Vanguard Going Free-To-Play

By Pete Haas 2012-03-21 15:28:19 discussion comments
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Sony Online Entertainment is removing mandatory subscriptions from another one of their MMORPG's. High fantasy MMO Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be converted to free-to-play later this year.

"Since we've literally just begun on the work, I'm not ready to go into much detail," said Andy Sites, the new director of development, on the game's website. "However, I will say that you can expect something similar to EverQuest, EverQuest II and DC Universe Online when we roll-out our free-to-play offering this summer."

The three games he mentioned are all SOE titles that recently went F2P. EverQuest just switched over on Friday, in fact. Each game is free to download and play, with bits of premium content available for individual purchase with real-world money. Those games also offer optional subscriptions that allow players unlimited access to all premium content. It's a system that brings new players into the fold while allowing veterans to play as they always do.

Sites also added that they're bolstering the game's development team. Salim Grant and Todd Schmidt have been brought on board as creative director and technical director, respectively. SOE is hoping to support the game more rigorously than they have in recent history.

"To begin (and I realize I'm stating the obvious) we've had a dry spell of game updates over the past few months. That said, I'm happy to announce the drought will be coming to an end this week, with our first scheduled update since last December. We plan to roll out game updates MUCH more frequently than years past, which will include general improvements, new content and more."

Vanguard first launched in 2007. Bugs and a lack of high-end content at launch made the game's debut very bumpy. The 14 game servers available on release have since been merged into two to compensate for a lower population. The F2P switch has been a boon for many ailing MMO's, though, so perhaps it'll give Vanguard a shot in the arm as well.
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