Last year EverQuest II dipped its toes in free-to-play waters splitting its services into two separate games: The regular EverQuest II, and the limited free-to-play EverQuest II Extended. Next month the game puts that silliness behind it and dives in head-first.
They're calling it "free-to-play your way", a fancy way of indicating that Sony Online Entertainment is finally ready to proudly stand beside the other former subscription-only MMO titles that now make up the majority of the market. I had a chance to speak with EverQuest II executive producer Dave Georgeson about the new program and the game's next expansion pack, Age of Discovery, earlier this week.
"If you boil it way down, all we're really doing is making it a lot easier for people to pay however it is they want to pay," Georgeson began. "That's the whole point of this conversion. We still have recurring subscriptions, those are still available, but there's also non-recurring subscriptions, which are new to the MMO industry as far as I know...and we've simplified the membership matrix alot, so that we can make this as easy for people to understand as possible."
I've gone ahead an attached the new membership matrix here. Aside from combining the two different players bases into one, the main changes are that the Bronze level from EQII Extended has been renamed Free, the Platinum level is going away, and the Gold level will enjoy new benefits, including access to all classes and races it was formerly denied.