It goes something like this:
I don't fully understand the attraction of MMORPG as it is. My experiences with them have not been great generally. It's probably something to do with my irrational fear of interacting with actual people*. They're fun enough but what really confuses me is the pricing model, not to mention that people actually go along with it.
So there's a subscription fee. I can kind of understand that because everyone has to maintain servers and administrators and ongoing support for the game. What I don't like about most MMORPGS is that you have to buy the game itself first, and any add-ons!
I refuse to believe some of these are not making a substantial profit from server fees, especially someone like Warhammer online, World of Warcraft, etc... And to see them charge for add-ons and the main game itself was surprising. Not as surprising as thinking how many people must have bought them by now.
There are quite a few of these coming out soon: Aion, Champions Online, Fallen Earth are all being advertised on Direct2Drive right now for instance. All for an initial cost and then a monthly subscription fee afterwards.
They all look to be after part of the WoW pie, but I very much doubt there's enough for everyone!
* only people who play mmorpg's though, they scare me