Tera free-to-play launch confirmed for February 5

Tera's free-to-play relaunch as Tera: Rising will come on February 5, publisher En Masse Entertainment confirmed this morning. The PC MMORPG will be free for everyone to download and play, supported by optional subscriptions and microtransactions for players who want to pay for extras.

People who've already bought Tera, or do so before the relaunch, will be granted Founder status, locking in their character slots and bank space at the old limits rather than the new, lower, microtransaction-bait numbers. Check out En Masse's FAQ for more on the various membership tiers.

Tera only launched in May 2012, making this yet another fast, high-profile F2P turnaround for the MMO world. The Secret World abolished subscription fees, but kept a box price, after only five months, while EA's boldly-going Star Wars: The Old Republic only lasted 11 months before going F2P. It all seems pretty clear: unless an MMO can offer something different, like EVE, or find monumental popularity, like WoW, they won't last long under a conventional subscription model nowadays. It's a very bold developer indeed who doesn't design with a F2P switch in mind from the start.

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