F2P LotRO FTW
Turbine Entertainment has done it again with the LotRO switch to free to play. They are amazing at making the free to play plus an option cash shop pricing model work for them. Their revenues have doubled already.
After the success of DDO's switch to the same pricing model I guess it was a no brainer to do the same with their other MMO. Turbine is a great example of free to play done right. I hope more MMOs follow their example in the future.
Subscription MMOs seem to be the exception lately. When so many games are launching or switching to a free to play model why would MMO players still want to pay $15 per month to play a game? World of Warcraft is the exception since they have market dominance and a 6 year track record with players. Almost every other subscription MMO on the market is struggling.
I think that the free to play model with an optional cash shop is the future of MMOs. With the occasional exception, we should see most MMOs using that pricing structure in the near future.