Star Trek Online has gone free-to-play, Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment have announced.

The MMO now features a two-tier business model whereby users can play using free Silver accounts, or alternatively opt for a monthly $15 fee to gain additional in-game perks such as a bigger inventory and more character slots.

It was announced last year during an earnings call that the studio planned to integrate a heavy free-to-play focus into the game by early 2012 after launching in 2010 as a subscription-based MMO with microtransactional content.

The MMO now follows in the footsteps of many other previously subscription-based titles by going free-to-play.

It will be interesting to see whether users still embrace the available subscription fee and if not, whether STO will end up lowering the cost altogether. Most hardcore fans are happy to pay a chunk of money every month for perks but when we see the likes of Rift lowering its own subscription price, $15 - roughly £10 - might put them off.