Well that was unexpected! Today Sony Online Entertainment announced that EverQuest II would be adding permanent free-to-play servers. The game will still continue with their subscription servers as well, providing players with a choice of which payment method they would prefer.
Dave Georgeson, EverQuest II Producer, said about the change, “We’re not the first folks to entertain the [free-to-play] idea for an MMO, but we do have the biggest and best virtual world to offer in such a model and we firmly believe that we can expose thousands and thousands of new players to the world of Norrath if we embrace that concept.” Georgeson stressed that the current subscription servers will be kept separate from the new f2p realms, and that this decision will not affect subscribers’ gameplay experience at all.
Current EQII players can download the “EverQuest II Extended” test client through their account information. The Extended service will realistically cost about $15 each month for maximum effectiveness, according to the game publishers, and there is no word yet on when the new realms will be released for the public.
Which big MMO provider will be the next to join the free-to-play movement?