Back in November, the controversial game developer who dubbed himself “Internet Warlord” released a state-of-the-game post, clarifying that LOD’s PC release will ultimately be exclusive to Windows 10, that the console version has switched to Unreal Engine 4, that the Havok-based PC engine is still up in the air, and that both PC and console will allow custom hosted servers. Moreover, the game will not be free-to-play, though PC and console will have different pricing structures.
“As to the business model, back when I designed this game, F2P was all the rage. While there are still a lot of F2P games out there, most aren’t even making enough money to keep the servers online, let alone pay the teams. Others use all sorts of tricks to keep the whales buying into the game in order to compensate for those who aren’t buying anything. Many others have failed and closed down. The flip side is that the B2P (buy-to-play) model has its own set of challenges; with the most important being the price as a barrier to entry. For a PvP game, pricing still isn’t everything because you still need a compelling game. And there is also the risk of running into the Catch-22 of player engagement. Player checks out the game, doesn’t see many people playing, then leaves to go play something else. With that in mind, since the very start, the design for the game fit either business model; in that it could either be F2P (with a free Starter Kit) or B2P. So given current industry trends, I have now made the decision that a F2P business model is probably not in the best interest of the game. To that end, we will be sticking with the B2P model for both PC and console versions upon final release.”
You’ll recall that Smart pulled the game from Steam last year, citing review-bomb harassment and Valve’s failure to police it. “As we have enough testers already, we don’t expect to re-enable the Steam store until we complete some of the final goal milestones,” he wrote more recently.