DC Universe Online soon to be free for PC, PS3

SOE is shifting the business model of the superhero MMORPG nine months after its debut.

Christopher MacManus
Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.
Christopher MacManus
2 min read

Players fight within "The Chasm," a raid in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Sony Online Entertainment

DC Universe Online is destined to be free to play for PC and PS3 starting in late October, Sony Online Entertainment announced today. An FAQ is available for those curious about the change.

The new levels of gameplay coming to DCUO. Click to enlarge. Sony Online Entertainment

Three tiers of gameplay are coming to the MMORPG--free, premium, and legendary. Existing subscribers will automatically become premium users, and a special $9.99 per month for three months of legendary access is available (have a look at the graphic to the right for more details on access and features in each level).

Reaction to the announcement is a mixed bag on the official DCUO Facebook page, where some are a bit upset about the shift.

"What a joke. No voice chat for F2P, a mere $1,500-$2,000 cash limit for anyone not on the Legendary plan, can't form leagues if you aren't on the Legendary plan, can't even send items or cash in mail if you are F2P! Can't even TRADE items with other players! Come on, SOE, just let this game die if you are going to do this," Caio Rodrigues said.

Others more optimistic. "I'm pleased with you guys for making efforts to keep the game alive, please update the level cap and keep good content coming," Ajay Pollarine wrote in response to the announcement.

The superhero MMORPG utilizes characters from the DC Universe canon, including fan favorites such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Joker, Green Lantern, and others. When the game debuted in January, CNET sister site GameSpot gave it three and a half stars, praising the combat system and graphics, but expressing concern about long-term play value.

SOE is no stranger to free-to-play games driven by microtransactions, including Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Everquest II Extended, and others. Do you think Sony has made the right move by shifting DCUO over to free-to-play?