We’ve kept an eye on Population Zero, the upcoming free-to-play exploration-based MMORPG from Enplex Games, for some time now. That’s about to change, though, in a number of ways. First, the game won’t be “upcoming” for much longer, as a launch date was announced today; and second, it won’t be free-to-play when it does launch.
Population Zero will be released on May 5 on Steam and will cost $29.99. The change from a free game to a paid game was “made in an effort to make the best possible game for players, without fear of becoming ‘pay-to-win.'” We’ll bookmark that quote in case the game ever does go free-to-play later, as it sounds a lot like the “fear” that another developer had for its game, which it eventually gave into anyway.
If you do pony up the cash for the game, you’ll be welcomed to Planet Kepler with a new “win condition”: survive for seven days before the planet kills you. After those seven days, you’ll restart your adventure, retaining some progression from your previous session. It’s a mechanic that the dev team has recently added, and it sounds cool, but implementing such a thing less than three months before launch seems risky. Here’s hoping it all works out for them and that their game’s title doesn’t foretell its player count.