Amongst the MMORPG community, one of the upcoming MMORPGs that seems to be attracting a lot of hype is a little game called Tera Online from En Masse entertainment. Now, the game does deserve some of the hype it’s been getting as based on the game’s trailers and sceenshots, it looks awesome. Apparently a lot of industry veterans from companies like Blizzard and NCSoft are joining En Masse Entertainment to work on Tera. The problem with Tera though, at least in my opinion, is that it’s pay to play. I don’t think too many people will drop their World of Warcraft or Eve Online subscriptions to play Tera Online. Games like Warhammer Online from Electronic Arts and Age of Conan from Funcom have tried that and failed. Miserably.
So why on Earth is Tera online trying to compete with WoW? Why not make the game free to play with mico transactions? According to the developer’s website, they said something like “Along with other Triple-A MMORPGs, Tera Online will have a monthly subscription fee”. That’s a really pretentious statement. It’s basically saying free to play MMORPGs like The Lord of the Rings Online, Runes of Magic, MapleStory and Dungeons and Dragons Online aren’t triple A. Sorry to burst your bubble En Masse, but free to play games like MapleStory and RuneScape are some of the most popular free MMORPGs in the world. Heck, MapleStory is easily one of the most profitable games in the world too – and it’s free to play! Nexon, the company behind MapleStory, Mabinogi, Vindictus and Dungeon Fighter Online, reported 2009 revenues of over $550 million. World of Warcraft makes some $800 million a year, so Nexon hasn’t passed WoW yet, but it’s getting there. And it’s getting there as a free to play game. Heck, MapleStory is much more profitable than 99% of pay to play MMORPGs! I think WoW is the only one that beats it.
Tera Online looks awesome. I want to play it badly. But, I don’t want to pay for it. I can afford it, but I think it’s silly to pay for Tera Online when I could play 150 other MMORPGs for free. And Yes En Masse, many of them ARE triple-a titles. En Masse needs to wake up and embrace free to play, because it’s the future. Electronic Arts realizes that now, as they’ve already released a ton of free games including Battlefield Heroes and FIFA Online. Even Sony Online Entertainment realizes it now as they announced that EverQuest II is going free to play. So with many pay to play games going free to play, why is En Masse releasing Tera as a pay to play game?