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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Game Juggling: New Circus Acts

Wizard101 Pirate101 Crowfall

It's been over two years since the release of KingsIsle's second game, Pirate101, and they've promised more applications and games to come. However, with the formation of ArtCraft Entertainment and Crowfall, will players have just one too many things on their plates?


From Wizards to Pirates

For most of us, it all started with Wizard101. It was a new game with two straightforward pricing options. Then came Pirate101. The two games offered something different from the same Spiral, and came with similar pricing plans.

Subscription Costs

It was a simple concept - pay $10 or as little as $60 a year if you waited for sales, to play and have accessed to all areas of Wizard101 and a multitude of other features. But, once your subscription ran out, the features went away. Having been online for over six years now, subscribers, at the very least, have invested over $360 in the game.

Wizard101 Pirate101 Crowfall

With Pirate101, things got interesting. The spread in staff meant that Wizard would see fewer updates and Pirate even fewer. With only two years under their belt, Pirate is still fairly new and has only released a single story update up to this point. This can make subscriptions, for no new content, very costly.

Pay by Area

An alternate method was to pay by area. It meant that you could use crowns ($60 for 60,000 at the right time) to purchase different areas, which you would own forever. You would miss out on member benefits, but ultimately end up using 145,360 crowns, a little over $145. So, if you intended to play Wizard101 for more than three years, it made sense to use this pricing model. It was also an option for players not able to afford all areas at once.

Time Factor

Issues with two games were not only its effect on wallets, but also on time. Playing both meant additional time commitments that some players didn't have, particularly those casual players who never hit the level cap in Wizard because they were constantly questing in small intervals and trying side activities.

Wizard101 Pirate101 Crowfall


Crowfall

When former KingsIsle creative mind J. Todd Coleman announced ArtCraft Entertainment and Crowfall, there was plenty of excitement. But there hasn't been a lot of talk about how old players intend to pay for it.

Cost and Pricing Plans

There is still a question of what Crowfall will cost. Many games cost much more than Wizard and Pirate, while some games are cheaper. Will there be a pay-by-area option, or will players need to subscribe? At this point, the factors in determining whether or not any given person will play is how the game turns out. But for me, it's also, "What does it cost?" Two games is already tough to keep up with. Three could be a real challenge.

Triple Threat

This also means less time in any one game. Even if this third game were from KingsIsle, they might be shooting themselves in the foot given the fact that their audience for Pirate101 is largely composed of past fans which "converted" from Wizard or divide their attention between the two.

Wizard101 Pirate101 Crowfall

You also have to consider the fact that KingsIsle is confirmed to be working on at least three more games, and that's not including mobile applications like Grub Guardian and games on a smaller scale. What happens when those come? At some point, we have to draw a limit, and as our money is stretched more and more thinly, where will cuts be made? Will we stay within our comfort zone at current games, test new ones, or try a mix?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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7 comments:

  1. Personally I think the time division won't be too much of an issue. Players tend to start getting a bit bored from one game and switch over to the next and jump in between. That's why I find it more ideal to pay by area, so you don't need to be on the time limit of membership.

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  2. Players have free will over the games they choose to play. People who play Pirate101 and Wizard101 have made an investment into playing both games; however, they were not forced to. If you can't afford to play 2 games at the same time, then don't. P101 and W101 are two different games in the same universe with their respective differences. There are players who have played P101, but have not touched W101.
    This goes double for Crowfall since it's a whole different company making this game. Plus it's clear that CF will not be made on the same family-friendly model as Coleman's former games were. I could choose to play Crowfall, W101 and P101, but that would be no different than me playing W101, WoW and League of Legends; I have power over what games I choose to pay for.


    On the topic of resource availability, I think it's fair to say that ArtCraft is very broken off from KI and that the two are most likely not in any partnership when it comes down to resource, so there's no need to worry about "split in staff". As for KI, the company is a growing one and as the company grows, so does their need to deliver more content to their consumers. Some could argue that Pirate101 has stunned in growth as far as the storyline is concerned, but that's only because they are still a game that needs to grow at it's base. It needs more side content to entertain the newer players (Pets, Script, Farming, new Pirates, etc.). Pirate101 has as much storyline within two years than Wizard101 had in 4 years. If you feel as though a subscription isn't necessary for a game, then don't purchase one. You, as a consumer, have a choice as to whether or not you want to invest your hard earned cash into something.


    tl;dr - Let your budget decide what you want to play and not the other way around.

