In one clear sentence – no, New World is not a free to play game. You have to purchase the base game in order to play any of the content. However, there are some "free" aspects that make New World more accessible and affordable compared to other premium MMORPGs. Keep reading this detailed guide to understand what you get for free and what requires payment in New World.
MMORPGs and Gaming Addiction
Free-to-play design in online games has been criticized for enabling gaming addiction. The endless grind to unlock new characters and powerups without upfront cost can hook players into spending hundreds of hours in the game chasing the next reward.
New World circumvents some of these addictive loops by being buy-to-play. You pay once up front and can then play at your own pace without feeling pressured to engage in predatory microtransactions. The game tries to emphasize the joy of exploration and community over addictive skinner box progression systems seen in mobile free-to-play games.
"New World’s Buy to Play model gives the developers a chance to make something that respects players’ time and doesn’t incentivize predatory monetization models." – Forbes Gaming Analyst Paul Tassi
However, some players argue the full price tag limits the accessibility and player base. There are merits to both perspectives – it‘s about finding the right balance between avoiding exploitation and providing value.
Content Creator Perspectives
Popular Twitch streamer Asmongold has voiced concerns about New World‘s barrier to entry:
"I think the box cost hurts the game a lot more than it helps. Having a box cost and then a cash shop is just double dipping in my opinion."
However, YouTuber Josh Strife Hayes thinks the upfront cost leads to a better experience:
"I’m genuinely glad New World opted for a full priced entry rather than being free-to-play. It signifies a step away from predatory monetization and creates a healthier playerbase."
Opinions are mixed, but many believe a hybrid model with a free trial and paid full game could get the best of both worlds.
How New World Compares to Other MMORPGs
Here‘s a comparison of how New World‘s payment structure contrasts with other top MMORPGs on the market:
|Game||Upfront Cost||Subscription Fee||In-Game Shop|
|World of Warcraft||Free||$15 per month||Cosmetics, Game Services|
|Final Fantasy XIV||$59.99||$12.99 per month||Cosmetics, Story Skip|
|Elder Scrolls Online||$59.99||Optional $14.99 per month||Cosmetics, Story Skip, Gear|
- Table data sourced from official game websites, October 2022.
As shown above, New World stands out with no mandatory subscription and fewer upsells than competitors. The tradeoff is higher initial cost, but overall expenditure is lower for casual players.
Player Feedback on Free Content
Scouring New World forums and communities provides insight into what players like and dislike about the free vs paid content.
- Appreciation for major content updates being free rather than paid expansions
- Satisfaction with only cosmetic-only cash shop not affecting gameplay
- Praise for the buy-to-play model avoiding manipulative free-to-play systems
- Desire for a free-to-play trial period to demo the game
- Complaints about the $40 entry price being too high
- Requests for paid season passes to fund bigger updates vs cosmetic shop
- Arguments that a free-to-play model would increase the player base
There are good faith perspectives on both sides. The consensus seems to be keeping major gameplay content free while offering reasonable on-ramps like free trials and seasonal subscriptions.
Industry Expert Analysis
Gaming industry analysts have weighed in on the revenue models that serve players best while still being profitable.
"Buy-to-play makes for the healthiest MMORPG environment versus subscription or free-to-play. Players get the most complete experience without manipulative monetization. The key is avoiding greed once players are locked in." – Dr. Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies
"Optional cosmetic-only shops are far better than ‘pay-to-win‘ shops that gate player power and progression behind purchases. However, free trials and free-to-play entry levels can help build the player base as long as predatory practices are restricted at higher levels." – Netta Labrador, CEO of Gamer Psychology Inc.
The consensus is that upfront purchase fees should unlock full gameplay content, while optional subscriptions and ethical in-game shops can provide revenue without exploitation.
Evaluating New World‘s Free Options
Looking at the total picture, New World offers respectable free options despite the mandatory purchase.
No subscription fee means you pay once and can play indefinitely without recurring costs. This avoids feeling pressured to play just to justify a sub.
Major content additions and features are free updates, rather than paid expansions like World of Warcraft. You get new quests, weapons, enemies, and lands without paying extra.
The in-game store only sells cosmetics like outfits, skins, emotes, etc. No gameplay boosts or powerups are locked behind real money purchases.
Considering these factors, New World provides strong value for penny-pinching gamers averse to aggressive monetization techniques. The world of Aeternum can be your playground indefinitely after one upfront payment.
Should You Try New World as a Free Player?
If you‘ve been itching for a new MMORPG but don‘t want the recurring cost of subscriptions, I recommend giving New World a shot.
The initial box purchase is an understandable barrier. But once you are in, you have endless content and updates free of additional charges or predatory schemes.
Explore the vast open world, join a company for massive PvP battles, craft the perfect gear set – a fulfilling MMORPG experience awaits without needing to endlessly feed real-world money into it.
See if New World‘s mystical realm enchants you, especially if you seek an online world free of exploitative monetization practices. The satisfying core gameplay loop and lack of subscription costs offers strong value.
Give New World a try if you want more freedom and agency in an MMORPG without the nonstop monetization demands of many free-to-play alternatives. The setup encourages playing for the love of adventure rather than an endless virtual rat race.
Let me know in the comments below if this guide helped explain what content you can enjoy in New World without endless microtransaction pressure! I‘m happy to answer any other questions.