Is the F2P tsunami unstoppable? Is this the new business model we’re all to see in the future? For now, some AAA+ games like DDO, LOTRO and EQII are making that bet, and now Pirates of the Burning Sea plans to do it in the near future. This is very important news, POTBS is an interesting game that, perhaps, was lacking population. We all know that one of the most immersive things in an MMO is the sense of sharing the world you’re playing in, and, for sure, turning the game into F2P will drag lots of players to try the game.
Read this devlog, a very interesting one, I promise.
I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to writing a devlog as much as this one.
We’re preparing to change the business model of Pirates of the Burning Sea from subscription to free-to-play (hence forth to be known as F2P). This is the culmination of a decision that was made back at the end of last year, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce it. It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, and we’ve put in a lot of planning and work to make this a seamless transition. We’re very excited about this direction for a number of reasons.
First, it reduces the barrier of entry for new players to come in and try the game. Experience has shown us that players who try the game tend to stick with the game, so we want to remove any impediment for a player to try the game. Free trials are great, but the knowledge that there’s a required subscription makes potential players think in terms of commitment—”do I want to be paying every month for the long term” rather than “will I have fun with it tonight?” The first question is hard for any product, but we feel really good about the answer to the second.
Second, it allows players to spend as little or as much as they like. With a subscription, there’s only one price, whether you like to log in occasionally on the weekends to do a few missions with friends, or if you’re the kind of player who calls in to work sick to make sure you’re ready for an important port battle. The more fun the game is, the better the model works, which is why we think Pirates of the Burning Sea is perfect for F2P.
Finally, in the modern MMO environment, players often rotate through several games that they’re engaged in. With a subscription, it’s a hassle to cancel and then re-subscribe as they move back and forth between games. With F2P, players can play the games they want to play right that moment without having to keep in mind what they committed to weeks or months ago. F2P is a win for the player, and it’s a win for a more diverse MMO community.
While F2P is a Big Deal for us, it’s not the only thing that’s going on. At this moment our artists are working on updated ads to go live when F2P goes out, and we’re planning out the ad buys with our agency. And while ads are (very!) important, the biggest asset we have is the people who love our game, and we want to work with you to spread the word. Because of that we’re working on new tools to make that easier as well as ensuring that we can give out rewards to show our appreciation.
When is all this happening? Well, one part of it was Power & Prestige that just launched today. As for F2P, all of the necessary tech is completed and is in testing, and we’re very close to starting the countdown. We’re excited as can be about it, and we’re looking forward to writing the next chapter of Pirates of the Burning Sea with you.
Best of lucks for you, POBTS. I hope the winds of the new sea you’re about to sail lead you to a good and rich harbor.