For some 13 years, EVE Online has been one of the most popular, and distinct, MMOs available on the PC. Throughout that time it has maintained a paid subscription model despite the fact that many of its competitors have adopted freemium ideas that allow players to play without any upfront cost.
That is all set to change now, with the game bringing a novel approach to attracting players who don’t want to fork out a monthly subscription. Known as Play For Free, it gives players the chance to play in something new called Clone States. Paying customers can use the Omega Clone State – giving them access to a wider variety of skills and options – while free players cane the Alpha Clone State.
Using the free option does not put a player at an obvious disadvantage as they can still develop all the skills necessary to be competitive but it does limit the variety on offer from the game.
“We wanted the free experience to actually be viable,” executive producer Andie Nordgren told Eurogamer. “It should not be a super-gimped trial version that is just designed to let you dip your toe into it and then ‘uh huh subscribe’. We really tried to give you the ability to partake in every activity in Eve Online just not at max efficiency.
“I actually expect for a lot of previous players to come back and play as Alphas, for hell of it, for the fun of it, to see what they can do or to stay in touch of the community and so on. If you’re an existing player you can even view the Alpha state as a kind of hardcore mode.”