We’ve all compared MMORPG subscriptions to phone subscriptions at one point, and now it’s becoming even more so. We have decided to give Anarchy Online away for free, no charge, no monthly cost, no nothing.

Check out the details here. Free Crack.

Why are we doing that? For free, you get the game that launched 2 years ago, with all the bugfixes, improvements and freebies we added over the years, but without the expansions. We’re hoping that some of the people who play for free will say “uh, this is fun, now I want that expansion thing”, and become paying customers. But if they don’t, well, they still get an MMORPG.

This is for you if
– you can’t afford two MMORPGs at a time
– you have no credit card (we don’t require one for free accounts)
– you want to check out AO at your own time, without being forced to pay after two weeks.

I’m expecting people to say “yeah, desperate attempt at getting customers after WoW and EQ2 launched”. The truth is, we’ve been thinking about this for a very long time, because like the cellphone market, we think there’s room for more than one business model. Requiring a credit card has been a major obstacle in many markets, for example. We probably lost some customers to them, but not dramatically. And we don’t know if they’ll stay lost – after SWG, which is a much more direct competitor in the SciFi genre, we saw a drop, but a pretty fast recovery when people found that they the depth of the game, their friends or whatever drew them to AO particularly.

I think that like UO, Anarchy is here to stay. We’ll continue to be creative, both in-game and sales-wise.

And now go play!

The opinions in this posting are my own, not those of Funcom. And if I get the facts wrong, you can’t sue either me or them.