This story has been heavily updated post-stream – keep on scrollin’!
An apparent leak on a Bless fansite – which was hastily scrubbed but nevertheless preserved by players and Redditors – has the community watching the game ablaze today. The leak revolves around the game’s plan for founder packs, set to be revealed today; according to the rumor, Neowiz aims to charge $40 for the standard edition of the game, on up to $200 for the collector’s edition. All of the packages include headstart, with differing chunks of premium membership time chunked together.
Neowiz has previously said it leaned toward a buy-to-play model in order to avoid pay-to-win pitfalls, but the premium membership time mentioned makes players think the game is more a hybrid model with an optional subscription.
The official stream is set to begin at 3 p.m. EDT, and then we’ll know for sure whether the rumors are bunk or not.
Worth pointing out is that MOP specifically asked Neowiz about the potential for a subscription in the future during an interview in March. “Does [the announcement that the game will be B2P] preclude an optional subscription or VIP recurring fee at some future date?” Here was Neowiz’s response: “Not necessarily! We are going with the buy-to-play model as we believe it will be best for both the game and for players. In the future if we feel that players would benefit from something like that without negatively impacting the game experience, it could be considered.”
However, Neowiz also told us during that same interview that the early access on Steam would be “closer to a soft launch” without any wipes, so it seems unlikely that die-hard Bless fans will be waiting around.
At the time, the company also confirmed the existence of the cash shop (I’m told the current version includes things that could potentially be construed as P2W right now, but we’ll have more on that later) but it also said it will not be doing lockboxes. MOP’s Andrew Ross attended the press event on the west coast today, so stay tuned for his thoughts.