Crowfall’s Business Model(s)


Buy-to-play with an optional sub. Now that sounds more like it! Crowfall (the game that sorta came out of nowhere with bold statements and no real game to show yet) has announced some of their plans for how they’ll monetize. Basically you buy the game for $50 and that’s it. If you want some perks you can subscribe (like a VIP program) and get the following:

  • “Behind the scenes” access to the development of the game
  • VIP members can use passive training for all 3 character slots (not just 1)
  • Priority access to all game servers
  • VIP frame / badge on the forums
  • Discount pricing on any purchases
  • Other cool (non-balance affecting) benefits as we think of them!

Their cash shop will sell cosmetics and VIP membership tickets. Probably much like the Plex, Credd, etc., systems. I personally do not like these systems. I think it allows the wallet warriors to buy their advantage (in whatever sense of the word), and can be a delicate line to walk in a crafting game. I’ll count myself among the minority here, but I prefer the economy to be entirely immersive and in-game and not extend into the real world, but that’s just me.

What I’m most interesting in seeing here is how they plan to crowdfund. The founders clearly stated they’re going to seek crowdfunding sources, on top of equity and licensing internationally. That right there is my first red flag. Enticing players to give you money just to make the game means you have to give something in return.

Combine all of their monetization and you have crowdfunding, B2P, cash shop, cash-exchange, and a VIP sub. Whew… that’s a dangerous road. Almost as dangerous as their idea for a non-persistent world.

Crowfall remains one to watch. For many, many reasons.

  • For not having much of a game yet, they certainly seem to be thinking rather heavily about how to stick their hands in our pockets. These days, it’s hard not to consider that a turnoff.

    I checked out their website, and grinned wryly upon seeing all the heraldry lined up along the bottom of the page. I wonder if they’re actually planning to license this game with GRRM. If not, I see vast potential for lawsuits down the road.

  • I love B2P. I love regular sub games. And I love games that have a cosmetic cash shop.
    Which is why I HATE the business model that this company is going with.
    Investor funding
    Crowd Funding
    Retail Box
    Optional Sub
    Cosmestic Cash Shop
    PLEX system
    Off-Line training. 1 character slot has it with retail purchase and all character slots if you sub.

    So, if I have a ton of money, I can buy their PLEX, which gets me in-game gold, which leads to more training of all of characters while I’m at work all day. And then I can buy all of the best armor in the game since it will be a crafting economy from what I know. Then, I can use that money to buy Cash Shop credit so I can have the best looking gear.

    So, my money = the best gear, all trained up, and best looking. Sounds like a great system to me.
    Or just a HUGE cash grab. You can pick.

  • Hard for me to comment or get excited about a game 2-3 years away at the earliest…

    What ever happened to reading about games a few months away from release? Seriously, this is quickly, as in already is, now my number one issue with MMOs. I don’t want to know about your damn game until it is close, i.e. months away, from actually being playable.

  • @Amiya

    “For not having much of a game yet, they certainly seem to be thinking rather heavily about how to stick their hands in our pockets. These days, it’s hard not to consider that a turnoff.”

    Quoted for f***ing truth.

  • @Justin I agree with this entirely.

    It seems like some twisted experiment on how to squeeze every lost drop of money out of the player.
    I do not go near any game with such a scheme.

  • And they just lost what little interest I had for them.

    I don’t understand how an experienced crew like that can think that this choice of business model can work.

    Especially since the game is aimed at people “looking for something”, experienced MMO players that are turned away by such models.

  • The list puts me off as you can guarantee that the whole thing is setup to drive you towards VIP and other “optional” extra purchases.

    But I’ll keep my eye on it.