Yes, you heard it right!
After thirteen years, Eve Online is now offering a F2P option through a new mechanic they call Alpha Clones.
It has become very clear to CCP that space sims are making a comeback, notably Star Citizen and the hype it generated in gamescom is a big indicator of what is to come.
CCP, makers of Eve Online, have done an excellent job at staying relevant for as long as they have. While many MMO’s have come and gone, Eve has stood the test of time.
TEST Squadron has seen many new members join us who are leaving a decade of Eve behind them. To combat this leakage, Eve has pulled a smart maneuver. The game will be free to everybody, but within limitations of what they call an Alpha clone.
This clone will be able to fly the T1 (beginner ships) which are actually a critical part of any fleet. You can explore, fight, mine and take part in almost any activity with this Alpha clone, but to advance in the game to bigger ships, you need skills which only a paid account can get you.
Prior to this Alpha clone system, the only way to try Eve was to do a trial which can last a few weeks. The depth and range of Eve makes it very difficult to truly experience all it has to offer in that short a time frame, so this new system is a perfect way of attracting new players and getting them into a subscription model shortly after.
I feel CCP has made a very smart move here and I hope to see the game get another thirteen years of success!