CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Atlas Reactor only had about 50,000 owners on Steam, according to Steam Spy. Those were actually the stats of the Atlas Reactor VR character viewer, not the game itself, which Steam Spy reports as having about 500,000 owners as of Jan. 23. The information has been corrected in the article.
Atlas Reactor was free-to-play. Then it was buy-to-play. Then it was buy-to-play with a not-great free-to-play option. And later this month, it will be “fully free-to-play,” according to Executive Producer Peter Ju. This game has more final forms than a Dragon Ball Z character.
According to Ju’s producer’s letter on the Atlas Reactor website, the Season 2 patch on Jan. 17 will make it possible for players to earn freelancers through gameplay. You can still pay the full purchase price, starting at $29.99, to gain access to all freelancers, and players who purchase the game before Jan. 17 will get “a special thank-you package.” Season 2 also adds a new freelancer, new rewards, and a new game mode that will be open to both paid and free players.
Ju says that being able to earn freelancers was players’ “number one request post-launch,” and it’s something I considered a deal-breaker in my initial review of the game’s F2P potential. I also groused about the weird time gate on being able to open reward boxes, which Trion Worlds also addressed shortly after launch.
So I have to give Trion positive points for realizing it had poor systems in place and correcting them. Of course, this F2P iteration is basically the game Trion had during beta and felt the need to twist in all sorts of different directions, so maybe it should have just left well enough alone from the start.
Then again, these changes might be a matter of necessity. According to Steam Spy, Atlas Reactor only has about 500,000 owners (with very little change since the F2P move has been announced). By comparison, Devilian has around 400,000, and all other Trion Worlds games number in the millions. Obviously, Steam doesn’t cover everything, since you can download Trion’s games via its own launcher, and Atlas Reactor hasn’t been out for as long as the other games, but it’s not exactly lighting the world on fire.