The success of World of Warcraft sent many a company scrambling to create its own subscription-based MMORPG so they could start raking in the cash, but it quickly became apparent that few games could actually sustain this model. While some games, like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn have managed to make this business model work, most MMOs have had to transition to free-to-play.
One such game is WildStar, a sci-fi MMORPG that launched in June of 2014. While the game was well received, like so many others it just couldn’t keep enough subscribers to sustain that model. We’ve known since May that the game would be transitioning to free-to-play, and now we finally know when exactly that will be.
WildStar: Reborn — the update that sees the introduction of free-to-play — officially launches in just a few weeks on September 29. In addition to doing away with subscriptions, the update will also see major changes coming, much like an expansion for a traditional MMO.
The update will see revamped character creation and a new intro experience, likely in an attempt to make the game friendlier to first-time players. Class stats will be reworked as well, and dungeons, world bosses, and tradeskills will all see improvements. WildStar: Reloaded will also see “new quality of life features,” but it’s somewhat unclear what that means.
Like many other free-to-play games, WildStar: Reloaded will feature an in-game store featuring items that can be bought either with real-world money, or the game’s OmniBits currency. On top of that the game will offer a Signature service, which “provides new bonuses and rewards on top of the basic game,” according to the post announcing the update on the WildStar website.
Finally, if you’ve remained a subscriber or just want to get a head start on the game, the WildStar Cosmic Rewards program introduced last month will allow points in the system to be automatically transferred to the Signature service once the transition is complete. The second phase of the beta started yesterday, and players who access the beta realm will be given a special “Freelancer” in-game title.
To help promote the update, developer Carbine will be offering beta keys and giveaways between now and the September 29 launch.