Bless Online‘s launch and free-to-play implementation is just around the corner, and today the dev team at Neowiz reflected on the game’s early access period and what went right and what went wrong. Spoiler: If you played Bless and didn’t like it, that’s your fault.
Neowiz stressed that early access was a “chance to continue engaging with the player base” and that the game “was not finished,” with the goal being to gather more feedback from NA and EU audiences. One of those pieces of feedback clearly didn’t include the frequent realization that early access is often viewed as little different from a launch and that, if you’re paying for a product, you expect it to be more or less finished. As the blog states:
However, many players didn’t share the team’s view that Early Access was still a time for development and changes. Bless Online wasn’t a final, polished product as much of the community had believed it would be, leading to a mismatch of expectations for Early Access between the development team and the players.
So you see, the issue was that players didn’t understand what early access was. Neowiz attempted to communicate this as such, but large swaths of the player base ignored it because that’s how it is in the West. Perhaps that should have been gauged prior to the early access launch, rather than figuring it out “in retrospect.”
The blog further states that free-to-play was chosen as the payment model “to provide the best experience,” despite the team’s earlier misgivings about it. The game “will be releasing in a completed state for official launch” on Oct. 23.