Gamasutra Interview: Why Dungeons & Dragons Online Went Free-To-Play

Yesterday, Turbine made the surprising announcement that its next upgrade to Dungeons & Dragons Online will do more than raise the level cap and add new quests -- it'll change the game's business model entirely.

DDO is going free-to-play, though it'll still offer the option of the same monthly subscription model in the form of a "VIP" user program. Existing subscribers get access to premium content, while free users will be able to shelve the $14.95 per month subscription fee in favor of paying for content and items -- although Turbine director of communications Adam Mersky says no one will be able to "buy their way to the level cap."

"We wanted to make it so that the guy with the biggest wallet doesn't have an unfair advantage," says Mersky. "All the best loot is still in the game, and the hardcore can play their way from level one to 20 totally free."

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