Developer Cryptic Studios and publisher Atari have announced that PC MMO title Champions Online is to become a free-to-play title from Q1 2011.
The game currently requires users to pay for a monthly subscription. Once the change is made gamers will be able to download the title and get going for no outlay whatsoever.
Atari hopes that it will be able to monetise the title through premium content, which will include adventure packs, new superpowers and downloadable costumes.
Subscriptions will remain on an optional basis, however, and will be re-named as Gold Membership. Current users will automatically become Gold members.
“Transitioning Champions Online to the free-to-play model is a great opportunity to reach a whole new audience of PC gamers that view subscription fees as a barrier to entry,” Cryptic Studios CEO John Needham stated.
“By taking care of our current subscription-based community and welcoming the addition of new players through free-to-play, Champions Online is poised to build upon its success and to establish a new leadership position as the first free-to-play superhero MMO.”
A beta test for the free-to-play version of the game will kick off November 9th. More details can be found on the official site.
In June developer Turbine announced that its MMO title Lord of the Rings Online was to become a free-to-play title – a move that has lead to a doubling of revenues.