From November 21st until January 6th, World of Warcraft will be celebrating their 10th anniversary. It shows that Blizzard definitely knew what they were doing in developing the massively multiplayer online game.
Spiral Knights is an MMO-type game that I play. (Read my original review here.) Within the first year of its release, Spiral Knights had accumulated about a million player accounts. It released updates and new items fairly often for the players, for free. Loot grinding and character leveling was also free and very easy. If you worked at it, it only took a few months to get the best items in the game.
However, in its second year, things seemed to change with the developers. There was much less in the way of content updates, but a lot more game-changing elements. Now instead of leveling up your character for free after beating a dungeon, you have to find a large amount of rare items just to level up your character a tiny bit. So it became much harder for new people starting the game to level up without paying through the nose. They also stopped releasing new weapons and armor in exchange for releasing monthly cosmetic items that were just color re-skins of previous items.
I recently checked the number of players in Spiral Knights, and saw that the million player accounts that were there originally had dramatically dropped to less than a thousand! So I’ve seen firsthand what happens when a game switches from free-to-play to pay-to-win.
-A game review by Super Searcher.