Well I said something about Rift going have some huge changes by summer on this post and guess what here comes the Trion announcement: RIFT GOES F2P!
To be honest, this was more than expected to me. Pay to play either we like it or not, is dying. One because there are way too many MMO's on the market, that subbing a MMO is becoming more of a second hand option. Multiple offers means different games to try out, and paying a sub for different MMO's is something that most don't want to or can't afford. Secondly, world financial crisis means people will probably try to cut on something, MMO's come first. But I think the amount of MMO's at the moment in the market, is more than enough to warrant the end of P2P. I assume World of Warcraft will be the last true P2P MMO in the market. Even EVE Online while being P2P eventually one can turn it F2P due to the Plex system.
Well that being said, I think it's welcomed the change to F2P for Rift, and I will probably get back there when it goes live.
I haven't looked much about the features for Rift's F2P model. Will look later.