Following the life cycle of most modern MMOs, WildStar relaunched today as a free-to-play game, dropping its subscription model. The new free-to-play version came with a big content update titled WildStar: Reloaded.
“We received a ton of positive feedback from our fan base through our closed beta and have worked to create a game that is fun, accessible, and engaging for all players," Carbine Studios product director Mike Donatelli wrote in a press release.
Relaunching as a free-to-play game can seem like an admission of failure, but it's a trend that many new MMOs are following. Even World of Warcraft is, after a decade, steadily losing subscribers. Moving to free-to-play can also earn the developer a ton of extra cash, as when The Old Republic made the move.
The development team itself has changed a lot, too. "We learned a lot in the months after launch," creative director Chad Moore told PC Gamer in our interview. "There is a huge difference between a development studio and a live studio. The team we have now is significantly changed and matured from the time when we launched the game."