Sony Online Entertainment's DC Universe Online
, first released in January of this year, is going free-to-play next month on both PC and PlayStation 3.
According to SOE, both versions will receive a new three-tiered payment system, allowing anyone to play the game for free, or pay a subscription to receive in-game benefits.
Those who play for free will have access to all the current gameplay, with the ability to create two characters, join a league and purchase additional game packs and powers.
Premium players are those who have paid at least $5 towards the game in some form, including former subscribers, and new players who have purchased at least $5 worth of items. These players will have access to an extra character slot and more inventory slots.
Legendary players are those who pay a $14.99 monthly subscription fee. For these players, all DLC packs will be made available at no extra cost, along with more than 15 character slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, and more.
SOE executive producer Lorin Jameson said
to gaming news website IGN that the move to free-to-play has nothing to do with current subscriber numbers.
"In terms of 'Is it a result in a drop in subs' -- absolutely not," he argued. "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."
Earlier this month, developer Cryptic Studios revealed
that its MMO Star Trek Online
will be swapping to the free-to-play model before the end of the year.