Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

F2P Means $$$

Turbine's little experiment with moving their MMORPGs from subscription to free seems to be working. That's a pretty big understatement, according to Turbine. The move has resulted in Lord Of The Rings Online tripling its revenue. The player population has increased, and so has the level of activity. The success isn't limited to LOTR, either. Implementing the same model on Dungeons & Dragons Online in 2009 has shown a 500% increase in revenue, according to Turbine.

Certainly competing with the World of Warcraft juggernaut is difficult, but the free-to-play mechanism seems to be working out extremely well for Turbine. This certainly seems like the way to get some traction for MMORPGs in the current environment. It will be interesting to see if some of the new MMORPGs that have launched with subscription plans continue to hold onto that, or make the switch sometime during the year.

Of course, the landscape will alter in a big way when WoW itself makes the transition to F2P, but I don't expect that until 2012 at the earliest.

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