WildStar MMO Pulled From Australian Retailers, F2P Switch Expected
Major Australian retailers have started to take WildStar off of its shelves to send them back to NCSoft, as a free-to-play move for the MMORPG is expected.
Games On Net reports that the MMO WildStar could be going F2P as two of Australia's biggest game retailers, EB Games and JB Hi-Fi, have started to remove the game from thier store shelves. We should note that their online stores still have the game listed for sale, as does NCSoft's official WildStar website. so take this information with a grain of salt since we're located nowhere near Australia and neither NCSoft nor Carbine Studios has officially commented on this transition yet. We should note that a similar event happened a few months ago when physical retail copies of The Elder Scrolls Online were started to be pulled off of retailer shelves in foreign markets. This happened just before the announcement was made that the MMORPG would be rebranded as The Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited, abandoning its paid subscription model in favor of a buy-to-play style that we have seen done with the likes of Guild Wars, Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Lord of the Rings Online.
WildStar launched in June 2014 for PC to rather underwhelming results. It has a Metascore of 81 and many MMORPG fans praised its unique visuals, personality, battle system and the bonus features of the game, such as player housing. Unfortunately, dreadfully long quests and a lackluster method of storytelling were many of the main gripes fans had with the game. As with most new MMORPGs, subscriptions started off strong but trickled down as time went on. Unfortunately, this appears to have bottomed out a little too fast since WildStar launched only 10 months ago.
We should note that publisher NCSoft took a significant amount of layoffs this month as well. Stay tuned as we'll provide up-to-date coverage on WildStar's potential abandonment of its paid subscription format.