Following the examples set by other waning MMO publishers, NCSoft have announced that they will be transitioning Aion to a free to play model for European customers in February 2012. No announcements have been made regarding the game's fate in North America or Australia yet, although we suspect a similar fate is in the pipeline for these markets.
From February 2012,players will be able to download the full version of the game for free and play without any subscription costs. Aion will be launched in the UK, France and Germany first and will be accessible to play across Western Europe.
Aion is one of the world’s most popular and numerous awards winning MMOGs including a very loyal fan base in Europe. Songyee Yoon, Chief Strategic Officer from NCsoft® commented that “by introducing the free-to-play model, we hope more gamers in Europe will be able to experience the epic story of Aion” and added that “NCsoft welcomes the partnership with Gameforge with its long MMO experience in the free-to-play sector and its excellent knowledge of the European market.”
A trailer promoting the virtues of free to play is embedded below.