The unstoppable march of free-to-playification continues! Cryptic’s Star Trek Online – which is published by Perfect World – will be free-to-play by the end of the year. According to this report on Perfect World’s exciting Q2 earnings call, chief financial officer Kelvin Lau told investors: “Cryptic is working on the free-to-play model for Star Trek Online. This is going to be launched by the end of this year.”
This feels like a transitional period to me. All these MMOs that launched with subscription models reconfiguring themselves to F2P, while much better contenders – such as forthcoming Tribes-but-WoW offering Firefall – wait in the wings to prove that they can do F2P from the off. Nonetheless, I expect we’re a long, long way from this all being normalised in any fashion. What “free” actually means for these games is still very much up for definition.