GAMING BLEND

RIFT Is Going Free-To-Play

By Pete Haas 2013-05-14 10:03:12 discussion comments


The MMORPG RIFT will no longer require a subscription to play. Developer Trion Worlds announced today that the game will become free-to-play starting on June 12th.

After June 12th, gamers will be able to jump into RIFT and play all of its content for no charge. New players will have 2 slots for characters and 3 slots for bags. If you've purchased RIFT before that date, you'll have 6 character slots and 5 bag slots. Owners of the Storm Legion expansion will have the same amount of slots, as well as access to the Harbinger, Tempest, Tactician, and Defiler souls.

Players will be able to purchase mounts, boosts, companion pets and more through an in-game RIFT Store. These items can be bought with Credits, which in turn are bought with real-world money. Trion is also introducing a new currency called REX that can be traded between players and can be converted into Credits. This means that if you've amassed enough in-game money, you could purchase REX from other players and get the premium items even though you're not paying any real-world money. Obviously that's the more time-consuming route, though.

Trion will also offer an optional subscription to players. If you pay the monthly fee, you'll get a number of Patron benefits such as +15% currency gains and instant access to bankers and trainers. Long-term subscribers will also earn Loyalty rewards over time.

RIFT's new business model is similar to that adopted by Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, among others. Both were subscriber-based games that transitioned to F2P bring in new players. The transition worked for both games, and Trion evidently believes it can work for RIFT too.

"Over the last two years, we've seen the online gaming market evolve and expand, with millions of new players in North America and Europe embracing free-to-play games," Trion said. "This is just the latest evolution of RIFT that will allow us to bring even more players into the world of Telara."

The transition to free-to-play technically began in 2012. Last February, Trion launched Rift Lite. Rift Lite players are able to download the game for free and advance their character up to level 20.

RIFT's free-to-play business model will go into effect with Update 2.3. Dubbed Empyreal Assault, Update 2.3 will unlock a new world zone. Players can also expect a new world event and Chronicle.
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