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Sad panda: NCSoft have today announced that City of Heroes. CoX was a sub based game from its launch back in May 2004 until it went F2P in June 2011. It had decent 200k-ish sub numbers prior to the launch of WoW but managed to push out at least 20 quarterly content packs. NB: this is not a CoX thread!
In an "effort" to increase its user base CoX went F2P last June. Quotes from the press release at the time:
"Arriving later this year, City of Heroes Freedom™ is a compelling new way for Paragon Studios to deliver more content to more players than ever before."
"starting July 1st, current subscribers will begin accumulating 400 Paragon Points every month up until launch, giving loyal customers unprecedented rewards and options". (The monetization stuff being done by a specialist arm of NCSoft as well).
Sounds hauntingly familiar to what EA Bioware have said is the future for SWTOR.
F2P has proved unable to sustain the staff of 80. They are being laid off and Paragon Studios closed.