How EverQuest Next Landmark plans to make money without annoying you

Director of Development explains the game’s monetization strategy.

Director of Development for the EverQuest franchise at SOE David Georgeson has laid out the five phases of EverQuest Next Landmark’s monetization strategy.

“First of all, we are free-to-play,” Georgeson said. “That means we have to entertain you before you decide whether to pay us or not. We like that burden of responsibility. We think it’s cool and the right thing to do.” Georgeson said that the majority of players in free-to-play games don’t buy much, but that players who do will not invalidate the in-game economy to those who don’t.

In its current, first phase, EverQuest Next Landmark is selling Founder’s Packs, giving those who are willing to pay early access to the game and some bonus items.

In the second phase, which begin later in the alpha, SOE will start selling outfits and resources.

Phase three, which will also start in the alpha, will introduce the option to buy shortcuts, allowing you to buy some useful items instead of crafting them.

In phase four, starting in the closed beta, SOE will launch Player Studio, where players can buy and sell templates to other players.

Finally, at the end of the closed beta, SOE will add more, “bigger-ticket” items like cosmetic pets, sound and music packs, name and gender changes, extra claim flags, and more.

“There will be additions/subtractions from this plan as we go, but we strongly believe that we can support the game well in these positive manners without compromising the game’s balance, economy, or fun,” Georgeson said.

You can find more details on the game’s monetization plans on the official forums, where Georgeson has also responded to several questions from fans.

For more on EverQuest Next Landmark, make sure to read our preview of its creation tools.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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emanuelmaiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.
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69 comments
atopp399
atopp399

For Everquest Next I'd prefer a classic subscription model as well that just contains everything.  Hopefully they will allow that kind of thing for like $5 or $10 a month or something.

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

Sounds like a balanced approach to me.

vackillers
vackillers

I'll be watching this one very closely to see how it materializes but definitely sounds and seems better then guild wars 2 which I was a little disappointed with after all the hype. I try not to get suckered in with hype over games these days as they never are as good their reviewed or hyped up to be most of the time with very very rare exceptions...... Free2Play Not sure if I like, the one thing that the Guild Wars franchise as going for it is you pay for it once, and thats it, and I like that buisness model, it gives instant revenue to the developers to put resources back into the game to improve, add content and make it better, the monthly fee ridiculousness that pleagued the industry for over a decade was just simply pathetic, WOW still charges even now monthly fees which still amazes me. Free to play games are generally shit, sorry to be blunt but they are, they lack content, quality, polish or nearly always turn out pay to win games with the very few exceptions where some MMOs fucking con you to be both!  (EVE-Online anyone?)


The sand box style of gameplay seems really interesting to me and something I hope they'll expand on greatly, in an MMO universe the limit really is only what you can think up. So I'll be watching this one see how it develops.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

Oh my god all the whining.  Why are you people who dislike having to pay for early access even commenting?  If you don't want to pay for early access, don't.  Don't shit on a company for doing it, dont even play the game hell stay away from it.  I love how people complain when they aren't being forced into paying for it.  


To those complaining it's an MMO and you dont like MMO's, yes it's an MMO but the term MMO isn't so tethered around RPG games like WoW that you shouldn't go around assuming just cuase it's an MMO that you HAVE to pay $15 a month, or you'll see pay to win microtransactions, that you can raid a boss yada yada blah blah blah.  This is a SANDBOX game.  There is no winning and losing, unless you are a complete moron then you lose :P.  My point is this has no beginning middle or end.  You farm materials you build whateer you want, hell you don't even have to play.  But quit complaining about MMO's like it's a standard thing to have microtransactions or a set monthly payment plan.

Kooken58
Kooken58

These comments often make me wonder if people even bother reading the article or anything. How can something like a Building game be considered pay to win. Its a freaking minecraft-like game.

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

Stop thinking of the game as an MMO, it's not.  Don't even think of it as an Everquest game because it isn't.  There, 90% of the comments in this topic are null and void.

