Champions Online going free-to-play Jan. 25

Atari and Cryptic Studios' superhero-themed MMORPG taking live microtransaction-based payment scheme later this month.

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Today, Sony Online Entertainment launched its eagerly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game DC Universe Online, bringing with it increased competition in the online superhero space. Soon, SOE will find out if free-to-play will be DCUO's kryptonite, as Atari and Cryptic Studios took the opportunity today to confirm that their own superhero-themed MMORPG, Champions Online, will expand its payment options to include microtransaction-based gaming beginning January 25.

This boot to the face is on the house.

When Atari makes the switch over, gamers will be able to download Champions Online at no cost and play for an unlimited amount of time. However, those players will be able to augment their experience by purchasing premium content, including adventure packs, items, powers, and costume pieces. This content will be offered through what Cryptic is calling the C-Store, a Web-based and in-game marketplace.

Gamers will also have the option to continue paying a flat rate for Champions Online. Both new and continuing players can opt in to the $15-per-month subscription rate, which will grant them access to "all of the game's base content, missions, zones, and adventure packs," according to a Cryptic representative. Subscribers will also be granted a C-Store stipend, where they can purchase additional content such as boosts and buffs.

Switching to a free-to-play model has proven to be a viable option for MMORPGs struggling to attract and retain subscribers. Last week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Turbine announced that Lord of the Rings Online had tripled its revenue since venturing to the free-to-play sector in September. However, the top-tier free-to-play MMORPG space is growing increasingly crowded, with Dungeons & Dragons Online and EverQuest II also adopting the model.

More information on Champions Online's free-to-play scheme is available through the game's website.

Discussion

59 comments
Xaviersx
Xaviersx

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

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

Don't they all fall at some point, if not fail. Seems only WoW has a life unending, even in a fickle economy. I don't even see DCUO having a strong or long lifespan, . . . I don't remember seeing old media adverts (tv). Champions is g(r)asping at those turned off by the same model they employ and other employ, the monthly fee and you playing it enough to feel that its justified. If they ever get their server speed past a crawl for loading/patching, I'll play it for free and see if their is enough entertainment value . . .

punisher70
punisher70

when i bought this a year ago it was decent. but now that it's " free" to play it kind of sucks. it's very limited in character creation an what type of character you can create unless you put up the cash for atari tokens. but i guess what do you expect for free ....right?

TrueIori
TrueIori

@Anxiety21 Don't Forget the army of mindless alts for grinding Turbine points....well i guess it would be Cryptic points in this case xD.

monson21502
monson21502

meh, would have to be pay me to play in order for me to play another mmo:wink:

Rikudo-Pein
Rikudo-Pein

I agree with others. When I first tried Champions it was OK, but it was pretty boring. It's like a failed DC Universe.

lucfonzy
lucfonzy

Cool, been wanting to try this actually, I'm giving lotro a go atm, it seems ok.

MrSelf-Destruct
MrSelf-Destruct

@eynonz Also, DCUO >>>>>>>>>>>> Champions. I would rather pay for a quality game than bother playing a crappy one at all. And face it, kiddos, the game is going free2play cause it out right sucks.

Expo_Smacko
Expo_Smacko

Can't say I am surprised by this at all. It's MMO's like this that have to do this on their last resort to keep the game alive. Honestly the game is garbage.

eynonz
eynonz

I dont get the people who are like "OMG champions online is free to play, its much better than DCUO"......i feel that a subscription based mmo will have more content and will genrally have better support

DP1130
DP1130

I find it funny with F2P MMO's. You can pay the monthly sub and get "most" of the content LMFAO!! If a player chooses to pay the 15 a month, it shouldn't be "most" it should be "all" of the content.

Colonel-Snake
Colonel-Snake

I think free to play is a good idea honestly. I like to still play the game even if I'm not P2P anymore. When I finally get some spare money I become P2P again. Seems like a good idea in my opinion. Then again... I think F2P MMO would be more appealing for console users. Sony should have made an option for DC Universe to have a F2p component in it. If they did that DC Universe would have attracted even more Console users to get into MMOs.

Anxiety21
Anxiety21

Free2Play = Free to play as long as you dont mind having the cheapest armor, weapons, mounts ...etc and getting owned by Mr. money bags..and you end up being an Epic FAIL master! Microtransactions will cost you more than a sub. 180.00sub a yr versus oh I have to have that epic sword for +90.00 ..oh and that armor has + 100 hit points and stun resist +110.00 better throw in the shield +20.00 too, it has crit drop..ooh I better get a 200% xp pack so i can lvl faster too +8.00... uhm a month hasnt even passed and I've spent 228.00...um do I get vaseline with that??? ;P

LORDOFGONDOLIN
LORDOFGONDOLIN

What a joke Cryptic is, saying "both new and continuing players can opt in to the $15-per-month subscription rate, which will grant them access to "most of the game's content." If you're going to pay a monthly fee you should get all the game's content. This is why most people don't like them, and why almost all of their game suck and fail.

chris98092
chris98092

$15/mo for "most of the game's content"? Wrong.

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

Sure there are plenty of free mmos, but for the longest time the best we had was Rappelz and Flyff. It's exciting to see some high quality free mmos coming to market. Now when the best free mmos are mentioned we don't have to call out a bunch of korean junk.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

The only way I'd ever play a game by Cryptic is if I got reimbursed for my time and had access to mind altering hallucinogenics.

