I was wrong.
Another subscription MMO caves in, unable to make a go of things on monthly fees alone. Or they feel that the grass must surely be greener on the free to play side of the fence.
Of course, my prediction was back when Scott Hartsman was still on board and before they put the cash shop interface into the game. And with WoW, the game Rift sought to out do by speed and emulation, dropping subscriptions in huge, game killing chunks (for any game except WoW), the subscription model takes has taken another blow.
Anyway, Trion has announced that Rift will go free to play come June. They have a video and such on the official site. And a producer’s letter. And a FAQ. And an interview over at Massively to reinforce all of this.
They will even have something called REX, which sounds remarkably like PLEX. You think?
The beginning matrix of who will get what has been announced.
People who subscribe will now be called “Patrons” and will get a set of benefits. Will they be worth $15 a month to people?
That feels more like World of Tanks, what with the short term options available. They are certainly trying to mix in all they can.
But still, the cash shop will now rule the roost and new content will likely falter while Trion begins the endless race to figure out what will sell best. Those who buy from the cash shop will drive the game going forward.
Some people will be cheering, feeling that every game needs to be free, that there is only one right model.
Either way, it will change the game. Nobody can deny that. And it will likely bring in some new players to start. But eventually the cash shop chase will begin.
What do you think?
Addendum: Green Armadillo has some thoughts on Rift’s new plan.