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

Firstly... if you can buy resources in this game that is clearly designed to be a harvest / build type game. Basically it will be pay to win. Because the people who don't pay will be out harvesting whilst the people who like to throw money just keep spending on resources. This straight away puts me off because I know for a fact that gathering will be deliberately tedious to try and coax players to just buy the resources. Not fun. 


Secondly, offering items that you have to otherwise craft as shortcuts, is again telling me that the people who pay will be progressing so much faster and this isn't a level playing field in any way. It's a typical MOBILE F2P game model they're using. Look at Clash of Clans or anything of that ilk. Yes you can play it without paying for anything, but it takes ages to get onto the same footing as someone who pays. 


Want to know a game that got F2P absolutely bang on?  Path of Exile. They offered convenient microtransactions that you didn't feel bad paying for. Added inventory space? Yeah that'd be lovely, but it's not essential. When you bought their currency you'd end up with a little left over from the inventory purchase which you could then spend on cosmetic effects (with a nice assortment of choices). You pay a simple amount (was like $10-$20 or something) and got a massively convenient increase in inventory, and since you had a little left over you may as well buy some cosmetic items (and I'm not one who pays for cosmetic items). I felt absolutely no qualms about buying it, and I'm massively stingy. The reason why is because I felt like the devs weren't just trying to trick or annoy my money from me. So when I considered how long I was going to play the game (over 400 hours on steam so far) I thought $20 for that would be a steal if I were buying a game. That ladies and gentlemen, is how you do F2P. 


This game is obviously going to be Everquest in name only. I see nothing resembling the previous iterations of the series, and as someone who has played the original EQ on off for over 10 years... I'm massively disappointed.

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

Ok so they claim 'free to play' yet they make you pay to be an Alpha tester but when the games is finished and fully playable it will be free? That is kind of the most ass backwards thing I have ever heard.


Gamers want to be taken seriously and not bullied, lied to, or cheated but it's instances like this that take gaming a HUGE step backwards. Publishers and devs play off of the stupidity of gamers and rake in the cash for almost concept builds.


Early access is now a very popular and can almost be considered a genre now. The problem with this is that people flock to the game throw money at it, play the small amount of content, get bored and move on. Devs end up doing the same thing. How many Early access games end up being full fledged games in the end? Don't get me started on the ever present and almost permanent Beta tag on a lot of things now.


Gaming is moving into absurdity and I am not liking that. 

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

Pay-to-win isn't the single presence of a cash shop, their plans seem perfectly reasonable if not too reasonable. Pay-to-win is when you get items that are so overpowered in comparision to other players that there is just no competition anymore, it's just a spending-fest to get a place in the sun. Getting to do things faster than the others while still hitting an achievable-by-all ceiling IS NOT pay-to-win, and everything else seem pretty cosmetic to me. Unless you're one of those jealous basement kids that can't see a person having a cent faster than you, then first you should head out and get a life and second find some real problems to bother with.

theprismhead
theprismhead

Impossible. It annoys me to spend money.

cowbellkid
cowbellkid

They're making two different games. EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next: Landmark. This is for the F2P building game EverQuest Next: Landmark and not the MMO. The MMO will have microtransactions too but they will probably be different from the building game.

Raeldor
Raeldor

The interesting thing about this game though is you can actually make real world money by selling your templates.  So, in the end hopefully a lot of the game will be funded by a percentage of transactions for buying cosmetic items (houses, furniture, etc.) from other players.

GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

Apart from the "buy instead of craft" its all pretty much cosmetic purchases with no impact or advantage to players that pay.

Doesn't seem a bad free to play model, for now.

brokenpike
brokenpike

here is my question, how is it that we even have subscription fees these days took a look at star wars the old republic a few days ago, their payment system is so screwed up, you have no idea what you are going to get and what you are wasting your money so I passed on it.


