here is the link, we hear about hundreds of thousands or millions creating accounts but not a whole lot afterward. As an example, Turbine opened, what, two more servers to deal with the supposed rush of going F2P but have they opened any since? Where is the growth that many like to assume F2P brings? Its an illusion and opens the product to even more potential trouble when you can actually have no revenue at all instead.
That's not to say that the only reason a game would shut down is due to non profitability. Several terrible management/business events could cause something like this. Not to mention that some companies might see an opportunity elsewhere and abandon ship to jump on it. This is the first 'failure' from a 'big' F2P game that we've seen. A lot of people claim they were still making money, so who knows what was really going on.
It's not some OMGEXPLOSIONOFMONEYEVERYWHERE! change, but it brings a huge initial influx of revenue followed by a generally higher steady revenue stream than before. If it didn't work, games wouldn't consider the transition and we wouldn't see SWTOR doing it and TSW considering it.
The danger is that EA surveys its shark tank of competing titles and says "We're EA, we don't do modest little games," and continues to mess with it until they've killed it completely. Let's hope that prudence (and a little force choke from LEC) prevent them.
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So you have one example of a studio closing shop after a transition, and I've provided 9 others for studios that haven't closed shop after a transition. I fail to see how your argument holds much more weight, especially when you look at games like LOTRO/DDO/Champion Online ect. which have been going strong for years since their transition.
It's a legitimate model that has been proven to work the overwhelming majority of the time. And for CoH it's not as if they made the transition and stopped reinvesting in it, only seeking to "squeeze money out of the game before writing it off". They've had a number of patches (I think they actually patched faster after the transition) since then so active development was still going on. Nobody actually knows why the studio is closing down. It's assumed that they aren't profitable enough, and that's a good assumption, but there is the possibility that there are some sort of internal conflicts.
I just hope future MMO developers realize that making b2p MMO is much more reasonable business plan than hoping for p2p miracle. I also hope that b2p MMOs will be good business in the future
What's the worst that can happen to you ...