ArenaNet's global brand manager Chris Lye sat down and talked about the future of payment models in MMORPGs. Lye advised up-and-coming businesses to avoid the assumption that the subscription model is the best as that model is past its prime and on the decline. Guild Wars 2, set to launch on August 28th, adheres to the "pay to own" model, in which players simply make a one-time purchase of the box in order to play the full game.
Lye remarks that he understands why developers wouldn't want to add the risk of trying a new business model on top of the risk of developing an MMO. However, he believes that "any developer who wants to be successful in today's market needs to take a really hard look and say 'Do we really want to use a subscription, is that the best thing for this game?' In many cases I don't think it is."
The subscriptionless model, however, isn't without possible drawbacks. Lye acknowledged that ArenaNet has some concerns about whether the community will be more difficult to police due to the sheer numbers of players.