38 Studios was developing a $100 million free-to-play MMO before it ran into financial troubles, the studio’s founder has claimed.
Speaking to Boston Daily, Curt Schilling revealed that the studio's 'Project Copernicus' was designed to be microtransaction based, and would not have offered subscription-based play.
“We were going to be the first triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO. That was one of our big secrets,” he said.
“I think when we eventually showed off the game for the first time, the atom bomb was going to be free-to-play. When we announced that at the end, that was going to be the thing that, I think, shocked the world.”
Schilling also claimed that Copernicus nearly saved the studio from going under, as potential investors were shying away from subscription-based games and were intrigued by 38 Studios’ ambitious plans to utilise free-to-play.
Despite this claim however, the Rhode Island developer failed to gain investment and was eventually closed down.
“No one was expecting it, and it was another thing that changed the tenor of conversations with investors late in the game,” he said.
“Most investors wanted nothing to do with subscription-based products, they were all on the social media, and free-to-play games as a means to revenue.”