Another subscription-only MMORPG switches focus.
Gameforge has announced that the fantasy MMORPG TERA will switch from a subscription-only model to free-to-play one in Europe next month. The Korean version of the game adopted a free-to-play approach last year to attract new players and soon the EU version will follow suit.
When the switch happens next month, TERA’s playerbase will be split into two; Free and Veteran. Free players will receive free access to entirety of the game’s content including races, classes, instances, equipment items, PvP and the political system with restrictions only effecting the number of character slots and safe deposit areas available to them. Anyone who purchased TERA since launch will be deemed a ‘Veteran’ and will be given complete access to all game functions, whether they subscribe at time of the switch or not. This simply means that the number of character slots available will remain at eight, safe deposit spots won’t be restricted and they’ll also be given a special in-game title so they can showcase their commitment to TERA.
Like many existing free-to-play games, Gameforge will also allow players to keep subscribing to the game, via an initiative dubbed ‘TERA Club’. The bonuses for this elite group are still being fleshed out, but those who keep paying a monthly fee will enjoy shorter cooldown times for instances, an increased rate of XP accumulation and special bonuses like epic mounts.
If this MMORPG pot wasn’t sweet enough, TERA’s transition to free-to-play will also coincide with the launch of a brand new dungeon, as well as three versus three PvP battles in purpose-built arenas.
With Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Secret World and soon TERA joining the free-to-play MMO fold, it’s getting harder and harder to see any future for subscription-only games. World of Warcraft, RIFT, and EVE Online are the last notable massively multiplayer online experiences which feature such a revenue model, but they seem more of the exception rather than the rule.
To find out more about playing TERA in Europe, check out the game’s official website here.
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