Dota 2 officially free to play, all heroes will be free, store to sell community-created items

Evan Lahti at

Unusually close to our bedtime, Valve has launched Dota 2's microtransaction shop as it formally declares the game free to play. Click here to read the fancy Dota 2 Store announcement page.

We expected Dota 2 to be a free-to-play game—that's barely news. But more noteworthy is the confirmation that all of the game's playable heroes will be free with no limitations, that Dota 2 will utilize Steam Workshop, and that, like TF2, the Dota Store will be putting player-made items on sale. 67 items are in Dota 2's section of the Steam Workshop now, and almost 200 are in the Dota Store.

Dota 2 will release on PC later this year, Valve says. Expect a big coming-out party for the game during The International at PAX Prime.

Walk the Path of Exile during the public stress test weekend

Gavin Townsley at

Weekends were designed for relaxation, catching up on chores, and dicing up the various spawn creeping out of the underworld. Path of Exile can help with two of these. The dark-and-bloody action RPG is throwing its first public event and that means you're just a click away from hours of demon-slaying entertainment at the beautiful price of free.

Command a menacing metal beast with our World of Tanks giveaway

Lucas Sullivan at

Score some swag for F2P shooter Repulse [Giveaway]

Lucas Sullivan at

If you're going to succeed in the awfully-crowded F2P FPS market, you're going to have to find a way to set yourself apart. Aeria Games' latest run-'n'-gun, Repulse, has all the usual modes we've come to expect: Deathmatch, CTF, infection (known here as Invasion), and objective-based maps. But the game's movement abilities are what really stand out. And we're here to help you start playing in style, right from the get-go, without setting foot in the item shop. We're giving away 2,000 codes for a sweet item-bundle, but hurry—these firearms are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

EverQuest finally going free-to-play in March

Gavin Townsley at

Thirteen years ago, EverQuest opened a door that would influence online gaming forever. It taught us how to camp world bosses, how painful dying can be, and most importantly, how to make a ham sandwich and take a shower in under five minutes so you can get back to the game ASAP. It isn't the flashiest or the most beginner-friendly of MMOs, but it was certainly the foundation for games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. And finally, more than a decade and nearly 20 expansions later, it's going free-to-play.

Dragon Nest in-game goodies giveaway [US only]

PC Gamer at

You put in your time with the family. You ate the cookies, you sat by the fire, you pretended that you could hear whatever grandma was mumbling just fine. But now it's you time. With skill-shot combat and an adorable anime-esque visual style, Nexon's action-MMO Dragon Nest is the perfect way to enjoy the rest of your holiday break. Battles aren't just passive skill rotations—you'll need to dodge attacks and string together combos if you want a chance at surviving. Yeah, cake-induced blood sugar spikes might set your reflexes back a bit, but you can give yourself an edge with a free digital bundle of Dragon Nest loot from Nexon itself.

Tribes: Ascend Juggernaut class highlight

Gavin Townsley at


Associate Editor Chris Antista and I sit down to talk about the beefiest force in Tribes, the mighty Juggernaut. This powerhouse of a class touts Super AP grenades and the Spinfusor MKD. The real demolition starts when I wield the fear-inducing Fusion Mortar, the Jugger's bread and butter of destruction. Watch as I delve into the action and illustrate why the Juggernaut is the thinking player's tool of carnage.

Fallen Earth going F2P, developers explain details

Rob Zacny at

Fallen Earth is an action-MMO set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, built around faction warfare and team tactics. Until now it's been a subscription-based game, but tomorrow it goes free-to-play. That's just a part of how Fallen Earth is changing, however. Developer Reloaded Productions is keen to open up the game to more sandbox play, and to intensify the ongoing faction warfare.

Reloaded Productions' lead designer Mariel Croall and associate game director Joseph Willmon, of GamersFirst, were good enough to answer some questions about what's changing in Fallen Earth.

