Guild Wars 2 Lead Producer Chris Whiteside has a pretty straight-forward opinion of MMO business models: He says that subscriptions are "a huge barrier to entry." He says that Guild Wars 2's model, which has no subscription but does charge a one-time fee for the client, each campaign, and optional microtransactions, is far more accessible to gamers.
Whiteside also thinks that free models have an added benefit for players: "The interesting and ironic thing about it is when you do more free-to-play games, it becomes more competitive, which is even better for the consumer."
ArenaNet expects a more diverse playerbase due to its business model, Whiteside said. He also addressed the difficulty of balancing an MMO for both newcomers to the genre and longtime vets: "As an industry, we could all do a better job of teaching the player how to get to the point where these more complex systems are in the game and then having more enjoyment by understanding what they are, rather than kind of feeling like an outsider."