SOE president John Smedley talks about subscription-free MMOs (which rely on upsell models) and moving from the RPG genre to action and strategy. One interesting tidbit: over 33% of the EQ2 players paid for extra services like guild forms and guild chat.
I wish more MMO makers would explore extending the medium to casual and hardcore-but-short-on-time gamers. Yo Ho Ho Puzzle Pirates (among other games) has proven that you can make an MMO for an older audience. There are turn-based models of play that offer satisfying MMO experience in 30-minute bites. Remember the old MM BBS games? Those rocked.
Older gamers (with lives and/or kids) often can’t enjoy Everquest (or WoW) when interesting raids take four hours to complete, and guildmates play obsessively (leaving behind less committed gamers.)
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