Sony Online Entertainment will soon be taking a dramatic step to breathe new life into its seminal massively multiplayer online role-playing game, EverQuest. Today, the online game publisher announced that it will be marking EverQuest's 13th anniversary by introducing a free-to-play, microtransaction-based payment option to the game beginning in early March.
Following the change, EverQuest players will have three options to access the game. The Gold option will function most similarly to the current monthly subscription plan, opening up the full game for $15 a month. With the subscription, Gold subscribers will also receive a monthly stipend of 500 Station Cash, SOE's cross-game virtual currency.
The Silver membership tier costs $5, and a free-to-play option is also available. These two tiers see players limited to four races and four classes, with the remaining available for purchase. Players will also be limited to Tier 1 spells, will have currency maximums, and may not use prestige-level items, in addition to other restrictions.
A full breakdown of what each payment method entails is available through EverQuest's official website.
EverQuest follows its 2004 sequel, EverQuest 2, in making the free-to-play transition. SOE has also found substantial success with the free-to-play model in DC Universe Online, which saw player population spike 1,000 percent following its switch in November.
[CORRECTION:] This story originally reported that the Silver membership required a $5 monthly fee. This is incorrect. The Silver membership can be purchased for a one-time $5 buy-in. GameSpot regrets the error.