Despite the community's fear of an influx of "undesirables", etc, there are several ways this game could easily become "free to play" without necessarily being "pay to win", or "releasing the Kraken", etc:
1. Kickstart with this game becoming free to play when player has backed at a particular funding level (Play for free while we use your backing to complete our porting/redesign efforts.)
2. Implement a social collectibles system with limited edition items each month and bundles which go on sale each quarter, annually, etc. Use the funding to keep the lights on, pay people, and drive forward on the porting/redesign. (Ex: LoTRO saw a 500% revenue increase the first quarter they implemented this idea. They have continued to add to it, and that has led them perilously close to "pay2win".)
3. Implement a referral system where 5 paid referrals for 6 months or longer gets the referring player a lifetime free account with [juicy perks]. This is a free to play model no one has yet tried and every simulation I've run yields success that is, literally, exponential. (Aside: If you use this idea, I expect in fair exchange a lifetime free account for coming up with it AND a title of "Innovator". **grin**)
4. Mix and match across the above to build an intrinsically attractive offering even NOW, and use those funds to get Virtrium and Istaria where you really want them to be.
Worth mention - if you can find a way to make model specifications and textures available, you could even crowdsource asset creation and, if you're really feeling froggy, put up a build/contribute/profit model where solid designs across all types of assets gets not only recognition here, but reference of Virtrium on artist/designer's portfolio.
Sure, you can come with a million reasons why something won't/can't work.... but it's a lot more fun to imagine something that can/will.
At least, I think so.