EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic will, whenever it eventually arrives, be the last “large scale” MMO to monetise itself via monthly subscriptions.
That’s the opinion of Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley.
“We see some very interesting trends in subscription gaming,” he told GamesIndustry. “In our cancellation surveys for EverQuest II, fully 40 per cent of the people that fill them out list subscription fees as one of the primary reasons they quit.
“Economic times are hard out there and a recurring subscription is something that glares at you from a credit card bill every month. For some people, saving money starts with getting rid of subscriptions that hit the credit card every month.
“But it's fair to say that subscriptions are likely going to be a strong component of revenue for the foreseeable future, although I don't believe they will be remotely as dominant over time.
“There's another large juggernaut coming out soon in Star Wars: The Old Republic from EA/Bioware. That's a game that I think has a legitimate shot at a 2m subscription user base and I believe they will stick with the subscription method.
“In my opinion this is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model. Why do I think that? Simply put, the world is moving on from this model and over time people aren't going to accept this method. I'm sure I'm going to hear a lot about this statement. But I am positive I'm right.”
2011 has seen an avalanche of MMOs dropping their subscription charges, including the likes of City of Heroes and Champion Online.
And most recently, SOE’s DC Universe Online for PS3 and PC has also declared its intentions to embrace F2P.