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Aion Goes Free-to-Play

AION FTP-SDEC. 14, 2011 • NCsoft’s Aion MMO will become a free-to-play service in Europe during the first quarter of 2012. GameForge partnered with the Korean-based publisher in overseeing the adaptation and manage Aion in Europe moving forward. The shift away from a subscription model for the title is only planned for the European market at this time.

Impact: There is a major movement towards making MMOGs free-to-play (F2P).  However, it is telling that this is only being done in Europe.  Europe is a solid overall market but the free-to-play model has been more dominant than in North America.  GameForge is an example of a huge company that has been very successful with simple browser based F2P games. However, that market is slowing as more robust client-based games are increasingly being introduced.  GameForge suffered some layoffs in 2011 and has been working on building a client-based business for years.  Thus the partnership makes sense given GameForge’s F2P experience and Aion’s place as a solid large client-based game.

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