We all know ‘free to play’ is huge in Asia, but are there are Western free to play games? After some research I was only able to find a handful. League of Legends by Riot Games, Warrior Epic and Mytheon by True Games and Battlefield Heroes / BattleForge by EA are really the only free to play western games I could find. It’s funny though – because for every BattleField heroes there are easily 10 anime inspired Korean / Japanese free to play games like Bright Shadow and Secret of the Solstice. I’m not saying these free to play anime inspired games are bad, I’m just saying they’re a dime a dozen. Personally, I like anime inspired graphics, but the fact that 90% of free to play MMORPGs have the same graphic style is a bit ridiculous.
My personal favorite ‘Western’ free to play game is Dragonica. It’s a 3D side scrolling fantasy MMORPG that competes with games like Wind Slayer and MapleStory. I’m actually not even sure if the game was developed by a Western game studio, but the game has a distinct ‘Western’ feel. I guess it’s because the translations are actually… good and the gameplay isn’t too grindy – two common traits of most free to play MMORPGs from Asia. Western game studios should definitely focus on making more MMORPGs as it’s definitely a growing genre. I know game companies like Bioware are renowned for releasing top tier RPG games and I’d love to see Bioware make an MMORPG.
Some of my favorite free to play MMORPGs are Asian, but I’d really like to see more Western games. MMORPGs like Shaiya, Cabal Online and Atlantica Online are top tier games that I personally play regularly, but I’d like to be able to have the choice of playing different kinds of games.