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Pirates of the Burning Sea: Going Free to Play

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Following on the heels of the Everquest II and Lord of the Rings Online conversions from subcription to free to play, Flying Lab has announced that Pirates of the Burning Sea will be going free to play with the next update later this fall. The announcement was made on the official developer blog and came as a big surprise to subscribers and followers of the game.

We’re preparing to change the business model of Pirates of the Burning Sea from subscription to free-to-play (hence forth to be known as F2P). This is the culmination of a decision that was made back at the end of last year, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce it. It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, and we’ve put in a lot of planning and work to make this a seamless transition. We’re very excited about this direction for a number of reasons.

First, it reduces the barrier of entry for new players to come in and try the game. Experience has shown us that players who try the game tend to stick with the game, so we want to remove any impediment for a player to try the game. Free trials are great, but the knowledge that there’s a required subscription makes potential players think in terms of commitment—”do I want to be paying every month for the long term” rather than “will I have fun with it tonight?” The first question is hard for any product, but we feel really good about the answer to the second.

Read the full blog here.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • thrallsfangthrallsfang fdsfs, KYPosts: 16Member

    I WOULDNT PLAY THIS CRAP EVEN IF THEY PAYED ME.

  • GyrusGyrus Lost City of ZPosts: 2,335Member

    OMG!  (intentional pun)

    I guess this was the only thing left for FLS to try though considering the string of bad decisions they have made at practically every turn with this game?  (Not just talking about design here either)

    And I guess the design of the game (heavily instanced) is perfect for the Cash Shop Quest Sales too?

    But here's the thing... I doubt very much it will be the Turbine model that many of us defend (because it is genuinely FREE to play) - because PotBS and FLS are still allied with SOE.  I would pick a pay-by-the-quest or pay-by-the-hour model.  And Rusty (& Co) has rather a history of making bone head decisions that end up hurting the players as much as helping them.

    I don't mean to be negative here - but on the run up to retail release I could see a number of issues (as could others) that really came down to a lack of business sense.  I would like to think that Rusty and FLS have learnt... but I don't think they have... it's just who they are.

    Will wait and see here... but I am not holding my breath.

    Maybe...just maybe...this will be the thing that brings life back to this game?  Or maybe this will be the mercy killing the game needs?

    Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  • Grand_NagusGrand_Nagus Dublin, GAPosts: 329Member Uncommon

    I've looked at this game in the past but never actually tried it yet. Guess I'll be giving it a go afterall.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,940Member Uncommon

    Just another marketing ploy for a game with sub numbers in the toliet. If this "F2P" conversion is anything like the one for EQ2, it is a joke. Massively gated content and game mechanics that are so restricted, that they should not even bother.

    This game was not good before, and making it free does nothing to change that.

    No thanks.

  • Grand_NagusGrand_Nagus Dublin, GAPosts: 329Member Uncommon

    So many people just dont seem to be able to comprehend the "new" F2P model that MMOs are adopting. There will STILL be a monthly sub option that grants access to all content. You know, like what your ALREADY paying? In other words, if your already a paying subscriber then NOTHING changes for you at all. You simply have another option of buying the content in "pieces" rather than paying the monthly sub.

  • BesttheiswowBesttheiswow frentlinumPosts: 301Member

    Originally posted by thrallsfang

    I WOULDNT PLAY THIS CRAP EVEN IF THEY PAYED ME.

    lol short sweet and straight to the point...

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,940Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Grand_Nagus

    So many people just dont seem to be able to comprehend the "new" F2P model that MMOs are adopting. There will STILL be a monthly sub option that grants access to all content. You know, like what your ALREADY paying? In other words, if your already a paying subscriber then NOTHING changes for you at all. You simply have another option of buying the content in "pieces" rather than paying the monthly sub.

    And what boosters (of this game and other F2P re-treads) don't seem to understand, is that if the game ain't fun in the first place (as eveidenced by extremely low pop numbers) it makes no difference.

    All this F2P junk potentially does, is save someone the box price. When this game and others can be bought on the "cheap rack" for $10 or less, including a month of sub playtime, guess what? The box price ain't the problem.

    Poor game mechanics, low populations, big grind, lack of fun: These are the problems.

    Giving away a bag of crap, instead of charging for it, is not a solution.

  • GyrusGyrus Lost City of ZPosts: 2,335Member

    Originally posted by Grand_Nagus

    So many people just dont seem to be able to comprehend the "new" F2P model that MMOs are adopting. There will STILL be a monthly sub option that grants access to all content. You know, like what your ALREADY paying? In other words, if your already a paying subscriber then NOTHING changes for you at all. You simply have another option of buying the content in "pieces" rather than paying the monthly sub.

    No... sorry... but you are thinking of TURBINE.... NOT FLS.

    Just because Turbine have done it that way does NOT mean FLS will do it that way too.

    And sorry... but FLS have a history of doing it a bit differently to everyone else.

    So, to see what FLS are actually going to do we have to wait and see... odds are that FLS still have to wait and see too.

    And unless things have changed - SOE still does the billing on PotBS accounts - so SOE will have to have a hand in this?