However my main point is this how are games like elder scrolls online going to going to ask you to spend 15 dollars a month after spending 60 dollars to buy the game compared to just spending 60 flat on the game.  Think about how many games that have come out in the last 6 months that you can put hundreds of hours on before you become bored with them.  Grand Theft Auto 5, Call of Duty, Battlefield, possibly FF13-3, and soon titanfall, as well as darksouls 2.  They can't believe we have that much money to spend.  

jimmy_russell
jimmy_russell

"option to buy shortcuts" and "buy some useful items instead of crafting them" = pay to win, pay to progress, pay to bypass the grind, whatever you want to call it. It imbalances the game and makes it a pointless waste of time to play. Pass!

commando1992
commando1992

We're not going to annoy you, we're just going to make it so you can pay to skip the MMO grind so you can laugh at and annoy the people who don't. 

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I have never paid for anything more than the odd DLC, and even then it was only in games I played a hell of a lot. I've bought map packs for various games, Halo, Gears and COD and I got the Oblivion expansions. Other than that I hardly ever pay to play something that is free. I'm much likely to abandon the game and never touch it again than give them money.

demondogx
demondogx

Yeah i dont mind companys selling a few things, ofcourse cosmetics is definatly acceptable, maybe some small boosts and stuff
But this sounds like they are gonna offer to sell every single thing possible in the game

Lhomity
Lhomity

Sounds like trivial stuff. Mostly cosmetic. Nothing that would really give a player an advantage at max level in an MMO.


People will call it 'pay to win' anyway. People are silly like that.

aajep
aajep

Wow this is pay2win at its strongest, and that is how you ruin a MMORPG.

Saidrex
Saidrex

It's exactly what pay2win and grind-or-pay is. They come out and say it like it's something new or different, yet it is what it is no matter how you call it.

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

Gamespot, the land of penny pincher's that wouldn't know pay 2 win if it came up and sat on their head.

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

Sorry, but this is pay to win and that's the most annoying thing they could do.


Major pass. Bring on WILDSTAR!

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

Oh, and i forgot to mention if you do pay and are complainning it doens't have alot of content, IT's AN ALPHA, it's not suppose to have all of it's content yet.  It's being developed, they do early access now to help rid bugs and get suggestions and idea's.  I mean think back 10 or so years ago when the devs made a game and you played it and had to deal with whatever the devs decided to make it like.  At least HERE, you have an opportunity to give your own insights as how you would like to see the game grow.

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

@Ayato_Kamina_1 Except that Landmark is a sandbox game like Minecraft.  There is no "winning" or leveling at all in any way so it is only for those who don't want to harvest and just want to build.  I'm completely fine with that and don't see how anyone wouldn't be.  This is Sony's Minecraft and really has nothing to do with Everquest at all except that it is the engine that will eventually run it.  In the words of South Park "You don't win, you just fucken build shit."

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@WingChopMasta  "Gaming is moving into absurdity and I am not liking that. "  Blame companies like EA for that.  And might as wel blame Nintendo for its bland franchise milking with their boring ass multitude of mario/zelda games they DONT need anymore.  Refer to my comment below.


Early Acces is NOT a genre, how you can even come up with that is beyond me.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@WingChopMasta  Are you physically being forced to buy it? No, no you aren't.  Quit playing that "wah wah I have to pay to be able to play before everyone else" card just becuase YOU don't like that you have to pay to get in Alpha, where as most alpha games require a payment up front to be in them in the first place.  I, like many others have purchased this for 2 reasons, to play/try the game out, as well as help fund this game as it is much better, and I believe will be alot better than Minecraft when it reaches end beta.


To your comment:


"Devs end up doing the same thing" thats nul and void in MOST cases as most of the developers have a solid financial and production plan in place when creating this content.  Alot of Indie Devs are first timers to the industry and dont have experience to know what not to do, and what to do, when planning and setting finiancial plans.  If those types fail it's becuase they screwed themselves over by lack of a proper plan to begin with.  it's not the fault of the gamer.  And further more ITS FUCKING ALPHA, its GOING to be lacking content.  Beta is the point where almost all of the content that is planned is in, maybe not enabled due to bugs or whatever.  Take Starbound, the way the game is now is not what they plan for it in the long run, yet they released it and it took off GOLD.  The game is slowly changing from what it was at early beta to what it will be when it's fully released.  So please do some research before commenting on shit you obvoiusly lack knowledge in. 

biggopanda
biggopanda

@WingChopMasta I'm a Founder's Pack buyer and an Alpha Tester so let me speak from my experiences about it so far.

