I caught a bit of news this evening from a tweet by Altexist. Perfect World just released the transcript of their Q2 2011 earnings call that had several interesting tidbits regarding Cryptic but there’s one quote in particular that’s got the STO forums jumping:
And also Star Trek Online, after the acquisition, in fact Cryptic is working on the free-to-play model for Star Trek Online. This is going to be launched by the end of this year as well.
Unfortunately that’s all the detail we have just now, as Cryptic itself isn’t ready to make any announcements according to Dan Stahl (from forum post):
I can neither confirm nor deny anything (until given approval to).
Update: Except Dan did post again later in the same thread with this:
There are certainly a lot of questions you may have about this news. The team is working on an FAQ and side by side comparison details that will spell out very clearly what this means for Lifetime and Subscription members. Until then, please stay tuned as we confirm all the details.
Update 2: Another follow up post from Dan:
The goal has been to leave subscriptions alone and ensure that you enjoy all the same benefits you have today (if not more). There will be more details on this soon.
Based on Dan’s comment, I assume we’ll see something official fairly soon.
I don’t think anyone’s surprised by the announcement, I’m certainly not. I’ve assumed that Champions successful shift to F2P meant STO would follow. I originally figured six months would be the “wait and see” time before Cryptic decided of the Champions experiment was a success. I’m sure the delay has been because of the Atari to Perfect World transition.
I do feel bad for the STO team that PW leaked the news in an earnings call, I’m sure there’s some scrambling going on in Los Gatos this evening.