MMO becomes latest Sony Online to adopt freemium business model

SOE to transform Vanguard as free-to-play

California studio Sigil Games will relaunch its MMO Vanguard as a free-to-play game in a matter of months, the company has announced.

Vanguard will be the latest Sony Online Entertainment game to embrace the freemium monetisation model, following positive changes to the likes of EverQuest and DC Universe.

In recent years Sony has pushed further into freemium business strategies, using the MMO genre as an avenue for experimentation.

In November, DC Universe Online gained a third of a million new users since switching from subscription to freemium.

The revenue difference between both models remains unclear, however. Freemium games tend to monetise through virtual item transactions, and require a substantial active user base to secure enough revenues from the minority of people who will pay for in-game goods.

“We see free-to-play as a big part of our future and we like the flexibility it offers players,” said Sigil Games development director Andy Sites.

The finer details of Vanguard’s freemium switch have yet to be explained.

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