Champions Online Going Super Free-to-Play

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Champions Online Going Super Free-to-Play



Cryptic Studios' superhero MMO is the latest to throw its hat (or its cape) into the free-to-play ring.

It seems like an odd and rather unintuitive axiom, but these days it's starting to feel like the only way for games (that aren't World of Warcraft, anyway) to make money in the current MMO space is to tell people that you don't want any. Turbine's EverQuest II [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/95429-Free-to-Play-Relaunch-of-DDO-Unlimited-a-Big-Hit].

Now, Cryptic Studios has announced that last year's superhero-based MMO Champions Online will be going free-to-play in early 2011. Anyone can download, install, and play the game all the way to the level cap for absolutely free, says Cryptic - but there will, of course, be a microtransaction store where you can purchase in-game items, costumes, and additional adventures with real-world moolah.

As with EQ2 and LOTRO, Champions will still let players who want to fork over their money every month do so as a "Gold" member, which will unlock "most of the game's content and [include] extra features."

Beta testing for the F2P Champions Online will begin in November. Meanwhile, the rest of us can speculate on if it's actually possible for a major subscription-based MMO game to exist alongside WoW anymore.

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Erana

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Feb 28, 2008
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Oooh, I've been wanting to try the character designer this game. I'm glad I can play it now...

Its Wine compatible, right?
 
Feb 13, 2008
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Given Shamus's review, I'd still say it's too much. Ah well, here's hoping for DCUO.

Actually, Erana does have a point...the costume creator is worth free.
 

icyneesan

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Feb 28, 2010
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Probably the best move they could do right seeing as DC Universe online will probably blow their game out of the water... Not that this game is horrible or anything.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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I wasn't too into it when I tried it, but I was measuring it against a subscription fee. Maybe I'll try it again when it's F2P.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Exactly. To be honest, in my eyes, no game is worth your monthly money anymore except WoW. It's head and shoulders above the other MMORPGS and in a different league. Also damn fine addicting.

Good luck to them and hopefully their additional revenue will convince Blizzard to go F2P as well so I can join the fray!
 

LawlessSquirrel

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Jun 9, 2010
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Ahh excellent, had this game for ages but haven't been able to play due to lack of funds.

You know, I really love that MMOs are going F2P nowadays. It's just much more respectful to the players, and seems better for the companies. Mutually beneficial.
 

ranger19

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Nov 19, 2008
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John Funk said:
Anyone can download, install, and play the game all the way to the level cap for absolutely free, says Cryptic - but there will, of course, be a microtransaction store where you can purchase in-game items, costumes, and additional adventures with real-world moolah.
Not quite. Us Mac users appear hopeless: the demo and anything on Steam looks like it's for Windows only.

First LOTRO and now this, two MMOs I've always wanted to play but turned away from because of the subscription... why must you taunt me?? *shakes fits angrily and in despair*
 

MurderousToaster

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Aug 9, 2008
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I actually don't mind microtransactions. But I damn well hate the "You get a bit of content for free but the rest is locked in a box 'till you pay" system.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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I played it at launch. It was fun. It would be the perfect mmo for the XBOX360. A shame they just can't make it happen though. I would play it. Damned MS!
 

Xanthious

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Dec 25, 2008
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John Funk said:
Beta testing for the F2P Champions Online will begin in November. Meanwhile, the rest of us can speculate on if it's actually possible for a major subscription-based MMO game to exist alongside WoW anymore.
I honestly think that WoW just has too big a piece of the MMO market to allow any other pay to play MMO to find any scrap of success. I think this will be most obvious when when Old Republic fails to find anything but mediocre success upon release. Simply put, the people that want to play a pay to play MMO are already playing WoW and nothing is going to drive those people away in large enough numbers to ever make a meaningful dent.

Sure you have games like EvE Online and FFXI and the like that still have a moderate fanbase but they will never be anything other than a niche market that, at best, will be self sustained.

WoW isn't going anywhere until Blizz is good and damn ready to let it die out and I wouldn't think that will be anytime remotely soon. Until that day comes it will be WoW at the top and everyone else fighting for what few scraps they can find.
 

JourneyThroughHell

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Sep 21, 2009
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Wooooo... I tried out the demo and absolutely loved it, but didn;t really feel like paying. Hell yes.

Now, even with the level cap, this is super awesome.
 

Formica Archonis

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Nov 13, 2009
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Considering that this is the first week in some time where Shamus won't be making fun of it, the timing is excellent.
 

HK_01

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Jun 1, 2009
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I'm probably going to get it just for the character creator. I don't think I'll actually play, though.
 

Jaebird

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Aug 19, 2008
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Sweet! All I need is a better video card, and I can get in on this. I've only played the trial, and liked it, but the video was so awful and slow.
 

Sixcess

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Feb 27, 2010
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I'm only surprised it took this long.

Superhero MMOs are surely too much of a niche genre to support two subscription based MMOs and CO was in trouble from the moment it became clear that it wasn't a real threat to City of Heroes.
 

Kris015

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Feb 21, 2009
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I'm not sure how i feel about this actually.. But I guess it means more stuff for us subscribers :)
 

Cabamacadaf

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Mar 17, 2009
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Awesome. I was in the beta and I really liked it, but I don't like paying a subscription for games. I'm definitely getting it now.