NCSoft is a huge Korean MMORPG publisher, but most of their games are pay to play. They’re the company behind Guild Wars, City of Heroes, Aion and Lineage 2. I actually like all of their games, as they’re all really high quality, but I’d like to see them re-launched as free to play. City of Heroes for example is a really fun super hero themed MMORPG, but the game is practically dead. Paragon City, the huge in game city is basically empty and the playerbase is still in further decline. The only way to really revive the game is to make it free to play. Turbine made Dungeons and Dragons Online free to play and the playerbase exploded. Archlord from Webzen didn’t enjoy the same success, as the game was pretty bad when it was pay to play, so going free to play didn’t help it. The thing about City of Heroes though is that the game is actually REALLY good, so making it free to play could revive the game.
Lineage 2 is another cool game by NCsoft. It’s probably their most PvP heavy MMORPG, as the game has a neat territory control system. The game is currently free to play in South Korea and recently went free to play in Russia, so making it free to play in the U.S. Or world-wide is the next logical step. I can’t imagine Guild Wars going free to play, as the game is already a big success. NCSoft wouldn’t want to rock the boat with it. Turbine made Dungeons and Dragons Online free to play because they were ready to shut the game down. It was only after they saw the huge success in Dungeons and Dragons Online they announced their flagship title – The Lord of the Rings Online going free to play. So logic dictates Guild Wars won’t go free to play anytime soon.
Ncsoft actually has one free to play game already out. It’s a sci-fi MMO shooter called Exteel. It basically plays like a free to play multiplayer Armored Core game, which is pretty win. I’d really like to see NCsoft make more of their games available for free. With more and more game developers jumping on the free to play bandwagon, it only makes sense. Lineage 2 and City of Heroes are both pretty small in the West, so it would make sense. I don’t know about Aion, but these other two games should go F2P. With all these new upcoming MMORPGs like Company of Heroes Online and Need for Speed World from Electronic Arts launching as F2P, it’s silly for NCsoft to remain so backwards. Calling pay to play backwards is a bit ridiculous, but I’m feeling bold tonight, haha. I think the only game that can really justify its monthly subscription fee is World of Warcraft. Everything else should be f2p. Especially Warhammer Online. It was supposed to kill WoW, but the game itself is ready to shut down, as its down to like 5 servers from 60+. So NCsoft. The ball is in your court! Make more of your games free to play!