Like pears and bananas, they are similar but not the same. How many copies of FFX sold? Then how many copies of FFXI? Note the difference. How many copies of FFXIII and now how many of FFXIV? Again, note the difference.
Hmm, if this isn't you comparing sales between the offline titles and the online, What is it?
Think of FFXIV as a brand new club. Your friends tell you it looks amazing, but the local papers give it horrible reviews. The decor is awesome, the music is great and the beer is free! The problem is there is no dancefloor, no pool tables or foosball and no hot girls. Nothing to do and not many people to do it with even if there was. How long do you hang out here wondering when the fun starts? Would you pay to enter this club everytime you went? Would you pay a one-time membership fee and just go until you got bored?
Only if SE does their job right now. Not only will your friends tell you it looks amazing. The newspapers will also tell you it's amazing.
It's true there is not enough dancefloors, no pool tables, foosball, and maybe no hot girls. Pay to play would equal paying everytime to enter. So no to that one.
I could see myself paying a one time membership fee, have access to all activities for free and go only when bored. But if we put f2p in this analogy. You don't pay to enter, but you pay for every song that gets played, every beer you drink, every lime you eat, every game of pool. F2p isn't really free.You get to enter for free, but to particpate in anything you want. You have to pay for everything you touch or play with most of the time. Who wouldn't want to go into a bar(buy to play)where you pay entry and all the beer, music, pool is free?
Box sale model doesn't work for MMO games of this scale. The amount of money this company has spent developing over the years and the money they will spend to maintain it and expand will surpass what they are capable of making selling boxes. If you want regular updates, you have to pay for them. Players don't want a game that only updates whenever the next expansion releases. Not in an MMO.
Actually it has worked. Guild Wars sold 6 million boxes and it didn't even have the heritage or big budget that SE has at their disposal. Guild Wars 2 is following the same buy to play model. And low and behold they have won numerous accolades even before launch for innovating and being most impressive. On Mmorpg.com GW2 is and has maintained the largest hype of any mmo this or last year. The best thing about b2p is since their are no additional fees until the next expansion. You can play it alongside those other mmos you may like more. So this pretty much proves that an mmo can be successful if they go the buy to play route.