[Update] Popularity surge as Sony game turns free-to-play

[Update] Popularity surge as Sony game turns free-to-play

By Rob Crossley

November 4th 2011 at 10:20AM

120,000 register interest for free version of DC Universe Online

[Update: Develop reported that DC Universe Online had 30,000 subscribers before turning free-to-play. That figure was based on inaccurate information, and has now been corrected.]  

As many as 120,000 people have signalled their interest to download DC Universe Online in just two days, following a decision to make the game free.

Sony Online Entertainment, which manages the superhero MMO, said the surge in interest represents a 400 per cent increase on concurrent users. That suggests the game had about 30,000 active users before turning free-to-play.

Sony Online Entertainment recently said the decision to make the game gratis was “absolutely not” a response to falling subscriber numbers.

"This is the right business model," SOE executive producer Lorin Jameson said in September.

"If I can be honest, the game ended up costing a lot more than we thought it would, and this was our preferred business model from day one.”

DC Universe online was released in January this year, charging customers $15/£10 per month. Since November 1st the game has been available to all for free.

The MMO can also be downloaded on PS3 via the PlayStation Network, though it weighs 25 gigabytes. Future revenues will be fuelled by virtual items that can be bought within the game.

Earlier this year, Sony Online Entertainment made sweeping cuts across its organisation.

More than 200 developers were targeted for redundancy, while three facilities - in Denver, Seattle and Tucson – were said to be closing down.

Spy MMO The Agency had been dropped as part of the shrink, with teams refocused on erstwhile brands EverQuest and PlanetSide.