This has been a big month for MMO shakeups in the PC world, and what looks like the biggest announcement of them all is capping it off. World of Warcraft, the biggest dog in the western MMO world, has thrown open the gates to even more of the unwashed masses today with their new free to download Starter Edition, allowing anyone and everyone to play the game absolutely free to level 20.
Last week we learned that Star Wars Galaxies will be closing down in December thanks to the end of their license with LucasArts, the end of an 8-year saga that had its ups and downs.
Sony Online Entertainment has announced that their Station Pass, a one-price ticket to all of their PC MMO offerings (except SWG) and one PS2 offering is getting a price cut and prepayment bonuses. Instead of $30/month, $20/month will get you into Everquest, Everquest II, the venerable PS2 Everquest Online Adventures, the quite new DC Universe Online, and member benefits on Free Realms, among other games. Prepay for a year and the price drops down to $15/month, the current premium price of a single MMO.
LEGO Universe has announced a free to play "lite" mode is coming soon, giving players a limited area of the full game to try things out.
Also jumping into the Free to Play pool will be City of Heroes with their Episode 21 release. A new Paragon Market will debut, and subscribers will be dubbed VIP members and receive 400 Paragon Points a month to spend in the marketplace.
While Champions Online went free to play in January, they only recently showed up on Steam with a handful of other Free to Play games.
Any way you look at it there's something for almost anyone to choose from. Except maybe a sci-fi MMO, hmm.