DC Universe Online Adopts Freemium Model
SOC president John Smedley made the announcement today that DC Universe Online will be adopting a Freemium model in the coming month of October. No longer will players be forced to buy the box and pay subscriptions in order to experience the basics within the DC Universe.
I'll start by laying out the three models available to players in this freemium model:
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 (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 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.
Those that purchased the life-time subscription will of course be included in a permanent Legendary status once the new business model is implemented. This announcement is being made about 7 months after the official launch of DC Universe but Smedley assures the press that it was not made as a result of dropping subscription numbers.
"In terms of 'Is it a result in a drop in subs' – absolutely not," he said. "This is the right business model. If I can be honest, the game ended up costing a lot more than we thought it would, and this was our preferred business model from day one."
He also assured that the upcoming cash shop will not sell power or experience, and will be fully concentrated on developing the best cosmetics items to improve all players' experience in the game. Because if there is one thing I love in a super hero game, it's an endless choice of costume pieces!
OnRPG will be sending one of its reporters to go hands on with DC Universe when it goes F2P later this year to tell you our impressions of the changes. For now you can discuss the upcoming changes in the growing Thread on our forums.