Studio design lead explains online play prices will fund future development

RTW â??putting audience firstâ?? with new pay model

Dundee studio Realtime Worlds has responded to recent backlash regarding the payment model for upcoming MMO All Points Bulletin (APB).

When announcing that players would begin to pay for additional online time after a 50 hour grace period, some had suggested that the studio wasn’t playing a fair game with its market.

Yet EJ Moreland, a lead designer of the game, tells Develop that fairness was the absolute priority for the studio.

“There is a bit of confusion about that subscription system. After we announced it a few people said it was unfair,” he said.

“To be clear – we’re arranging payments for the primary purpose of funding the evolution of the game, and for what we’re trying to provide with this high-tech hosted environment.

APB will be released July 1 (UK), retailing at £35 with 50 hours of free online play. From then on, 20 additional hours of online play can be bought for £5.59, and an unlimited month of play can be bought for £7.99.

EJ said that the additional funds are “a lot more about being a sustainable service than it is about trying to get every penny out of the player”.

He added: “I mean, if we had the same kind of technical needs as a free-to-play MMORPG, our costs would be much lower. We’re actually really high tech.”

In the first part of Develop’s interview with Moreland, the RTW design lead explains how his studio reached a decision on the pricing.

“We hope people take a long hard look at the subscription plan we’ve set up,” he said, “because if people do, we’re confident they’ll be thinking ‘you know what, these guys are clearly thinking about the gamers before anything else here.’

“And that’s not from a PR point of view, that’s from a company philosophy point of view. Our aim was to make something that’s fair."

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