It’s finally been announced – Rift will go free to play in June of this year. That’s one of the last hold-out subscription MMOs converting. Massively has further coverage of this and so does Wilhelm of the Ancient Gaming Noob:
Some people will be cheering, feeling that every game needs to be free, that there is only one right model.
Others like me, who have been unhappy with the rot that cash shops can bring, will be less enthusiastic.
I still have four or five months subscription left from the Storm Legion pre-order deal so technically I’m still a subscriber. That said I haven’t felt remotely tempted to log in for months now. I do believe Trion have proven to be a very reactive development company that has delivered an almost unparalleled amount of new content over a significant time period.
But that content for the most part hasn’t been interesting enough for me, personally, to want to keep playing the game. The fact that the game will still be available when my sub runs out is irrelevant since there’s nothing to draw me back in again. That’s in direct contrast to SWTOR; I unsubbed for a break, but now I’m back playing other classes through the game and enjoying it. I’d be tempted to argue that with its rapid leveling speed and mostly linear leveling paths Rift never gave altoholics a reason to keep playing.