The latest MMORPG to change business models is the popular AION from NCSoft which was launched back in 2009.
From February next year, the game will be available to download with no subscription costs and relaunched in the UK, France and Germany.
Songyee Yoon, Chief Strategic Officer from NCsoft commented that “by introducing the free-to-play model, we hope more gamers in Europe will be able to experience the epic story of Aion” and added that “NCsoft welcomes the partnership with Gameforge with its long MMO experience in the free-to-play sector and its excellent knowledge of the European market.”
Gameforge’s Executive Director Alexander Rösner added: “In AION we have received a flagship title for our MMO sector which perfectly complements our current portfolio. We have worked hard with NCsoft to develop a fair free-to-play model for new players as well as the current community. In the future we will of course continue to develop new content and extend it, working in close cooperation with the players.”
At the moment we only know that there will be restrictions on trading and chat in the F2P version but accounts can be upgraded to the fully featured Gold Pack which will include “higher payouts or shorter cooldowns for instances”. Other than that, the F2P model includes all content you would expect in the full game.
In the past twelve months there has been numerous popular MMOs move to the free to play model including Age of Conan and DC Universe Online, all of which are continuing to flourish in the competitive MMO space. With the launch of SWTOR this week, the move by NCSoft is well timed and should keep loyal AION fans interested in the title.
A new page has been launched revealing the F2P model where there is further information on http://www.aionfreetoplay.com.