In my attempt to get back into the blogging swing again I was reading an article on Darth Hater that wanted first impressions of the recent release f2p patch for The Old Republic. There's only a handful of comments, but what caught my eye were the couple that mention Guild Wars 2. In particular the comments and notion that GW2 was developed as f2p from the start and how much better that model is as opposed to games that are failing that eventually make the transition to the f2p model.
To those I would say this: Your fanboism is showing.
Look, I get that there are those who love this game, are dedicated to it and will defend it to the ends of the earth. It's not unlike having a favorite sports team or picking a political party. Yes GW2 has no subscription and you can play the game as much as you like once you've purchased the game. That's the snag though, you still have to purchase the game (at sixty bucks I might add) and only then can you play the game.
True f2p requires you to purchase nothing what so ever which removes the ultimate barrier of entry, something GW2 does not do. This is not a bash GW2 post, on the contrary despite my incessant complaining on twitter yesterday there are quite a few things I do happen to like about GW2, there are also some things I don't care for as well. But if all that is required to be f2p is to not have a monthly subscription but still require a one off purchase of the product, then wouldn't all games sold now be f2p as well, regardless of genre?
What makes say Call of Duty any different than GW2? They both have strong online components, neither requires you to spend money after a one time purchase and you can play them as much as you would like. Yes one is a shooter and the other is considered a MMO, but that's not much of an argument.
Really it's just a matter of semantics and what I believe f2p is or isn't may not fall in line with what others believe. I do however believe there is a misconception to the true meaning of f2p in a MMO and am of the opinion that until GW2 has multi-transaction items and removes the initial purchase, it's nothing more than a very large coop game masked as a MMO.