Free-to-play. The term just sounds so darn appealing, doesn't it?

Today, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has announced a new free-to-play business model for DC Universe Online . The game lets players assume the role of their favorite superhero; anyone from Superman to Batman. As of now, fans have logged over 42 million hours of game time…that's a lot of playin'.

Starting in late October, you'll be able to download and access DUCO for free on both the PS3 and PC. Also, SOE has revealed three new access levels to go along with this move: there's Free, Premium, and Legendary. All three levels will let you explore the big open world and take on missions, but each level offers different benefits.

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.

Said John Smedley, SOE President:

"When we launched DC Universe Online, we introduced a very different brand of massive online game driven by fast action combat to PC and PS3™gamers and with that, we discovered a new type of online gamer. We've listened to our community, and we've determined that the free-to-play model is the best fit for DC Universe Online.

Our philosophy embraces learning from our experience and as a pioneer in the free-to-play space with proven successful games like Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures, we believe this new model will expand the DCUO experience and offer more options that cater to every type of player so they can play the game in a way that fits them."

Incentive enough to play?

Related Game(s): DC Universe Online