NCSoft has announced that their flagship MMO, Aion, will be going free to play (F2P) in February, 2012. The game is in North America through publishing rights partnered with NCWest (a subsidiary of NCSoft) while NCSoft is parntered with Gameforge in Europe for games there.
The move to F2P is mainly to boost flagging European interest in the game. As the Gameforge site says, “the lands of Atria have become more and more deserted” in reference to this lack of interested in the EU. With the heavy competition that MMO RPGs of this genre have seen there, it’s no wonder the game has been having a rough time getting non-free players interested.
No new information on the F2P move is available for the North American servers, but it’s expected that the change will happen on both at about the same time. So far, NA interest in the game seems to be robust, but not stellar. With new competition from other popular MMOs like Star Wars: The Old Republic launching as F2P, it’s obvious that Aion will have to compete.