The Business (Model) of WildStar
By Jeremy "Gaffer" Gaffney - August 19, 2013
I've got two big-ticket things to talk about this week: our anticipated launch date shift and OUR BUSINESS MODEL.
Hopefully you saw last week's State of the Beta blog post by our Design Director (and Beta Pope) Mike Donatelli, so you know we've got some big changes in store for WildStar. We’ve been watching and listening to the outstanding feedback from our Beta community over the last few months and right now, with the changes planned, we’re projecting a Spring 2014 launch. Over the coming months, we'll also dive into some of the smaller (but just as important) changes we've been planning in reaction to beta feedback we've seen, so you know what to expect when we ramp up beta again later this year. Our number one commitment is quality; we think that having a ton of fun, polished content and deep top-level gameplay is a big chunk of what separates the big boys from the also-rans in the online business.
Now, let's talk about the WildStar business model. Have a seat and let's talk this through.
The short-form is this: We've decided to go with two major options at launch for how you can play the game. We figure at this point in the biz, most players are pretty passionate about what models they will or won’t play – so why not provide options?
First thing's first: you buy WildStar (either via a box or downloading) – this will give you 30 days of free gameplay. After that, you have two options to play, or pay, for your game time.
Option 1: Monthly subscription
Option 2: C.R.E.D.D.
A monthly subscription is pretty standard fare – you probably know what that’s all about. Subscribe, and every month you pay for another 30 days of game time. Straightforward.
But some people don’t like subscriptions. Maybe they just want to play for free, maybe they’ve been burned by a subscription game before and dislike the model. OK, we hear you – for you guys we have C.R.E.D.D.
This is an item that can be purchased online at the WildStar website, and can then be bought and sold with other players in-game. This trading happens via the Commodities Exchange – basically a stock market that lets you trade C.R.E.D.D. to other players for earned in-game gold.
So for those of you who don't want to pay a subscription fee: you can use your first month of gameplay to earn gold while playing WildStar. When the next month comes around, instead of paying the monthly subscription fee, you can use gold earned in-game to purchase C.R.E.D.D. from other players on the CX. Boom, you cash in a C.R.E.D.D for a month of game time. You can continue this cycle over & over again, enabling you to “play to pay” for WildStar.
So that sounds good – but what about those players who don’t have as much time as they'd like to play WildStar, but want a little extra in-game gold? Those folks can purchase C.R.E.D.D. online from our store and trade it on the CX for gold: basically trading their extra cash to help another player play for free in return for a pile of gold. We see this as a safe and secure way for players who want to buy gold to have a way of getting some in-game cash without funding gold farming outfits and all the hacking and scamming that can entail.
We’ve put together a handy guide and collection of Frequently Asked Questions regarding our Biz Model, which you’ll find here. Like all things WildStar, your feedback is crucial to refining and defining the FAQ information found at that link, so we’ll provide regular updates to that page throughout this process, letting you know when we’ve added important information.
We're at Gamescom this week and will be at PAX at the end of the month, and we'd love to continue the conversation there if you want to come visit us! Check out all the details here to see where and when you can find us.