NCSoft and Carbine have finally bitten the bullet and are moving Wildstar over to a free to play model.
The latest game to move from a subscription model is the MMO Wildstar, and I’m a little surprised it’s taken this long. The game never really took off when it launched and the writing was on the wall from day one. With the move comes reassurance that the game will “remain AAA” with regular updates still planned for the future. Carbines’ product director Mike Donatelli added:
“At the beginning of 2015, we outlined key points of focus for WildStar to help make this great game even better, focusing heavily on player feedback and bringing meaningful changes. We continue to deliver on those points and feel strongly that removing the subscription cost will give everyone who loves MMOs, or just wants to have an incredible gaming experience, a chance to try WildStar.”
The change is expected to happen this autumn and all players will be able to level their characters to 50 and have access to all the content for free.
There will be an optional monthly membership which will include “various convenience bonuses and enhancements to XP, crafting, currency, item drops and reputation”. NCSoft stress that there will be be no pay to win purchases available with Ncoin and these microtransactions will include convenience and cosmetic items.
When the game does go free, Carbine will have streamlined item stats, created an easier AMP system, given the dungeons an overhaul and improved the tutorial for new players.
Subscribers who maintain their sub from 15 June will be receiving “rewards” and exclusive items and long time subscribers will be receive “more”. Details of these rewards have now been posted by Carbine.
Carbine did a good job at trying to explain why Wildstar was different to other MMOs, but when we quizzed them on game features and mechanics prior to the game’s launch, it was apparent that there was nothing really new and innovative on offer. Still, it does have a unique look at least.