Pay-to-Play is dying...
More and more Free-to-Play games are showing up and many of these are online distributed. I think that we will expect to see less and less online games on the shelves and even less online pay to play games.
New business models, such as micropayments, are the new trend. With these, games can sometimes generate even more money than Pay-to-Play, but even more it easily knocks Pay-to-Play out of the competition.
Free-to-Play is reaching puberty!
The age of internet is here, and so is Free-to-Play. You don't need store distribution anymore. You got the internet! You dont need to charge players to play your game, give them the opportunity to enhance their gameplay with micro payments. Let the players choose what they want to pay for and how much.
Let the players design their own style of playing... and paying! If the players want to use their money to enhance their PvE, let them do that! If they want to use their money to enhance their PvP, heck why not?
PtP versus FtP
Pay-to-Play have the advatage that the players know that when they have bought the game, they wont need to put in any more money to enhance their gameplay. They already got it all! Although, not as many players might actually try out the game.
Free-to-Play offers the opportunity to play the game as it is and IF the player wants to he can pay smaller sums of money to enhance their gameplay. More people will try the game and possibly pay for it than with at Pay-to-Play model. Although players that don't want to or can't use micropayments (low age or similar) might find the game unfair when the paying players get advatages or a more enhanced gameplay than they do.
This is my assumtion: Free-to-Play games are the future and the present. Game developers that make Online Multiplayer games will have to adapt to this business model if they are to survive the competition against big Free-to-Play giants as Bigpoint in Germany.