Free-to-play model proves successful for TERA: Rising
En Masse Entertainment's action MMO TERA has found new life after being rebranded and re-marketed as TERA: Rising, the same MMORPG with a free-to-play subscription model. Over 500,000 new users have registered for the game since its switch to free-to-play a little over a month ago. Thanks to the new model, TERA: Rising now has over one million total registered players.
In its current form, standard TERA: Rising players have full access to all in-game content, without restrictions, for up to two free characters per server. Consumable, cosmetic, and convenience items can be purchased from the in-game store on an a la carte basis. Although TERA wasn't the most ground-breaking MMO when it launched last year, it did offer some innovative mechanics such as its in-depth political system and real-time action combat. With no barriers to entry, it might be worth checking out now.
TERA isn't the only MMO to adopt a new model. Last year Star Wars: The Old Republic, which launched in 2011 as a subscription-based MMORPG, finally made the switch. Though there are a few restrictions with the free-to-play model, players are able to experience The Old Republic's class storylines through level 50 at no cost. TERA also isn't the only MMO to see success from the transition. In late 2011, DC Universe Online went free-to-play, and as a result saw over 120,000 PC registrations in just two days.
For MMOs, we're now at a time where publishers must really consider launching with a free-to-play model. The already-saturated MMO market is getting tougher for subscription-based MMOs to succeed thanks, in part, to a rise in quality from many free-to-play games like Raiderz and Neverwinter, two MMOs that haven't yet been released, but show plenty of promise. One highly anticipated MMORPG that we've got our eye on is Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls Online; the publisher has yet to confirm the game's business model, though we are anticipating it will be one of the final MMOs to launch with a subscription.