Last year Cryptic publicly said that it was considering making Star Trek Online free-to-play like its Champions Online, and now Cryptic's parent company, Perfect World, has decided to make it so.

Gamasutra reports that during a financial conference call, Perfect World CFO Kelvin Lau unveiled Star Trek Online's future. "When Perfect World acquired Cryptic, one of our contributions was to share our free-to-play experience with Cryptic. Cryptic is working on the free-to-play model for Star Trek Online. This is going to be launched by the end of this year as well. So I think with the free-to-play model, we have bigger potential in the U.S. market and also in the Chinese market."

China's Perfect World bought Cryptic from Atari earlier this year.