If the high price on TitanReach’s early access – originally $70 and since reduced to $38 – seemed like too much for a fledgling MMO to ask, then you might be mollified by Square Root Studios’ latest revelation: that it’s going free-to-play with its early access after all, at least until the closed alpha begins (which again might give you pause that you were previously paying for an early access that was really a pre-alpha).
The company says it will cease selling the early access as of August 1st and end the distribution of the associated cosmetics and rewards. But it’s also replacing the sale of early access with preorder packs for the closed alpha. Prices are not given.
“On the 1st of August at 10 AM, Sydney time (GMT+10) the Early Access phase of development will be Free to Play! That means anyone with an account on the TitanReach website will be able to play for free until the Closed Alpha begins. This will not only open the game up to a lot more people but allows those of you who have supported us but didn’t have the financial means to play the game. […] “At the same time that the Early Access goes Free to Play, limited edition packs for the Closed Alpha will go live on the store. Until the 1st of October, the Closed Alpha will be sold in three packs: Bronze, Silver and Gold. If you have already purchased the Closed Alpha before the packs go live on the store, you will automatically be upgraded to the Bronze pack free of charge. Each pack will include several items, some that are limited edition and will not be available after the sale is over. For more information on what exactly is included, visit the TitanReach website on the 1st of August!”
Readers will recall that TitanReach ran a failed $430,000 US Kickstarter, then announced plans for a fixed-funding Indiegogo that never materialized in spite of its claim that its funding situation was dire. Instead, the studio released a flexible-funding storefront, followed up by drama over a stealth-retracted statement about working conditions and worker pay. It began $70 early access back in March (again, later reduced to $38); Square Root says it has 16 developers now working on the title ahead of its projected 2022 launch.