Sony Online Entertainment has announced DC Universe Online will be going free-to-play in October for both the PlayStation 3 and PC. The massively multiplayer online role playing game allowed players to fight alongside DC Comics icons like Superman, Green Lantern, and The Joker. However, things have been looking bad for DCUO for a while now. In August the game announced that they'd be merging their servers in to "mega servers" which is never a good sign for a MMO.
"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."
Beginning in "late October" you'll be able to download and access DCUO for free on both the PlayStation 3 and the PC. There will be three ways to play the game: Free, Premium, and Legendary. All of the levels will give you access to open world gameplay and missions, but the Premium and Legendary options will offer "different game options and benefits."
Check after the break to see what each of the different memberships contain.
- Free: New players will now have access to the current gameplay in DC Universe Online (including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts), with the ability to create two characters, join a league and many other benefits. Free level players will be able to purchase downloadable game packs/updates, additional character slots, powers and more through microtransactions.
- Premium: Any player who has spent at least $5 USD (including former paid subscribers and new players who have purchased $5 of in-game items) will qualify for the Premium access level. Premium level players will have more benefits available to them than the Free level player, including additional character slots, additional inventory slots, and higher cash limits. Downloadable adventure packs, additional character slots, and more can be purchased in-game.
- Legendary: Maximum features and benefits are included at this level. Loaded with enhanced additional features, Legendary access will be available for a $14.99 USD monthly fee and includes all DLC packs at no cost, more than 15 character slots, more than 80 inventory slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, and many other benefits.
I'm going to be the first to admit that I'm really not surprised that DCUO is going free-to-play. I think it will be good for the game, and I think that because it was so dated at the start it never was worth such a high monthly fee. As most of the paid MMOs are starting to go the free-to-play route, I'd be interested what you guys think of Star Wars: The Old Republic still going with a monthly fee business model.