So with the announcement of LotrO going with the Hybrid payment model I figured this would be a good time to start the discussion.
Currently there are 3 widely used payment types:
Pay to Play (p2p): You buy a box or download and pay a monthly sub. Some give you the box for free and just charge the sub. This group holds the biggest MMO currently. Examples: WoW, Aion, Eve, AoC, etc etc.
Free to Play (f2p): You download the game for free, all content within the game is free. There is a cash shop though that sells items that can greatly impact gameplay. Most of these games come from the East where they are much more common. Examples: Requiem, Aika, Perfect World, Rappelz
Hybrid: You download the game or buy a box, sometimes free, sometimes not. You can either subscribe to the game with a monthly fee or buy content in modules. Most also have a cash shop with item that do not greatly impact gameplay, but can depending on who you talk to and how they view the model. Examples: DDO, Runescape, (some say) STO.
Personally, I see the Hybrid model as having your cake and eating it too for the companies that go this route. I also think that more and more companies are going to change their payment models to this in order to make more $$ especially if LotrO does well. In the future I see the Hybrid model taking over most of the AAA MMORPGs that come out.
So we get stiff once in a while. So we have a little fun. What’s wrong with that? This is a free country, isn’t it? I can take my panda any place I want to. And if I wanna buy it a drink, that’s my business.