EverQuest going free-to-play in early March

Sony Online Entertainment's seminal MMO game celebrating 13th anniversary with switch to freemium business model.

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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.

Veil of Alaris is EQ's 18th expansion.

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.

Discussion

31 comments
atopp399
atopp399

They should just reduce the cost to $5 per month. I tried it back when they opened the latest progression server and it was a lot of fun but they decided to nerf experience so that it was even harder to get than it was back in '99. I couldn't put up with it so I quit again. It was fun though and brought back a lot of memories. I really hope Everquest Next is a lot like the original EQ only updated. I loved the group aspects. MMO games now days can all be soloed pretty much until max level easily and you are rewarded with epic quality stuff. I would love a game that requires grouping and massive raids again.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Hmm i love the comments saying it won't do any good. Yes totally won't do any good...never mind its been pay to play til now...never mind that it just NOW needs a buff....do you new gen kids have any idea what kind of staying power that means this game had? Course not.... I won't play it myself(again) but for many this is the true birth of MMOs and its still freakin solid.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

I like the fact that the original EQ actually lasted longer as a pay-monthly MMO than it's sequel EQ2. That actually speaks highly of the original Everquest.

Evenios
Evenios

i didnt mind the free to play for everquest 2 paying just 5 bucks unlocks a few limitations and you dont have to pay a monthly fee its not too bad honestly. Evequest 1 though is pretty dated and im suprised they still have it around though i guess a lot of people may still have older hardware and like the game . heh. i dont mind free to play everquest 2's free to play isnt too bad compared to some.... honestly i wish more mmos would go free to play cuz to be quite honest dont really see why you have to pay 15 bucks a month for a mmo when most of the time they are not really updated with new content each month. and for mmos i honestly lately prefer playing by myself, even though its nice to see others running around...

Dawg9000
Dawg9000

@cyberslammer Doesn't EQ2 have F2P servers and all the paid ones are emtpy? It's been a while. But pertaining to the subject at hand, I find it funny that this game went free AFTER it's sequel did the same.

cyberslammer
cyberslammer

F2P runs the game and it's in game economy. EQ2 is now a major cluster and I'm canceling my subscription after 7 years. If you want F2P have F2P servers. Not intermixed some paying players don't get spammed by farmers

MegamanX2011
MegamanX2011

I would like to know who is in charge of Sony decisions towards their MMORPG. I`ve never seen such incompetence in my gaming life. They managed to fail every single MMORPG they released after Everquest. And now their F2P system is even worse to the traditional F2P system adopted by eastern gaming companies. Crippling gameplay won`t make anyone feel the need to pay 15 bucks for a 12 year old MMORPG.

Darkflare_EX
Darkflare_EX

So basically, their F2P is just a trial version like WOW's F2P. I'm fine with adding limits to the F2P players but this is far too limiting. Oh well, never really got interested in this and I'm not starting now.

FriendBear
FriendBear

EQ was king 15 years ago, these days it is anything but. Hardly anyone plays anymore, the grinding makes everything else out there look like easymode, F2P is more or less worthless now, it isn't really going to attract many with such limited options.

toddx77
toddx77

I have actually wanted to play the original ever quest for the longest time since its one of the original mmo's. I didn't even know how to get it since its so old but i guess it should be too hard now since it will be f2p.

baal46
baal46

Only FOUR classes and races for f2p. Why bother?

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Probably the longest overdue decision in MMO history.

Diamondsoulz
Diamondsoulz

Does anyone know what is going on with EQ next?

iloveyourface
iloveyourface

might check it out. i tried playing it awhile back and just couldn't get past the learning curve (warcraft made me stupid).. anything that shortens the wait for GW2 is a good thing. SWTOR was such a letdown. D:

scyldschefing
scyldschefing

Vambran: I dunno... don't discount players who want to experience the granddaddy of all (well, most) modern MMOs. Maybe they'll even toss a buck or two EQ's way. I'm just surprised that it's still operating. IAMTHEVIPQUEEN: Haha, well... they're complicated in terms of how to wisely spend your time within the game and how to advance in the game, but gameplay-wise they're mostly nauseatingly simple. That's mostly because you have to have a world that can be shared by hundreds or thousands of people, so a lot of gameplay aspects have to be stripped down. Mostly, it's a matter of paying attention to what's going on around you and what other people are doing. For instance, probably the hardest aspect of WoW's PvP is memorizing other classes' abilities so you know how to react to them. There are a ton you really have to know in order to play PvP seriously.

Vambran
Vambran

EQ first major 3D MMO. Has not aged well at all. Even if this game is free , your time will be better spent elsewhere.

wyan_
wyan_

I didn't know this game even existed anymore. :O

IAMTHEVIPQUEEN
IAMTHEVIPQUEEN

One day I will try to learn more about MMOs. For me they seem.... complicated?

Neo_Sarevok
Neo_Sarevok

Why is this game still $15/month? Back in 1999, we were still discussing Ultima Online, and that game was only $10/month. Why the high cost? It sounds to me like Sony is just milking subscriber loyalists and going f2p is merely a last ditch effort by Sony as an excuse to convince gaming websites to post front page Everquest 1 news. Gamespot ate it up, so it looked like the publicity worked. Hmm, paying $15 month for Everquest 1 or playing League of Legends for free... tough choice.

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

They should just make the game free altogether I mean it's 2012 man! Even my grandpa agrees this is getting old

servb0ts
servb0ts

Sony SOE seriously needs to bring another Everquest to the PS3 like they did to the PS2 with Online Adventures.

delboywalker
delboywalker

The Silver membership costs $5, not $5 a month. You need to buy something in the store that costs $5 or more and then you get silver forever.

poppen695
poppen695

They just need to let EQ go ahead and die a honorable and respectful death. Stringing this masterpiece along with microtransactions is just a kick in the peter. Show respect and kill it before it turns into a joke like SWG or Planetside.

Armysniper89
Armysniper89

@LunchSackSal that was EQ2. EQ1 was still milking the customer base.

WTA2k5
WTA2k5

People were still paying $15 a month for this game?

svaubel
svaubel

I dont mind Free to Play games, but the way SoE does it is far too restricting on the free players.

LunchSackSal
LunchSackSal

am I the only one that thought everquest was already Free?