Hi-Rez Studios announced that its MMO third-person shooter Global Agenda
will no longer require a purchase to play and will switch to a full free-to-play model with the release of its Free Agent expansion later this month.
The developer and publisher removed monthly subscription fees from Global Agenda
last June, but players still needed to buy a copy of the online game to access all of its content. Hi-Rez offered free trial accounts, but users could not progress beyond level 15 or experience high-level content.
With the 1.4 Free Agent update, users will be able to play across all characters classes without level restrictions for free. The squad-based shooter's expansion will also add a new Dome Defense Raid, a capture-the-flag style Mercenary mode with pilotable robots, revised skill trees for all four classes, and more.
Players will now have the option of making a one-time $19.99 purchase of "Elite Agent" status, which accelerates the rate of earning character levels, gear, and in-game currency. It will offer features like in-game mail, an auction house, and login priority, too. Users who previously purchased the game will automatically receive Elite Agent status.
will continue to offer "Boosters", which double experience/Tokens/Credits earned and provides other benefits for a set period of time, through the game's store for players to purchase via microtransactions.
"Our experience with the limited free trial has demonstrated to us the great demand among free-to-play gamers for a AAA-quality Shooter MMO like Global Agenda," says Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris. "We believe this latest change will further broaden the game's popularity and appeal."
"With this change, we allow players to experience all of the game's current content and levels for free. We've done this in a way that ensures that free players do not have to spend real money to compete on a level playing field with those who do, while still rewarding those loyal players and fans that have purchased the game or otherwise supported the game."