Yes, I know what many of you are probably thinking. Although most massively multiplayer online games are transitioning into free-to-play this doesn’t affect the fact that there are still some big titles that are subscription-based. Two clears examples of this are World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Nevertheless, those are two very particular examples as all the smaller MMO’s are either being released as free-to-play titles or are converting to the more convenient microtransaction-based model. Regarding this, Sony Computer Entertainment has officially announced that to celebrate Everquest’s 13th anniversary the company is going to implement the free-to-play business model in early March.
As a consequence, players will have three options to access the game. The Gold option is very similar to the way Everquest works right now and it provides players with full access to the game for $15 a month. In addition to the subscription, players will receive 500 Station Cash (an in-game currency) every month. The Silver membership can be purchased for a one-time $5 buy-in and users are limited to four races and four classes, but additional ones are available for purchase. Players will also be limited to Tier 1 spells, won’t be able to use prestige-level items and will have some other specific restrictions. Finally, the game will be available for free but it’ll lack some other features. As each payment method has different limitations, be sure to check out Everquest’s official website for more information about them.
For me it’s quite interesting that Sony has decided to make this transition right now as Everquest 2 has been a free-to-play game since July 2010. As most free-to-play titles, Everquest 2 has been quite successful as those players who didn’t want to pay for a subscription now have the opportunity to play the game with certain limitations. Personally, I’ve always wanted to play the original Everquest. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have a copy of Everquest Titanium laying around there somewhere. That pack in particular, was a compilation which included the game and every single expansion that came out for it until 2006 (so it includes 10 expansion packs.) To be completely honest, the subscription was one of the things that prevented me from playing the game and now that the full title is free-to-play, I guess now I have no excuse not to play it.