There's a fairly well-established pattern of events that surround MMOs transitioning to a free-to-play model. First, the existing players freak out and try desperately to convince the game studio not to do it. Then the articles about the death of that MMO begin appearing in the gaming press. Then the studio insists that "no, no, everything's fine." Then the layoffs and server shutdowns begin. So why is it that when EVE Online developer CCP announced that they were going F2P, it was met by near-universal enthusiasm from the player base? Well, EVE has always been a little different. [more inside]
Tribes: Ascend is a class-based sci-fi first-person shooter, and the successor to the much-loved Tribes series of games. What makes it unique is that there are no hitscan weapons, and players are able to jetpack, and frictionlessly glide (ski) over terrain. It is free to download for Windows as of April 12th, and so far the reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
"The subscription model is dead." says John Smedley, head of Sony Online Entertainment, and creator of EverQuest. Are people willing to pay $15 per month to play a computer game that isn't endorsed by Mr. T? Bioware is betting a rumored $135 million, the most ever spent on a video game, that the answer is yes. Star Wars: The Old Republic launches on December 20th. [more inside]