Rift Goes Free-To-Play: Now What?

By Mike Andronico , Updated May 14, 2013 07:32 PM EDT

MMO's not named World of WarCraft are having a hard time as of late. And even World of WarCraft has its problems. 

The latest to experience trouble is Trion World's Rift. The developer is making the game free-to-play, Gamespot reports. While the shift to free-to-play usually means that players will be locked out of crucial content, the developers are allowing players to experience every location and quest that the game has to offer for no extra charge.

"After taking our time and planning a careful transition; we are very excited to bring an enhanced game experience to everyone, without barriers." says creative director Bill Fisher in a statement. 

Of course, no free-to-play game would survive by being completely free, and Trion Worlds plans on introducing a slew of new in-game purchases once the game removes the pay gate next month. Players who continue to pay their monthly subscriptions will become "Patrons," a title that will earn them access to extra currency and experience. 

Rift's transition into the land of free-to-play isn't a surprising one. A slew of MMOs ranging from Lord of the RIngs: Online to Star Wars:The Old Republic have had to eschew their paid model dude to poor initial performance. There are a number of reasons why a paid model might fail MMO developers, with the most obvious one being players' lack of desire to pay a fee to play an already-purchased game. The Old Republic has been thriving since going free, so perhaps Rift will also see a surge in its player base.

Interested in trying Rift once it goes free-to-play? The transition will officially happen on June 12 as part of the Empyreal Assault content update. You can learn more about the game's new additions right on its official website.

Is free-to-play the future of MMO gaming? Or do you still find it worthwhile to pay for a subscription?

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