It seems like every month we see another shining example of how switching your game from subscription-based to F2P can change it from a struggling title to a revenue juggernaut. Our latest success story comes from the folks over at NCsoft, who moved the then-struggling Lineage II to the F2P model on November 30. Since then, their playerbase has jumped 800% and revenue has quadrupled.
NCsoft has had to nearly double the number of active Lineage servers to support the influx of new players and over a quarter of a million gamers have paid for the premium ?Path to Awakening? subscription service. Since Lineage is completely F2P ? no limitations, etc., the Path to Awakening is available only to players that wish to have their rise to the top made a little easier and faster.
All things considered, the success of Lineage II is another strong indicator that providing players with the freedom to play and pay however they want is the best business model in the world of MMORPGs. Even without limiting players or forcing them to make purchases, NCsoft has turned a dying game into a thriving community.