Why I Think the Guild Wars 2 Pay Once No Subscription with Micro Transactions Model is Great

6 Sep 2012 by ZiggyD, No Comments »

I have never really been interested in playing MMOs, the subscription model felt like a lot of pressure and commitment to me. However, the Guild Wars 2 system of buying the game and being able to play it forever without a subscription feels awesome to me and is really tempting me to buy the game.

I would never even consider subscribing to an MMO because what if I don’t end up playing it? I am essentially wasting my subscription fee. Every time I feel like going back to it I would be worried that I would end up wasting my fee again. Worse yet, the fee makes it feel like I shouldn’t be playing any other game but the one I am subscribed to.

I think Guild Wars 2 is doing it right. It’s all about risk. I see the risk of $60 or so dollars the same as I see buying any other single player AAA game. Even if I only play Guild Wars 2 for a week I have gotten the same value I would have gotten with a normal single player title. However, I also know that there is a good chance that I will get far more value than that, especially if I hook up with some friends and play in a guild setting over Skype.

The ‘pay once’ model is essentially the free to play model for AAA games. It allows them to have a decent production budget with some confidence that they can cover their initial costs. ArenaNet may have even made a profit on initial sales but I think there is very good potential for profitability just through the microtransaction system.

In fact, Guild Wars 2’s entire micro transaction system is pretty well thought out. You can essentially buy in game wealth and yet I have heard very little complaint about this as being pay to win. The reason for this is that the stigma is removed by the fact that the system goes both ways, you can buy micro transaction currency with in game gold as well. People who have time to grind gold but no money to pay for gems can get gems just like people who spend real life time grinding 70 hours a week at a job. There may be some power inequalities but the potential for everyone to have the same access to advantage is there, regardless of their life position.

I think I have just talked myself into buying the game…

If you are interested in buying Guild Wars 2 then you can do so over at Amazon.

What are your thoughts on the payment model for Guild Wars 2? Are you a fan of the micro-transaction model it features? Let us know in the comments below!

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