Big announcement from Trion today that RIFT is going F2P (Free to Play) on June 12, 2013.
Personally, I'm not surprised by this announcement as so many MMO's have found a new breathe of life adopting a F2P model and many have increased revenue with a more ala carte approach.
As long as a game doesn't degenerate into a "Buy to Win" philosophy, I'm all for the F2P/Cash Shop model. A few of the games that I think have great F2P/Cash Shop models is SOE with Planetside 2 (you can buy or grind a specific item, but only by playing can you upgrade it/no game purchase is required though), Turbine with LoTRO and FunCom with The Secret World (both of these do require a game purchase, and added content is available for purchase in their cash shop).
Conversely I wasn't very keen on EA's F2P model for TOR.
What this holds for Veterans (Patrons for Rift) that have pre-paid subs or want premium membership will be fleshed out in the coming weeks. Some of the items mentioned are nice, but will it be worth the price of admission?? And for those of us that have pre-paid annually... ? One only hopes!
There is a good over-view of the upcoming changes over on the Rift site. There is also a Dev Diary video on YouTube.
The big question, how long before Blizzard takes WoW F2P? When subs drop below 1 million.... maybe!