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Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU

The Aion Free-to-Play Website has word on the success of the European edition of AION since the MMORPG went free-to-play. Here's word on the influx of new players that also mentions plans for the game's next content update:

Karlsruhe, 3rd of April 2012 – only four weeks after the successful MMORPG AION switched to a Free-to-Play model, Gameforge is announcing the first batch of figures. Since that time, more than 750,000 accounts have been created on the Gameforge servers. Currently, around 20,000 new accounts are adding to this figure every day. The Karlsruhe-based company is also able to show a growth in the number of active daily users: since the release of the Free-to-Play version these numbers have increased fivefold already. With only four weeks of running time, AION has seamlessly added itself to the Gameforge portfolio, alongside other internationally successful titles such as Metin 2 and Ikariam.

“With the successful launch of the AAA title AION, Gameforge has heralded the start of a new era for its free-to-play sector. Further AAA titles will follow in the coming months”, said Alexander Rösner, CEO of Gameforge.

Currently the team is working flat out on the coming 3.0 content update, which, alongside the level cap increase, brings with it much more than further regions and instances: the hotly anticipated housing system and additional mounts are also part of the update.

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14. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 4, 2012, 01:05 Steele Johnson
 
Now you can grind for free!  
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13. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 19:04 Jivaro
 
Except that in a PVP game world, prospective players want a high population. While obviously revenue is all that matters from a business perspective, to appeal to the targeted customer base they need to play up the population growth. There is nothing confusing or surprising about their choice of statistics to release....its marketing 101.

Just like every other F2P, I doubt seriously you will ever see revenue number that gives away the "average spent". That is the key number, how much does the average player spend per month. Some games that have switched from subs to F2P have claimed to have increased their "average spent" number, Everquest 2 for example, but I have yet to see a company actually specify what that number is.

It would be interesting. I am sure that what they are actually aiming for is a number far less then whatever the sub was, exchanging it for a larger player base. For example, if you have 100,000 people paying 15 dollars a month you make 1.5mil dollars. If you have 300,000 people paying 5 dollars a month you are still making that same amount, and in the world of MMOs, your operating expenses haven't really increased enough to be counter-productive. Thanks to holidays etc you can even have certain times of the year where you push that average up with in-store sales and holiday related items. In addition, 300,000 mouths playing and talking about your game is more likely to attract even more players then just 100,000.

Bottom line, the higher your population the better because getting 5 bucks a month out of a gamer, even the cheap old grump gamers here (myself included), is cake compared to getting people to continue a $15/month subscription with all the other new MMOs being released.

If I was in business school, I would think it would be an excellent business practice/trend to do a study on. I am not saying Aion is going to be as successful as LoTRO, DDO, CoH, etc have been at making the switch, but so far they are doing exactly what those companies did. Gradual changes, high amount of communication with the player base, keeping a sub option, playing up any population growth, etc. Same formula.
 
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12. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 16:58 JohnBirshire
 
Dev wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 13:37:
I'd expect number of players and accounts to shoot up when a game goes free. Hardly worth an announcement IMHO

What they don't say is if they are getting increased income or not.

EXACTLY. Everyone hops on the bandwagon saying "OMG the playerbase increased dramatically!" It's FREE. I bet if Mercedes started giving away their vehicles for free, 1000 times as many people would drive them too. It's irrelevant. What matters is revenue, period.
 
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11. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 16:10 AnointedSword
 
Ya, I will try it as well.  
If you were right, I would be agreeing with you.
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10. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 13:37 Dev
 
I'd expect number of players and accounts to shoot up when a game goes free. Hardly worth an announcement IMHO

What they don't say is if they are getting increased income or not.
 
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9. Re: NPD 2011 Sales Estimates Apr 3, 2012, 12:31 deqer
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 11:49:
Jivaro wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 11:31:
...a bit of grinding...

"A bit" is a charitable and extremely misleading statement. It has a great deal of grinding in it. Long, slow, tedious grinding. It is an Asian MMO down to its roots.


Not since you left the game. They improved the grinding experience, so that it isn't as grindy anymore. Just enjoy/quest the game, and it goes smoothly. Many quests were made solo'able now since then. Many quests added as well.

To the other person, the NA date is April 11.

 
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8. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 12:28 Wallshadows
 
I'll definitely be giving this another play through once the F2P model hits North America. It will be very interesting to see what has been changed.  
Avatar 50040
 
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7. Re: NPD 2011 Sales Estimates Apr 3, 2012, 12:08 Jivaro
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 11:49:
Jivaro wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 11:31:
...a bit of grinding...

"A bit" is a charitable and extremely misleading statement. It has a great deal of grinding in it. Long, slow, tedious grinding. It is an Asian MMO down to its roots.


It was. Leveling is now relatively painless. Has been for sometime. Does it still require all those go here/collct that quests repeated over and over like every other MMO? Yep...just not as many as pre-expansion. Nothing charitable or misleading about it. I am not a fanboy defending the game..quite the opposite..I think Aion missed the boat completely in all sorts of ways, and continues to do so. I just keep trying to give it another go every 6 months or so. When was the last time you did?

This comment was edited on Apr 3, 2012, 12:14.
 
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6. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 11:51 Acleacius
 
It's still pvp only, since it doesn't seem to mention it.  
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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5. Re: NPD 2011 Sales Estimates Apr 3, 2012, 11:49 Burrito of Peace
 
Jivaro wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 11:31:
...a bit of grinding...

"A bit" is a charitable and extremely misleading statement. It has a great deal of grinding in it. Long, slow, tedious grinding. It is an Asian MMO down to its roots.

 
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4. Re: NPD 2011 Sales Estimates Apr 3, 2012, 11:31 Jivaro
 
Metasparks wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 11:14:
I'd play it in NA as F2P. Always wanted to check out what the Crytek engine could do in an MMO environment.

As long as you realize that its the Crytek engine 1.0...as in the original Far Cry and not Crysis....you should be pretty impressed. The game is very 'pretty'. They are doing server merges as part of the move to F2P so that every existing server will have a balance between the two sides as well. They say they are going to monitor/limit character creation from now on so that servers remain balanced.

We shall see...that has been the main problem with the game in my mind. Generally speaking, every server is unbalanced which ruins the PvP model.

Of course, for people who don't like the art style, a bit of grinding, or just MMOs in general...this game represents all of that as well. F2P isn't changing any of that. Also, IMO, Tera is more fun to actually play. They should have done this a while ago, rather then 2 weeks before Tera is released.
 
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3. Re: NPD 2011 Sales Estimates Apr 3, 2012, 11:14 Metasparks
 
I'd play it in NA as F2P. Always wanted to check out what the Crytek engine could do in an MMO environment.  
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2. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 11:12 Jivaro
 
necrosis wrote on Apr 3, 2012, 10:12:
Its only F2P in EU?

I believe it goes F2P in NA on April 21st or something like that. So in other words..they decided to do it in steps rather then all at once.
 
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1. Re: Free-to-Play AION Soars in EU Apr 3, 2012, 10:12 necrosis
 
Its only F2P in EU?  
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