EverQuest goes free to play after 13 years

The grandfather of MMOs now available to all

31 Jan 2012

Classic massively multi-player on-line role playing game (MMORPG) EverQuest is due to go free-to-play for all, as a celebration of its thirteenth birthday.

While eclipsed in graphical quality by later titles such as World of Warcraft, EverQuest still has a place in the heart of many: despite being thirteen years old in March, the game boasts a massive number of subscribers kept playing largely thanks to the frequency of content updates, with eighteen having been released over the course of the game's history.

The game will still have a payment system in place, however: while a free play tier will exist from March onwards, it comes with limits to various in-game features including the number of races and classes playable, the spell tiers available, access to prestige items, coin limitations, bag slots, and apprentice tiers.

For those who find the free tier too restrictive, a $5 a month 'Silver' option unlocks certain functionality, while players looking to remove all restrictions from the game will need to sign up for a 'Gold' subscription at $14.99 a month.

"We're excited to be expanding the EverQuest experience by making the game more accessible to every type of player so that you can choose to play the game in a way that suits you best", claimed EverQuest producer Thom 'Phathom' Terrazas of the move to free-to-play. "Anyone who wishes to start, return or continue to play one of the 'Best Games of All-Time' can simply download and play EverQuest on their terms – think of it as Free to Play, Your Way. Recurring subscriptions, non-recurring subscriptions, Silver or Free memberships, item unlockers, and more. The game will now be setup to be flexible so that you can decide how much to pay, based on how much fun you're having."

In order to attract new players to an established MMO - often a problem, as other players are extremely high-level and the starter areas can be devoid of characters with which to team up - Terrazas detailed a 'Welcome Pack' that will be given to all players, free or otherwise, with in-game items that will help newcomers quickly rise in experience and access more populous areas.

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