Apart from my general enthusiasm about the content that has been announced so far, my main argument about why somebody should be interested in Guild Wars 2 keeps being, simple and mundande: the payment model. I don’t get tired from pointing out that the costs, as long as the game doesn’t turn out to have some major (game) flaws, will make buying this game a “no-brainer”. Guild Wars 2 will keep – as announced – the buy-to-play payment model that they’ve previously established with Guild Wars (official GW2 FAQ – see question #4).
To my mind, if you’re somebody who at least sometimes enjoys the occasional computer game, there’s no reason not to get this title to play it parallel to your favourite MMORPG or as an extra alternative, because there are no recurring costs as is the case with a monthly fee.
One might like to argue that those monthly fees for a pay-to-play MMORPG aren’t too bad. Especially compared to a weekend full of parties and beer or even just going to the movies or playing an offline game whose entertainment value is calculated in hours, this might be true. On the other hand, only a fraction of potentially interested customers are probably paying for three or even more subs.
Most players will – depending on their time and how they spend their money – have to decide how many different games or – even more important for me – which games they want to play. Because of their payment model, ArenaNet doesn’t participate in the usual fight over subscription numbers and rids their players of those decisions.
At least I find myself often enough in the position where I have to decide in advance which MMO I want to play in my free time and which is worth paying the monthly fee for at a given time. Especially, if it’s maybe just a little bit of nostalgia that’d bring me back into a game or a single event, ingame friends, etc. who’d want to see me in a game for an evening or two.
Sounds too good to be true? Possibly…
I am well aware that this payment model, just like others, will not be received positively by everybody and there are different and good reasons for being skeptical. Hence, I’ll have a look at different payment models and their potential advantages and disadvantages in my next posting. Also because of my personal interest in ArenaNet and NCSoft. :)
Edit: If that topic interests you there is a new article at “Massively” about it.