Prosperous Universe explains new free-to-play model, vows to avoid microtransactions


So Prosperous Universe has officially gone free-to-play. But why? What makes a commerce-centric MMO open its doors to possible exploitation from free accounts? What makes being a Pro license owner better, and how does that not translate to pay-to-win in a game like this? These are all questions that are touched on in a recent dev blog.

The post first opens with a promise that free-to-play does not mean that Prosperous Universe will introduce microtransactions. That said, playing for free does put some limitations that effectively will hamstring you by design, locking away features that can be easily exploitable by multi-account users. The devs are convinced that their hybrid of restricted demo mode and freemium model is the best solution for everyone.

“We don’t do micro-transactions, we don’t ‘hunt whales’, we don’t have anything in the game that allows players to throw endless amounts of money at us. We feel like that’s a good thing, but it means that at the end of the day, we need a higher percentage of paying players than other free-to-play titles might.”

So why go free-to-play at all? Because ultimately a game like this requires lots of people active in its markets to really work, noting that only the most hardcore of fans would follow through with paying for Prosperous Universe during its alpha. “While we can see desirable developments at the hotspots around big markets in the game, the few hundred active players we have at the moment just aren’t enough to bootstrap the kind of economy we have envisioned,” reads the post.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

This move to f2p was enough to make me try the game and now that I know they’re on the right track, I’ll certainly pay for pro.

It’s a slow game, the UI is complex, yet it is all what an economy game should be. This player increase on alpha may look weird if it was on a more standard game, but for Prosperous Universe to work, it needs a playerbase producing things.

Giskard Daneel

So they’re doing this because, as they say, “the few hundred active players we have at the moment just aren’t enough to bootstrap the kind of economy we have envisioned.”

What? Am I missing something? Isn’t the game in alpha? Why would they expect more active players at this point?

If the game were released, then perhaps that’s the move they’d need to make. But it seems a bit premature to blame the move on lack of active players when its not even in beta.

Sorry, the reasoning just doesn’t hold up. It seems there’s some other motive at play. And their use of obfuscation should be a red flag to both potential and current players.


Microtransactions aren’t the devil. There are ways to do them right. We have so many examples of how to do them wrong that many people don’t think so, but some newer games are finding a good balance here and there.

In fact, a free to play idle game that’s clearly a lot like a mobile game released on Steam recently, has random draws, IAP and all and actually has mostly positive reviews! It’s because it’s actually fun for an idle game and the IAP isn’t that bad. Do you know what a miracle it is for a Free to Play game that has random draws and IAP to get Mostly Positive reviews on Steam?

There are ways to do Free to Play and have IAP and still do the game right.


id like to try the game sometime.. i got pretty confused when i tried to start it last week and havent touched it since

Rodrigo Dias Costa

As a new player myself, I’ve got pretty confused too. I’d suggest doing your stuff following their handbook, that’s essentially a tutorial (they need to make a better, more interactive tutorial, but that could be resolved during the beta)