Developer ArenaNet, who is getting ready to launch the MMO Guild Wars 2 in the near future, believes that a subscription-based online game needs to focus on delivering fun experiences to the player base and not on keeping them paying in order to chase some elusive late game goal.
Colin Johanson, lead content developer on Guild Wars 2
, has written on the official blog of the game that, “You get leveling systems that take insane amounts of grind to gain a level, loot drop systems that require doing a dungeon with a tiny chance the item you want can drop at the end, raid systems that need huge numbers of people online simultaneously to organize and play, thousands of wash/repeat item-collection or kill-mob quests or dailies with flavor text support, the best stat gear requiring crazy amounts of time to earn, etc.” Guild Wars 2
is not based around a subscription-based model and that frees the development team from simply creating complex stories to simply keep players occupied and allows them to create quests and zones that would be fun to them as gamers.
The ArenaNet team plans to use a simple retail system to support Guild Wars 2, asking players to pay for the game package and for any expansion and then allowing them to simply access the game and play it for as long as they want.
World of Warcraft, the game that dominates the MMO market, is based around subscriptions while most other titles in the market use a free-to-play business model.
The first Guild Wars met with significant success on launch and the ArenaNet development team is improving on all aspects of the MMO, from character development to Player versus Player opportunities.
Guild Wars 2 will be launched during 2012, although a clear date was not announced, and gamers can currently get into a beta stage and offer feedback on the MMO experience.