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13 years later, the original  EverQuest  goes free-to-play
13 years later, the original EverQuest goes free-to-play
January 30, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

January 30, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
More: Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Today, Sony Online Entertainment revealed that the original EverQuest will soon adopt a free to play model, a full 13 years after its initial launch.

This March, just as the game reaches its 13th birthday, Sony plans to introduce a number of new payment options to the classic online game, allowing players to play for free, purchase subscriptions, buy in-game item unlockers, and much more.

As detailed on the game's official website, the new model will be broken into three tiers: Free, Silver (one $5 purchase), and Gold ($15 per month), all of which offer varying degrees of features and content.

In an official statement, EverQuest producer Thom Terrazas said, "The game will now be setup to be flexible so that you can decide how much to pay, based on how much fun you're having."

This new structure marks a major shift for one of the industry's most influential online games. While it wasn't the first MMO to hit the market, EverQuest was by far the most popular MMO of its time, and its design served as a general model for many similar games that followed.

Late last year, EverQuest's sequel made the free to play switch, and Sony soon reported that the game's new player registrations increased by roughly 300 percent.

Sony has also seen free to play success with games like DC Universe, which made the switch in November, and Free Realms, which launched as a free to play game in 2009.

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Phuong Nguyen Huu
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A 13 years game, old graphics, and now goes to free-to-play, but before this I wonder why someone can spend $14.99 for it?

In Vietnamese, we only spend đ60.000 (~$2.99)/month for subscription-based online game, and we played Granada Espada, 9Dragons, Perfect World, Zhu Xian, and a lot of well-popular online games.

Jeremy Reaban
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Ah, but the thing with "Free to Play" is that you often end up spending far more than $14.99 a month to play it.

I actually played Granado Espada's NA version, Sword of the New World, then I realized I had spent $300 on it in a year, far more than a subscription game would have cost.

So I decided to simply buy a lifetime subscription to Lord of the Rings Online for $200, only to have it go F2P a year or so later. Sigh.

Phuong Nguyen Huu
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Hmm, you can spend $300 or $3000 for a favorite game, but since a free-to-play game launched, everyone can play without spending one cent, in contrast, you must pay $xx for a subscription game to go to game's universe.

Of course I knew there are some different between operating online game in the West and in my country. And you should know that there is no limited-content (such as expansion, maps, areas) in free-to-play game in Vietnamese. So I played Granado Espada that didn't take $300.