Starting Today ‘EverQuest’ Drops Monthly Fee (Update)

Posted Friday, March 16th, 2012 12:00 pm GMT -4 by 0

EverQuest - Dragons of NorrathWhen my friends talk about gaming, I always hear about ‘Skyrim’, ‘Bioshock’, ‘Assassin’s Creed’, ‘League of Legends’, and ‘World of Warcraft’. However, at one point in time, the king of games was ‘EverQuest’. But after WoW, Playstation, and Xbox got huge, I forgot that it even existed.

For those of you who didn’t forget about ‘EverQuest’, there’s some great news for you, courtesy of the LA Times: Hero Complex. Starting today, Sony Online Entertainment will be offering the game for free. This is part of a broader effort to shift all of it’s online titles to a free model that makes money by selling things within the game such as weapons, instead of charging a monthly fee of about $15.

‘EverQuest’ is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that debuted in 1999. Inspired by traditional role-playing games such as ‘Dungeons and Dragons’, EQ players would design their own character to play with that would interact with other players and go on a variety of missions. As of 2011, the game is up to its 18th expansion pack, which is titled ‘Veil of Alaris’.

Sony hasn’t released its most recent subscriber figures, but the last time they did, there was less than half a million people playing. The company hopes that by switching over to the free to play model that they will attract new players and bring back a good amount of the old players to the game.

Do any of our readers out there still play? Or did you used to play and are now thinking of playing again after this announcement? I’m really interested to hear your feedback on this, even though I haven’t played online games since ‘Counter-Strike’.

[UPDATE]

I should have known better than to rely solely on the LA Times. Thanks to one of our savvy readers we’ve realized there’s more to the story than what has been widely reported.

It looks like that while ‘EverQuest’ is free to play, the options are incredibly limited. According to The Escapist, players who go the free to play route are limited to four races and classes out of the 16 races and classes that are in the game. They also can’t form their own guilds or be able to utilize in-game emails. Paying a one-time $5 payment for a Silver membership will double the amount of character slots you can have and increase the amount of currency your character can hold. To get the whole ‘EverQuest’ experience, you’d still have to pay for the standard $15 per month membership.

While it’s a bummer that not everything is available in the free version, it’s still technically free to play, and you get what you pay for. What do you think about this new model? Is this a better way to play or more of a hindrance on your gaming experience?

  • http://twitter.com/ShalimarTroy Troy Christensen

    I think you are mistaken that they are dropping the fees.  What they are doing is allowing people to play the game in a more narrowly defined game space for free, yet to play the game as intended still costs $15.  Long time players will find the restrictions daunting and new players may feel hamstrung by the restrictions.

    • bsilverio20

      Thanks very much for pointing that out. That was totally my bad for not researching more in depth. Now I know better for next time =)