After running for 13 years on a subscription-only model, the spacefaring sim Eve Online will add an optional free-to-play mode with the game’s next expansion this November.
Developer CCP worked closely on the expansion and the free-to-play mode with the player-run representative body, the Council of Stellar Management, as they have since the group was created in 2008.
Once the expansion hits, characters will branch off into two types: Alpha Clones and Omega Clones. The Omega Clones will be playable through an Eve Online paid subscription and play just as characters do now, with access to everything the game has to offer.
Alpha Clones will be a more basic, free-to-play alternative. They will only be able to train in a particular skillset, and the options for ships, weapons and modules will be limited to their own respective faction. In addition, Alphas’ skills will level up at slower rates than their Omega compatriots.
If Alpha players choose to upgrade to a subscription, every character on their account will be granted Omega status.
For more on Alpha and Omega Clones, you can watch executive producer Andie "CCP Seagull" Nordgren discuss the changes in the video above.
The expansion will also add a brand new ship, changes to existing ships and new player-built structures called Industrial Arrays. CCP plans to unveil more details as the release date approaches.