SOE's Smedley: subscription MMOs a vanishing breed

Rob Zacny at

After revealing that DC Universe Online is transitioning to a free-to-play model, and that Sony Online Entertainment wanted it that way "from day one," SOE President John Smedley now predicts that the future is free. In an editorial for GamesIndustry.biz, Smedley expands a bit more on his thinking, and explains why Star Wars: The Old Republicwill be the last of the big subscription-based MMOs.

"In our cancellation surveys for EverQuest II," Smedley writes, "fully 40 percent of the people that fill them out list subscription fees as one of the primary reasons they quit. Economic times are hard out there and a recurring subscription is something that glares at you from a credit card bill every month."

As big as TOR promises to be, Smedley doesn't think it will reverse the overall trend away from subscriptions toward F2P.

Heroes of Newerth goes Free-to-Play

Lucas Sullivan at

The headline says it all: S2's Heroes of Newerth is going free-to-play, and we couldn't be happier. Since the game's official release on May 12th of last year, there's been a barrier of entry to players who wanted to try out HoN's intense hero-vs-hero battles, but weren't willing to pay the game's one-time fee. Now that the cost of access has been completely lifted, HoN's popularity is bound to explode as more and more people get their friends to give it a try. Come check out what's changing, what's not, and what S2 plans to do with HoN next.

PCG US Podcast #279: PCG for President

PC Gamer at

On this seminal episode of the PCGP, Evan and Logan explain their criticism of Kotaku's recent esports "coverage" (recently rebutted by our own Rich McCormick), which leads us to a broader, meaningful discussion about the state of esports and the inescapable supernova known as free-to-play (or is it?). We also ask: are unmoddable games proper PC games? How stable is a hat-based economy? What's the best Civ game? Would Harry Caray make a good StarCraft commentator?

PC Gamer US Podcast 279: PCG for President

Giveaway: Beat up baddies with a Rusty Hearts beta key

Lucas Sullivan at

Final Fight. Streets of Rage. Turtles in Time. These are games that many of us hold dear to our hearts, filling us with fond memories of roughing up thugs, beating on bosses with our buddies, and picking up loot that just happened to be stashed in random barrels. Perfect World knows the appeal of a good old beat-'em-up, and the addictive combo you get when you mix RPG elements with arcade-style combat. If you like fighting-game MMOs, like Dungeon Fighter Online, you'll love Perfect World's upcoming action MMO, Rusty Hearts. Want to play it before everyone else? Read on to see how you can win a closed beta key!

Lord of the Rings Online is free, has funny video

Jaz McDougall at

Lord of the Rings Online is now free to play, with a cash shop and nifty benefits for subscribers just like they said. They've announced it with a humorous video. Look!

Square Enix wants to make Free to Play MMOs

Jaz McDougall at

Square Enix head Yoichi Wada has told Forbes that some element of multiplayer or social gaming will be incorporated into each title Square Enix produces. They don't give the exact quote, so it's not certain whether he means the internally developed series they're known for, like Final Fantasy, or everything they publish - which would include Deus Ex: Human Revolution. He seemed particularly fond of free-to-play games with a cash shop, referencing Tencent, a company that makes F2P games. He compares their games to Square's own "highly polished" games available for top dollar. "What is polished is in the eye of the beholder. Our games' graphics are very polished, but Tencent is actually very polished in terms of the experience."

Lord of the Rings Online is free to play

Jaz McDougall at

Lord of the Rings Online will soon cost you nothing to play. The new Middle Earth will have a cash shop to monetize "expansions, quest packs, items, and account services," and they're offering a subscription service that'll hook you up to everything for "one low price". They're also testing it in an open beta that you can sign up for here.

Runes of Magic review

Jaz McDougall at

Runes of Magic, a free-to-play medieval fantasy MMO, wears its inspiration on its sleeve: its developers are obvious fans of World of WarCraft. Then, as you cautiously tinker with its all-toofamiliar systems and settings, little improvements and tweaks start to win your approval.