MMO Co-Opportunities Volume XXX: Free-to-Play for All
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MMO Co-Opportunities Volume XXX: Free-to-Play for All

Free here, free there, everywhere free-to-play

With the new year, things are starting to pick up again on the MMO front after the customary winter quiet. TERA follows the trend of many modern MMOs and goes Free-to-Play, Neverwinter busts out from its radio silence with announcements of Founders Packs and goes straight into closed beta, and Wizardry Online launches in the West. These are the top stories that this edition of MMO Co-Opportunities will be focusing on.

TERA Goes Free-to-Play

It’s tough to be a subscription-based MMO these days. Many recently released subscription-based MMOs are encountering this issue. Happily, rather than shutting the servers down (like MMOs used to do when they dropped below a certain number of subscribers), the hip thing to do is convert to Free-to-Play with a microtransactions shop for either bonus game content or cosmetic/utility items and consumables.TERA is the most recent big-deal western MMO to make this switch. On February 5th, TERA was converted to a Free-to-Play game, and though I haven’t yet checked it out yet, it sounds like they’ve gone about it in a decent way. Now, anyone can create a Standard account, gaining access to all existing content of the game. There is also an Elite Status account, which has replaced the subscription fee. For $15 a month, players can receive certain perks like shortened cooldowns on dungeon resets, double the daily bonus quests, and store discounts. These perks don’t sound game-breaking at all, but provide a nice incentive for players who are really into the game. There is also a Founder account which is granted to anyone who has bought the game (either pre- or post-Free-to-Play switch-over). Instead of two character slots per server, Founders get eight, and they also get max bank inventory space.

The microtransactions shop (though I’m not currently able to browse it) sounds reasonable as well. Enmasse claims that they don’t want to make anyone play for existing content, and the microtransactions shop will instead sell things like costumes, mounts, and consumables. That’s certainly a policy that I can get behind, and I hope it’ll be maintained. So if you were curious about TERA and never got around to trying it out, now’s certainly a good time to jump on in.


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