Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pay to Play Online Text Games

There are a lot of online text games or MUDs that can be played for free. There are some games out there that are still charging players to play.

Monthly subscription:
This model for making money on online text based gaming seems to be a dying breed but there are still a few MUDs out there that require a monthly subscription fee to play in the full version of the game. Many games in this model will have additional monthly fees for access to special features or areas. A few examples are:

DragonRealms: $14.95 - $49.95 per month
GemStone IV: $14.95 - $49.95 per month

Pay for Perks:
Some other online text games charge for either monthly or one time fees for "perks". Such perks can be experience points, coin, storage for items, extra or bonus items, higher quality equipment, player houses, access to premium areas, or inclusion in staff run events or roleplaying. Examples of these games are:

All of the Iron Realm Entertainment Games -

Per-minute or hour Charges: I don't know of any MUDs that actually require players to pay by the minute, but I am including this for historical reasons. Back in the 80's and 90's there were online text based games associated with online services. As examples Dragon's Gate was available first on GEnie and then on America Online (AOL), Isle of Kesmai was available on CompuServ and Gemstone II was available on GEnie. These games could be very expensive at $6 to $36 dollars an hour. That is more than what most MMORPGs ask for as a monthly subscription now a days. Times have certainly changed!

Most pay to play games have free trials and pay for perk games are free to play. It can sometimes be hard for a player to tell what type of game they are on. I would recommend talking to game staff in the first couple of hours of play to determine if they have any sort of pay systems in place.

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