Sony Online Entertainment has already made in-roads into the freemium model, having opened up a free-to-play, microtransaction-supported option for Everquest 2 last August. The move has apparently been a successful one, as SOE president John Smedley has gone on record to say that Planetside 2 will include a freemium business model.
Smedley delivered the news in an interview with Chinese website 17173.com, and later confirmed the remarks to Planetside-Universe. "The game will be F2P," he said. "What form will it be? We're still working that out."
Though he didn't delve too specifically into how SOE plans to implement its freemium model, he did say that the team is fond of Riot Games' League of Legends. In that game, players are able to purchase cosmetic upgrades that don't impact in-game skills or gameplay.
The longtime SOE executive also addressed Planetside 2's beta plans, saying that the team hopes to enter its public testing phase later this year or in early 2012. However, he conditioned that comment by saying, "It's ready when it's ready and we are proud of it."
Planetside 2 will be a sequel to SOE's massively multiplayer online shooter originally released in 2003. The studio is hoping to dramatically expand on that game's scope, and it will run on the newly built Forgelight Engine.
The sequel will be a "reimagining" of the original, which chronicled a futuristic conflict on the embattled planet of Auraxis among three different factions: the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate, and the Vanu Sovereignty. Players will advance through various battle ranking levels while acquiring equipment certifications for both different weapon types and different classes of vehicles.
For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Planetside 2.