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Rift shifting to free-to-play

Rift shifting to free-to-play

Rift already has a free-to-play option that has a level cap and other restrictions, but this will open up the entire game to free players.

Rift is the latest MMO to make the transition to a free-to-play model.

The MMO developed by Trion Worlds will make the move away from a subscription-only business model on June 12. Following the jump, players will have access to the entire game world and be able to access all current and future updates to the game.

An optional subscription will still be available and will allow players access to "Patron" benefits to enhance their experience. An in-game store will also allow players to buy additional boosts, vanity items and mounts for real-world money.

The developers of Rift are keen to keep the experience as fair as possible and do not want the free-to-play model upsetting the feel of the game.

'As a gamer's game, a super fun and fair experience is of the utmost importance to us,' said Rift creative director Bill Fisher. 'The best gear in the game will always have to be earned through playing Rift.'.

This sentiment echoes recent comments from Blizzard which reflected on their real-money auction house feature in Diablo 3. This took out part of the fun of finding new weapons and equipment through playing the game, as the achievement was lessened by the knowledge that each new piece could have easily been bought for a small fee.

Other titles from Trion Worlds suggest that the developer is staying away from the subscription model from now on. Last month it released transmedia title Defiance which requires the game to be bought but no ongoing subscription much like the Guild Wars model.

'We have been listening to feedback from our players and watching the continuously developing MMO community,' added Fisher. 'We are very excited to bring an enhanced game experience to everyone, without barriers.'

Rift launched in March 2011 and received its first expansion, Storm Legion, in November 2012. A free-to-play option with a level cap of 20 and other restrictions also debuted in early 2012 in a bid to attract new players.

8 Comments

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SirFur 16th May 2013, 03:34 Quote
Interesting.

As a free-2-play model I feel this game would do quite well. I reckon it's got a great feel to it and easily beats most other free-2-play games out on the market at the minute, if the game stays at least similar to how it is at present.

Quite a lot of dynamic events happening all the time, interesting world environment and fairly easy to jump into without feeling out of depth.

I've only just recently picked it up thanks to the great Raptr awards offer - free game, free expansion and 30 days game time - and I'm quite enjoying it.
ssj12 16th May 2013, 04:52 Quote
Called it!
adam_bagpuss 16th May 2013, 16:55 Quote
and yet another MMO that simply cannot keep a player base interested. the market really needs a whole re-vamp now with the release of something totally different that will re-define the genre
Phalanx 16th May 2013, 17:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_bagpuss
and yet another MMO that simply cannot keep a player base interested. the market really needs a whole re-vamp now with the release of something totally different that will re-define the genre

If only there was some massive, gargantuan, almost TITAN size of a PROJECT out there, being developed by a company who has millions of subscribers...
adam_bagpuss 16th May 2013, 17:14 Quote
personally i dont think that will be a game changer, sure it will be the biggest thing since WoW but i dont think it will having the same enduring player base. star wars was supposed to be the WoW killer and it failed miserably
SirFur 17th May 2013, 04:45 Quote
I'm waiting on Star Citizen to be my WoW killer and more enhanced version of EvE! :)
ssj12 17th May 2013, 06:51 Quote
Why does a game need to be a WoW killer? As long as it gains a player base and is successful shouldnt that be enough?
adam_bagpuss 17th May 2013, 09:42 Quote
i agree but the problem is that isnt how most of the new MMO are being designed. The are big production high cost money sinks given a short amount of time to prove themselves. I think the major problem is they are attempting to gain the same amount of subscriptions as WoW (hence WoW killer) and failing every time. Personally i think thats the wrong angle to come from as just about every MMO since WoW is based on WoW mechanics. They are basing profitability from massive amounts of subscribers then when the player base dips they HAVE to make it free to play and add micro-transactions.

If the game cost less to produce the player base could be smaller to sustain profit.

FFXI is still going after 10 years and the latest expansion has just being released. The player base is small (500K or less) but SE makes money from it and that has always been a subscription game.
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