Sony Online Entertainment is now rolling out its All Access membership, a new subscription model that allows customers to play any number of MMOGs maintained by the company, not just one. The titles included in this new service include EverQuest, EverQuest II, DC Universe Online PC, PlanetSide 2 PC, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and the upcoming EverQuest Next, Landmark and H1Z1.
But that's not all. This membership has its perks, including 500 Station Cash each month from within the game marketplaces, a 10 percent discount on marketplace purchases, and access to exclusive promotions and offers throughout the year.
"We will be upgrading all existing individual game memberships to the new All Access plan, which will include the top-tier membership level in all eligible SOE games for one, low monthly rate of $14.99 (with extra savings for 3, 6 and 12 month plans). We're also finalizing membership benefits to Dragon's Prophet and will share these new updates as available," reads SOE's public announcement.
The new subscription service arrives after SOE announced that it planned to shut down four MMOGs in 2014, one of which is Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures and Free Realms closed down on March 31. Wizardry Online and Vanguard, the latter of which is one of the company's oldest titles, are slated to be shut down on July 31.
"[Vanguard] is an older game and we're experiencing more and more technical challenges to continue running and updating it in a way you deserve. Simply put, these are issues that cannot be fixed in the long term and as a player, we would be doing you a disservice and going against our company commitment to provide the best gameplay experiences. So given this information, sunsetting the game later this year is the inevitable conclusion," writes a company rep.
The new subscription model, with or without Vanguard, seemingly shows a dire need to keep paying customers happily glued in their seats and immersed in an SOE product. The company likely figured that customers paying for a monthly subscription in one title was probably testing the free-to-play waters in other titles. The 500 Station Cash and 10 percent discount are definite clues to that mindset.
Regardless, we'll see if this all-you-can-eat MMOG buffet will not only keep customers from jumping ship, but reel in fresh new ones wandering in from other AAA MMOGs.