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EverQuest 2 Going Free-To-Play in Early December

By - Source: Sony Online Entertainment | B 9 comments

SOE is merging EverQuest 2 and EverQuest 2 Extended, creating one free-to-play service with optional subscription and free software.

Sony Online Entertainment recently announced to the EverQuest 2 community that it will be merging the free-to-play version, EverQuest 2 Extended (EQ2X), with the subscription-based EverQuest sequel. Starting in December, there will be just one client and three membership models: free, Silver and Gold.

"Part of caring for our customers is listening to you and hearing what you have to say. Additionally, we need to be aware of changes in the industry, changes in player expectations, and larger economic trends in general," said EverQuest 2 executive producer Dave Georgeson.

The move to combine both MMORPGs was likely fueled by the recent membership boom with DC Universe Online after SOE injected the superhero MMORPG with a free-to-play model on November 6. The company said a million new players on the PC and PlayStation 3 platforms combined had signed on -- over 1000-percent of the pre-F2P concurrent members at day one. The F2P model has even generated a 700-percent increase in daily revenue (47-percent PC, 53-percent PS3) since its launch.

"More than 85-percent of daily log-ins are returning players," claims SOE president John Smedley. "DCUO player base is growing at 6-percent a day."

But the EverQuest 2 producer indicates that combining both EverQuest 2 games is more of a social thing. Honesty, we were confused as to why SOE launched a separate free-to-play EverQuest 2 game in the first place.

"We've listened to your concerns about the complexity of the subscription structure, how the separate forums between EQII and EQ2X divide the community unnecessarily, that the Live Gamer servers are under-populated, and that many people want more flexibility with payment options so they can better manage their personal budgets," he explained in an open letter to the community. "We believe the key to meeting your expectations is to provide more flexibility and to deliver what you want when you want it, whether it's basic game content, full subscription access to the game, or something in-between."

"So in early December we're going to change things to be 'Free to Play. Your Way,'" he added.

According to Georgeson, there will no longer be an up-front fee for downloading and installing EverQuest 2. Fans no longer have to buy the software in order to use it, and game content through the Sentinel's Fate expansion will be available to all players without charge. The EQ2 and EQ2X servers will merge into one complete network, and will operate as a single game with a single membership structure.

EverQuest 2 just celebrated its seventh anniversary, originally launching on November 8, 2004. As with the original EverQuest, the game required fans to purchase the software up-front and then pay a monthly subscription fee to continue playing. But in July 2010, SOE decided to jump on the free-to-play bandwagon by introducing a separate, standalone EverQuest 2 service, Extended, funded by micro-transactions and optional subscriptions.

SOE has not officially announced the actual re-launch of EverQuest 2, but gamers can check out the three membership plans here. The $14.99/month Gold plans offers everything whereas the Silver account is a step up from the base free service after spending $5 on an in-game item.

So far there's no indication that the original EverQuest will adopt the F2P model. SOE previously stated that there were no plans to change the current subscription model.

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  • 0 Hide
    pocketdrummer , December 1, 2011 5:21 AM
    Ahem... Pay-To-Win is the correct phrase for this.
  • 0 Hide
    Marcus52 , December 1, 2011 5:43 AM
    I was thinking about restarting my sub to Everquest II, but this knocks the head off that idea.

    If you don't understand why I won't play F2P games or on servers with F2P players, then check out the discussions on MMORPG.com. Basically, I don't want to play with more losers than there already are who think "Free to Play" means free. It clearly doesn't, because companies make MORE money off the F2P model than they do subscriptions! MMOGs are becoming less about skilled gaming and more about buying your way to the top with real cash.

    I don't blame SOE for having F2P servers, but I do blame them for having badly managed player bases on the servers they have and mixing F2P players with subscription players. The RP servers on EQII are a joke, no better than WoW's regular servers. I remember when you couldn't have names in Everquest that broke the spirit of the game, period. Now, variations of "Ipwnnoobs" is common in these games.

    It's a sad day for MMORPGs.

