This has certainly been an epic week for role playing games, this free-to-play announcement for EverQuest by Sony Online Entertainment entering the ranks with both Diablo III and the refresh of Baldur's Gate. I suppose these gaming companies think it's time to bump up the ol' gaming engines now that summer is approaching - wouldn't want to get a tan this year, would we?! The game EverQuest has seen 13 years of gameplay and a total of 18 expansions to its basic build, and this is the first time its ever had a free model, it now having a total of three - this plus Silver ($5.00/mo) and Gold ($14.99/mo) memberships.
This game was originally launched all the way back in 1999 and has claimed the highschool careers of many midwesterners, not to mention vast packs of college students from around the world even through the release of the second edition - called EverQuest II, of all things. This game joins its second edition in free-to-play-dom now along with DC Universe Online as well, this model sitting next to pay-to-play enhanced editions appearing to work quite well for gaming companies. While there may now be masses of players looking to get in on the fun for absolutely no cost at all, the server hosts that make playing this game online with others possible has got to get paid - so the payment model will remain in-tact for the time being.
If you'd like to join in on this newly minted GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame entrant this week, you can simply head on over to http://everquest.station.sony.com/free/ and get down to business. This should keep you busy enough while you wait for the 15th of May when you'll be wanting to head on over to Blizzard Entertainment to play Diablo III. The Diablo series of MMORPGs has and we hope will continue to always be free to play online - and we've been waiting 10+ years for that as well!
Time to bring the greatness back to epic online game playing!