The struggling sci-fi sandbox Earthrise
is no longer interested in competing in the subscription market, and is instead veering toward a free-to-play model in 2012. As of December 1st, all players will be able to experience the game without a monthly charge as Masthead Studios
prepares for a F2P version.
Masthead CEO Atanas Atanasov
says that the move is an effort to retain customer trust while the developers shore up the game's weaknesses: "We decided to let all our players unlimited gaming experience until we all are satisfied with the experience in our game. At the moment Earthrise
features one of the best visuals, content, and gameplay of all sci-fi MMOs on the market. However, it is missing polish and has annoyances that spoil the fun in the game. We are learning from our experience and that is why we will remove monthly charges until we bring the game to a quality state that is satisfactory to us and our players."
Once the title is brought up to par, Masthead will transition it to a true F2P model, although Atanasov assures players that it will not incorporate pay-to-win purchases. Until Earthrise
goes F2P, new accounts will be invitation-only as Masthead restricts the number of incoming players. All current subscribers will be able to invite a few of their friends during the transition, however.
[Source: Masthead Studios press release]