Paying a monthly subscription fee for one title is the parachute pants of out-of-date game conventions. Even the biggest massively multiplayer online game on the market, World of Warcraft, is shedding subscribers. Developer Trion Worlds is finally responding to the shifting landscape by making one of its MMOs free-to-play.
The company revealed that Rift, its fantasy-themed MMO, will drop the premium pay-to-play model on June 12. Every dungeon, every zone, and every level will then open up to anyone who signs up for an account.
“We have been listening to feedback from our players and watching the continuously developing MMO community, and we are now ready to launch Rift as a premium free-to-play experience,” Rift creative director Bill Fisher said in a statement. “After taking our time and planning a careful transition, we are very excited to bring an enhanced game experience to everyone.”
To generate revenue, Trion Worlds will expand its in-game Rift store with a completely revamped roster of items. That includes new mounts, wardrobe items, and consumable boosts.
Players can still subscribe to a Patron program that offers benefits like a permanent experience boost.
“As a gamer’s game, a super-fun and fair experience is of the utmost importance to us,” said Fisher. “Players will have the opportunity to buy customizations and boosts to heighten their play experience; however the best gear in the game will always have to be earned through playing Rift.”
The June 12 switch to F2P will also accompany the game’s 2.3 update. This patch will introduce a new zone and world event.