After paying my first subscription payment for Elder Scrolls Online I’m reinforced in my belief that Free-2-Play/Freemium is a poisoned chalice instead of the golden goblet of awesome that the F2P revolution always alluded to.
Not that I don’t see the benefits that the shift has brought with it, removing the barriers and opening up the playing field. As a MMO gamer I can play a different MMO every night for a fortnight and not pay a penny, which isn’t something you could say 8 years ago. When done badly or greedily it’s no better than the hordes of Facebook titles begging for your money.
However I feel that dividing a games assets into purchasable bundles detracts from the game as a whole. I as a player can’t experience the game in the way that the developers originally intended or in a joined up way, now the only way to get that level X equipment is to grid out experience, farm certain enemy types or transform your real money into “Company points” to soften the blow of spending it on electronic goods.
Now many F2P games offer a monthly subscription VIP/Premium/Member service that should reduce a players dependency on in-game purchases, yet in recent times it has felt like companies target these already paying customers more with exclusive deals, discounted items or just plain old asking for more money with an array of hats (replace with flavour of the month item).
I hope that The Elder Scrolls Online keeps taking my money and doesn’t venture down the F2P road.