DC Universe Online's long-rumored free-to-play model has finally arrived, splitting up the MMO's payment models and accessibility between three increasingly priced tiers. "Free" players will have basic access and pay á la carte for some new content and features, "Premium" players will have slightly more access and options and "Legendary" players will pay $15 a month for what's essentially an all-you-can-play buffet of what the game's got to offer. If you already shelled out for DCUO on PC or PlayStation 3 any time between its January launch and the upcoming free-to-play switch, Sony says existing accounts with active paid subscriptions will be granted Legendary Access.From DCUO's official press release:

Free: New players will now have access to the current gameplay in DC Universe Online (including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts), with the ability to create two characters, join a league and many other benefits. Free level players will be able to purchase downloadable game packs/updates, additional character slots, powers and more through microtransactions.

Premium: Any player who has spent at least $5 USD (including former paid subscribers and new players who have purchased $5 of in-game items) will qualify for the Premium access level. Premium level players will have more benefits available to them than the Free level player, including additional character slots, additional inventory slots, and higher cash limits. Downloadable adventure packs, additional character slots, and more can be purchased in-game.

Legendary: Maximum features and benefits are included at this level. Loaded with enhanced additional features, Legendary access will be available for a $14.99 USD monthly fee and includes all DLC packs at no cost, more than 15 character slots, more than 80 inventory slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, and many other benefits.

DC Universe Online joins its superhero MMORPG contemporaries Champions Online and City of Heroes, which have been free-to-play for several months. Marvel's Super Hero Squad Online has been free from its launch and Marvel's upcoming MMO written by Brian Michael Bendis is reportedly going to be free when it arrives as well. So basically, if you enjoy beating up digital dudes, it's a fine time to be a superhero in MMO titles.

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