    This is not a Turbine F2P game.  Anything could happen here.

    Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  • AsheramAsheram San Diego, CAPosts: 1,989Member Uncommon

    Well I just finished the 2 week trial and found the game pretty fun myself enough so to buy a copy and a timecard.I think alot of people complain for the sake of complaining imho.If you dont like the game dont play it,its that simple,

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  • udonudon Durham, NCPosts: 1,767Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Grand_Nagus

    So many people just dont seem to be able to comprehend the "new" F2P model that MMOs are adopting. There will STILL be a monthly sub option that grants access to all content. You know, like what your ALREADY paying? In other words, if your already a paying subscriber then NOTHING changes for you at all. You simply have another option of buying the content in "pieces" rather than paying the monthly sub.

     


    Maybe for Turbine games but not EQ2x.  If you play on a F2P server in EQ2x and you want full access to everything it costs more than if you play on a subscription server.  It’s $200 a year or $16 a month vs $143.99 or $11.99 a month for a 12 month subscription on a sub server.  Since most new people are going to the free server to try it out if they stay and decide to become a premium subscriber they have to pay $56 a year (you do get $60 in station cash I guess) more than if they started on a subscription server or they can purchase the full game with expansion packs and start a new character from scratch on a sub server since you can’t transfer off the free servers only to them.

     


    I am generally not opposed to a fair F2P model but the one that SOE has come up with for EQ2x is just wrong.  It’s on par with the model Jade Dynasty has where you can play the first 40 levels for fairly little money but after that you are almost forced to purchase things from the cash shop daily to keep moving forward costing you a lot more than a $15 sub would.  That’s really my benchmark with a F2P game, if I feel like I could play it as much as I wanted and pay on average around $15 a month or less if I don’t play very often then it’s a pretty fair system.  I feel that way with DDO and LotR, I don’t feel that way at all with games like EQ2x or Jade Dynasty.

  • EricDanieEricDanie Rio de JaneiroPosts: 2,238Member

    Originally posted by Grand_Nagus



    So many people just dont seem to be able to comprehend the "new" F2P model that MMOs are adopting. There will STILL be a monthly sub option that grants access to all content. You know, like what your ALREADY paying? In other words, if your already a paying subscriber then NOTHING changes for you at all. You simply have another option of buying the content in "pieces" rather than paying the monthly sub.


     

    So many people don't understand it's their way of being able to squeeze a fully functional cash shop in the game, even if you're still paying a monthly subscription.

    If they want to provide a decent trial, do it like Age of Conan and Warhammer Online. Because we all know they aren't running charities, they're aiming at higher monthly payments meanwhile giving this completely butchered version for ones not paying (again, it isn't a charity, but a decent trial program would solve it).

    It's amazing how these declining/dying games make it sound awesome.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Burntvet

    Just another marketing ploy for a game with sub numbers in the toliet. If this "F2P" conversion is anything like the one for EQ2, it is a joke. Massively gated content and game mechanics that are so restricted, that they should not even bother.

    This game was not good before, and making it free does nothing to change that.

    No thanks.

    Oh that is just nonsense.  The game is not that bad and the new expansion fixed a lot of problems the prior game had.

    You should know what you are talking about before ranting about something you know nothing about.

    This is a good move for them, hopefully they will use the Turbine model where you buy content, but don't have items in the shop that change gameplay.

  • eyeswideopeneyeswideopen Fresno, CAPosts: 2,414Member

    Originally posted by Grand_Nagus

    So many people just dont seem to be able to comprehend the "new" F2P model that MMOs are adopting. There will STILL be a monthly sub option that grants access to all content. You know, like what your ALREADY paying? In other words, if your already a paying subscriber then NOTHING changes for you at all. You simply have another option of buying the content in "pieces" rather than paying the monthly sub.

    If enough people were paying subs in the first pace, they wouldn't be going F2P in the first place. F2P is the sanctuary of the underperforming mmorpg. The last chance grasp to avoid death. Except for LotRO and EQ2EX. Those were just greedy cash grabs by their respective owners ( SOE and Warner Brothers )

    -Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
    -And on the 8th day, man created God.-

  • DookzDookz ManilaPosts: 551Member

    ...the knowledge that there’s a required subscription makes potential players think in terms of commitment—”do I want to be paying every month for the long term” rather than “will I have fun with it tonight?”

    Taken a page right from Silkroad Online, Guild Wars and Maple Story, all of which are still healthy. It's a viable route to take but this will heavily depend on what sort of items will be sold in cash shops.

    Playing now: Cities: Skyline / Ori and the Blind Forest / Banished

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,940Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    Originally posted by Burntvet

    Just another marketing ploy for a game with sub numbers in the toliet. If this "F2P" conversion is anything like the one for EQ2, it is a joke. Massively gated content and game mechanics that are so restricted, that they should not even bother.

    This game was not good before, and making it free does nothing to change that.

    No thanks.

    Oh that is just nonsense.  The game is not that bad and the new expansion fixed a lot of problems the prior game had.

    You should know what you are talking about before ranting about something you know nothing about.

    This is a good move for them, hopefully they will use the Turbine model where you buy content, but don't have items in the shop that change gameplay.

