One of the biggest downsides of MMORPGs is, of course, the fact that they cost a monthly fee to play. But according to some recent words by Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley, they're looking to possibly make the upcoming PS3/PC MMO, The Agency , free of charge.
Rather than a subscription fee, SOE would fund the game through micro-transactions and a "velvet-rope policy" where certain sections of the game are only available for paying members. While Smedley said he understood avid MMO fans are used to a subscription charge, he also said SOE believes there's going to be an "aftermarket," and they want to control it so that players "don't get duped into having something switched out from them."
Basically, rather than paying one of those rare-item hunters to give you some sweet stuff, Sony wants you to pay them for the treasure in a "controlled manner" so you don't have to deal with crooked dealers. In other words, you just pay for what you want. It's a rather intriguing idea, and while you'll notice it doesn't entirely rid you of any cost, it still lets the subscription fee disappear. Hey, that's something, right?
Related Game(s): The Agency