Sony Online Entertainment has officially announced that the original EverQuest will be transitioning to a free to play model this March. The sequel to EverQuest, EverQuest II, made a free to play transition last year and the game immediately saw an expected incline in players. Seeing the success that EverQuest II had in its F2P transition, questions arose as to whether the original EverQuest would follow suit.
EverQuest Producer Thom 'Phathom' Terrazas has taken to the forums to announce the free to play transition, which is expected to be completed in early March.
After listening to your feedback and suggestions over the past few years, I'm happy to announce that in early March 2012, EverQuest will be going free-to-play.
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. 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.
EverQuest players are some of the most loyal, long-standing players of any MMO in existence. With the gaming landscape changing every day, we want to ensure we continue to evolve the game to keep players engaged and bring in even more new players to further expand the community. With no up-front costs or required membership, we might see a new player or two along the way, and more people is always a good thing!
Phathom also announced some fun events that will be coming soon to the EverQuest world. On March 16th, EverQuest celebrates its 13th birthday and the team will be celebrating with some special in-game events and items. When the game re-launches as free to play, Everquest.com will be getting a makeover as well.
Last but not least, Phathom announced that EverQuest's Map system has been given some major improved functionality. If you're a fan of EverQuest, be sure to visit http://eqplayers.station.sony.com/ and read Phathom's full free to play announcement post for more information!