The Fastest Switch To Free-To-Play In The History Of MMOs

Illustration for article titled The Fastest Switch To Free-To-Play In The History Of MMOs

Dungeons & Dragons Online did it. Lord of the Rings Online is doing it. More and more massively multiplayer online games are switching to a free-to-play model, but none quite as fast as Hi-Rez Studios' online shooter Global Agenda.

Launched in February of this year, Global Agenda was to have two different pricing tiers. Players could purchase the game and play forever, subscription free, with certain content restricted to those who chose to shell out $12.99 a month.


At launch, Hi-Rez opted to hold off on charging subscription fees, giving all players a free taste of the game's premium features. As of last month, the plan was to institute subscription fees after the second stage of the game's Sandstorm update came out.

The ETA for subscription fees is now never.

The company has decided to keep the game subscription free, with major content updates delivered via optional paid expansion packs.


"Hi-Rez Studios is committed to delivering the best value in PC gaming", said Todd Harris, Global Agenda Executive Producer. "In addition to all of the game's initial launch content, we are bundling nearly 6 months' worth of post-release content and features and including that within the single-purchase game. One purchase of Global Agenda lets you experience this content forever with no subscription."

To celebrate the announcement, the game is now available through Steam at 33% off, or $26.79.


So there's a game that switched to free-to-play before it collected one penny in subscription fees.

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The switch to a free-to-play model for a game originally planning a subscription model is never a good sign, and I'm not just talking from a business standpoint. Look at the most successful MMOs out there. More than half have subscription fees, and why? So the developers and debuggers have the cash to do their jobs, e.g. adding new content, fixing old content, providing support, etc. etc. Sure, I like to not pay money and have fun, but you're usually guaranteed a whole lot more when you pwny up the cash.