Covering Neverwinter has always been a dicey proposition for Massively. We’ve always considered the upcoming D&D game by Cryptic Studios “multiplayer” rather than “massively multiplayer,” yet because the game was being developed by Cryptic, the urge to cover it persisted.
Now we’ll be entirely justified. An article on IGN today delivers the news that Cryptic and new publisher Perfect World Entertainment are reorienting the game’s design to make it a true MMO in the style of Vindictus or Rusty Hearts:
Neverwinter is shifting from the co-operative multiplayer game that was announced last year and into full-fledged, free-to-play MMO territory. In fact, it’s shifting towards the action end of the MMO spectrum.
How free is free-to-play?
Not all content will be free, though. The developer will be charging money for consumables, […] vanity pets and cosmetic items. […] Cryptic plans to avoid making any content premium-only in Neverwinter.
The restructuring of the game will push back its release date to 2012.