Path of Exile Awakening

I love Founder’s Packs! Or Early Access Packs, Alpha Buy-In Packs, whatever you want to call them. They’re the best! You get to spend lots of money on a totally unproven game just because it sounds cool, and then, if you don’t like the game, you’re still out hundreds of dollars! Who wouldn’t jump at a deal like that? I mean,it’s not like you could have gotten the game for free anyway… oh wait, you could have? Well, gee.

The developers of said games are the ones who say “jump,” and the response from a lot of fans is usually “How high?” – or, more appropriately, “How much?” Below you’ll find what we at MMOBomb think were some of the craziest, most expensive packs offered for free-to-play games, to serve as a kind of trip down memory lane – mostly good memories if you didn’t buy them and mostly bad if you did.

Our list has little to do with the quality of the game itself, or whether the Founder’s Pack was worth it in the end. Rather, we’re talking about Founder’s Packs that made our eyes bulge out the first time we saw them. That’s why you won’t see ArcheAge on this list, whose most expensive Founder’s Pack went for a measly $150 (yes, we’re going to round to the nearest round dollar value – no “$149.99” BS here), and was considered a good deal until the game actually launched. And we’re not going to discuss Kickstarters, which are donations and not pre-purchases/pre-orders, no matter what people say.

But you will find a very popular F2P game on the list, whose pre-purchase pack still had us scratching our heads when we saw the price tag. So, on to the list!

Neverwinter Founder

Neverwinter – $200

Perfect World wasn’t the first company to offer overpriced Founder’s Packs, and it’s not the biggest on this list (by far!), but for some reason, I see it as a kind of pioneer in the field. The Hero of the North Founder’s Pack went for a cool $200 and PW, like many companies, insisted what a great deal the Founder’s Pack was by telling you the “true value” of the pack. In this case, the Hero of the North pack was supposedly a $549 deal that they were oh-so-generously selling for a mere $200. How nice of them!

Even better, Perfect World felt the need to upgrade the rewards in the Founder’s Packs, nearly tripling the number of Astral Diamonds offered from 750,000 to 2,000,000, as well as pitching in other goodies. But you got to play as a Drow! That’s worth $549, right?

Dragomon Hunter – $300

So why do game companies keep offering Founder’s Packs like this? Oh. That’s why. Aeria Games clearly knows what people want, or at least what they’ll spend money on, so why not include a $300 pack for its new MMO, Dragomon Hunter?

Sure, Dragomon may not have the same IP strength as MechWarrior, but buying the Ultimate Hunter’s Pack gets you, among other things, a shining golden sharkicane, a spirited forest fae, and a classy fen croaker. Why bother playing the game to hunt and capture dragomon – which is the entire point of the game – when you could just spend money to do it? Why, indeed?

Transformers Universe – $450

Paying $450 for a Founder’s Pack is pretty insane, even for one with an IP as popular as Transformers Universe’s. So what made it worth that hefty price tag? In addition to the usual in-game benefits, how about a collectible figure showing an Autobot and Decepticon locked in mortal combat?

Transformers Universe

When it first was offered, I remember someone (who didn’t work for Jagex… I think) talking about how it was a good deal and the limited-edition figure would go up in value over the years. I tried searching for it on eBay and couldn’t find any sales. Anyone else have any luck?

In any case, Transformer’s Universe never made it out of beta, so I hope that everyone who bought the $450 pack got a lot of use out of their expensive paperweight.

Path of Exile: The Awakening – $1,100

Everyone loves Path of Exile, right? Well, sure, but for a game that offers so much for free, it seemed a little… odd… that they had one of the most eye-popping price tags on a Founder’s Pack for its recent expansion, The Awakening.

The ludicrous Highgate Supporter Pack for The

Awakening went for an oddly uneven $1,100 – could it really not have been $1,000? – and was jam-packed with digital in-game goodies, portrait frames, an MP3 soundtrack, as well as a t-shirt and graphic novel. At least they were nice enough to throw in free shipping on those last two.

Trove Voxel Savant

Trove – $2,500

Quick: What was Trion Worlds’ most outrageous Founder’s Pack? Forget ArcheAge, with its measly $150 max buy-in. Try Trove, whose Voxel Savant support package went for a cool $2,500. The big draw to this tier was the ability to help develop a biome and have an item in the game named after you.

If $2,500 was too much, there were $1,000 and $500 packs available as well. You could also get in for as little as five bucks, giving Trove the odd distinction of having perhaps the cheapest and the most expensive Founder’s Pack ever offered for a game.

What was your favorite (or least favorite) Founder’s Pack? Did you ever buy any super-expensive pack, and how did it go?

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

22 Readers Commented

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  1. Dragon on October 6, 2015

    Path of Exile, in the open beta, they created a $12.500 pack, which included your own pet, forum avatar, unique item, mob, names in credits and a lot of physical stuff

  2. dd dee on October 4, 2015

    lol where is Star Citizen on this list?

