Last December, Citadel Studios and Legends of Aria got bought out by a blockchain company that declared its plan was to reimagine the floundering Kickstarted MMO with all the crypto trappings. The buyer, Reaper Games, said it would run two game modes for the revamp: the play-to-earn crypto-laced version, and a free-to-play mode free of NFT shenanigans, the latter plainly aimed at mollifying the game’s original backers and players.
Well, Reaper Games has now gone back on that promise, as last night it announced it’s scrapping the free-to-play, crypto-free version altogether. It’s also doing away with subscriptions and passes and will need to pay a “one-time upfront fee per character.”
“When we first announced our move to the blockchain, our initial design was to separate our services into two models: free-to-play and play-to-earn. As a result of a lot of great feedback, we’ve decided to instead move forward with one model: play-and-earn. Under this new design, you’ll need to pay a one-time fee to create a character to play with, which will be $10. This fee can be paid by credit card (or with cryptocurrency) and your character will be backed by non-fungible token (NFT) technology. Your characters can then later be sold and bought on our NFT marketplace. In addition, you can mint any of your items (like weapons, armor, pets, and even the deed to your houses) into NFTs to resell them at any time, allowing you to play and earn some money!”
It does appear that the teams mean to maintain the “classic” server for the game, however, though it won’t get any of the planned updates and overhauls that the now-canceled F2P server would’ve. Indeed, just a few hours before this announcement, Derek Brinkmann also announced the end of the Crimson Sea server in the game; classic players are expected to move to Ethereal Moon instead, though we’re guessing most remaining players are on custom shards at this point anyhow, judging by the complete lack reaction on Reddit and Discord.
“Going forward, we will no longer support Crimson Sea as an official Legends of Aria server. As you all know we have offered free transfers to Ethereal Moon for quite some time. You will still be able to log in and transfer your character and houses to Ethereal Moon but we will no longer host the game world or allow character creation on this server. We look forward to welcoming our remaining Crimson Sea players on Ethereal Moon. If you are looking for a place to place your house, feel free to reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you find a location.”