So ArcheAge Unchained’s Garden of the Gods is not free, and ArcheAge players are not happy

    
43
So ArcheAge Unchained’s Garden of the Gods is not free, and ArcheAge players are not happy
Do you folks remember last August, when Gamigo formally announced ArcheAge Unchained, promising a new monetization model for a buy-to-play version of the sandbox, where “with a onetime purchase, you can enjoy the content as often as you want“? I sure did because I’m the one who wrote that post, complete with the direct quote from Gamigo’s press release. The idea was this clean edition would be funded with vanity items and the seasonal ArchePasses rather than pay-to-win shenanigans.

But as it turns out, “onetime” doesn’t mean “onetime,” as the community discovered yesterday.

Last week the company announced a new expansion for ArcheAge and ArcheAge Unchained, Garden of the Gods. The first announcement, on May 13th, didn’t mention the word “DLC” or imply there’d be any fee at all, so that’s how we reported it: as a typical content update, akin to what ArcheAge has been receiving for years. The second announcement, on May 20th, also made no mention of “DLC”; it focused on a free trial voucher code, and while it does mention pre-orders, I don’t think I was alone in assuming those were bonus packs in addition to the new land and content (that’s pretty common these days).

But yesterday’s post on the official site makes it far more clear. Calling these bundles DLC, the landing page appears to be declaring that all access to the expansion itself is locked behind the purchase. A Discord comment from Gamigo has further clarified the move. This has caused the ArcheAge subreddit to light itself and everything around it on fire, since the playerbase was entirely unprepared for DLC-style monetization, believing that the game would continue to be funded as originally advertised: with the one buy-in and ArchePass seasons on top. Some players even argue they’ve been delibertately lied to, pointing back to the old lawsuit where former publisher Trion was sued by players for false advertising specifically in regard to ArcheAge. (The players won, incidentally.)

In fact, in at least one interview last year, ArcheAge’s Merv Lee Kwai was asked directly whether ArcheAge Unchained players would be expected to pay for future expansions. The answer was a clear no.

Ragachak: On the topic of payments, will players who purchase ArcheAge: Unchained on September 30th have additional expansion purchases at a later date (such as WoW/Final Fantasy expansions)?

[mleekwai]: Nope. Future ArcheAge content updates/expansions will be provided free of purchase, as they always have been, on both the Legacy and the Unchained version. We have some exciting stuff coming up toward the end of this year and an amazing content roadmap planned for 2020 and beyond.

In our own interview with Khrolan last fall, we asked point-blank whether “initial sales and cosmetics” would be enough to sustain the game long-term. He said he was confident they would be. Clearly that is not the case, as last night it was left to a Gamigo rep in Discord to admit that “it has become increasingly challenging to continue delivering the Unchained version of the game and remain as true to [Gamigo’s] pillars of fair-to-play as possible,” which has apparently led to this about-face on the game’s monetization after just eight months.

We reached out to Gamigo last night with questions about the DLC switcharoo and future expansions, but we haven’t heard back yet; we’ll update if and when the studio responds. We’re also including the original PRs and posts below for posterity.

No posts to display

43
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
styopa

Casting about recently for my next “commit time to play” mmo, I’m rather relieved that I settled on ESO.
There was a brief moment where I remembered that AA held a lot of promise…but then I came to my senses. I might go back to AA if they pay me back for that first disaster.

Yangers
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Yangers

Being honest with your customers: C-

Amazing arms on the warrior elf lady on the ads for the game on Massively: A+++++

Reader
azeros

I’m an archeage: unchained player and I’m actually 100% happy with this, it’s MUCH better than ruining the cash store I’ll add that my guild is also satisfied and also probably 99% of the players I’ve talked to. The doom heralds of this game will be very disappointed since activity is as high as it has even been. I’ll admit their PR department is clueless and they should have built a more sustainable business since the beginning, they refused to sell things like inventory slots or access to mail/warehouse by credits (Props to them) but it was quite naive.

Reader
drew who

Just wondering are the unchained servers still reasonably well populated . I did think about giving it a try .

Reader
azeros

Yes they are! Tyrenos, wynn and denistrious are very well populated (I think denistrious which is my server is more populated now than at launch tbh), I cannot say anything about the other three. PvP goes on a daily basis and we have a lot of players (100+ player fights are very common on event times)

Reader
Carlos Lima

Correction: Only Tyrenos is well populated, Wynn is half dead and bleeding pop (I played there) and the others are almost ghost towns. A server merge is coming sooner than you think.

Reader
azeros

Denistrious is very well populated as well, but I didn’t know about wynn. I do think merges are coming for kaylin, jergant and runert but not so soon.

Reader
Carlos Lima

OK.

this-is-fine.0.jpg
Raap
Reader
Raap

Charging for big patch? You know what, I can see no real objections to this if it ensures ‘alternative revenue formats’ are not considered. The ArchePass is a monetization failure and XL doesn’t produce enough cosmetics to put in the shop for direct purchase.

But another fresh start server? How often must that band-aid be applied to AA? Why not solve the root problem; The fact that catching up in an established AA server is practically impossible? When will these devs (so not Gamigo specifically) finally learn that the core of AA is fundamentally a broken and unsustainable business?

Oh well, fortunately we got plenty of new exciting open world PvP MMO’s to look forward to this year, like New W— Oh right. Crap.

Reader
azeros

Agree with you completely and also garden is a very good patch, there’s tons of new features and open world PvP opportunities via world-bosses, new resources to gather and a new trade pack to deliver in freedich.

Reader
Andrew Clear

I understand the need to monetize it differently if they are not making enough money to sustain the game and add new content. They can cut the idea of adding new content and leave it in maintenance mode, until it isn’t sustainable, and they have to shut it down then. I don’t think it is unreasonable to charge for new content, since it does cost a lot to create it. But that is just me. I do understand the outrage after they were idiots and said they wouldn’t charge for future content. PR 101, give a wishy-washy neutral answer to questions like that.

Covynant001
Reader
Covynant001

Game developer breaks their promise to not modify the monetization model.

The only “news” here is apparently there are still gamers in this world who actually believed Gamigo of all companies would keep their word. Go figure.

It’s almost never a matter of “if,” only a matter of when.

Reader
Kanbe

And this is why even though unchained sounded a bit tempting, I had zero faith and passed on it.

Godnaz
Reader
Godnaz

Reminds me of Alpha vs. the original game launch. Promised one thing, did a completely different thing that literally broke the game.

Alyn
Reader
Alyn

I agree with Socrates;

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

Socrates

Reader
Jo Watt

Basically: The upkeep would have been ok if they still had a decent player base.

But things didn’t go smoothly with all the hacking and exploiting going on in which they did nothing about even unbanned many of those that did it causing many players to drop the game again. It ruined the economy in the first month.

It was a last chance before for me and while a new expansion might have been interesting… having to pay for it is not after past promises broken.