In an announcement today, the Elyon team announced that, due to the planned release in a busy MMO field, the game will now be released under a free to play model. Referring to the current market, the announcement said that "time investment required for any MMORPG is not necessarily compatible with an abundance of choice", so the business model will adapt to lower the barrier to entry.
In order to make the changes to the system to support a freemium model, the game has also been delayed. Elyon will now release on October 20th, and the dev team promises that this new release date will not just adjust the business model, but incorporate some quality of life changes, implement beta feedback, and fix a few bugs too. However, there aren't any planned changes to the cash shop, so this will roll out as expected, and this will be where any preorders will have some cash to spend when the game is out.
Since Elyon was scheduled to release in just about two weeks on September 29th, the change means that anyone that preordered before September 10th will be able to request a refund if they don't want their preorder converted to a game access package with 2,000 rubies (in game currency) and the previously announced preorder goodies, like a Siamese cat and a hoverboard mount. The Wayfarer package (previously the base game preorder) will still let you have a 72-hour head start. In fact, all preorders will now get a uniform 72-hour start. For those that also bought the expansion package, expedition package, or both, there will be additional rubies given. These bonuses are limited to those who preordered before the new announcement.
Access packages have also been temporarily made unavailable for purchase as they reassess, with a planned return on September 28th. Steam will follow with the changes soon. For the full update, including breakdown of preorder regards, check out the announcement post.