PlaySpan will provide the virtual goods marketplace for Turbine's free-to-play Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited
, the two companies announced today.
PlaySpan's microtransactions platform will power the game's store, now that the title has officially switched from solely subscription to a primarily-free model.
Using the platform, players will be able to shop for clothing, weapons, potions and other in-game items in the marketplace without leaving the game. PlaySpan also says it's set up the store so that it showcases items specific to individual characters' levels.
Turbine announced the change-over earlier this summer, and told Gamasutra
that far from being a response to low subscription revenues, the shift had been in the works for some time as an adaptation designed to suit the evolving styles of newer players.
Dungeons and Dragons Online
will still offer the option of the $14.95 monthly subscription model in the form of a "VIP" user program. Existing subscribers get access to premium content, while free users will be able to shelve the subscription fee in favor of paying for content and items -- although Turbine director of communications Adam Mersky has stressed no one will be able to "buy their way to the level cap."
"We are excited and pleased to partner with PlaySpan to deliver the next evolution in online gaming to our players," said Turbine president and CEO Jim Crowley in a statement today. "PlaySpan’s in-game marketplace provides an easy to use experience that will enable our gamers to choose how they pay and play DDO Unlimited."