Spandex gamers in Champions Online will be enjoying free super-powered adventuring, but they're "not sold" on free-to-play Star Trek Online.
"I'm sure people are wondering whether we'll do it with Star Trek and the question is really how well it does for Champions," said Cryptic Studios boss Jack Emmert.
"We're not sold one way or the other with Star Trek yet. If people want Star Trek to go free-to-play then get in and play Champions and help make it a great success, because that would send a strong message," he added. "If we did Turbine's level of success that would certainly merit the discussion!" Turbine made DDO free-to-play and it’s boomed.
"There are more people than just I on that decision and I can't begin to say it would be an automatic 'Yes, we'd do it,'" admitted Emmert. They hope that Turbine's gamble with Dungeons & Dragons Online can prove almost universal in success.
This week Lord of the Rings Online also went free-to-play - it's the new craze. "We hope for a success as big as DDO," Emmert enthused. "That would be great - but I wouldn't say we're betting on it."
"In other words, I'm not going to say we'll do or die if we don't get five times our revenue or whatever the stats were that Turbine did. We're just hoping to open it up and increase the fanbase, and we'll just wait and see - I'd love it if we got their results, but hey, if that doesn't happen it doesn't happen." Champions Online will have two tiers of users.
Gold members are subscribers still and will continue to pay $14.99 a month. Silver members are those enjoying the MMO for free but have limits imposed on character class, wardrobe and slots. Microtransactions will help boost revenue they hope.
"I'm hoping lots of new people would give the game a chance that perhaps didn't even look at it the very first time because it was a subscription MMO," Emmert said.
"Naturally I expect a lot more people to come in - we believe strongly that the game was good at launch and even better a year later - and that those people decide to stay around and play in the world." Has a previously subscription-based MMO turned free-to-play managed to seduce you into its world so far, videogamer?