Champions Online Free-To-Playness Dated

It was announced back in 2010 that Champions Online would be moving to a free-to-play model, but that has now been dated: JANUARY 25TH IS THE DATE. Needless to say, you can keep subscribing to unlock loads of the content that will now be available via the “C-Store”, or you can play for free and buy various content packs with micro-cash. Here’s an FAQ that may answer and questions you might have. I link to that because can’t answer them, not accurately anyway, but if you do want to ask questions in the comments below I’ll have a wild stab at answering them when I wake up in the morning. Or I might just forget, or idly blog links to Minecraft texture packs instead. Anyway, you can already play some of Champions for free, because there is a trial mode thing, or “demo”. Hooray!

You will remember, of course, that Champions Online wasn’t as much fun as City Of Heroes, which was a shame, but that’s life, eh?


  1. Level85nerd says:

    Finally dated? Doens’t matter i think, this game will fail.
    And no demo or trail version will help.

  2. skyturnedred says:

    Guess I’ll have to give this a proper go now. Free is free is free!

  3. DevilSShadoW says:

    Ill give this a try now that it will be free. Wasn’t so bad when i tried the demo but it sure as hell wasn’t something that I would have payed a monthly sub for.

  4. geldonyetich says:

    > You will remember, of course, that Champions Online wasn’t as much fun as City Of Heroes, which was a shame, but that’s life, eh?

    It’s sort of tough to compare the two, really. City of Heroes started with MMORPG roots and added a few things (such as knockback) that resulted in a surprisingly deep diverse alternative that has only been getting better balanced over the years. Champions Online sought to make City of Heroes flashier and faster, banged its shins against trying to be console-friendly, and stumbled across the finish line a somewhat shallow-feeling action game. The comparison is hard because they’re hardly even the same game anymore. Of course, even a casual glance will tell you that depth/better balance trumps flashiness/speed.

    DC Universe Online, played the beta, it’s essentially Champions Online Done Right. They’ve nailed the action-based combat, with greater depth, that Champions Online didn’t quite manage, and they even got that console release done. Even so, I’m still not feeling particularly confident that DC Universe Online is worth $15/mo. It has to do with the experience they’re selling. If you want “action-based superhero in open environment with minimal player interaction so as to be casual friendly,” why not just purchase Prototype, Infamous, or similar title, and be spared the monthly price gouge? On top of that, the massively multiplayer technical overhead gives the single player games an advantage in delivering this experience.

    Champions Online going Free 2 Play was the right move for this very reason. The subscription model is simply incompatible with the experience they’re offering. I expect good things to happen to it now that they’re out from under that silly mistake.

  5. GCU Speak Softly says:

    Does this set the clock ticking for Star Trek Online to go F2P?

    • Cradok says:

      I really hope so. After levelling one character, STO just fades to a stop. I occasionally fancy popping in to blow up some Borg, but not enough to actually pay the subscription.

    • Mr_Day says:

      For me, it was always the pvp that I enjoyed – the space based variety, anyway. Not enough to pay, sadly.

      For fun, I’d play with BBC iplayer in the background. Fun!

      link to

  6. markside says:

    I’m up for some texture packs. Anything better than Painterly?

  7. KindredPhantom says:

    Ok then Jim, here is a question for you to answer…erm..what is your favourite minecraft texture pack?

  8. Mac says:

    I bought this when it was sub £10 and got to level 12, before cancelling sub – it was just too dull for words. They even allowed you to play to lvl 15 for free some time ago – couldn’t be arsed installing it again to see if anything has changed. Probably even worse now that they have monetised it … i’ll wait and see what people have to say who try it, but i’m not holding my breath …

  9. Magrippinho says:

    Is micro-cash anything like monopoly money?

  10. Torgen says:

    I was bored to tears when playing the demo a couple years back, but determined to grind to see what was offered only to find your weren’t allowed out of the tutorial zone.

    You *know* something is seriously wrong with a game when you are forcing yourself to grind and you’re still in the starter area.

    Has anyone been really sucessful with a F2P transition other than Turbine?

    • lolfang says:

      You know, I kinda liked Pirates of the Burning Sea. Has a really great atmosphere, sea combat it’s done right, UI is OK… gameplay in general is good.
      I have to play LOTRO, yet…

  11. Heliocentric says:

    No sub planetside next please, thanks.

  12. malkav11 says:

    I really wish they were doing it right. Unfortunately, having substantial subscriber-only content and having Gold-created characters actually disabled while you’re not a subscriber is practically the definition of doing it wrong. (The actual definition of doing it wrong is still EQ2’s model, which is also on entirely separate servers and gives you less for the same money than a regular subscription!)

  13. destroy.all.monsters says:

    I hate to say this kind of thing during tough economic times but Cryptic really needs to die. At the very least Emmert needs to be sent packing.

    STO – boring except for space battles, squandered the ip, squandered the use of Nimoy, impossible to play on a wifi connection. It also can’t decide if it’s a casual mmo or not.

    I honestly figured during all the lead up to release on CO that it would be terrible or at least be run by idiots. DCUO – a good percentage of people, including myself, couldn’t even download the game to play during beta. i sure won’t waste money on it now. A shame as I’d hoped it would be good and not run by morons (then again I don’t know sony’s track record).

    I constantly get the impression that Cryptic has no idea what it’s doing and that things that are obvious and constantly pointed out to them by the player base are not instituted until things reach a crisis state.

    My favorite shacknews comment: “Still too expensive”.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Oh yes, I do know DCUO isn’t by Cryptic. I jus had to get all my superhero mmo rantiness out.

      Also – tiring of WOT. Just too much grindiness and too many peeps that have no clue what they’re doing. So much mindless rushing leading to early defeats.

  14. Mac says:

    Unlike the likes of LOTRO, this game is a bit shit – monetising it and sending it out into the F2P world will not change that fact, only make it worse …

    Not worth the bandwith to d/l in my opinion …

  15. Pani says:

    Every time I see a MMO go free to play, I wish that Tabula Rasa had gone that way too. From the limited Beta experience I had with it, I enjoyed it, but not enough to pay monthly on. Had it ever gone FTP, I’d have spent more time in it, maybe even forking out some real cash on extra stuff had it hooked me. Heck, if I had to pay for the box and then have it free a-la Guild Wars, I probably would’ve done that.

  16. Temple to Tei says:

    Hmmm, which would explain why City of Heroes just announced a double xp weekend for… 27th Jan.
    That is a 4 day weekend I believe.
    Strangely my sub runs out on the 25th and I’m letting it lapse! That will probably go down as a statistic somewhere regarding Champions going F2P but is unrelated.

    Still recommend CoH/CoV/Going Rogue as a game, had a blast these past few months and big thank you to the RPS reader who pointed me in that direction.
    Play the trial, pick up a Heroes/vilains box set for about £6 on ebay and you have a month and a half of gaming goodness (cannot play Praetorian characters you made in the trial on your Hero/Villain set so be ready to say bye if you aren’t buying the Going Rogue set)