Previously I wrote on this blog that I chose GW2 last summer over TSW mainly because I don't have much time to play, and I had the feeling that TSW is a bit too slow paced. Yet, the game itself was intriguing, and I definitely kept it on the horizon so that later when I have more time, I can go back and pick it up.
Now, reading the news, I feel happy. I can buy it any time when I want, start playing at once, and don't have to worry about my free month running off if - say - one of my kids get the flu and I don't have time for playing.
On the other hand, I am still not lvl 80 in GW2, and that is only my first character. There is still the rogue to play with, and the ranger, and the engineer, and the guardian.. Not mentioning the offline game list I mentioned here earlier - I am still playing the first one of those. Adding another one to the list now seems to be a futile move, as I honestly don't expect to have much more time in the next 6 to 12 month. So, Secret World, we are still friends, and I can't wait to put my hands on you, but there are priorities.
Yet, there is something else I'd like to talk about. There is a proverb in Hungarian (my native tongue) that in literal translation says: "There are too many Eskimos and not enough seals.". The meaning is obvious: there is something you want to share that you want to cut up to too many pieces.
That is how I feel about F2P: There are not enough rich players to keep so many games alive, and that means that some of the games will not have enough funding even with this model. In a sense this is simply the factor that will allow natural selection happening in the kingdom of games, thus helping the best games to survive, and the rest to wither away. Yet, what does 'the best' mean here? Quite possibly not the one that is the most interesting. Rather, one that appeals to the widest audience, but which is the most cost effective at the same time. So, one that you can easily play in solo mode, without the need of grouping. One, where you can and want to do micro payment. One, where there is a lot to achieve, but you are basically forced to buy the expansions after playing for a time.
There is a quite popular MMO out there where all of these factors are already present. You probably know it already: I am talking about Lotro. (but if you guessed WoW, that is not too far fetched either..)
Is Lotro one of those winners? As of now, yes. In two years, probably not. The reason why I think so is that it is fairly old, and the combat system is annoyingly slow. I don't expect to see it changing, not for the low levels anyway, and that is where the magic must happen to catch new players. But I imagine that a game with a simple and active combat system (something along the lines of GW2, but probably a bit more complex) and the business model of Lotro will arise soon. Maybe it's a title we have heard about already, like Wildstar or City of Steam. Maybe it is one that will only appear in the news in 2013. Maybe it is Titan, Blizzards next big game. I don't know, and I don't even care too much, to be honest. I will probably play that game too.
But I am a bit worried. I'd prefer to see games with more content and less polish out there, which provide me a lot of fun, even if the graphics / audio are not that exceptional. Hopefully, Indie games will provide that, and the whole industry will improve a lot because of them.