    I don't believe in miracle patches.

    I do believe in the market: when something is not "good" people don't buy/play.

    As I said in a later post, unless the box price or payment model is the problem (as opposed to a bunch of lousy game mechanics, borked economy, combat by gank, etc.) going "F2P" is not going to do much.

    The reasons the game is not successful, on the backs of many poor design choices, are still there.

    IF the game were good, more people would play it. And they don't. Despite what anyone says.

     

  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member

    Wow, this will be interesting to see how they handle structures since currently they only allow 10 eco structures per account per server.  I wonder if the free accounts will be permitted to use structures because if they are then there would be huge issues created.

    The more I think about this the more I realize there are some severe issues that will come up.  Spying and cross-teaming will become rampant will the addition of free accounts.  Unlike most other ftp conversions, this game's core is going to be hurt by this change.

  • GyrusGyrus Lost City of ZPosts: 2,335Member

    Originally posted by Ozivois

    Wow, this will be interesting to see how they handle structures since currently they only allow 10 eco structures per account per server.  I wonder if the free accounts will be permitted to use structures because if they are then there would be huge issues created.

    The more I think about this the more I realize there are some severe issues that will come up.  Spying and cross-teaming will become rampant will the addition of free accounts.  Unlike most other ftp conversions, this game's core is going to be hurt by this change.

    That is FLS all over.  They 'fix' one problem only to introduce two more as a result of lack of foresight / testing / planning.

    "Power and Prestige" has been out... how long?

     

    Let's see how that goes... I haven't played in a long time but I can see some stuff in there players may not like and that might not go FLS's way.

    Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  • SgtFrogSgtFrog LondonPosts: 5,001Member

    The end is nigh, the reign of the P2P is slowly crumbling away.


    D:

    image
    March on! - Lets Invade Pekopon

  • eyeswideopeneyeswideopen Fresno, CAPosts: 2,414Member

    Originally posted by SgtFrog


    The end is nigh, the reign of the crappy P2P is slowly crumbling away, allowing for new good games to take their place and earn their subscription money, while the crappy former P2P games languish in F2P hell.


    D:

    Just touched that up for ya a bit.image

    -Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
    -And on the 8th day, man created God.-

  • MehveMehve Kitchener, ONPosts: 487Member

    Originally posted by Ozivois

    Wow, this will be interesting to see how they handle structures since currently they only allow 10 eco structures per account per server.  I wonder if the free accounts will be permitted to use structures because if they are then there would be huge issues created.

    The more I think about this the more I realize there are some severe issues that will come up.  Spying and cross-teaming will become rampant will the addition of free accounts.  Unlike most other ftp conversions, this game's core is going to be hurt by this change.

    Ouch. When I first heard about this, that never even occurred to me. But yeah, in current form, this would completely bork the in-game economy. Everyone would be a one-man lineship building operation. A quick-fix would be to either limit economic buildings to only basic mats for the free accounts, or to simply sell building slots, but that has problems in and of itself.

    A Modest Proposal for MMORPGs:
    That the means of progression would not be mutually exclusive from the means of enjoyment.

  • SgtFrogSgtFrog LondonPosts: 5,001Member

    Originally posted by eyeswideopen

    Originally posted by SgtFrog



    The end is nigh, the reign of the crappy P2P is slowly crumbling away, allowing for new good games to take their place and earn their subscription money, while the crappy former P2P games languish in F2P hell.


    D:


    I am in denial!  image

    Fixed image

    image
    March on! - Lets Invade Pekopon

  • MehveMehve Kitchener, ONPosts: 487Member

    Originally posted by SgtFrog


    The end is nigh, the reign of the P2P is slowly crumbling away.


    D:

    Isn't that a little like saying "They conquered Timbuktu, the end of the free world is at hand." :D

    A Modest Proposal for MMORPGs:
    That the means of progression would not be mutually exclusive from the means of enjoyment.

  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member

    Originally posted by SgtFrog


    The end is nigh, the reign of the P2P is slowly crumbling away.


    D:

     Nah, Pay as You Go is just today's band-aid for aging MMO's to get populations back up for their regular subscribers' benefit. 

     

    I can only speak for Americans, but we culturally prefer service contracts over pay as you go.  Own vs. rent, etc.

     

  • AsheramAsheram San Diego, CAPosts: 1,989Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by SgtFrog


    The end is nigh, the reign of the P2P is slowly crumbling away.


    D:

     And Guild Wars 2 has the hammer that is going to strike a decisive blow.

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  • SgtFrogSgtFrog LondonPosts: 5,001Member

    Originally posted by Ozivois

    Originally posted by SgtFrog



    The end is nigh, the reign of the P2P is slowly crumbling away.


    D:

     Nah, Pay as You Go is just today's band-aid for aging MMO's to get populations back up for their regular subscribers' benefit. 

     

    I can only speak for Americans, but we culturally prefer service contracts over pay as you go.  Own vs. rent, etc.

     

    DDO

    LOTRO

    EQ2 X

    BOTBS

    DCU

    GW2

    :)

    Its slowly happening

    image
    March on! - Lets Invade Pekopon

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