Don't forget that they all become big ball and chains. We start playing them because they're 'games' to have fun. After awhile for many (I'd guess probably a majority) they stop being fun, and become a chore. Chores are not a game.
It's like you have to continue to pay that money, and play the same game, constantly, to keep up.
Gotta love those games which prey upon you when you are asleep. Can't go to sleep, otherwise you can be attacked, got to log in, in the middle of the night, or even every two hours. Sponsored by Ambien who will be in your future after a few years of disturbed sleeping patterns.
Some even set it up so you can buy 'protection' for an added fee. Which of course then pushes some people even harder because they have to compete against those that buy the protection.
(Whether or not is a 24 hour gameplay style game) If you don't constantly play, one falls behind rank wise because the game still is online for 24 hours (24 hour availability is different from 24 hour gameplay), and one starts to get that feeling that all your hard work is going to waste.
Of course if you don't pay, the same thing occurs. So if you want to keep what you have built you are forced to pay and play. Otherwise you lose all that hard work.
On top of this you have level caps, where it becomes a game where people want to level higher because some have been there for awhile, but other people just got there and want to take a breather. So it becomes a game of giving people more of what they want while trying not push other people too hard.
All and all it's a psycho setup when you step back and think about it. It pushes people to a low level form of insanity and preys upon it (to pay back their creditors and pay out dividends to shareholders and bonuses to execs).
People need to learn moderation with these sorts of games, and in the absence of it, companies numbers and their asinine 'models' are inflated because they think the unsustainable is normal and sustainable. With these high level errors, you get massive misallocation and next thing you know you get a whole bunch of people getting laid off due to 'models behaving badly', not due to the lowly workers who are doing their job.
These games thrive when people lose themselves in the process and ask people to live in this fantasy world forever (which none will ever truly be...the end comes someday...both IP wise and user wise...unless we are going to start having WoW accounts being willed to a younger generation...rofl).
Eventually the fantasy world starts to have some of the same pitfalls of the real world. With just about any MMO you'll see people that start groups or whatnot where they champion stopping playing the game so they can get on with their lives.
Of course one can not care about rank, and just play a little here or there. Nothing is wrong with that. But if the vast majority become this (and slowly they are), how many MMO's are they going to buy/play or justify paying a monthly expense for? How many MMO's would exist if most people played two hours a week and didn't want to pay a monthly fee?
Add that in with what everyone says about them mostly/in large part copying the gameplay of WoW and you see that we are in a situation where there are too many chiefs trying to run the same tribe working on building pyramids.
It is sort of funny though, part of the whole reason to set up these games in this way is to keep them from having the time to play other games....so they pay the monthly fee. So part of the reason for their 'success' is also a leading cause for their eventual 'failure'.
Yep, and more and more companies are going to take out loans to enact this madness. Insane.