Crowfall says its biggest parcels are crazy expensive because they’re meant for guilds

Last month, we included Crowfall among the games discussed in a Massively Overthinking roundtable that focused on MMO monetization running amok. Why? Because Crowfall has one of the spendiest cash shops in the genre, and it’s not even out yet; indeed, one of its palaces is $7000.

That subject is one ArtCraft has addressed today in a new dev blog, which argues that the price is fine because it’s intended for large guilds.

“The price is high because when 100+ players work together to buy something, the total adds up quickly,” J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton jointly explain. “That last part is key. These strongholds are WAY, WAY overkill for use by a single player. Much like in real life, purchasing a giant Imperial Palace doesn’t make a lot of sense if you intend to live alone. The purpose of these larger strongholds is to support large player groups. They provide a mechanism to centralize buildings and exist so that guilds, streamer audiences, or even a loose-knit collection of merchants and crafters can work together, pool resources and create social spaces.”

The baseline price for rank 1 parcel for a regular solo player — you know, your starter home — is $15, extending upward to $25 for a rank 3 and up to $45 for a custom rank 3 parcel. While the prices are subject to change by launch, you can still napkin-math it out: Since some of the capital city parcels are built to hold well over a hundred people and parcels at those same rates, buying one outright is priced correspondingly (though not exactly, since the studio wants to incentivize player congregating — there’s a hefty discount for buying in bulk, in other words).

That probably won’t stop your eyes from bugging out from sticker shock, though.

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118 Comments on "Crowfall says its biggest parcels are crazy expensive because they’re meant for guilds"

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Archebius

If Star Citizen has proven anything, it’s that there are people who enjoy throwing money at game development in exchange for fancy things. If you’re building a game, you want to make things for those people. You’d be stupid not to. The return on investment is immense.

So… why all the hate? This is a cosmetic structure. It offers no real in-game benefit, other than bragging rights. They’re not diminishing anyone else’s enjoyment of the game. They’re not offering something that makes the game pay-to-win. Most players will never even see these monstrosities, because they’re locked away in an eternal kingdom.

I don’t want a 7k parcel. But I’m okay with the fact that there are people out there who do, and I’m fine with ACE building something for them. Of all the projects that I’ve kickstarted, this one has had the best communication and the best level-setting for expectations and design choices. If this is as close to scandal as they get, well, by golly, I guess I’ll find some way to forgive them.

Oh, also, they let you break apart your bundles and sell back pieces you didn’t want. I sold off a bunch of extra VIP time and got a pretty healthy amount of credit back, and I backed it at a middle of the road level. Ten high-level backers with some strategizing could easily afford this without dropping another dime.

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MrNastyButler

A 100+ group of players agreeing on how to spend money…governments can’t even agree on budgets and you want gamers to agree how to spend money in large groups? Oh, this is going to be soo wonderful to watch the drama.

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H. D. Harris🏳️‍🌈

Yeah, I’d be definitely concerned if this was the only way to get these, but they’re all craftable in-game so it’s not as big a deal for me.

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H. D. Harris🏳️‍🌈

This section, which was like super small, specifically

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miol
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miol

I’m already seeing the guild invite messages on main chat:

“Join our guild now! For only limited time our entry fee is -50%!”

“We provide a cash-back referrer system, if you can make your friends join us, so /w us now!”

“We’re so much cheaper than the other competitive guilds, we’re basically giving memberships for free! Come join us now!”

XD

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zuldar

So everyone in the guild gives real money to one person who makes the purchase? What could possibly go wrong with that?

Estranged
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Estranged

Nothing at all!

lulz

These guys should know better. Really shameful.

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Paragon Lost

Ever notice that in articles like this with a game controversy that there is always that one person who posts all throughout the thread defending it and questioning everyone? Schlag needs to make a meme for that.

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Armsbend

Nothing wrong with being into your own thing old boy. I can always defend someone’s right to rant about!

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Duffy Smalls

Someone’s gotta answer the questions, otherwise you get an echo chamber of reinforcing negativity towards anything that doesn’t match the primary posting group’s status quo. It’s pretty funny how it plays out in every single thread, to say the audience of this site is predictable is an understatement.

Anything Crowdfunding related you’ll get a good portion of the regulars screaming SCAAAAAAAAAAAM or some related version and then a few people answering questions or trying to counter argue the scam people (latter is waste of energy, too many people just enjoy the feeling of righteous anger). I personally really don’t particularly care about the straight up hate mongers, they got their issues and need to voice em, no problem, have fun. The incorrect statements or question seeking folks I’ll answer if I’m in the mood. Usually the mood passes pretty quickly though ;-)

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Armsbend

To be completely fair the people who have been screaming “SCAAAAAAAAAAAAAM” for years? Those people have been roughly 90%+ correct in every single scenario. I used to get yelled down by regular commentators, developers and the writers of blogs on a near constant basis. Now? Hardly ever. They have known for quite some time that I, and a few other logical mystics, were just about 100% correct on just about every hare-brained criticism I ever had on KS.

