As previously reported here, Age of Conan: Unchained, the rebranded and free-to-play version of Funcom’s massively multiplayer online game based on Robert E. Howard’s creation is now online.
New players can sign up here. Former players will find their accounts reactivated and two of their old characters available to play. The premium subscription is still available to players that wish to fully explore Conan’s Hyboria. Players that only wish to dip their toes in can purchase access to premium content via micro-transactions.
This is only part of a continuing shakeup of the MMO business model that seems to show no sign of letting up. Players now have the choice of a multitude of free-to-play games to try out. As well as Conan, Techday.com has already reported on Lego Universe and City or Heroes going free-to-play here.
Even the popular World of Warcaft, the yardstick for all MMOs, is showing signs of cracking, albeit quietly. It has been widely reported on the internet that the 10-day limit has been removed from the game’s trial accounts. Players can now experience the world of Azeroth free-to-play up to level 20. Whilst there is no direct mention of the changes on the WoW website, the trial account has been rebranded the World of Warcraft Starter Edition, which new players can sign up for here.
Resurrected cops-and-robbers MMO, APB, was a failure at launch and bankrupted its original developer, Realtime Worlds. The game was rescued by Reloaded Productions who have polished it up and are going to offering it using the free-to-play model. APB: Reloaded is now in open beta, which you can try here.
APB: Reloaded YouTube Vid: