Atlas Reactor is joining the ranks of free-to-play games going buy-to-play according to today’s Producer’s Letter. Unlike Overwatch and some other games that were just assumed to be free-to-play and ended up buy-to-play, Trion Worlds has been advertising Atlas Reactor as a free-to-play game and apparently just decided that the model would be unsustainable and made the switch.
In fact, Atlas Reactor’s in-game systems are totally built around the free-to-play model and Trion Worlds acknowledges in the letter that players liked their model. “Your reactions have been extremely positive towards Atlas Reactor’s cosmetic and boost-based microtransaction system. We don’t monetize power, and everything that impacts gameplay (such as Freelancers and their Modifications) can be earned via gameplay. We are proud of this system: you get a ton of play options, and it’s fair,” says Peter Ju, Executive Producer.
Trion Worlds seemed concerned with what they might have to do to the cash shop to make it sustainable long term though and decided a buy-to-play future was a better option. Atlas Reactor will now start at $29.99 for the full version of the game with all current Freelancers and future Freelancers (this pack is currently on sale for $19.99). Two other purchase options are more expensive but add more items. These packages can be viewed here.
How Trion was able to forecast the sustainability of the free-to-play model based on a limited Closed Beta where they flooded the players with currency to test systems is beyond me, but if you bought a Founder’s Pack, don’t worry, you’re going to be taken care of as well.
To everyone who has already supported us by buying a Founder’s pack or purchasing in-game credits, thank you so much for your support. We want to make sure you’re taken care of in this transition. As a result, if you have already bought $10 or more of in-game credits, or bought any of the current Founder’s packs, you now own the game! Additionally, if you purchased the Starter Pack, Freelancer Pack, or Trust Pack, you will be receiving a ton of additional rewards.
It’s an odd choice for me personally given that the game was actually built to be free-to-play and the change comes out of nowhere. A clearly niche game closing off the door to free-to-play players…I hope Trion has made the right decision on the right data. One thing is for sure, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during that meeting. What do you think?