Turbine has said that its free-to-play relaunch of Dungeons & Dragons Online has actually boosted subscriptions by 40 per cent as well as attracting large numbers of free players.
Internal growth projections have been doubled, executive producer Fernando Paiz told Ars Technica. "We're hitting and exceeding our internal targets, so far we're very happy," he said.
"All aspects of our business are growing. Hundreds of thousands of new players in the world are playing for free, with a very high percentage using the store."
Players who aren't paying a subscription can buy chunks of content, as well as classes, character slots, items and the like, from the game's micro-transaction store. Many of them, though, are choosing to pay the now-optional subscription to get unrestricted access to all of the game's features and content - resulting in the bump to subscriber numbers.
Some players are even exceeding what they might have spent on DDO before the relaunch. "We have a good chunk of the population that is spending more than $15 a month," Paiz said. "The traditional subscription model can only make X dollars off a player. This kind of removes that cap."
So DDO's relaunch has been a commercial success for Turbine. To find out how it worked out creatively, check out our recent re-review.