The time has come, the day is here. Trion Worlds has followed through on their plan and changed Rift from a monthly subscription game into yet another contestant on the free to play field.
I actually have not been playing Rift for a while now. Not because of the business model transition, but because our Rift group is on summer hiatus so I have been off in Middle-earth and New Eden.
Never the less, I remain mildly bemused at the change. The new currency has been unleashed.
Once down the cash shop path you start, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will, until lock boxes and random card packs seem like perfectly reasonable ways to generate money and you start to pander shamelessly to the so-called “whales.” Or something.
They still want people to subscribe, and hand out a set of benefits according to the store page.
You can even buy subscriber benefits in 1, 3, 5, 15, and 30 day increments with the RMT currency. And then there is REX, which lets people exchange in-game currency for RMT currency benefits.
So Trion has a plan. I have no doubt that, during the initial “happy time,” everything will seem just dandy, with more people playing the game and revenues jumping. And if you don’t mind the game selling just about anything from their cash shop, life will be good.
And if that sort of thing… or the whole equity equation… bothers you… well… I guess there is still WoW and EVE Online. Though WoW is bad at the equity thing in its own non-cash shop way.
Addendum: Happy time… engaged!