On today’s MMO market the monetizing models used are usually a form of Free To Play, Pay to Play or some combination. When we look at the design goals of ACO, then one would expect it to be a subscription based service. We believe, however, that anyone should be able to enjoy the full core game, without having to pay for content. At the same time, as a development studio, somewhere along the line money needs to come into the company to ensure further development and hosting of the game service. Another factor is the quality of the service we want to deliver, and the question of how to provide, ensure and maintain that quality for users all around the world.
- The core game should be accessible for anyone, anywhere
- No player should be able to buy an edge over another player
- Player involvement is important and should be something which can be rewarded
Our monetizing strategy:
Our monetizing strategy will use different channels.
The game will have a special currency which players can buy for real money, or which can be earned in game by being involved in events, time spent in the game and more. We are creating a system which will monitor and record player actions and their effects on the world. Player involvement can also be rewarded by the live DM teams. A player can use this currency to buy special things which are or are not available normally in the game itself.
- A treasure hunter or an archaeologist may want to hire a form of protection, be it NPC or PC.
- A merchant may want to insure a cargo when he ships it from one place to another and ensure a refund if things go terribly wrong.
There are more ways that this special currency can be used. The points are used to measure a player’s investment in the game. A hardcore player can easily build up a large pool of this currency, while the more casual players may choose to buy the currency for real life money.
From time to time, events, quests and other stories will unfold for players which may require the use of this currency. An example is maintaining the standing of a settlement. The effort of how well a settlement is known in the world is reflected by settlement standing. It’s an aspect of a settlement which is fueled by this currency. Apart from currency earned by the settlement (yes, even settlements can earn this currency) it can also be fueled by players who have made this settlement their home.
Real life money transactions
There are things in ACO for which real money will be charged.
A non-instanced player housing lot will be one of these, mainly because this will be a limited resource in the game. It’s a lot different from instanced housing; it’s a physical house in the world, which reacts to events happening in the world.
Another example of a real life money transaction would be the commissioning of custom content or custom events, such as a wedding event.
Special live DM servers
The live DM servers will require a monthly subscription. This is due to the fact that live DM teams monitor these servers 24/7. Unlike other servers where no subscription is needed, the subscription on these servers will ensure the participation (investment) of players who want to be part of the ever changing world and influence the changes over the ages.
Each of these live servers will evolve and create its lore and history much differently than on normal servers. Each of these servers can be seen as its own individual play and even more so then on a normal server, each player will see his or her story take a much more individual shape as the player interacts directly with the live DM teams.
In order to be able to provide these live DM services, a subscription will be needed to ensure the capability of operating these 24/7 teams. We are working on a plan where players can, with the help of our live DM teams, participate on a DM level in events and earn in game currency when doing so. We understand that there are quite a lot of players who find more enjoyment in playing a DM role, rather than the player role.
ACO will be a Free to Play game (except for the special live DM servers) primarily making money through online transactions.
- ACO will use a special currency that can be purchased or earned in-game
- Special currency can be used to buy buffs etc. that will help players
- Special currency can be used in events and other aspects of the evolving world
- Special currency cannot be used to purchase gear or other things to give one player an edge over another
- Real money can be used to purchase special currency
- Real money can be used to purchase real estate
- Real money can be used to purchase commissioned content and events (Such as houses or ships)
- Real money can also be paid in the form of a subscription to the live DM servers, where live storytellers guide the game experience and work together with players to build custom content, fitted specifically to the state of that server’s world