Ardwulf explains why a game doing well might change its pricing model:
The key factor here, I think, and the one that led Turbine to this decision, is that DDO subscriptions have increased under its free-to-play model. And not just jumped a bit, but tripled. Not to mention that overall revenue is up tenfold, last we heard.
Pretend for a moment that you are a Turbine executive, circa 2008. Someone on the DDO team presents the free-to-play proposal. S/he includes a slide predicting that subscriptions would triple. You would have laughed him/her out of the room, wouldn’t you? I would have expected some decline in month-to-month subscribers with potentially increased revenues from new and old players engaging in microtransactions. This must be the most successful free trial program ever, to say nothing of the microtransaction revenue.