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TERA going free-to-play in Korea and Japan

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

TERA, the fantasy MMO from Bluehole Studio, is being turned into a free-to-play title in Korea and Japan by NHN, the game's publisher in those territories.

"The industry has shifted in this direction and the Korean gaming market has always been on the forefront of this shift," explained En Masse Entertainment community manager Catherine "Minea" Park on the company's forums.

Citing market differences among the various regions in which TERA is available, Park said TERA "currently remains a subscription-based game in North America and Europe," where it is published by En Masse and Frogster Interactive, respectively.

According to MMO Culture, which translated the Korean announcement, TERA will become free-to-play in the country Jan. 10, while the free-to-play conversion in Japan will be completed by mid-February.

TERA originally launched on Windows PC in South Korea in January 2011, and in North America and Europe this past May. Last week, En Masse laid out its planned schedule of content updates for early 2013.