Age of Empires Online Dev Blog Outlines Business Model
Microsoft Games Studio Design Lead Ian Vogel has posted a new developer blog for the upcoming MMORTS, Age of Empires Online. In his first blog, Vogel outlines the differences between a free and paid premium account for the game. The team has been relatively tight-lipped in recent months as they worked to finalize their payment model, but after last week's press reveal, the information river has begun to rise.
Were trying some new things with Age of Empires Online, things never before done with an RTS or an MMO, so understandably theres been a little confusion regarding what you get for free versus what you get when you pay. Thus, the team and I have decided to break this down into some easy-to-digest chunks, as well as create this blog post for reference. Its fairly simple: We give you tons of content for free, and unlock additional features with Premium Civilization Packs. But all free players can reach the same level as paid players.
Free players can level up to the same level as paying players, but the real meat of having a paid account is the ability to equip rare and epic gear, the ability to unlock Star Techs, customizable PvP options, expanded inventory and getting kick-backs from the in-game store. The full blog with a list of account differences is available via the Age of Empires Online website.