In Defence Or In Denial?
Square Enix will stalwartly stick to monthly subscriptions for Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn, suggesting that the pricing model had nothing to do with SWTOR and The Secret World's sluggish launches.
“I don’t think there’s a right or wrong for having a monthly subscription model or free-to-play model,” Game Director Naoki Yoshida told the Penny Arcade Report. “Games like The Old Republic and The Secret World, I don’t say those games would’ve been more successful if they had been free-to-play, for example. The subscription model was unrelated to the success of the game.”
This breathtaking example of total and complete denial aside (both games saw a massive player upswing after ditching subscription-only pricing models), Yoshida made the point that a steady revenue stream will allow them to patch the game more regularly and give players more content.
"With the free-to-play model, you’ll get huge income one month, but the next month it depletes. Most MMOs have investors in the background, and the company uses the profit and splits the profit with the investors. But, if the game’s not successful, and it doesn’t reach the target, then they have to switch to free-to-play to try and get just a little profit from it. Among the MMOs in the market, only Blizzard and Square Enix are making money without investors in the background.”
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn enters closed beta today ahead of its launch later this year. It already looks to have vastly improved on its hopeless predecessor, though might have trouble justifying its subscription compared to the mighty Guild Wars II.