Sony DC Universe Online goes freemium

For those of you that have never heard of this game before, it's called DC Universe Online, created and run by Sony, and it functions as a MMORPG or massively multiplayer online role-playing game and it was released in January of this year to throngs of ravenous comic book hero fans. Users create their own superheroes (or villains) and move through the DC world fighting and having awesome adventures with the rest of the people working and playing in the environment. This game initially only had one payment model to play, but as more social games creep up and offer free online games with money made from goods available in-game, Sony's decided to upgrade the system to three ways to pay to play.

The three tiers that'll be working on DCUO, as it's called for short, are indicative of a trend that's been happening in MMORPGs and will continue to happen in the future: three tiers, different payment systems, multiple roads in to the game so that no gamer can resist. The first mode will be a completely free but limited tier. This mode will have limited features but will have no payment plan at all, tempting the player to bump up their account. The second tier will be a Premium tier which will be for those who spend a total of $5 USD inside the game – that's once, one single time. This mode is slightly less limited, but isn't quite as fantabulous as the top tier which is called "Legendary." What the Legendary tier offers is every single feature in the game, big and small, for a total of $15 USD per month, every month.

Sony is hoping that this will bump up their initial audience that latched on to the game with the monthly payment plan the game began with. Sony has invested about $50 million USD into the game and it's taken more than five years to make thus far, so Sony isn't letting go of it any time soon – thusly the new plan. President of the Sony division that helped develop the game John Smedley spoke thusly of the next payment plan version of the game:

"We discovered a new type of online gamer. We've listened to our community, and we've determined that the free-to-play model is the best fit for DC Universe Online." – Smedley

This comes after the most excellent news of all time from Blizzard Entertainment who noted that the next chapter in one of the most popular MMORPG games of all time, Diablo III, would feature an in-game exchange system that would work with real money as well. This system will be working with Paypal exclusively, making it easy as pie for gamers to blow all their hard-earned pizza boy cash.

Will you join the DC Universe now that it'll be free?

[via LA Times]