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Champions Online To Go Sorta Free-To-Play In Q1 2011

Yay, content locks.

Cryptic Studios' superhero MMO Champions Online will become a free-to-play title with some very thick strings attached starting Q1 2011.

When the changes roll out, anyone who makes an account for the game will be able to level to the cap, buy supplemental items at will, and… well, that's about it. Non-subscribers will be locked out of a large portion of the game's pre-existing content, will roll with lowered amounts of inventory, bank, and marketplace space, and won't be able to assign character powers. Existing and new subscribers, however, will get full, normal access, according to a recent Cryptic blog post.  
 
If you want the full details, and there's a lot of minor stuff that free owners will be limited to, check out this official features matrix. Notice that the subscription option will continue to cost $15 a month and Lifetime members are automatically enrolled into the subscription tier.
 

Wow. That is one sexy, sexy superhero.  

== TEASER ==According to Eurogamer, the beta testing phase for this switch will start November 9. I'd imagine the official site will offer sign-ups at some point, though, the existing base might be enough to pull it off.

We've seen a lot of MMOs switch to the F2P structure of late. Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online is the most mainstream, but lesser-known games like Dungeons and Dragons Online and Global Agenda have made the hop from subscription-exclusive to F2P rather lucratively. I wonder if Champions Online will get the same sort of positive boost? 
 
Thanks for the tip, Kwame!
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Posted by BradNicholson
Cryptic Studios' superhero MMO Champions Online will become a free-to-play title with some very thick strings attached starting Q1 2011.

When the changes roll out, anyone who makes an account for the game will be able to level to the cap, buy supplemental items at will, and… well, that's about it. Non-subscribers will be locked out of a large portion of the game's pre-existing content, will roll with lowered amounts of inventory, bank, and marketplace space, and won't be able to assign character powers. Existing and new subscribers, however, will get full, normal access, according to a recent Cryptic blog post.  
 
If you want the full details, and there's a lot of minor stuff that free owners will be limited to, check out this official features matrix. Notice that the subscription option will continue to cost $15 a month and Lifetime members are automatically enrolled into the subscription tier.
 

Wow. That is one sexy, sexy superhero.  

== TEASER ==According to Eurogamer, the beta testing phase for this switch will start November 9. I'd imagine the official site will offer sign-ups at some point, though, the existing base might be enough to pull it off.

We've seen a lot of MMOs switch to the F2P structure of late. Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online is the most mainstream, but lesser-known games like Dungeons and Dragons Online and Global Agenda have made the hop from subscription-exclusive to F2P rather lucratively. I wonder if Champions Online will get the same sort of positive boost? 
 
Thanks for the tip, Kwame!
Posted by Drod

Whopee.

Edited by keithfreitag

yes 
 
damn it to helll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by sixghost

This sounds more like a demo than going F2P.

Posted by KWA223

Curses!

Posted by DAFTPUNK

Nice

Posted by MutenMiller

Enjoyed Champions Online. Don't like paying monthy fee's as I am a very casual mmo player. This is wonderful news!

Posted by RiotBananas

Holy Free Content Batman!

Edited by ballsnbayonets

champions was a very casual mmo when i tried it out i soloed my way to like lvl 30 very fun tho but the only problem is you dont really need to grp so its kinda just like an rpg at least the way i played

Posted by LeYcH

More like an unlimited restricted trail but still good hear nevertheless =)
Played the demo last year bought a month and couldn't be bothered to buy another one.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

So only get to play existing archetypes? Is all of the visual customization going to be available? I might check it out.

Posted by Jeffk38uk

Pretty sure regarding actual story quests and such, they meant the recent adventure packs were locked to free players, cause other than that, theres still alot of content available.
 
I think this is a good direction, as it was an alright MMO, just lacked content at launch, but pparently much better now so I certainly won't mind playing this again along with LOTRO. 
 
Shame I wont be able to use my old character tho if they are restricting new character designs like that.

Posted by TheChaos

I saw this coming since before the game left Open Beta.

Posted by FinalDasa

Not bad, though it tells me this MMO is dying 

Moderator
Posted by TheHT

Sweet! Forget the actual game, I'll just be making super heroes with the character creator.

Posted by CornBREDX

I paid for this when it was on sale. At 6 bucks it was fine but I didnt play past the free month. Not a whole lot to this game, very few amount of ppl that play, and there's a sad overwhelming fear in the community that cryptic has given up on the game and may close it down (well there was, if your getting mad reading this just read the forums over there- im not making stuff up). 
 
Its got some awesome stuff in it though so definitely worth a look. Just needs more to it right now but could definitely be a great MMO with a little more to it then it currently has (alot of the team based instances are really cool for instance, but theres not enough of this kind of content. Its very solo oriented for a MMO). 
 
Not knocking the game, but curently not sure I want to pay subscription fees for it. Not enough there to keep me interested. I did play a fair amount though and the game was worth the purchase. Just not enough to keep me going. 
 
Just my thoughts, so they should think about maybe not locking it and just being seriously free to play. I dont know, though, I hope this helps them out.
Posted by TadThuggish

"Content locks" isn't really what matters.  I'm now interested in both LOTR Online and D&D Online because of the free service.  Before, consumers would have to skip MMOs all together if they weren't able to take a massive plunge.  Now, if a game's good enough and is put out as free, companies can get their hooks in you without you dedicating your life with the hopes of getting their possible hooks.  This is a good thing; if I happen to play some Champions Online and end up loving it, they'll get my money for extras.

