The 3 Month CycleJanuary 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 11 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
There is an idea out there that when MMOs first come out, they manage to keep people around for about three months before people unsubscribe. The 3 month cycle.
I see a lot of people blogging about it, and I think the first time I really saw a surge of people talking about it was when Rift came out. Mostly arrogant MMO bloggers generalizing about their own experiences, sometimes motivated out of a sense of schadenfreude, sometimes taken from anecdotal evidence.
I guess the 3 month number itself comes from the 3 month subscription option most MMOs have. Aside from that, the thinking goes that it takes a month or two to reach level cap and people naturally get bored after that, after which the majority of people stop playing the game forever.
I suppose most of this is not unreasonable if somewhat overly simplistic and sophomoric.
The problem is if the 3 month cycle ever did exist (and I don’t agree that it does) the advent of free-to-play games suggests it won’t be around for much longer.
Which is why I find people suggesting Guild Wars 2 would be subject to such a cycle perplexing.
I’ve read this in a couple of recent MMO blogs and just don’t understand. Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have a subscription. I’m not saying people won’t get bored with it. I’m not saying people won’t discard the game when they find it isn’t for them. But the main thrust of the 3 month cycle must be that people unsubscribe and then never play it again because it will cost them more money than they’re willing to pay.
And that just doesn’t apply to Guild Wars 2, or any free-to-play game. People just want an easy way to predict the failure of a game or say ‘I told you so’ afterward. They can’t be proven wrong, it’s win/win.
Which is fine. I admit that if Guild Wars 2 is as good as it seems, I’ll be saying the same thing.
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