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DC Universe Online Going Free-To-Play

By - Source: Sony Online Entertainment | B 20 comments

SOE is revising its subscription plans for DC Universe Online to include a free-to-play model next month.

Monday Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) announced that DC Universe Online will shift into Free To Play (F2P) mode this October.

While the news is somewhat surprising given that the spandex-clad MMORPG has only been on the market for nine months, it's another sign that the overall genre is finding better revenue by offering free access to those who prefer not to pay a monthly subscription. Even NCsoft's own superhero MMORPG City of Heroes is launching a "Freedom" F2P model later this year.

"When we launched DC Universe Online, we introduced a very different brand of massive online game driven by fast action combat to PC and PS3 gamers and with that, we discovered a new type of online gamer," said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. "We've listened to our community, and we've determined that the free-to-play model is the best fit for DC Universe Online."

The new F2P model will be available to both PC and PlayStation 3 gamers. In addition to the free model, SOE will also offer additional subscription-based plans - the $5 Premium and the $14.99/month Legendary - which seem to follow similar models used in EverQuest 2 Extended and Free Realms. All three DCUO subscription tiers will grant the player access to open world gameplay and missions, general game updates and fixes to the game, with each level offering different game options and benefits, as seen below.

"Our philosophy embraces learning from our experience and as a pioneer in the free-to-play space with proven successful games like Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures, we believe this new model will expand the DCUO experience and offer more options that cater to every type of player so they can play the game in a way that fits them," Smedley added.

For the uninitiated, here's a bit of the MMORPG's backstory, summed up by SOE: "Lex Luthor has traveled back through time with news of a dire future: While the heroes and villains spent years battling amongst themselves, Brainiac has been feeding on their powers, building strength to return to Earth and destroy humanity. To change the future, Lex has come back to set off a device that bestows super powers to thousands of every-day citizens and give humanity a fighting chance. Can Brainiac be stopped, or is this another nefarious Lex Luthor plot?"

DC Universe Online was created in the artistic vision of comic book artist Jim Lee, and set within a world created by famous DC writers including Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman.

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  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , September 20, 2011 5:42 AM
    Suprising that Sony is going this route. I guess when all the others do, you do too.

    But I would prefer to see the story setup in a movie. I really like pissed off Superman.
  • 0 Hide
    wiinippongamer , September 20, 2011 6:11 AM
    It's stilla pretty crappy game
  • 2 Hide
    vaughn2k , September 20, 2011 6:42 AM
    ... just like games on face book... but better...
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    Darkerson , September 20, 2011 6:52 AM
    This is not surprising at all. I was in the beta, and while it looked nice, it was rough around the edges in most other departments. The whole downtime due to the hacking incident didnt help matters either.
    Who knows, I may go and give it a second look once this goes live. Wont cost me anything, other then some time.
  • 5 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 20, 2011 8:56 AM
    Free is good, I like free, free is my favourite price.
  • 0 Hide
    cobra5000 , September 20, 2011 9:33 AM
    DCUO has its problems but it is still a fun game to play and it probobly has the best graphics of any MMO out there right now. That and great pvp!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 20, 2011 10:05 AM

    Only one time sucker for me!


    Time is marching on to release!
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 20, 2011 2:10 PM
    Hate to break it to you, but the only reason this game is going free is because of lack of player base and no real income generation. Even when they merged ALL of their servers from about 12 to 4 it was still extremely hard to find anyone in the cities to play with.

    With that being said if you don't make an MMO that will grab the player base you pretty much have to make it free2play or it will get shut down.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 20, 2011 4:17 PM
    That's OK. They can keep it. I hadn't done it until now but I am buying an X-Box now. My Playstation has been sitting idle through the time they got hacked and I've gotten through the withdrawal. Sony can bite the big one now, I don't care. Bye bye Sony. May your fossilized remains give future archeologists as much fun as you used to give your CUSTOMERS when you cared about them.
  • 0 Hide
    ipp , September 20, 2011 4:30 PM
    Creepy message chat limited to 6 per 30 seconds.

    That sure is a strange thing to limit.
  • 0 Hide
    darasen , September 20, 2011 4:50 PM
    Wow, that was fast. I am not surprised though and had they listened to their beta testers and live players a bit more they would have likely found more success.

    DCUO manages to make the player feel heroic from the start never with out a travel power and never simply beating up gang members for levels on end. The biggest issue with the game is it's horrible control schema. Left click right click hold right click to use a power WTF?
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , September 20, 2011 5:01 PM
    Age of Conan is way better than DCUO or most MMOs and F2P is the way of the future. With in game store the company can make more $$$ than standard subs only.
  • 0 Hide
    ksharp25 , September 20, 2011 6:15 PM
    Hoping they dont follow the EverQuest Extended model. Meaning my installed DCUO client and long dormant lvl6 character will be usable. And not making me have to reroll a character on a new game client on servers outside the others like EQE.
  • 0 Hide
    classzero , September 20, 2011 7:38 PM
    I left SOE and am not looking back. My 29.99 all access pass covers my LifeLock for Identity protection.
  • 0 Hide
    schiwing , September 21, 2011 12:50 AM
    The pricing chart gives some insight as to what they're going to do for Planetside 2.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkerson , September 21, 2011 1:17 AM
    ksharp25Hoping they dont follow the EverQuest Extended model. Meaning my installed DCUO client and long dormant lvl6 character will be usable. And not making me have to reroll a character on a new game client on servers outside the others like EQE.

    That wasnt SOE's fault. That was from all the whining and bitching the "Live" players had in regards to the "freeloaders". I honestly want them to merge the services into a more hybrid model, like DDO/LoTRO, and to not be on seperate servers, but the live side wont have any of it. Eccentric asshats, IMO. I know I dont feel sorry for the live sides population issues, while Freeport thrives. They only have themselves to blame.
  • 0 Hide
    cypeq , September 21, 2011 3:54 PM
    This is great That's how the games should be. I find it terrible to pay quite a lot of cash for WoW when I could get totally bored of it after 2 months. You can't test p2p mmo in 7 days bliz got it right now it's free till level 20 so you can get taste of PvP and first dungeons.

    F2P with convenience upgrades is great It doesn't unbalance gameplay like cash shops(which end up costing more than monthly fees if some1 goes serious about them).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2011 3:28 PM
    This is better than any of the news that came out of Tokyo Game Show recently (for me at least)!

    So, I'm assuming that free to play means that I'll be able to download the game for free on my PS3?

    Even if I had to buy a disc of the game, I think I'd do it now. I was interested in this game when it came out, but I'm sorta old-school when it comes to my video games, and the idea of paying a monthly fee to play a game online still seems ridiculous to me.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 26, 2011 6:04 AM
    The guy writing this is an idiot, City of Heroes Freedom came out 2 days ago, 4 days after he wrote this article. That's "Later this year"?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 2, 2011 6:07 AM
    anyone who thinks age of conan of all games is decent has no brains, it's a crappy game too obsessed with its barbarian theme to actually let players do what they want. As for xbox my 360 scratched half my disks to death, after oblivion got shredded 5 times in a row my 360 went to gamestop and i bought my ps3. Sony have been nothing but excellent and my ps3 slim has been amazing. I don't blame sony for the hack incident and nor should any of you. Some idiots went and tried to ruin others fun so SIT DOWN SHUT UP AND THINK BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR BLOCKHEADED TYPEHOLES. Sheesh I bet you idiots believe rift is a clone of wow even. Try Lineage 2 you idiots, THAT'S what rift copied. And for you fools who will respond keep in mind that I won't be visiting here again so your comments will go ignored. I can't stand stupid people, which is why I do better on psn than xbl.