Ultima Online Adds a Free to Play Option

In an item of note today, Ultima Online becomes the last of the “big three” MMORPGs from the late 90s to jump into the free to play pool.  EverQuest went to FreeVille back on its 13th birthday in 2012 with the SOE “Free to Play Your Way” campaign while Asheron’s Call went free… back in August 2014 I think.  It was at some point after they decided bringing back Asheron’s Call 2 was a good plan, but before they turned them both off for good early last year.

Welcome indeed

While the plan was announced a while back, today with Publish 99 Broadsword, the minders of the game since 2014, have added a free to play option called the “Endless Journey.”

This new option will be available to new accounts as well as any previously created account that has not been subscribed in the last 120 days.  I guess that is one way to keep people from just unsubscribing when you add a free option, though I am not sure banishing current players for 3 months if they want to go down the free path is necessarily sending the right message.

There is, of course, the usual list of things that free accounts can and cannot do.  In the case of UO, the list is pretty long.

You’re going to have to click on this to make it readable

This list is also part of the Publish 99 release notes linked above, but I thought I would take a snap shot of the day one version in case it changes at some future date.

I really know very little about Ultima Online, having never played it, so I cannot speak to whether the restrictions on the Endless Journey option are going to really push people to subscribe after they have tried the game.  But I do know from experience that when you go free to play with an MMORPG the plan is to drive people to subscribe, get people to buy from the cash shop, or both.

Either way this does make it a bit more likely that Ultima Online will be my choice for my 2018 goal of playing one of the early MMORPGs I have never tried.

4 thoughts on “Ultima Online Adds a Free to Play Option

  1. Catalina de Erauso

    Ultima Online is 20 years old and some people still are playing it… that’s pretty amazing.

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  2. Asmiroth

    I played a ton of UO. This is a free trial, not a F2P option. Skill levels aren’t as important as what you can do with it. Limited housing, banking, guild, and framework is less fun.

    That 120 day limit is odd. May be related to housing decay.

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  3. Krumm

    To give clarity the 120 does have to do with the process of hosing. After you are no longer subscribed the home if one was owned by the account goes into a non refreshable mode. So it takes time to become in danger of collapse and then to fall. What UO is doing is insuring that if you unsubscribe you will not be able to coast between subscriptions and keep your house refreshed…so it will fall. It is of course somewhat odd because before this point people could pay for a sub every three months, I believe the process of collapsing takes 90 days, and so refresh there homes. I think they are looking to force those with homes to actually pay more often and open spaces for new people to see there are spots to entise them to then sub aswell.

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