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Developer Carbine Studios and publisher NCsoft are announcing today that their upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game will support support multiple different business models.
The developer is positioning Wildstar, a science-fiction MMO for the PC, as a triple-A experience. It will sell the game at retail for $59.99, which gives players 30 days of playtime. After that time is up, gamers can subscribe for $15 a month, $42 for three months, $78 for six months, and $132 for a year. But skilled players that are going to spend a lot of time in the game might not need to purchase a subscription at all.
“We know players have a lot of very passionate opinions about what they love — and more likely what they hate — about certain business models,” Carbine studios vice president of global marketing Mona Hamilton told GamesBeat. “We approached it by trying to find what the right balance is for us and to find a way to enable players to pay the way the like to pay.”
That approach led to the development of the in-game CREDD license.
CREDD stands for Certificate of Research, Exploration, Destruction, and Development. It is an in-game item that players can purchase from each other using Wildstat’s Commodities Exchange (CX). This is the center of the MMO’s user-driven economy.
Players can earn in-game gold by accomplishing missions and quests. They can take that gold to the CX and trade for CREDD. The CX will only let players buy a commodity for the lowest available price. This means that Wildstar players will set the price of CREDD naturally.
Carbine will also sell the CREDD license at a premium on its website for $20.
“If you’re the type of player that is cash rich but doesn’t have a lot of time, you could go to our store, buy CREDD, and then go to the Commodities Exchange to sell your CREDD for a pile of gold,” said Hamilton. “You could then buy items with that gold. If you’re a player that has a lot of time but not a lot of money, that’s where CREDD really comes in. With your 30 days of free gameplay time, you could earn a lot of gold and then you could go to the CX and sell that gold for CREDD.”
Carbine expects around 30 percent of the total players to use the play-to-pay method to fund their playtime.
NCsoft also announced today that it is pushing back the release of Wildstar to spring 2014. The publisher is going to show off the game at the Gamescom industry show this week in Germany and at the Penny Arcade Expo event in Seattle later this month.