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Blizzard Announces F2P MMORPG!
by Simon Ludgate on 08/02/11 12:17:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

So Blizzard just announced some more details about its upcoming F2P MMORPG, Diablo 3, but left out one big detail: It's an F2P MMORPG.

See, that's a big detail, because the previous Diablo games have been single-player action games with a multiplayer component. So it's no wonder players expected Diablo 3 to be the same.

But it's an F2P MMORPG, don't be tricked into thinking otherwise.

  • Do you have to play online connected to their servers? YES.
  • Is the game largely multiplayer with plenty of instanced solo content, though your friends can come join you any time? YES.
  • Is the game supported by in-game microtransactions though auction house purchases and the sale of cosmetic items? YES.
  • Do you pay a monthly subscription fee? NOPE!
  • Mods? Pfft. Who's ever heard of modding an MMORPG? Of Course NOT!

So where's the confusion? Well, maybe the fact that you have to pay for the initial download and account registration. It's kind of painful, but Guild Wars did that and it was still successful, so Blizzard probably figures it can double-dip too.

I'm actually kind of amazed they aren't triple-dipping with the subscription fee, but no doubt some premium VIP service for subscribers will be added as soon as they can figure out how.

So now that we've cleared up this confusion, people can safely accept that the game has no special DRM, the online only thing is just a part of doing business with F2P MMORPGs. All F2P MMORPGs have this "internet connection required" business but no one accuses them of evil DRM, so why should Blizzard's F2P MMORPG get such a bad rep?

If there's any reason to protest, it should be because Blizzard changed the kind of game it was making; that they're making the kind of game that players might not want. Maybe you didn't actually want a F2P MMORPG from Blizzard.

Maybe you actually wanted a single-player offline game with optional multiplayer component. Well, not that Blizzard gives a shit what you want, you'll buy whatever they sell you, be it an MMORPG or a sparkling pony. But if you're going to complain about anything at all, that's where your complaints should be directed.

Me? Well, I'm interested in seeing where this new forray into F2P space takes Blizzard. Plus, I'm very interested in seeing how the in-game economy develops with their new auction house. I tend to write a lot about virtual economies, after all. If nothing else it will set a major precedent in real currency transactions in-game. Something to keep an eye on, to be sure.

What about you? Are you eager to play Blizzard's upcoming F2P MMORPG?


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