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Free games are the best games
Has any one ever played a free game? Sure. Flash games are free. So are some of those Java based games. How about a full version game that is completely free to play? The only one I've ever heard of was America's Army, oh and there was a Wolfenstein game too. The army game doesn't really make any money and is intended to help recruit people....
Anyway, ever heard of GunBound? Ragnarok? MapleStory? These games were initiated in Asia and have made their way across the world gaining new players everyday for years, not just when they were hyped up and released. What is the magic of all these games? More than likely it is their smart system of income. Essentially you get the whole game, complete and ready to play for free. Nothing to it. And these aren't some crappy Flash game. These are MMO games which compete world wide with other, awesome physics and polish kinda games. Where they get you is in the upgrades.
Asians love their RPGs because they invented it and upgrading is always a welcome addition. The downside is when you play for free it is almost impossible to upgrade the way you want and deck out your character. There is a limited selection and a gruelingly cruel pricing system. You can buy decent items if you play for maybe a year or two, or if you really want you can pay 10 bucks and get it right away. So although there is a choice in the matter, those who are willing to shell out a few bucks here and there will be the ones who can really compete. The freebies can try but not much luck in trying.
So, will we ever see the likes of free MMO games surface here in North America? Probably not. While we can play these games, its likely that free games development won't occur, or only on a very small scale. We tend to focus more on the complete package and the hype and not so many upgrading systems.
Americans just don't like to play dress up I guess.