Read an interesting article on Ars Technica today, that’s mirroring my experience. The arcade games went out of favor partly by emphasizing a mad rush to make additional games, with less emphasis on quality. It was all about grabbing people’s attention quickly, and thus their quarters, according to these guys.
I am very much so seeing this with Free To Play. EQ2 is offering almost the complete experience to new players; the things they are missing, they won’t miss, unless they get more interested and thus ready to pay. The game should draw people in. Star Trek Online, of which I am less than expert, seems to literally offer the complete game free. Can’t get a better draw than that.
Then there’s Rift. I logged in after midnight last night when the STO shards went offline. I am the perfectly ignorant gamer here – I know only what I’ve skimmed from blog posts. Something about soul shards instead of creating alts. Very World of Warcraft looking interface, and primitive graphics. My hour long session ended with me being bored and logging off.
How likely am I to go back into Rift ? I suppose it’ll depend on what I hear through the MMO community, which so far has been underwhelming. They failed to do anything to hook me, as a jaded player of many different things, and are not likely to see any money from my pocket.
Everything goes in cycles doesn’t it ? It wasn’t so long ago that the investment to get started in a game world was so great you would play no matter what – after plunking down $50 you can bet I’m going to play the game for awhile. I also read more about the games to figure out if I wanted to blow $40-$50 for them. Now it seems 2012 is year of free-to-play so I can be ignorant and (! gasp! ) just see if I’m enjoying things or not !