Did No Man’s Sky leave a bad taste in your mouth? Well, it looks like a few studios are trying to come up with a similar sci-fi adventure, only… you know, better. Novaquark is a French studio and Dual Universe is their take on the voxel sci-fi genre, but this time it will be a full-fledged MMORPG, not a single-player game that was marketed as multiplayer.
Dual Universe sounds impressive because it features one unique persistent universe shared by everyone at the same time, without any instances, zones, or transitions. The entire world is fully editable, so you can create ships, orbital stations and cities, or simply mess around with the tools and make some weird, alien structures. As for gameplay, it’s pretty much emergent and player-driven, meaning that economy, trading, politics and warfare are all in the hands of players.
Dual Universe is currently on Kickstarter and is asking for 500,000€ with 13 days to go, having amassed over 374,000 by now.
As for the business model, bear with us as it’s not your regular free-to-play or buy-to-play model. Dual Universe is a PC exclusive and is going to be free for everyone to download, with a trial period. After that trial ends, you have to pay for a monthly subscription that ranges from $10 to $13 (from €10 to €13 in Europe) depending of the number of months paid in a row, with all expansions and DLC being free. However, Dual Universe also includes a system like the PLEX seen in EVE Online, where players can earn in-game money and trade it for game time:
“One of the ideas we like are game time coupons. You can buy these coupons to extend your game time (more or less like a monthly subscription), or trade them with the in-game currency. Very active players who are able to gather enough in-game money to afford the game coupons will essentially play for free. This is their rewards for contributing to the in-game economy.”
Sounds like an interesting take and hopefully the grind won’t make it impossible to happen.
Here are a few videos showcasing the potential of Dual Universe.