"items and boosts", as missions and areas to explore remain accessible at no charge.
They've got "obscene amounts of data" to tap into with Perfect Worlds when it comes to micro-transactions, so they're approaching it "very cautiously". Their MMOs have gotten "infinitely better" going F2P.
Champions Online and Star Trek Online both began their MMO lives as subscription-based models but eventually switched to a free-to-play environment; revenue soared.
"We’re published by Perfect World, which is one of the premier free-to-play MMO publishers in the west, so we get to tap into obscene amounts of data whenever we need to make a decision like, how many day-one or month-one items do I want to have and at what type and what category?" lead producer Andy Velasquez told .
"Traditionally a studio would just have to take their best guess and do some research but I actually get to look at hard data and see what sells in these other games, what is palatable for the western market, how are we packaging things that make it make sense? I think we’re approaching it very cautiously but with a lot of backing that will make it pretty successful."
As a micro-transaction MMO they will charge for items and boosters. "In terms of missions and maps and all of that – absolutely not. We expect that as a free player you will be able to play game in its entirety without having to pay anything. You’ll be able to access all of the classes without having to pay anything, and we will not be selling powers."
"It’s not like you can just go to the store and buy a level 30 sword as a level 10 character. So we haven’t talked too much in terms of the details yet but that’s our high level approach. It’s interesting; we found again going back to that data side of things, what makes successful free-to-play monetization is perfectly aligned with what makes a game that your users are going to like. You actually look at the data and you have to evaluate it," they continued.
"It’s an interesting perspective because normally as developers you go into your think tank and think about what you want to make and all these cool things in your mind, so I think our games that have been free-to-play have gotten infinitely better because of their transition to free-to-play." Cryptic Studios still plan for a 2013 release for Neverwinter.
Check out thebetween Andy Velasquez and Game Informer.