EverQuest going free-to-play after 13 years

Though EverQuest II's initial free-to-play offering launched in August 2010, the original EverQuest still clung to the classic monthly subscription model. To live is to change, the saying goes, and Sony Online Entertainment's iconic MMORPG will turn those subs optional "early March," welcoming in new blood as the thirteen year old EverQuest goes F2P.

EverQuest and seventeen of its expansions (all bar the newest, Veil of Alaris) will be able for all players to explore up to the level cap, but it'll follow the typical free-to-play route of tiered membership.

"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," producer Thom 'Phantom' Terrazas said in the announcement "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!"

Free players will have limited races, classes, character slots, bank space, access to trade and chat, and other restrictions. A one-off payment of $5.00 gets you a Silver membership to raise some of those, while Gold members paying a $14.99 monthly subscription get all the best stuff.

And, of course, there'll be a microtransaction store, selling "everything from mounts, illusions, house items, clothing, experience potions and more" for Sony's Station Cash currency, which you must buy with actual, real pennies (or get a little free each month with Gold membership).

Active subscribers will automatically be converted to Gold members, while players with lapsed subscriptions get Silver membership. SOE All Access subscribers get Gold membership.