Talk about having second thoughts – after well over a year being announced as a free-to-play game, Albion Online is actually going to be either buy-to-play or (more unlikely) subscription-based. Sandbox Interactive still hasn’t revealed the exact business model after having ditched the free-to-play one, saying the following about the unexpected decision:
“[…] we are putting the free to play plans on hold as well. Making the game ready for a free to play model would take up significant development time which we would much rather use to make a better game. Free to play would also create a lot of risks for the game – spamming, botting, world too small, etc – which we do not want to take if it can be avoided.
When the game goes live, current founder’s packs will be discontinued and replaced with starter packs, which will give full access to the game but offer less value for money than the founder’s packs as this is only fair to all founders who help us in making the game. Of course, all founder’s will automatically get full access to the game on release as well.”
It’s not difficult to note that in its forum post the studio mentions “The game will not be free to play at launch”, which could imply that it will eventually revert to free-to-play sometime after launch, most likely when it isn’t making enough money anymore.
The closed beta is also being extended until at least 1st August 2016, so that the team makes significant improvements to the game.
What do you think of this decision, and will it benefit Albion Online or not?