For all people who have previously played STO either through a paid account or just the 1 month trial can now gain early access to the Free-to-play experience of Star Trek Online. These people wont have to wait until January 17th!
Here is the full press release…
We are pleased to announce that the doors are opening a little early for Star Trek Online free-to-play for a limited set of people.
Starting tomorrow (Thursday, January 5th), anyone with a lapsed subscription to Star Trek Online will be able to log into the game and play as a Silver member. This means that any account that has in the past subscribed to the game, even if only for the initial month, can come back and play for free!
For those of you not familiar with the difference between Gold (subscriber) and Silver (non-subscriber) membership, you can refer to the features matrix. The most important fact is that previous subscribers can jump right in and play their existing characters with no extra steps and no loss of anything they previously gained for their characters.
Early access is our way of thanking the many loyal customers who sat in the Captain’s chair during the past two years. Free-to-play opens for the general public in less than two weeks, on 17-01 (January 17th).
Stephen D’Angelo Executive Producer Star Trek Online
As of this moment I am downloading the game and should be able to verify that it is playable in F2P mode.