Free to play” or “freemium” are the hottest business models in online gaming right now, and it’s been confirmed that the upcoming massively multiplayer online shooter Planetside 2 will be free to play in some form another, according to statements from an SOE executive.

Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedly first revealed to Chinese website 17173.comthat Planetside 2 (originally Planetside Next) would be free to play. When Smedly was pushed for confirmation by Planetside-Universe.com, he said:

`The game will be F2P. What form will it be? We’re still working that out. But here’s a hint – we like League of Legends a lot.'

League of Legends, the DOTA-style game that he’s referring to is distributed for free, with players paying for extra skins, extra characters and whatnot. Obviously, it’s a fine line these companies walk. They have to keep the gameplay and content compelling, but they can’t fall into the “free to play, pay to win” phenomenon that some games have.

The first Planetside was cool in its day. Obviously, a “massively multiplayer first person shooter” is something that a lot of people clamor for, and Freespace had a lot of cool ideas, although I’m not sure of how it holds up today.

The release information for Planetside 2 is still unknown. Smedly told planetside-universe that they would be looking at an open beta for Planetside 2 either late this year or early next year.  He did add that “It’s ready when it’s ready and we are proud of it.”

Are you looking forward to Planetside 2? Do you think free to play is the way to go, or does it just ruin the game by flooding it with obnoxious 12 year olds? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

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