It is indeed a game that is in the Alpha stage of its development. This was made clear over and over again on the forums, twitter, and official announcements that players will be playing an incomplete game and that they're looking for dedicated players and testers to help build their game through feedback. And so far, the communication between the players and the devs have been outstanding. They've even completely removed the NDA and outlined their development plans.

And here's another thing. They -know- players will buy the Founder's Pack hoping to play a somewhat complete game, but its not one. They know some players will make mistakes. They know players will be unhappy. They've outlined in their forums that any players discontent with their purchase or unsatisfied with the game can contact Customer Support for a full refund. No running around loops or anything. Just ask, and you will receive your money back. Countless refunds have been made with no problems. If there was, there would be endless amounts of rage on the forums. 

Ex-Founders can just came back when the game's out. They just won't have the perks and special cosmetics and items that pack buyers got which isn't all that much TBH since crafted items end up being better.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@theprismhead  No one is forcing you to buy anything, why can't people get that into their fuckign heads.  You don't want to help mold the game don't.  But don't be an asshat either.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@brokenpike  Well you are refering to an EA game, so thats an entirely different beast to even begin to talk about.  You can't even COMPARE anything else to EA since they are on a completely shittier level than anything in the gaming industry.


You must never have played an MMO in your entire life if you don't know WHY they charge $15 a month after the initial $60.

xJackelx
xJackelx

@brokenpike  The amount of money one spends on a new title can range a bit but if for example a player bought all six of those titles mentioned at launch prices you'd be looking at a cost of over $300 (give or take $50).

Someone like myself who doesn't have the desire to get all of those games could use that money to play an MMO I do enjoy (Currently A Realm Reborn) and cover those costs for nearly two years. That's two years of near unlimited play time. This is without any additional addons that the games you mentioned might put out in the future at an additional cost. 

The point I'm trying to make is that each market is different and I'm a firm believer that if the product is worth the monthly cost it will attract the paying customers. 

I take issue only with the possible cost XBox users will have as well for ESO but that's not the fault of the devs. 

Sharkspawn80
Sharkspawn80

@brokenpike  I see your point. I would like to say though, not everyone will buy all those games, or maybe not buy any of them. Take myself for example. I passed on all the above, only because those games don't interest me, there for I haven't spent my hard earned cash on them, so I may save and budget and splurge on other titles. 


My point is not everyone will buy all the above, just what they are interested in. 


I will possibly buy ESO, and pay the 15 a month for however long, and depending on if the game is keeping me entertained enough to pass up on what's coming out next. I may play for a month and stop.

Kh1ndjal
Kh1ndjal

@jimmy_russell pay to win, even if you call it that and i'm not saying you should, still works in MMOs because not everyone plays MMOs to win, unlike COD, battlefield, dota 2, or league of legends.

exactly what do you win in an MMO by paying if you don't do PVP? having better equipped teammates can feel unfair if you can see it, but also having better equipped teammates increases your chances of getting better equipped easily. imagine your buddy that dropped $60 to boost himself just power-levels you, and you didn't pay a penny?


if making the game pay to win means the gameplay is destroyed as a result (infinite grind, for example) then yeah, i agree with you. but if you're in an mmo just to enjoy the views, the lore, the companionship of other players, there is no imbalance because none of those things will be affected by someone who dropped a hundred dollars on the game.

cowbellkid
cowbellkid

@Lhomity  The MMO EverQuest Next will probably have similar microtransactions. But these are for the building game EverQuest Next: Landmark.

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

@Saidrex  It's interesting that "Pay2Win" accusations so often come from players so obviously bad that they'd need to

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@SteamyPotatoes Most people won't have a problem with paying for a game if the payment system isn't to the detriment of the game. If I am encouraged to pay for "shortcuts" doesn't that mean that the normal method of doing it is less than desirable? Why would I play a game with a part that is less than desirable and encourages me to pay money to skip it? Either the devs haven't made an enjoyable game... or even worse, they've designed a game to try and encourage me to spend money to skip content they deliberately intend to be annoying unpleasant. 

