Cornered Rat Software’s MMO World War II Online is 20 years old, believe it or not, and still under development “so as the create the next 20 years,” the team says. Over the weekend, the studio made several announcements about the future of the game, including plans for integrated voice comms, a monetization clean-up, a Steam release, and a major tech upgrade.
Let’s tackle monetization first. Essentially, the team is flattening several of the subscription plans into one $9.99 sub, leaving the free-to-play option as it is, and offering annual plans to boot. Weirdly, the team asks people subbing at the $18 rate to keep subbing at that rate, offering a discount for the annual pass in exchange.
“[W]e’re taking a big risk here,” CRS says. “We really need players to maintain their current subscription rate to continue supporting the game. Our primary objective of doing this is to bring more players into WWII Online, and remove any reason for why they may not want to get in. We also make the game more accessible to many more people. If there’s a big shift in players abandoning their plans, we will have to abort this initiative and go back to our premium rate. Thanks for holding the line.”
Cornered Rat says that the new incomes will go to upgrading the game to UE4 and then UE5, which will take “years” to accomplish, but of course putting all the devs on WWII Online 2.0 means pulling them off of content development for the live game. The studio also acquired mod-maker Talos Interactive to develop and maintain mod WWII Online: Chokepoint as a full-fledged title alongside the original game and its sub.
“We’re hoping that by being this transparent and putting all the cards on the table that you have a renewed commitment – and stick with it long term,” Matt “Xoom” Callahan says. “This will take years, it will not be simple and it comes at a cost as outlined above. But it IS the right call to make and we need to make the move, NOW.”