Taking a page out of Hellgate: London (which crashed and burned, hard) and Maple Story (which is a huge success), Dungeons and Dragons Online is going free-to-play, with micro-transactions included for those really serious about the game. The official web site gives a little rundown:
DDO Unlimited introduces an innovative new way to play – you can download and play DDO for free! For even more action and fun, you can purchase additional adventures, convenience items, and account services at your leisure from the new DDO Store. Can’t get enough of DDO? You can even subscribe, becoming a “VIP”, to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content.
An article on Gameindustry.biz sheds a bit of light on why DDO went free-to-play:
The US-only, free-to-play makeover for the MMO turns regular subscribers into VIP members and gives access to all game content as well as a monthly Turbine Point allowance. But, said Mersky, the company has still profited from Turbine Point sales.
“They all got a ton of points for being loyal subscribers, for being in the beta. We weren’t really expecting a ton of sales – they had no incentive to. They already had access to all of the content as VIP subscribers, and we just gave them a butt-load of Points,” Mersky told Kotaku, as reported by Eurogamer.
“They’ve gone through their points, and we’ve already sold millions more Turbine points, and we’ve not even opened up the world to the public yet.”
“The hottest selling items are the new Favored Soul class, which is unlockable in-game, but all of our subs just went ahead and spent points on it, unlocked it, and they’re playing it right now,” he added.
[...] Alongside the switch to a free-to-play model comes Module 9, which raises the level cap, adds two new storylines, overhauls the combat system and introduces the Favored Soul. Module 9 will also be released as a regular free update to European subscribers.
You can create an account and download the game HERE.