How Do Free-to-Play MMORPG Games Make Money?

A question that many of us have asked at some point, but the answer is not hard to be found. Free to play games may rely on donations from people who truly like the game to gain extra funds.

MMORPG games can also sell their game to people that want to create private servers (and pay for the copyrights). Also, upgrading from one season to another (see Mu online game for instance) can require another fee from the private servers owners.

Ads are of course one of the main sources of income for free to play games and they can be easily displayed on the game forum, where most gamers get too at least once, if not more often. Advertisers can pay for CPM (cost per thousand impressions) for games with 10000 or more gamers; you can realize what that means on a monthly basis. Developers also incorporate in game ads and try to make them mostly unobtrusive to avoid affecting the game play in any way.

Cash shops are extremely popular (on both private and public servers, although the ones on private servers don’t contribute to the creators of the game) and they provide either powerful items, or distinctive cloths that can separate one from a large groups of players.

Memberships are one of the most popular ways for free to play MMORPG games to raise money, as they can offer stronger, rare items or cheaper rates at shops, or bundles of potions otherwise not available to standard players. Among the advantages a paid member may have, we can include access to specific maps, arenas (group quests) or even types of quests.

Seeing how developers make money off a free to play MMORPG, their goal is to make better games in order to attract players and thus to increase their earnings overall (work hard, earn hard).

Most MMORPGs can be downloaded and played in a short time, offer a quick registration form, and easy to create account mode, because they want to make it  easy and fun for new players to join the community and contribute to the overall funding they receive from all their sponsors.

A few examples of good quality free to play MMORPG include “Lords of the Rings Online”, “Silkroad”, Dungeons and Dragons, Allods Online, RuneScape, Pirates of the Caribbean etc. What we should learn from this is that some tittles rely on quality previous releases (either movies or games) that are very well known already, so they have devoted gamers that will want to play the game from the start (even from the beta).

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