Would The Matrix Online still be here if it was Free-to-play?
The free-to-play MMO formula seems to be doing quite well for the various Korean MMOs, especially those like Maple Story. Since they're free, more people will be willing to play them and if they get into it enough, they will be willing to buy the optional items that cost money. I think kids are the people who compose the majority of the free-to-play MMO player base because they can't afford to pay a subscription fee every month to play a game. Especially if it requires a credit card or Paypal account. But with Maple Story, Nexon gets their money with the various items that cost real money, that expire after 3 months and that basically serve no purpose except for the look (excluding those that make the game "easier" as you can use a teleport stone to go to places without wasting time). Kids can buy these items easily with the Maple Story Points card you can find in stores. It makes it easily accessible for kids who are into the game to get. But there is a big exception to an MMO being popular that is not free-to-play: World of Warcraft. I'm not sure what makes it so popular and that it has a subscription fee but maybe it's just because Blizzard was a popular company before that was released, with games like Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft.
I think if The Matrix Online was ad-driven, without a subscription fee, and there was optional gear that you could buy for your character with real money, it would still be here. I think that The Matrix appeals to a lot of people, especially the children crowd who are into games like Maple Story, and if that was how MxO was handled, there would have been way more people playing it and way more people would have been paying for stuff in it (combined with ads).
If they brought it back as free to play/ad supported then at the very least there would be a big influx of Giant Bomb users for the first month. But from what ive seen it dosent look like a very special MMO, with games like DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) becoming Free to play which were at least critical hailed as a good MMO and a bunch of other games that started Free to play then a sub-par MMO has very little chance, especially since the love for the franchise has dwindled.
For the sake of the fans at the end I hope they do this or give out the server code and let people host there own servers but I doubt it.
It might have allowed it to hold on a little longer, but the real problem it had is that it just wasn't very good or innovative. it basically just took a generic MMO and slapped the Matrix IP and fighting styles (loosely) on top.
Successful Free MMOs differ from conventional Subscription-MMORPGs
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