Aion goes free to play in February

Fantasy MMOG to be free across Europe; existing players to receive Veteran accounts; paid-for Gold Packs to offer gameplay benefits.

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Fantasy online role-playing game Aion will drop paid-for subscriptions and become free to play in Europe from February 2012, publisher NCsoft has announced. The change will roll out across Western Europe, with UK, France, and Germany seeing the new payment model first.

In the free-to-play version, Aion will have Free and Veteran account types. Those players who purchased the original boxed version will receive the latter account type. Free accounts will have some restrictions applied "to protect players from bots and real-money trading, which will not be applied to the Veteran accounts," says NCsoft in a Q&A on the switchover.

Aion: F2P from February.

All players will also have the option to buy a Gold Pack, which temporarily removes all restrictions and adds certain benefits, such as lower cooldown times for instances and increased player-versus-player currency rewards.

NCsoft is partnering with German publisher Gameforge to make the transition happen. Gameforge's 38-member team will run the game across Europe, working with NCsoft to "further develop and create new content for Aion."

"Our goal with going free-to-play is to bring the Aion experience to as many players as possible across the whole of Europe," says NCsoft. "Transitioning to a Free2Play model will allow us to show to all these players and fans of MMORPGs what the Aion experience is all about and why it is still the number one MMORPG in Korea today."

Aion, which launched in late 2009, is the latest in a number of massively multiplayer online role-playing games that have turned free-to-play to attract more players; DC Universe Online also recently made the switch. Aion's official site admits "in the last few months the lands in [Aion's game world] Atreia have become more and more deserted."

Discussion

34 comments
DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I was charmed by Aion until about lvl 15. From there on, it becomes a chore.

sorcererxx12
sorcererxx12

@Gelugon_baat , i didn't say it is a perfect game, but the best i've played so far. Also, I don't consider paying to level up faster as play to win, as long as the not paying player can get exactly the same game, but at a slower pace. I think that this is better explained in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWMBeLrZoyw

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Witchsight
Witchsight

Thats fine... Id just be in it for the character creation step :o

flashn00b
flashn00b

Looks like that World of Warcraft turned another MMO into pay-to-win. I wonder if all those Star Wars: The Old Republic pre-orders will end up being wasted money due to Pay to Win.

FuryX-4
FuryX-4

Free2Play is a good move, but usually it ends up Pay2Play or Pay for more contents and also a sign that it didn't do great for an MMO.

zyugiohz
zyugiohz

Nothing special, Free to Play = Pay to Win, as usual, just like F2P Mmos out there

sorcererxx12
sorcererxx12

I now play world of tanks, and for me it is the best F2P model i've seen so far. I played for about 1 month, i have 2 mid level tanks(tier 5 out of 10) and i am an equal to every paying player. I was tempted to spend some cash but then i figured that the game is enjoyable even at this pace. (T-50-2 for everyone familliar to the game). So with all this "free to play is a scam" crap, just get over your ignorance and try/read about the other games out there.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Yeah free to play actually sucks for anyone that gets really into the game. End game usually ends up costing you way more then paying a small monthly fee. I dont play any of these games anymore but I used to play wow pretty hardcore when it first came out.

sorcererxx12
sorcererxx12

If you like a fantasy mmo, this is the one for you. I played it for about 6 months and i had a lot of fun. Yes, initially it was a grind fest but with the latest updates they added a lot more quests and a lot more things to do, and leveling is not that bad anymore. The graphics si what got me in and the spectacular fantasy world it holds. I don't know how it would work as F2P, but i warmly recommend trying it out.

wexorian
wexorian

who's turn now? we got wow and inc swtor here in list wich one will become 1st free to play? not wow i think :DDD

Albaficas
Albaficas

"James00715 It's funny how times change. I remember when this game was coming out and all the PvP players were saying WoW would lose millions to Aion. Looks like they all came back to WoW after a few months. I wonder when it goes F2P in US. Not sure I would try it, but maybe if I got bored of all my games." Dont worry blizz fangirl swtor already started doing it the biggest legions in wow are going to swtor with more than 2mil already playing atm wich is the mose succesful launch in mmo to date and thats just the ppl who pre order the game and have EGA so i wont mention all those who will buy the game via digital and store once the game "officialy" launch p.s have fun in your 1 pixel game farmville. swtro is taking over

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@stailcookie League of Legends is one of the biggest if not the biggest online game right now. It is now part of competitive play up there with Counter Strike and Starcraft. It has always been free to play, yet it is better than most games out there. Being free to play doesn't say anything about the gameplay.

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

We all knew this was coming. Although Free to Play is better called Free to Try.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Have fun paying for things that you would normally get in a game as part of the game. I believe this is a form of DLC type thing no matter how you look at it and its just killing video games all around. All they have to do is charge people $1 - $2 to play on the server and thats it but no! they want $12 - $15 and with this tactic they hope to get more from you. Its money money money for these games devs now in days and they really want that MW3 money no matter what even if its cutting up a Final Fantasy game that took 5 years to make so it can go multi and get to more people ..err money.. ugh

James00715
James00715

It's funny how times change. I remember when this game was coming out and all the PvP players were saying WoW would lose millions to Aion. Looks like they all came back to WoW after a few months. I wonder when it goes F2P in US. Not sure I would try it, but maybe if I got bored of all my games.

firedrakes
firedrakes

seen it coming. most mmorpg follow same formula and gameplay .finale people are noticing this

setuwa
setuwa

@stailcookie FTP= larger customer base

commando1992
commando1992

When will people realize MMOs go F2P because the game simply is not good enough to compete in the market? F2P is simply a farce. If it was truly free, why would any sane company manager make their games F2P? All it does is give an incentive for people to play half a game for free, and then they need to pay to play the full game. I may pay 15 bucks a month for WoW or TOR, but at least I'm getting the same full access that every other subscriber is.

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

GW2 is free to play. I'd rather dedicate my time to something that isn't a gank and grind fest.

Dennarai
Dennarai

I'm really amazed it made it this long on a pay-to-play model. This game was total crap.

Dark_Link87
Dark_Link87

blegh i bought this game and i was playing the early access, before the game officially released i was like ok i want my money back.

RazorWolf327
RazorWolf327

So long as it's "Free to Play" like DC Universe Online, opening the full game with very minor restrictions is great. The way you can obtain the add-on content is also a great way to do it. What it shouldn't be is "Free to play, Pay to Win" like Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest II. Nickel and diming you the whole way toward max level with big restrictions and not letting you access any of the game's end game content unless you have a subscription.

Vraeth
Vraeth

F2P roughly means "More expensive to play than subscription." F2P is a farce.

deadruler08
deadruler08

the first WOW killer has been killed

leepialong
leepialong

surprise they withstand this long enough. this game still grind fest.

dragonsama
dragonsama

I notice this says "Europe" and no mention of Free to play in the US. I was always interested in it but didn't want to pay for an MMO right now. If it goes FFP I might try it out and buy some stuff if I like it.

dinuattila
dinuattila

Just when I quit the game. Well maybe I will go back in February just until GW 2 comes out.

el3m2tigre
el3m2tigre

Hope Blade & Souls goes the same way.

wurdmann
wurdmann

Still not enough to make me come back. The grind on this one was boring.

Vickman178
Vickman178

I wanted to play this game when it first came out but I never want to pay for a subscription :P maby I'll give it a try...