WildStar To Go Free-To-Play?
ByDate: May 18 2015 Views:
It’s semi-rumor at this point, but it looks like Carbine’s struggling raiding-focused MMORPG WildStar is going to drop its subscription payment model and go free-to-play later this year.
On March 13, 2015, SteamDB.info discovered that WildStar had been added to the Steam database listed with a “free on demand” billing type. Essentially, what this means is that players will make a one-time purchase of $0 for a free product – in this case, WildStar.
Later that day, a Reddit user by the name of God_of_EDM, who was verified to be a Carbine Employee by a Reddit, began leaking details of the inner workings of Carbine. (Thread can be found here.) He first posted the following:
NOTE: I have submitted proof to the mod that I am not a troll.
Hello everyone! As has oft been discussed around here, Wildstar is going to be changing its business model in August(tentatively of course, patch stuff etc) to a Hybridized Free to Play model. Now thankfully it is not going Pay to Win, I suppose you could call it "Freemium" in a way as a lot of the stuff that the paid accounts will get is buffs to experience/rep/renown etc gain and character slots and the like, no direct power buffs or anything like that.
MTX (Microtransactions) will be included moving forward as well and you will hear more about that very soon. What are your thoughts on the model? I personally like it and am excited as I can't see how this wouldn't bring players back and new players in.
Feel free to ask me anything about the game, company, folly of man, etc.
When asked about the listing on Steam, God_of_EDM had the following to say:
Hey there! Steam integration has been coming for a while, Valve was in our office here in Orange County back in January. We are trying to get Wildstar to be THE MMO for Steamboxes, IE, Wildstar will be preinstalled with every system. It should be happening before the China launch that's for sure. Ok, Content Cycles may be hard to explain/understand but I will try. The PLAN is for content to stay at the quarterly cycles that they are now. We have soft and hard locks for everything. That SHOULD not change however we are losing employees left and right, for example our dungeon and raid team is 4 people, we have 5 class designers, hell even our QA team is about 7 people for Wildstar and a few of those people are leaving as well in a few weeks. We have lost 2 Art Directors in less than 8 months along with several Producers. That being said, we have A LOT of features pitched and planned. It was something like 100+ pitched for 1.4.0. Obviously nowhere near all of them will get in but that is just to show you that there is a lot of content being created, whether it gets proper testing, integration, design, etc is another story.
As of the time of this article’s publishing, Carbine has neither confirmed nor denied this rumor. As for the verified Carbine employee, he has been shadowbanned from Reddit. Whether or not it stems from the r/Wildstar’s ban of speaking about buy-to-play and free-to-play, or because of the employees horrible attitude (see image below) is unknown. In any case, we will update as more information becomes available. A change to free-to-play would be extremely healthy at this point for the declining MMO’s population, and players of Wildstar can hope that the verified employee is speaking the truth.