Guild Wars 2 will continue to support the subscription-less business model, which allows people to play online for free, once they've purchased the game. Flannum made clear that he isn't a fan of a business model that charges gamers a monthly fee, not only because of the questionable value proposition for consumers, but also because he believes it allows developers to become complacent about adding new content.
Flannum asserts that it's better to allow the audience to decide whether or not to purchase extra content on a case-by-case basis, rather than having a subscription-based environment where everyone pays monthly, regardless of whether or not additional content is added. "We actually have the continued support development model that encourages us to make cooler things than anyone else," he said. "If we have to sell you additional content like microtransaction content or anything like that, we have to give you something that you're going to want to buy. We have to earn your money."
If Premium DLC is incorporated into Guild Wars 2's business model, it could include things like additional dungeons, though Flannum said they're considering all possibilities that offer enough value that "players are going to be willing to pay for."
It remains to be seen if players will prefer a steadier stream of optional downloadable content that comes with a modest price tag over free content updates for all that are fewer and farther between.
After the interview, Flannum contacted PC Gamer with the following note of clarification about Guild Wars 2 post-release content:
We haven't decided on what exactly we are or aren't going to offer for money post-release. We're open to whatever our players seem most interested in. If, after release, you guys would like more story content, more dungeons, more events, more maps or whatever, it's something that we have to consider because ultimately making you happy is what makes us successful.
Whether we release that in DLC (like the bonus mission packs in GW1) or whether we do it through expansions (Like Eye of the North) is yet to be determined. As to whether or not there are going to be items like XP boosts available in the in game store, I can only reiterate what we've said before (and will continue to say); that we'll release details on it when they are available, and that our core philosophy of not requiring you to spend additional money to play the game and not making the game difficult or painful to play in order to encourage you to buy things from the store still stands.
Makes perfect sense for a subscription-less MMO.
I say, go ahead. NCSoft clearly have more sense than to make any extra content obligatory, and as long as that's fact, purchasing more of what you already like is a win/win condition for the customer.
(That is, no one's going to develop Wrath of the Lich King or Burning Crusade for free... No, TF2 updates don't count: different scope.)
And now in a way they are optionally charging for TF2 content.