Which is unfortunate. Sure, they'll get acknowledgements from the gaming media that free-to-play as launched, but they've done no marketing for it.
I don't see it as unfortunate at all. The switch to freemium is to play the long game in terms of active accounts. This sort of business model works on seeing a steady streaming continuum of players entering the game, NOT everyone ganking it on day one (like when it launched
) And the three key business metrics become "active players", "average revenue per active player", and "free to subscription conversion rate" (which by the way is about 3x for a Sci Fi MMO property then an Elf Fantasy MMO, and is notably higher in some European countries then in the US). So it will be interesting to follow the business metrics over time.
A freemium model works best in fact by a steady paced lower level stream of new active players entering the game.