Like a zombie infestation, Another Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games has become Free-to-Play. This time DC Universe Online joins the growing hoard of free MMOs on Nov. 1.
DC Universe Online is based on the DC comic universe and lets players create a hero, or villain, online to interact with their favorite DC characters including Batman, Superman, the Joker and Lex Luthor. The game lets players create characters with a variety of powers, based either on fire & ice, gadgets and mental skills or nature and sorcery. It also features a deep character model customization.
The move splits the DC MMO into three different account tiers: Free, Premium and Legendary. Here's the breakdown from Sony's online press release:
Free: New players will now have access to the current gameplay in DC Universe Online (including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts), with the ability to create two characters, join a league and many other benefits. Free level players will be able to purchase downloadable game packs/updates, additional character slots, powers and more through microtransactions.
Premium: Any player who has spent at least $5 (including former paid subscribers and new players who have purchased $5 of in-game items) will qualify for the Premium access level. Premium level players will have more benefits available to them than the Free level player, including additional character slots, additional inventory slots, and higher cash limits. Downloadable adventure packs, additional character slots, and more can be purchased in-game.
Legendary: Maximum features and benefits are included at this level. Loaded with enhanced additional features, Legendary access will be available for a $14.99 USD monthly fee and includes all DLC packs at no cost, more than 15 character slots, more than 80 inventory slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, and many other benefits.
Free users get a pretty limited view of the game, where premium users pay a la carte for the features and items they want. With the Legendary status, users getting an -you-can-eat buffet of game options for their $15 a month payment. Anyone who has become a lifetime subscriber of DC Online will automatically be converted into a Legendary user. Check out the differences in the pay tiers here.
The MMO marketplace is a crowded battlefield dominated by the Blizzard giant World of Warcraft. Few MMOs can attract a deep player base at $15 a month and many games such as Lord of the Rings Online, Conan: Unchained, and City of Heroes have gone with the freemium business model. The tiered services allows curious players to try the game with minimal barriers to entry and charge them if they want to play the game more seriously.