The Repopulation's new owners say pay-to-win is off the table
Still reeling over the news that The Repopulation has been acquired by Idea Fabrik and will launch in Hero Engine later this quarter after all? Or more inclined to join our commenters who say they won't give the new owners another chance, given their history with the original studio?
Maybe Idea Fabrik can change your mind. The newly installed developer team -- which isn't the same sub-team that works on the engine itself and is in fact partly made up of Triad Game Studios developers -- began introducing itself on The Repopulation forums over the weekend, including COO Sarrene' Grant, Tehnical Director "Hobble," and Writer/Community Rep Christopher Riley. Grant tackles the pay-to-win concerns straightaway.
"Our aim is NOT to turn this into a Pay to Win game. Again, we are gamers as well. We have not gotten to that point yet, but the goal will be to follow the same plans that ABT had. [...] This is a re-release of the Alpha version, least to start. This is not a full or post release."
Hobble also rejects the pay-to-win idea.
"None of the developers want to go in that direction in any way. We want to keep close to the method ABT had (Back/Purchase the game and play in 'Early Access' as Steam calls it). We may streamline things slightly, but nothing dramatic will change. Moving forward we do plan to implement Cosmetic Micro-transactions as previously planned by ABT. Always remember that the project needs an income, if we have no income... eventually that leads to no project. As we move forward there are other options that we might look in to but Pay to Win is not something we ever want to put on the cards."
The new team doesn't have a formal timeline to present right now, but there will eventually be a wipe (as was originally planned) ahead of the launch as the game moves through "new development alpha" and "new development beta."
Above & Beyond's J.C. Smith also drops by to remind players that his team will still be "around" and helping Idea Fabrik with the project. "While neither of us may have expected to get back on amicable terms a year ago, this isn't an issue of pride," he writes. "We've been discussing this scenario for some time now. The bottom line is that we both want this game to be a success. We owe this to players. As developers we've so much time and energy on this game, we want it to see the light of day. It fills a niche that needs to be filled. Repop being a success also benefits Idea Fabrik, both financially and in showcasing what the engine can do. The mutual interest in accomplishing those goals has put our paths back in line and there is no negative emotion here at the moment. And we'd ask players to try to do the same. We all want the same things here."
Smith does note his team was not required to sign a non-compete clause. "[But] whatever we do in the future (undecided), we don't want to pit ourselves in direct competition with Repop. Any game is in somewhat competition with other games, but we aren't just going to like add new graphics and the same gameplay and call it something different or anything like that."