ArcheAge may be getting ready to enter closed beta here in the West, but the game has been chugging along in South Korea since January as a pay to play game. In a move that is certainly to boost the game back into the top 5 games in the region, XL Games is shifting the sandbox MMO to a free to play model on July 3, with premium benefits.
While this may seem like ArcheAge is doing poorly in South Korea, the title is still the 9th most played game in the country at the time of writing.
After July 3, players will be able to purchase either 30 or 90 day packages with multiple benefits to the player. Premium users will be able to own a house, and recover labor points more quickly. In addition to these benefits, premium players will also receive item vouchers and periodic buffs.
This new model sounds much like that found in RIFT and TERA, though the housing paywall sounds like a large negative to free players.
On ArcheAge‘s Western Release
Massively has a sizable article on how Trion is handling the game’s localization, which is well worth the read for those interested in giving it a try upon open beta or release. It seems Trion and XL Games are working together to create a good experience for international players, and that is good to see.
It seems more and more likely we will see ArcheAge launch as a free to play title internationally. Will the paywall on housing stick overseas, and if so will it negatively affect how well the game does? Only time will tell.