New player registrations for EverQuest II
have increased by around 300 percent since Sony Online Entertainment switched the game to an entirely free-to-play model in early December.
The publisher has seen plenty of success with the business model, recently jumpstarting DC Universe Online
with a free-to-play switch that attracted one million new registrations in a week. Its Free Realms
MMO, which launched as a free-to-play title in 2009, has picked up over 20 million players
Along with the dramatic boost to new player registrations and a 40 percent increase in daily logins, EverQuest II
has also experienced a 200 percent surge in in-game item sales after introducing a tiered plan
with free and subscription options, alongside microtransactions.
"Plus we have added a lot of new subscriptions," said SOE president John Smedley
. "All during the time that some really good competition hit the market." December also saw the launch of Electronic Arts and BioWare's highly anticipated subscription-based MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic
SOE currently has at least two MMORPGs in development, including a project codenamed "EverQuest Next" and Planetside 2
, the latter of which Smedley has already said
will launch with a free-to-play approach inspired by Riot Games' popular RTS League of Legends