Rift leads the way, and other MMO news

Posted on 25 May, 2011

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Trion, the company behind Rift, continue to impress with the news that the next major patch will include free character transfers. There’s two things about this that are brilliant. Firstly it is free, when many games (such as World of Warcraft) charge a fee for moving a character between servers (currently £15). Secondly it looks like it is the player that makes the move, and does so directly within the game. These are big moves forward in maximising what the paying customer gets for their money in this genre. Impressive, and I’m such the other mmos will have to take notice.

Funcom have announced that Age of Conan will be joining the many mmos that have gone ‘freemium’. Freemium meaning there’s a rack of content that can be played for free, with certain benefits for the paying “premium” customer. Turbine’s Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online have done very well out of moving away from the traditional subscriber mmo payment model, so it will be interesting to see whether Age of Conan can do the same. This change in model will sensibly be aligned with the release of the upcoming Conan movie, and will feature new areas and quests that relate to the movie content. Good joined up thinking!

Finally catching my eye today, Square Enix are apparently developing a new MMO, as reported by vg247. This is certainly one to keep an eye on considering how wrong the FFXIV release has gone. Can they bounce back in a genre that’s getting busier and busier, and harder to make an impact in?

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