Albion Online extends beta test, nixes free-to-play for launch

Major changes are afoot at Albion Online — and some might not make fans of the cross-platform sandbox too happy.

Sandbox Interactive announced today that it will be extending the closed beta test at least through August 1st, 2016 and will not be pursuing a free-to-play business model for the launch version. “Making the game ready for a free-to-play model would take up significant development time which we would much rather use to make a better game,” the studio posted. “Free-to-play would also create a lot of risks for the game — spamming, botting, world too small, etc. — which we do not want to take if it can be avoided.”

The shift away from F2P and the longer development period does have an upshot, namely more stuff that will go into the finalized product. The team shared a list of improvements planned for the coming year which include a much larger and more detailed game world, zone reworks, an Ultima Online-inspired PvP reputation system, fishing, and something called “expeditions.”

To make the wait for launch a little more tolerable, you can check out a player video of Albion’s solo dungeon experience below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzo0xMCIsRU

Source: Road to release. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
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66 Comments on "Albion Online extends beta test, nixes free-to-play for launch"

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Walah
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Walah

“world too small”
What does that mean? I can understand the botting and spamming, but that’s interesting.

Walah
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Walah

XanadoX overpopulation? Blasphemy

dorn2
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dorn2

JoshuaSKI dorn2 TimothyTierless 
It doesn’t have skills, it doesn’t have taming, it doesn’t have an endless list of quirky things like barding and multiple magic systems.  I could go on and on and on actually.  It’s not like UO at all.  It has housing and top down combat but really it’s nothing like UO.

JoshuaSKI
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JoshuaSKI

Per Larggson Actually the game is fully functioning. It just needs to polishing here and there. maybe a few more features added. Its much like UO but with a new take on how to handle zones and such. Its nice and it will make it. DayZ will also make it eventually after they actually finish the chernarus map. As for Sota. Well that was a waste of time and hasnt seen any good updates.

JoshuaSKI
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JoshuaSKI

dorn2 TimothyTierless Actually as a old time OU vet here. Its liek a mixture of UO/SB/TL2. And when I say that I mean like uo by ALOT and they are on a path that will bring in more UO PvP mechanics to the game.

Doran7
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Doran7

I actually don’t mind too much… I expect I am going to spend more money on this game ..because I like it. Taking more time and adding more to the game is a very good idea.   I look forward a few more guild tools, slightly expanded questing, improvement in guild battling, territory ownership improvement, and cleaning up of some bugs.  Free to play will eventually come but they are right to cater to their paying supporters first.

SkyyDragonn
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SkyyDragonn

Right. Using predatory and ethically grey monetization techniques is totally legit and consumer conscious. The industry has been abusing psychological traits/weaknesses for over half a decade now. Somehow some people seem to think its perfectly okay. For a example lockboxes (legalized gambling) in games with younger demographics. Totally not predatory right?

RaimoKangasniemi1
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RaimoKangasniemi1

I would say abandoning F2P is a wise decision. The game is high profile enough to succeed as B2P and whatever more they are planning when it comes to their financial model and this is a kind of game that calls out for a dedicated community, not to the kind of more… fleeting kind of gamers populating F2P games.

GabeNewellFetish
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GabeNewellFetish

SkyyDragonn

Sure they have. They’ve noticed by telling you that you’re “an entitled baby”.

The gaming industry needs its own Ralph Nader.

GabeNewellFetish
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GabeNewellFetish

Per Larggson

I’m okay with reasonably priced founders packs for MMOs. You’re getting a lot of content out of a game, even if it isn’t remotely done. And think about how many people might play so much before launch that they’re done playing it once it launches and never touch it again?

I’m glad any time an MMO goes away from free to play, though. I hate free to play and I hate cash shops. Either stick with just selling me a game *OR* (not AND) sell me a subscription. (Definitely don’t charge me $60-100 up-front plus another $15/mo — that steep up-front price for a game I’ll usually tire of in two weeks is one of the biggest reasons I simply never touch an MMO in the first place).

And yeah, I understand the response to that from many will be “That’s what free to play is for, idiot! You can dip in a toe without an investment!”. Sure, but then if I like it, I am happy to pay the subscription… but if you’re saddling the game with cash shop garbage and free to play garbage, then it’s probably going to have cultivated the type of world and community model that is going to drive me away from wanting to subscribe in the first place!.