DC Universe Online had about 30,000 paid subscribers prior to switching over to a free-to-play model. Apparently that switch has helped the game gain an additional 90,000 registered users. Sony Online Entertainment, which manages the DC Comics-based superhero MMO, said the surge in interest represents a 400 percent increase on previous figures.
The company said – when it announced that DCUO was going free-to-play – that the switch from a subscription-based monthly model to a free-to-play model was not in response to declining registered user numbers. Whatever the reason, the change is showing modest returns.
SOE executive producer Lorin Jameson said that "this is the right business model," in September, adding that the game "ended up costing a lot more" than they thought it would.
DC Universe online was released in January this year, and charged customers around $15 a month to play. It officially went free-to-play November 1. The game is currently available via PlayStation Network and PC.
It will be interesting to see just how much money DCUO makes with this new subscription model. Naturally SOE hopes that players will buy lots of virtual extras in-game.