Saturday, 10 November 2012

It is great not being charge for no playing

I have pretty much had the last two weeks off, and I have been playing a lot of video games. However what I have not been playing is Guild Wars 2. I love GW2, I really do, however in between Dragon's Dogma, Dishonored, Doom and The Last Story (unexpectedly fab JRPG), I have not felt the inclination to touch it. I find this interesting, as I am pretty sure that if GW2 was subscription based, I would be considering cancelling my subscription by now. Not because the game is bad, but because I have something more, well, compelling I guess, to play.

I have gone through the same cycle with other mmo’s that I have loved, Age of Conan, DCUO and TOR. I really enjoy them, but some new and shiny games come along (particularly a problem around this time of year), and I get distracted. As I have freely admitted previously, I have a spectacularly short attention span, so as much as I enjoy GW2, more action type games tend to get my attention. So with a subscription mmo I hit the point were I have £9 coming out of my bank for a game I have not played for a couple of weeks, and have no strong desire to play in the near future, so I cancel my subscription. 

I refused to believe that I am the only person who thinks like this. OK perhaps other people have things in the life going on other than video games. Like, erm family or work issues or something like that (What? I have a normal life, stop judging me). And they think that as they are t going to be playing for a couple of weeks that they will cancel their sub. However cancelling a subscription is easy, getting to the point where you make the active choice to resub is probably going to mean a big jolt by the player. This is why WoW’s subscriber base has gone back up, as it always does when an expansion comes out. In part it prompts people to play the new content, but partly it simply reminds former subscribers that they liked the game.

That’s why I think GW2 have nailed it with it’s pricing model. Yes it has a item store, but because it isn’t the only revenue source they can afford to keep it discrete, unlike other free mmo’s which rely entirely on purchases. But more importantly there are no barriers to people jumping back into it if they have not touched it in a month. One could argue the same about other free to play games, however I am not sure this is the case. Take LOTRO as an example, you are playing the game having a decent time and then you find you need to buy a quest pack. The quest packs are reasonably price and offer a fair amount of content. However you think “I will do that another time”, log out and never touch it again.

Am I glad I brought GW2? Yes 100%. Do I intend to play it in the next couple of weeks?  Probably not. Will I eventually get a character to max level and “finish” the game? You bet your ass I will.

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