Where we stand on monetization
Since we revealed Pax Dei a few months ago, the game's intended business model has been a recurring conversation topic in the community. Well, we’re sorry to say that this blog will not give you the full details about the monetization for Pax Dei. Because we haven’t figured it all out — yet, and that’s on purpose. We’re still away from the full release of Pax Dei, and we want to use the time ahead to see how players engage with the game and hear from the community before we lock the model. So, what are all the words below about then? This is us sharing how we’re approaching this topic to start that conversation.
Ensuring we can sustain and develop Pax Dei, in the long run, is driving the way we think about monetization. With this in mind, Pax Dei business model at launch will look something like this:
a core consisting of:
a one-off initial purchase of the game.
a regular fee for maintaining active player status and in-game plot(s).
free, but limited, access to discover the game.
fully optional additional services added down the line.
we’re also considering a Token (WoW) or PLEX (Eve Online) -like system.
Sustaining the game - in it for the long run
We’re building an MMO. Scale and persistence aren’t cheap. As importantly, we already have enough ideas to keep adding content and features to Pax Dei for years after the initial release. We’re looking for a business model that feels fair for players and allows us to deliver, over time, our full vision for the game. Our first goal when thinking about monetization is ensuring enough of a regular revenue stream to maintain and expand the game in the long run.
While we still have many decisions ahead of us, there are already a few things we’re sure about. We call them The Rules.
Rule n°1: We don’t do direct monetization of performance or time skips
Rule n°2: The in-game economy is 100% player-driven; what we sell must not compete with the value produced in the player-crafting economy.
Rule n°3: We're transparent with our model: it's easy to understand what's on offer and easy to get in and out. (Even when it requires writing a wall of text to explain it.)
Housing & handling inactive players
Now let’s take a bit of a detour and talk about what we think (and our early testers seem to agree) is one of the most exciting features of Pax Dei: housing.
In Pax Dei, you’re building your home in the “real” world. In other words, the game allows you to claim land for your own usage, which is really cool! Whatever you’re building can be seen and shared with other players, and you can band together to build hamlets, villages, or even fully fleshed-out towns. We look forward to seeing what will emerge from allowing players to collaborate through this system.
It also creates a series of constraints:
Whatever gets built on a given player’s plot must always be maintained - that’s costly (not to mention technically challenging
We need a system to free up land once players leave the game (or become ‘inactive’). This system will be crucial in keeping the world alive, full of activity and opportunities to meet friends, and avoid having areas of the game become ghost towns. ^^
Therefore, we’ll need a very robust system to understand whether plots are active or inactive —and we’ve decided to make it the core of our monetization.
We, therefore, intend to introduce a recurring fee for maintaining active player status and in-game plots (following an initial duration covered with the original game purchase). This system will allow us to give players flexibility in choosing the domain size they want to enjoy in-game, along with indicating that they are actively using it — or that the space can be freed up for other players. It will also be a way for the most engaged players to support Pax Dei’s continuous development in the long run.
We have yet to fully determine the exact shape and form (and price!) this will take. The good old-fashioned subscription model is certainly something we’re looking at. Still, we are also considering other options, with an eye for balancing the simplicity of usage while allowing players to choose how they want to engage with the game.
Free access and other options
Around this core, and over a not-yet-defined amount of time, we intend to develop a range of additional options. Let’s emphasize the word: “options.” None of what falls in this category should ever feel mandatory to enjoy the game. Things like:
Free, but limited, access: While we won’t release Pax Dei as a free-to-play, we’ll want to offer players a way to discover our world and its community for free before deciding to engage further. We’ll also want to limit free players' potential impact on the world. Defining what those limits ought to be is still ahead of us.
Additional services: Convenience and cosmetics are the areas to explore here. We haven’t yet precisely defined our offer, in part because we anticipate responding to the needs and appetite of the player community. A system for transferring avatars between worlds will undoubtedly be among the first items on this list.
Pay to Play
Those of us who have spent enough of our professional lives working on EVE Online or World of Warcraft have been able to measure the benefits of offering a secure way for players to transact real money for in-game resources between themselves:
It helps increase the overall player population and activity by allowing the busier members of the community to keep up with their fellow players with more free time while making the game more accessible to others.
It creates avenues for players to sponsor group activities in the game.
It’s an important mechanism to fight botting and other nefarious activities that will spring around every successful MMO.
That’s why we’re considering offering, down the line, our own variation of the PLEX or WoW Token systems. To the members of the community that have concerns with such systems (yes, we are reading the conversations on Discord): our priority when designing that system will be to ensure it contributes to the player-driven economy and the game's long-term health. That’s why we made The Rules! Having done it before, we can’t guarantee it will be perfect from the get-go, but we commit to a careful implementation, which will be well worth a dedicated, more detailed conversation — in due time.
Thanks for reading!
We hope this provides you with enough context on where we’re heading regarding monetization and how we’re thinking about securing Pax Dei’s future. We look forward to reading your reactions and will update you as we progress. Pax Vobiscum.