A character figurine sits on the playground in Moonbreaker.

Screenshot: Unknown Worlds Entertainment

It’s rare to see an online game these days that doesn’t have a built-in live service monetization feature, let alone get away with that stuff. But this is exactly submarine developers back contrarian They are doing. The tabletop RPG, recently released in Early Access on Steam, discards both premium paid currency and loot boxes, and refunds players who have already purchased them. Whether the game will remain without money after the full release is a different question.

Unknown Worlds Entertainment, the studio behind the game, said, “Early Access is a time for us to try and develop the game, and monetization in its current form was impacting that goal.” contrarian, posted on your blog yesterday (via RPS). “So we’re removing it to focus on doing our best before it leaves Early Access.”

appeared during Gamescom 2022director Charlie Cleveland specification contrarian as a “digital miniature game” inspired by guardians of the galaxy and Firefly. Fantastic writer Brandon Sanderson (most born in fog series) began to write and D&D-inspired strategy combat, looked like an interesting mashup hearthstone and XCOM. Sublime comparisons aside, players were largely open to the game’s mechanics and lore as they slammed microtransactions.

contrarian It is priced at $30 with a “founder’s pack” increasing it to $50. While this contains enough booster boxes for players to unlock most of the game units, PvE matches were previously locked behind premium currency, meaning players had to pay or grind to play alone. And as a miniature game, much of the fantasy revolves around cosmetically customization units that also cost money. Most of the negative reviews on the Steam page cited free monetization of a paid game as their biggest issue.

Pulsars, the game’s paid currency, will now disappear alongside paid booster boxes. Players purchases will be refunded and all units will be unlocked automatically at the start of each new season. “To celebrate this business model change, I will be purchasing the base game for some friends tomorrow,” one player told Discord after the announcement. “Thank you so much for listening to the community’s feedback and being willing to make major (potentially scary) changes so early in development.”

That’s exactly what Early Access is for, and it’s good to see contrarian not only is it reinstating the free-to-play monetization feature, it’s also refunding players. Some players who are skeptical of Unknown Worlds can play for free by launching the game and bring back some kind of live service microtransaction, this may change in the future. Meanwhile, players can enjoy the thriving TTRPG without all the other nonsense. It can even help contrarian win some players back Who ran away shortly after Early Access launched.

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