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Pay Once, Persistent World MMO’s Catching Fire

by William Schwartz


Over the past few months I’ve been noticing a growing pattern in MMORPG releases. That being the presence of pay once, always online, persistent world games; games where you can actually fall behind in world content and social politics if you aren’t online at least once a week.

It helps to not be tied down to a C4 loaded plot train of doom

Games like this are consistently popping up with greater and greater frequency. They fascinate me because of the complete freedom that you have to make any character, and be who you want to be. It helps to not be tied down to a C4 loaded plot train of doom (depending on what game you are playing). Freedom is a growing dynamic that many people need, be it roaming in GTA, being awesome in any of the Assassins Creeds, or even just running into people on a sidewalk and driving a van into a jewelery store…which then proceeds to give you a microwave as loot  (APB Reloaded).

The Defiance Game


The game paired with the hit SyFy Tv Series was the first PWMMO that I really noticed. Alas, It’s down time for maintenance was fairly consistent (to be expected when spanning multiple platforms), leading me to eventually lose interest and move on. Although since my departure they seem to have gotten a handle on extreme down-times and even improved some features. Maybe it’s time to get back into it.

Tom Clancy’s The Division


Being released late 2014, we will see yet another addition to the PWMMO scene. With, what seems so far, to be amazing game mechanics and beautiful graphics. Paired with a pay once, persistent world game plan, I am heavily looking forward to this title.

Mods and standalone post-mods seem to be influencing the open world MMO scene as well. Titles like DayZ and Infestation: Survivor Stories (both being zombie survival games) are throwing in their contributions to make open world game-play a massively popular front. Being able to choose your own story seems to be growing in demand. Titles that make you feel like you are chained to a conveyor belt of plot, seem to be slipping.

Not only are the above examples contributing, but Ubisoft itself seems to be making a push towards to always online open world concept games with great enthusiasm; especially with The Division. (The Future is Always-Online, to Ubisoft. – Conor McNamara)

I find that with Pay once, persistent, open-world MMO’s, we can all start enjoying our games more deeply and for a longer duration – A good move on the developers parts – Imagine what we will be able to do in 5 years with video games. Maybe a gaming console will look a lot more like the ones out of the movie Gamer?

- This article was updated on:February 21st, 2018

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