Square Enix: Subs Didn’t Hurt The Old Republic or The Secret World
The director of Final Fantasy XIV Naoki Yoshida does not believe that The Old Republic or The Secret World would be more successful today had they launched as free-to-play titles.
Speaking to Penny Arcade, Yoshida spoke out against the belief that the subscription model is dying. He said:
“I don’t think there’s a right or wrong for having a monthly subscription model or free-to-play model. Games like The Old Republic and The Secret World, I don’t say those games would’ve been more successful if they had been free-to-play, for example. The subscription model was unrelated to the success of the game.”
The relaunch of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV enters its first closed beta today. In its improved state after a disastrous 2010 launch, Yoshida believes the game justifies a subscription fee. Beyond that, he believes a subscription model is required in order to ensure stable operations. He said:
“With the free-to-play model, you’ll get huge income one month, but the next month it depletes.
“Most MMOs have investors in the background, and the company uses the profit and splits the profit with the investors. But, if the game’s not successful, and it doesn’t reach the target, then they have to switch to free-to-play to try and get just a little profit from it.
“Among the MMOs in the market, only Blizzard and Square Enix are making money without investors in the background.”
Do you agree with Yoshida? Would The Old Republic and The Secret World have fared not better if they had launched with a F2P model?