Massively multiplayer online role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons Online will officially go free-to-play in Europe next month, Eurogamer can exclusively reveal.
Currently, the free-to-play version of Dungeons & Dragons Online, dubbed Unlimited, is exclusive to North America, although UK players have reported that they're able to access it directly from US servers.
Developer Turbine is also assuming full control of European operations from partner Codemasters Online.
"We are very excited to announce that Turbine will be expanding its operations and will assume full control of Dungeons & Dragons Online in Europe," Turbine told Eurogamer.
"Beginning 20th August, all European players can visit the official site to download and play the English version of DDO Unlimited with no monthly subscription required. Turbine's new German and French service will enter beta before the end of the year."
Turbine is working with Codemasters "to facilitate a smooth transition" to its new global service.
"We will be providing free character transfers to the new global service and players will be notified when the character transfer is available. Please note that all accounts will only be accessible through our English service until our new German and French services come online.
"As a thank you to our European players for their patience during this transition and to reward their loyalty, we are offering all current and former DDO Europe subscribers 5000 Turbine Points (nearly a €50/£42 value) when they transfer their characters. These points can be spent in the DDO Store on additional character slots, premium content, and much more.
"We thank Codemasters for the outstanding job they have done publishing and operating DDO in Europe and we look forward to continuing to deliver one of the world's best online entertainment experiences to the gamers of Europe."
The move comes as no surprise. In April, Warner Bros. Interactive bought Turbine, putting Codemasters Online's operation of DDO in doubt.
US DDO activity doubled at the beginning of the year following its re-launch in autumn 2009 as a free-to-play game.
Turbine said the re-launch attracted one million players and boosted revenues by 500 per cent. In May, the NPD Group said DDO was the third most-played MMO in North America.
Eurogamer re-reviewed DDO in September last year, giving it an impressive 8/10.
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