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  3. Nicholas LionRiderJanuary 11, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    Truthfully I hope the wizards stay in wizard, the pirates stay in pirate. I don't want those communities corrupting Crowfall and turning it into something it is not. When I see stuff like "Crowfall Radio" it irritates me because they don't let it naturally form a unique community and instead group it as a KI game (which again, it isn't)

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  4. The tough part in letting your wallet decided is picking what you actually enjoy. It will also depend on the price of Crowfall itself.


    The "split in staff" refers to that of Wizard and Pirate, were resources were and are divided, shared, and/or relocated between games. Though a case could be made for KI to Crowfall given JTC and former KI Lead Concept Artist Dave Greco moving over. (He's worked on the game since Zafaria.)


    Ultimately, I just think it'll be an interesting choice for players and factors like required time and monetary investments for each game WILL make a difference.

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  5. Crownfall doesn't fit there between 101 games. Players have will to choose what they play. I thought its 101 game fan site. And now you advertise this new game, which has no much affliction. Why you have to do so?

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  6. Well, part of the 101 game is J. Todd Coleman's legacy with it, and looking at the interactions of new and old communities is very much a part of the game, particularly when such a large part of the audience of this new game will be drawn from past games the two major creators come from. This is similar to a post I did previous called "Disney's Game Closing to Affect KingsIsle?" And sure enough, it was relevant! Not long after, we had people posting on Central about how they'd migrated over from the closed Disney games.


    Right now, though, this is a topic of interest even to those not interested in the game, just in seeing what it'll be like and where JTC has been. It will probably be the next-to-last Crowfall-related post, as some other things are close to completion.

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  7. I think we will need to know more about Crowfall before decisions are made. Personally i'm wondering if Artcraft will target older group with their games than KI does currently. Don't get me wrong here I'm fully aware 101 players spa many generations and appeal to all ages BUT we all know the target age for the game is tweens and teens the rest of us are either parents watching out for their own kids or people that still have that inner child screaming to get out ;)

    Considering the other half of the design team for Crowfall AND considering many of the original 101 players are now young adults or having children of their own and going after more in depth realistic and less cartoonish games. This new game could easily target that group and capitalize on FLEE-ing 101-ers and keeping them in the fold. The link with Todd can then be used to advertise and remind players of the other games he's involved or been involved with.

    When advertising new content for one game (and/or company) the other company could be listed. Like above we have a 101 sight mentioning Crowfall, and when Crowfall lands on us and we create fan sites for it I would not be surprised if past success with 101's, KI and j Todd Coleman are sprinkled in and could possibly end up with minor splash articles and adverts for the other games hes been involved with.and I would bet game communities Gordon Walton has been involved with are have similar post. Its common for people to support developers that have produced games they enjoy and that will draw many players to the new content.

    I think allot of us will give Crowfall a try just to see what Todd's done this time but whether or not we stay will depend on us. I know some will give playing all three a try just because thats how some people do things but I bet most of us will settle on a one or two of them and let teh others collect dust until there is new content.

    From what I have seen of Crowfall and my initial *feelings* I expect it to target an older group and that alone would be an interest to me. I saw a reference somewhere to sounding allot like Game of Thrones type tactics but I also felt like it might be allot like EVE the way everything affects everyone else in the game just as a fantasy world instead of space themed. Crowfall also gives me a feeling that it might be the type of game where you have to be committed to it. With players having real impact on the world miss a day would that mean your kingdom crumbles or you are easy target for other players? If it requires that much commitment it might be impossible to play 101 games and Crowfall.

    Is that even an issue over 50 million accounts on Wizard? I'd bet allot of those are retired, unused accounts that need to be passed down to their children and if the young adults from Wizard that are getting older now are looking for games they relate better to now they wouldn't mind one bit to pass it down. (unless they still children like me that is) :P

    Right now I don't think any of us really have enough solid facts regarding Crowfall to make a decision or even discuss what our plans might be once all 3 games are live. I recommend standard gamer etiquette be employed by all of us grab it play it for a week or too make up our mind and then start juggling until we figure out what we want to do.

    Bleh all this rambling and I'm not really sure I have addressed the subject at hand o.O I mostly agree with what Shadowblade has posted it relates best to my personal style but all of the above is what runs through my mind when I start thinking about this matter. in the end I just feel like we need to talk about this more after all three of the games are running live or at least beta so we actually know *IF* playing games from both companies will even appeal to any of us o,O

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