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.