World of Warcraft and RIft were two of the biggest Pay To Play games left, and now Rift is going the Free To Play route too.
The MMORPG market is changing rapidly, and many MMO’s have been forced into the Free to Play market. Star Wars the Old Republic did so because of poor subscription numbers, while others such as Guild Wars 2 were designed that way from the start. It seems that Trion have decided that it is time to take Rift into the Free to Play model with the upcoming 2.3 patch – although they are not going to go the route of “play to win”. This is considered a major problem with MMORPG’s, with the player being forced to constantly cough up their money to make any real progression in the game. This isn’t the case with the switch for Rift though, according to Trion.
Rather, this change is something that they feel that their player base wants:
“After taking our time and planning a careful transition, we are very excited to bring an enhanced game experience to everyone, without barriers,” commented Bill Fisher creative director of Rift. He then addressed the concerns of the “play to win” models that many MMORPG’s seem to be forcing upon their players:
“There’s even more in store for RIFT in 2.4 and beyond,” he wrote. “A new set of twenty-player raids will be available, a revamped level-60 version of Realm of the Fae, more Chronicles, more quests, zone events, continued updates to class balance for both PvP and PvE, and much more. You might even start hearing about plans for what we call 3.0 – but that is a story for another day…”
Patch 2.3 – Empyreal Assault will add a ton of new options into the Rift world, including a new Zone, world event and much more. So if you haven’t tried out Rift, perhaps now would be a good time. It seems many are taking note over WoW’s huge subscriber drop (although many of those subs are in Asia) and perhaps the free to play market is the best way for MMORPG’s to go in the long term?