Aion Goes F2P in EU

Gameforge announces the European edition of Aion is going free-to-play beginning in February 2012, when players in the U.K., France, and Germany will be able to access the full game with no subscription fees, with the rest of western Europe to follow. As of now the North American website for NCsoft's MMORPG has no indications that the N.A. version of the game will be dropping subscription fees. The Aion Free-to-Play Page has details, and here's a bit:
Karlsruhe/Seoul, 14. 12. 2011 – Gameforge, Europe's leading provider of online games, and NCsoft®, the world’s premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games, today announced a new and free to play business model for AION, the online role-playing game. From February 2012, players will be able to download the full version of the game for free and play without any subscription costs. AION will be launched in the UK, France and Germany first and will be accessible to play across Western Europe.

AION is one of the world’s most popular and numerous awards winning MMOGs including a very loyal fan base in Europe. Songyee Yoon, Chief Strategic Officer from NCsoft® commented that “by introducing the free-to-play model, we hope more gamers in Europe will be able to experience the epic story of Aion” and added that “NCsoft welcomes the partnership with Gameforge with its long MMO experience in the free-to-play sector and its excellent knowledge of the European market.”

Gameforge’s Executive Director Alexander Rösner also welcomes the collaboration: “In AION we have received a flagship title for our MMO sector which perfectly complements our current portfolio. We have worked hard with NCsoft® to develop a fair free-to-play model for new players as well as the current community. In the future we will of course continue to develop new content and extend it, working in close cooperation with the players.”

For detailed information about the free-to-play model visit http://www.aionfreetoplay.com
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Re: Aion Goes F2P in EU
Dec 14, 2011, 15:23
Dev
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Re: Aion Goes F2P in EU Dec 14, 2011, 15:23
Dec 14, 2011, 15:23
Dev
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Dec 14, 2011, 11:17:
Wonder how long WoW and TOR can hold out as subscription services with everything else being "free."
WoW? Until blizzard's next MMO which is already in the works. I'm convinced thats the only thing thats going to finally kill off WoW. We will see the sub numbers drop down (its already started as seen in blizz's latest numbers they mentioned), I'm going to guess it will settle around 4 million, and then once blizzard releases the next, then it will break new records.
Meanwhile, blizzard will have diablo 3 to pick up some of the income slack, what with taking a cut of all the real money auction house stuff happening.

Keep in mind that even at 4 million it would be far more than any other paid MMO.
http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-1.png
Above 1 million its quite a rarefied atmosphere.
Lineage used to be more, but looks to me like it was trending down so much they stopped announcing numbers after it dropped back down below 1 million so no new numbers for almost 2 years now. A quick google shows that they just shut down servers for L1, and L2 just went F2P, so they aren't going to be doing subscriptions anymore. For a brief while Aion was near 4 million, but now obviously its fallen, else they would have never needed to go F2P.

Eve isn't even in that list, its significantly less than 500k. Whats interesting is looking at other charts below 1 million:
http://mmodata.blogspot.com/
For instance warhammer online went up to 800k almost immediately, then plummeted a month or two later to less than half that (perhaps after the free month expired? I never played it, so perhaps not enough end game content? Or did it just suck?).

All these companies doing MMOs think they will have easy money and get WoW like numbers, they get dollar signs in their eyes thinking about the money pouring steadily in month by month, year after year. Doesn't happen. Repeatedly we see failures. Companies need to plan an MMO to survive and be profitable on a couple hundred thousand subscribers (and that's if it doesn't suck), or else just forget the whole subscription plan and go F2P.

The disaster that was APB showed how quickly a company can go bankrupt if they don't have even a little common sense about how to run an MMO. They burned through over $100 million and were broke at launch. In fact, their business plan was written that way with no reserve! Their numbers were 130k subscribers, which is actually not too shabby for a new MMO, but they were depending on millions.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 2011, 15:37.
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