The third time around for ELOA might be the charm, but it won’t be free-to-play. Playwith Interactive’s Warlords Awakening will be a buy-to-play game, as revealed on the game’s Steam page yesterday.

The base “Warlords Awakening Game” is $11.99 and offers no “bells and whistles.” For additional perks, you can pay $22.99 for the “Warlords Awakening Early Access Limited Package,” which does not include the base game. You can buy them together, in the $29.99 “Warlords Awakening Bundle,” or later, as a separate purchase, in which case you’ll be spending $34.99 total.

So why isn’t the game going to be free-to-play? That’s answered in a FAQ on the game’s website, but only barely. The second question leads off by asking about damage numbers and then immediately shifts to asking about whether the game will be free-to-play. Not ones to waste space with paragraph breaks, Playwith’s reply is:

“As for the business model, we feel it is much better to have people buy the game as a package so that they’re not hampered by required purchases in the game to keep up with other users. That’s a very quick way for a game to turn Pay2Win and terrible for users who don’t wish to spend hundreds of dollars … We certainly don’t want to drive users away because of the business model; we want to keep costs down so that everyone who wants to enjoy Warlords Awakening, will be able to.”

Later in the FAQ, however … well …

“The cash shop is meant to be updated frequently with changes so that the items do not go sale. You can also expect a large amount of items to have limited releases. Of what use is a cool pet or costume if everyone else has it?”

The developers don’t think they can do free-to-play without making it exploitative — the Bless Online team nods in assent, as does Cliff Bleszinski — but there will still be a cash shop. Sure, you can say that whatever it sells won’t be “required purchases in the game to keep up with other users,” but it’s not as if people don’t spend oodles of cash on “non-required” purchases in cash shops.

Maybe, like Bless, this is just how you have to try things when your game has already failed once or twice and you’re trying something new in a new region. I think you could just remove the crappy bits and go with that, but what do I, and a bunch of other successful developers, know?


  1. Played it on first birth during CBT…translation was so horrible that I decided to start new character and make screenshots of every failed translation and started new thread in bug reports with all those screenshots and fixed translations [from my point of view]. Luckily they accepted my corrected translation.
    Tho game was boring enough that I stopped playing it after CBT and I can’t say I was very surprised reading news about it’s SHUT DOWN.
    Wasn’t even interested in 1st Revival of ELOA. But reading about 2nd revival after 2 SDs was stunning enough and now they decided to make me fall into a coma saying this FAILURE gonna be B2P.

    From my perspective it looks like that:
    – Boss, we found game that failed twice in a row withing pretty short period of time! Look! Localization/Publishing right price for it dropped to 1USD. I’ve got a plan! Let’s buy it, say to the community that we improved it and add some interesting things and start selling it as B2P game…and when people find out it’s completely same trash they played 2 times for free it will be too late. When income drops we just shut it down. As for server? Well, we can use my mom’s old toaster.
    – Brilliant idea! You’re promoted. Now stop staring at me and go do whatever you just said and bring me the money. And don’t forget to tell them. NO REFUNDS!

  2. It sounds just like Bless. Game almost shuts down in several regions and in the very last region goes b2p. Same here. This kinda behavior from gaming companies has to stop and the only way is us not buying unfinished/bad products.

  3. So much for allowing the community to decide if the game will be Free2Play or Pay2Play.

    I was clear from the beginning that the developers / publishers just want to make the last bit of money with the game, which is still possible, I’ve also been trying loudly to notify others, but people who are hyped do not think and pay attention warnings.

    When I saw the “financing model”, it was clear from the beginning that this game was doomed to failure!

  4. This makes total sense, if people will not play it when it’s free, it definitely means they want to pay for it. /s

  5. Since some people are that morons and pay for bless +sub+ cash shop. Why we not milk it the same way? Glad it’s on steam and you can refund it if you see something is not right.

    I never plaid the game. Did the original one have some equipment enhance stuff in the cash shop and other stuff? Cause if they have and they will say, ” our game will not become p2w” it will become… like BDO sugar coated promises.

  6. I don’t get it, the more upcoming game are build and design for gamer as profession (somehow), I’m not complain as to grind or whatever system is to corner player ‘gimme me my money’ but, what the hell ?

  7. I remember the time when failed games went from payed to free as a last resort, and not the other way around. Does this actually work as a viable strategy to get some money out of a game that doesn’t deserve to be played even for free? Unbelievable…


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