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 PiratesFor 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 CostsIt 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.
Pay by AreaAn 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 FactorIssues 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.
CrowfallWhen 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 PlansThere 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 ThreatThis 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.
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!