Wildstar, a popular upbeat sci-fi like MMO recently confirmed that they’ll be adding their title to the list of free to play games. Many games are now free to play for anyone who wants to play, but there’s a lot of debate on free to play, pay to play, buy to play and pay to win.
Will they succeed in the transition?
With the free to play business model, you can play for free but there are often restrictions or certain aspects not available for free. Buy to play games mean you simply buy the game and there no monthly subscription fees to play. There might be extra accessories and items available for purchase with real money or alternative gaming currencies, but the choice is up to you. The game can still be played without them.
Some games have wildly succeeded. Others didn’t implement it well and have become the generally hated genre of pay to win. This is when it may be free to play, but you’ll never get ahead in the game without paying in one way or the other.
How to Spend Money In-Game
Making the game free hopefully won’t be a problem for Wildstar, since there are plenty of other things players will probably choose to spend money on. Extra accessories are not all that’s available. Both cosmetic and convenience items should be available for purchase, such as potions, mounts and costumes. With the number of players who are drawn to the amazing in-game housing system, it’s likely that there will be lots of content available for building and decorating personal housing plots.
Two new currencies are being added to the game for this transition: Ncoin and Omni bits. Ncoin is purchased with real money to use for buying items, while Omni bits will be earned in-game just like gold.
Learning the Loyalty Program
You can still choose to subscribe, paying a fee to play the game each month. If you choose to use this method, you can take advantage of the new loyalty program. This program will give you access to specialty items, which will depend on how long you’ve been subscribed and how many loyalty points you’ve earned. Free players will also be able to access these rewards, but they’ll have to put in a lot more work to get them.
The Cash Shop
Carbine Studios is also creating a cash shop for customers to utilize. They are doing it in a unique way, however, by creating a new currency for you to play with. During battles, enemies will drop items and Omnibits, the new currency option. With Omnibits accumulated, you can make purchases in the cash store. Each item available for cash purchase will have an Omnibit equivalent, so both methods of payment are acceptable. Say a cash item is worth $5 in real-world currency. It cost 500 Omnibits instead. You can decide which method of payment works best for you.
Why Subscription MMOs are a Thing of the Past
Subscription MMOs are not a sustainable option for most businesses. While games like World of Warcraft continue to succeed on this original subscription model, most have not profited in some time. In time, this game too will likely lose its followers who will abandon it for a free to play alternative. Many WOW players are simply holding on due to the time and money invested over the years.
Wildstar has not yet switched to this method. They are expected to make the switch in the next few months, however. Once the Omnibits have been fully implemented and the option to use them for payment has been added to the cash shop, the company will be well on its way to rolling out this new way to play and pay. Game subscriptions are losing their appeal for many players, which is easy to see on sites like MMORPG.com and PlayerX, but spending money on new items that can enhance your game play is well worth the expense.