Sony Online Entertainment's beloved fantasy MMORPG will officially go free-to-play, providing a membership system very similar to those seen in the recently transitioned DC Universe Online, EverQuest and EverQuest II.
SOE has posted a free-to-play Producer's Letter for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes:
Over the past few months, you’ve probably noticed a significant increase in game updates by our team. We’ve been tweaking and improving upon existing content, but we’ve also been burning the midnight oil in preparation of our upcoming free-to-play launch. Over the next several weeks, as we begin publishing new content to the Test server, we’ll share details with the Vanguard community about previewing and how to help test the upcoming changes.
So let’s talk about what we have in store for today, as well as the next several weeks leading up to our free-to-play launch!
Today, we’ve released our free-to-play feature matrix and FAQ (available here) including answers to some of your previous questions, along with information about the upcoming free-to-play transition. A huge thank you to the Vanguard community for your ongoing and helpful feedback (we really are listening so please keep sending us your thoughts!). Your feedback combined with our previous experience transitioning legacy games over to our Free to Play. Your Way model contributed to the development of what we think is the best free-to-play strategy for Vanguard and our players in that we will be providing the most compelling offer for both free and subscribing players.
Many of the matrix features may look familiar as they closely mirror Sony Online Entertainment’s other free-to-play games in that we’re offering more flexible options for every type of player, however, there are a few differences; most obvious being the number of membership tiers. Aside from our free-to-play offering, we determined it was in the best interest of our players to eliminate the Silver membership and instead provide primarily a Gold membership offering. In doing so, we’ve moved a few elements which would normally fall under a subscription category, and opened them up to the players for free.
Over the next several weeks, we expect to begin rolling out a number of improvements throughout the game, in preparation for our free-to-play launch. And, as I mentioned earlier, we’ll need your help testing these changes in order to refine and finalize our improvements so expect to see many of our developers recruiting your help in the Vanguard forums soon!
Lastly, I want to answer the question I’m sure is at the top of your lists – the release date. We are planning our free-to-play transition this summer and as much as we’d love to share a specific date with all of you, we want to make sure we take the appropriate time to test and do this right so that way we’re ultimately delivering the best possible experience to our players. As I mentioned in my last Producer letter, we assembled our team with only the most passionate Vanguard developers. Therefore, you can rest assured that they’ve fought tooth and nail to acquire as much polish time as possible!
Again, thank you all for your feedback and continued devotion to the game, and as always, please visit the Vanguard forums for the latest news and game updates.
We’ll see you online!
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