Trion Worlds ditches free-to-play model for Atlas Reactor because 'it's less fun'

Multiplayer title will now be sold using premium price points at $30, $60 and $100
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The next game from Rift studio Trion has swapped its free-to-play business model for traditional pricing.

Atlas Reactor is a stylised online competitive shooter, and features a number of different characters and powers that can be unlocked by in-game currency.

In addition, the studio was offering cosmetic items and temporary upgrades that could be purchased with real-world money.

Writing in a blog post, executive producer Peter Ju said that player reactions had “been extremely positive towards Atlas Reactor’s cosmetic and boost-based micro-transaction system”.

“We don’t monetise power, and everything that impacts gameplay (such as freelancers and their modifications) can be earned via gameplay,” he explained.

However, Ju continued, Trion had found that in order to continue building around its free-to-play systems, Atlas Reactor’s gameplay had suffered.

“During closed beta, we’ve been figuring out how to best tune our free-to-play game to create a sustainable business,” he said.

“To make it viable, we would have had to do some things that run counter to your feedback, making the game less fun.”

This, Ju concluded, had led the team to ditch free-to-play, moving to a conventional premium pricing model, spread across three distinct bundle price points at $30, $60 and $100.

“In other words, in order to play the game, you will need to purchase it,” he summarised. “Purchasing the game will give you access to all current and future freelancers.

“To everyone who has already supported us by buying a Founder’s pack or purchasing in-game credits, thank you so much for your support. We want to make sure you’re taken care of in this transition. As a result, if you have already bought $10 or more of in-game credits, or bought any of the current Founder’s packs, you now own the game. Additionally, if you purchased the Starter Pack, Freelancer Pack, or Trust Pack, you will be receiving a ton of additional rewards.”

The move means that Trion joins Cliff Bleszinski studio Boss Key in sacrificing monetisation at the altar of player experience, with LawBreakers similarly dropping its free-to-play model in March.

"As the game continued to take shape, we realised free-to-play wasn’t the right fit for what we’re building," Bleszinski said at the time.

“Using a digital premium model helps ensure an even playing field by giving fans access to every available role without any barriers."

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