In a not totally unexpected move, Sony Online Entertainmentannounced that starting in October the highly popular DC Universe Online MMOwill switch to free-to-play.  The MMOwill begin a three tiered system that will serve as the revenue stream for thegame.  The move comes just seven monthssince the game came out in stores.
Both PC and Playstation 3 players will be able to downloadand play the game for free and have the ability to boost their account by ingame microtransactions.  The tieredsystem breaks down like this.

Free
New players will now have access to the current gameplay in DC Universe Online(including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts), with theability to create two characters, join a league and many other benefits. Freelevel players will be able to purchase downloadable game packs/updates,additional character slots, powers and more through microtransactions.

Premium
Any player who has spent at least $5 (including former paid subscribers and newplayers who have purchased $5 of in-game items) will qualify for the Premiumaccess level. Premium level players will have more benefits available to themthan the Free level player, including additional character slots, additionalinventory slots, and higher cash limits. Downloadable adventure packs,additional character slots, and more can be purchased in-game.

Legendary
Maximum features and benefits are included at this level. Loaded with enhancedadditional features, Legendary access will be available for a $14.99 monthlyfee and includes all DLC packs at no cost, more than 15 character slots, morethan 80 inventory slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, andmany other benefits.

SOE executive producer Lorin Jameson had this to say.
“I don’t know about you, but my credit card statementevery month is this amalgam of s*** of MMOs that I’m too lazy to cancel.  What we want is to offer people a way to notworry about that.  In terms of ‘Is it aresult in a drop in subs’ – absolutely not.  This is the right business model.  If I can be honest, the game ended up costinga lot more than we thought it would, and this was our preferred business modelfrom day one.  We are really seeing thebenefits of free to play, and we’re really liking it.  Needless to say we’re paying close attentionto it and maybe looking to make some surprise moves a little later.”
That was basically all they had to say for me.  Come October, I will be downloading andplaying DC Universe Online.  Since Ifirst heard about it I have been dying to play. The only thing stopping me was the $14.99 a month fee.  If you’re like me, you avoid playing MMOsbecause of the monthly fee required to play them.  The trend over the past year or so has beenmany of the popular MMOs going to a free-to-play model that allows players the flexibilityto pay for only what they want and still be able to play the game without amonthly fee tacked on.  Earlier thissummer Cryptic, the makers of Star Trek Online made the announcement that itwould also be switching to a free-to-play system by December of this year.
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