"I had a dream. The value of all video gaming entertainment was made equal."
My idea is that you pay for one subscription fee (e.g. $20 a month) and you can choose whatever MMO game you want to play. You don't need to have purchased the game before hand (i.e. no upfront fee), you just pick your game and download it if necessary, then play. The download client would work very similar to how Steam works at the moment (including DRM). You would have one account and all games would be included. At the end of the month your subscription fee would be divided between the different gaming companies depending on the percentage time you played their game for that month. For example: If you play WoW for 15 hours and Guild Wars for 40 hours in the month, 27% of your $20 would go to Blizzard and 73% would go to ArenaNet.
I think this type of pricing model would be very appealing for the casual gamer. They wouldn't feel locked into having to play the same MMO all the time. They could check out new games without having to flip a large upfront fee.
The ease of game swapping would cause increased competitiveness between MMO companies. They would be forced to provide incentives like new content and special events in order to hold onto their gamers. The general MMO gaming experience would ultimately be improved.
Game companies would also benefit from this pricing model. There would be no need for demos anymore. The costs for distribution and marketing of their game would be greatly reduced. Gamers would be encouraged not to do illegal in-game things which would lead to an account banning, as an account ban would mean being locked out of all games for at least a month (all longer depending on the severity). It would also open the doors for smaller game companies, allowing them to compete with market giants.
The difficulty I foresee, would be getting such an initiative off the ground. The industry fat cats would definitely not want to share their subscription fees with the smaller independent companies. It would also be difficult getting a bunch of competing companies to join forces under the one pricing model :(
Oh well, I guess I can always dream...