Trion Worlds’ massively multiplayer sci-fi shooter Defiance will be going free-to-play this summer. For players on PC the game will become free on June 4th but PS3 users will have to wait until July 15th, no news yet on the Xbox 360 version. New players will be able to join their friends in the game and play the entire campaign based on the eponymous SyFy original series and experience the entire current map, missions, and end-game content completely free.

When Defiance originally hit the shelves last year it sold for $59.99 and has seen several DLCs since then. The game launched as a buy-to-play title with a box price and DLC, but the road to free-to-play has been a long one. As the SyFy original TV show played out Trion World’s slowly reduced the box price of the game with it falling to $10 in July 2013, a mere three months after its launch date.

Even before going free-to-play Defiance has digital content available for purchase via DLC adding missions, weapons, and virtual items as well as allowing the purchase of premium currency. A model that exists in many free-to-play games (and still works out extremely well for Blizzard’s pay-to-play World of Warcraft.) The pricing of DLC and in game premium currency is expected to stay the same.

When it launched, Defiance represented an interesting cross-media experiment by tying an MMO to a television series. The game, while technically adept, however proved to be something of a social failure with a buggy UI, broken chat, and poor voice communication systems. Trion Worlds has since corrected many of these problems, but many of the underlying issues still persist.

The SyFy original Defiance was renewed for a second season and this will likely keep the game alive even through the rigors of migrating to a free-to-play model.

Defiance producer Trick Dempsey said that cross-promotion with the TV show will be a strong part of the video game presence as well as further crossover missions that add context and lore to the show. To tie in the game in with the show, people who watch on SyFy will even receive time-limited codes that will provide unique items and special bonuses.

Trion Worlds other well known offering to the massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming industry Rift, saw a similar path to free-to-play. Rift started as a $60 box price and a $15 monthly subscription in 2011 and eventually became completely free-to-play in 2013.


  1. If I read it right I think they are adding a subscription? If so, it will be interesting to see how people react to a Buy-to-play game turning into a F2P with sub game. I don’t think that’s happened before.

    I might give Defiance another go, the only real issue I see with this transition is it really doesn’t fix the problems that broke the game in the first place. I’m hoping this is a genuine transition too and not a last ditched effort to save the game and the show… or worse the start of a cash out.

    Aaddron did not rate this post.
    • This is correct, free-to-play Defiance will have a premium subscription. This is common to many free-to-play games including Star Trek Online (with Gold members) and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Although, both of which were subscription games with a box price before transitioning to the F2P model.

      People paying the subscription cost will receive the usual quality-of-life upgrades expected to subs, plus a daily/monthly stipend of in game freemium/premium currency. No doubt, it might even cover future DLC — I’m not sure how the season pass or similar DLC arrangements fit into this new model yet.

      Also, yes, Defiance still has a huge number of user experience problems that have not been addressed by Trion. The game is riddled with bugs, the UI still presents massive social problems, it has issues with mechanics — I could go on about how frustrating it can be to play just trying to jump in.

      Adding in the layoffs that we saw from the studio developing Defiance last year, I don’t know that the UI and UX problems will be fully addressed.

      Kyt Dotson did not rate this post.
      • O right the layoffs, completely forgot about them. I don’t know, it just makes me even more leery about the future of the game especially with the death of End of Nations and two new MMOs on Trions horizons. That said I guess the future is the future.

        I’m really hoping they’ll work out the issues, the game needs help lol. More players are nice but all the players in the world may help hide the problems some and extend the life of the game but they will still come back around to bite the community… again.

        Aaddron did not rate this post.
  2. I didnt tried the game before but if it becomes free i may as well give it ashot.. Who knows. But with those (not AAA) games you can just make them free for a month or two, make people play it then close the free period.. Some may like it and stay with it (if price is low enought).

    Alekskill124 did not rate this post.