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 – $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?
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
Awakeningwent 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 – $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?