  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 1, 2011 6:01 AM
    PocketdrummerAhem... Pay-To-Win is the correct phrase for this.


    um, this isnt a pay to win, honestly its a 5$ to get most of the games content, and a monthly fee for full game.

    if you dont know what this means, non raid casual get to play the game for free, and boost server size, and can be usefull party members, silver... if you get to level 90 and arent silver yet... you suck. and silver is really all you need.

    but gold that would be for the hard core raiders

    i dont know if you ever played everquest 1, but it would be like this, free group play, upgraded group play for 5$, full raid play for monthly.

    you arent paying to win, but you are paying when you really get into the game, not from day 1 when you are a nube killing rats, but when you can start killing dragons and such.
  • 1 Hide
    NuclearShadow , December 1, 2011 6:05 AM
    I am honestly surprised it took this long. Remember when both EQ II and WoW were brand new? Heck they even released the same month. It was even clear during the betas of both games that EQ II wouldn't beat WoW. I'm not a fan of either game but have played both and can only imagine how low the player base must be in EQ II now.

    I believe F2P games are soon going to run into the same problem as the pay to play that simply could not survive. Money is not the only factor that keeps people away from MMORPGs or makes one choose one over another. Time is a huge factor, and with so many F2P a gamer simply cannot play them all. The more appealing ones are going to take away from the less appealing to the wider audiences. F2P will soon not be a way to keep a MMORPG up and running but rather will be a desperate last effort in survival.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , December 1, 2011 6:06 AM
    Marcus52I was thinking about restarting my sub to Everquest II, but this knocks the head off that idea.If you don't understand why I won't play F2P games or on servers with F2P players, then check out the discussions on MMORPG.com. Basically, I don't want to play with more losers than there already are who think "Free to Play" means free. It clearly doesn't, because companies make MORE money off the F2P model than they do subscriptions! MMOGs are becoming less about skilled gaming and more about buying your way to the top with real cash.I don't blame SOE for having F2P servers, but I do blame them for having badly managed player bases on the servers they have and mixing F2P players with subscription players. The RP servers on EQII are a joke, no better than WoW's regular servers. I remember when you couldn't have names in Everquest that broke the spirit of the game, period. Now, variations of "Ipwnnoobs" is common in these games.It's a sad day for MMORPGs.


    i got into everquest year 1, shortly after launch, to get a name approved, took a long time, and people got banned due to bad names. hated that so much... did gms approve names back than? either way, i mispelt the name i wanted so badly that i came up with alidan, a human monk on the nameless server, and the name has suck with me ever sense than.

    i like being able to pronounce names, so if it prevented me from sight reading it, and saying it i say good riddens.

    all that said, its kind of a gauge on how much you want to group with people to... like if they name themselves "spawn killer" odds are, they have a bad rep.

  • 0 Hide
    cronik93 , December 1, 2011 11:03 AM
    Ugh, they might as well make every other game Free-to-play now...
  • 0 Hide
    spookyman , December 1, 2011 2:17 PM
    So when are they going to pull the plug on EQ?
  • 0 Hide
    hythos , December 1, 2011 3:07 PM
    A few years ago, I was interested in what the Lego MMO could offer. I've had numerous real-life events to keep me busy, and was only reminded about the Lego MMO when I saw the "is closing" memo... SO, I loaded that up, clicked on stuff for a couple hours, and while I could see that it could be limitted, up to the point I had played, it was interesting, and I had a lil bit of fun.

    When EQ2 was released, I was deep in SWG, and was far burnt out on EQ... BUT, the things I remember most about any MMO - was the "newness" of not being able to steam-roll everything on my own. The challenge. Naturally, that appeal doesn't last very long, but I now knowing that EQ2 is "free", I may consider taking a look at it before The Old Republic kicks off in 2 weeks.

    And, in my opinion, Pay2Win only applies when there's some reason to compete for - IE, PVP. Any promise of prizes won through "Cyber Sport" of a game isn't worth the time investment compared to my employment. So, aside of better gear providing a clear advantage to gain loot and dominate in competition - I could care less if anyone has better stuff than I, regardless of how they had obtained it. Heck, even then, I don't care how someone else obtained gear, provided that the difference between P2P and a subscription doesn't mean completing the same dungeon and receiving different rewards...
  • 0 Hide
    Raidur , December 1, 2011 6:08 PM
    Project 1999 FTW! EQ lives in it's veterans!