We here at Dealspwn are an astute lot; we called this eventuality all the way back in Novemeber of last year. However, we now have confirmation of it thanks to the lovely folks over at Seeking Alpha. During a conference call to investors, Perfect World chief financial officer Kelvin Lau stated that MMORPG Star Trek Online would be re-launching as a Free-To-Play title "by the end of this year."
In all honesty, this does not come as a huge surprise after the same transition happened earlier this year for another Cryptic Studios MMO, Champions Online. The change to a Free-To-Play scheme for the superhero MMO was deemed enough of a success that Perfect World decided it made sense to apply the changes to Star Trek Online to allow the product to have "a bigger potential in US market and also in China market." Although the title was lacking content during its launch, major updates with new missions, along with the ability for players to create their own missions, could lure in disheartened Trekkies that decided to give the game a miss at launch, or for those just looking for a new online adventure.
Or for those just looking for an excuse to shout "KAPLA" in context.
Earlier this year, Perfect World purchased Cryptic Studios, along with the rights to the two mentioned MMOs and the upcoming online title Neverwinter. Perfect World Chairman Michael Chi said of the purchase that "It will also help us grow in the US and the Europe and further strengthen our R&D and operations around the world." [Seeking Alpha via Eurogamer]