DC Universe soon to be free to play

DC Universe fans will soon be a available at a greatly reduced rate of free. Here is the news and breakdown on the three tiers from Sony.


Sony Online Entertainment 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 Jokerin an ever-evolving online action adventure that has already logged more than 42 million hours of super-powered gameplay action by players 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: http://www.dcuniverseonline.com/free/ .

Netflix introduces Qwikster

Netflix managed to enrage quite a few users with their most recent price adjustment, going from 7.99 to 9.99 to 15.98 a month. Today a mass advertisement masked as an apology was sent out to the masses, the point pushed Netflix needed to do such a thing to ensure their success in the market.

With that said, Qwikster plans to offer Blu-Ray discs, DVD’s and also video games in their service. If GameFly users should be concerned is unknown, with the site still under wraps it’s hard to say how solid of an alternative it will be. The plan is to roll out PS3, 360 and Wii games as primary formats. Pricing plans seem unknown at the time, the only notice is that just like Blu-Ray, gaming will have to be added onto the basic service itself. A downer for those who don’t have any desire to use the DVD system and an even bigger hit to PS3 owners who will end up having to pay for both to make the most of their systems.

Why am I critical about the email itself? Companies roll out new services all the time, they do so with detailed intent and plans to earn trust and build hype. Netflix decided to use old techniques often run in newspapers, an apology campaign to get users to tihnk about them in a new light. Instead of just bringing out the change as bluntly as they did the cost changes, they went in circles naming off the now bankrupt Borders and the dead age of AOL dial-up service to reinforce why they did what they did. It’s poor form and they’re pretending like the consumer is too foolish to know otherwise about them.

There are plenty of companies that look down on their consumers, I never thought Netflix would make it so blunt.