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Neverwinter shifts to free-to-play MMO model

Neverwinter, the recently delayed title from developer Cryptic Studios, is shifting its focus from role-playing game with multiplayer elements to "full-fledged free-to-play MMO."


Neverwinter, the recently delayed title from developer Cryptic Studios, is shifting its focus from role-playing game with multiplayer elements to "full-fledged free-to-play MMO."

The reorientation of game design runs parallel to the catalog of games already available from publisher Perfect World Entertainment, which acquired Cryptic Studios in May of this year.

IGN reports that Neverwinter will now play similarly to MMO titles like Vindictus or Rusty Hearts. "In fact," the article reads, "it's shifting towards the action end of the MMO spectrum." The game was originally announced as a "co-op-oriented Dungeons & Dragons" title before making the leap to full F2P territory.

Among the items players can expect to purchase are "vanity pets and cosmetic items." Cryptic is reportedly going to avoid making any of the content "premium-only" in Neverwinter.

Neverwinter is scheduled to launch sometime in 2012 for the PC.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    October 5, 2011 6:30 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Neverwinter shifts to free-to-play MMO model.

    Neverwinter, the recently delayed title from developer Cryptic Studios, is shifting its focus from role-playing game with multiplayer elements to "full-fledged free-to-play MMO."

    • reply
      October 5, 2011 6:39 PM

      ohhhhhhhh fuck i knew they would fuck this game up. god damnit. FUCK.

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        October 6, 2011 7:22 AM

        Me too, I had a horrible feeling as soon as Cryptic was mentioned, and especially when they were bought by a mini transaction =|

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      October 5, 2011 6:48 PM

      Cryptic needs to do the world a favor and go out of business.

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        October 5, 2011 7:11 PM

        its not really crpytic anymore, its perfect world entertainment

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          October 5, 2011 8:01 PM

          If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

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          October 5, 2011 10:54 PM

          True but after STO and Champions cryptic should be trusted with anything.

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            October 5, 2011 10:58 PM

            Star Trek really should have been so much more, but at the same time STO isnt a horrible game (or atleast isnt anymore, at launch it was horribad).

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              October 5, 2011 11:49 PM

              It's still pretty mediocre. The space combat was the only real saving grace. Other than the episodes which were cool the only content they bothered to add were things you had to pay for even though you were already paying a sub. If they had been better with content it would have been cool but it felt like a game they tossed out for quick money then largely abandoned it.

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      October 5, 2011 7:13 PM

      hmmmmmmmmmmm. /arsenio hall

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      October 5, 2011 7:23 PM

      :( damn, bloody MMO, could be good... but not what I wanted(epic SP optional 4 - 6 player co op, MP not needed but nice to have).

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      October 5, 2011 7:42 PM

      I played hours and hours and hours of Neverwinter Nights coop multiplayer. Will this be any good?

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      October 5, 2011 8:13 PM

      This late in the development cycle?

      Interesting. It'll take a pro team to pull this off, but I am not holding my breath.

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        October 5, 2011 8:16 PM

        I suspect the shift began back in May, when Perfect World acquired them. Might have been before that, even...

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      October 5, 2011 11:39 PM

      Why are so many studios soooo stupid? It's been obvious to me ever since WoW rose to popularity that the MMO market is zero sum. People who play MMOs don't have time (or money) for more than one game. Sure, WoW expanded the market, but unless your game fills a niche like Eve or GW, it's not going to expand the market. WoW already did that as much as it can be done.

      The MMO gamer market has the following camps:

      1. Playing WoW: to court these guys you have to be better than WoW. Good luck.
      2. Playing LotRO: to court these guys you have to be better and also be F2P. Good luck there too.
      3. People tired of playing MMOs but who could be lured back in. To court these guys you have to be unique and interesting and not have flaws that drag down the overall experience. This seems to be the most promising category but your quality has to be high and the unique element to your game has to be very compelling. Not much room for error there.

      If I were a game studio and publishers with funding wanted me to make an MMO, I'd just refuse. Life is too short to waste time on yet another failure that is so blatantly obvious from the outset. It would take the likes of Bioware to make any money on a new MMO, and FWIW my money is on them failing too. Even if they experience some early success, can they meet or exceed Blizzard's pace? I doubt it very much. GW2 could be more successful, but again, only by attacking a niche, not by going after Blizzard's core market.

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        October 6, 2011 10:01 AM

        wait what is GW's "niche"? I thought it was just another fantasy MMO?

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          October 6, 2011 1:50 PM

          It is, but it had a much lighter weight central server and pretty much all content was instanced and not server-run. So it was kind of a central city that was basically a chat room and adventuring was done in small MP groups. This helped them make the game without a monthly charge, and it doesn't feel like other MMOs. So it's a hard-to-describe niche, but it's quite a bit different than WoW, LotRO, Conan, Rift, Aeon, etc.

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            October 6, 2011 3:03 PM

            But GW2 is supposed to be a "real" MMO compared to GW1, without the monthly fees.

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              October 6, 2011 4:05 PM

              GW2 will be interesting! I haven't followed it too much, but it seems like I heard there will still be a lot of instancing but that they'll be growing the amount of open world MP quite a bit. I hope it works out and doesn't intrude on the core WoW market much. I'd rather see game companies expand the genre than hopelessly try to out-do Blizzard in their core market.

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        October 6, 2011 11:40 AM

        While I agree with you about WoW, I will also disagree. A lot of people are becoming tired of the same game for so many years. I think Bioware has waited for the right time to come out with their MMO, as they are now easier to pick off now. They may not siphon off all the core players, but a lot of the more casual players may well move over to SWTOR. Shoot, even Everquest and Ultima Online still have a core player base.

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          October 6, 2011 1:55 PM

          I didn't mean to say that the people playing WoW all love it. I think there are a lot of WoW players that are excited to jump into something new, it's just that nothing new has even remotely compared with WoW and ultimately most of those players quit before long. That's why the most promising of MMOs don't seem to last more than 6 months. LotRO has done the best so far I think, and they still had to go F2P to keep from dying off. I think Bioware will fare no better, even though I was initially excited by it. In fact I think they won't even match LotRO's success. I'd love to be wrong, but I still think the main problem with MMOs is that the people financing them don't understand how the MMO market is fundamentally different than the "normal" game market.

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      October 6, 2011 7:51 AM

      No toolkit = no purchase.

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        October 6, 2011 9:28 AM

        For sure. Thats what made those games fun, all the mods and the worlds people ran