Press Release

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced a new free-to-play business model for its popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) game DC Universe Online (DCUO) – where players have the freedom to become legendary, fighting alongside DC Comics icons like Superman, Batman and The Joker in an ever-evolving online action adventure that has seen players log more than 42 million hours of super-powered gameplay action since its launch earlier this year.

Beginning late October, players will be able to download and access DCUO for free on both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. As part of this transition, SOE is introducing three new access levels to the game: Free, Premium and Legendary. All three levels will provide access to open world gameplay and missions, general game updates and fixes to the game, with each level offering different game options and benefits.

“When we launched DC Universe Online, we introduced a very different brand of massive online game driven by fast action combat to PC and PS3™ gamers and with that, we discovered a new type of online gamer,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “We’ve listened to our community, and we’ve determined that the free-to-play model is the best fit for DC Universe Online.”

Smedley added, “Our philosophy embraces learning from our experience and as a pioneer in the free-to-play space with proven successful games like Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures, we believe this new model will expand the DCUO experience and offer more options that cater to every type of player so they can play the game in a way that fits them.”

All three levels provide access to the current game, but allow differing tiers of convenience and flexibility. The levels are:

Free: New players will now have access to the current gameplay in DC Universe Online (including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts), with the ability to create two characters, join a league and many other benefits. Free level players will be able to purchase downloadable game packs/updates, additional character slots, powers and more through microtransactions.

Premium: Any player who has spent at least $5 USD (including former paid subscribers and new players who have purchased $5 of in-game items) will qualify for the Premium access level. Premium level players will have more benefits available to them than the Free level player, including additional character slots, additional inventory slots, and higher cash limits. Downloadable adventure packs, additional character slots, and more can be purchased in-game.

Legendary: Maximum features and benefits are included at this level. Loaded with enhanced additional features, Legendary access will be available for a $14.99 USD monthly fee and includes all DLC packs at no cost, more than 15 character slots, more than 80 inventory slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, and many other benefits.

More information on the DCUO free-to-play access levels can be found here:

DC Universe Online combines immersive environments and fascinating story arcs with fast-paced, physics-based combat, allowing players to pick up buses and other objects in the environment, fly into the air and throw them at enemies; run up the sides of buildings to engage in melee brawls while shooting flames of fire from their hands; or cling to the side of buildings while using a grappling hook to pull flying opponents out of the sky – all while fighting alongside or against the legendary characters of DC Comics and charting their own path to legendary.

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  1. darklighter1
    September 19, 2011 at 11:39 am — Reply

    I don’t get it…why does Superman have red underwear on? I thought he had armor?

  2. Mokin
    September 19, 2011 at 11:53 am — Reply

    Color Mokin stupid if you wish, but I have a hard time understanding why they change a formula that worked (monthly payments) to another that will bring less revenue…

    There has to be something somewhere Mokin is not getting…

    …very confused Mokin…

    • Xybec Katta
      September 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm — Reply

      If they started to lose people, this will bring them back. Microtransactions is the new subscription plan. They will actually make more money with this plan than they would have with just subscriptions. Look at Zynga. All they do is give away games, but they are one of the top companies because people will pay to play a free game.

    • September 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm — Reply

      “Free to play” usually is limited, allowing you to play the game but not access ALL the content unless you pay a subscription fee. Everquest 2 has a “free to play” version, but you can only access a limited number of races and classes unless you either pay a subscription fee or purchase race and/or class unlocks, as well as limiting free players to being unable to use certain game mechanics or gear beyond a certain level.

      So it’s not like people won’t still pay to access the content “free” players cannot. It’s just making it more accessible for people to play.

    • seneca
      September 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm — Reply

      DCU had to do this or die. While lauded at first the players started to jump ship after the first month of play (For many reasons) and that effect would snowball as more and more servers started loosing players. The posts of ‘I’m leaving DCU and you should too’ that spammed their forums didn’t help as it turned away potential players who looked at the forums before buying.

      Even after 2 content upgrades (one which you have to pay for) it was not enough to right the sinking ship and they chose the FTP route to keep the beast alive.

      I see DCU being a game that other mmoprg’s will take away what they did right and wrong and apply it to thier future games, but I dont see a long shelf life for this game.

  3. Joonas
    September 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    I recently started playing Champions Online, since it’s free. Seems that DC Online is better than CO

  4. TaZ
    September 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm — Reply

    Who cares? None of these characters even “exist” anymore.

    • September 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm — Reply

      Who cares? None of these characters even “exist” anymore.

      Taz, Taz, Taz… Such bitterness. Do you need a hug? :)

  5. BatTech
    September 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm — Reply

    I play the game daily. As far as the forums go, it is inaccurate to use it as a litmus for the game. The same people who whine there whined on WoW, Evercrack and other mmo’s, and yet there they are every day still playing. The storylines in game are familiar to DC fans, but it is set in its own universe. The locations are detailed, HUGE, and spectacular.
    The tiered system will be great for casual players all the way through hardcore addicts. I hope it gives people a chance to experience the goodness of this game.

  6. ClubberLang6
    September 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm — Reply

    I am excited. I am going to try out the game now, which I never would have done if I had to buy the guy and pay a subscription.

  7. September 20, 2011 at 5:58 am — Reply

    That was fast!!!
    All MMORPG goes this way when they don’t make enough money bu wow – That was fast!

    • Seneca
      September 20, 2011 at 7:15 am — Reply

      Not enough content, bad customer service, a wonky costume aquiring system, a calvacade of Dbags posting about why they were leaving and you should too that scared off new players, lack of players, and patch fixes which would break more than they fixed, and a control scheme that was designed for the ps3 (the pc version is basically a bad port which made no sense since they dont let pc players and ps3 players play on the same servers.)

      It had a lot going on for it but these are some of the major reasons people jumped ship.

      • Seneca
        September 20, 2011 at 7:25 am — Reply

        As an example they had a valentine’s day event which happened 1 week after valetines day and they had a quest where you could pick up 16 random drop items (roll eyes) to unlock a valentines costume and even though you picked up all 16 items it would only register that you picked up 15. This only happened if you logged out before you completed the quest and since it took 4-6 hours to complete chances are you would log out.

        Then they ‘fixed’ it so the items could be collected by anyone starting the quest but it did not help the people who had already began the quest (they found it was still bugged) and this was 2 weeks after the event was started so there really was no one that had not begun the quest.

  8. September 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm — Reply

    I played the Beta and it was fun enough, but I knew this would eventually happen so I waited. Now it will become a casual game when I feel like hopping around the city bopping baddies. Ambush Bug is my Hero.

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