A few months ago, we learned about Project C, an ambitious MMO from French studio Darewise that wants to “change how people perceive open world online games.” At the time, I compared the alpha sign-up process to a job interview, but now you can get that job the old-fashioned way: bribery.
Darewise is now accepting pre-orders for Project C’s Visionary Pack, which goes for a cool $149.99 and comes with all the perks you’d expect for that price: upcoming closed alpha access, keys for friends, cosmetics, and special founder’s perks like having your name in the credits and an in-game soundtrack. It’s one of three prospective founder’s packs for the game and appears to be the most expensive of the bunch.
Even with that price tag, if you like how the game looks and plays, it should be worth it, right? Except … nobody knows how it looks and plays. There are no videos, no detailed description of systems, and only a few screenshots on the website. All you’ve got to go on is high-minded concepts for a game that’s currently in a pre-alpha state. Is that worth 150 bucks? Even Kickstarters offer better incentives, better descriptions, and cheaper packages to get people to shell out.
One of those high-minded concepts is Project C’s desire for “commerce, crafting, economic decisions and in-game services to all be ultimately run by players,” which seems a little odd when your big pack’s full of goodies. While we’d expect monetization of some kind, at some point, offering a “Visionary Vehicle” — as is present in the Visionary Pack — and other in-game goodies might run counter to that ideal. At the very least, offering such a package without providing more details about the game doesn’t seem like the right approach, not after so many MMO gamers have been burned by expensive Founder’s Packs.
UPDATE: We’ve heard from Darewise regarding the early state of the Founder’s Packs: “This is an opportunity for gamers to support our efforts to create an ambitious, new persistent open-world multiplayer game in Project C. We’ve been fortunate to work with some great testers during pre-Alpha that have helped us test, learn and refine our plans for Project C.” You can also find out more about the game via its roadmap and recent patch notes.