Sonly Online Entertainment's EverQuest franchise has been given an update today with the release of EverQuest II Extended, a free online adventure game that relies on in-game transactions rather than a blanket subscription fee to pull in revenues.
It is the latest in the continuing trend to lure gamers into a game with no download costs and no subscription requirements, and then trying to convince them to make micro-transactions within the game. The model only really gained popularity in the US when Facebook games began to take off and games like Farmville started charging users for various in-game items.
EverQuest II Extended is completely separate from the existing EverQuest II live subscription-based online game and is designed to pull in more people than the niche EverQuest series has managed to attract. This is Sony Online's first real strong attempt at a free-to-play game.
Additional features of Extended include a quicker download than any previous EverQuest game, and of course access to the huge legacy of the online franchise.
Gamers can try out the new "free" game at the EQ2 website