History repeating? The MMORPG WildStar from NCsoft and Carbine Studios could be going free-to-play or at the very least buy-to-play, the same model that is currently used by Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online. According to games.on.net, major Australian retailers (EB Games and JB Hi-Fi) are being instructed to take the WildStar stock off their shelves and return it to the distributor, something that happened with The Elder Scrolls Online less than a month before the business model change announcement.
An EB games employee told games.on.net that the stock had been removed “a few weeks ago” and mentioned that the game might go free-to-play. This is just a rumor however, so we’ll continue following this story to see if WildStar is in fact going F2P.
WildStar didn’t turn out as awesome as it was expected to be, despite much hype and some obvious qualities which were diminished by some glaring flaws, such as the endgame. There was even a lot of turmoil and internal spite in developer Carbine Studios, which lost 60 employees in October 2014, with the staff blaming the management team for a ruinous management – one review by an ex-employee even calls Carbie Studios “A place where morale goes to die…”
WildStar could also be partially blamed (so to speak) for the eternal delay of the western Blade & Soul release, since it commanded most of the NCsoft focus.
Is one of the last subscription-model standard bearers going free-to-play soon? We’ll keep you updated!