Cryptic announced recently that Champions Online will be going free-to-play early next year, and many immediately wondered if their other MMO title, Star Trek Online would follow suit. Cryptic's boss, Jack Emmert, has been speaking out in a recent interview about Star Trek Online's chances of ditching the subscription fee, and about plans to introduce a City of Heroes style mission editor to Champions Online.
Speaking to Eurogamer , Emmert said “I'm sure people are wondering whether we'll do it with Star Trek and the question is really how well it does for Champions. Does it work or doesn't it? We're not sold one way or the other with Star Trek yet. If people want Star Trek to go free-to-play then get in and play Champions and help make it a great success, because that would send a strong message.“
Emmert cited Turbine's success as one of the motivations for considering the free-to-play option. Turbine recently moved adopted a free-to-play model with Lord of the Rings Online, with impressive results . Emmert says that while Cryptic are hoping for a similar jump in players, he "wouldn't say we're betting on it".
“I'm not going to say we'll do or die if we don't get five times our revenue or whatever the stats were that Turbine did. We're just hoping to open it up and increase the fanbase, and we'll just wait and see – I'd love it if we got their results, but hey, if that doesn't happen it doesn't happen."
Cryptic also recently announced that they were releasing a set of mission editor tools for Star Trek Online called the Foundry. When asked about whether we could expect to see these features making their way over to the superhero MMO Champions Online, Emmert said "Ultimately, yeah. Eventually we would like to do it. User-generated content has always been part of our strategic plan for years and years and years. Ultimately I'd like to have it in every game we do in one version or another."
I had a great time blasting Klingons in the Star Trek Online's beta a while back, and would be mighty tempted to get involved again if it went free-to-play. Have you been playing Star Trek Online? Would you be tempted to check it out if it was free?