Anarchy Online expansions now free

Developer also announces five-year anniversary of AO, says special in-game events to come; gamers still must pay an expansion-pack monthly fee.

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Almost two years ago, Anarchy Online developer Funcom took a chance, giving away its seminal massively multiplayer online role-playing game and stripping it of its monthly subscription. That plan must have rubbed Funcom the right way: To celebrate the five-year anniversary of its MMORPG, the company announced yesterday it would begin giving away all four of the original game's expansion packs. Although the boxed versions of the games are now free, gamers who upgrade are still required to pay one monthly subscription fee whether they own one or more expansions--$14.95 a month or a discounted $95.40 a year. In addition to the new freebies, Funcom said it will host several in-game celebrations and events to mark Anarchy Online's five-year date. "[T]he continued success of the free and ultimate sci-fi MMORPG is a testament to how an online game can be honed and improved on an ongoing basis," Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas said in a news release.

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