This is my giant ego saying ‘I told you so’ and being a general asshole – in character of course. But it is still accurate.

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Archebius

I would echo what Duffy says. Additionally, I’m not sure how you figure that “just about 100% correct,” given that most of the prophecies you’ve given us have yet to be settled – one way or the other.

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Duffy Smalls

How many have been actual scams vs. just failures? Failure is an option as part of crowdfunding, hell it’s an option for the normal publisher games. The publishers are failing a lot of us, we don’t want to play the crap their shelling out these days. So for a lot of people it’s worth throwing a couple bucks at an idea and gambling that maybe they can turn it into something. That is the core reality to crowdfunding, hell to business in general. Someone has to front the cost and the traditional avenues are failing a lot of people, so some devs are turning directly to consumers. While it helps gauge interests and minimizes risk to the funding participants, the downside is it rarely provides enough cash flow upfront to cover needs and more cash will be necessary at some point. Folks just refuse to look at the objective reality of the situation and prefer to live in the bubble of their own ego.

If the thought of losing whatever amount of money is thrown at a project is abhorrent to someone, they should not participate in crowdfunding. If someone just likes pointing at failure as some sort of justification to negate crowdfunding I got a dozen successful ones to point at instead. For every success there will be a much greater number of failures, that’s always been true. Failure is always an option.

Estranged
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Estranged

Armsbend, I hear ya. Smelled the stank on this one since their boobalicious KS dev videos.

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Francis Baud

A meme for me! How lovely <3

Estranged
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Estranged

lulz

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Ashfyn Ninegold

OH, the drama! Crowfall has definitely replaced AA as the game I wouldn’t touch if you paid me but that has/will give me hours of entertainment from the sidelines.

Where is my popcorn?

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Paragon Lost

Big difference at least in my opinion is that Crowfall is telling you about it beforehand. Whereas with AA it was the ongoing meme from Star Wars with Darth and Lando where you hoped the deal wouldn’t get just a bit less appealing every other week. I’ll agree though it’s popcorn worthy. Such things always are.

Solaris
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Solaris

Difference is, in Archeage you pretty much had to shell out cash to keep you land. Crowfall there really is no reason to have land other than for social reasons. All the high end materials needed for crafting have to be found in the game world. All player owned land is Tier I trash. So no, not really like Archeage.

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squid

So what you’re saying is that I should start a Crowfall guild, pool $7000 from my members, then just disappear.
Because I guarantee that’s going to happen.

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Slaasher

And that’s only one of many possible horrifying scenarios that could go down with this set up.

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Slaasher

Well yeah,…….. no.
I guess I wont support Crowfall. Shame really. I liked some of the places they were going.

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Francis Baud

What’s your issue with people purchasing personal housing’s extravagances at high cost to finance the development of a niche MMO?

Estranged
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Estranged

Their rival game is doing fine without $7000 housing.

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Francis Baud

Camelot Unchained is in a different situation, different payment model, different type of funding, different audience, different marketing approach, etc. etc.

Apples and oranges.

Estranged
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Estranged

Francis – yeah. I wasn’t going to name names, cause most of these people are friends.

You are right, different mentalities, all together.

CU wouldn’t ever set their players up for a $7000 guild scandal.

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Francis Baud

Agreed. On the other hand, ACE is paying all the people working on Crowfall a fair wage afaik, whether it’s professional translators, community managers, content creators, developers, etc. They need money to pay for those people. Other studios (including CSE) use unpaid volunteers to fill certain positions. It’s not “good” or “bad” I guess, it’s just different approaches.

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Francis Baud

Hehe.

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Armsbend

Red Delicious to Granny Smith.

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mcsleaz

I’m in the same boat, was hyped for it till I just saw a $7000 cash shop item for a game that isn’t even released. These clowns must be hanging out with that retard Garriot. Imma tell everyone I know to steer very far from Crowfall.

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Francis Baud

Do you have any suggestions on how they could find the money to pay their developers’ salaries, if not selling overpriced cash shop items that have low impact on gameplay / competitiveness?

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Iain B

Uhh, how do you think any other business works?

For some reason it’s ok for game developers to get away with constantly begging their consumers for money before they actually provide a product.

Name one other industry where the consumers have to keep paying and paying for a product that may, or may not, ever materialize.

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Francis Baud

I’m not “ok” with it. I think it’s an abusive behavior, it’s like exploiting the weaknesses of people (those who are the most addicted and prone to throw impulsively a lot of money to purchase virtual items).

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Armsbend

I do. Finish the game and then sell it. It has worked in the 5000 years of civilization so I assume it will work here.

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Francis Baud

Developers receive a salary to create games.

In order to finish a game, a studio needs developers.

My question was: Do you have any suggestions on how they could find the money to pay their developers’ salaries, if not selling overpriced cash shop items that have low impact on gameplay / competitiveness?

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Armsbend

Use the money you (literally you) made on kickstarter/cashshop/other bullshit to finish your game. If you overestimated how much it would cost to finish the game and you cannot make payroll? Fold up your shop and disappear from existence forever. Claiming you need $7000 housing or everything disappears is the type of hostage bullshit backers should be up in arms about. The developers are making backers feel guilty for not giving enough. Open your wallets or what we have made – is gone.

