who mooches but never gives back -- and never leaves?

What do you think? Should we feel obligated to pay at least something if we've played a F2P MMO for a good length of time? Or am I totally off my rocker here?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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