BioWare Mythic sees a future for free to play and subscription MMOs

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 03:14 GMT

Wrath of Heroes and Warhammer Online developer BioWare Mythic believes the future will be kind to both traditional subscription-based MMOs and the rising tide of free-to-play games.

“I think there’s room for a number of models. I think we’re dealing with a global audience now for online games, and what works in North America might not work in Brazil; what works in Asia might not work in Poland,” general manager Eugene Evans told Gamasutra.

“These are new audiences worldwide that might not go out and buy a packaged-goods game. But they’re playing online, and [there are] emerging markets we haven’t necessarily reached before.”

Additionally, some players simply don’t enjoy the free-to-play experience.

“There’s a whole community that doesn’t want that,” Evans commented.

Mythic, which is soon to launch its first freemium title Wrath of Heroes, is “still figuring out what free-to-play means, what the best way to monetize is, and how to run it as a business and engage players in ways they’re prepared to accept”.

The developer is untangling the questions of new online business models alongside its stable-mate BioWare. Evans said BioWare has a lot to share now that the two studios share the EA BioWare Label.

“We’ve been talking about how you get to quality, and polishing the product, and that’s certainly been one thing. What it takes to make an emotional connection with your players, and what that means. We’ve worked together to understand what that means for an MMO, and what that means for a free-to-play game,” Evans explained.

Evans recently said that free-to-play games need to be built from the ground up with that business model in mind, and that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, is not at risk of a conversion.

Wrath of Heroes, a MOBA-style offering currently in beta, is expected to launch during the holiday season.

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