Star Trek Online engages free-to-play January 17

Cryptic Studios introducing hybrid subscription/microtransaction-based business model change for sci-fi MMOG next year.

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Cryptic Studios launched Champions Online and Star Trek Online within a few months of each other, but their switch to free-to-play hasn't been quite as in lockstep. With Champions Online having assumed its new business model earlier this year, Cryptic has announced that Star Trek Online will begin its free-to-play service beginning January 17.

Star Trek Online will soon be exploring the free-to-play frontier.

Originally scheduled for later this year, Star Trek Online's transition to free-to-play splits players' payment options into two forks. For $15 per month, gamers can purchase a Gold membership, which grants expanded character slots, inventory space, veteran rewards, and priority login to the game's servers.

Those who opt for a free Silver membership will still have access to all of the game's areas and sections. However, those who go the free-to-play route will have limited access to parts of Star Trek Online, such as in-game chat, customer support, and forums.

A full breakdown of the differences between the two ways to play Star Trek Online is available through Cryptic's website. For more information on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Discussion

22 comments
Mondo80
Mondo80

So Star Trek Online has a shooter mode, an off the rails space combat system that requires you the pay attention to everything, a crafting system in which you can make everything except the ship, a mission creation system in which you can make your own city for a map and it will be going free to play. The only thing SW :TOR has going for it is the Star Wars franchise, its built pretty much like WOW.

Hakkology
Hakkology

This is actually sad news my friends. First DC universe online, Everquest 2, Aion and Star Trek Online, its like a chain reaction. With SWTOR coming in, many MMOs stopped struggling and accepted the fate of F2P. Whole MMO industry is going to be effected by SWTOR and WOW alone dominating it all and its sad to see such declines.

svpaladin
svpaladin

@usermikey A lot of the "chat limits", etc, that will plague silver accounts will be "unlocks" instead of "perma-blocks". Those who have a subscription now, but cancel it when the game goes F2P, will retain all their chat options, but will find a lot of their "subscription" content locked until they decide to resubscribe. At least, that's what I saw on my last reading of their website / FAQ. It may have changed along with the release date...

megakick
megakick

Look its' SW:OR for free.

blakeney
blakeney

@JaxxRaxor Not seen all the ads? WoW has a F2P aspect now too lol.

Zhern
Zhern

My main problem is that I like WoW, STO, EQ2, EvE, WhO and a ton more. But my wallet has problems keeping money in it. So these companies going F2P is good for me.

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

It seems that nearly every Western MMO not named World of Warcraft is going this route. I find it pretty amusing actually.

edant79
edant79

....after weighing the pros and cons....I'll go play every OTHER game.

hush404
hush404

I like that companies are doing this :) I find it such a waste to drop $15/mo on a game I play casually.

DS_fan_atic
DS_fan_atic

I would totally play if this game if it was mac compatible. *ahem Cryptic ahem*

blackace
blackace

People are actually still playing Star Trek online?

pszone
pszone

Well look like xbox360 getiing a free mmo but since i got ps3 and it isnt comeing to ps3 i dont really care about this game.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

If it isn't coming to PS3 I don't really give a crap.....

Smokescreened84
Smokescreened84

It's a fun game, deserving of a revised rating. It isn't perfect but then what game is? It's just good fun. I would give it an 8 or an 8.5 myself and I hope that going to Free To Play will give the game a much needed content boost.

LUMIN4RY
LUMIN4RY

This game rocks if you are a Star Trek fan! Even if you aren't it's great fun.

strayfies
strayfies

I've been waitin on this one since they announced its freedom. If they hadn't, I may have bought it in the last couple months :V

usermikey
usermikey

Hoping this will increase the amount of players. They should follow DC Universe online where paid members retain benefits, 3 types of accounts, 2 depending on pay to play benefits

kweeni
kweeni

Cool, I'll check it out.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I loved STO for the first few weeks. I hope this game can find new life by going free-to-play.