Free To play or Subscription Based?

Author: Razor / In News
Black Desert Online is one of the most anticipated games of 2014. It’s still in beta and the exact release date is unknown yet. All we know is the game has awesome graphics and it looks amazing. Many MMO fans are looking forward to play this game. But one of the most important questions about Black Desert now is: will the game be Free to Play, Buy to Play or Subscription based? What model will be chosen? We still know nothing about payment model the game will use.

Who Decides?

Rumors say that Pearl Abyss, developer of the game, allows each publisher to choose a payment model for the game themselves. That means the question of payment model depends on XL Games a lot. But I am sure that we will hardly see different models in different regions. Thus it’s a good move to wait for the release of BD in Korea and see which model is used there. Publishers in other regions will most likely use the same model.

Can Black Desert Online be Free to play?

Well, it’s a rather difficult question. On my opinion, the chances that we will see BD with F2P are high. Let me explain why:

The first reason is because Pay to Play (Subscription) model is not popular among MMO projects. We all know that the only game which still uses Subscription model successfully is World of Warcraft. But WOW was the first serious MMO. They offered unique story with amazing gameplay and ideas. WoW had only few competitors and they could make amazing mmo with huge base of players. That’s why they are still using this model and still earn money.
Elder Scrolls Online is also Sub based now. But I am not sure if it will stay with this model. But ESO has well known game franchise behind: The Elder Scrolls. This franchise is very famous among RPG players and that’s why it wasn’t too difficult for them to attract players into ESO.

Nowadays game developer has to offer something really interesting and unique in order to attract players to play for Subscription based game. Moreover, the market of MMO games is full of F2P alternatives and a player will most likely choose F2P instead of P2P.

I doubt that Black Desert will offer something really unique to make players pay subscription fee. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure BD will be an interesting game, but I doubt that it will have everything required to succeed with Pay to Play subscription.

The second reason to go with F2P is game mechanics. As you know there will be Full Loot system in Black Desert. That means you can take all the loot of your enemy after you kill him in PvP. Now imagine: you were accidently killed by enemy player and you have lost all your equipment, heal potions, resources and other stuff you were carrying. Your bags are empty. Will you use in game shop in order to purchase some necessary items? I think the answer is yes. Such mechanics may stimulate players to purchase more from in-game shops. To be honest I think that such mechanics and Free to Play model can potentially bring more money to game developers and publishers than Monthly Subscription.
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