TERA puts its free-to-play solution in players’ hands

4 Posted by - February 4, 2013 - Community Platforms, News, Rewards & Loyalty

Another day, another MMO goes free-to-play. But En Masse Entertainment is taking a different approach when it comes to converting TERA: Rising over to a new business model … one that gives all the advantages to its players.

“With TERA: Rising, we created a fresh, action-oriented play style that is centered around allowing players to take control of their actions on the battlefield,” said Chris Lee, CEO of En Masse Entertainment. “We feel the time has come to offer the same level of control in how they invest in that world.”

That control comes in the form of tiered options for playing the game, all set to roll out in February. So what does playing at the bottom rung get you? Only the entire game, without restrictions.

For the low-low price of nothing, new players will get two free characters per server with no level caps, no restrictions on time, and no blocked areas. Players can still see their characters grow, hold political office, and generally experience the same game exactly the same way other players have since the game launched in 2011 — then called The Exiled Realm of Arborea.

It’s 100% of the standard TERA game, 100% free. Microtransactions will be limited to the in-game store. En Masse is taking a pure Community As A Service approach, giving players exactly what they want in the belief that it will pay off big.

On top of that, En Masse plans to drop a major content update at the same time, including a wave-based Crucible of Flame dungeon and the Champions’ Skyring, an all-new 3-on-3 battleground with major loot up as the prize. It all culminates in a new boss fight against the immense Cyclops.

But for players who want to dive deeper into TERA, En Masse will elevate their $14.99/month subscribers to Elite status, which comes with a lot of bonuses. Elite status grants players extra dungeon rewards, 10 bonus quests per day, a daily delivery of items and boosts, an elite mount, in-game store discounts, and waives brokerage registration taxes. It’s designed so players who want more game get it … and feel their subscription fee more than pays for itself through items, discounts, and content even before counting all the perks.

En Masse didn’t forget their early adopters, either. Players who bought TERA gain “founder benefits” like eight free character slots, four bank tabs, a “Founder title,” and exclusive mounts.

Rewarding loyalty with tangible, exclusive plunder — exactly what every gamer wants — and letting each player decide their level of involvement with the game might just be the epitome of “player-first” thinking. We’ll see if gamers reward En Masse in return next month.