Ambitious sandbox MMO Albion Online is now free to play. You can download the client from the Albion Online site (opens in new tab) and start your quest to not to get mugged in the first few hours. Albion's devs describe it as a "hardcore" experience with a player-driven economy, player-led guilds, and plenty of PvP.
In a Q&A (opens in new tab) for the free to play launch, Sandbox Interactive outlines how the game will be divided between paying players and free to play players.
"Albion Online’s business model has always been based on two pillars: Premium status, which can be bought with either real money or ingame currency, and a vanity-only ingame shop. This business model will not change when the game goes free-to-play. The only difference is that you will no longer need to purchase the game in order to play."
Fortunately "free accounts will have no game-play restrictions and can take part in all aspects of the game."
As a thanks to founders pack purchasers, Sandbox will be awarding a Specter Wolf mount, 1000 cold, three days of Premium status and an in-game ring.
The game has evolved a fair bit over time, and the aim is to create a player-driven universe where guilds set up businesses and ruthlessly battle for territory (opens in new tab). It will be interesting to see how an influx of new players will upset the existing world order. Maybe we can encourage Steven to return to his leather shoe business.