There’s a wind of change blowing through the MMO community. Companies are shirking the old subscription model for Free-To-Play alternatives of one sort or another. Of course, this has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the nature and scope of each individual title, but looking at the sort of success that, say, Turbine has had with Eberron Unlimited? It certainly seems worth it.
So, even though it’s a bit of surprise that we didn’t hear anything about it at E3 (in fact, the literature at the time still suggested otherwise), it’s not entirely shocking to hear that Hi-Rez Studios’ Global Agenda is now dropping its subscription model before it even gets off the ground. The intention was to have everything open to players until the company finished deploying all of Patch 1.3, when, at that point, core features like Alliance vs. Alliance combat would fall under a monthly fee. Players could go ahead and pre-subscribe, earning extra tokens within the game until Phase 3 was released.
As I’ve already indicated, that’s evidently something that changed very quickly. The new model allows players access to all content as long as they purchase the core game. Though the remainder of Patch 1.3, “Sandstorm,” will be given out for free, monetization of the game falls on the shoulders of paid expansions and content patches released further in the future, somewhat similar to the way that Guild Wars operated (which is perfect for a PvP-focused game like this).
“But that’s not all!” to quote Ron Popeil. The awesomeness known as Steam is discounting Global Agenda as part of their Perils of Summer Sale, knocking off a cool 33%, for a final price of 26.79 USD. This offer lasts through July 4th. Thanks to the centralized servers, a game like this never feels completely empty, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more bodies wandering around Dome City.
Speaking of which, Hi-Rez has conducted a little invasion event of their own, sending boss and mini-boss baddies into the rebel haven for players to gawk at (since you can’t attack them and they can’t attack you). It makes for some amusing screenshots, though, and at least one of the mobs seemed to be a brand new boss (a slick-looking, humanoid mech called the Dune Commander), likely being included with the open-world content in Phase 3. I’m not sure if there’s any greater purpose to the shenanigans at this time, but iTZKooPA informed me that they also did it last week during E3 (which is odd, because while he was there, I was the one at home playing loads of Global Agenda).
Anyway, it looks like there will be a Q&A covering the subscription changes within the next few days, so stay tuned for that. And don’t forget to take a look at our E3 video interview, which should be out around the same time that this information has been posted. iTZKooPA gets to chat with Hi-Rez Founder/CEO, Erez Goren, and discuss all of the neat content being added in the near future (including stuff previously unannounced). Good stuff!