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Defiance, the MMO shooter inspired by the SyFy television show, will be going free-to-play this summer on all platforms.
"Starting June 4 on PC and mid-July on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, players will be able to download the Defiance client and experience the entire Bay Area storyline, original end-game content, and future missions completely for free," developer Trion Worlds said today. "This may be cause for some concern from our current ark hunters, and that’s understandable as we haven’t detailed how we’re going to treat you, our frontier pioneers, like the wasteland kings and queens you are."
The company adds in a FAQ that the PS3 version will go free-to-play on July 15th. They're still finalizing plans for the Xbox 360 with Microsoft.
Defiance never required a monthly subscription to play. Instead, players bought a copy and had permanent access to the game. Players had the option of buying items or services for real-world money. Post-launch DLC packs were priced at $9.99, though Trion also released free content alongside these premium offerings.
Players who purchase Defiance before June 4th will get a few exclusive perks over everyone else. They can have up to 4 characters, 5 loadouts, 70 inventory items and 75 ark keycodes. Free-to-play accounts, by comparison, are only able to have 2 characters, 2 loadouts, 35 items and 50 keycodes. Players who bought the game will also get a bonus 1,000 Arkforge, a currency that lets players increase the rarity and power of weapons or reroll their mastery bonus.
Once the game goes F2P, an optional Paradise Patron subscription will be offered. Paradise Patrons will receive 20% boosts to their Skill, XP, and Reputation gain. The rate that they earn Scrip and Salvage will also be raised by the same percentages. These bonuses stack with boosters purchased through the in-game store, where subscribers have a 10% discount. If subscribers don't want to spend money in the in-game store, they can just use boosts provided from a daily grab bag. Lockboxes delivered on a weekly and daily basis will give bonus quantities of Arkforge.
Players who bought Defiance before the free-to-play launch will get a free month of Paradise Patron membership. It's unclear right now how much this subscription will cost normally.
Defiance launched last April on PC and consoles. It managed to attract one million players within a month. They didn't outright admit that the player population had dropped since then. Instead, they framed the free-to-play move as a positive, saying that it will allow them to attract new fans of the show.
"As we head toward Season 2 of the Defiance television show, we expect that many new fans will want to join the world of Defiance, and having a system that allows them to experience the Defiance universe for free is good for everyone."