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TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month

The TERA Website has news that En Masse Entertainment's MMORPG is going free-to-play next month (thanks Massively). This FAQ has all the details, and here's a bit:

TERA will be free.

No level, time, or content restrictions.

Our philosophy is to add to what we already offer instead of restricting existing content. We've added an in-game shop where players can choose to buy costumes, mounts, and consumables, but the core of the game will be 100% free.

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9. Re: TERA Going Free-to-Play Next Month Jan 9, 2013, 16:00 PropheT
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 13:03:
Sorry people, MMOs cannot succeed on the subscription model anymore.

Sure they can, if they put them out with real expectations and weight them according to what you're getting for your subscription. TERA wanted the same price you pay for other premium MMO's, charged as much as Blizzard for store items that they put out on a regular basis, and had far less content mixed in with a Korean-level grind game.

It's not that a subscription wouldn't work for TERA, it's a question of why you would put your game on the same cost level as WoW when it can't compete with it at the same level. A Korean-style game is never going to have a huge user base here, nobody but Blizzard is going to get away with charging what they do for services and items for any amount of time, and as a cost per content basis on sub fees... there isn't any competition there at all.

The same mistake is repeated over and over again by companies who have put out competing products looking for either WoW's players or people who want something similar that's not WoW. The problem over the last eight years hasn't been the subscriptions, it's been the games; not one of them has held up past a big release month or progressed to the same level as what you can get somewhere else for $15 a month.

Free to play is still only successful as long as people are willing to put out a similar amount of money to the people running the game as they would if it were drawing subscriptions anyway. To me, it's like if Netflix decided to drop subscriptions altogether and just charge you for each movie you watched; on the surface it might seem great, even cheaper, but if once I'd start using it like I did when you paid a sub fee it suddenly starts to seem like less of a good deal.
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