Despite evading the likes of Steam, Epic, GOG and other PC distribution platforms, the space MMOG Vendetta Online has managed to survive 16 years of ceaseless operation. It's done so, remarkably, by sticking with a subscription revenue model, rather doing what other online games have done; by either shutting down completely or embracing free-to-play mechanics.
That changed last month when Vendetta Online's developer, Guild Software, dropped trial accounts and made 'Fremium' the default status for new PC players. Level caps were dropped and access to bigger and better ships was widened for those that were previously locked out from the high-end good stuff. Players can still subscribe if they prefer, or they can enjoy similar benefits by picking up a few Crystals - the game's premium currency - when funds allow.
Of course, there's a fine line between what the industry terms 'free-to-play' and gamers characterise as 'pay-to-win'. Alas, I'm not in a position to say where Vendetta Online might now exist along it. However, given that there's been a free-to-play client for Android users since 2011, the move to coersce more PC players into sticking with the game clearly isn't a wild or desperate one. Indeed, it would seem to brings mobile and desktop users in closer alignment. Hopefully, it works out.