Gamers should want all MMOs to be free-to-play, says EverQuest dev

Franchise director David Georgeson says the controversial business model encourages developers to make good games.

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EverQuest franchise development director David Georgeson has spoken out in defense of the free-to-play business model for MMOs. In a new interview, he contends that gamers should want all MMOs to be free-to-play because this model mandates that developers create compelling games. If they don't, players will leave, and developers like Sony Online Entertainment will be in trouble, he says.

"There’s nothing wrong with the subscription model. I have personal opinions, which I'll go ahead and share because I'm just that cocksure of myself," Georgeson told IGN. "I think that free-to-play is the way that gamers should want their MMOs to be, and the reason I think that is that if we don't do a really good job and we don’t entertain the player, we don't make a dime."

Georgeson went as far as to describe free-to-play MMO developers as street performers, who only make money if they are good at their craft.

"We're effectively street performers: we go out there and sing and dance and if we do a good job, people throw coins into the hat," he explained. "And I think that's the way games should be, because paying $60 up front to take a gamble on whether the game is good or not? You don’t get that money back."

"So if you buy a turkey, you've just wasted your money. With free-to-play you get to go in, take a look at it, and find out," he added. "It's entirely our responsibility to make sure you're entertained. That's the way things should be in my opinion with free-to-play."

The free-to-play business model is becoming more and more popular for MMOs today, with World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online being two major games bucking that trend. Sony has yet to reveal a business model for EverQuest Next, but going off Georgeson's comments, it certainly sounds like free-to-play is the route Sony is going with.

EverQuest next is coming to PC and PlayStation 4, though Sony has not announced a release date for the MMO.

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