Ahead of its planned Season of Siege
expansion, representatives from UK publisher Codemasters have announced that their recently released MMORPG ArchLord
will be heretofore free to play.
The move marks the latest in a series of various payment option plans, with Codemasters first announcing
it would be creating a so-called PayPLUS system that gave players tiered subscription packages, starting at $9.99 and rising to $39.99 a month, with the more expensive packages offering credits for bonus character enhancements above what could be gained through standard play.
That plan was tabled
soon afterward after service testing and player feedback, and a standard and flat monthly fee was instead instated at $14.99 a month for its launch in October, including a flat amount of bonus credits distributed evenly amongst its players.
Now, Codemasters has abandoned the subscription fee entirely beginning January 4th of next year, and recent buyers of the retail game can simply use their included 30 day trial coupons until the free-play has been instated.
In regards to the in-game bonus credits, Codemasters has also said that all existing and future players will receive or be reset to 3000 credits to ensure a 'level playing field.'
Precisely how Codemasters intends to fund future development and support for ArchLord
is at this point unclear, with its upcoming Episode 2: Season of Siege
expansion currently slated as a free release, and no mention as yet of the in-game credits moving to a 'for-pay' release, nor is it clear if the move comes as a result of flagging subscriptions, though the game was met with less-than-stellar critical reception
on its release.