I'm not a penny pincher, but I sure as hell don't reward devs for conning money out of people. 

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@SteamyPotatoes  You know who the wealthiest people in the world are, right? Penny Pinchers. You get rich by not being frivolous with your money and doing whatever you can to make it.

cowbellkid
cowbellkid

@Tripwolf  These are for the building game EverQuest Next: Landmark and not the MMO.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@Tripwolf  I know this sounds like a strange question but I was under the impression that this wasn't a "winnable" game. So how do you "pay to win"?

lostn
lostn

@Tripwolf Seeya. Let us know if you find a free to play game that doesn't give any advantage whatsoever to a paying customer. 

biggopanda
biggopanda

@Yuusha09 @Ayato_Kamina_1 I'll have to agree with this. Its a Builder game. Some people want to play just to build. If they wanna skip the progression, then let them. Being an Alpha tester and the material and crafting balances are all over the place at the moment, I still don't mind progressing through the game like it is. 

Also this allows players that have little time to play to have a bit of a catch up. Players that have work or school or both. I think this system is fair and balanced for -LANDMARK-. We still don't have any idea how EQN will be like. Heck, we don't even know what the shop will consist of. As an Alpha tester, I'll reserve most of my judgement until it's included.

brokenpike
brokenpike

@xJackelx @brokenpike  not saying you should buy all the mentioned games just saying look at all the fun you can have for a flat rate.  Still play Skyrim myself. As opposed to paying for the game itself then asking for a monthly fee on top of that.  For me its too much money spent on a single game.

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@Kh1ndjal @jimmy_russell In MMOs the players like a sense of accomplishment. Getting that ultra rare drop that took you over 100 hours to get is made pointless when someone else can buy it for $25. It puts a price on something that in game can feel priceless. 

I've played my fair share of MMOs, and the original EQ, where I know clerics who spent literal weeks online camping ragefire for their epic would say how much they loved having to do that because it made them getting it so much sweeter. Being able to buy it wouldn't have that same effect. 

In a world where more and more games hold your hand and give you handouts, a game that says you need to work for something would be a nice change of pace. Okay, maybe it won't be as lucrative as just charging people, but it would keep me interested for much longer. 

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@SteamyPotatoes @Saidrex Any type of purchase that gets you towards the end point of a game is "pay2win". As for calling someone a bad gamer on a comment section... you may as well say he's ugly and fat irl as well. 

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@ExtremePhobia @Tripwolf It's just a term that's banded around. Basically it means you get ahead quicker if you pay rather than having to play the game the way the devs designed it. Usually means the game has design flaws. 

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@brokenpike @xJackelx You're talking about two different types of gamer. The MMO player is more likely to play the MMO of their choice practically exclusively. And we're talking anywhere between 14 hours a week to 40 hours. In a month of playing games that's going to be between 50-200 hours a month for $15. If an MMO is done right, with ample servers, an active dev team constantly pushing content out and in game support, $15 a month is well worth it to the MMO player. Why do you think WoW has had as many subscribers as it has for as long as it has? These players play WoW almost exclusively. 

So yes you can argue that there's more value to other games in terms of hours / $. But if you compare the 200 hrs in skyrim for the $15 it costs now... very few games will compare in terms of value :p 

I have no problem with MMO prices when they're done right. I'd take a monthly sub over F2P any day of the week. F2P with free accounts have gold farmers constantly botting, spamming etc. Yes these are a problem in sub based MMOs too, but on a much reduced level as once the account is banned the spammers have to buy another one. 

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

@Ayato_Kamina_1 @Kh1ndjal@jimmy_russellStop thinking of it like EQ, WoW, or anything of the sort because it isn't an MMO.  Think of it as a Minecraft clone because that's what it is.  There is no pay-to-win because there is no win.

brokenpike
brokenpike

@SteamyPotatoes @ExtremePhobia  true, but every person I hear that line from can't pay their bills. Personally I would rather have money and not need it then need it and not have it.

lostn
lostn

@Saidrex Loadout supports level boosting with money. That's an advantage.