Will a recession/depression help or hurt MMO games and worlds?

I’ve been wondering what effects the economic shitstorm downturn will have on massively-multiplayer online games and communities.  Will people be more inclined to reduce the amount of money they pay to participate?  Will we see a rise in free-to-play MMOs here in the US?  (Free-to-play is heeeeeuuuuge in Asia, apparently.)

What I don’t foresee happening is people spending more time and money on MMOs due to the economic crisis…not this time, anyway.  I don’t think our society has yet tipped over to a condition where online life is preferable to “real” life.  For one, the graphics just aren’t up to snuff.  🙂

Perhaps 20 to 25 years from now, when we’ve dug ourselves into yet another financial pit and we have realistic holographic projections instead of monitors, some folks will choose to spend the majority of their waking hours in a virtual world where they’re beautiful and wealthy.  Of course, their full-time job will probably be farming Warcraft gold for some megaconglomerate, but it might be preferable to real-world alternatives.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Tesh on December 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    The market is ripe for some good microtransaction or dual currency games to make a splash, but new subscription games will find it a steep uphill battle to carve out a niche.

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