The Xfire Debate Club

February 24th on Xfire - The Debate Club is Back!

Join Xfire on February 24th for its 13th meeting of the Xfire Debate Club (the first in over a year!). This meeting will discuss the nature of Free 2 Play vs. Subscription-based MMOs. As the MMO gaming world expands, are you more likely to play free games or those which cost $15 a month?
  • Free sounds good, but what are the trade-offs?
  • Does quality or quantity matter more?
  • Is one business model more sustainable than the other?
  • With Free 2 Play games becoming such a driving force, where do you see MMOs going in general?
Come debate with us! Speak your mind and find out what industry professionals, journalists, and your fellow gamers think!

Our Guests

Moderator: Tony Colafrancesco

Tony Colafrancesco is the Director of Content and Business Development for MMO Life, which operates a number of MMO related portals for gaming news, game reviews, videos , interviews and events. Tony also leads business development for MMO Cluster, providing for Social Networking and Community for gamers, which is part of the MMO Life family. Prior to MMO Life, Tony held executive and management positions in the game industry at PlaySpan, AOL (AIM), EA and Wild Tangent. Previous to the Video Game industry, Tony worked in the graphic arts industry for Xerox, Kodak and SGI.

More info:

Cody Bye

Cody Bye is the executive editor for Ten Ton Hammer, an online gaming network devoted specifically to massively multiplayer online games and their communities. Cody has been involved with the massively multiplayer online gaming movement for over ten years and has spent time in dozens of online games, playing everything from Ultima Online to Runes of Magic. As the MMO industries continues to mature, Cody hopes to help enlighten consumers and developers on current gaming trends, draw attention to emerging markets, and promote entertaining and educational editorial practices.

More info:

Randall Price

Randy Price is the SVP of Global Business & Legal Affairs at ArenaNet, Inc., the developer of the best-selling Guild Wars® MMO. At ArenaNet, he leads the Business Team, handling such matters as business development, operations and publishing activities. Prior to joining ArenaNet, Randy was a corporate Partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, an international law firm with approximately 700 attorneys, where he worked with numerous technology companies (including ArenaNet) in all aspects of their businesses, including business planning, venture capital financing, technology licensing, and mergers and acquisitions.

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Arend Stührmann

Moving to Iceland from Northern Ireland, where he was previously engaged in research in the field of interpersonal communication and developmental psychology, Arend Stührmann joined CCP's customer support division as an intern in September 2006. In addition to providing customer support in English and German, Arend also worked on refining the German localization of the EVE Online client, translation of marketing material, development of support material and training of new customer support personnel. He became an Associate Producer in the fall of 2007 and now acts as the liaison between CCP's Shanghai and Reykjavik offices, coordinating the work on the EVE China project between various company departments. His other responsibilities include overseeing the project to bring EVE Online to the Mac and Linux operating systems, and to assist in the management of the Reykjavik content development department as needs require.

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Krystalle Voecks

Krystalle Voecks is a Contributing Editor for Massively and WoWInsider, and does some freelance writing for Creative Loafing in her hometown of Tampa, FL. A gamer since a very early age, she started by designing her own games in BASIC, but realized she's far better at writing than coding. Wandering aimlessly through a landscape of early FPS and adventure/RPGs, Krystalle fell in love with MMOs when her friend suggested they play this 'new game called EverQuest' together; she hasn't stopped playing them since.

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Christian Wehrlin

While being a "normal" IT-Consultant after he studied Business Informatics, Christian was connected to the MMORPG-worlds from the day they emerged from the depths of the Internet. Over the years he shared his knowledge and insights with other players on several different websites, managed one of the biggest German free-to-play websites, and also worked occasionally as a consultant for a german Gaming-TV-company, before he finally reached as the current Customer Support Manager.

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Josh Sell

Josh Sell is a Producer at Aeria Games, one of the fastest growing free to play gaming communities. Previously the Producer for Project Torque at Aeria, for the past year he has been involved with another of their games, Shaiya. His current responsibilities include project, product, and revenue management of the free to play game. With his own passion for gaming, Josh never tires of using that inspiration to help publish and grow the products under his direction.

More info:

Fred White

Fred White is the Director of Marketing & Communications at YNK Interactive in Orange County, California, home of the free-to-play MMORPGs "Rohan: Blood Feud" and "Seal Online: Evolution". Prior to joining YNK Interactive, Fred sharpened his game industry teeth on the advertising agency side where he led marketing and communications initiatives for such clients as Electronic Arts and Sega, among others. His first MMO love was a little game named, "Asheron's Call". He's long since moved on from that romance, but he continues to date new and interesting MMOs that he meets. And while he spends his days in the PC game world, Fred has never met a console he didn't like.

More info:

Adam Mersky

Adam Mersky is the Director of Communications for Turbine, Inc., the largest privately held online game studio in North America. He brings over 14 years of experience managing communications programs for a full range of companies in the technology and entertainment sectors including Yahoo!, Capitol Records, Rhino Records and Real Networks. Adam has been gaming for over 25 years since he got his first Apple II+ back in the ‘80s and loves that he gets to spend his days promoting games that bring people together.

More info:

Join The Debate!

Feb. 24th at 5pm EST / 2pm PST (22:00 GMT)

Read the transcripts!

Main Floor Transcript! Open Debate Transcript!

The Xfire Debate Club is open to all Xfire users.

The Two-Handed Sword

What is The Two-Handed Sword?
The Xfire Debate Club is a forum for intelligent discussion on today's most pressing gaming questions. The Xfire Debate Club will bring together industry insiders, political figures and hardcore gamers in a live moderated chat.

Join the Clan!
After each debate, the Xfire team will read over the transcripts. Top debaters will be invited into the Xfire Debate Club Clan. Clan members will gain privileges at upcoming Debate Club meetings.

Up Your Rank!
Continued participation in Xfire Debate Club meetings will result in promotions (8 ranks total).

Visit the Debate Club Clan HQ!

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Transcript Archive

Mobile Gaming
(Apr. 28th, 2009)

Future of COD
(Mar. 18th, 2009)

F2P vs. P2P MMOs
(Feb. 24th, 2009)

Independent Games
(Jan. 25th, 2008)

Gamers' Holiday
(Dec. 20th, 2007)

Best of Gaming 2007
(Dec. 5th, 2007)

Women in Gaming
(Oct. 25th, 2007)

The Future of Gaming
(Sept. 14th, 2007)

In-Game Economies
(Aug. 21st, 2007)

WoW: The Character Classes
(June 19th, 2007)

The Console War
(June 7th, 2007)

Censorship in Games
(Apr. 26th, 2007)

WoW: Life after Level 70
(Apr. 11th, 2007)

The Future of Counter-Strike
(Feb. 28th, 2007)

WoW: The Burning Crusade
(Jan. 31st, 2007)