Goyoshi12
Goyoshi12

Oh great...so now that I bought the game it's now worthless since I can play it for free? Oh what the h***.

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

i'd just like to know what kind of microtransactions they have. if it's buying weapons, then that's total crap. in cases like those whoever spends the most money will have the best stuff. and $15/month is still too high for what mmorpgs provide in terms of content. usually it's just a patch/update to fix a bug or some lame special events that happen every year. also, i like how they say $15 per month will get you "most of the game's content" i just see this whole free to play thing is another big scam that people will fall for. guild wars managed to be totally free to play after you buy the game...there were only a few annoyances like buying an extra storage bag..

IrshDrkWlf
IrshDrkWlf

This is actually a good mmo. I played it during and after beta, it has one of the greatest character customizations out there. It also, has three control schemes - fantasy (typical setup), superhero(play like X-men Legends, hack n' slash style), and controller(I think is the last one). They announce the F2P back at the end of Summer '10 and finally placed an exact date for it. I might pick this back up on 1/25, it was fun to play.

IrshDrkWlf
IrshDrkWlf

This is actually a good mmo. I played it during and after beta, it has one of the greatest character customizations out there. It also, has three control schemes - fantasy (typical setup), superhero(play like X-men Legends, hack n' slash style), and controller(I think is the last one). They announce the F2P back at the end of Summer '10 and finally placed an exact date for it. I might pick this back up on 1/25, it was fun to play.

jameslee1997
jameslee1997

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

pelvist
pelvist

I lost interested in this one and totally forgot about it TBH, oh and Wilhelm scream at 1:12.

Abulon99
Abulon99

Cryptic annonce it the day DCUO is release! What a great company you are! Champion was garbage and Star trek online a big dissapointment so ever for free it is a big NO THANKS YOU!

salvucci91
salvucci91

WHERE'S MY MARVEL MMORPG!?!?! VENOOOOOOOM!!!

ceribro
ceribro

i think is more like sucks2play cuz from what i see is what mmo's do when they fail

slysin
slysin

F2P is like playing the penny slots. You think you are not spending much, but after a few weeks you realize you just threw away 10k. (not my personal experience)

yoda101280
yoda101280

I knew this was just a matter of time lol, CO is a pretty horrible game, in a lot of ways it wasn't even better than city of heroes, seems those devs didn't learn much from when they created that game.

Hate_Squad
Hate_Squad

microtransactions make the game much worse and inbalanced like in lotro where you can buy xp boosts, etc.Practically everything requires turbine points and the vip subscription only gives you 1500 points which is nothing.Its "pay to win" now ,of course i can understand how it has tripled its revenue cause there are tons of dumb people out there that will waste a fortune on a game just to be the best,they may not be a lot but the tons of money they waste make up for it.

BenFireFox
BenFireFox

honestly i completly forgot this game but if you compare it just visually with dcuo this game kinda looks 5 years old

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

very nice! now it's time to buy it...

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

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

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

I hope people will stop supporting free to play games. I don't like the idea of sorting through hundreds of significant micro-transactions one day so don't play these games.

dashawnthl
dashawnthl

I was so hyped for this game before it came out. I would go to utube watch every video on this game i could find. Then i brought and played it, it was a major let down. I dont think i would even waste my time playing this game again even if it is free.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Well, looks like I'm going to be getting on the Champions Online bandwagon! I refuse to pay sub. fees, but I'm OK with microtransactions, as it feels like you're buying an item, not renting a service.

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

LOTRO and DDO have actually done great. I think after breaking even with a P2P service, going the route of microtransactions seems to be a great decision.

stakex007
stakex007

Free to Play is the future.... its really amazing how much money people will drop on a game when they aren't forced to.

KillerJuan77
KillerJuan77

I would get it but the game had horrendous performance issues, I think I'll just get DCUO or City Of Heroes.

Crashbox45
Crashbox45

Well, after seeing the success of LOTRO and DDO when those two games went F2P, It would be fair to say that Cryptic has gone the right path with Champions Online now that it's going to be free to play.

moncealyo
moncealyo

Thats great that dc universe online is going to free to play...... Oh wait I got confused because they look exactly the same.

EDD213
EDD213

NO GOD DAMN ITEM MALLING

shakensparco
shakensparco

I like the subscription service better. That way, you know you aren't getting shafted because other players can afford to buy the best items.

eyeball2452
eyeball2452

Synopsis ... box cost + subscription + nickle and diming an MMO playerbase via micro-transactions is not a valid business model.

Rob_101
Rob_101

Hope they do the same with Star Trek Online.

TENTHROW2
TENTHROW2

@zo70 rofl! what?!?! spelling and grammar FTL? haha... so from your statement, a bunch of LAWYERS are better BEFORE a pc? next time try 'CONSOLES are better THAN pc's' stay in school

Phoenix534
Phoenix534

Doesn't stop the game from being terrible.

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

@SolidTy Lol, eternity, slight overstatement seeing as you can cancel at the beginning or end of the month if it stops being your cup of tea.

MatthewSnyder86
MatthewSnyder86

On the 25th, well I'll know what I'll be playing, but its no Champions Online its..... drum roll ! ! ! ! ! ! DEAD SPACE 2!!!!!!!!!!