Cops and robbers MMO APB is going free-to-play in 2011, but you'll still be able to shell out for a Premium account, giving you access to a range of unique features.
"This week I am going to share our current thinking about how we will split "Basic" vs "Premium" accounts in APB: Reloaded," said Bjorn Book-Larsson, COO of GamersFirst, the firm that bought the APB IP earlier this month.
"The perks usually involve things like making larger clans, creating and controlling clans, or otherwise giving you various unique options and rewards (though they have to be meaningful in order to make sense," he said.
"For APB we have another great feature (and challenge) that we have to take into account as we design the new Basic vs Premium accounts - the customisation system... Instead of limiting what you can customise as a free player, you will be allowed to customise almost anything, but you will not be able to store (and share) complex customisations above a certain complexity level unless you are a Premium player AT THE TIME OF CUSTOMISATION.
"This has several benefits, first it would limit the amount of content pushed to everyone else in the game from free players (which would reduce the amount of loading required), but it would also let you be Premium for just one month, create a lot of customisations that month, and then use those items later on (even if your Premium membership has lapsed)."
Book-Larsson said the overall goal is to nudge the most hardcore players into Premium account status, "in order to help pay the bills, while also letting people lease weapons and perform microtransactions for other items (usually various consumables)... We really mean it when we say that we want free players to also enjoy the experience, while giving everyone great perks for becoming premium players."