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Thursday, April 6, 2006
 

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Dofus Free Play Troubles
7:49 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Dofus, The flash based fantasy MMORPG from Ankama Studio, is experiencing an overwhelming growth of free play gamers since they offered the single realm of Astrub to entice players into the world. Despite being in only one area and offering a limited feature set, the free play option has attracted so many interested gamers that Ankama has been forced to consider adding servers to keep the free areas useable for newcomers.

To deal with this issue the company will be attempting an interesting subscription for items scheme which they hope will encourage free play gamers to begin supporting the game with real life gold. Players will be able to purchase keys to open new dungeon areas or buy new pets for their characters.

It's simple: Dofus has grown enormously since we added Astrub - too much, even. We're worried that one day we'll have more F2P players than P2P ones. We're ok for now, but we're going to have to add servers and increase the size of the F2P area (because Astrub is supposed to be fun for new players and it's hard when they find themselves on a map with 60 other people). But I must admit it's a vicious cycle: the more the area grows, the more it attracts free players, and the more free players we have the more money we lose.

Increasing the current subscription, for example raising it to 6 euros, would be worse because the P2P players would be the first to suffer. Adding a new payment method for F2P players, to try to lure them in, should work for everybody. At the moment we haven't decided on much but the focus is mostly on personalization, with 10 or so pets, and dungeon keys. That's all.

In addition to attracting new paying customers this subscription model will provide a test for an upcoming Ankama game which will be entirely pay for item based. The company is quick to reassure players that items for sale will provide character personalization rather than skills or powers.
Something else, that may not come as welcome news, is that we're currently working on another game that won't have subscription, but just items to buy. Obviously we'll have to test if the system is feasible in France. And even if it goes ahead, it won't be another Gunbound where the richest get the most powerful equips - the focus will again be on personalisation.

We're going to add monsters with reactions towards these new creatures, that'll be a great feature for Dofus, but essentially this is a test for our next game.

To more about Ankama's plans head over to the Dofus forums at the link below.

Dofus Forums: Free Play Woes
Dofus Official Site
Ankama Studio


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