It seems like the subscription vs Free-to-Play debate has been discussed ad nauseam on gaming blogs and press sites across the Internet. In many cases, serious and longtime gamers prefer the subscription MMO in order to bypass annoying in-game promotions and sales, as well as to set some kind of minimal barrier to entry in order to cut down on in-game harassment. Free-to-Play games open the floodgates to allow players of all means to experience the game on their own terms but tend to bombard the player with up-sale opportunities in order to create revenue so that the game can continue to exist.
In the latest episode of Massive Failure Podcast, it was stated in a very reverse-psychology April Fools-ish way that the “downfall of LOTRO” can be traced back to the decision to move the game to the Free-to-Play business model. While I have absolutely no insight into the amount of revenue generated by LOTRO (neither immediately following the F2P conversion nor now), and I can see the many benefits of a steady, predictable income stream provided by subscriptions, I can unequivocally say one thing: without Free-to-Play, I wouldn’t be here.