DC Universe Online population spikes 1,000% on free-to-play switch

[UPDATE 11/10] Sony Online Entertainment's superhero-based MMOG struggles with capacity following introduction of microtransaction-based option; 1 million new players in a week.

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DC Universe Online launched in January as Sony Online Entertainment's fastest-selling game to date. The game is also attracting swaths of gamers in its new free-to-play form, according to Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley.

Patient would-be superheroes can now fight for free.
Patient would-be superheroes can now fight for free.

On Saturday, the SOE executive took to his Twitter feed to reveal that user-base numbers were up 900 percent over pre-free-to-play numbers since the new business model was introduced on November 1. Since then, the figure has ballooned to 1,000 percent. Smedley did not provide a breakdown of which platform new users are flocking to.

The player influx hasn't come without a cost, however. The massive influx of users has resulted in users reporting long waits to get into the game, and various other issues. The latest update from Smedley is that the team is aware of the issues and is "on it." Servers are being added to the DCUO infrastructure, and subscribers are being pushed to the front of log-in queues.

DC Universe Online lets players create their crime fighter or villain and is set in such locales as Superman's Metropolis and Batman's Gotham City. Also, a range of heroes and villains from the comic book publisher's immense stable lend their presence to the game.

The game also benefits from heralded comic artist Jim Lee and scribe Marv Wolfman, who contributed to the project. Monthly subscriber perks include access to all the downloadable content packs, more than 15 character slots, 80 inventory slots, and the ability to form player leagues of any size.

[UPDATE 11/10] Following on from Smedley's Twitter updates earlier this week, SOE announced today some official numbers associated with DCUO's switch to a free-to-play business model. One week after the switch over, the game has accrued 1 million new players, the company said. These new players split evenly between the PS3 and PC versions of the game.

For more on DC Universe Online, check out GameSpot's recent coverage.

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