Change To Come With New Content Patch
It’s a move that has been somewhat expected over the last 12 months, but Trion Worlds announced yesterday that its MMORPG Rift will be joining the ranks of Free-To-Play games from June 12th. Subscriptions will continue to be an option that provide bonuses to currency, experience, and mount speeds, but Trion have promised that all players will have access to all of the game’s content regardless of their monetary contributions.
In an open letter to the community, creative director Bill Fisher explained that the change of heart was not a sudden one for the developers, and that it was a reflection of the changing time within the industry.
It’s worth noting that the market has changed dramatically over the years. Some of the first online game services charged by the hour to play, next came the age of monthly subscription games, and we are now well within the age of Free to Play. These changes have brought more freedom, choice, and flexibility to the player – the kind of changes we stand for. Innovation and iteration have always been a key to our success. RIFT is a living, breathing entity, and it will continue to evolve and change for years to come.
New F2P players will find restrictions on the number of characters they can create (two) and the number of inventory slots (three) but the rest of the game’s content will be available with the exception of the Souls system of the Storm Legion expansion. A new microtransaction store will also be implemented, along with REX – a Rift Exchange system that will allow players to sell microtransaction credits for virtual currency (a move that has proven to be profitable for Guild Wars 2.) Additionally, players will be able to earn Loyalty Points through spending credits, buying subscriptions, and taking part in community events to unlock special items, with current and previous players being given bonus points depending on how long they have subscribed for.
Although Rift has managed to sustain its subscription numbers, it has not been the WoW-killer it was intended to be (its dreadful “We’re not in Azeroth anymore” ad campaign probably having something to do with it) and considering the recent success of SWTOR’s switch to F2P it could be the change that kickstarts the world of Telara. The release of Patch 2.3 on June 12th, titled Empyreal Assault, will mark the introduction of the Free-To-Play option. To learn more about Rift and the upcoming changes you can head over to the official website.