The Agency subscription-free
At its Leipzig Games Convention conference, Sony Online Entertainment announced that The Agency, their hotly anticipated spy FPS MMO game, will be quite different from anything seen to date.
Unlike other massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft, The Agency will not be centered around orcs and wizards.
But what is more unique is that it's the first MMO to be built on Unreal Engine 3, and also one of few in the genre that will require no subscription fee.
Apparently, this strategy will combine numerous business models such as in-game ads, microtransactions and VIP areas. Fortunately the microtransactions are planned to be used for upgrading appearances, rather than tacking on additional parts to the game.
SOE President John Smedley ended his segment by suggesting that the subscription model would continue to decline.
"We do believe that if you allow people to play for free, in many cases they will choose to spend more [on microtransactions] than you would think so."
The Agency is scheduled for a 2008 release. We'll have more on the title soon.