DC Universe Online Going Free-To-Play

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.

  • jimmysmitty
    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.
  • wiinippongamer
    It's stilla pretty crappy game
  • vaughn2k
    ... just like games on face book... but better...
  • Darkerson
    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.
  • back_by_demand
    Free is good, I like free, free is my favourite price.
  • cobra5000
    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!
  • Nope!

    Only one time sucker for me!


    Time is marching on to release!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ipp
    Creepy message chat limited to 6 per 30 seconds.

    That sure is a strange thing to limit.