Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why The Age Of Conan "FTP" Business Model Not Only Sucks, But Should Be Illegal

 Let's say you're in the market to buy a new car. You've been pretty happy with the cars you've bought in the past from a certain dealer, let's call it Funcom Motors. You head down to Funcom Motors and talk to one of their sales people. You tell the salesman that you're pretty happy with the last car you bought from them, let's call it a Turan XL, but hey, that one's getting a bit old. You've got a little money to spend and you're looking to move up to something a little newer and nicer this time.

The salesman directs you over to one of the newer models, let's call this one the Godslayer 5000. It's got more features, a nicer paint job, and it's a bit more expensive than what you paid for your Turan XL a while back. You like the Godslayer and you decide you want one. You tell the salesman you're ready to buy, but he tells you that before you buy a Godslayer 5000, there's something you should know.

He tells you that unlike the Turan XL, each Godslayer 5000 comes with a special built-in device that's controlled by Funcom Motors. Once you buy the Godslayer, it's yours, you own it, but unless you keep paying Funcom Motors a certain amount of money every month over and above the purchase price, they'll activate that device and render the car undrivable until you start paying again.

You protest, but the salesman tells you that that's the deal. If you want a Godslayer 5000, not only do you have to pay the entire purchase price of the car up front but you have to keep paying this monthly fee or they'll press the button and make it useless.

Do you:

A) buy the car and accept the conditions.

B) leave and go to another dealership looking for a better deal.

C) head to the nearest police station and file an extortion and racketeering complaint against Funcom Motors.

If this actually happened in the offline world, chances are most people would head right to the police station and Funcom Motors would be in big trouble. Yet somehow, in the online world, this is considered not only legal but effective marketing...and then they wonder why so much of Age of Conan is now an unpopulated wasteland.