Shortly after Atari released Cryptic Studios to another publisher, Star Trek Online has announced that it will be free to play. This news has come to a bit of mixed sentiments ranging from a warm welcome to disdain. Before moving into the Free to Play arena, Star Trek Online charged $15.00 a month for online service with various plans ranging from half-year, yearly and lifetime membership for access. While there are certain changes, players who wish to continue paying will get access as Gold Members that are given premium content not available to free accounts under Silver Membership. Lifetime subscribers, some bitter, are on a permanent gold plan with a monthly stipend of in-game Cryptic Points that can be used towards the purchase of Cryptic Store premium items. Note, that if you play Champions Online or City of Heroes/Villains, you will can also spend those points for premium items in those games as well. I'm not certain if software still needs to be purchased, but it should open up the community more. Because it is a themed game, you have to thoroughly enjoy Star Trek lore to really get into it. Otherwise, it is really just any other MMO. Go here, do this, go back, complete quest. Grind for rare parts, etc. But if you like that plus Star Trek ships, then this might be a great move on behalf of Cryptic to get more folks into this game. Many people complain that they pre-ordered with lifetime membership to be exclusive for a whopping $300, but if you calculate the $15 fee, plus the year and a half since this game has been released, they have already gotten more than a fair share of their investment, plus certain bonuses that are unavailable to any other gold membership level players or free players. I'd like to note that this is merely an announcement by Cryptic Studios and that they have yet to implement Free-to-Play for Star Trek Online.