Half a million people played Albion Online in April, so its studio is hiring again

    
16
There! A thing!

Blizzard is far from the only company making bank thanks to millions of gamers stuck at home sheltering from the pandemic right now. Sandbox Interactive, the studio behind Albion Online, is also doing well right about now, and unlike Blizz, SI isn’t afraid to talk real numbers, as it’s put out a population update that claims the game saw half a million monthly users in April. The studio says two factors – the launch of Queen in January and COVID-19 – have boosted the community.

“The Queen Update, released January 20, 2020, was by far the most successful Albion Online content update since launch, confirmed by consistent population growth since January and a record-high of over 500,000 monthly users for the month of April. Nearly six months in the making, Queen was nothing less than a complete revisioning of Albion’s high-level endgame, although the new features and systems it introduced affected players of all levels and playstyles. On a more bittersweet note, player numbers have also been affected by the lockdown and quarantine measures worldwide. We know many in the Albion Online community have been touched by the current pandemic, and are facing numerous present and future challenges.”

The studio says that its good fortunes mean it’s hiring. It aims to expand its performance-oriented dev group, continue revamping “with a larger playerbase in mind,” and “further expand” the dev team.

Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Solaris

Fantastic MMO if you can find a good guild.

Raap
Reader
Raap

Plainly further evidence that folks claiming there is no market for PvP MMO’s do not have the hard facts to back their opinions.

That being said, good for Albion. Unfortunately the combat style and general controls of the game pushed me away from it.

I’ll sit here, patiently waiting for someone to make the next New World… but with PvP in it. Hopefully such a game arrives before I die of old age.

Reader
Arktouros

I’m hoping that in a few decades someone gets it right and then I can retire into PvP game Valhalla dunking on the Coronials born from this pandemic.

Who am I kidding, I’ll never get to retire hahaha…

Reader
3dom

They should hire a microbiologist who will create new pandemic outbreak, otherwise no hope for their game to keep the numbers with the complete lack of expertise in the dev team and the vision among the “management”.

Reader
Arktouros

Even prior to the pandemic last year they were boasting some pretty crazy numbers so whatever they appear to be doing seems to be working.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
firithnorm

I tried Albion when it went FTP a year ago. My initial impressions were “meh” mainly due to the following:

* PvP is required to get top tier gear and mats. The devs practically encourage ganking, so doing anything solo in Red or Black PvP zones (more on that later) is basically a death wish. And those zones are full loot zones. The idea of loosing all my gear to a few gankers is a real turnoff.

* PvP play practically requires being in a guild. Most guilds seem to be rather aggressive in requiring regular participation in high-level content and dungeons. I am a very casual player who’d rather just farm mats and do quick stuff.

* Player housing is gated behind a monthly sub paywall. I love player housing. I think not having it for free is really keeping this game from having an even higher number of players.

A year ago, these issues were enough for me to let the game slide. This year, toward the end of January, I decided to give it another spin. And it began to grow on me. The combat is rather straightforward. There really aren’t any quests, but once I started really crafting stuff and then figured out their Destiny Board, it began to hit that gaming sweet spot for me. So I splurged for sub to get player housing, which is really an island. That opened a whole other level of crafting gameplay that I’m really enjoying right now. And I haven’t done any PvP.

PvP (as mentioned earlier) is required in Red and Black zones. There are two other zones – Blue (no PvP at all) and Yellow (protected PvP). The Blue zones are the safe area where lvl 1 – 3 mats and mobs are. No PvP is allowed. The Yellow zones are flagged PvP zones with lvl 2-5 mats and lvl 5 mobs. Only those PvP-flagged can attack or be attacked by anyone. There is also no looting. If you are killed, it’s really only a knockdown with a minimal item wear. You just have a wait a couple of minutes for a timer to expire. Also, there is a reputation penalty if a non-flagged player is attacked/killed, which discourages most people from ganking in this zone.

It’s once you get into Red zone that it gets risky, as there is full loot on death. There is still flagging and the reputation penalty but the full loot reward tends to encourage more ganking. Level 6 mats are the attraction for non-PvPers to venture into this zone. The Black zones are full loot, all PvP, no flagging. It’s located in a totally separate area of the map and does feature lvl 7-8 mats for gathering. But this is where guilds patrol and battle and generally make life difficult for those who aren’t in a guild or have top-level gear. These Red & Black zones are where Albion gets the rep for being a free-for-all gankfest.

Personally, I have pretty much hit the max that I can do without moving on to these Red & Black zones for gathering mats & crafting. Not without joining a guild. I guess it’s time to find one of the gathering guilds.

Reader
Kanbe

I play solo and guildless doing a mix of combat and currently at T5 gathering/crafting. I spend more time in black zones than all the others combined. I may just be lucky but by being careful I only die to a gank about once every 10-15 trips. The majority of the time I have no issues with anyone even trying to gank me.

That being said, avoid red zones. They have a higher population (and thus more risk) for the same penalties as black zones.

A few tips I live by.

Avoid staying too near the road.

Stay relatively close to the maps with portals. I usually only go about 2 over at most under normal circumstances.

Do little on the map that has the portal back to the continent.

If you see another player, mount up and run immediately. They may not go after you, but why take the chance.

Always stick to your mount. Even if you only need to move a few spaces to get that next gathering node, move the horse there too. This makes it quicker to gtfo if needed.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Java Jawa

Is this a mandatory PvP game? I was always curious about this one.

Reader
Arktouros

More or less in the same way EVE is mandatory PvP. While content exists in the safe areas, the bulk of the content is in the areas where people can (and will) flag and engage on you.

Reader
3dom

It’s a mandatory card swipe game.

Reader
Kanbe

I’ll give you the sub helps level up and gather more but I still wouldn’t say mandatory. And there’s nothing but cosmetics (and not that many of those even IMO) in the cash shop.

Reader
kalech

I played Albion in… Beta, I think? Or early start? Something like that. I think I bought one of the more expensive founders packs.
And I love the game, sort of.
Also sort of not. Because I dont like pvp.

Really shot myself in the foot with this one lads :(

Reader
David Blair

Sounds like now is the time to spin it back up and give us your review on where it currently sits with all the changes and PvE additions!

Reader
Kanbe

I play Albion and don’t really PvP hardly ever. I do gathering/solo dungeons on black zones too mostly which are the full loot pvp zones. While there is the annoying chance of PvP I’ve been able to treat this as a mostly PvE game where I just need to be cautious if I see other players.

Reader
kalech

Maybe I will give it a go again eventually. The destiny board can be pretty addicting