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Why DC Universe is going free-to-play

Plus, SOE talks future plans for its MMO.

DC Universe Online is going free-to-play to "open up" the game to a wider audience, according to the game's executive producer Lorin Jameson.

Speaking to Eurogamer earlier today, Jameson explained that the move, announced earlier this week, is also a reaction to player feedback demanding different ways to play the game.

"We have a game that's resonating with our player base," he said. "Especially on the PS3, we've been getting a lot of people into the game to try it out. Our customers have been saying they wanted more options for how to play the game.

"The subscription model is relatively new on the PS3 and we've already had success with our other free-to-play titles, like Clone War Adventures and Free Realms, so we thought this was a good time to introduce some alternate models to allow as many people as possible to play the game."

He denied suggestions that the shift to F2P was a result of lower than anticipated subscription numbers.

"No, I think we've been doing really quite well. We sold a lot of copies, we've had a lot of people paying and playing the game. This was just a way to open up to even more folks."

Jameson wouldn't offer up any figures, but insisted the game is in good health.

"We recently had our mega server launch which allowed us to basically get all the power of all the players into platform specific and region specific servers. That really goosed our numbers a good amount.

"And then the release of our first mini expansion DLC, Fight For the Light, gave us a bump as well. So actually we've been looking really good. This has been a challenging year with the [PSN] outage but we've recovered quite well since then."

There's plenty of new content coming down the pipe, with update 5 first out the door before a second DLC expansion arrives before the year's end.

"We've got game update 5 coming up," he said. "We haven't set a date, we're still in the QA and approval process.

"That adds the second part of the Fortress of Solitude raid. We introduced the first part about four weeks ago in update four. That raid continues on - you go deeper into the fortress, you join forces with Zod and Superman in a sort of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' moment.

"We also have DLC 2 coming up. I can only say at this point it's exciting. We're focusing on The Flash for this DLC and it will be out before the end of the year."

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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