Aion going free-to-play in North America
The F2P hype train is truly a wondrous thing to behold. More emerging MMOs such as Rusty Hearts and the upcoming Wakfu (to an extent) are using the model, and former subscription based MMOs such as City of Heroes and DC Universe Online have also made the jump.
Now, NCSoft’s Aion is also hopping aboard the F2P train, with an announcement that the game will be completely free with its upcoming 3.0 patch.
The catch? Well, according to NcSoft at least, there is none. When the 3.0 patch drops, everything in the game will be freely available to all players, including the patch itself. That also includes the original game, as well as all the expansions that have been released thus far, every update prior, and all the features that have originally been accessible with a subscription. This is apparently the same “truly free” strategy that they used with Lineage 2, another MMO that went F2P just last year. NCSoft is likely hoping that the same treatment works for the angelic MMO title.
The 3.0 patch itself is set to include its own set of big improvements. This includes new zones to explore, an increased level cap, as well as player housing. All of which will be available to the player for free.
The change is set to go into place this Spring, which is also when 3.0 is due out. Considering the game itself has been sitting in my Steam library for years, untouched, I might actually try to reinstall it and see what all has changed.