SOE to fold fantasy MMORPG's subscription and freemium forks together; all pricing tiers to offer "full access" to world.
EverQuest II originally launched in 2004 as a purely subscription-based game. However, in 2010, Sony Online Entertainment essentially bifurcated the game, offering one edition with a subscription-based model and another as a free-to-play version. However, that schism will soon be resolved, as SOE announced today that those two separate entities will soon become one.
EverQuest II's free-to-play relaunch is set for early December. As part of a press debriefing, EQ franchise executive producer Dave Georgeson said that the biggest change is that there will no longer be any upfront fee, as downloading and installing the game will be free.
The Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum account levels first introduced with EQII Extended are being reduced to just the first three. While each tier's offering will be largely the same, the paid levels will either be reduced in price or expanded with additional content.
Free (previously Bronze) will be the base level. Silver will now be assigned to any player that pays a one-time $5 upgrade payment (down from $10), and Gold will retain its $15/month price. In a departure from the previous offering, the new Gold level tier will offer full access to all races; no more individual purchases will be required. All tiers include "full access" to world content, but some expansions and adventure packs will still require purchase.
To quell potential fears that current players may have regarding the new pricing, Georgeson said that any prepaid subscriptions will be refunded the difference based on the new pricing structure. This includes full recompense for race packs that Gold subscribers may have previously purchased.
The relaunch will introduce a few new features as well, including a new Dungeon Maker system that allows players to create their own dungeons for other players to run through. For more on EverQuest II, check out GameSpot's latest coverage.
Awesome. I have a character sitting in limbo from my subscription days and a character on the free-2-play version. I hope I can gain access to both now.
@Tripwolf You can complain all you want but this is their only option, they either raise the monthly fees or do this. MMO's are losing a lot of space, and fighting each others subscribers. Differently from retail games its unlikely that someone plays 2 mmos at the same time. This is the industrys natural progression, its bad for some good for others.
F2P doesn't have to be so complicated. What's wrong with $50 for the game and $20-$30 for a respectively sized expansion? I throw down my $50, get full access to the game without worrying about subs. or account services, and if I want more, I buy the expansion. That's perfectly fair and reasonable. I believe that's how Guild Wars 2 will be doing things. All this F2P, ie. glorified demo, nonsense is mostly inconvenient. If there are some AAA titles out there that are truly F2P, good on them.
I'm not going back to this game. I loved the game, but I was also playing WoW at the time. Plus having a fiance at the time literally made it impossible to play both games. I ended up quitting EQ2 and played WoW for 2 years instead. Both games were great, but now I have a daughter and literally have no time to even try a new MMO game. Gotta wait for my daughter to start school before I can venture into the MMO realm again. The changes sound good, but if you have access to ALL the content example for a few classes with the FREE version, but would you even pay the $15 for the monthly. Especially if class you like to play is available in the free game. I'm wondering if you can level to the highest level in the free version?
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