If that is their attitude; and it is – then FUCK. THEM.

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Utakata

@ Armsbend

Kinda makes me wonder what will happen when the 100 + are caught up in member endorsed exploits. Getting one’s guild banhmmered from a game is one thing. Getting one’s guild banhammered with $7k dumped into “digital property” is likely another. And could make for some interesting legal and/or PR battles. o.O

Estranged
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Estranged

Mana – I’ll be my usual brash self…

This will result in many of a clusterfuck.

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Francis Baud

“If you overestimated how much it would cost to finish the game and you cannot make payroll? Fold up your shop and disappear from existence forever.”

If they do that, not only a great and innovative project (according to me) would not see the light of the day, but those who spent so much time and money supporting it would be very disappointed. The backers pledged millions of dollars to support Crowfall development.

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Armsbend

With every fiber of my being (video game wise [the rest is reserved])I want them to be sad. Whatever scenario brings about the death of crowdfunding – and the return of solid development – is something I can get 100% behind.

The world will most assuredly keep spinning without Crowfall in it’s midst. The gnashing of teeth would last a month at best. The drama would be less than No Man’s Sky on the blip of everlasting game development.

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Francis Baud

Nothing is black or white. Crowdfunding brings lot of crappy stuff, abuses, sub-par quality titles, etc. But there are also upsides. Innovation, for example. Look at Camelot Unchained, Dual Universe, Star Citizen, CF… They’re taking risk and doing things differently than AAA titles. Not just copying a successful MMORPG and adding X or Y to it. Project Gorgon is another example. How could this kind of crazy project ever exists without crowdfunding. No publisher would ever fund this imo. I don’t know if any of the current crowdfunded MMORPGs will release one day, or if they’ll find a big enough niche to be financially viable once they do. We’ll see. One thing for sure is that trying is the only way to know. The founders of many of those studios went all in to make their vision a reality. All in, like, if it fails, they’re screwed big time.

Estranged
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Estranged

Francis, Gorgon isn’t asking for enough to provide 3500 homeless shelter meals for virtual housing.

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Francis Baud

From Project: Gorgon Kickstarter page:

“Pledge $7,500 or more

In addition to all the rewards above, you can choose to revive one of the skill sets that was cut from launch: Were-Tiger, Demonologist, Psi Dominator, or Dark Geologist. […]”

Estranged
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Estranged

Francis – yes. However, I don’t see them promoting it heavily and begging.

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Francis Baud

Project: Gorgon went through at least 3 Kickstarter and one IndieGogo campaigns. They’re selling +$1,000 items in their store.

It takes a lot of money to develop a video game, more for a MMO, and even more for a quality MMO. Some studios have a lot of money at hand, whether because the founders are rich, or because they’re acquainted with some wealthy investors who take the risk to fund their project, or for other reasons. While other studios have to work harder to earn money.

If you consider that selling over-priced items that have low impact on gameplay / competitiveness is shameful, then I’m sure the devs would be happy to hear about your suggestions to get additional money to pay for the bills / salaries.

Estranged
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Estranged

Raise funding based on their experience as developers with reasonable tiers, avoiding whaling expeditions. There are other games doing such.

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Francis Baud

Can you explain how exactly they could raise funding based on their experience as developers with reasonable tiers?

Estranged
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Estranged

Francis, the devs of this project are golden boys. When those types ask for money, it is given.

By the way, read the fine print on the KickStarter. They reserve the right to go with a publisher.

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Francis Baud

Yea, if they’ve got to choose between watching the whole project die due to a lack of funding or going with a publisher, I hope they pick the reasonable option.

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Slaasher

Agreed. I’ve played a lot of really successful games over the years that didn’t require people to drop $7K on a guild house. They are welcome to try and I am welcome to not take part and voice my objection to it. If I don’t then how will they know how many of us feel (this last part is directed at Francis Baud not you Armsbend).

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Francis Baud

Where did the money to fund the development of those games come from? I’m sure indie studios like ACE would be really happy to receive this kind of financial support, unless of course the money came from big publishers that tend to grab all creative control over the game.

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Slaasher

Where does the money come from to start any business venture? Investors, banks, grants, etc. LOL games have been built for years by companies that didn’t use kickstarters or charge potential customers extraordinary sums of money to develop their game.That is a relatively new tactic in gaming development.
From the tone of your responses it sounds like you believe this is the only way for these companies to get started.
It isnt. And IMO it is starting to go too far. The backlash has only just begun. Wait for it.

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Francis Baud

Traditionally the biggest chunk of the money (very often, all of it) came from the publishers.

ACE decided to not go with a publisher, for different reasons (retaining creative control is one of them). So they’ve got to find the money elsewhere. I doubt that banks would lend millions of dollars for such risky endeavor. Investors, ACE have some, but it’s apparently still not enough.

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Reht

And here i was thinking that they were meant for whales…