After months of speculation, drama, and general craziness, the head honchos at Carbine Studios have finally gone on the record: WildStar will be transitioning to a free-to-play model this autumn.

According to the details page, there seem to be few significant restrictions for free players. Most importantly, content seems to be unrestricted:

We place no restrictions on any of the game’s content. Every zone, every dungeon, every raid, every battleground… they’re all available. All players will be able to create characters of every race, class, and path while choosing any tradeskills they like. Characters can achieve level 50 and path level 30, just as they can under the current system.

The only things that do tweak me a little bit are that Signature players — who are paying a monthly fee — will receive 25% more currency, 25% more XP, and 50% more reputation. I get that microtransactions that are of the “level faster” and not “pay to win” variety are good, but the game was seen by many as a ridiculous grind; that’s why they didn’t sign up or left. Does this help, or does it further reinforce that perspective?

Returning players will see their returning subscriptions automatically converted to Signature status, while players with lapsed accounts will still see benefits as compared to totally new, free players. Finally, subscribers, past and future, will accumulate Loyalty Points, which they can use to get even more cool stuff.

MassivelyOP’s Eliot Lefebvre sat down with from Product Director Mike Donatelli and Creative Director Chad Moore at a recent press event in California, and while it’s light on granular details were shared, the high-level thinking regarding the switch shows a refreshing honesty and acknowledgement of the reality of the game’s current situation.

Most significantly, Donatelli and Moore understand that, even if the game has changed for the better over the past few months, the public’s initial perception has largely stuck and having a barrier to entry in the form of a subscription keeps players from coming back and seeing the changes. Going free-to-play “fixes” that, letting new players who heard all the bad news and returning players who experienced it first-hand see what the game is like in its current state.

It’s still a ways off — “fall” technically runs from September to December — but you can sign up for the F2P beta right now. We all knew it was coming, but it’s nice to see it confirmed. I know I’ll finally be trying WildStar after the switch… will you?

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. You guys don’t get it how it works.
    Same way as ESO.
    They suck the first money as much as they can from the freaks who want the game badly and when they’re done they turn to f2p.

  2. Wildstar should be named Failedstar

    the game should have been F2P since the beginning, as sources said just as this game was in development stages…

    But they didn’t go F2P… and NOW they want to go F2P because they’re failing… yea…

    Also, it’s not uncommon to see a game switching to F2P losing content updates, customer service and overall game play enjoyment.
    Mainly cause these games tends to add in things like VIP services sooner or later that will turn the game not as fun for “Free” 2 Players… LOL

  3. We’ve seen this movie before with NCSoft. Go F2P then shut the game down when the numbers
    don’t match NCSoft’s expectations. We can start writing the eulogies now.

    And, I’m sure that Eliot was there giving advice to the devs on how big breast size should be.
    Yeah that really helped the game a whole lot.

    • I’d rather wait on the news of black desert compared to Blade n Soul mostly because I don’t want blade n souls flashing in my eyes like the biggest seizure warning label and I like the realistic backdrop of black desert more then blade n soul.

  4. BRAINLESS devs game should be not fake ftp from the beginning, make it pay model like in warframe and everyone will be happy, no need to scam people, scammer games are dead d@d online, star wars online,conan (u hardly can finde alive person online there, faking scammers go down faster) its too late, when u put pay to play game to ftp means its sux, i played beta its hardly worth f2p, i believe this game will be fake f2p but pay to win or with locked content, will see, i dont care anyway.

    • You make assumptions based on what ? Did you even check the FAQ about their new payment model or the hateful words just come out of your ass ?

  5. Don’t think i’ll bother until that nonsense with guild and auction is cleared at least.
    The guild nonsense is not so bad since you can just join someones guild, but auction house in any mmo is paramount and only 3 items is a bit on the “F that” side for me.

  6. They wanna make you lonely so that you will buy subscription by disabling Circles and Guilds for free users, this sucks big time, Goodluck Wildstar!

  7. So then now we get to see how badly they mess this part up seeing how they have a couple major components locked behind the pay wall that make core game play meaningful. I still feel this game will crash and burn as these guys have no clue what so ever about maintaining a game and making it interesting. They had some good points in the game but it feels like it really got all wasted with a few people who decided they wanted this instead of that concept. I don’t see this game having a good future.

  8. So long as the subs are getting extra, and it’s not a case of gimping the non subs by X amount….will give it another go but it didn’t realy leave an impression first time round.

  9. Was a failure at launch. Its target audience was so undefined. Its core mechanics lacking. They cashed in on wow in space look with that “west” touch hoping asia would love it like wow. NOPE. F2p wont see me. Classes suck. Quests suck. Features suk.
    It just shows… How is wow still sub?

  10. Well, what a shocker huh? No one saw this one coming! What a surprising turn of events, what a twist Wildstar, WHAT A TWIST.

  11. Now that the game is going F2P its time to quit. It will slowly melt into a pile of crap and will lose its quality.

  12. Wow, someone crying about the free2play restrictions? Really? Clearly you haven’t done your homework and seen the specifics on those. The restrictions aren’t that bad. And how do you expect the developers to pay for things such as server maintenance and future updates if there’s no incentive for people to put money into the game? Does your mommy and daddy always buy you everything you want/need? Well here’s a newsflash for you, then-in the real world, you want something you have to pay for it.

    • You have no idea. Most games already paidx3 over at launch. You pay for cocaine and investment bonds. These people are not white collar dwellers like you.

    • The MOST SUCCESSFUL f2p games are those who have 0 restrictions as to content and only sell cosmetic and convenience items. Please do your research before spouting nonsense.

    • seems like someone is new to the game world and played wow for a few months and thinks they know how it all works.

      Newsflash you don’t…..

  13. I always said if it went F2P i would give it a go, that hasn’t changed although i dont like that there are restrictions Games like Tera which i’m currently playing a ton of with the gunner class show that F2P can work successfully without restrictions you only put people off when you do case in point SWTOR.

    • They just said (and if you read it) they’re not restricting any playable content (you’ll also still have full use of your bars.) it’s minor convinence stuff.

      • Apparently you didn’t take the time to read the restrictions. Yes these type of restrictions are not core gameplay, but are the side mechanics of the core gameplay. For example you can’t create a guild or invite which to me is a very bit turn off already. The other turn off is being limited to 3 bids and 3 sells on exchange which to me seems just stupid and pointless. There are a few others that are also turning me away but are not as major as those 2 if they change those 2 that could change a my idea of the game and maybe get me to try it out.

  14. I wonder if they turned on some of the signature perks now for those paying a sub, whether they’d get an influx of money before F2P. Why not reward those who stuck with the game so far with less grind?

  15. That game is to slow with everything in my oppinion. Questing is slow, exp rates are slow, mobs are dying slowly, you character is to slow for all the questing and so on.

    On max lvl it could be fun but getting there is just soooo slow.


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