When Sony Online Entertainment announced that DC Universe Online was going to the way of the free-to-play business model on November 1st many saw it as one last gasp before the title went the way of the failed MMO. At least for now, it looks like the free-to-play gamble has paid off -- with SOE revealing that more than 120,000 users have signed up for the MMO.
Now, SOE has not mentioned how many new members have opted for either of DC Universe Online's two freemium subscriptions, leaving us without an understanding of whether or not this risky move paid off, but for now it seems like it has.
Our experience with DCUO, back when it was planned as a pay-to-play MMO, showed an interesting concept that fell flat in its execution. Sure, the chance to fight alongside classic superheroes and villains seemed enticing, but once that early appeal wore off, there just wasn’t enough substance there.
But, without having to pay for the MMO, or only having to commit to a small one-time fee, the amount of superhero-filled content seems a bit more enticing, and clearly it has for a large segment of gamers as well.
Whether or not this upward surge of gamers will stick with the title, and will entice gamers to pick up any of the DLC packages that have been released for the game, is yet to be determined, but for now this is good news. With Star Wars: The Old Republic ushering in the last age of the premium MMO, there are going to be a ton of developers looking to the DCUO experiment as a sign of whether or not free-to-play can work for titles with intriguing concepts.
Yes, the main goal is to unseat World of Warcraft, a task that even The Old Republic might not be capable of doing, especially with the title’s new kid friendly Mists of Pandaria expansion looming overhead. Only time will tell, but we’re excited to throw on those spandex for just a little while longer.
Have you jumped (back) into DC Universe Online since the title went to the freemium model? Was DCUO simply a flawed product that couldn’t have been saved no matter if it was “free” or not?