Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lord of The Rings Goes Free, Too

The free-to-play trend has claimed another game, as the Lord of the Rings Online game goes free on September 10th. As they note in the article, there are certainly some game balance issues that must be addressed. Going free isn't all that easy, although I guess balance issues are a common problem in MMORPGs anyway. (Don't these designers know how to balance weapons against each other? It's not rocket science, people.)

I think it's increasingly difficult for an MMO to find an audience if you expect them to pay upfront for the game, and then a monthly fee as well. Most of the growth in MMO's these days is coming from free-to-play, especially as the Asian companies (which almost all use that model) make a big push to enter the US market. It's a great marketing tool to get people to try out the game. The trick is that the game needs to be fun without ever buying anything... and still fun if you buy everything. That's a difficult balance.

Hmm, I wonder if this model could be ported to pen-and-paper RPGs...

1 comment:

  1. You mean a free electronic download of a core product that is available as creative commons so you can file share it with the world; with at cost extras like a Full Color Hardback, and supplements.

    Nope Eclipse Phase would never work. Nor win an ENnie for Best writing (thankfully Paizo was not nominated).

    So, Yeah. It has been done.

    Steve Russell
    Rite Publishing