The Chronicles of Spellborn, an independently-developed MMO which launched late last year, is to be re-developed as a free-to-play game supported by micro-transactions.
Its US and UK publisher Acclaim made the announcement, but Frogster, the publisher for most of mainland Europe, is also involved. Frogster's Asian studio in South Korea will collaborate with developer Spellborn NV on the change.
Frogster has had some success with its Taiwanese free-to-play import Runes of Magic recently. The news also follows hot on the heels of Turbine's decision to move Dungeons & Dragons Online from a subscription to a free-to-play model.
A Frogster post on the game's European forums suggests that the free-to-play version of Chronicles of Spellborn won't launch until 2010, and that the subscription game will be kept running until that time.
The move follows the bankruptcy (in Dutch) of Spellborn Works BV, a subsidiary company of Spellborn NV that apparently served as employer of the development team.
Here's hoping the move to free-to-play can save The Chronicles of Spellborn financially and attract more players to the game, because we loved it at review, awarding 8/10 for its unique fantasy universe and intriguing combat system.