  3. Aaron on September 30, 2015

    selling unfinished products for more than a finished product would cost (aka founders packs) is so greedy lol

  4. Hanz on September 27, 2015

    What’s even more annoying about this founder packs are those who try to defend this sort of practices.
    I bet even the publishers themselves laugh when someone buys something so ridiculously priced.

    My first and only time buying a founder’s pack was with Archeage…and look how that turned out. You can buy yourself 3 AAA high quality games for the cost of the average founder’s pack, $150.

    I remember when founder’s packs were used as a way to support developers but now It’s just used as a quick way to cash-in with a few sweet marketing words and artificially priced pixels BOOM you just got yourself a guaranteed source of cash without even releasing the game or anything about it. And rest assured because those who purchase it will defend it to the death for you and say it’s just a way to ‘support’.

    Do you guys seriously think that companies as big a Trion, PerfectWorld and AeriaGames are so broke that they need your cash to support their development? If yes then It’s no wonder that you get taken advantaged of so easily, you might as well just bend over and wait to get effed.

  5. Lagwin1980 on September 27, 2015

    The path of exile expansion and “founders packs” well they are not founders packs as the game has been available to all for years now…they are supporters packs, if all you wanted was access to the beta you could have got that in the base pack or you could play the game and wait the extra few months for the new content.

    It’s original supporters packs came after open beta test’s which resulted in much begging to the devs to please sell them a key (i was already in before that though)

    Starting price $10 up to $1000…they netted you the equivalent of points to the value plus some other stuff that is limited to those who decided to support them that time (love ma kiwi pet).

    Tbh though i would not have paid it if i had not had a go first, i’ve not done so for any game since.

  6. GamingMaster on September 26, 2015

    Well I play Path of Exile and I notice that the Mods/Devs spam the chat for people to buy stuff, I find it sick when I look at these prices.. (in any game, payed or free)

    • Xansus on September 27, 2015

      You mean the system message on the daily sell that pop up every hour or so ? I dont mind even a message every 5 sek if the game is good as long as it helps the creators to make the money to keep making the game and improving it .

    • Lagwin1980 on September 27, 2015

      The only times i see anything from a mod is one message ever hour or so when there is something that is guaranteed to sell…which is mainly the stash tabs….and posting every hour or so is not spam and what they are telling you is that what ever it is they are advertising is discounted.

  7. Razer on September 25, 2015

    It’s a stupidity tax. Those that are dumb enough to buy founders packs deserve to have their money taken from them. Better that it is spent on some crappy MMO that will be shut down in 2 years than unwittingly funding terrorism.

    • Bic Boi on September 27, 2015

      A fool and his money are soon parted.

  8. LokiFM on September 25, 2015

    At times I get really annoyed with the lack of research that seem to be put into articles on MMOBOMB.

    Today is one such day, where a simple Google Search would reveal that all Transformer Universe founder packs got completely refunded and people got to keep their collectible figure. But yea I guess Googling would be to much when you’re backed by advertisers and it’s your job.

    I love you guys at MMOBOMB I really do, but when you don’t Google check your article I die a little on the inside.

    • Sam on September 26, 2015

      The article isnt talking about ppl being ripped off for one who is fact checking. Its an article on HOW MUCH THE FOUNDERS PACKS WERE PRICED AT!!!!!!!

      • Derpina on September 26, 2015

        “In any case, Transformer’s Universe never made it out of beta, so I hope that everyone who bought the $450 pack got a lot of use out of their expensive paperweight.”
        So they are assuming that no REFUNDS were had. They went there without fact checking. It is called READING AND COMPREHENSION 6th grade level DERP.

        • Derpina on September 27, 2015

          I like to fellate my father and swallow thick loads. I also like to wear women’s clothing.

    • Dockey Dock on September 27, 2015

      its not mmobomb’s fault its the author he seems to not know what his saying and every time i see negative comments about a review im 100% positive its this guys doing sry if its a report i think i said messed up things in my first one but this is much lighter

    • Illicit beard on September 28, 2015

      I’ve noticed that quite a few of Jason’s articles are poorly researched or he just uses dubious sources(maybe due to the lack of research).

  9. 007 on September 25, 2015

    the $1100 pack for path of exile, includes creating your own divination card (a game item) which will be implemented in the game. having your own item in the game is the main reason behind the $1100 price tag. i don’t see how u managed to miss that.

  10. Geeuss on September 25, 2015

    Kickstart, Early Access, Early adopters, Alpha pack, Closed beta pack, Open beta pack, Founders pack, Premium pack, Gold pack, Cash Shop.

    Milk, Milk, Milk, Milk, Shut down game. Relaunch new title, PROFIT.

  11. TheGuy on September 25, 2015

    Actually Path of Exile had a founder’s pack during open beta that went for $12,500. Not many people bought that one.

    • Lagwin1980 on September 27, 2015

      There’s enough, between them closed and open beta there are over 350 bought the top tier pack…some of them more than once.

  12. fffas on September 25, 2015

    the path of exile one isnt even crazy…….its just paying for microtransaction credits with cherries on top. The price is logical based on the amount of micro-transaction they’re giving you

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