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Aion goes free to play

Aion goes free to play

NCsoft's Aion will be free to play from the 28th of February, but there's still plenty of opportunity for giving the company your cash.

Massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) giant NCsoft has confirmed rumours that Aion: The Tower of Eternity is to switch from a subscription-based title to a free-to-play game later this month.

The move follows a beta of a modified version of the game which replaces the monthly subscription fee with a microtransaction stroke 'freemium' model, allowing gamers to get into the MMO for free while still providing income for the developers.

In Aion's case, free players will be able to access most functions of the game but will find themselves at a distinct disadvantage compared to those who have shelled out real-world cash. Trading and chatting with both be limited, NCsoft has confirmed, while quest rewards will be lower and the cool-down period for instances will be increased.

Those who have held a paid subscription to the game in the past will be offered 'Veteran Status,' NCsoft has confirmed. This rewards loyalty by removing free play restrictions, boosting the character slots from two to eight and allowing unlimited chatting and trading.

For those looking to get the most out of the game, there's still a subscription option available. Dubbed 'Gold Status,' the monthly fee grants players a drastic reduction on cooldown periods, increased medals and Courage Insignias and other premium features.

If you've still got some pre-paid time left on your subscription come the changeover on the 28th of February, don't worry: NCsoft is converting remaining subscription days into six Aion Coins per day, which can be used in-game to purchase the new premium features.

The switchover will happen on the 28th of February for the European servers, with no announcement yet on when - or even if - the US servers are due to follow.

More information is available on the official Aion Free to Play website.

15 Comments

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Flanananagan 24th February 2012, 13:46 Quote
Hahahahahahahaha.

*slowclap*
Woollster00 24th February 2012, 15:14 Quote
Took their time wow will be next once guild wars 2 is released
rollo 24th February 2012, 15:27 Quote
Lol you dream wow will never end up free to play

It still has 10.4mil subs
thehippoz 24th February 2012, 17:49 Quote
I dunno.. gw2 was released to the press over the weekend- surprised bit wasn't there

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it looks like it's a lot like the original- least the pvp.. guys from wow are going to get tossed.. I know a couple of people who used to play aion.. they were on and off though- heard there wasn't enough endgame

hope make it into the beta!
Redbeaver 24th February 2012, 18:09 Quote
WoW is already free to play...

...up to lv20.
Hovis 24th February 2012, 20:39 Quote
i'm waiting for the new Star Wars jobbie to go free to play. I actually prefer games to be free not just because of the money but because of the accessibility and the lack of pressure. On a subscription game the onus is to be playing it to get your moneys worth for the month. And then later, when the sub has run out, you can't fire it up for a quick go. Nuts to that. Also I don't like that a subscription game you have to be subbed to it or quit, which doesn't encourage players to feel they can return to a game. Meh.

Guild Wars 2 does look very tasty I must admit. It's a long way from my usual cup of tea these days but I might give it a spin depending on when Planetside 2 drops.
Digi 25th February 2012, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Lol you dream wow will never end up free to play

It still has 10.4mil subs

I'm not a WoW basher, I've played it since release on and off and have 5 85's, but that number is something you just pulled out your ass. They have lost people hand over fist since cata launched and have stopped releasing numbers for lost subscribers. Not to mention that at least 50% are gold sellers. With the incoming panda expansion, the slide is set to continue and having alternative, free to play options, is going to be nice for MMORPG refugees.
Panos 25th February 2012, 15:18 Quote
On the other news, DAOC and UO keep carry on 11 & 15 years respectively. :)
Redsh1rt 25th February 2012, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digi
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Lol you dream wow will never end up free to play

It still has 10.4mil subs

I'm not a WoW basher, I've played it since release on and off and have 5 85's, but that number is something you just pulled out your ass. They have lost people hand over fist since cata launched and have stopped releasing numbers for lost subscribers. Not to mention that at least 50% are gold sellers. With the incoming panda expansion, the slide is set to continue and having alternative, free to play options, is going to be nice for MMORPG refugees.

WOW does have 10 million subscribers.

http://www.blizzplanet.com/blog/comments/activision-blizzard-2011-q4-conference-call-mike-morhaime-full-transcript
thehippoz 25th February 2012, 18:37 Quote
geezus.. their net is 4.5b dollars a year! I don;t think that's going anywhere fast.. guys are addicted won't leave their character hanging =] you see they are selling a replica hammer for 130 too.. the psychology behind mmos must be big- that's huge money
hyperion 25th February 2012, 18:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panos
On the other news, DAOC and UO keep carry on 11 & 15 years respectively. :)

I heard that people still play NES as well.
wardogz 26th February 2012, 11:12 Quote
I'll stick with 'Global Agenda' for now, which is also free and a hoot :).
Whindog 27th February 2012, 00:06 Quote
Anyone that trys teh free to play model fails because of how well Riot have done it with League of Legends.

You cant have a f2p game that turns into a pay to win.......which is what seems to be the case here. Im not big on MMO's as i dont want the commited time dump required.

Am i the only one that thinks the MMO market is now over saturated?

And I find it really hard to get on board with these MMO's that offer 20 free levels then you cant do anything without paying. Strugle to get my head around it. .

Good luck to them tho.....
nuc13ar 3rd March 2012, 16:06 Quote
its been oversaturated. the key is picking the right game to invest in so the servers don't go down because of closure/nonpayment/no users
chemo 3rd March 2012, 16:13 Quote
unlike alot of the free2play mmo's, i think aion is actually worth playing. its changed alot since its launch and theres alot of game there now
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