Dark Vale has announced that its Forge has switched to a free-to-play model. The studio said it hopes to get more players on-board, but claims its items will be cosmetic and that it won't turn into "pay-to-win."
Dark Vale says the switch was necessary for the game to continue running. "This next release is all about Forge's survival," the post reads. "As you all know, we're an Indie developer and are able to continue to support the game with new features from the sales of Forge every month. In order to continue to do this we must change our business plan in order to get more players playing Forge so it's fun for everyone and to continue funding development. This is why Forge must go F2P."
In a post on the official site (via Polygon), Dark Vale detailed exactly what you'll be able to buy. Steam is offering Starter Packs, which contain timed XP boosts and skin sets, for $19. If you've already bought Forge at $20, you'll get the first pack for free. In the future, they plan to add more customization and cosmetic items, along with armor sets and XP boosts.
Earlier this year, Dark Vale stated that the player base had "diminished sharply" after launch. At the time, the studio announced plans to tweak the difficulty and polish to attract new players.