Sony Online Entertainment’s massively multiplayer online (MMO) game PlanetSide
has become the latest MMO title to drop monthly subscriptions, with a new year long free-to-play advertising campaign.
Until March 2007, users will be able to sign-up in the “PlanetSide
Reserves” for free, and without supplying any credit card details. More action-based than more traditional MMO role-playing games, PlanetSide
was first launched in 2003.
The change to free play is presumably to encourage interest in the aging title, which has never gained the larger user numbers of other MMOs such as EverQuest
and World of WarCraft
, and is part of Sony Online's recently promoted
Station Access Pass retail pack and monthly subscription deal.
The freeplay option limits players to a “battle rank” of six, with higher ranks only available to those with a paying account. PlanetSide
is already part of the Massive in-game advertising network
, and has been running billboard and other adverts since August 2005, presumably helping to fund the game's continued operation via this alternative model.