Star Trek Online
has been out for over a year now and in spite of some desperately needed updates it's still seen as something of a disappointment. I certainly feel for Cryptic, the game must have been a massive undertaking but I still agree with fellow staffer Ben Berry that it fell short
of a whole lot of potential.
Cryptic just announced that STO will be going free to play before the end of the year, and while some might consider this an admission of failure, I just see it as an evolution that is currently transforming the whole MMO genre. Like it or not the idea of a subscription based game kind of bit the dust when Apple began offering apps for a buck and even WoW is letting players roam their servers up to level 20 these days. Hopefully this will breathe new life info STO as a more diverse set of players explore its universe and offer their input. One thing's for sure though, people who shelled out for the lifetime subscription back in March 2010 are probably pissed.
STAR TREK™ ONLINE FREE-TO-PLAY IN 2011
Star Trek Online to Accommodate All Players. Closed Beta Begins Soon.
Los Gatos, CA (September 6, 2011) - Star Trek Online, the acclaimed sci-fi MMORPG, developed by Cryptic Studios, Inc. ("Cryptic Studios"), will be free-to-play in 2011. Players will be able to download and enjoy the game as they like at no cost.
A features matrix, FAQ, overview and various forums can be found on the official Star Trek Online website to better explain the nature of free-to-play to new and existing users.
To learn more about Star Trek Online free-to-play, please visit: http://www.startrekonline.com/f2p
"In addition to seeking out new life and exploring strange new civilizations, part of our continuing mission for Star Trek Online is to expand and improve," said Jack Emmert, CEO, Cryptic Studios. "Transitioning to a free-to-play model is a natural way to share all we've built with a broader community of players and we couldn't be more excited."
Later this year, when Star Trek Online free-to-play launches, anyone can download and play the game for free without purchasing a retail copy or subscription. All players will be able to take advantage of Star Trek Online's many features for free, from customizing avatars, crews and the very ships they command, to exploring a galaxy filled with intrigue and danger.
Players will also be able to access additional features a la carte through a virtual goods store. Current players can become Gold Members by continuing to subscribe to the game for $14.99 a month. New players can also upgrade to Gold status for a set price of $14.99 per month. The differences between paying Gold Members and free Silver Players can be found at: http://www.startrekonline.com/f2p
Star Trek Online free-to-play allows players to get into the game and engage the Star Trek universe in a number of ways:
The Universe is Your Only Limit - Play as much as you like for as long as you like at no cost. No subscription is required, nor is payment of any kind required.
Episodic Gameplay - Experience new weekly episodes that feature story-based gameplay and put your captain's ability to command to the ultimate test.
Your Captain, Your Crew, Your Destiny - Become a captain, seek out new life and new civilizations and encounter hostile beings as you advance to maximum level for free.
Familiar Places, New Experiences - Travel to Starfleet Academy, Deep Space Nine, The First City of Qo'noS and many other iconic locations and notable worlds from the beloved Star Trek universe.
Engage and Explore Your Way - A web and in-game virtual goods store provides players the option of purchasing gameplay upgrades or additional premium content as they like, when they like.
Taking place in the year 2409, Star Trek Online boasts extraordinary features and lets fans both new and old experience unparalleled adventures within the Star Trek universe. Players have the opportunity to become high-ranking Starfleet officers and participate in missions structured like episodes that take them into the depths of space, across exotic planets and inside other starships. All players are invited to explore strange new worlds and encounter new life in a vast, ever expanding universe!
Star Trek Online is a licensed product from CBS Consumer Products and developed by Cryptic Studios, Inc. For more information, please visit: www.startrekonline.com