Posted by FlipperDesert

Great!
 
*keeps playing WoW*

Posted by DukeTogo

Just another year before my Star Trek Online lifetime sub pays for itself.  Don't go free until then.

Posted by Skooky

That's a pretty good looking BradNman.

Posted by Destroyeron

Phew, good thing I've never heard of this.

Posted by JanitorJaMarcus

Free? Maybe I'll try it now.

Posted by Norusdog
@JanitorJaMarcus: don't bother...the games failing is the lack of content. (among other things but MAINLY the lack of content)..being free to play...locking out MORE of the VERY LIMITED content?
 
seriously man..don't even bother.
Posted by scarace360

So still no xbox version?

Posted by Tarakun

Well, they don't lock you out of the PvP, so if all you want is PvP you can level to the cap and do that to your hearts content right? 
 
Although that brings up another question: Is the PvP any good?

Posted by Lurkero

I predict that next year a lot of people will regret that lifetime StarTrek membership

Posted by Wildfire570
@Lurkero said:
" I predict that next year a lot of people will regret that lifetime StarTrek membership "
I'm sure Jeff is already regretting his.
Posted by MarkWahlberg

I just want to dick around in the Character Creator, so whoopie!

Posted by Shadow

This wouldn't be happening if they were able to release the game on the 360 like it was supposed to be.  Just sayin'

Posted by President_Barackbar
@scarace360 said:
" So still no xbox version? "
They already canceled all console based versions of the game.
Posted by Landon
@Wildfire570 said:
" @Lurkero said:
" I predict that next year a lot of people will regret that lifetime StarTrek membership "
I'm sure Jeff is already regretting his. "
No way dude. Jeff can play it any time he wants. ANY TIME...beforeitsshutdown...
Posted by shiro11

Good thing I listened to reviews and never bought this thing

Posted by Damian

DCU Online won't like this news. But at least it shows Cryptic cares.

Posted by myslead
@Wildfire570 said:
" @Lurkero said:
" I predict that next year a lot of people will regret that lifetime StarTrek membership "
I'm sure Jeff is already regretting his. "
^^^this
Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

Awesome character and power creater.
Not so awesome everything else sadly.

Posted by Detrian

Nice job missing the entire point of going Free to play.

Posted by TheMustacheHero
@Damian said:
" DCU Online won't like this news. But at least it shows Cryptic cares. "
Cryptic cares? This is the bullshit-bastardized-one-legged cousin of the Free-to-play MMOs.
Posted by damnboyadvance

Too bad free-to-play is never really free to play. They lock you out of so much content that it's not worth the time or effort. Just look at what Battlefield Heroes turned into.

Posted by Zithe

Champions Online is actually a really fun game to mess around with for a few months. I dig the freedom they give you with choosing your powers and customizing the way they look. The downside is that the content in the game isn't varied enough to keep my attention. Gets boring after a little while.

Posted by BlackSymbiote

Sounds like an interesting way to let you try out the game before you put down the coin.

Posted by S2333

I think they are making this like a demo. So if you like it you can pay the subscription for it.

Posted by Damian
@TheMustacheHero said:
" @Damian said:
" DCU Online won't like this news. But at least it shows Cryptic cares. "
Cryptic cares? This is the bullshit-bastardized-one-legged cousin of the Free-to-play MMOs. "
I didn't mean Cryptic cares about us... That'd be silly. I mean they "care" (read: are concerned) about DCU's potential to cut into their profits.
Posted by FokisMoney

WOOORDD CANT BELIEVE I GOT A SHOUT OUT FROM GB FOR THIS STORY, im sooo pumped right now thanks guys!

Posted by ThePhenomenal1

i personally like how sony has handled everquest 2 as a free to play game out of all the recent free to play transitions. still haven't tried lotro yet but man, its kinda sad the shape of the MMORPG market is in right now.

Posted by Deadboy

This game is soooo boring.

Edited by AURON570
@Detrian said:

" Nice job missing the entire point of going Free to play. "

Not really, "Free to play" is just a marketing illusion used to cover up the fees that it wants you to pay for extra content or upgrades. Calling something free implies there's something else you could pay for. Which is why you would hardly ever call flash games free to play.
Posted by Detrian
@AURON570 said:
" @Detrian said:

" Nice job missing the entire point of going Free to play. "

Not really, "Free to play" is just a marketing illusion used to cover up the fees that it wants you to pay for extra content or upgrades. Calling something free implies there's something else you could pay for. Which is why you would hardly ever call flash games free to play. "
That's some lovely semantics stuff but I was actually talking about how other MMOs go free to play to increase the playerbase in hopes of attracting more customers who then pay smaller quantities for extra things they actually want instead of severely limiting the player in every single aspect.
Posted by Kraylor

This actually sounds kind of awesome. I might give it another shot once this hits.

Posted by zityz

This reaks of Bill Roper half ass ideas. He left right? Or did he not learn the lesson taught to him by hellgate london?

Posted by Frostalicious

There are so many of these MMOs going free-to-play, who has the time to try them all properly? The MMO bubble just needs to burst already. WoW has won.

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