According to producer Stephan Frost, upcoming PC MMO WildStar is "one of the most feature-complete MMOs" of the past 10 years. That statement puts the game up against the genre-defining MMO World of Warcraft (2004), as well as games like EverQuest II (2004), Lord of the Rings Online (2007), and Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011), among others. Frost made the comment in an interview with IGN about the game's subscription fee. Defending the fee, Frost said WildStar is like HBO, in that it offers "premium content."
"We decided to go with the subscription fee because we are a triple-A game," Frost said. "We are one of the most feature-complete MMOs to be coming out in the past 10 years. HBO, for example, is premium content. It has great shows like Game of Thrones and True Detective. They don't charge extra for those things, they're just charging that sub fee and people gladly pay it because it's good. If it wasn't good, they wouldn’t pay for it."
Frost said WildStar developer Carbine Studios is "looking at it in the same way." He maintains that players will find enough content to enjoy right out of the gate upon release next month, and pointed out that Carbine plans to add new content to the game month after month. "You'll see every 28 days new content coming in at a regular pace," he said.
Frost teased that Carbine may release a major expansion for WildStar some day, but that's not the studio's goal right now. "The only thing we're doing is trying to keep people in the game and keep them happy with new content," he said.
Comparing WildStar's subscription-based model to others (but without naming names), Frost said WildStar's is "extremely fair, and nothing's hidden behind paywalls."
WildStar is unique in that paying for game time with real money isn't the only way to keep your subscription active. Through the game's CREDD system, you can also use in-game money to buy a subscription. Frost said this option is aimed more at hardcore players.
"Yes you have to buy the box and yes you have to pay $15 a month, but if you're a hardcore player and you play a lot, you can use your in-game money to purchase a subscription and that way you can be playing for free after you buy the box," he said. "The great thing about it too is that if I don’t play that often, but I come in and I buy some CREDD, which is effectively a subscription, I put it on the auction house and somebody buys it for a ridiculous amount of gold, I can then take that gold and buy whatever I want because I don’t play as much as that hardcore player. To me that seems extremely fair for having a subscription fee."
WildStar's open beta started today and runs through May 18. You can visit the game's website to sign up for the beta, and if you've already participated in a previous WildStar beta, you'll also have access to the current open beta. WildStar launches in full June 3.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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