EverQuest II has announced that it will go free to play (F2P) without segregated servers for subscribers vs. free players starting in early December. Sony Online Entertainment says that subscription titles are a dying breed in the industry and as caretakers of one of its oldest and most popular MMOs, they cannot let EQII die for lack of innovation.
SOE plans to take the F2P revenue model to “new places,” they say. Players will have the option of staying on the current subscription plan (Gold or Silver Subscription) while F2P players will have the option of remaining Free Players or migrating to a paid account.
SOE will be refunding half the purchase price for race or class packs purchased in the past 60 days as Gold and Silver subscribers will have full access to all races and classes, unlike Free Players who will be limited.
Another offering will be a non-recurring subscription option. Players will have the option of subscribing for a set amount of time (in 3 month blocks) as a Gold or Silver plan subscriber, but will lose all benefits once their subscription ends (if it’s not renewed). This will give non-subscribers a way to try out subscriptions and see if they feel they’re worth it.
Each subscription level will have greater and greater benefits in terms of character slots, race and class availability, bag limits, gold limits, and so forth.
Finally, developers plan to employ forum polls and other means of eliciting player feedback to make decisions for the game.